Weekly Geekly

December 4, 2015

What Most Schools Don't Teach

Challenge-Hour of Code (Earn a Prize!)

Next week, beginning December 7, is the Computer Science Week, and MOnday is teh official day for the Hour of Code. This is a HUGE world-wide initiative to get kids coding. But guess what? Adults can do it too! Here is my challenge for you.

1- Visit hourofcode.com

2- Click on Try It

3- Choose a tutorial to participate in and try it out (for the novice, I recommend the Angry Birds Maze tutorial)

4- When you complete the tutorial you will get a certificate. Print your certificate and put it in my box. I will return it to you with a prize.

Please note- this is HOUR of code, not 5 minutes of code, so don't expect to run through this super fast. You probably can spend less than an hour, but it will take a little time.

There are currently more than 187,000 Hour of Code Events scheduled world wide. Students from grades K-12 will be doing this all over FISD.

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Emoji Techie Exit Tickets!

Want a fun, easy exit ticket? Try this- personalize this card and make a class set on cardstock. (be sure when you print to only print page 1!) Laminate and have kids use a dry erase marker to circle how they are feeling after the lesson to get feedback on how it went. Then just wipe and reuse!

Tool of the Week: StoryBoard That

StoryBoard that is an online comic creator. It is super easy to use, but maybe the biggest selling point of this tool is that it can be used across platforms, so kids can use it on an iPad, on a Chromebook, on a PC, or whatever they happen to have.

In the Free account you are limited to six panels, but don't let that stop you! If you need more panels, simply have the kids screenshot or use the snipping tool to put their panels into a Google Doc. Then they can go work on more panels and add to it! They would turn in a Google doc at the end.

Check out a sample here!

Bonus Tool of the Week: Histography

Have you heard of Histography yet? Someone took historic events from Wikipedia and put them on an interactive timeline that you can explore. And the cool factor is off the charts.

Check it out!

File under "Just Cool"- Star Wars and Google Team Up

I am going to preface this by saying that sadly this will NOT work on your school google account. But if you have a personal Google account and are Starry-Eyed for Star Wars, then read on.

If you have a personal Google account, login and go to google.com/starwars . You will be prompted to choose an alliance. Are you going to choose the Light Side or the Dark Side?

Once you have made your selection, your Google experience becomes personalized with Star Wars themed nuances, such as light saber loading bars and storm trooper map icons. Click here for a full list of the Star Wars changes you can expect to see!

ISTE Standard of the Week

We continue this week with Standard 3, which says that students should be able to "apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information." Standard B this week specifies that students should "locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media."

Whew! I don't know about you, but I spotted a lot of Blooms words in there! This is stuff that hopefully you are already doing. Pay attention to the "ethically use" portion of that statement though. Do your students know about copyright? Do you hold them to copyright standards when they produce work? What kind of model are you for ethical use of material in your classroom?

Follow Friday

I have some good ones today- Eric Sheninger (@E_Sheninger) is a senior fellow at Rigor and Relevance (@RigorRelevance) who you can also find on Facebook or on his web site and who is a principal, best-selling author, and sometimes writer for the Huffington Post.

Tony Vincent (@tonyvincent) is from Learning in Hand (they also have a Facebook page and Instagram) and he sums himself up this way- he says, "The only thing I like better than teaching is learning."