Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to Embed Remind Texts in Your Blackboard Shell


Another question at the in-service was how to embed Remind texts (use to text one way reminders to students) into the announcement section of Blackboard.  Above is a short video showing this.  Have at it!

Remind for Your Students


I just did a couple of classes for teachers.  One of the questions was how do you sign up students for Remind.  Above is a video detailing how this is done.

Remind is used to text students and parents about homework, tests, and all kinds of information you would want to send your pupils.

The video below shows how you use Remind to create texts.

Monday, August 29, 2016

How to Flip Your Classroom



One of the schools, Chantilly, is going one to one this year.  As part of that the teachers will be redoing how they teach.   One of the ways they are looking at is flipping.  So I was asked to teach some presentations on it.  You can follow everything I teach as all of my links and videos will be on this page.

 We will start by taking a survey at tinyurl.com/chantillyinservice
  • We will be learning how to create a short flip (defined) using Screencastomatic and what images, slides, short video and information might go into it.  You can also make them using the Snagit extension here (and here is how to use it)
  • discuss that you can always use others' videos such as (history and science, math and grammar)
  • contemplate how to make sure teachers are watching the video in part using a Google Drive form or even to how to make your own YouTube playlist (2:20 in this video)
  • use Remind (resources) to literally remind them to view the video. 
  • discuss how flipping a meeting/classroom allows for one on one discussions between the class leader and the pupil.  
  • and even how to use Tinyurl to customize a link to a video
  • If you want more resources they can be found here and here
Some examples might include flipping an economics course and then give a problem set (and even flipped answers - notice some are linked to one minute videos) or how to write an essay or an introduction to the electoral college and a related assignment to predict the election results.
All of the steps above can be found in much more in depth by reading my book Deeper Learning Through Technology: Using the Cloud to Individualize Instruction.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

An Open Letter to Students Returning to School


So I love Hank and John Green's Crash Course, which is a series of subjects in the "flipped" class format.  One of the things I used to ask my students, is why did the state legislature insist that they go to school.  This video, in three short minutes, does the trick - in case you want some help.  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

My Favorite Book Site

There is never enough time for me to read all the books (much less Twitter, blogs, news sites, etc.) that I want to.  Another problem is finding all the right ones for me.  But one incredible site for me is Jeff Schechtman's "Specific Gravity" site that is filled with all kinds of non fiction books.  

Schechtman covers so many topics.  One hot one in my district is project based learning - so you know his suggestion (above) is going on my list.  But other recent suggestions are one on Patty Hearst, how the world is accelerating in so many different facts, a book on the Middle East and on and one every few days with a new one.  Each includes a summary and an author interview. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Blendspace from TES to Showcase Student Work


TES Teach with Blendspace (Blendspace was recently bought by the British education company TES) is a cool way to present your lessons for your students or alternatively for your students to do the same for you.

Below, for example is one you can use in teaching geometry. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

How to Assess the Reading Level of a Document, Book or Webpage

This is not the first time I have blogged about reading levels as you can see here.   Most newspapers are written on elementary and middle school reading levels.   It is important to assess texts for their levels of reading and then to test students to know who needs additional help to be able to read at grade level.

I received an email yesterday about a new test that is call Jellymetrics that allows you paste in text and see the different levels (since there are a variety of reading tests).

So, for example, I put in Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech from last night and found out that most 9th graders, if not middle school students should be able to read it.  The nice thing is that each of the types of testing ways is linked to its explanation.   As you can see the most used one, Flesch-Kincaid rates the speech as being on a fifth grade level.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

How to Tweet in Just a Few Minutes


If you were to read my book, Deeper Learning Through Technology: Using the Cloud to Individualize Instruction, I have an entire section on using Twitter to improve your teaching.  But if you want to very quickly learn how to set up an account and Tweet, watch the short video above. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Duplichecker to Avoid Plagiarism

So with all the flack that Melania Trump has received for plagiarizing Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech, it is amazing that it wasn't run through a scan to check for copying as most teachers do automatically.   But if your student wants to do the same before turning something in, they (or the teacher for that matter) can use Duplichecker which looks for other online resources and compares them with a student paper.  In two seconds Melania could have avoided this mess - but now you and your students can for free.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Blackboard Collaborate

Here, in just seven minutes is everything you ever needed to know about Blackboard Collaborate which our teachers use to collaborate with our online students.  This video goes rapidly through many of the tools and shows them as it works through.