Monday, December 10, 2012

Scoop it!

Great articles using technology in the classroom...

BYOD in the classroom

Really awesome ideas on implementing BYOD - all explained simply and would be fairly easy to follow...

How would I prepare to teach a BYOD class?

My answer: "My class will teach the world what they learn with me. Everything will be accessible online and on a mobile device."

Wall wisher and uses in the classroom

Wall wisher.... On-line program to share docs and collaborate.

What is it? How can you use it in teaching? View the following PowerPoint.

Really creative and engaging ways to use wall wisher in the classroom!

More ways explained on how to use wall wisher - see blog.

I don't get it?!?!

We never hear the phrase, "I don't get it!" Check out the strategies at link below to help students "get it". Once again technology can help us engage and motivate students to learn better and it might just be ... easier.

Anyways, check out this awesome document I found in Google docs, created by Dennis Grice. You can see the original doc at the link below or view it in this blog post.

"I Don't Get It" - How to Get Your Students Thinking
Presenter: Dennis Grice
What do you do when reading the book and completing the worksheet doesn't work? It's time to get creative! Discover some technology-infused lessons, activities, and projects that motivate students to think and express their creativity.

Elementary & Middle School - Writing
Designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog. Allows students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs.
Elementary - Writing
Rapid fire progressive stories. Students start at one computer, select a set of art and create the first page depicting the setting of the story. After 5 minutes, SWITCH! Students move to the computer next to them and add a page to their classmates story introducing the main character. SWITCH! Give the main character a problem. SWITCH! Explain how the main character solved the problem. SWITCH! Come up with an ending for the story.EXAMPLE
Middle School - Spanish
Students practice language and vocabulary skills by using Storybird to write stories in Spanish.
NOTE: Storybird also lets you create classes and individual student logins  - and it doesn’t require students to have e-mail addresses! This is also FREE! Using this feature you can have students pair up and take turns working on a collaborative story. It can be students in the same class or students in two different classes across the country or the world!
Get Creative!
Elementary - Social Studies
Native American Posters EXAMPLE
Middle School - Language Arts
Book reports. Add information about theme, setting, character study where students dress up a character and use web cam to let character explain about themselves.
Middle School - History
Renaissance. Make a glog about a specific invention/innovation, artist, scientist. EXAMPLE
Get Creative!
Primary - Reading/Writing/Art
Hungry Caterpillar Book. Students draw their own page for the book. Pages scanned/imported to Voicethread. Students add their voice narrating their page of the book.
Elementary - Science/Writing
Animal Riddles. Students create animal riddles with PhotoStory3. (Tutorial) Then teacher uploads each riddle to Voicethread for online sharing and comment. EXAMPLE
Immediate class feedback on a discussion topic. Students post thoughts and see immediately what others are saying.
Brainstorming ideas on a topic.
How to Use WallWisher (a VIDEO explanation)
Elementary - Language Arts
Students practice parts of speech using this tool to create “Mad Lib” type stories.
Primary - Math
Students use the money mat to play “Money Hungry Pigs” Take a dice and replace the numbers with letters P, N, D, Q, H, & S for Penny, Nickel, Dime, Quarter, Half Dollar and Sweep. Students open blank money mat and stand at their computer. Roll dice. Stamp the coin for the symbol rolled. If an S is rolled, the students must sweep their maps and start over.
Spelling & Vocabulary
No Prep - Students type in their spelling words and can then play games with spelling and word definitions.
A Little Prep - Register as a teacher. Enter your word lists for students to choose from. Just enter the words, spelling city finds definitions and sentences for you.
Primary & Elementary
Is 15 or 20 minutes, once a week in a computer lab really enough time for students to truly learn keyboarding skills? If they’re going to pick it up they need to practice at home too. Here’s a list of fun Fun FREE web tools for keyboarding practice.
Middle School Math (Pre-Algebra)
This is an interactive adventure game where students must use logic and solve problems that require Algebraic thinking. Teachers can setup a class, track how many puzzles students have solved, how many attempts it took them to solve it, and how long students have spent playing the game.
Elementary Science
This is a FREE download. Developed at New Mexico State University through a grant from the USDA, this game is designed to teach middle elementary kids about the scientific method and food safety. All the pirates on the ship are sick with something the game calls “the curse of Brownbeard”. Students must explore the island searching for the cause of the ailment.
US History - Revolutionary War
This is a role playing simulation. Students take on the role of a printing apprentice and as meet people and learn about the causes leading up to the Revolutionary War.
Students can play online or the game can be downloaded and installed if you have limited bandwidth. (Internet connection still required to access saved games.)
Elementary - Math
Students use this tool to learn parts and types of graph by creating their own graph.
Elementary/Middle School - Multiple Subjects
Help students learn by making them the teacher. Students put in groups of 3-4 and given a concept to teach using paper slides (pre-historic PowerPoint) and FlipCams. Videos are then uploaded and posted online for other student to use for study and review.
EXAMPLES: Paper Slide Videos made by teachers at Nov. 10th TechNet Meeting:
Map-A-List / Google Forms
Elementary - Social Studies
State Reports. Create a Google form (EXAMPLE) and have students complete the information for their state. Use Map-A-List to create a collaborative map of all the students’ state information.EXAMPLE
Elementary - Math/Social Studies
Have a class work together to create a survey using Google Forms including location information. Send that survey out via Twitter, e-mail, word of mouth. Use Google Forms to study results of the survey. Use Map-A-List to see results based on location.EXAMPLE Discuss results and look for relationships between answers and geographic location.
Primary - Phonics/Reading
High frequency words, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day
Elementary - Reading/Lang. Arts
Copy & paste Book Report. Print and post. See if students can guess your book. Same thing for President reports.
Middle School Literature/History
Copy and paste sections of text into wordle. See which words are empahsized. For History examine presidential speeches. For literature copy poems or selections from books to examine the voacbulary and writing styles.
Upper Elementary & Middle School
Students can take a picture of an animal or person and “make it talk.”  Would be great for an animal report or a biography project.
Elementary & Middle School
Students can create their avatar and use it to share an idea.  One example would be for students to record their voice explaining a math concept or a book summary.
Elementary & Middle School
Prepare your kids for a world of social networking with this “walled-garden” Twitter/Facebook designed for use in schools and classrooms.
Oh! And for those of you who asked for it, here is the Jeopardy Template for PowerPoint.

Google docs in the classroom

Want to use a tool that provides simple collaboration? Try Google Docs....

Using Google Docs in the classroom: Simple as ABC

What is Google Docs?

Google Docs is a free, Web-based word processing, presentations and spreadsheets program.
Unlike desktop software, Google Docs lets people create web-based documents, presentations and spreadsheets that anyone in the group can update from his/her own computer, even at the same time.
Instead of emailing around files and having to deal with the confusion and extra work involved in managing different file versions and manually aggregating input from others, anyone in the group can edit the document online from anywhere -- all you need is a Web browser.
And, since your docs are all stored safely in Google's servers, you don't have to worry about losing data from a hard drive crash or nasty virus.

How can I use it in the classroom?

We've heard many ingenious ways that teachers have used Google Docs in the classroom. Here are just a few:
  1. Promote group collaboration and creativity by having your students record their group projects together in a single doc.
  2. Keep track of grades, attendance, or any other data you can think of using an easily accessible, always available spreadsheet.
  3. Facilitate writing as a process by encouraging students to write in a document shared with you. You can check up on their work at any time, provide insight and help using the comments feature, and understand better each students strengths.
  4. Create quizzes and tests using spreadsheets forms, your students' timestamped answers will arrive neatly ordered in a spreadsheet.
  5. Encourage collaborative presentation skills by asking your students to work together on a shared presentation, then present it to the class.
  6. Collaborate on a document with fellow teachers to help you all track the status and success of students you share.
  7. Maintain, update and share lesson plans over time in a single document.
  8. Track and organize cumulative project data in a single spreadsheet, accessible to any collaborator at any time.

Now, how can I get started?

Thankfully, using Google Docs is easy. Below, we've added a few sections providing an explanation, and basic how-to tips for different areas of Google Docs. Just click on a link, and learn!
  1. Account creation
  2. Create and share docs
  3. Edit
  4. Organize
  5. More resources

Create an account for yourself and your students

The first thing you'll need to do is create accounts for you and your students. These are your key to accessing Google Docs.
Before you get started, here are two important points to remember:
  1. These accounts can be connected with any email address, whether distributed by the school or created solely for accessing Google Docs.
  2. Whichever email address you use, you'll need to create a Google Account using this address. A Google Account allows you to use the same email/password for all Google services. Note that Gmail addresses come with built in Google Accounts.

How to create accounts for your classroom
If your students have email addresses provided by the school
  1. If your students are given email addresses by the school, all ending in the same domain, you may consider signing up for Google Apps Team Edition. This is a quick and easy solution, which will allow you to sign up, then add your students' addresses to one account quickly and easily.
    For an introduction to Google Apps Team Edition, and to see if it's right for you, watch the video.
If your students already have email addresses
  1. If needed, have your students create a Google Account ( using the email address they intend to use. Creating a Google Account is easy, and simply involves registering any email address and choosing a password specific to your Google Account.
    While you'll need to compile a list of email addresses from your students, we recommend that you don't ask for their passwords, since these will now be connected with their personal Google Accounts.
If you need to create email addresses for your students
  1. There are a number of free email clients (Gmail at being one) that will allow you to create accounts for each of your students, or allow your students to create an account for themselves.
Please note: Students must be 13 or over to use Google Docs, in compliance with Google's Terms of Service

Create and share your docs

Once you're logged in to Google Docs, creating and sharing your documents is easy.
A few things to remember:
  1. Docs you create aren't accessible to anyone but you until you explicitly share them with others.
  2. When sharing documents with others, there are two options, depending on how much access you'd like them to have: they can be added as either viewers or collaborators.
  1. Viewers can see the most recent content of a document, however, they can't make any changes.
  2. Collaborators have access to the most recent version of the document, and can make changes and view past versions.
  1. You can also choose if you'd like your collaborators to be able to add other collaborators. (Found in Advanced Permissions)
  1. Note that when collaborating with students, it's always best for you to create the doc, then share it with them. This will avoid any issues in which the doc is erased from the student's account, the collaboration settings are changed, or other avoidable problems having to do with ownership rights.

How to create and share docs
To create a doc:
  1. From your Docs list, select "New" from the upper-left corner.
  2. Select which kind of doc you'd like to create: document, spreadsheet or presentation.
  3. A brand new version of the doc type selected will open for you, ready to be edited and shared.
To share a doc:
  1. From within the document you'd like to share, click the "Share" tab, in the upper-right corner*.
  2. Enter the email addresses of whomever you'd like to add and select the button next to "As collaborators:" or "As viewers", depending on what kind of access you'd like them to have.
  3. Click "Invite collaborators."
  4. If you'd like, in the window that appears send an email to your collaborators explaining a little about the doc. Whether or not you send this email, your doc is now shared.
*A note about Advanced permissions:
In the "Share" tab you'll notice a couple of options below the invite screen that bear further explanation.
  1. "Collaborators may invite others" is exactly what it says -- an option that allows or prevents those you invite from inviting others to the doc.
  2. "Invitations may be used by anyone" is a feature that allows invitations to be forwarded, and allow access to, anyone who receives them. In effect, this option works similarly to "Collaborators may invite others."
    Note that when inviting a mailing list to collaborate on a doc, you'll need to have this option checked.

Edit your docs

Editing and adding content to your docs is as easy as opening the doc and starting work
A few things to remember:
  1. Your edits and additions are saved almost instantly. No need to hit "save" multiple times, since we do this for you, automatically.
  2. While you can add up to 200 combined collaborators and viewers to a document or presentation, only 10 people can collaborate and view simultaneously.

How to edit and manage your docs' content
To edit your docs:
  1. Log in to from any computer with Internet access.
  2. Select the doc you'd like to edit from the Docs list.
  3. Once it's open, start adding and changing content. All of your changes will be saved and available to your collaborators and viewers almost as quickly as you can make them.
It's that easy!
Working with version control:
If you don't like the changes you or a collaborator have made on a document, or if you simply want to see the progress of a doc over time, you can do this via the "Revisions" tab, at the top of each doc.
All of your revisions will be listed in order, and you can browse through them at leisure.
If you'd like to return to an earlier version, simply click the "Revert to this one" button, at the top of the selected revision and, voila!

Organize your docs

If you're going to be working with a lot of students, a number of classes, or simply managing many docs, organization is key.
Here are some ideas for keeping your Docs list manageable, and your docs instantly accessible:
  1. Create a folder for each class, group of students, project, etc.
    Since you can add one doc to multiple folders, you can cross-categorize as much and as often as you'd like.
  2. If you're working with a lot of documents on one project, make sure you give each document a clear and easily recognizable name, connected with the project at hand (e.g. "Short story project - group A").
  3. When you're definitely done with a class, a project, or a specific set of documents (at the end of a semester, for example), hide or trash these docs. This will ensure that your Docs list isn't overrun by documents you're no longer using.

How to create an organized Docs list
To create a folder:
  1. From your Docs list, click the "New" button in the upper-left.
  2. From this list, select "Folder."
  3. In the screen that appears, enter the name you'd like for the folder.
This folder will now appear in your list of folders, in the sidebar of your Docs list.
To add a doc to a folder:
If you'd like to add one document at a time to a specific folder, simply right-click on the doc title and drag it to whichever folder you'd like, in the Docs list sidebar.
If you'd like to add a number of docs to a folder at once, follow these instructions:
  1. From your Docs list, check the boxes to the left of the docs you'd like added to a specific folder.
  2. Select "Add to folder" near the top of the Docs list.
  3. From the list that appears, select the folder you'd like the docs to appear in.
To name or rename a doc:
  1. From the "File" menu (in the edit screen) of the doc you'd like to rename, click, "Rename."
  2. Enter your chosen name in to the field provided. Once you click "OK," this new name will be applied to your doc, and will show up for all collaborators and viewers.
Note that the initial naming process works differently between documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
  1. Documents will default to the first few words you enter (or "Untitled," if you enter no text). To apply the name you'd like, you'll need to "Rename" from the "File" menu.
  2. Presentations will default to "Untitled" until you specify a name using "Rename."
  3. Spreadsheets will give you a prompt, right after they're created, asking you to name and begin saving the spreadsheet.
To find a doc:
When searching for a specific doc, there are a few options.
  1. To find a specific document quickly:
    From your Docs list, enter the name of the doc you'd like to find in the search box, near the top.
  2. To find a doc that's shared with a particular person:
    Select her or his user name from the "Shared with..." section of your Docs list sidebar. All of the docs shared with this person will appear, listed.
  3. To find a specific type of doc (document, spreadsheet or presentation):
    From your Docs list, under "Items by type" in the sidebar, select "Document," "Spreadsheet" or "Presentation."
  4. To find docs you've put in the trash, or hidden:
    Select either "Trash" or "Hidden" from the "All items" section at the top of your Docs list sidebar.
To delete a doc:
  1. Check the box to the left of the doc you'd like to delete.
  2. Click "Delete: from the toolbar.
At this point, the document is deleted from the Docs list, but remains in your trash, and accessible to collaborators until you empty the trash. To empty the trash, continue with these instructions:
  1. Select "Trash" from the "All items" section of your sidebar.
  2. From the screen that appears, select the docs you'd like to delete and click "Empty Trash" from the toolbar. Only the items you selected will be deleted
  1. Once you've deleted a doc, there's no way to retrieve it. It will no longer be accessible by either you or your collaborators.
  2. While collaborators on a doc can put it in their own trash, this action won't affect the doc's owner or anyone else working on the doc, and they can't permanently delete a doc.

Get more Google Docs help and information

This short guide just skimmed the surface of all the cool things you can do with Google Docs. To get more information, check our some of our other resources, including tips and tricks for educators.
Visit the Help Center for step-by-step info
  1. To access a wealth of instructional articles describing anything and everything you can do in Google Docs, check out our Help Center at
Chat with other uses in our Help Group
  1. If you'd like to see the answers to many interesting Google Docs questions asked and answered by users just like you, visit the Google Docs Help Group at
Keep up to date with our blog
  1. To get news on the latest features and cool uses of Google Docs, stop by the Google Docs Blog at

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