Tuesday, September 29, 2020

"Whoa!" - This Is Why We Should Review Search Strategies Every Year

 

During last week's episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions and Share Cool Stuff I shared a little story from earlier that day in my classroom. The story provides a good reminder of why we should review search strategies every fall even if we think our students "have done it before." 

Here's the story, one of my comp sci students was looking for an image to use in a little project that he's working on. I told the class to use Pixabay or Unsplash to find the images they needed. Unfortunately for this student there really wasn't an image that met his needs available on either of those sites. So I told him he could look on Google Images if he refined the search according to usage rights. Seeing how that could be done was his first "whoa!" moment. The second "whoa!" came a few minutes later when I showed him that he could refine the search according to file type to find PNG files without having to manually look through the results. His third "whoa!" was let out when he realized that he could search by file type to find PowerPoint presentations. 

This particular student is new to my classroom, but is not new to the school district as he is a junior this year. So while I'm sure he was taught how to search by file type and usage rights in the past, he clearly benefitted from a refresher last week. The lesson here is to review search strategies with students even if you think they've heard it before. 

For more information on teaching search strategies to students of all ages, take a look at my online course Ten Search Strategies Students Need to Know

Monday, September 28, 2020

Think Like a Coder - The Final Episode!

Last spring my freshmen class enjoyed TED-Ed's Think Like a Coder series of videos. The final episode of the series was released a few days ago. The last installment is called The World Machine. 

The World Machine follows the same format as the previous nine installments of Think Like a Coder. The episode features Ethic and Hedge using logic to solve some programming puzzles to unlock and collect artifacts. During the episode there are calls-to-action for students to try to apply their knowledge to the problems that Ethic and Hedge face. Watch the full episode right here


As I wrote last spring, my freshmen in Intro to Computer Science class loved these videos. I didn't think that they would so I didn't plan to show them. Then we had a day that wrapped up a little early so I put one on just to see how they'd react, they really liked them and ended up calling out how they would have solved the problems in the episodes. I plan to use these videos again a little later this year with my new group of freshmen.

MoocNote - Add Quizzes to Existing Videos

MoocNote is a free service that I've written about a few times in the past as a tool for collaborative note-taking while watching a video. It is a good service for doing that. Recently, MoocNote expanded to offer tools for adding quiz questions to videos. You can now use MoocNote to add multiple choice, true/false, multiple selection, and fill-in-the-blank questions to the timeline of any video that you find on YouTube (premium users can import their own videos as well). 

Adding questions into the timeline of a video in MoocNote is fairly straight-forward once you know where to find the question icon (see this video for an explanation). You can add as many questions as you like to the timeline of a video. One nice feature is that you can have your questions be active or inactive and toggle between the two settings. That could be nice if you want to show the video without interruptions to one class but then use it with a different class in which students will be required to answer questions online. 


The other recent update to MoocNote that some teachers will appreciate is that it is now possible to share MoocNote lessons with students who don't have email addresses. You can now give students a link to the lesson and a pin that they have to enter to access the lesson. See this video for an explanation. 


The obvious comparison for MoocNote is EDpuzzle. MoocNote doesn't have as many reporting functions as EDpuzzle. On the other hand, the initial set-up for using MoocNote is a little simpler and getting students into it is easy. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

ICYMI - Episode 20 - Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff

Every Thursday at 4pm ET/ 1pm PT I join Rushton Hurley from Next Vista for Learning for a free webinar in which we answer questions from readers and viewers. We also feature a couple of cool/ interesting things we've found on the web during the week. And in the process of answering questions we often share even more cool stuff. If you missed our latest episode you can watch the recording and see a list of featured resources right here. And while you're there check out Rushton's other webinar series called Activities Across Grade Levels

 

Register here to join us for the next episode of Two Ed Tech Guys Take Questions & Share Cool Stuff.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Week in Review - Trolls, Jam, and YouTube

 

Good morning from Maine where I'm waiting for the sunrise on what is supposed to be another gorgeous fall day. I'm planning to play outside with my family and go for a bike ride. I hope that you have something fun planned for the weekend as well. 

This week I once again joined Rushton Hurley to host a webinar. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. Next week I'm hosting a Practical Ed Tech webinar about making instructional videos. You can register for that one right here

As I do every Saturday, I've compiled a list of the most read posts of the last week. Take a look and see if there's something interesting that you missed earlier this week. 

These were the most popular posts of the week:
1. Google Adds Another Control for Teachers Using Google Meet
2. Five Zoom Features You Need to Know
3. Jamboard is Now Integrated Into Google Meet
4. The Google Science Journal App is Now the Arduino Science Journal
5. TeacherMade - Quickly Create & Share a Variety of Online Activities
6. Using YouTube to Share Lessons This Fall? - Settings and Tools You Need to Know About
7. Spot the Troll - Can You Spot Fake Social Media Accounts?