Friday, October 11, 2019

Google Lens - Search What You See

Google just released a great tool called Google Lens! My only regret is that I didn't know about this app last week! 

I spent the first part of this week with about 80 students in Northern Wisconsin. We study the flora and fauna in the Northwoods at the University of Wisconsin's Treehaven Campus. I spend most of my time at Bearskin Creek. Part of our exploration involves identifying Benthic Macroinvertebrates as indicator species.



We have some great dichotomous keys and are pretty practiced at identifying most of the critters, but every once in a while we run into something we've never seen and can't id on the spot. While some great apps help identify plants (PlantSnap and PictureThis), we've never found anything that can reliably help us identify insects on the spot.

Today I discovered Google Lens and tested it out on some of my photos from the trip. It works great! It takes just a moment to scan the image and then up pops names, images, and links to learn more. 

Right now the stand-alone app is only available on Android Devices, but Google Lens is built into the Google Photos App and the Google App on iOS.

There are also some other cool features that I have not explored yet, including the landmark scan. You can learn more about Google Lens here

How could you use this resource with your students in creative ways?



Saturday, October 5, 2019

Padlet - Engaging All Learners

Padlet is a digital bulletin board where students and teachers can post messages, collaborate, reflect, share links, share videos, and share pictures. Padlet is a great resource to support engage students in digital learning experiences.
  • Padlet has 7 different styles that you can start with, including Wall, Canvas, Stream, Grid, Shelf, Backchannel, and Map. When you create a new Padlet you have the option of previewing each one to determine which fits best for your students and any connected learning goals.
  • Padlet posts can include file uploads, links, Google searches, photos, webcam recordings, audio recordings, screencasts, drawings, map locations, or links to other Padlets.
5 Reasons Why Padlet is an Essential Tool for Today's Classroom Connected to the ISTE Standards for Students

ISTE Student Standard: Empowered LearnerStudents leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences.
Learner-Centered

ISTE Student Standard: Digital Citizen Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.
Explore

ISTE Student Standard: Knowledge Constructor Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.
Reflection

ISTE Student Standard: Innovative Designer Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.
Creativity


ISTE Student Standard: Computational ThinkerStudents develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions.
Problem Solver

ISTE Student Standard: Creative CommunicatorStudents communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
Authentic Audiences
ISTE Student Standard: Global Collaborator Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.
Connections

What Can Padlet Do for Educators and Learners?
Padlet is a very versatile tool that can be used with both students and educators to meet a variety of learning goals. Here are a few reflective questions and ideas connected to my exploration of Padlet as a tool to support teachers and learners. 

How can Padlet be shared with colleagues?
I think I would start by doing a quick 20-minute presentation on how I use Padlet with my students, followed by 30 minutes of exploration facilitated by me and any other teachers who are already using Padlet with students. The focus would be on student voice and creative communication.
I would also include several related resources for any staff who are not sold on using Padlet for future exploration. 

How can Padlet be explored collaboratively with students?
When my students create something connected to our learning experiences, I want them to have an authentic audience. I will primarily use Padlet as a place for students to share and comment on creative digital work. Each unit will have a unique Padlet and students will be asked to share some of our creative digital work with the class.
Currently, I use tools like Flipgrid, Adobe Spark Video,  and Screencastify with students to create recordings connected to our classroom activities. Padlet can be another tool that we can use to record student's voices and create screencasts connected to different learning processes. 

How can Padlet be used to promote digital citizenship and empower student learning?
ISTE Student Standard - Digital Citizen: Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.
Padlet is a great tool to help students collaborate and communicate in a digital learning environment. Students can share digital creations and then comment on each other’s work. The backchannel options is a great place to host a digital backchannel during a learning experience. Students and teachers can work together to refine digital communication skills in collaborative Padlets connected to classroom content and objectives.

I really like the versatility of Padlet and I think it is a great tool to empower student engagement. The different options for posts can easily be connected to student choice. Students can share ideas and create responses in a variety of ways including text, visuals, video, and audio. Padlets can also be used to be students to create digital portfolios.

How can Padlet transform work with colleagues?
Padlet is a great way to create an archive of professional development activities. Educators can share ideas and ask questions as they explore resources to support learners. 
Padlet can also be a great tool to share resources. An individual educator can create and share a Padlet of resources or a Padlet can be opened up to an entire PLN to share and collaborate.

Which ISTE Standards can be connected to Padlet?
The versatility of Padlet makes it a tool that can be adapted for almost every ISTE Standard, but I would start by focusing on the communication and collaboration standards. 
ISTE Standards for Students - Creative Communicator: Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
ISTE Standards for Students - Global Collaborator: Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.
ISTE Standards for Educators - Collaborator: Educators dedicate time to collaborate with both colleagues and students to improve practice, discover and share resources and ideas, and solve problems.

What questions do you have about Padlet? How do you or could you use Padlet in your role? 

How about modeling how Padlet supports collaborative engagement by posting your questions and ideas in this Padlet?


Monday, September 16, 2019

The Power of Google Drawings to Engage Students


Sorry that I've been gone so long. I don't have a real reason why I haven't shared anything on the blog for so long. I have quite a few posts started, but other stuff keeps distracting me from finishing any of them. Well, that ends today. I'm back and committed to blogging again. I hope you missed me at least a little bit?

Over the years I have become a huge fan of engaging students in visuals. I love to have students create and explore visuals. I believe we learn best when creating is part of the learning process. We need to design activities to get students creating before, during, and after engaging in a learning experience.



I've used a variety of different tools and resources to engage students in visual design, but Google Drawings is one tool that I have mostly ignored. I was recently inspired by this post by Tony Vincent to dive a bit deeper into Google Drawings. Tony has started to create and share Shapegrams in Google Drawings. I highly recommend checking out the incredible Shapegrams Tony has shared. 


"Shapegrams are pictures that are designed to be recreated using shapes, lines, and colors. Replicating the pictures helps develop and practice visual observation, spacial awareness, logical reasoning, and critical thinking." - Tony Vincent 

We work with visuals quite a bit in my Environmental Science Classes. This presentation has some links to activities and ideas that my students and I have enjoyed, but I rarely used Google Drawings. Thanks to Tony, I decided to engage my students in some quick Google Drawing Drag and Drop Activities. My inial goals for these activities is to quickly engage students in discussions connected to essential vocabulary.  Here are my first two attempts.


I know these are nothing fancy, but I enjoyed putting them together and my students seem to enjoy the drag and drop as much if not more than they enjoy drawing/writing in Docs and Slides. 

What do you think? How do you use Google Drawings with your students?

Want to learn more about Visual Design and Google Drawings? Check out these additional resources. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Recommended Book of the Week - In Other Words: Quotes that Push Our Thinking


The best educators are not content to do the same old thing year after year. Innovative educators push their thinking by engaging in social media, exploring blogs, attending conferences, and exploring the newest generation of educational books.

We've created a Recommended Educational Book Site to organize and share some great books connected to teaching and learning.


As part of my Summer Break Professional Development Exploration, I will share a new book that I am reading this summer each Monday. I am hoping to engage in a new book each week until we head back to school in August.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Collection of #ISTE19 Tips an Tricks Created and Shared by My Awesome PLN


Hopefully, you've had a chance to explore some of the ISTE19 Tips and Tricks I've posted over the last month.


Now the really good stuff is here for me to share and for you to explore.
I've taken a deep dive into the #STE19 social media stream and found some great stuff to support anyone attending the conference. There are even a few nice resources to support anyone who can't be there in person. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Recommended Book of the Week - DON'T Ditch That Tech: Differentiated Instruction in a Digital World


The best educators are not content to do the same old thing year after year. Innovative educators push their thinking by engaging in social media, exploring blogs, attending conferences, and exploring the newest generation of educational books.

We've created a Recommended Educational Book Site to organize and share some great books connected to teaching and learning.


As part of my Summer Break Professional Development Exploration, I will share a new book that I am reading this summer each Monday. I am hoping to engage in a new book each week until we head back to school in August.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Sans Forgetica - A Font To Remember?


Happy Almost Summer! 

I will continue blogging during the summer and I've been pretty busy posting this year. You can visit and catch up on some of my posts at any time. If you are at ISTE, Samri Teacher Camp, or the Southland Learning Conference this summer, I'd love a high five

I know I have a longer post in me about how our brains work and how this connects to teaching and learning, but it is the last day of school . . . . If you know what I mean? It's a busy day, so this is all I have for today.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Growing With Google Part 5 - Some of Our Resources Connected to #GSuiteEDU

5 weeks ago I started my G Suite for Education refresh with 3 free Google training resources to educators and students in this post4 weeks ago I revisited some great resources focused on Chromebooks in this post. 3 weeks ago I shared some awesome premium Google training resources in this post. 2 weeks I shared some of our favorite books connected to Google for Education in this post. Finally, last week I shared some of my favorite Googly Blogs in this postToday I wanted to share some of the resources we've created to support our teachers and students connected to G Suite for Education. 

Friday, May 31, 2019

Summer Learning - Growing as a Teacher and a Learner


You work hard all year. You do great things for your students. You deserve to escape your schedule and make the choice of how, when, and where you grow and learn this summer. You also have permission to completely unplug and take a break from learning. I would just recommend not waiting until August to turn it back on. 

How will you recharge this summer, but still find the time to grow as a teacher and leader? This post has some tips and resources to support educators as lifelong learners this summer.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Growing With Google Part 5 - Favorite G Suite EDU Blogs Connected to Teaching and Learning


4 weeks ago I started my G Suite for Education refresh with 3 free Google training resources to educators and students in this post3 weeks ago I revisited some great resources focused on Chromebooks in this post. 2 weeks ago I shared some awesome premium Google training resources in this post. Last week I shared some of our favorite books connected to Google for Education. Today I wanted to share some of our favorite blogs connected to G Suite EDU.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Tips and Recommendations to Help Plan Your #ISTE19 Schedule - Sessions, Playgrounds, & Posters

Bold Educators Activate Change
Philadelphia
June 23 - 26, 2019#ISTE19

This post is my third connected to my ISTE 2019 Planning Experience. My first post was ISTE 2019 - 10 Conference Tips for the Engaged Educator and my second was The #ISTE19 Experience - Exploring The Expo & Connecting with ExhibitorsThis post is all about planning your sessions using the conference program. 

Planning your schedule for ISTE can be a daunting challenge. There are many incredible educators sharing so many incredible things and it can be hard to even know where to start. The first part of this post will connect you to ISTE's that can help with planning. I will then wrap it up with some of the speakers and sessions I am excited about.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Chrome Music Labs and Creatability - Let's Get Creative in All Classrooms


I am always looking for unique ways to bring creativity and critical thinking into my classroom. If you have followed my blog you know that I teach Environmental Science so you might be a bit surprised that I am sharing two sites connected to music?

Sometimes my students and I need to take a break from our content. I try to use what I like to call "Reboot the Noggin" HyperDocs several times a year to engage my students in skills not directly connected to my content. One of my favorite HyperDocs is all about curiosity.

Today I wanted to share two resources that I think could bring some creativity and critical thinking into any classroom, regardless of age level or content area.

Have you ever explored Chrome Music Labs or Creditability? I've put this post together to give everyone a brief introduction to these two incredible resources.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Growing With Google Part 4 - Favorite Books Connected to G Suite EDU


3 weeks ago I started my G Suite for Education refresh with 3 free Google training resources to educators and students in this post2 weeks ago I revisited some great resources focused on Chromebooks in this post. Last week I shared some awesome premium Google training resources in this post.  Today I wanted to share some of our favorite G Suite Education books written by educators for educators.

Monday, May 20, 2019

The #ISTE19 Experience - Exploring The Expo & Connecting with Exhibitors

Bold Educators Activate Change
Philadelphia
June 23 - 26, 2019
#ISTE19

The ISTE Conference Expo Center will bring together more than 1000 incredible educational companies in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia this year.

The ISTE 2019 Expo opens Monday, June 24, 2019
  • Monday, June 24, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
    Continental breakfast in the expo 9:45–10:15 a.m. 
  • Tuesday, June 25, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
    Continental breakfast in the expo 9:45–10:15 a.m. 
  • Wednesday, June 26, 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
    Expo snack break 11–11:30 a.m.
The ISTE presenters and sessions are awesome, but connecting with exhibitors and exploring the Expo Center is a great way to add a little something extra to your ISTE learning experience. You can also find some great "swag" and other valuable resources at the exhibitor booths. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time in the Expo Center.

Friday, May 17, 2019

End of Year Ideas to Inspire and Motivate Learners and Educators


It's hard to talk to teachers or students at this time of year without hearing about how "done" everyone is with school and learning at this time of year. There are even quite a few memes that are all about the end of year blues.
I wish I could tell you that I don't hear the same thing from my students, but I can't. I teach mostly seniors and many of them firmly believe that "senioritis" is part of the required curriculum. Many of them let me know daily that I shouldn't expect much from them.

I could complain about this, but I prefer to think of the end of the year as a challenge to overcome.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

What Inspires You to be Curious? Interesting Site - 5 Deep


I am always looking for images, videos, articles, or websites that inspire me to be curious, ask questions, and explore something new. This frequently leads me down the rabbit hole of exploration/distraction when I least expect it. For me, this can be both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing when I get to explore something new and a curse when I really have other stuff that I should be getting done.

The other day I was doing a quick check of my Twitter feed and 5 minutes turned into an hour after I discovered a short video by @FiveDeeps The video showed a manned submersible touching down on the bottom of one of the deepest places on Planet Earth. It was a place no human had ever been, yet there was evidence of our impact on this untouched place. This led me to the expedition website which inspired me to explore more about some of the deepest places on our planet. 


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Growing With Google Part 3 - Premium Training Resources


2 weeks ago I started my G Suite for Education refresh with 3 free Google training resources to educators and students in this post. Last week I revisited some great resources focused on Chromebooks in this post. Today I wanted to share some of our favorite paid resources to support teacher's using technology in the classroom.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

G Suite - Your EDU Account → Your Stuff → Take It With You

Your School Account Your Stuff Take It With You

It is getting close to the time of year where teachers and students are getting ready to leave for the summer. Many students are graduating and teachers may be moving to a new district or job. It is easy to remember to take your physical stuff with you, but we often forget our digital baggage. This can be a problem if you need any of your digital stuff in the future. Educational G Suite accounts are typically closed when students are no longer enrolled or when a staff member leaves the district. This means you could lose access to your digital stuff if you don't take it with you.

Fortunately, Google makes it pretty easy to transfer or download your Google files before you leave.

We've created this guide to connect everyone to the resources to help transfer or download all the files connected to a G Suite Account.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

The More Your Share The More You Learn - Blogs for Teachers and Learners

Image created using Adobe Spark Graphics

One of my favorite Saturday morning chats is #PD4uandme. I don't always have a chance to be part of the live chat, but I always find some time on the weekend to explore the hashtag. I am always impressed by the educators who are active on this chat. I also love that there are no questions, just conversations. There is no race for everyone to answer questions. Each chat starts with a topic and then the conversation is on.


Friday, May 10, 2019

ISTE 2019 - 10 Conference Tips for the Engaged Educator

Bold Educators Activate Change
Philadelphia
June 23 - 26, 2019
#ISTE19


The best conferences are more than just a list of presenters and sessions. I have been fortunate to attend quite a few conferences as both an attendee and presenter and I am writing this post to share some of my tips about making the most of the ISTE Conference experience. Take it from me, you don't want to be the teacher sitting in the back of the room in a session and miss out on making the most of your learning experience.

I know there is a lot in this post, so my advice is to explore one tip at a time and not try to run through this whole post in one sitting. You’ve got some time. I know I am not even coming close to sharing everything that ISTE is, but I hope there is something here that can help everyone make the most of their ISTE experience.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Growing With Google Part 2 - My Favorite Free Chromebook Training Resources


Last week I started my G Suite for Education exploration with 3 free Google training resources to educators and students in this post. Today I wanted to share some of our favorite resources to support Chromebooks. I have a Pixelbook and I love it. It does everything I need and I no longer have a PC laptop or PC desktop at home.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Essential Picture Books for Teachers, Parents, and Learners

Picture books can be a great way to engage students in lessons connected to essential skills that all students need today and tomorrow.  


I use two picture books as part of my Environmental Science curriculum. I love the connections we make in class to The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. My high school seniors are also mesmerized when I pull out the book and read it to them.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Growing With Google Part 1 - My Favorite Free Google Training Resources


I know that great teachers and sound pedagogy will always trump the power of EdTech, but I also know that the right tool at the right time can enhance the learning experience for both teachers and students.  

Google has become my partner in almost everything I do that is connected to my teaching and learning experience. The foundation of my teaching and learning philosophy is built on the 4 Cs of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creating. Google has done more than any digital resource I've ever worked with in my 25 years of teaching to support the development of these essential skills connected to my content. 
Recently I was inspired to revisit some of the resources we've explored in the past connected to G Suite for Education. As I explore and reflect, I am going to share my learning in a series of blog posts connected to Google for Education.  My main purpose in this new series of Wednesday Google Posts will be to share my recent explorations connected to G Suite for Education. 

Today am start from the beginning with several free web resources that can help anyone explore the power of G Suite connected to teaching and learning.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Bring The Power of The Infinity Gauntlet to Your Google Search Results

I love when Google releases a new Easter Egg and the one I discovered today is connected to Marvel's Avengers Infinity War and the Thanos Infinity Gauntlet.

Go ahead and open Google Search and then type in the word "Thanos". Click on the Infinity Gauntlet on the ride side of the screen above the Wikipedia summary and then watch your results start to get snapped away one-by-one. You can undo the action, by going back to the Infinity Gauntlet and click on it again. 



What Inspires You to be Curious? Interesting Site - Language is a Virus

I am always looking for images, videos, articles, or website that inspire me to be curious, ask questions, and explore more. This frequently leads me down the rabbit hole of exploration/distraction when I least expected. For me, it is both a blessing and a curse. Today I was inspired to explore the power of words after stumbling on the Language is a Virus Site. 


Unless you've been hiding from all things digital, you know that it is national poetry month. My school and my PLN and been all over the power of words and poetry. I even spent some time exploring Haiku in a post last week. 




All day today our LMC has been transformed into a Poetry Coffee House. We are also wrapping up an incredible Serenity Week for Health Moves Minds. These events along with the ideas and resources shared by my PLN have reminded me that words have an incredible amount of power to raise people up or push them down. 

I was inspired to dive deeper and explore some resources connected to poetry and language. One resource I found that I think is worth sharing is the Language is a Virus Website


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Digital Citizenship Resource - Online Safety and Digital Well-Being with Applied Digital Skills


You may already know that I've been curious about how all educators are helping students develop skills connected to digital literacy, what many call digital citizenship. I've been to conferences, read books, and explored a bunch of resources.

I was setting up an activity for my student using Google's Applied Digital Skills Curriculum and I stumbled on the "Online Safety and Digital Well-Being" collection. I love that the title includes the words "Digital Well-Being." This is a great way to stress the importance of supporting all learners in a digital world.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Happy National Haiku Day - Haiku Resources to Creatively Engage Students


I am a huge fan of the Days of the Year Website and today I was excited to see that it is National Haiku Day. You can learn more about the day dedicated to these creative works in this post. I am writing this post to share my curious exploration of Haiku connected to reflective student engagement.

Google's goo.gl URL Shortener is Official Retired - What Will You Use Now?


As of April 13th, the Google URL shortener (goo.gl) is no longer available to create new short URLs. Existing short URLs create in the past will still work, but the analytics/tracking are also gone. Many of us knew that this day is coming. Google announced over a year ago that they would be retiring this tool used by so many of us for almost 10 years. 

What now?

While there are quite a few free and paid URL shorteners available, Google officially recommended Ow.ly and Bitly as alternatives when the announcement was made that goo.gl would be shutting down. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Google Adds Carmen Sandiego Game to Google Earth


I have been a huge fan of some of the awesome geography and cultural resources that are part of the Google Suite of Tools for all classes and subject areas.  These resources are great tools to support curiosity and critical thinking in all classrooms.

Digital Mapping and Virtual Field Trip Resources for Teachers and Students

Friday, April 12, 2019

A Different Kind of Book of the Month - Oscar The Grouch's Debut


Normally I am recommending books written by educators for educators, but this month I decided to share something a bit different. I am adding Oscar's In the Pursuit of Grouchiness to my reading list in April. I love this book for no other reason then the connections it has to my childhood.  If you haven't seen the book know that it is a series of images and quotes about being a grouch. It's not a positive book at first glance, but I think it could be a starting point for some great discussions on being positive. Some of the pages get you thinking about what Oscar might be trying to say and other pages may just make you laugh out loud.

What Are Your Favorite Science Media Resources To Engage Students?


My curious nature has gotten the best of me again after I was tagged in this post by Teacher2Teacher. I am inspired to explore and organize some of the media resources I love connected to teaching and learning in Science Classrooms. If you have any favorite media resources connected to Science, please consider sharing in the comments below?

I am going to start by listing some of the resources that were shared in post responses. I'll then share some additional science media resources that I love below. (You can see all the responses and who made them by clicking on the image above that links to the tweet and all of the responses.)

Monday, April 8, 2019

EdTech Tip - Chromebook Simulator Help Site


I have always believed that it doesn't matter what device you have, what matters is how you use it. When we talk about learning, good pedagogy comes before good technology, but it is still nice to know how the technology works if you are ever going to use a tool to enhance teaching and learning.

Chromebooks have become a favorite1 to 1 device in many schools. G Suite and Chromebooks have also grown in popularity in the real worldChromebooks and G Suite are incredibly easy to use, but if you are more familiar with the Windows or Apple OS, then you might need a bit of help to get started. 

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Homework Debate - It's A Bit More Complex Than Yes or No?


I am curious about the value homework? What about you?

I know that many of my students and my own children are sometimes overwhelmed with the amount of homework they have on a daily basis. I don't think that all homework is bad, but I also believe that there are many homework activities that have little or no value. 

I decided a few years ago that homework is no longer part of the Path To Success in my classroom. I don't even use the word with my students. When I occasionally ask my students to do something outside of class I've taken to calling it an "extended learning opportunity."

Although  I have drifted away from all required homework for my AP Environmental Classes over the last several years, there are a few things I ask my students to do outside of class. (These are all optional, I don't check or give points for anything that is done outside of our classroom.)

Don't get me wrong, I don't think that learning should end when the final school bell rings. Curiosity is always important! I just believe that it should be optional for my students to engage in my class outside of the time we are together each day. I always hope to inspire them to explore something connected to our classwork outside of class. 

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