Monday, April 30, 2018

Two New Google AI Experiments Connected to Language - Semantic Experiences

Google recently released two Semantic Experiences connected to language and artificial intelligence. Both of these resources have connections to education and could be worth exploring.

Play word association games powered by semantic search. There are two games right now.

  • Arcade: The goal is to connect words to target words so they can be removed from the stack. Reminds me a bit of the game Stack the States. 
  • Blocks: The goal is to connect words to blocks to reduce a stack of blocks. Reminds me a bit of the game Tetris or Candy Crush. 

Type in a question or phrase and the site will search for books connected to the phrase. It is a unique search experience to say the lease. 

You can learn more about each of these resources here.

How or why would you use these resources with students? Please share in the comments below. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Pear Deck Resources

Pear Deck is a tool that integrates with existing slide decks to add interactive elements that allow the viewers to engage during the presentation. Interactive slides include: 
  • Multiple choice
  • Text entry 
  • Numeric entry 
  • Drawing 
  • Draggable 

Curious about Pear Deck? How can you use this incredible resource with students?
We've put together this post to connect you to some great resources and ideas.

Getting Started
Creating and Presenting
Lesson’s Over. What’s Next?
Additional Pear Deck Resources
Bonus: Pear Deck Vocabulary - Flashcard Factory
More Great Pear Deck Resources
  • Click here to upgrade to 3 months of the Premium Account Access.

I've also blogged a few times about Pear Deck. You can explore those posts here

What are your favorite resources connected to Pear Deck? Please share in the comments below. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

ClassHook - Popular TV and Movie Clips for Educators and Learners

I've been working on updating some of my YouTube resources for teaching and learning. (I'll start sharing these updates soon.) There are also many incredible posts connected to videos for almost every subject area that are just a quick Google search away. 

While I was spending more time than I should be exploring and watching videos of all types and lengths I stumbled on an interesting site called ClassHook. 

I wanted to share an interesting site that I stumbled on called ClassHook. The site has collections of clips from popular television shows and movies. The videos are organized by subject and topic. The site also has a great pedagogy menu with ideas and resources connected using video in the classroom. Here is a bit more information from the site. 

ClassHook is the best place to find educational clips from popular TV shows and movies

AASL Best Websites 2017 Award
TV shows and movies often contain scenes that discuss topics such as Science, Math, Art, Music, and more. While funny and amusing, these scenes also have valid educational merit.
Such scenes not only teach students but also make learning more relevant. Students can associate a concept in class to an image they see in their everyday lives. Bringing television shows and movies to your classroom helps connect students' personal lives to the concepts they are learning in class. As a result, content retention increases, and learning becomes more fun.
Have you explored ClassHook? What are some of your favorite resources to find videos to engage learners?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Exploring Google Applied Digital Skills - A Focus on Student Creativity

I've been curious about Google's Applied Digital Skills Resources for a while now and I've finally found the time to take the plunge with my students to see what it is all about. 

What is the Applied Digital Skills Curriculum?

I've decided to have students create a If-Then Adventure Story using the Applied Digital Skills Videos and Instructions.

Create an interactive, If-Then Adventure Story Connected to Pollution using Google Slides.

Learn More
Google is hosting an Applied Digital Skills Workshop in Chicago on Tuesday, April 24th and EdTechTeam is hosting several live events during the week of April 23 - 27. I will share anything new I learn in the comments below.

Want to learn more? Sign up to participate in the EdTechTeam Applied Digital Skills Week to receive daily tips and challenges as well as access to live events and prizes for using the curriculum with your students!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Student Voice and Flipgrid - Resources and Tips

"Tech Gives the Quietest Student a Voice" - Jerry Blumengarten

Flipgrid has become a favorite resource in my classroom and school to engage students. We use Flipgrid in my classroom in a variety of ways, including:

  • Student Introductions
  • Online Discussions
  • Formative Assessment
  • Reflective learning
  • Persuasive TED Talks
  • Exit tickets
  • and more . . . 

This week we are sharing our love of Flipgrid with our Staff using a Lunch-n-Learn format. (Short sessions with lunch provided.) We have planned a brief introduction using Google Slides and Pear Deck and then plan to have staff respond to a topic to experience the student side of Flipgrid. (What is your favorite something?)

We need your help!

We've put together a Resource Document that we will share with staff after the presentation. The goal of the document is to connect staff to the incredible Flipgrid resources and ideas that my PLN has shared.

Can you take a look at the document and let us know if we are missing anything essential? What suggestions/resources would you include?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

ISTE 2018 Tips and Tricks - 10 Tips For The Engaged Educator

The Epicenter of EdTech - Chicago 
June 24 - 27

I was lucky enough to attend my first ISTE Conference in 2017. It was an incredible learning experience, but I am haunted by how much I might have missed. I am excited to attend and present this year close to home in Chicago. Last year, I created this post before attending in 2017. Now that I have experienced the conference I wanted to share some updated tips for anyone who will be attending this year. 

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. I hope there is something here that can help everyone make the most of their ISTE experience. I will also add additional resources in the comments as I discover new posts and resources. 

If you have any tips, events, or questions to share, please post in the comments below. 

Tip 1: Know Your Why
Planning and organizing your days is important (Tip 3), but if you are only focused on the where and the when you might miss out on a more complete learning experience. Last year I spent too much time micromanaging my day without really connecting my plan to bigger learning goals.  This year I plan to develop a mindset connected to these 3 quotes.

Make Connections and Have Conversations - Be Present
"Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't.Bill Nye

Create a Complete Experience - Don't Forget That Doing Something Fun Can Be a Learning Experience. Explore and engage outside of the conference sessions. 
"Don't forget to stop and smell the roses."Walter Hagen

Learn Something New Whenever, Wherever, and From Whoever - Build A Bigger and Better PLN
I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.- Albert Einstein

Tip 2: Engage in the Conversation Today
Don't wait until the conference is here to start engaging in the learning. The ISTE 2018 Network Discussion Board is a great place to get started on your learning path for the conference! 

Tip 3: Right Place - Right Time - Start Planning Today
Explore the ISTE Learning Guide, Download the Conference App, and Online Program 
  • Understanding the different session formats is an important first step to planning which sessions you will attend. The ISTE Learning Guide will connect attendees to the learning formats. 
  • The Conference Mobile App is typically not available until June. ISTE will email attendees and post information on the when the App is up and running. The App is a great resource to help you organize your day. 
  • You can start to create a list of sessions that catch your interest using the ISTE 2018 Program Search. Be sure to register for any BYOD sessions that catch your interest in advance. These require a ticket and frequently sell out.

Tip 4: The Organized Learner
Google Keep is a great resource to create reminders, notes, and checklists. If you use the extension you can even save links to resources. The Keep Notepad in Google Docs is a great bonus if you are using documents for your conference notes!
Learn More About Google Keep in this post: Google Essentials - Google Keep

Tip 5: Collaborate and Share
There are many great tools educators can use to create collaborative notes and share resources. Google Drive has become my goto collaborative resource, but it can quickly become a cluttered mess if not organized. Check these to learn more about staying organized with Drive.
Organizing Files and Folders in Drive
Creative Organization of Google Drive with Google Keep
Organizing Files and Folders in Google Drive - Move vs. Add

Tip 6: More Than Just Posters
Don't Miss the Poster Sessions! I did not discover the poster sessions in 2017 until the second day of the conference. I learned more in 1 hour in a poster session than I did the entire previous day. I was fortunate to help ISTE and ICE evaluate the poster sessions in 2018 and you will not be disappointed by the incredible poster session facilitators this year. 

Tip 7: Be Present - Find Your Tribe
Connect with your digital PLN. Connect with vendors. Connect with presenters. Connect with new people. Don't be the anonymous person in the back corner of the room. You will miss too much alone. Find someone new to talk to. Step out of your comfort zone and grow as a teacher and a learner. 
"We learn best when we learn together." - Seth Godin

Tip 8: Organize Your Social Feed
The hashtag this year is #ISTE18 and it will be going fast one the conference gets rolling. Jumping into the Twitter hashtag stream can quickly become overwhelming.  I always try to remember that it's ok to miss some tweets. Here are a few tips to help organize your social media engagement. 
  • Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are great resources to manage the stream of information. 
  • Create a Twitter list of anyone who catches your interest. Lists are a great way to narrow down some of the clutter that such a busy conference hashtag will generate.
  • Have a heart and like the tweets that catch your interest. An unliked Tweet is a sad thing. Looking back at your 'liked' tweets at the end of the day is a great reflection for learning. 
  • If you connect with a tweet leave a comment and start a conversation. Most educators on twitter are looking to do more than just post and run. 
  • The site 'If This Then That' (IFTTT) has some great Twitter Recipes to help you save and organize tweets.
  • Particpate is a great place to keep up with your Twitter Chats and Hashtags. They will be a great ally for anyone at ISTE18. Follow Participate on Twitter to get updates on the sites ISTE 18 resources. 
  • Another great place to share is the ISTE Facebook Community.

Tip 9: Have Some Fun and Take Some Breaks
ISTE is an incredible learning experience, but you will need a break. There are a lot of great tour guide books for the Second City, but one of my favorites is 100 Things to Do in Chicago Before You Die by Molly Page. If you are heading to Chicago this Summer, this might be a book to see if you can track down and add to your library?
Here are a few of my favorite things to do in Chicago.
There are of course many great restaurants and taverns to explore.

Tip 10: Reflect and Share
Whether you blog, share via social media or share your notes with a colleague it is important that you share your learning. You never know what connections you might make if you share your ideas and resources. 

The More You Share, The More You Learn

It's hard to grow as a teacher and a learner if a daily reflection is not part of your learning process. Take time to look over your notes and make connections to your teaching every day. Don't isolate the conference from your classroom and school. I've been to too many conferences and sessions where I took some incredible notes, but then never went back and connected these notes to my teaching and learning experience. 

It's O.K. to leave ISTE 2018 with more questions than answers. The best questions lead to new questions and more learning. This is why we are all life-long learners. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

I Am Not Giving Up on Padlet But It's OK To Explore Alternatives

"Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important."
Bill Gates

"Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers is transformational."
George Couros

Padlet has become one of my favorite resources for collaboration and communication. I love the recent updates and we use it several times a week connected to classroom activities and HyperDocs. 

Padlet rather abruptly announced a change to their pricing structure on Tuesday, April 3rd. This has understandably upset many educators. 

Details are still sketchy about how Padlet will continue to support teaching and learning, but there will still be a free option with more limits. While I try not to rely on any single EdTech resource too much, but losing Padlet altogether would be difficult. I am not giving up on Padlet and I am hopeful that a plan and a pricing structure will be established that I can work with. 

While I am waiting on what's next with Padlet, I will begin exploring some new resources. 
  • Wakelet - Share articles, videos, images, tweets and other great content with one link. Save them for later and create collections, called wakes, at any time. 
  • Realtime Board - Online whiteboard for visual team collaboration. Add pictures, mockups, drawings, videos, sticky notes, office documents and Google Drive files on an endless canvas,
  • Lino - lino is an online web sticky note service that can be used to post memos, to-do lists, ideas, and photos anywhere on an online web canvas.
  • Google Drawings - Choose from a wide variety of shapes to create diagrams and charts. Matt Miller shares some great templates for Google Drawings in this post
  • Grid View in Google Slides - Alice Keeler shares how Grid View can be used with students. 
We have also organized a Doc of additional Recommended Collaboration Resources for teachers and learners. There might be something here for you to explore? (Padlet is still there for now!)

If you have any additional suggestions or questions, please share in the comments below. 

Where Are Your Favorite Places to Find and Share HyperDocs?

HyperDocs are powerful frameworks for teaching and learning. HyperDocs are also meant to be shared and remixed with credit. The best educators create HyperDocs for their students and then share them with other educators. 

We've organized some of our favorite places for HyperDoc Templates and Sample HyperDocs that can be remixed in this document.
There are many great places to share and explore HyperDocs. Here are six of our favorites. 

Twitter is another great resource for finding and sharing Hyperdocs. Here are some of the popular hashtags connected to HyperDocs. 
Want to learn more about HyperDocs? Please explore some of additional posts to learn more. 
If you have a favorite place to share HyperDocs or have a question about HyperDocs, please post in the comments below. 

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