Matt Bergman is the author of a blog called Learn-Lead-Grow, to help teachers find creative ways to infuse technology and UDL in the classroom.His mission is to supply teachers with educational technology ideas, which eliminate barriers and provide access to learning for all students.
Video is quickly becoming a popular instructional tool in today's technology rich classrooms. Many platforms do not have many interactive features and tools; however, a new tool that I found - called Timeline.ly - provides teachers with a way of creating dynamic learning experiences through the power of video and interaction. Timeline.ly is a free tool to annotate YouTube videos with text, links, and photos.
How does it work?
First, copy and paste the URL of your into Timelinely
Next, make sure that you create a Timelinely account, so that you can add annotations. You can add annotations containing text, animated GIF's, maps, hyperlinks, and photos. Place as many as you would like in your video.
Finally, when you are finished, publish your annotated video and share the link with students! Students do not need an account to view your videos.
How could I use this?
If you were flipping your classroom, you could add interactive components to capture your student's attentions. For example, why not add a Google Form to collect the observations of students after watching a portion of a clip? Add a link to a website for further investigation or the link to a Google Earth location, for a tour of an area.
There are infinite possibilities with this tool. You just have to think it up, annotate, and make it happen!
I am always on the look for tools that are simplistic and device agnostic, meaning they can be used across multiple devices. Witeboard is a web-based collaboration tool used to draw and brainstorm without the need for an account.
Witeboard - A Simplistic Tool for Collaboration
Simply visit Witeboard's website and begin using the drawing tools (i.e. pen, text box, eraser, and undo tool) to construct a drawing, mind map, etc.
Want to collaborate? Click on the "Share" button in the top-right corner of your screen, then share the URL copied to your clipboard.
I like several things about this tool. First, it is very simplistic to use, which can be used across various grade levels. This is perfect if you are working with younger students. Next, there is no need for a user account, which can be good and bad. It's good because you can use it right away; however, you may have students who like to use the anonymity of no user account to their advantage. Finally, you can use this tool on an iPad, laptop, MacBook, or Chromebook.
Our student's are visual creatures. It is why visual social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are thriving, while tools like Facebook and Twitter are not as popular with today's younger generation.
The same lesson can be learned in the classroom today. Instead of giving boring PowerPoint presentations or creating screencasts of a basic computer screen, why not create dynamic visual presentations with a few tools? Google Slides is an excellent way to bring content to life. There are many great Google Slide Add-Ons that you can use to enhance your presentations.
How do you install Add-Ons for Slides?
Click on the Add-Ons Menu
Choose Get Add-Ons...
Find the Add-On that you would like and install
Insert Icons for Slides
Simple is sometimes more powerful than complex. This is why I love Insert Icons for Slides, which has over 1,800 icons to choose from. It provides you with simplistic icons that you can turn into powerful visuals. Here is an example of a presentation that I recently made.
Instead of putting statistical information on a slide, I used Insert Icons to create an infographic slide. Insert Icons gives you the ability to insert and edit simplistic looking icons. In the graphic above, I used the same icon three different times; however, I was able to use the editing tools to change the color and resize.
How Can I Use This Tool?
There are a variety of ways that you could use this tool. Here are a few things that you could create:
Use the symbol to hyperlink to external websites or slides
Place symbols next to new vocabulary terms to solidify meaning
Digital literacy or digital citizenship has become a hot-button issue in education today; however, how do you teach the fundamentals of digital citizenship to students? Many educators are confused on what to teach and how to teach it.
I believe that effective digital citizenship training for students begins with effective digital citizenship training for adults. How are we supposed to teach our students if we don't understand the fundamentals ourselves? A formal digital citizenship curriculum is nice, but teachable moments are even more effective. If you have a sound understanding of digital citizenship, you are more able to address student needs when the time comes. Here are four resources to help you get started!
Common Sense Media is an excellent resource with a formal digital citizenship curriculum. Educators can use lesson plans and resources from the site, view interactive materials, or check out the latest issues in digital citizenship through the site's blog.
I just came across this website the other day. I found the 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship and the to Jason Ohler’s REP’s Model be a great resource for understanding how each aspect of digital citizenship relates to one another.
Google Education's Training Center now has a Digital Citizenship course that educators can go through. It is a self-paced course filled with valuable resources and materials for getting a better understanding of how to survive in a digital world.
If you are like me, you spend a lot of time browsing through different articles on the Internet and want a solution for revisiting them when you have more time to read. If you are a Chrome user, you could bookmark your articles; however, I have found that I often forget about them.
Reading List is a Chrome Extension that students and teachers can use to save websites to browse through for a later time. Simply visit the Chrome Store to install the Extension.
Once the Extension is installed, visit the website of your choice and click on the Reading List icon. Choose the green plus sign to add to your reading list.
Once the website is added to your reading list, there are a variety of tools to help you locate your articles.
Use the All and Unread tabs to show all items saved or filter through unread items. You can manually revisit the website or use the search feature to quickly locate an article if you have a significant number of items in your list.
If you have student iPads, then Apple Classroom is a great tool for managing student devices! If you have never used this tool before, you will need to download Apple Classroom for your teacher iPad. Students will NOT need a special app on their iPads. Instead, they will need to visit Settings > Classroom to enter into your class.
I have created the following Cheat Sheet for using Apple Classroom.
Although textbooks have been an important part of learning for decades, more and more teachers are starting to get away from a physical textbook. Online textbooks offer many different advantages, such as interactivity and having the most up-to-date information. To save costs, why not create your own online text using Google Slides? Here are 5 ways to create your own textbook in Google Slides:
If you decide to create an online text, you may want to consider publishing your Slides presentation to the web so that it will function much like an actual book. When you do this, your students will only see only content appearing on slides (not presenter notes) and have the ability to interact with content, such as embedded links and videos. This feature is a great way of sharing presentation, which can be viewed through a browser and not Slides App.
Go to the File Menu > Publish to the Web
2. Embed Videos from Google Drive and YouTube
Videos can be used to supplement student learning. You can easily embed YouTube of Google Drive videos into your Slides. Whether you want to share a video showcasing a movie clip or flipping your classroom, videos can help expand on topics and create an interactive experience.
3. Add Hyperlinks
Have you ever thought about the power of a hyperlink? Hyperlinks are valuable tools for providing scaffolds and supports to help students learn. For example, you may predict several vocabulary terms that students will not understand. To support student learning, you decide to hyperlink to definitions of the terms. Perhaps you are talking about a specific location in the world. Instead of showing a picture, you decide to hyperlink to an interactive map in Google Earth.
4. Add Images
Images are the perfect tool for helping our visual students understand material; however, textbook companies often use images that don't have much meaning to your specific students. Why not add images from your classroom to your presentation? It may help students make deeper connections to content by uploading personal examples of images from your classroom or using Google Photos, Drive, or your webcam.
If you are having problems finding content, then you may want to search for Google Images in Slides. All images are copyright free and are able to be reused.
5. The Most Up-to-Date Content
The best part of having your own book via Google Slides is that you have the most up-to-date content. You can add current events, links to the latest content, provide real-life examples of content in action. Having the most accurate and up-to-date information makes content relevant and engaging. Once you update content in Google Slides, it will be automatically updated in your published slides.
If you are a Google Classroom user, then you probably know that you can change the theme and header in your classroom. Did you know that you can create your own custom header in Classroom?
How Does it Work?
Simply use Google Drawings to design your custom header. It is recommended that you change your canvas size to 800 x 200 pixels (File Menu > Page Setup > Custom). Download your picture as a JPEG or PNG file and upload to Google Classroom.
Want to see it in action? Check out my video below:
Custom Headers in Google Classroom - YouTube
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