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.
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.
LEARN: Take Time for PD
- VSTE 13 – Technology Driven Differentiated Instruction – Vickie Davis December 9, 2013 – YouTube
YouTube stream from VSTE including this presentation I did on Technology Driven Differentiated Instruction.
- iPhone, iPad and iPod touch Apps for (Special) Education
“Eric Sailers has written a book you can download for free with more than 100 apps for special education teachers to use with kids on the iphone, ipad, and ipod touch.
FREE: Be Amazing on a Nonexistent Budget
- Free Teacher Resources | Discovery Education
If you’re looking for free resources for Science,English,Math,and Social Studies to add some interest during December, this page from Discover;y has lots of great things separated by grade level including lesson plans and “learning adventures.”
- Google Connected Classrooms
Coming up this week is a book club with +Roald Dahl and a hangout with a Google Doodler at the Connected Classrooms Field Trips space by Google.
- Official Blog: Google+: Explore the world, right from the classroom
Google has a connected Classrooms initiative providing virtual field trips via Google Plus and Google Hangouts. Here are the details from the official Google Blog on how to join in.
- The Mystery Skype Call
Here’s a vimeo about how Mrs.Yollis Mystery skypes with her third graders including responsibilities of each person during the call.This can be used with Google Hangouts. Thank you Sylvia Martinez for sharing and putting this helpful video together.
- Fakebook – William of Normandy
I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I looked at this Fakebook – I love the video and you could really have students do their own videos and embed. This is awesome.
- Fakebook Gallery
Fakebook is an awesome tool from classtools.net to use to have students create pages about just about any person in history, literature, or pop culture. Here’s the gallery of many of the current people to see how this works. The link is at the top to make your own.
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
- 60 Ways To Use Twitter In The Classroom By Category
There are so many ways that you can use Twitter in the classroom but even if Twitter is blocked, you’ll find many ideas that you can use on Edmodo or whatever educational networking tool you’re using with your students. Great read.
- With Tech Tools, How Should Teachers Tackle Multitasking In Class? | MindShift
An important conversation with interviews and some research about how to deal with multitasking. AS for me, if I could really really turn off notifications on my ios devices, that would suffice and it would for most students.
- 3 Easy Ways to Create A Google Plus Hangout with Your Students ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning
An excellent point by point (with screenshots) how-to guide perfect for those using Google Hangouts in the classroom from Educators technology.com
- Teaching with Technology – Tips and Tools for Better Remote Communication
Some of the great tools you can use to connect with students remotely. My sister uses Adobe Connect and loves it.
- How to get the most out of Google’s apps and services when using an iPad — Tech News and Analysis
There are some tricks for using Google apps on the ipad. The biggest issue I have with Google drive is that it can’t be used to upload video which means my classroom has to use Dropbox.But many of you are Google Apps and ipad.This is a handy guide for you.
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″
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.