Monday, November 11, 2013

Hangin' Out Google Style

Communicating with a global audience has never been easier with the plethora of social media tools at our disposal. One such tool is Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts is an instant messaging and video chat service that can be accessed via a computer or mobile device. One feature of Google Hangouts that is of particular use to educators is the sharing feature that allows users to share documents, images, YouTube videos, etc. This feature possesses great educational value for teachers because it allows educators to create and collaborate in real time on a variety of topics with their fellow colleagues worldwide.

How to Get Started:

The video tutorial below provides a complete overview of the key features of Google Hangouts. Thank you to Martin Shervington for sharing!


Teach-nology:
(the pedagogical rationale for the use of technology in the classroom)

Skill
Teach-nology


Use of Technology

  • Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information.
  • Use digital technologies,  communication/networking tools, and social networks appropriately to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information to successfully function in a content rich environment.


Communication

  • Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes, and intentions.
  • Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g., to inform, instruct, motivate, and persuade) and in diverse environments.


Collaboration

  • Develop, implement, and communicate new ideas to others effectively.
  • Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work.

Sample Activities:

1. Professional development seminars, workshops, etc. are very empowering for teachers as Google Hangouts allow users to share ideas, resources, etc. in real time with an limitless network of colleagues worldwide. For example, educators can collaborate on an innovative teaching idea such as Genius Hour.

2. Students can connect with their peers to share and collaborate on any topic. For instance, students can share their perspective and opinions on a current events topic. Or they can work on a collaborative project or assignment with other student(s) from across the globe.


Connecting with others from around the world using Google Hangouts is educationally very rewarding. Click here to get started!


This post originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Infographic Creation Made Easy with Piktochart






The use of infographics as a teaching and learning tool is gaining more traction in academic circles in recent times. In a nutshell, infographs are visually appealing representations of information. For a sample, view the infograph about child mortality on the left. What makes the use of infographs so attractive to educators is that users are able to create informative, easy to understand visuals from comprehensive qualitative and/or quantitative data. Data can be depicted in a variety of ways including text, flowcharts, diagrams, graphs and so much more.  

Piktochart is an easy to use online infographic creation tool. Using its 'drag and drop' format, users can access a wide variety of thematic graphics - including text options, mood icons and graph types - from the Piktochart template. There are also many sharing options with Piktochart. These include: storing them as an image (jpeg or png), using social media sites or utilizing the search engine crawling feature.






Teach-nology:
(the pedagogical rationale for the use of technology in the classroom)  

Skill

Teach-nology

Systems Thinking

  • To analyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce an overall effective presentation.

Make Judgments & Decisions

  • To effectively analyze, evaluate and reflect on evidence, arguments, claims and beliefs to create an informative and factual infographic.

Communication

  • To use a wide range of idea creation techniques (e.g. brainstorming).
  • To clearly communicate ideas using visual and textual mediums.


How to Get Started:

The Piktochart website has a comprehensive tutorial page that will get even the most novice user started in minutes! Click here to view the Piktochart tutorial page.

Sample Activities:

1. To help solve a mathematical problem, step by step instructions can be outlined in an infograph.

2. Grammatical principles such as word usage or sentence structure can be summarized using an infograph.

3. The statistical data about the wealth and distribution of a country can be visually interpreted using an infograph.

4. Factual information about the effects of prolonged drug use can be described in an infograph.

5. A historical timeline can be created outlining the key events of the Holocaust or of World War I or II. 



Piktochart is a fantastic resource to help students summarizes vast amounts of information in a visually engaging way.  Click here to get started!


This post originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

#gettinggoing with Google Forms


Google Forms is a useful tool to help you plan events, send a survey, give students a quiz, or collect other information in an easy, streamlined way.

The best part about Google Forms is that it automatically tabulates and summarizes the answers received from all your participants.  Try the sample Google Form 
below or view it in a separate window by clicking here. NOTE: All 9 available question types are shown.



How to Get Started:

Please view the tutorial below as it will provide new users with an excellent introduction to Google Forms. This document can also be viewed in a separate window by clicking here.




Sample Activities:

Click here to start sharing your ideas with other educators.  Please feel free to access this resource in the future as more ideas are added on a regular basis.


Teach-nology:
(the pedagogical rationale for the use of technology in the classroom)

Skill
Teach-nology

Organization

  • Use a variety of organizational techniques such as categorizing, classifying, ordering, etc. to effectively maximize group productivity.
  • Analyze and evaluate organizational techniques for the purpose of improving a group's output.


Communication

  • Quickly and effectively convey information and ideas to multiple group members for the purpose of increasing group productivity.
  • Use digital web tools to communicate for a wide range of purposes e.g. to inform, organize, motivate, etc.


Collaboration

  • Demonstrate an ability to effectively work in a diverse and dynamic environment with groups of various sizes.
  • Assume responsibility for shared work along with recognizing the contributions of everyone in the group.


Google Forms
 is an excellent organizational tool to help you quickly and easily collect and organize large amounts of data. Click here to get started!


NOTE: Flubaroo is an excellent companion tool to use with Google Forms as it grades the objective portions of the quizzes/tests your students write. For more information, please visit the following blog post for more information - "Flubaroo: A Google Drive Online Marking System".


This post originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Organize Group Tasks Easily with Trello

Planning, organizing and collaborating on large projects or events can be a challenge for many. The most taxing aspect of any large project is to communicate in an efficient manner that does not interfere with productivity but at the same time keep group members abreast of the latest progress updates. Students, in particular, who struggle completing project work due to the breadth and depth of the overall task need a means with which to move forward to a successful completion. Trello offers just such a means! Trello is an online task management web tool that allows individuals or groups to collaborate in real-time on an user-friendly 'pin board' environment with the use of collection lists and task cards. Boards can be privately or publicly accessed with users also being able to be members of multiple boards simultaneously. View the image below to get a better sense of the layout and functionality of Trello.

Sample Trello Board


Teach-nology:
(the pedagogical rationale for the use of technology in the classroom)

Skill
Teach-nology

Organization

  • Use a variety of organizational techniques such as categorizing, classifying, ordering, etc. to effectively maximize group productivity.
  • Analyze and evaluate organizational techniques for the purpose of improving a group's output.


Communication

  • Quickly and effectively convey information and ideas to multiple group members for the purpose of increasing group productivity.
  • Use digital web tools to communicate for a wide range of purposes e.g. to inform, organize, motivate, etc.


Collaboration

  • Demonstrate an ability to effectively work in a diverse and dynamic environment with groups of various sizes.
  • Assume responsibility for shared work along with recognizing the contributions of everyone in the group.


Sample Activities:

1. Group class projects with single or multiple members can include the teacher as a member of the group. This will allow the teacher to be fully involved in the planning and organizing of the project as well as provide helpful suggestions as to how to improve group processes or the overall quality of the project.

2. Extra-curricular school clubs or teams can use
 Trello to plan, organize and manage activities. Depending on the nature of the group, coaches, teacher sponsors, administrators, community members, parents and students can assign tasks, offer feedback or provide progress updates.


How to Get Started:


Please view the video tutorial below as it will provide new users with an excellent introduction to Trello.





Trello is an extremely useful organizational tool students can trust to manage and coordinate large projects. Click here to get started!


This post originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Design a Trendy Digital Magazine in Minutes with Glossi

Glossi is a digital magazine creation tool that produces eye-catching online publications students can use to share their learning with others. To get started all students need is a topic or idea! Glossi provides several design options with which to add images, videos, audio files, text and external links to a magazine page in an easy to use drag-and-drop format. The final product can be shared privately or publicly via external link or embed code. View the sample magazine below to get a sense of the endless educational possibilities students can explore with Glossi.





Teach-nology:
(the pedagogical rationale for the use of technology in the classroom)

Skill

Teach-nology

Creativity

  • Use a variety of idea creation techniques such as brainstorming, visualization, etc.
  • Analyze and evaluate ideas for the purpose of improving one's creative efforts.

Communication

  • Effectively convey information and ideas using text based and visual elements.
  • Use digital web tools to communicate for a wide range of purposes e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate, persuade, etc.

Application of Technology


  • Properly utilize technology to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information.
  • Use digital technologies to access, create and communicate effectively.


Sample Activities:

1. Visual and practical arts students can create an aesthetically pleasing e-portfolio to present their work to their teachers or potential employers.

2. Students can demonstrate their knowledge of key historical events in an user-friendly news magazine format.

3. Writing assignments such as short stories and poems can be presented in a page-turning anthology using Glossi.


How to Get Started:

Please view the video tutorial below as it will provide new users with an excellent introduction to Glossi.

 


Glossi is an excellent presentation tool for students to demonstrate their learning. Click here to get started!


This post originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Here Goes Something ... I guess

For well over a year now, my professional goal has been to expand my interaction with the global teaching community.  As you can well imagine, the benefits of developing a supportive and passionate Professional Learning Network (PLN) have been very inspiring and thought-provoking.  The way in which I approach teaching my classes now is very different than it was even a few short months ago.  In particular, I am most pleased to report that my students have also benefited from these new teaching practices as we have incorporated many innovative ideas into our daily classroom activities.

Without question, the connectivist approach of #etmooc has certainly motivated me to continue my pursuit of life-long learning.  Specifically, #etmooc participants are encouraged to act upon the following principles as outlined by Alec Couros in his welcoming comments:

1.  Make your learning visible.

2.  Contribute to the learning of others.

Even before #etmooc started, I was very good about applying and practicing both of these principles.  However, I was definitely starting to hit a rut.  It is this powerful video that made me realize I need to continue pushing my limits and boundaries in order to fully maximize the potential of the global connections I have made.




Okay, so where do we go from here?  What new challenge am I willing to take on?  Well, here goes something ... I guess:

I have always wanted to connect with my on-line colleagues in a more direct and personal way.  I have also wanted to try Google Hangouts.  So I have decided to challenge myself and host three - 1 hour Google Hangout sessions this week.  Accordingly, I am extending a formal invitation to all those interested, especially to my fellow #etmooc participants, to join me.  The schedule is below along with potential discussion topics.  

Wednesday, January 30  9 pm EST - #etmooc Thoughts so far

Thursday, January 31st   4 pm EST - The Global Teaching Community

Friday, February 1st        1 pm EST - Connected Learning

If you are interested in joining us, please feel free to contact me beforehand or just join in.  The Google Hangout will be entitled "etmooc Faculty Lounge".


I look forward to the opportunity of connecting with you.  See you Wednesday!  


photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68051075@N02/8380341879/">alisonseaman</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gforsythe/7549370822/">giulia.forsythe</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Getting Fired Up about #etmooc

Hello for Kamloops, BC Canada!

This post is a bit different than my usual entries as starting this week, I am participating in an amazing online professional development opportunity - #etmooc.  (More information can be found at - http://etmooc.org/).

In the coming weeks, I will be writing about my #etmooc experiences so that we can all benefit so look out for those upcoming posts!

Below is our first #etmooc assignment - an introductory piece about ourselves.  Please feel free to check it out!