Tuesday Tech Tips

October 7, 2014

In this issue: FlipSnack, IFTTT, Symbaloo, Graphing on a Google Doc, Scratch, Guest Teacher, Assistive Technology Tool/Webinars, MACUL Journal, and Remind

Upcoming School Visit Dates

Ubly - October 13

North Huron - October 15

Owen-Gage - October 16

Lakers - October 21

Bad Axe - October 22


I am constatnly scheduling schools for full/half day visits. During these visits, I can sit down wtih individual teachers or a group of teachers at times convenient for you. This could be prep time or I could sit in on a lesson in your classroom. Sitting in on a lesson would allow me to give you suggestions and tips to better use technology with your students. Either way, I look forward assisting you.

FlipSnack - Create Flip Books

FlipSnack is a website that allows you to take any PDF or JPEG file and create a flipbook with them. FlipSnack also allows users to create their own books from scratch as well. Inside a flippy book, creators are able to add YouTube videos, pictures, text, change the background, and much more options.


Here is a great eight minute YouTube tutorial on how to create and embed your flipping book.



Classroom Uses

-Have students take their Microsoft Word or Google Doc essays, book reports, notes, research papers, etc., and make a flipping book. Share the link with the teacher and classmates to view it on any device.


-Take the class syllabus and embed it to the classroom webpage.


-Embed students work on the classroom webpage or the student's blog.


Examples

I took a math game PDF file (below) and made a flip book out of it really quickly. Click on the attachment below and it will take you to the flipbook version.


Simple flipbook on snakes which has a YouTube video embedded.

IFTTT - If This Then That

What is IFTTT?


IFTTT is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement: "If This Then That." With this app, you are able to set up unique triggers that set off specific actions. This allows your apps to work together and simplify your workflow.


Examples

* IF you take a picture in a set GPS location (such as a local school district) THEN it will save it automatically to a specific Google Drive folder or in your Dropbox.


* IF tomorrow's forecast calls for rain, THEN it will send you an email.


* IF you arrive at your place of work, THEN mute my phone and vise versa.


* IF new free apps come out on the App Store, THEN it will send you an email of that app.


There are thousands of "recipes" already created. Visit IFTTT to create your own actions.

Symbaloo

Do you have multiple websites that you want to save without putting hundreds of icons on your desktop? Symbaloo is a free site that lets you create bookmarks of all your favorite sites. This site is very customizable and lets you create groups of your sites, changes the tile icons, changes the colors, and changes the background. Then, make this page your homepage for quick access.

g(Math) - Graph Formulas and Plot Points in a Google Doc

With the graph creator, you can type in functions and it will create the graph associated with that function. You can also plot points in the same graph, find the line of best fit of those points, and specify a viewing window. As a new feature, you can select a table in a Doc and import the data into g(Math) to create a plot!


To get this tool, open a Google Doc (which is found in your Google Drive) and choose the "Add-ons" tab. From there, chose the "get add-ons" and search for "g(Math)." Install it by clicking the +Free button. Installing this does not take administrative rights. Once installed, click back on your "Add-ons" tab and you will see "g(Math)." Click on it to get started.

Scratch - Learn How to Code/Program Interactive Stories, Games, and Animations

Do you have any advanced students that are looking to learn how to code? Scratch is a MIT created program offered for free and would be a great advanced project or after school program/club.


Scratch is designed especially for ages 8 to 16 but is used by people of all ages. Millions of people are creating Scratch projects in a wide variety of settings including homes, schools, museums, libraries, and community centers.


The ability to code computer programs is an important part of literacy in today’s society. When people learn to code in Scratch, they learn important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas.


Listen to this Ted Talk on why it is important for students to know how to code.

Guest Teacher - Kelli Johnson - How She Flipped Her Classroom

Kelli Johnson, a math teacher at Bad Axe High School, is utilizing the flipped classroom approach with her Algebra II students this year. Kelli attended a one-day seminar regarding this topic in November 2013. Last school year she began flipping her geometry class and received very positive feedback from both parents and students. Because of this feedback and the increased overall grades in her geometry class, she decided to flip her Algebra II classes this school year.

Kelli utilizes Screencast-O-Matic to record her videos. This website allows her to record videos off her computer screen for up to 15 minutes per video. It also allows her to upload and store videos on the site if necessary. She uses a tablet computer with a stylus pen along with a PowerPoint to create and present her information. This allows her to work out various math problems on the screen and, together with her explanation, everything is captured in a video for her students to watch at home. Once the videos are created, she uploads them to her Google Drive and shares the link with her students through her online lesson plans. The extra time required to flip her classroom has been minimal since the PowerPoint presentations are the same presentations she was using in the past on a daily basis with her students. Thus, the only extra time has been recording the videos which are anywhere from 10 - 20 minutes in length depending on the material, as well as the necessary time to upload them to share with her students.

Kelli's Algebra II students are required to watch the videos on their own and in return are given time in class to do homework. Students spend most of their class time in small groups completing their work as well as helping one another when needed. Kelli also is available to her students and spends her time working with the groups - guiding, reassuring, or redirecting when necessary. Kelli believes the student/teacher interaction and the student engagement during this time is one of the most important features of flipping her classroom.

Kelli's students have commented that they like the fact that they can stop and rewind the video while taking notes and are much more focused taking notes at home than in the classroom. In addition, athletes find it much easier to take notes after a sporting event than to come home and have to work through their math homework problems when they are tired. Parents have commented that having the teacher available in class to help with the homework rather than their student asking them for help or just giving up is a major benefit they see. Most of her students have internet access at home, and if they don't, they are directed to the media center to catch up on the videos.


So in conclusion, Kelli feels that flipping her classroom has been a win-win situation for all involved.

The following is the link to my Section 1.1 Video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_JtP2gfGPjSYlBJMnZNbHoxOTQ/edit?usp=sharing

Assistive Technology Tool - Turn a Battery Toy into a Switch

Many people with severe physical or cognitive impairment use one or more switches to access computers and other electronic devices. A switch is an assistive technology device that replaces the need to use a computer keyboard, mouse, etc.


There are devices out there which are inexpensive (I have found some for $13) that can turn battery operated toys into switches. These devices are called "Battery Device Adapters."


Why use a switch for a toy? Many disabled individuals cannot use toys in their original form. Their only satisfaction with a toy would be seeing it being used by another individual. Using a battery device adaptor connected to a switch will allow a disabled person to turn it on/off themselves and use the toy to its fullest potential.


Visit this site for more information.

Free Assistive Technology Webinars in October

The Accessable Technology Coalation is providing free online webinars. Check out the list of topics here.

Get Connected with Me Using Remind

Here is a way to get better connected with technology as I pass out frequent tips using Remind. I have set up seven groups which are: 6th-12th Grade Math, 6th-12th Grade Science, 6th-12th Grade Social Studies, 6th-12th Grade ELA, Art/Music, Grades K-2, and Grades 3-5. You may sign up for one of the groups or all of them if you would like. All you have to do is click on the subject area (below) you are interested in and follow the directions. When I come across neat websites, apps, or tech tips, I will pass them on through Remind. You may have messages sent to your phone, email, or both. This is optional and you can cancel the messages whenever you wish. Also, I will not be sending a lot of them, so do not worry about these flooding your inbox.


Remind Groups - Click on the group you wish to follow to get set-up directions:

6th -12th Grade Math

6th -12th Grade Science

6th -12th Grade Social Studies

6th -12th Grade ELA

Art and Music

Grades K-2

Grades 3-5


Remind Facts

*Always free

*It takes an average of 15 seconds to sign up

*One out of five teachers in America use Remind

*Over 60 million messages are sent through Remind each month

MACUL Journal - Free

MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) is a huge association dedicated to getting educators and students tech savvy. The association puts out quarterly journals that anyone can access for free. There are two ways to get them:


1) Go to the MACUL site and download the PDF (if you read about FlipSnack, then you will know how to turn this into a flipbook).



2) On your device, download the Issuu App (IOS, Android, or Windows). Search for "MACUL Journal" and get present or past issues. You may also save the journals to your device for offline viewing.