While sharing our newest literacy collaboration tool, Biblionasium, with students the issue of internet trolls came up and I wondered how many of us know what is an internet troll. An internet troll is a person who says things on internet discussion sites with the intention of making people upset. They seem to exist to only bring attention to themselves and get others to follow their lead. Taken seriously, they can really cause hard feelings and cause quite a stir in what otherwise might be productive discussions. Common Sense Media has a good, less than a minute, explanation video among their parent resources dedicated to combatting Cyberbullying.
Interested in knowing more? Common Sense media has some really great resources for parents, students and teachers trying to navigate the internet in a safe way.
With tax time around the corner perhaps money is on your mind. This app can help you count it! Actually, it can help you teach your students how to count money in a very interactive fashion. Users of SmartNotebook know that there are many kinds of interactive activities for math instruction but this app is made specifically for counting and using coins. Sometimes you want something quick and you want it now, Math Pieces, by the Math Learning Center, might do just that. Did I mention that it is free? Here is a site to help you find the Math Pieces Chrome along with other good Chrome Apps for math made just for you.
I wanted to share with you an exciting discovery of mine regarding EdPuzzle and Google Classroom.
EdPuzzle is a tool that lets you assign videos to your students. Not just any videos but videos that you can trim and add your own questions and comments to. If you are not yet using it, it’s worth a look.
Google Drive is part of Google Apps for Education that allows for smooth communication between teacher and student as well as streamlining the distribution of assignments and activities.
Recently I found that EdPuzzle makes creating a classroom a snap if you already have students in Google Classroom. That magic happens with the “Import from Google Classroom” button. Select an existing class or Add class and then “Import”. Sweet.
Do you have a “Plan B”?
Last week’s web page outage made me think out the importance of Plan B. I would like to preface the following statements by stating that web page outages like the one my district experienced last week are rare. Our IT department works incredibly hard to keep everything running smoothly however not everything is within their control. Last week’s hack was a great example. That being said, there is nothing wrong with giving yourself a little piece of mind with a Plan B.
You’ll find my Plan B below. It is a very small Symbaloo with links to my most basic and frequently used websites. Making and sharing your own Symbaloo is pretty easy; if you can cut and paste links you have all the skills to make your own. They even have their own free version called EduSymbaloo that includes a network of great link collections that you can add to your own.
Working with Google Calendar today an older Chicago song with the lyric “Does anybody really know what time it is?” is on an infinite loop in my head. With Google Calendar, everyone can stay on the same page. With it teachers can keep track and share assignment due dates, send invitations to parents and peers to collaboration sessions and be notified when planned events have changed. GAFE has another feature not available for the general public, appointments. After feedback from educators, this feature was brought back from Google’s chopping block because of its usefulness in an educational setting. If you have yet to work with calendar I would highly recommend it.
Today we learned how to make a screencast. The original intent was to use Screen-Cast-O-Matic but due to the fluid nature of the internet, their Google authenitcation piece was not up to Google’s current policies and was not coopertive. This led us to explore other alterntives such as Chrome’s ScreenCastify. This worked well. There are a few things to keep in mind while using it. As soon as the extension is loaded it will be ready to go. Any setup prompts can be ignored at this point. It may begin recording willy-nilly so just click stop and delete recording; it should behave after that. When you want to record, pay attention to the setting that asks which view you’d like to use. Most often you will want to choose to record the entire screen. When you are through you are given the choice to save it to your drive and/or YouTube.
Below is a story I created with the help of Storybird. Storybird does things a little differently in that they provide the illustrations while you provide the story. I recently rediscovered Storybird while I was helping a fellow teacher find quick literacy resources to share. It is worth a look. //storybird.com/books/the-strangest-creature-you-have-ever-seen/embed/?token=6rsm8a6mx4
Today was a challenge. The Google server was intermittent and a challenge. We quickly became experts at chrome’s offline capabilites.