March 2016 Elem Tech Updates

Thanks, Mr. Leister!
With Lyn out on maternity leave, I thought that I’d send out an update with some new resources that are available to Elanco Elementary Teachers and Students.  Some to the links below will direct you to Lyn’s Elem Tech Blog, while other will go to my Garden Spot Tech Blog that I use with the secondary teachers. 
 
  • Recent Updates to Google Drive – Voice typing in Google Docs makes typing easier, especially for those students who struggle. New templates in Docs, Sheets and Slides allow for quick access to pre-formatted, professional looking documents. Google Keep for all those reminder sticky notes that have in the past only existed on your desktop.
  • Kiddle is a new safer and more secure version of the Google search engine. A great way to better eliminate those unwanted Internet search results for young students. 
  • The Student Blogging Challenge, which happens twice a year, is starting up again in March and includes a series of 10 weekly tasks created by Edublogs which you can customize for your class. For more information about Elanco’s Edublogs, visit the Edublogs & Blogging page. 
  • Quizalize your Formative Assessment by using the online tool called Quizalize to randomly assigning students to teams while answering questions that accumulate points for their team in real time.
  • TED-Ed explains the answers to some of life’s most basic questions, such as “Why are there so many insects?”, or “What does outer space do to your body?”, or “Why are manhole covers round?” with short video lessons using animation and simple terminology for students.
  • March Edition of Storify at #ElancoSD – A collection of educational resources and social media posts from Elanco teachers and organizations. Include the hashtag #ElancoSD in your tweets to see your posts in future editions. 
  • The Elanco Leading Edge Flipboard Magazine – Read what’s new in the world of Teaching and Educational Technology. View on the web, or subscribe via the Flipboard iOS or Android App to read on your mobile device.
 
Please contact me if you have any questions about any of these updates or want to discuss methods to integrate technologies into your classroom.
 
Thanks.

Kiddle – A Search Engine for Kids

kiddleEven the best school district Internet content filters will sometimes allow inappropriate content in the search results for teachers and students. Kiddle is a new customized search that uses the Google search engine, created just for young kids. Using Kiddle will allow students to still utilize the search power of Google without receiving some of the unnecessary information that comes along with their search results.

Below, you’ll read the benefits of using Kiddle with young students as described on the Kiddle About Page.

1) Safe search: sites appearing in Kiddle search results satisfy family friendly requirements, as we filter sites with explicit or deceptive content. 
2) Kids-oriented results: the boxes below illustrate how Kiddle returns results for each query (in the order shown):

  • Safe sites and pages written specifically for kids. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. Typically, results 1-3.
  • Safe, trusted sites that are not written specifically for kids, but have content written in a simple way, easy for kids to understand. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. Typically, results 4-7.
  • Safe, famous sites that are written for adults, providing expert content, but are harder for kids to understand. Filtered by Google safe search. Typically, results 8 onwards.

3) Big thumbnails: most Kiddle search results are illustrated with big thumbnails, which makes it easier to scan the results…..
4) Large Arial font in Kiddle search results provides better readability for kids.
5) Privacy: we don’t collect any personally identifiable information, and our logs are deleted every 24 hours. Please read our full privacy statement here.

To make Kiddle easily accessible for students, an icon has been added on the new Elanco student gateway homepages (here’s Blue Ball Elem) with the Google Search icon. googlesearch

This free resources might be one to share with parents as well. Keep in mind that as with any search engine, there is no 100% guarantee that all search results yielded are child-friendly. Continue to be vigilant about assigning meaningful online work for your students and supervising their activity.

Upcoming Wired Wednesdays Info

Workity

Creative Commons License Sonya Green via Compfight

Wednesday, December 9 and Wednesday, December 16 are the final two Wired Wednesdays of the semester. I’ll be holding informal drop-in sessions where you can bring your device(s) and discuss any instructional tech info you need to feel supported in your implementation efforts. Want help organizing your Google Drive? Let’s work on it together! Want to learn more about Google Classroom or Edublogs? Let’s chat about it! Need an idea for how to integrate technology into a classroom project or activity? We can explore options together!

No need to register in My Learning Plan, just drop on by for as much time as you need, and hopefully have your questions answered and/or explore anything new that interests you. If you’d like me to prepare resources for you in advance or have a specific system ready for you to engage with, please email me a few days in advance of the date if possible.

Wed., December 9 – Blue Ball Elementary – 4-5 PM in the library

Wed., December 16 – Brecknock Elementary – 4-5 PM in Room 101

Hope to see you then!

BrainPOP updates, Nearpod interest?, and Formative assessment tools

about-brainpop

BrainPOP is getting a makeover… if you and your students log into BrainPOP and things look “different,” that is why! Here’s a screencast from BrainPOP highlighting some of the changes, and more details about the updates are on the BrainPOP blog.

blog-26

We are still looking for elementary teachers interested in piloting the use of Nearpod during the second semester! An email about this opportunity was sent to elementary staff last week. Please email Lyn if you’re interested!

Image via Graphite

Image via Graphite

At last week’s Wired Wednesday we explored formative assessment made fun (with convenient  access to student data!) and this resource was shared. Feel free to access it to get some ideas for use in your classroom. It outlines tools, links, key elements of the tool, and includes videos to see it “in action!” Let me know if you need any support or would like assistance trying out any of these tools in your class!

WiredWednesdaysLogo.001Looking for ideas for Wired Wednesday workshop topics on December 9 and December 16. What are you interested in learning more about? Email Lyn with ideas and your input!

 

It’s Digital Citizenship Week! And some updates!

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 9.21.03 PM

October 18-24 is Digital Citizenship Week! As educators we need to model strong citizenship, both online and off, and provide our students with the support and knowledge needed to be skillful and safe contributors in digital learning spaces. Check out these resources to support your ongoing digital citizenship and safety talks with students. Great talking points and graphics to share at an upcoming class meeting!

Resources for educators from Common Sense Media, videos, and classroom posters

6 Digital Citizenship Resources from Edutopia

Citizenship in the Digital Age infographic from ISTE

The 7s of Meaningful Learning Start with Citizenship by Shelly Terrell


Our next Wired Wednesday will be held on October 21 at Brecknock Elementary, from 4-5 PM. The topic is Elementary Research! We’ll review key copyright topics, explore the built-in research tools in the Google Apps suite, and check out other elementary-friendly research sites. Please register in My Learning Plan!


Have your students begun blogging and now you’re in need of some ideas to help them take their blogging to the next level? Check out this recent post from Edublogs, 50 Ideas for Student Blogging and Writing Online!  


79964f3b1c00873fd5be166f_280x210

BrainPOP is offering a free webinar on how to get started with My BrainPOP on Wednesday, October 21 at 4 PM. These sessions are archived if you can’t watch live. Click here to learn more!


In case you missed it, Elanco STEM featured in Lancaster Online this week!  

It’s Connected Educator Month!

black-banner-960x175

It’s October! You know what that means, it’s Connected Educator Month! You may have heard me talk about the power of connected learning and teaching and leading in the past… my stance on it hasn’t changed. Having a strong personal learning network (PLN) is vital to the success of any educator. Local networks and teacher communities are very important, but there is great benefit to connecting beyond the walls of our schools and district boundaries to collaborate and network with teachers and administrators from all over the world. Over the past five years, the number of educators using social media tools to connect with one another to share resources, provide support, and energize one another has increased exponentially.

It is well worth an investment of your time to find a network with which to engage to better your practice. Whether it is via Twitter, by joining a book club hosted by CEM or facilitating a global collaboration project such as Global Read Aloud in your classroom; through discussions in a Google+ community or posting to Pinterest boards, finding an Instagram hashtag to follow, or another connected learning endeavor, the possibilities are endless to get and stay connected with fellow educators!

Here’s the Connected Educator Month calendar. Check it out and see if there’s something in which you’d be interested in participating! These events are not solely focused on technology use in the classroom. Topics span everything from literacy to interventions to real-world problem solving to social-emotional learning! There’s something for everyone.

The focus of our November 18 Wired Wednesday workshop will be using Twitter and other social media tools to develop a personal learning network. Sign up in My Learning Plan to join us!

Follow the #ce15 hashtag on Twitter to read the latest and greatest contributions from educators around the world who are sharing their learning during Connected Educator Month…. and beyond!

If you participate in Connected Educator Month, please be sure to grab the CEM Credly badge! Along with all of the other badges you’ve earned this year thus far!

Google Classroom now has an integrated Calendar!

Free printable calendar : February

Anne-Caroline Alard via Compfight

Help your students stay organized by making use of the new Calendar integration in Google Classroom!

You/your students can view the class calendar directly in Google Classroom. You can also view the calendar in Google Calendar. Each class has its own calendar. This allows you the opportunity to publicly share a Calendar, if you choose, with your students’ parents so they can be informed about upcoming due dates and assignments you list in Google Classroom.

Read this informative post by Michael Fricano to learn more! Includes step-by-step directions and visuals for setting up your calendar.

Here is more information from the Google Classroom help center if you need step-by-step directions to access your class calendar either directly in Google Classroom or via Google Calendar.

Contact me if you need help with anything!