Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning
EDU in 90
Want to keep up with the latest news and updates to your favorite Google tools, but don’t have time to read all of the blog posts, twitter updates, and Google + posts? Check out the new YouTube Channel - EDU in 90 by the Google in Education team. They are posting short (about 90 second) videos with quick explanations and updates for educators. The most recent post is about Google Classroom (view below), but you should subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss anything!
Canvas Course Home Page: From Drab to Fab
If you've given up on ever sporting a sleek and/or welcoming "face" for your course, don't despair. Teachers can elevate a course to a whole new level by creating a custom Home page for students. Add a class picture, embed a video greeting, hyperlink images ... the possibilities are endless. All you have to do is follow these steps to give your home page a whole new look, such as with the FCPS example displayed here. However, if design isn't your interest, don't worry. You'll be happy to know a recent Canvas improvement took away the old blank, boring home page and replaced it with the course Module list. Use that or feel free to choose the Recent Activity Dashboard, the Assignment List, or the Syllabus to personalize the space. The choice is yours!
Image below: Eric Neely at Bryan Station High, used a free Canva account to create the hyperlinked graphics for his English 2 Home page.
Go Straight to the Source
Getting ready to teach a lesson and need access to historical primary source documents? The Library of Congress offers a large digital collection for teachers to use in the classroom- they even offer professional development! You can access lesson plans, activities, primary source sets and so much more by visiting their website: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/. As an example, consider this lesson on the Civil War. It contains a gallery of images of children from the Civil War era for students to examine and characterize. The built-in analysis tool encourages students to collect observations, reflections, and questions for each primary resource.
New! Check out the new Labs, found at https://labs.loc.gov/. This interactive site has been developed to encourage innovation with the digital collection provided by the LOC and will include experiments, projects, events and resources. For example, Beyond Words allows the public to write captions for photos from historical newspapers that will become searchable data. Give it a try here.