#innedco #edtech #techtips
Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of all the technology resources PSD has to offer. In this screencast, we show where some commonly used resources can be found on the Poudre School District website.
#innedco #littrips #edtech
Language arts teachers wanting to increase engagement and encourage discussion of book projects can use or create Google Lit Trips. Using Google Earth, students can combine multiple resources – like pictures, URLs, and videos – into placemarks. The placemarks that the students create become a tour through places in a book, which the students can present to the class. Check out this podcast made by PSD’s Ara McKelvey about students making their own Google Lit Trips at Fossil Ridge High School, a great example of using Google Lit Trips in the classroom.
Pre-made Lit trips are available for free download from Jerome Burg’s site, Google Lit Trips. Here’s a video showcasing Jerome Burg as a Microsoft Education Award recipient in 2010. Mr. Burg goes on to explain why he created the Lit Trips website, which is now a 501c non-profit organization.
#web20 #techtips #edtech
The beginning of the school year can be an exciting and busy time! Here are some fun ways to use web-based tech tools to get to know your students.
Use Google presentations to create a student “expo”:
In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed how to use Google presentations to create an “Amazing Race“. You can do a similar activity with your students to start off the year. Head to Google Drive and create a new presentation. The Topic could be anything, for example, “what did you do last summer?”, “Where did you go?”, or even better “What are you excited about for the school year?” We do some teacher trainings here at PSD Tech and have created a similar presentation. Check it out here.
You can set the sharing permissions on the presentation by pressing the blue “Share” button in the upper right. It’s often easier to share the presentation’s link (or shorten the URL) with students rather than entering each student’s email address.
Next, create instructions for the students on the first slide. After that, it’s a snap! Students create one or more slides in the presentation and they (or the teacher) can share it out with the class. Students can embed text, pictures, links, and videos!
Not sure about Socrative? Check out our post on using “Laptops as Clickers“
You could also create an editable class wiki using Google Sites (or BlackBoard) to do something similar to the above activities.
Have a great school year!
#web20 #google #googleapps
A couple of months ago, Google added some functionality to the Forms section of Google Apps. These changes have recently been added to anyone with a Google EDU account. Users can now add images and dates/times to their forms. Check out this screencast to see the new changes!
#edtech #web20 #edchat #clickers #elearning
Using “clickers” or electronic response systems can be a great way to gather data and give formative assessments to students. Until recently, schools wanting to use response systems needed to purchase expensive software and equipment. Education software companies like Promethean, CPS, and SMART all manufacture “clicker” software and hardware.
Clicker software and hardware, in the traditional sense, can now be replaced by technology that may already exist in the classroom. Teachers and students can now use laptops, netbooks, and smart-phones as clickers thanks to some new web tools. Best of all, most of these web based tools are free to use.
Once such web tool can be found at Socrative.com
The front page states, “Engage the class using any device” and they mean it.
On the website, you can either be directed to a log-in for teachers or students. The sign up process is simple and free for teachers. Once logged in, teachers will get a room number. They can provide that room number for students using the “student log-in” and go from there! The whole process is very simple and user friendly.
From the teacher home page, teachers have to option to create quizzes in advance or give questions “on the fly” as a single question activity. SQAs are a great way to gather quick, formative data on your class, take a vote, or give a “ticket out the door”. The format of the SQA can be True/False, short answer, or multiple choice.
If teachers create a quiz ahead of time, they have the same options for question formats but with a little more functionality. Quizzes can be multiple questions and run as student-paced or teacher-paced. Teachers can also add image content to their questions and share their quizzes with other teachers.
One of the best functions of the quiz-based activities is that teachers can add correct answers which will, in turn, give students immediate feedback and export results to an Excel spreadsheet.
Socrative makes it easy to replace clickers with laptops, netbooks, and smart-phones making it a very user-friendly and viable option as an assessment tool.
#edtech #web20 #edchat #google #elearning
A few weeks ago, we posted about using Google Forms. Google Forms are a great way to collect information without the need for paper. Teachers can use Google Forms to give students formative or summative assessments. The benefit is that the information is automatically organized into a spreadsheet. Another added benefit to Google Forms are “Scripts”. One such script, called Flubaroo, will automatically grade a spreadsheet form for you with only a few simple inputs.
To get Flubaroo, head to a Google Form spreadsheet that’s open and navigate to Insert>Script.
Next, you’ll want to do a search for “Flubaroo” in the search bar and click “install”
For Flubaroo to work, it needs a reference row or a “key”. This can be one of the rows in your spreadsheet. Teachers will often take their own test so that it populates the first row of the test. From that point forward, they have an easy way to grade the test/quiz.
After the quiz is graded, there will be a new tab at the bottom (similar to Microsoft Excel) called “Grades”. Flubaroo automatically creates a spreadsheet with total correct/incorrect, % out of 100, and many other useful pieces of information. If the teacher has the student input their email address as one of the row items, the teacher can immediately send the student their grade and feedback.
With a little work up front, using Google Forms with Flubaroo can save a lot of time for teachers.
Be sure to check out www.flubaroo.com for more information.
#edtech #web20 #edchat #photoediting #elearning
Ever needed to crop, resize, or change a photo in some way only to discover that you have no photo editing software? Fear not! There are browser based photo editors available for you to use without the need to download and install software.
The Pixlr-o-Matic app has functionality similar to that of Instagram or other smartphone apps.
As you can see from the picture, using the Pixlr-o-Matic version allows you to browse many automated settings to change things like hue, color balance, contrast and effects. If your students are creating online posters (like Glogs) this would be a useful app to quickly modify pictures to match the theme.
Pixlr Express has a little more functionality. You can still add all of the effects that are available in Pixlr-o-Matic, but there are other added features. You can add text and other special effects as well. The menus are easy to follow and use.
The Pixlr Editor has a layout and functionality similar to that of programs like Photoshop. Users have the ability to use layers, crop, and free transform to name a few. The Pixlr Editor also has a lasso tool (although not a magnetic lasso).
Another browser based photo editor, called ChromaPad, developed at croar.net, is also easy to use and has mixed functionality. The best part, it’s free to use and, like Pixlr, there’s no need to download and install anything.