Tag Archives: EdTech

My own experience with Google Classroom

Google Classroom helped me immensely to stay more organized.  All class materials are in one place.  Google creates a folder for each assignment and all submitted assignments are automatically placed in this folder to ease marking.  I can reuse assignments, tests and announcements to quickly recreate a course.  Create a test and use the Flubaroo add-on to mark it for you.  Finally, the site just looks good, the layout is appealing.  You can change the theme to suite your class.  It is professional while at the same time inviting to students.  Try it for yourself to take advantage of all of all these amazing features in your classroom.

Classroom.google.com

Screenflow Software to create YouTube Tutorial Videos

I spent the weekend researching how to create dynamic How-To YouTube videos using Screenflow. Screenflow is screencasting and video editing software for Macs. I purchased the software this morning for $139.99 through the App Store.

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These two videos were particularly helpful…

Screenflow Tutorial by David A. Cox

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSDa4CqgU0A

How I Create My Videos by DottoTech

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TBazwfahYw

Things I need to make high quality professional style videos…

  1. Screenflow software
  2. Macbook Pro
  3. Logitech C920 webcam
  4. Blue Yeti USB microphone
  5. Lighting – 2 umbrella light Kit
  6. Green screen paper

Things I found out about the importance of Thumbnails and Keywords…

After uploading your video, it is very important to create an engaging thumbnail in order to grab people’s attention.  Canva is a great program for this as it has many logos, interesting graphics and fonts. Create a consistent thumbnail image for your videos in order to create a “brand” for yourself.  If your thumbnails look similar it looks more professional.  Also, when you are watching a video in YouTube there is a list of videos along the right hand side of the website offering similar videos you may be interested to watch. Most people will watch several videos on a topic they are investigating.   Underneath the thumbnail you will write a description for your video. When describing your video put the most important keywords at the beginning. This will help people find your videos by moving you higher in the search results for those keywords.

Here are a list of short-term goals I want to accomplish…

  1. Create a banner for my YouTube Channel
  2. Create an opening for my videos. Fiverr.com is a good site if you want to hire someone for a cheap price to create an opening for you.
  3. Learn to use Screenflow and use it to create my first how-to video
  4. Reach 100 subscribers so that I can change the name of my channel

It is about “Context”

Here is a really important tip that I learned from DottoTech. Most content has already been published. What is important is “context”. This means people are interested in viewing the information reflected through your experience. More specifically, how I use technology to assist myself and my students in the classroom.  I have found that teachers like easy to follow, step-by-step instructions when trying to learn new software or piece of technology.

Kidblog redesigned their website

Kidblog.org

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• Designed for K-12 teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog
• Students publish posts and participate in academic discussions within a secure classroom blogging community
• Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs

Kidblog recently redesigned their website. This lesson has been redesigned (Sept 2016) with new screenshots and instructions to reflect the changes to their website

Applications for Kidblog.org

• Create classroom discussions
• Learn digital citizenship
• Practice writing skills
• Create an e-portfolio
• Reflect on learning
• Formatively assess writing

Edmodo Teacher Guide

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Edmodo recently redesigned their website.  Edmodo is a Virtual Learning Environment.  It allows for secure social networking within classrooms.  Teachers and students can post a variety of information (assignments, questions, polls etc.).  The interface is similar to Facebook.

Last week I completely redesigned my Edmodo teacher guide with new screenshots and instructions to reflect the changes to their website.  This new guide explains…

  1. How to log-in to Edmodo
  2. How to set up classes
  3. Add attachments
  4. Invite students
  5. Utilize the Snapshot feature
  6. Create Notes, Assignments, Poles and Quizzes

 

Save to Google Drive Chrome Extension

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  • The Save to Google Drive Chrome extension allows you to save web content directly to Google Drive through a browser action or context menu
  • Save documents, images, HTML5 audio and video
  • After your content is saved, you can open the file, rename, or view the file in the Google Drive document list
  • From the document list, you can organize and share your new document

Save to Google Drive Chrome Extension

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Minions Picture using Shapes in Google Drawings

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I developed an activity today that shows students how to create a Minion using Shapes in Google Drive Drawings.  This is a fun activity that allows students to learn more about Google Drive Drawings while creating an amusing Minions picture.   I used it with my Grade 9 Computers class and they loved it!  They were very engaged and it would definitely be a great activity for elementary students as well!

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Topics/Skills Covered in this Activity
• Finding the Shape Button
• Using a Variety of Shapes
• Moving / Rotating Shapes
• Coloring Shapes
• Copy/Paste Shapes
• Putting Shapes Together to Make a Picture

Click on the link below to view this lesson…

Minions Picture using Shapes in Google Drawings Activity

Connect Technology Conference

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I attended the Connect Technology Conference (Canada’s Learning and Technology Conference) this week in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  This was my second time attending this amazing EdTech event.  There were many dynamic speakers and topics but the two tools I was most eager to investigate were Google Hangouts and Skype in the Classroom.   I have already blogged about Skype and will post about Google Hangouts in the near future.  I experimented with Google Hangouts with three classes today and had to work through a few challenges, mainly with adding students, before we were able to get it running properly.  I definitely think this tool would work best with small groups, rather than the whole class, which I attempted today.

Random Name Picker Game

 

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Random Name Picker Guide

Random Name Picker is a free tool from Classtools.net.  This game can be used to select students for class discussions, presentations, or group projects. English teachers can use this game for helping students with creative writing: choosing names for stories; creating character sketches based on names, writing scripts etc,.

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for adding student names, playing, saving and sharing the game.

  1.  Click New to load your class names…

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2.  Click Save this list as currently shown.

3.  Choose a Password

4.  Copy your unique URL address somewhere.

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5.  Click to Spin to begin playing the game to select a name

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6.  Share/Embed

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Click on the link below to download a free PDF guide for using the Random Name Picker Game

Random Name Picker Guide

 

 

Comic Master Returns!

  • I found Comic Master a few years ago and really enjoyed using it with my students.  It is very user friendly and fun.
  • Then, without any warning, last year, the website mysteriously disappeared
  • Well the good news is that the site is back! Check it out here… http://www.comicmaster.org.uk/

COMIC MASTER
• Graphic Novel Creator!
• Choose backgrounds, characters and props
• Add dialogue, captions and special effects
• It only takes a few seconds to sign up with Comic Master and use this program for FREE!
• Save and print finished Comics

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