Tyler's Tech Tips

May 2017

Cube Creator, Geometry Desmos, Top Teacher Ted Talks, ThingLink, 21 Things For Teachers PD, and Snapchat

Premium ThingLInk Account for $25

Thinglink is an awesome service that allows its users to take any graphic and turn it into an interactive image. Let's take a picture of a heart for example. Using ThingLink, students could label different parts of the heart. At each one of these labels, students could be directed to a YouTube video, a website, another image, or an online article about that part of the heart (Check out this example). With newer updates, there are a lot of possibilities to use ThingLink with Virtual Reality Headsets as well.

Currently, Thinglink cost $1,500 per year for business users, $120 a year for educators, and are right now offering its Premium package for $25 a year!! I just cashed in on this awesome deal.

To get the premium package, they will send you promo code after you sign up for their free, self-paced, online PD. You don't even have to take the PD, you get the code for signing up. To take advantage of this amazing deal, click here.

21 Things for Teachers (Self-Paced PD)

21 Things for Teachers is a great learning tool for teachers looking to expand their technology knowledge. New this year is an opportunity to take these 9 modules all online in a self-paced fashion. Their website claims that these modules will take no longer than 10 hours EACH.

More about details about the project, "21Things4Teachers helps educators make connections between technology tools and best practice instructional strategies. It provides a chance for you to collaborate with fellow teachers in a cohort or as an individual to learn more about 21st century technology skills in a supportive environment with a highly skilled instructor."

For more information, head over to the REMC 10's site by clicking here.

Snapchat in School?

Although many people think that Snapchat is a terrible app, some schools around the country are embracing this technology and using it in their classes. Check out part of an article written by Ray Bendici below.

Journalism classes at Junction City High School in Kansas-100 miles west of Kansas use the short-lived social media app Snapchat to learn long-lived lessons of storytelling. The students in those classes use snaps which are either pictures or 10-second videos taken with their smartphones that are saved for 24 hours to report on Geary County Schools' events such as football games and pep rallies.

They record an introduction, then string together the images with captions or use a series of videos to create a digital narrative. Students, who act as social media editors, curate stories from the reporters and post story snaps to the Snapchat feed of The Blue Jay, the school newspaper. "We're teaching new forms of storytelling that real journalists in the field are embracing, and it's a new way to create content," says John Walker,

student media adviser and journalism teacher at Junction City High School, one of many high schools reportedly incorporating the platform into its journalism classes. Walker says it's important to connect with and motivate students through the technology they already use and understand.

A how-to guide for Snapchat in K12

Schools planning to incorporate Snapchat into a curriculum should establish a formal written policy. Junction City High School journalism teacher John Walker suggests including four key elements:

  • Mission statement specifies how the social media account will be used, such as for only promoting the school newspaper.
  • Style guide sets standards for use, such as ensuring all posted information is held to the same fact-checking standards and unbiased reporting as any school publication.
  • Best practices detail how the account should be handled on a practical basis, including properly vetting information from multiple credible sources, avoiding unfounded speculation, and sourcing administrators as necessary.
  • User's role and responsibilities include expectations for proper use, including the need to engage an audience in a professional manner, and to acknowledge and make corrections where necessary.