Friday, September 12, 2014

Top 6 Instructional Technology for teachers to start using this week- By a teacher #2

Welcome back!!!  In this second installment as a teacher you may be looking for a way to share content with your students that you do not have time for in class, or you know there are students needing that extra push to complete the work or those that finish early and need something to explore while you support others to finish.

2. YouTube Playlists: Again this is Google based- once signed into Google you also have a FREE YouTube account as part of your Google account, Google purchased YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion.  For example I teach Sciences.  I have playlists created for different topics throughout the year that serve as introduction in class if we carve out time, or as ways to get students engaged in content beyond the classroom.  Today's learners are looking for connections with learning and to experience content rather than passively absorb to later spit it out in multiple choice format.  As an educator, you may not have the tech background at this point to create videos on YouTube, but you have the power to ignite student interest in learning.  Why not just let the students choose what they watch?  You know they will end up on cat videos, or anything that YouTube recommends.  When you create playlists- you are filtering the content for them, helping to direct their time, students are likely engaging with technology outside of school, give them direction and help yourself at the same time by being a part of their experience online.

TRY IT: Now go try it out- Search on YouTube for any topic you want to share with students, choose a video to watch and at the bottom of the video window is a clickable button which reads "Add to" click on this and you will be able to create and name a "New Playlist".  Once you have a playlist created, each time you click "Add to" the names of your created playlists will be selectable- choose which to add it to.
SHARING-To share your playlists with students: Most students will know how to get to your content by sharing your YouTube username.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Top 6 Instructional Technology for teachers to start using this week- By a teacher

Are you ready to challenge students (and yourself) to engage in learning supported by technology?  Are you ready to save time, wear and tear on your body from carrying pounds of papers and a computer back and forth to home and school? Do you feel that you are behind the students to a point where it is getting to be too far behind?
We are adults so we will always appear to be behind- but I want to share my experience and technology use in real classrooms and within my entire grade 6-12 school to give you the first steps into tech and teach.  This will not take months or years to learn and implement- it will take minutes to get started and your level of use/expertise will come with your use and how you desire to use the tech.

I am a 9 year Science teacher in NY and I have researched technology and tried it in the classroom- so that you can use it in yours with ease and minimal invasion into your existing teaching style.

INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY FOR THE TEACHER TOP 6 will be posted over time: We begin with the by far most important for teachers to try and breathe a sign of relief.

1. Google Drive- You have millions of files spread out over your school computer, home computer, school network, and online.  Google Drive gives you a FREE- really seriously FREE- personal hard drive in the cloud that can store any file you want in addition to replacing Office.  If you have a Gmail account- you already have a Google Drive- sign in to Google and search for Drive- it will be a top search result. After 6 years of using Google Docs, Google Groups, Google SketchUp, and Google Slides with my students, my school was able to convert to Google for all students and teachers this summer.  In short, Google Drive allows you to upload any file you wish to Google Drive.  If these files are in any Office format from Microsoft, Open Office, and more, you can open and edit the files with Google Docs(Docs replaces Word)
For Excel files use Google Sheets, and PowerPoints can be converted and edited in Google Slides. I used to be ragged on by fellow teachers for not hauling a giant bag back and forth from school to work each day- WHY? I saved files- notes, HW, projects and labs to Drive, edited at home and it is saved in the cloud so I can access the files from anywhere and they are updated and saved with every keystroke.  It will make your life easier and your bag will thank you.  MORE GREAT FEATURES: You can collaborate on Docs, Sheets, Slides and more in real-time with your colleagues and students. You can edit and comment on student work from anywhere without having to download and re-upload every file individually- everything is saved for you automatically and the colleague/student sees the same file you do-automatically.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Beginning the Tablet Pilot Program for Mercy

This year, we will be exploring the use of various tablet models within the school.  There will be 8 students participating beginning at the end of September.  The entire school is also using Google Apps for education this year, once the log ins are shared, all students and teachers will be able to collaborate via Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and we will be using further Apps for Forensic Science and Marine Biology as we engage in the units following our Water in Our World unit.  I trained your teachers for part of a conference day the week before school began and will continue to train and support teachers.  If you know of any helpful Google Chrome Apps or Web apps, please share them through the comments box below.  Back to the Pilot: The Pilot will consist of iPad, Android, and Windows tablets, as well as Chromebooks for use in the classroom. We are looking at the possibility of implementing a tablet program for the entire school in 2015-2016, this may be too ambitious as of now, the administration will decide next spring/summer. 

Mercy Science Pictures!

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