Name the School Object…

Are you looking to do something different to avoid those “blank face gaze”. Send the students out on a mission to capture photos of everyday objects in the classroom or throughout the school. Set a time limit for returning to their seat. Once students are back in seats provide them with a link to a Google Forms where they will upload the images. Now open the folder and click on the Chrome Driveslides extension, and boom a slide deck of images is created. Brainstorm with the students how you may use the images to support the content area.

Example ideas:

  • Spanish Class:
    • Create a custom vocabulary
    • Write a story about the image
    • Add an audio recording explaining what the image is.
      • Vocaroo is an easy to use audio recorder
        • Allows you to save audio files to your drive
  • Math:
    • Create math word problems involving the images
    • Look for shapes
    • Find the area and perimeter of objects in the image
  • ELA:
    • Write a school adventure illustrated story
    • Describe an image and it’s usage
    • Create school how to tutorials using the images

Please share an idea in comment area…

Tweaking Questions & Collecting Data…

Thanks to the NJ Ed Tech Team Google Summit  I’m now a proud owner of a Google Home. After playing with the Google Home for a few weeks I started to think about the value an inexpensive tech tool like this could have in a learning environment.

My husband and I noticed the Google Home has a hard time answering “Open Ended Questions”. Due to this one is forced to learn how to ask  “direct questions” to receive answers. It is amazing how quickly question formation changes in avoidance of hearing “I don’t know the answer” or “but I’m learning new things everyday.” 

Google Home

Once this artificial intelligence device started answering  the questions it was easy to understand how it could assist us.  The Google Home can provide the time of day, not only at home but anywhere in the world. It tells about the weather in one’s area, remembers a shopping list, solves math problems, answers factual questions, plays music, looks up recipe ingredients and etc… It can even play trivia games! This helps to hone our knowledge banks for factual information. I have mentioned just a handful of the interactive capabilities a Google Home may provide.

So you may be thinking how might this be used in the classroom? One of my goals is to support students with becoming independent participants within a classroom community. Everyone needs assistance at different times in their life. When a child explores and asks questions to discover answers their communication and critical thinking skills are nurtured.  This sets an environment where the Google Home may be used to provide a correct answer.  A Teacher would jump upon the opportunity to facilitate a classroom discussion about the answer.  This fosters an environment where student esteems are built rather than destroyed. Learning isn’t about spitting out facts but understanding the relationships of the factual information.

One way this may be used in an elementary classroom is though the tracking of daily weather. This is a common routine for most kindergarten classrooms. The student will still look out the window and share observations about what they see. After the information is added to a Google Sheet the student may ask the Google Home about today’s weather for the school’s location. This information may be added to the Google Sheet as well. A quick classroom discussion may occur if the Google Assistant provides a different answer than the physical observation.

This same lesson may be built upon for upper grade levels. It is one way to collect data which could be transferred into scientific or math discussions. This not only hones communication, and critical thinking skills but adds the reinforcement of using data for solving problems. The Google Home is a relatively inexpensive tool which allows the teacher to integrate technology in supportive ways for whole class usage.

Exploring Web Based Publishing Tools…

artist-1466245949beq

License: CC0 Public Domain

 

As an artist I feel there is no better tool than a piece of paper and pen or paintbrush.  Okay my confession there are those moments where I lean towards using digital creativity tools. One appeal for using a web based design tool is the ease of use for designing. This is an important characteristic when considering the time constraint within a school day. Another factor to consider is if the design tool provides an environment where the students can create “Original works of Art” from scratch. Last but not least how does the tool help students or teachers share the designs with an authentic audience. Considering these factors I’ve narrowed down my choices to three designing tools.

VISME

Visme allows the user to quickly design a beautiful poster, presentation, downloadable image and etc… They offer a wide variety of templates for designing infographics, presentations, charts, reports and much more! This design tool is easy and quick to use for making quick eye-catching designs. It is a tool which supports students and teachers with focusing more on content than design itself. Visme provides a wide variety of clipart, banners, background and etc… for designing that just right presentation project. Teachers and students will love the eye pleasing designs and ease of use.

CANVA

Like VISME this design tools allows the user to create quick designs focused more on content versus creativity. Canva provides a vast amount of templates, clipart, backgrounds and etc… I found Canva to lend itself more to creating from scratch. This design program offers a huge amount of background designs. The design program is perfect for creating informational project to be shared via social media. I believe teachers and students would find Canva to be a perfect tool for creating social media projects for an authentic learning experience.

GOOGLE DRAWINGS

Google Drawing is very different from the above two mentioned design programs. The student or teacher may create posters, memes, infographics, Graphic Organizers, Charts and etc… all from scratch. The student or teacher can import images and backgrounds from internet resources. One could also insert an image via taking a snapshot. A program like this supports the student with using both critical and creative thinking skills.

Why? This is due to creating the design completely from scratch. There are no templates or suggested ideas. I also like the share setting which are built into the core Google Products. The share settings allow the user to share privately with a limited group or publicly. What is unique when one shares a Google Drawings with others they maybe able to comment depending upon owner settings. This supports an environment where students may learn to collaborate by communicating via comments as they construct a group project using drawings.

Google Calendar Student Time Capsules

After seeing a Tweet between my PLN friend @PintoBeanz11  and @Onejollyday  I was inspired with the idea of using a Google Calendar for a memory time capsule. I think it would be fun to smash Christine’s idea for capturing memories in Slides by attaching it to a Google Calendar Event with a notification scheduled for each Student’s Graduation month and year.  This way when the graduation date comes around the student will receive an email or pop-up notification reminding them of the Time Capsule Google Calendar Event. 

A teacher can enhance this “Memory Time Capsule” by recording and attaching either an audio or video interview to the event. It might be fun for the students to watch and hear the ideas they had as a youth. Some students may even discover they are on the pathway to meeting their “Childhood Dreams”!

Create a Google Calendar Event

  1. Open Google Calendar
  2. Click Today
  3. Event window opens
  4. Name Event
  5. Click Create
  6. Click Event and Select Edit Event
  7. In Description Area
    1. Write a note to your future self
  8. Change Date to Graduation Year
  9. Enter School District Name for location
  10. Click Save

future me event.gif

Add Attachments to Calendar Event

  1. Click Calendar Event
  2. Select Edit Event
  3. In Attachment Section Click Add Attachment
  4. Pop-up Window Opens
  5. Select where to locate the attachment
    1. My Drive
    2. Shared with Me
    3. Recent
    4. Upload
  6. Select document 
  7. Click Select Button
  8. Click RED Save Button (located at top of page)

add attachment future me.gif

Set Calendar Notifications

  1. Click Calendar Event
  2. Scroll down to Notification Section
  3. Click Add Notification
  4. Click Notification Downarrow
  5. Select Email or Notification (pop-up notification window)
  6. Choose Days or Weeks and Select Time
  7. Click RED Save Button (located at top of page)

notifications.gif

 

 

 

Add Images to Calendar Event Titles

I’m a visual learner and like when images are used to compliment words. This lead me to discovering a way for adding images to Google Calendar event titles as well as within the events description. You will be amazed by this simple and easy to use method for adding images to the web browser version of Google Calendar.  Using images in a calendar can be valuable to students who may struggle with reading. Teachers may use a visual calendar to support students with learning a daily schedule.

How to Insert an Image Into a

Google Calendar Event

  1. Open an emoticon website such as Twitter Symbols
  2. Copy an emoticon Image
  3. Paste the Image into a Google Calendar Event Title or Description

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.00.13 AM 1Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.19.01 PM

Some Ideas how for using images in a Google Calendar

  • Visuals such as this can aide students on the spectrum with following their daily tasks.
  • Google Calendar can be used to create a behavior support calendar.
    • Have students add smiles or frowns throughout the day to log their reaction to daily activities.
  • An elementary classroom may use a Google Calendar to Keep track of the weather.
  • Share a project or Homework Calendar with images.