Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 12/11/2013

I was at VSTE in Roanoke, Virginia this week. It was awesome. They’ve got a whole YouTube channel where they posted the VSTE presentations including Rushton Hurley, Stephen Anderson, Chris O’Neal and many other amazing people. In today’s news, I’ve also included a pretty cool eBook from Eric Sailers that is making the rounds again where he shares more than 100 great apps for special ed teachers and students.

Mystery skype is a great technique for the classroom

You can find amazing free things to do with your students including some free resources from Discovery Education for core subjects, Google Connected Classrooms and Field Trips, and Mystery Skype methods to ask this powerful technique to your classroom. Go global and flatten your classroom! (Might be a good time to read Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds over break to learn how to connect your classroom. ;-)

Meanwhile, Fakebook (and Fake Twitter) both completely rock the classroom as great tools to use from over at Classtools.net, one of my favorite free sites for graphic organizers of every kind.

It is the Hour of Code this week. If you participate, tweet a few pics and ideas to the #hourofcode hashtag. Meanwhile, Girls who Code is being shared as a great resource to help encourage young ladies to code. I just want to encourage everyone but I’m so glad that my own daughter is going into Computer Science.

60 ways to use Twitter in the classroom has ideas, even for those using an alternative microblogging tool. Multitasking is becoming a hot subject largely because people claim they can do it but the research proves otherwise. Learn 3 easy ways to use Google Hangouts with your students as  eLearning continues to grow and some best practices and eLearning tools. If you’re using iPads and you’re using Google Apps for Education (GAfE), the tips on how to use Google on the iPad will be helpful for you.

Chromebooks have some cool abilities for parents to use to set up the devices for their children, and a free guidebook steps them through it.

Meanwhile, the W3C is asking for feedback on their new Accessibility proposal as they work to make the web more accessible to everyone. I hope special education advocates and practioners will take the time to review and respond before the December 16 deadline. And although we knew it, spies are in World of Warcraft and other online games too in a random piece of information it is worth discussing in your digital citizenship conversations.

A big shout out to all of the amazing educators in Virginia. I loved playing in the Hackerspace at the conference and came back with ideas to have my students build our own 3D printer and to use the Hummingbird robotics kits with the kids — more on that later. Back to class today as we have our first 4 hours of code where each of my older classes are teaching kids how to code this week. They’ve created “certificates of completion” and I even have one class with a student who is dressing up as a puppy to welcome the children to class as they prepare to play Puppy Adventures on Tynker. (Read the article I wrote for edutopia on this one: 15+ Ways of Teaching Everyone to Code (even when you don’t have a computer))

Remember your noble calling, teacher. These kids are awesome – be awesome for them.

;-) Vicki

 

LEARN: Take Time for PD

FREE: Be Amazing on a Nonexistent Budget

PROGRAM: Hour of Code Resources

  • Girls Who Code

    As a mother of a daughter who is applying to Georgia Tech in Computer Science, this is important. My daughter’s life was changed when I had her use Kodu in class, write a program and win an NCWIT award. She was on a panel with Sylvia Martinez at ISTE about encouraging more girls into STEM and really realized that she liked Computer Science and would at least try it as a major. She said until she saw people talk about it and realized she could code, she had no idea that it was something she could do and like. Girls who code is a group that works to encourage girls to enter computing fields.

  • tags: education news computer science

HOW TO: Tips and tools for teachers

For Parents and Homeschoolers: a Chromebook Setup to help you keep kids safe

  • Chromebooks for Kids: A Parent’s Guide to Setting Up Supervised Users | OMG! Chrome!

    “The world wide web can be a wild place, but with the Chromebook’s new Supervised Users feature parents can begin to fence in the playground.” You can set up supervised users on a chromebook which is something many parents will want to do. It will be interesting to see if this is more useful than the Parental Controls feature from Microsoft that doesn’t work so well in my opinion.

Time for Feedback: Web Accessibility Initiative

  • Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) – home page

    The WAI from the W3C continues. If you wish to have input on web accessiblity guidelines, you have until December 16. This is very important and many educators are some of the best with these issues. I hope some of our proficient accessibility experts have already reviewed or will review and comment. “For Review: User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0 Last Call Working Draft Calling all developers of browsers, media players, and web applications — and anyone interested in web accessibility: Now is the time for you to review UAAG 2.0 — we published the Last Call Working Draft today. UAAG defines how browsers and other “user agents” should support accessibility for people with disabilities and work with assistive technologies. It is introduced in the UAAG Overview. Please send comments by 16 December 2013″

    tags: education news accessibility tumblr

NEWS: Spies are in World of Warcraft and other games too

  • Leak: Government spies snooped in ‘Warcraft,’ other games – CNN.com

    “Spies with surveillance agencies in the United States and United Kingdom may have spent time undercover as orcs and blood elves, infiltrating video games like “World of Warcraft” in a hunt for terrorists “hiding in plain sight” online.” I find this very believable for this reason. I had a student in Teen Second life several years a go and he came across a “meeting” of sorts that was obviously something very strange. When he tried to interact with the players they had a way to throw him out and port him other places. It was obviously some sort of strange thing happening. I have no doubt that games are just another way to have “secret” meetings for those who want to hide. That said, it would be hard to tell the difference between those gaming and those doing other things as the games themselves have people plotting and planning so I’m thinking the language used would be hard to separate the real world from the game itself, which, in some ways makes it the perfect way to hide in plain sight.

    tags: education gaming nsa

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4 thoughts on “Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 12/11/2013

  1. I have immense respect for teachers! Education is the foundation on which nations build their future.

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