FHS TechNews Weekly

Vol. 6 November 5, 2013

30 Ways to Use Chromebooks in the Classroom

I am an avid follower of Kathy Schrock. She recently posted an excellent presentation on the use of Chromebooks in the classroom. When planning a lesson on the Chromebook, it is always recommended that you give it a test run to make sure the sites you are using are compatible. Here are a view examples:

  • Have students work collaboratively from anywhere. Give students ongoing and simultaneous feedback. Use revision history to hold students accountable for their work.
  • Collect data in a sheet, then use charts and gadgets - like the motion chart - to graph and analyze the data.
  • Students can drag and drop images, cite sources, and search for quotes that bring presentations to life using research tools.
  • You can shoot video, edit, and create inspiring video productions entirely on the web! (Collaboratively too) using WeVideo.
  • Teach students new ways to structure thought, brainstorm, construct ideas, and problem solve using interactive mind maps using MindMeister.
  • Use Google Forms to give your students a pre-assessment at the beginning of class. Modify your instruction based on the results. Then give students an "exit ticket" at the end of class to see what they learned.

Integration Tip!

Always let the objective drive your project. Don't start with the tool, start with your goal in mind and then choose the right tool (or tools) for students to show you that they have mastered the material. When rubrics and grading reflect the content, the tool becomes less important. Once you start planning this way, you will be more comfortable offering students a choice in how they present their material. Giving kids options gives them ownership, and may improve the quality of the work you receive. Plus, it isn't nearly as boring to grade 100 projects created in a bunch of different ways as it is to grade 100 projects done in PowerPoint!

Flipped Classroom Tool

EDpuzzle is a great site for easily creating flipped lessons. EDpuzzle allows a user to edit/crop a video and "flip" a classroom by adding questions. This is ideal for the Flipped Classroom model where instruction can be given at home and assessing/collaboration/learning can be done in the classroom. A educator can record their own narration over audio of any existing video to help guide learning. EDpuzzle allows has many videos created by experts that you can use or edit to fit your needs. Give it try!

Help Your Kids Stay Safe and Secure in a 24/7 Digital World

Technology makes it so easy for kids to connect and share things with friends and family no matter where they are. But these connections can come with a huge cost if kids are not careful. Learning to protect personal identity information, creating strong passwords, and being cautious when downloading programs and files are crucial to the safety and security of the digital devices kids use, as well as the information those devices store. Otherwise, kids can expose themselves and their families to digital threats like computer viruses, data and identity theft, and hacking. Excellent article.

App of the Week

Comic Maker is an iPad app that makes it easy for students to create their own comic strips. First you choose the layout of your panels, then you choose the background scenery (there is a lot to choose from) and finally you add characters and speech bubbles. The result is a polished, professional comic look. If you are going to use with kids, I would HIGHLY recommend having them proceed through the following steps:

1- play with the pap for a little while to choose their theme and brainstorm possibilities

2- Have the kiddos storyboard and draw a mock up on paper

3- Let them create on the ipad

Seriously, without direction you could play with this thing forever!

Windows 7 Tip

It’s easy to search the C drive by using the Start button’s search box but how do you search for things on the H, S or W drives? Click on the folder icon near the Start button. On the left, click the drop-down arrow next to “Computer” to show all of your drives. Select the drive you want and, if you would like, select a folder inside the drive to narrow your search. Then use the search box in the top right of the window. Search for a word in the title of the document you are looking for. Yes, that search box has been there since we switched to Windows 7 this summer and no, you probably never noticed it there. It was hiding in plain sight!