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Showing posts from August, 2016

Cut Past the Baloney with BaloneyMeter App

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Critical thinking is an important part of learning and involves the ability to reason effectively, utilize systems thinking, make judgements, and solve problems. Although it is an important component of learning, how do you help your students to think beyond the obvious? You may want to consider using a simple tool called the Baloney Meter . This free iOS App leads you through several questions to consider the relevance of a claim, website, and even political candidate! Students (even teachers) can use a sliding scale to answer several different questions to determine the claim's relevance: Is the claim baloney?  Is its source reliable?  Can it be tested? Is there confirmation for it? Can there be another explanation?  As you use the sliding scale, your screen changes color to determine its relevance or irrelevance.  Although it is not a perfect tool, it is a great tool to help your students to begin thinking critically about the information, claims, and website

iOS and GAFE: Collaborate and Auto Populate a Shared Folder with Images and Videos

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Recently, I gave a Classroom 2.0 webinar titled " Amazing Digital Projects for All Students with Google Tools ." During the webinar, I spoke of ways to make your pictures speak "a thousand words." I provided an example that I learned from the great Ken Shelton called a class photo vault. The basic premise of Ken's idea was to create a place where your entire class could populate a Google Folder with photos and video clips from their iPad or mobile device. Your "photo vault" is a location, where students can use non-commercial images and videos to create their own content. Here is how it works! Step 1: Create and Share a Folder in Google Drive If you are a GAFE School, you could easily share your folder via Google Classroom or you could enter your student's GAFE accounts in the sharing settings. Make sure that you give your students Editing rights. Step 2: Have Students Open Up the Folder on Their Mobile Device If you are using an iPad, ha

3 Ways to Engage Students with Technology During the First Day of Class

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It is that time of year again! School has started or will be starting for many of you. How can you build community and creatively infuse technology into your classroom? Here are some of my favorite activities to try on the first day: 1.  Collaborate on Expectations in Google Slides  Instead of speaking at your kids, why invite them to collaborate on your classroom expectations? You can easily create a Google Slides presentation and share it with your entire class (make sure they have "editing" rights). Break your students into pairs or small groups, then assign them a specific slide. I usually assign group 1 to slide 1, group 2 to slide 2, etc. Here are a couple of ideas: Have students create their top 10 list of classroom expectations  List one specific expectation on the top of each slide. Have your students describe what that particular expectation means to their group. Have students use text, pictures, and videos to explain their assigned expectation. At the

An Easy Way to Force Viewers Make Copies of Google Docs and More

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How often would you like to create a template of a Google Doc, Sheet, Slide, or Drawings and force a viewer to make a copy? Perhaps you have users visit the File menu and select Make a Copy. Maybe you use Google Classroom, which can do this automatically for students enrolled in your class. I do a lot of presentations outside of my school, which means Google Classroom is not an option. Many of the participants in my audiences struggle with making their own copies, which makes finding an easy way (to have users create copies) essential. After doing some research, I found articles by Kasey Bell and Alice Keeler describing a very easy Google trick! Here is how it works:  1. Open up your item (Doc, Sheet, Slide, or Drawing) 2. At the end of your item's URL, you should see the word "edit." Change the word "edit" to "copy." 3. Make a copy of your URL and share with your audience Now you have a quick and painless way to help your viewers make a

An Easy Way to Force Viewers Make Copies of Google Docs and More

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How often would you like to create a template of a Google Doc, Sheet, Slide, or Drawings and force a viewer to make a copy? Perhaps you have users visit the File menu and select Make a Copy. Maybe you use Google Classroom, which can do this automatically for students enrolled in your class. I do a lot of presentations outside of my school, which means Google Classroom is not an option. Many of the participants in my audiences struggle with making their own copies, which makes finding an easy way (to have users create copies) essential. After doing some research, I found articles by Kasey Bell and Alice Keeler describing a very easy Google Trick! Here is how it works:  1. Open up your item (Doc, Sheet, Slide, or Drawing) 2. At the end of your item's URL, you should see the word "edit." Change the word "edit" to "copy." 3. Make a copy of your URL and share with your audience Now you have a quick and painless way to help your viewers make a

2 Ways Google Can Help Students Set and Monitor Goals

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It is important to customize instruction to the needs of students as instruction becomes more customized. We need to provide our students with opportunities to practice self-regulation and goal setting. Here are three ways you can easily help your students master learning this fall! 1. Set Goals with Google Keep Google Keep is an excellent tool for creating to-do lists, but have you ever thought about having students use it to set goals? Not only can Google Keep can help you check off your goals as they are completed, it is also the perfect tool for students to collaborate in small groups. Each item in Google Keep can be tagged with a label according to subject area, type of goal, etc.  I like the fact that Google Keep can be accessed on any device and it provides students with the opportunity to use it for setting goals or creating a to-do list.  2. Google Forms as a Progress Monitoring Tool With the big push for more Project Based Learning (PBL) in our classrooms,

Master 1,000 Words Worth Knowing with the Quizzitive App

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Vocabulary is an important skill for our students to master; however, our students have diverse backgrounds, which can provide access or barriers to learning. The Quizzitive App is designed by Merriam-Webster to make learning new vocabulary terms addictive and fun! All learning begins with a goal and the same is true with Quizzitive. The App is designed to help students "master 1000 words worth knowing" through interactive and engaging strategies. Quizzitive provides students with 10 different difficulty levels and quiz types, such as speed drill, tunnel vision, name that thing, and hidden letters.