Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Dave Grohl Comes to the Defense of Teachers

On the surface Dave Grohl, the drummer for Nirvana and front man of Foo Fighters, doesn't seem like the celebrity who would come to the defense of teachers amid controversy over school re-opening plans. But that's exactly what he did in a video that was released today on the Foo Fighters YouTube channel. I won't say anything more than just watch the video and share it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

How to Use Canva for Online Brainstorming Activities

Last week I wrote a post about the real-time collaboration option that Canva has started to roll out. This morning I got a question from a reader who was having a little trouble using that feature. The trouble is that the real-time collaboration option in Canva isn't available to use with all templates, yet. That said, it is available to use with this selection of brainstorming templates.

In the following video I demonstrate how to use Canva's real-time collaboration function for an online brainstorming session. In the video I also demonstrate how you can tell if the template support real-time collaboration or not.

Convert Handwritten Notes Into Google Documents

This week my Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week newsletter was about tools for digitizing physical notes. There are tools like CamScanner and Office Lens specifically made for that task. There are also tools that have the "hidden" capability to digitize physical notes. One of those tools is Google Drive.

When you snap a picture and upload it to Google Drive you can then have it converted into a Google Document that you can edit and share just like any other Google Doc. In the following video I demonstrate how easy it is to use Google Drive to convert physical notes into Google Docs.


Applications for Education
Many teachers, including me, still like to have students write at least some of their notes in physical notebooks. The trouble is that some students are prone to losing those physical notes. Having students snap a picture and save it to Google Drive is one way to preserve those physical notes.

Ease of sharing notes with you is another benefit of snapping a picture of physical notes and converting them into Google Docs. If you like to do periodic "notebook checks," taking pictures of notebook pages and uploading them to Google Drive is a good alternative to collecting physical notebooks.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Create Talking Pictures of Famous People

This morning the power was out at my house so I sat on my porch drinking coffee (brewed before the power went out) and brainstormed a list of ways to use video tools in elementary school classrooms. One of the ideas that I came up with was using ChatterPix Kids to create talking pictures of famous people.

ChatterPix Kids is a free app (Android version here, iPad version here) that lets students take pictures or upload pictures, draw a smile, and then record themselves talking for up to thirty seconds. The finished product is saved as a video file on the students' iPads or Android tablets. That video file can then be shared in a variety of ways including in Google Classroom. The following videos demonstrate how to use the Android and iOS versions of ChatterPix Kids.



Applications for Education
A great way to use ChatterPix Kids is to have students use it to record themselves talking as if they were the person in the pictures they use in the app. Consider having students read a quote from that person. Or have students read a short biographical detail about the person while recording in ChatterPix Kids.

How OneNote Can Help Students Solve Math Problems

As I mentioned last week, I'm trying to make more videos about the excellent products that Microsoft offers to teachers and students for free. One of those products is OneNote. Within OneNote there is a great feature that can help students solve math problems. In the video that I've embedded below you can see how OneNote can help students solve math problems.

OneNote provides students with step-by-step outlines for solving math problems that they write in their OneNote notebooks. The way that this works is a student hand-writes or types a problem onto a page in OneNote and then highlights that problem using the lasso tool in OneNote. Once the problem is highlighted students can then select "math" in the ribbon menu and a new menu appears on the page. In that new menu students can choose to see the steps to take to solve the problem.

Watch my short video to see how to use the math problem solution function in OneNote.