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Showing posts from December, 2014

HHS Social Media: 12 Days of Techmas, Day 12

To celebrate the holiday season, I'm sending 12Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away!
Day12: HHS Social Media
I picked the easiest one for our last day before the break! 
We're working on increasing our school's social media presence, to better communicate with parents and the community. Many parents check social media at least daily, and it is a great way to send out "non-essential" notices and photos. We are using social media to help develop a positive, friendly presence online.
If you use FacebookTwitterGoogle+, or Instagram, please consider taking a moment to "Like" or "Follow" HHS! It only takes seconds!
You can participate in different ways: Candy Cane level: Like or follow us!Reindeer level: Like, share, or re-tweet one of our posts!Elf level: Send me photos or news to post on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!
Privacy Fine Print (just so you know) Facebook: Liking the HHS Page adds HHS to your news feed, but other peopl…

Google Slides: 12 Days of Hanutech, Day 11

To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be sending out 12Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away! 
Day 11: Google Slides Not everyone knows that Google has its own version of PowerPoint called Slides. You access it through your Google Drive just like a Google Doc, but it lets you make and develop presentations. It also has all of the collaboration tools and sharing of a normal Google Doc.
Students' "presentation day" with Google Slides is easier. All the student has to do is share the Slides presentation with you and you can project it normally. No fussy USB drives or emailing large files that don't have the videos properly embedded.
Slides is also really good at converting existing PowerPoint files into Google Slides format. This means you can upload your existing PowerPoint lessons and easily share them with your students.
If you already knew about Slides but haven't looked at it in a while, look again. Google has worked hard on it, and Slide…

Google Drawings! 12 Days of Techmas, Day 10

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To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be sending out 12Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away!
Weekend Edition! Day 10: Google Drawing
A little used feature of the Google Apps system is Google Drawings. I think this is because of its name: it seems to imply free-hand drawing on a computer, which may seem of limited use to most teachers.



A Barely-Educational Example (Keep reading for better examples!)


However, free-hand is the least useful tool in Google Drawings. Where it really shines is in free-layout text and shape drawing
Google Drawings is perfect for making concept maps and graphic organizers. You can make an organizer and share it with your students, or they make make their own.  


Maybe these examples I whipped up might seem more educational:
Concept Map about Fine Arts


[Ironically, the example concept map of Fine Arts above is an ugly color-tastrophe, but students less lazy than I could spend the effort to make it look nice.]
Comparing Holidays Word Graph

Suggestions: 12 Days of Techmas, Day 9

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To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be sending out 12Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away!
Day 9: Suggestions in Google Docs
Have you noticed the new way to edit/comment in Google Docs? It's called Suggesting mode, and it's perfect for teachers.
Suggesting mode allows you to type corrections into a student's document, but have those changes highlighted to make them obvious.
For example, in the picture below, you can see where I removed "HPS" and inserted "Holliston Public Schools." It automatically marked my changes in green, and automatically created a comment on the right to show the student what I did.



When the student reopens the document, she sees the changes in green as well as thecomment box on the side. It makes my suggestions really obvious, and she can accept the suggestion (to make the change permanent) or reject it.
This is especially good for minor edits such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc, that ought to be…

Google Charts in Google Docs: 12 Days of Techmas, Day 8

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To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be posting 12 Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away!

Day 8: Google Charts in Google Docs

This is a simple one that used to bug me.

Google Sheets is a nice, easy-to-use spreadsheet system that lets students make graphs. Google Docs is a nice, simple word processor that lets students type reports. But until recently, it used to be surprisingly difficult to get achart into a Google Doc.

Enter the "Charts" add-on for Google Docs. Charts lets you, within a Google Doc, access data in a Google Spreadsheet and create a chart/graph right in the doc. This is very nice for a variety of assignments that rely on data analysis.

For me, this simple addition is a game changer for science lab reports. Before the "Charts" add-on, lab reports with graphs were impractical; now, they suddenly seem like the best option, especially now that best-fit trendlines can be included (see "12 Days of Techmas, Day 4: Trendlines&qu…

BYOD Lights: 12 Days of Techmas, Day 7

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To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be sending out 12 Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away!

Day 7: BYOD lights

Knowing when to use (or not use) BYOD devices is a study and etiquette skill that many students are lacking. It can be frustrating for teachers to be continually reminding students to put away (or take out) their devices at particular points in the lesson.

Instead of the constant wrestling, try a trick from the elementary teachers' book, and train your students with simple cues. I like the Red/Yellow/Green light system to cue students about their device use. It makes clear expectations for usage, and helps train the students with easy associations ("Hmmm, today's quiz day, so my teacher will probably set the light to "Red").

Red light Yellow light Green light Devices not allowed Devices allowed Devices required Examples: test or exam days during oral presentations Examples: Taking Notes Silent seatwork Examples: Interactive online lesson…

Email stars: 12 Days of Hanutech, Day 6

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To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be posting out 12 Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away! 
Day 6: Email stars Sometimes when I get an important email message, I click the little star next to it (or at the top). This labels the message as "Starred," which can be easily retrieved later. 
In fact, in my Gmail settings, I have my Inbox set to show "Starred first, then everything else." This keeps the any starred emails at the top of the screen, no matter how many new emails appear.


Then, when I no longer need the message, I un-star it and archive it, and it pops off the stack.  Groovy!!

Fake SMS Conversations: 12 Days of Techmas, Day 5

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To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be sending out 12 Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away!

Day 5: Fake SMS Conversations
This cute little online tool (http://www.classtools.net/SMS/) lets a student create a fake conversation between two people, as if they had been texting each other. It's a fun way for students to show a little understanding of historical figures, famous scientists or mathematicians, or modern day role models.

It's also an easy way for teachers to create little educational jokes. For example, below is one I just whipped up about Napoleon, which I could put in my PowerPoint presentation as a comic relief break.


If you make students do it as an assignment (or extra credit), they send you the link to their finished product (here's mine: http://www.classtools.net/SMS/51_Va3VK9).

It's free (with ads), and is super easy to use!

Trendlines: 12 Days of Chanutech, Day 4

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To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be posting 12 Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away!

Weekend Edition!
Day 4: Trendlines in Google Sheets
This one snuck by me last August, but Google added the ability to add trendlines to its Google Sheets charts and graphs!

Science and math teachers know that this has always been a major feature missing from Google Sheets. When students create graphs, they have the option to add a linear or exponential trendline, and an option to display the R-squared and coefficient values.



Here's a link to the specific instructions: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/6075154

Have fun! See you Monday!

Share your PowerPoints!: 12 Days of Techmas, Day 3

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To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be posting 12 Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away!

Day 3: Share your PowerPoints
Do you use PowerPoint presentations in class? Instead of simply showing the presentation on the projector, why not share the PowerPoint with your class? If you upload the PowerPoint file to your Google Drive, it is easy to share it with your students (or with anyone), and Google Drive will make sure that students on almost any device are able to open it. This is especially helpful if you want to include links or references in the presentation.

Cheers!

Let students use the Doc Camera: 12 Days of Hanutech, Day 2

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To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be posting 12 Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away!

Day 2: Let students use the Doc Camera
Are you reviewing a worksheet or math problem on your doc camera? Instead of you standing at the camera showing the answers, how about having a student display her work? You can lead a class discussion about which answers are acceptable and which need correction. You can always jump in if you need to, but modeling student work is a great way to get your class more involved in a review. It's a subtle change that can have a big impact.

Feature Images: 12 Days of Techmas, Day 1

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To celebrate the holiday season, I'll be posting 12 Days of easy classroom tech ideas you can use right away!

Day 1: Feature Images



Want an easy way to spice up your next writing assignment? Require students to include at least one image (or maybe two or three)! This would be similar to the way a newspaper or magazine uses photos to enhance an article, and involves some surprising insight to do well.

You will be fascinated by their choices of images, and it may make your students (and you) think about the topic in a different way.

For an extra challenge, you could require that the images be licensed for reuse (non-copyrighted)!

Ho Ho Ho!