Web Resources to Support The Development of Critical Thinking Skills

Supporting the 4Cs in Learner-Centered Classrooms


Critical thinking - Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students will:
  • Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • Use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't." - Anatole France

I have long believed that my content should support the development of student skills connected to the 4 Cs or collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. 

This week, I am working on updating my list of Web Resources connected to Critical Thinking Skills for teachers, parents, and students. I have had a great deal of help from my PLN in the past and I am hoping you can help with this updated Google Doc.


Have an additional resource or want to share how you use one of the tools? Visit this Critical Thinking Padlet to share or post a reply in the comments below.

Additional Critical Thinking Resources

Video Timer Options in Google Slides

Earlier today I was part of a Google + Discussion about countdown timers in slides.


I shared the idea of using a YouTube Video as a Countdown Timer. I totally dropped the ball on this post and forgot to share that you have some options when inserting a video from YouTube or Google Drive. 

Relevant to the timers in Google Slides is the fact that you can set a start and end time for the video. This means you can use the same countdown timer on multiple slides. If I insert a 20-minute video on a slide and want a 10-minute timer on the next slide, I can use the same countdown video and set the time to start at the 10-minute mark on the next slide using the "Video options..." in slides. 

Here is a quick overview of the process. 

1. In the Google Slides Insert menu. Click on the Insert Menu and then on Video.

2. Search for the length countdown timer you need.

3. Insert and resize the video and then right click on the video and choose click on "Video options..."


4. A sidebar will open and you can set the start time. 

What do you think?




Visual Enhancements for HyperDocs

"Design is thinking made visual." - Saul Bass

If you are not new to my blog, you know that I am a big fan of HyperDocs.

In my classroom, HyperDocs are Powerful Frameworks for Student-Centered Exploration. I do my best to build HyperDoc activities that get students engaged in the the 4 Cs of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. I also love the power of Hyperdocs to support student voice and choice.

I am working on updating our HyperDocs Mission Control Document and I am interested in resources that enhance the visual appeal of a HyperDocs. The templates on the HyperDoc Resources Page are a great place to start and I am exploring additional tools that can be used to enhance the visual appeal beyond Google Image Search and the Explore Tool in Docs/Slides. 
  • The Noun Project - Quickly find the icon you want, change its color & size, then insert it right into your Google Slides and Docs. 
  • Meme Generators - There are many incredible Meme Generators, but the challenge is finding one that is both appropriate and not blocked by your school's web filter. One of my current favorites is Imgflip
  • Unsplash Add-ons - Insert free, HD photos from Unsplash easily in any slides presentation. 
  • Bitmoji - Create an expressive cartoon avatar, choose from a growing library of moods and stickers. 
  • Slide Carnival - Find free Google Slides themes and focus on communicating your ideas in your HyperDocs. 
  • Adobe Spark Posts - A free online and mobile graphic design app. Easily create beautiful images for your HyperDocs.
  • ColorPick Eyedropper - An eye-dropper & color-picker tool that allows you to select color values from webpages. 
  • Fonts - Match a font from a webpage with WhatFont or explore Google Fonts to find the perfect font for your Hyperdocs.
What other resources can you recommend to enhance the visual appeal of a HyperDoc?


Awesome Updates for Padlet

Padlet has become a favorite tool for collaboration and communication so I am super excited for the new updates Padlet has unveiled recently.

Learn more about using Padlet in your classroom with this post by Lucie Renard.


Here are three of the updates that I love the most right now. 

1. I am probably most excited about the new Reaction feature. Now teachers and students can Like, Vote, Star, and Grade posts in Padlet. You can turn on one of these 4 options for each Padlet that you create and share. This is a great way to engage students in Padlet.
  • Like is just like it sounds. Have a little heart when you like a post. (Think Twitter)
  • Vote allows users to give the good old thumbs up or thumbs down. (Think YouTube)
  • Star allows users to rate a post between 1 to 5 stars. (Think Amazon)
  • Grade allows users assign a grade on a scale. (Think Google Classroom)


Learn more about Reactions here.


2. You can now create a Padlet using 1 of 5 Formats or 1 of 8 Templates. These Formats and Templates bring new style and versatility to Padlet in the classroom. 


Learn more about Padlet Formats 
here
Learn more about Padlet Templates here.

3. Posts can now be Color-Coded with one of 6 different colors regardless of the type of Padlet. Colors add another way to organize and categorize posts in collaborative Padlets. 



Learn more about Coloring Posts here.

Please share how what you love about Padlet or how you use it with students in the comments below.


Get Students Creating with These Creativity Resources on the Web

Supporting the 4Cs in Learner-Centered Classrooms

Creativity - Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students will:
  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
  • Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
  • Identify trends and forecast possibilities.


You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”― Maya Angelou

I have long believed that my content should support the development of student skills connected to the 4 Cs or collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. 

This week, I am working on updating my list of Web Resources connected to Creativity Skills for teachers, parents, and students. I have had a great deal of help from my PLN in the past and I am hoping you can help with this updated Google Doc.


Have an additional resource or want to share how you use one of the tools? Visit this Creativity Padlet to share or post a reply in the comments below.

Additional Creativity Resources

Recharge Learning Becomes Wicked EdTech - My Neverending Story


Sometimes I feel like I am wondering in a Neverending Story. This is not a bad thing. This is how I learn.



My goal for blogging and sharing resources is not to show what I know, but to share my learning experiences with my PLN. I explore and share resources as a diary of sorts connected to my learning. I share these resources because I still believe that the more you share the more you learn.

All that being said, I wanted to let everyone know that I’ve reimagined the Recharge Learning Site and rebranded it as Wicked EdTech. Why? Let’s blame it on my ADHD, and I needed a new direction. (On the practical side, I wanted the site in the new Google Sites.)

My main areas of exploration right now include:
As always, this is a neverending work in progress, a Neverending Story?
I know there is a lot here, but I am curious about quite a few things right now. Thanks for taking a look, feedback is appreciated.



Communication Web Resources Recommended by Teachers for Teachers


Supporting the 4Cs in Learner-Centered Classrooms

Communication - Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students will:
  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

“We speak not only to tell other people what we think, but to tell ourselves what we think. Speech is a part of thought.” ― Oliver Sacks

I have long believed that my content should support the development of student skills connected to the 4 Cs or collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. 

This week, I am working on updating my list of Web Resources connected to Communication Skills for teachers, parents, and students. I have had a great deal of help from my PLN in the past and I am hoping you can help with this updated Google Doc.


Have an additional resource or want to share how you use one of the tools? Visit this Communication Padlet to share or post a reply in the comments below.

Additional Communication Resources



Collaboration Apps and Resources Recommended by Teachers


Supporting the 4Cs in Learner-Centered Classrooms
Collaboration - Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students will:
  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

"Alone we are smart together we are brilliant." Steven Anderson

I have long believed that my content should support the development of student skills connected to the 4 Cs or collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. 

Today I am working on updating my list of Web Resources connected to Collaboration in the Classroom. I have had a great deal of help from my PLN in the past and I am hoping you can help with this updated Google Doc.


Have an additional resource or want to share how you use one of the tools? Visit this Collaborative Padlet to share or post a reply in the comments below.

Additional Collaboration Resources




G Suite Brings More Awesome Updates with Google Slides


"Around here we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Walt Disney

I have always been a big fan of the Disney magic, so it is no small wonder that I also love EdTech and G Suite for Education. I love that both companies have a growth mindset and never rest on their laurels. 

Google slides has always been one of my favorite G Suite Tools and it comes as no surprise that Google recently announced some incredible updates for Slides. These updates go live for everyone on October 11th.  Slides are so much more than a presentation tool, and these updates will make Slides even more versatile. Here are three of my favorites from this recent Slides update.
  • Peardeck has partnered with Google to bring us one of the first add-ons for Slides. The Peardeck add-on allows you to add interactive questions to your presentation. It will be a great tool for formative assessments. Learn more about Slide add-ons here
  • Unsplash is another incredible new add-on. Unsplash is the world’s premier community for HD photography. And the entire Unsplash library of curated high-resolution photos is now freely available directly in Google Slides for your presentations.

  • Google has now brought Keep Notepad to Slides. We loved when Keep was added to Docs and now this incredible organization, research, and note tool works with Google Slides. Learn more about Google Keep in Slides and Docs here.


  • You can now link slides across multiple presentations. This means that you can have the same slide across multiple presentations and if you update this linked slide in one presentation it automatically updates in the other presentations. 



Learn more about additional updates including inserting Diagrams, Grid view, Skipping slides, and more here


Thank you, Google for helping teachers enhance the learning experience for our students! Change is so important for learning and growth and I appreciate the Google models an innovative mindset for all learners!


Exploring Google Essentials for Students

We Don't Know What We Don't Know?

This fall we rolled out almost 4,000 Chromebooks for the first time. Our students have been engaged in G Suite for more than 5 years, but Chromebooks were new for most. 

How do we help all of our students explore the power of Chromebooks and G Suite?

We knew that our students all have different experiences with Chrome and G Suite for Educations. We needed to provide them with resources and opportunities to explore and engage. It was important for us to provide them with something that they could use regardless of their knowledge and experiences. 


We initially planned to use HyperDocs to get students collaborating, creating, communicating and thinking critically as they explored our 4 Google Essentials. We planned and organized 4 HyperDocs that we hoped would engage students in an experience that was rich with the 4 Cs. 

We quickly realized that we simply would not have enough time to have students dive deep into a true HyperDoc experience, so we scaled down the HyperDocs. Our interactive HyperDocs became interactive Exploration Documents that act as a starting point to connect students to resources.
Curious? Explore the links below to learn more about our Google Essentials. 



This tutorial is designed to help you explore the features and functions of a Chromebook for learning.
This tutorial is designed to help you explore the features and organization of Google Classroom. This tutorial does bring students directly into Google Classroom so you will not be able to experience everything we have here.
The tutorial is designed to help you explore the features and organization of Google Drive.
The tutorial is designed to help you explore the features and power of Google Keep.


Questions or ideas? Please share below!



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