Borland Teacher Technology Team

August/September/October 2017 Newsletter

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Have you ever heard of AR? No, not Accelerated Reader, but Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality can be found in apps or other computer programs and are becoming quite popular in education. AR takes real images and incorporates computer animated/real sounds, videos, and graphics to supplement the image. For example, if you scanned a student's painting, there could be video pop up where the student is talking about their painting.

This is very helpful because any 2D object can come to life with augmented reality. Take that boring bulletin board in the hallway plastered with book reports, president reports, paintings, book characters, etc., and give them a makeover. Now the items on the board can come to life by scanning them with a device. Students can link math problems, tutorials, videos, songs, or skits to their projects and make them interactive.

One of the best AR apps out there is called Aurasma. Download here at the Apple Store or the Google Play Store. Check out the video below to see an example of how Aurasma could work in the classroom.

Here are some other AR apps that are good for the classroom:

Anatomy 4D (Free) - Apple Store or Google Play Store

ColAR Mix 3D Coloring - Apple Store or Google Play Store

ZooBurst - Apple Store

Google Sky Map - Google Play Store

Layar - Apple Store or Google Play Store

Aurasma With Mrs. Lutz - YouTube
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10 Things Students Should Know About Tech by Fifth Grade

1) Touch typing. Elementary students should be typing at least 20 words per minute at the end of fifth grade. That is the minimum speed where typing is faster than writing.

2) Troubleshooting. By the end of fifth grade, students should have a thought bank of resources when things don't go right when using technology. They should know how to refresh a Web page, what to do look for if they can't log onto something using their user names and passwords and what to do when a Bluetooth keyboard won't respond. These are all skills that will help them in life. It is our tendency to take a device out of their hands, fix it and hand it back. We should be teaching our students how to critically think and solve their own problems.

3) Digital citizenship. The minimum age requirement for many social media sites is 13 years old. Most fifth-graders have not yet reached that age. Therefore, fifth grade is the perfect time to teach students about digital citizenship issues regarding social media, bullying, online etiquette, safety and communication skills.

4) Device basics. All students should be able to do the following tasks on their device of choice:

  1. Turn power on and off;
  2. adjust volume up/down and mute;
  3. select an appropriate WiFi network;
  4. log in to a school e-mail account;
  5. plug in headphones;
  6. open Web browser to access the Internet;
  7. take a picture;
  8. take a video;
  9. switch between front- and rear-facing cameras;
  10. bookmark a website and add a shortcut to the home screen;
  11. take a screenshot; and
  12. access photos and videos.

5) Citing. Students should know how to give credit where credit is due. Using a citing website (such as Noodlebib), a fifth-grader should be able to collect the information needed from websites, books or photos and enter it into the appropriate form to create a reference page.

6) How to put together and deliver multimedia presentations. To complete various projects through their elementary school years, fifth-graders should have a variety of presentation tools that they feel comfortable with when asked to present information.These tools include but not limited to: Google Docs, Google Slides, Keynote, Pages, Green Screen by Do Ink, Tellagami, Explain Everything, Idea Sketch and Visualize.

7) How to do a proper Internet search. Fifth-grade students should be taught the virtues and shortcomings of doing a Google search and how to best use Google for their educational benefit. Students should know how to use age-appropriate search engines for research projects including but not limited to: EBSCO-host research engines, encyclopedias and child-friendly websites.

8) How to collaborate using technology. Students should learn how to use websites/apps such as Google Docs to share information with each other and teachers via both comments and adding straight to a shared document itself, both while sitting together and separate.

9) Using technology to organize their learning. Students should be able to use technology tools such as Google Drive to set up folders to store information "in the cloud" for easy access for learning and Notability to take notes from lectures. They should have the ability to take photos of things for future studying opportunities.

10) The perils of misuse and multitasking, and how these things affect them individually. Fifth-graders should be taught about their digital rights and responsibilities from both the personal and educational perspectives. They should be shown how multitasking affects them and be given appropriate aid to help them discern how technology can benefit or distract from their learning.

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Tour Builder is a "Google Earth experiment" which allows anyone with a google account to create their own story map. Check out the site or watch the YouTube promo video. This is by far one of the neatest mapping tools out there available for students to use. Not only does it allow students to pinpoint locations out on a map, but they also can insert 25 pictures/videos and add text to that location. With the Google Earth plugin installed on the computer (your tech personnel may be able to do this), the tours will be viewed in 3D mode.

These tours give students a good sense of direction and global awareness as the 3D imagery is fantastic. Whether students are learning about the continents, other countries, or are mapping their travel history, this is a tool that needs to be implemented in the classroom.

Wonders Online Component

Running low on time and can't seem to fit in everything you want to with Wonders? Well, using the online component is a great way to have students take control of their learning and free up some classroom time. Using your technology lab time, you can assign activities and lessons to your students. Grammar, spelling, vocab, skills, etc. are all incorporated into games, activities, and typed responses. Students can also read or have the longer literature anthology read to them. Within each unit and week there are online resources. First, make sure you have created your class through your ConnectED account. Next, on the Wonders homepage make sure you select the unit and week you want. Click on the icon that says Resources. At the top of the screen you will find resources for each day of the week. Once you choose a resource you want to assign, click on the gear icon/dark upside down triangle. If it is available to the student you will need to click on "assign this resource." This will take you to a page where you will give the assignment a name, a due date, and any special instructions you want the students to see. Make sure to check off all students and then click "assign." A pop up will tell you that the "assignment has been made to the selected students." Click done and you are ready to assign another activity from the resources page. After students complete an assignment, they will submit it to you and you can track their progress. Questions, see Jenny!
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Do you ever open your email and get overwhelmed? Here's a great tip for those Gmail users that want to clean up and organize their inbox. One trick to organize your inbox is to use different tabs for different types of emails. Check out this tutorial, or complete these steps to get organized.

(1) Go to your Gmail inbox (2) Click on your gear icon (top right of your screen), which is your settings (3) Click on "Configure Inbox" (4) Put a check on all check boxes to be the most organized (5) Then hit "Save" and your good to go.

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Storyline Online

Developed by The Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Storyline Online features accomplished actors and actresses reading some of their favorite children’s books. Each story comes with a free Activity Guide and can be viewed on YouTube or SchoolTube. Rainbow Fish, Wilfrid Gordon Macdonald Partridge, and To Be a Drum are just a few of the books available.

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Looking for volunteers!

We would love to have more people to contribute to this newsletter. Please let us know if you are interested!
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Explain Everything

Explain Everything is the most versatile interactive whiteboard available for your device - use it for sharing knowledge, building understanding, personal productivity and much more.

Teach and Present

Start with blank canvas, prepare materials in advance, or import content in live instructional settings

Create Explanation Videos

Use visuals, animations, and narration in instructional and explanatory videos about any topic or subject matter

Create Templates

Create interactive templates for learning activities, communication strategies, game prototypes and more for others to use

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Read to Me

Similar to Storyline Online, Read to Me features popular children’s books being read by famous performers. There are activity guides with hands-on ideas, discussion questions, and lesson plans that can easily be adapted to the Common Core State Standards. Entirely free, the site is colorful and engaging.

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Online Storytime by Barnes and Noble

From The Kissing Hand read by author Audrey Wood to Pinkalicious read by Victoria Kann, Barnes and Noble’s Online Storytime has popular children’s books read out loud. While there are no supplemental materials to accompany the stories, this free site is perfect for “Listen to Reading” stations.

Note: The first story begins right away when the page opens so be sure that your volume is adjusted accordingly before clicking the link.

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International Children’s Digital Library

Discover books from around the world at the International Children’s Digital Library. The free site does not read the books aloud, but students can read them independently during Read to Self or free time. This is a great site for extension activities when learning about different regions of the world and can be used effectively into the middle school grades.

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Children can listen to short stories read aloud to them as they follow along with the highlighted text. ABCya! has a variety of educational games in addition to the featured stories. Free resources and materials are available for grades K through 5.

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Storynory features a collection of original, fairytale, and classic children’s audio stories. Students can follow along with the story as it is read to them, as the text is also included on the site. There are also some great features available that give you the option of downloading the audio to your computer, listening to “catch phrase” explanations, translating text into different languages (especially helpful for your ELL students!), and more.