Monday, September 28, 2015

Online assessments

No more grading numerous quizzes and tests by hand. No more bringing a number 2 pencil to the test. The days of scantron sheets are over. Online assessments allows teachers the ability to grade quickly and easily. Data is compiled into a Google Sheet that can help drive future instruction.

A few options that are all free:
  1. Kahoot- Make assessments fun! Students compete against one another. Students that get the answer correct and answer quickly receive more points.
  2. Google Forms- often used as a survey, but can be used to do much more. Create a Google Form instead of a quiz or test. Add Flubaroo to Chrome in the Web Store and easily grade assessments.
  3. Google Classroom Question- new feature. Allows you to add discussion questions to the Google Classroom Stream.
  4. Socrative- 4 different options within. Take a traditional quiz, poll for a question response with quick question, compete in small groups with Space Race, or use Exit Ticket to measure student comprehension.

Copy to Google Slides presentation

Sunday, September 27, 2015

MoveNote for Edu

MoveNote for Education

MoveNote is a Google App that allows you to record a video of yourself or narration of yourself, while viewing any document. Use this app to have students explain or teach a concept. Second language learners can practice reading out loud. MoveNote allows you to change pages and continue speaking. It has a pencil that you can use to point to things that you are talking about.

One of the things I like the most is that it saves the recording in the cloud and gives you a url that you can share with others. Pair this with Google Classroom and have students easily submit their url link as an assignment. Must have app for anyone using iPads, GAFE, or Chromebooks in the classroom.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Listening comprehension with Vocaroo

Vocaroo makes it easy to record audio online and easily share it with others. I was planning on using it this year as a tool for students to record themselves speaking every week so that they could listen and monitor their own pronunciation and progress. However, the recording part of this website is blocked for our students and I was told that it would stay that way. I’m using it instead as a  listening comprehension tool.

  1. I used the built in microphone in my Chromebook to record myself reading a passage. I used a passage with vocabulary that related to the unit we were studying.
  2. Copied the link from the recording.
  3. Created a Google Doc. Inserted the link into the Google Doc. You can also just give the students the link in Google Classroom.
  4. I wrote the passage and took off some of the words. In its place, I put blanks.
  5. I added a few comprehension questions, too.
  6. I told the students to listen to the recording at least 3 times. Once by itself, once listening for the missing words, and once to answer the questions. Since they are working individually, they could replay it as many times as they needed in order to understand it.

Cheap alternative to a language lab. Just a Chromebook, headphone, and a free online tool. Use with any device that has a built in microphone.  Good practice for English learners and second language learners.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Noticias Chrome Interview

I was recently interviewed by Jose Manuel Blanco from Noticias Chrome. He had an interest in my book and the use of chromebooks in the classroom. His article: 

Cómo enseñar con Chromebook: un libro para profesores 

provides a nice overview of the advantages of using a chromebook in a classroom. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Digital Rodeo


The Digital Rodeo took place this weekend at Tiburcio Elementary in Salinas, CA. It was a Monterey Bay (CUE) Computer Using Educators Event.  I was lucky enough to be one of the presenters of the day. My session was called Learning with Chromebooks. We discussed the basics of Chromebooks, tips and tricks for using them, gave some ideas on how to promote critical thinking and differentiation in a Chromebook Classroom. I had an amazing time.

I got some ideas on how to use a green screen in my classroom. I'm looking forward to start using it. To follow the events of the day you can see the feed on Twitter with #digitalrodeo15.

With other presenters, including student presenters.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Google Translates Signs

The Google Translate app now allows users to translated printed text. You use the camera on your phone to scan the word and voila, it translates it into a language you can read! Totally cool feature that will make traveling to a foreign country that much easier. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Planning for a 1:1 device roll-out

Many school districts are now incorporating a 1:1 or 1:2 device model. This means that every student or every two students are given a device. However, there is a lot of planning that should also take place before a roll-out.

  1. Quantity- How many students do you have? Have many extras will you need?
  2. Model- Are you using carts or are students taking the devices home? If the students are taking them home, do you have a policy in place?
  3. Repairs- What will be the procedures for broken or damaged devices? Who will handle it and who will be responsible for it (the student or the school)?
  4. Insurance- Will insurance be provided? What vendor will you use? Is it cost effective for the parents in your community?
  5. Some without- What will you do with the parents that opt their child not to get a device? Will they be allowed to bring their own device (BYOD) or will the teachers need to provide an alternate method to complete the work?
  6. Returns- Will students return the device at the end of the school year or be allowed to take the device home during the summer? Will they be assigned the same device the following year? If so, how will that be kept track of and who's responsibility will it be?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

When teachers have a different device than students

Teachers just like students have a variety of abilities when it comes to technology. One thing that seems to be a common practice in education, is to give the teachers a PC or Mac and give students a different device like a tablet or chromebook. How is the a teacher suppose to learn how to use a device, enough to teach students to use it, if they don't have one themselves to learn from? I've heard administrators say that chromebooks or tablets are good enough for students, but teachers have "real" work to do, so they need an actual computer. Is this true or does administration not really comprehend what happens when a teacher doesn't have the same device.

a) For the proactive teacher, it forces him/her to purchase the device out of their own pocket in order to keep up. We already know how small teacher salaries are to begin with.
b) Teachers will rely on the technology they have to teach (PC or Mac) and not immerse themselves in the learning experience that the students are experiencing. Of course this is not true for all teachers, but it certainly limits the progress of the teachers own learning in educational technology.
c) When a student asks for help, how can the teacher feel comfortable answering their questions about the device, if they haven't experienced it themselves?
d) It limits the teacher and consequently the students.