Tech Tips

May 2015: Volume 2 Number 13

May Flowers

You'll find a wide variety of apps, articles, and websites in this issue.
#TEACHNow

Kanbanchi

Kanbanchi:

We always need a place to organise our thoughts, ideas, and then manage their implementation, whether we work alone or with a team.

Kanbanchi offers:

  • Simple dashboard system to visualise your workflow

  • Highly customisable for your own needs

  • Add and remove team members easily to provide appropriate project stage access

  • Use familiar Google interface & features when working with boards

  • Features to support kanban method.

Kanbanchi is a dashboard app that is perfect for managing workflow. The great attraction of the kanban method is its simplicity and its ability to assist virtually any workflow system for any business:

  • Start from where you are now

  • Limit work-in-progress

  • Visualise your work

  • Learn more about the kanban method.

Kanbanchi Dashboard (kanban board) Into Video
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8 Examples of Transforming Lessons through the SAMR Cycle

8 Examples of Transforming Lessons through the SAMR Cycle

"Following are 8 examples of the SAMR process, each taking an example of a typical classroom exercise that does not use technology and walking it through each phase of SAMR. For half of these, I searched and borrowed from examples that teachers had written about online (original sources are provided – in some cases I tweaked the example a bit). I also created examples of my own. In working through this, it became apparent to me that while Substitution and Augmentation can be relatively straightforward conceptually, there is even more room for interpretation when it comes to Modification and Redefinition.


The goal of this exercise was to help me (and readers) better understand the SAMR model, and to really see how lessons and assessments can be transformed while considering the benefits of evolving them through these stages. I find it particularly interesting to see the vast difference in between the original lesson and the redefined lesson … there is often a much wider range of skills required in the latter stages, and lessons can become much more engaging and collaborative when modified or redefined."

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Understand 1,700 Mechanical Linkages with These Helpful Animations

Understand 1,700 Mechanical Linkages with These Helpful Animations

"Mr. Đức thắng Nguyễn (Duc Thang Nguyen) is an engineer from Vietnam. Since his retirement in 2002, he has being working on an amazing animated 3D catalog of mechanical contraptions.

More Mechanical Linkages

Prototypes That Last: Simple Tips for Making Durable Parts, Part 1

My 10 Favorite Mechanical Animations from Wikipedia

Using Autodesk Inventor as a tool, he has documented over 1,700 mechanisms. All from gears, couplings, clutches, differentials to detailed examples of movement conversions. For every mechanism Nguyen has generated a corresponding animated YouTube video. These videos are an invaluable source to understand some of the more convoluted and challenging mechanisms. The video-clips portray a mesmerizing collection of kinetics sculptures on their own and can be enjoyed for their sheer aesthetic value."

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LearnFit Standing Desks

LearnFit Standing Desks

"Fifth-grader Emma Kalcounos said she remains focused doing work at her desk while some of her classmates fidget and look restlessly out the window as summer vacation looms. What’s her secret for staying on top of things? For Kalcounos, the answer is simple – she’s never sits down. Kalcounos is one of the students at Belle Terre Elementary School in Palm Coast, Fla. who has been using the LearnFit, a classroom-friendly, adjustable “standing desk” developed by Ergotron.

“It’s actually amazing, you get to be more focused while using this kind of desk,” Kalcounos told FoxNews.com. “When I sit at a regular desk to do work, I do not feel as focused. I feel the grades I have in different subjects aren’t bad, but standing up helps more than sitting down – it gets the blood flowing and helps you get energy.”

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A SAMR Deep Dive: Deconstructing SAMR with Examples

A SAMR Deep Dive: Deconstructing SAMR with Examples

"SAMR opened my eyes to the meaningful, intentional use of technology. The concept, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, allows teachers to identify their integration in four categories:

  • Substitution: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change
  • Augmentation: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement
  • Modification: Tech allows for significant task redesign
  • Redefinition: Tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable

After seeing it, I wrote a post about what SAMR is, referring to it as a ladder. Later, I gave SAMR a second thought and realized it’s not as simple as climbing a ladder. My most recent post about SAMR offers 10 ways to reach SAMR’s redefinition level, where learning ideas are new, created by the unique abilities of the technology."

Taking a SAMR Deep Dive with Matt Miller

21 Things 4 Students

21 Things 4 Students

"21Things4Students is a free project-based curriculum resource with a focus on improving technology proficiency in students in grades 5-9. The material is well organized, rich in content and easy to use. The resource addresses a wide variety of skills, including technology basics and sophisticated concepts, to help students who successfully complete the curriculum to be well equipped to engage in instructional efforts where technology is applied as a robust learning tool. The quests themselves are both appropriate and engaging for the target student population, and user motivation is easily maintained with badges and certificates to award to students as they progress. After careful review of the curriculum, reviewers concluded that this resource fosters the development of a strong, broad foundation of technology skills. 21Things4Students was found to support all the ISTE Standards for Student indicators."

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Sketcho Frenzy: The Basics of Visual Note-taking

60 Ways Math Teachers Can Use Google Classroom

60 Ways Math Teachers Can Use Google Classroom

"I have been asked by math teachers how they can use Google Classroom. Google Classroom is great for any subject area, especially math! Earlier I had posted on 5 ways Students Can Use Google Docs in Math. This builds on those ideas with a list of 60 ways Google Classroom can be used by Math teachers."

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Google Classroom: Co-Teachers & Draft Assignments

Google Classroom: Co-Teachers & Draft Assignments

"Google Classroom was built from scratch based on teacher input and feedback. The Classroom team continues to listen to teachers and respond to their feedback. If you have ideas for Google Classroom click on the question mark icon in the bottom right of Google Classroom and choose to “Send feedback.” Two of the most requested features are now available in Google Classroom: Co-Teacher and the ability to draft assignments."

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60 Smarter Ways to Use Google Classroom

60 Smarter Ways to Use Google Classroom

Google Classroom is quietly becoming the most powerful tool in education technology.

It may lack the visual appeal of iPads, or the student credibility of a BYOD program. It may not be as forward-thinking as we’d like here at TeachThought, but Google Classroom excels in providing solutions for a broad swath of teachers who have a variety of expertise and comfort level with education technology. It also uses Google’s familiar template that many teachers have used for years. As such, it scratches the itch for many teachers in many classrooms right here, right now."


How to Customize Your YouTube Channel Page

Gone Home: A Video Game as a Tool for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

Gone Home: A Video Game as a Tool for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

"Educators are held responsible for several aspects of English-language arts competency with their students: critical thinking, writing, assessing narrative structures, thinking about how characters develop and how setting affects character. Teachers have a variety of vehicles for conveying those lessons, but a new tool has emerged for learning with digital games."

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White Noise

White Noise



"This is a blog about student behaviour and their experiences of learning through a battlefield of systems and rules.

Recently, I was reminded about what it must be like to be a student in a school who is finding life particularly difficult. Students who are struggling to meet expectations within school.

This may be for a wide variety of reasons, and perhaps home life may be the determining factor; this aside for the moment, this blog is about students who appear on the teacher radar more often than others. This blog is not about the influences at home that affect students in school, although it will have a significant role in the reasoning behind some of the outcomes. However, I would like the reader to assume that we are aware of this and bring ourselves back into the day-to-day rigmarole of school and the routines and expectations that expected with schooling."

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Bring Back Home Ec!

Bring Back Home Ec!

"IF ANY SINGLE PERSON could be said to be the founder of home economics, it is the formidable Ellen Swallow Richards, a Bostonian who was the first woman admitted to MIT. She served as the first president of the American Home Economics Association and was instrumental in coming up with the term “home economics,” officially adopted at a conference “for the betterment of the home” in 1899, just in time for the dawn of a scientifically minded century. Though it may now seem impossible, the discipline was originally rooted in progressive and even feminist thinking. The idea was to bring scientific rigor into the home, and to professionalize women’s domestic work, bringing dignity and efficiency to both."

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Strongsville City Schools Instructional Technology Information

Contact me if you have any questions or would like help using these tools.