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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Celebrate All Your Students Did This Year!

The end of the school year is right now for some of you and just a few weeks away for others. It's always nice to look back and  revisit some memorable moments your students had. Yesterday, Richard Byrne's fabulous blog gave some easy ways to do that. 5 Ways to Digitally Celebrate Your Students' Year 

If you were not the best historian this year, then put it on the books for next year. Start by challenging yourself and your students to take 3 images each day of something going on in the classroom. By the end of next school year, you'll have a bunch of images to choose from. If you start on the first day of school, you might also consider putting together a mini-version for your school's open house/back to school night. It's a great thing to have showing as parents are entering and milling about.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

PBS Stands the Test of Time

PBS has been around for a long time. When I  was growing up it's where I watched Sesame Street. It has changed with the times in may ways. A while back I mentioned that PBS had made some of its video clips available for free online viewing. (I think there's a link in the "links" tab at the top of the page.) Well, now there are two other things I'd like you to know about.

1. PBSKids.org has some terrific interactive whiteboard activities and games available for free.

2. PBS LearningMedia now features more than 30,000 free digital teaching resources. These new resources include content and lesson plans revolving around PBS television shows such as Constitution USA, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Shakespeare Uncovered.

So check these fun spots out. You can search for activities and lessons by grade level and you'll likely find some other cool stuff while you're there.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Field Trips Go High-Tech

As the end of the year approaches some of you are going on field trips while others are thinking ahead to next year and some things you might like to try. As always, I want to encourage you to include technology in most things you do with your students. It's expected by the Common Core State Standards and can really enhance the learning experience for your kiddos. With that in mind I've linked you to an article that I read from the folks at Education Week: Mobile Apps Make Field Trips More Interactive

Remember too, that even if you don't have tablets or smartphones available, having students using a digital camera to document the trip and a website like Animoto to create a digital show with annotations about the images also counts as technology integration too.  :)

Get out there and explore!

Good News For Android Tablet Users

There's always a lot of good information about iPad apps and how to use them in your classroom but the same information for Android tablets is less abundant.  As  I was catching up on my reading of one of Richard Byrne's blog Android 4 Schools I came across this tidbit that I thought was exciting:

Google announced a new service that could make Android tablets a stronger challenger to iPads in education. Google Play for Education (not live yet) promises the features that many of us have wanted for a long time.
Google Play for Education will be an app store designed specifically for teachers and students. Developers will be able to submit their apps this summer. Some selected developers announced at I/O include NASA and PBS. The best part of Google Play for Education will be the ability for teachers (or administrators) to purchase apps and push them out to all of the devices in their schools. If the entire school is too big of a group, the option to create smaller groups of devices will be available too. Teachers will also be able to use Google Play for Education to push video and documents out to all of the devices in a group.
One thing to keep in mind about pushing apps and videos to Android devices through Google Play for Education is that all of the devices will have to be part of a Google Group created through Google Apps.

So, stay tuned!