The Power of YET! Meme – Google Educator Level 2

MEME INVITATION: Here’s an invitation. Use this template in Google Draw (or make your own, like these Growth Mindset Cats by Laura Gibbs) to make your own Power of…YET poster each day this week, reflecting on YOUR own fixed mindsets. Then share that on your blog or via twitter/Instagram (tag it #yetpower) and post it in the comments. Won’t that be fun?

I had a bit of fun reflecting on Google Educator Level 2 experience I had in December and came up with this Power of YET! to capture some of the topics I recall and pulled from the sample exam questions….It’s also fun to make one of these because you have to ask yourself, “What is that I don’t know about yet?” Yes, this is pretty low-level how-to, but it could be fun to also use this as a way to get folks thinking about what they don’t know how to do yet.

Dealing with how-to is pretty great because it’s low stress…for most folks. “I don’t know how to do something so how can I learn how?” The answer is easy for how-to questions; watch YouTube. For deeper issues (e.g. biases, mindsets that are based on emotions/feelings rather than facts and information), Power of YET becomes a lot more controversial. Making your own Power of YET that inventories those internal biases can be tough.

Of course, it’s tougher if someone else inventories your biases for you! Better to do your own.

Scenarios

  1. YouTube Annotations:
    “Jennifer,” said Superintendent Charlie, “I’m so grateful that you recorded that staff development presentation at Central Office and put it on YouTube. I know that there are several key components in the video that folks may want to jump to rather than sit through the long introduction I gave.”
    “Would it help if we added a hyperlinked table of contents to the front of the video?” Jennifer asked with a smile.
    “Yes,” said Charlie. “Gotta run! Let me know when it’s there so I can mention it…maybe even at the district gathering!”
    “Yes, sir,” replied Jennifer. Then she sighed. “How am I going to add hyperlinks to a Youtube video? Where is a Google Educator Level 2 Certified person when you need one?”
  2. Google Scholar:
    “Today, class,” said Ms. Rosen, “we’re going to be conducting research on immigration.”
    “Are we going to build a wall?” asked Nezio.
    “No, no,” she said without inflection. “Colonial immigration patterns played a key role in the short immigration video we’re watching later today. What is a tool that we’ve used recently to get information on immigration trends in colonial times?”
    “Google Scholar?” inquired Arminda.
    “Yes, exactly. Let’s take a moment and use Scholar to research laws during colonial times. Use your Big6 organizer.”

  3. Google Tour Builder:
    Take a moment to read this blog entry on Google Research and Tour Builder. Explore Google Tour Builder and build a virtual tour of your own family’s migration patterns in the U.S. to the best of your knowledge. This can include cross-country moves and involve any scope of time (e.g. ancestors or just your life if you’ve moved a lot). Be sure to include a picture/video and text for each.
  4. Achieve Inbox Zero:
    You are getting tons of email from work colleagues. That’s not so bad, but you’re losing track of the “important” emails from your supervisor and grade level team. Investigate how Google Labels, filters and/or Groups could be used to better manage your incoming email. Create a short how-to screencast demonstrating how you’ve sorted your inbox with labels for Dr. Jackson, Mr. Green, and a Google Group for your grade level.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Forms Smackdown: Google & Microsoft

Collecting data via online forms has never been easier. New web-based form tools have revolutionized how we gather and analyze data, making arcane database-backed web tools obsolete.

Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

Even the next generation of database-backed web tools (e.g. AirtableObvibasemore solutions) find themselves catering to power users, rather than teachers and students. These descendants of venerable desktop database tools (e.g. Filemaker Pro, Microsoft Access, Alpha IV, Paradox) require some knowledge of databases and how they work. Google Forms and Microsoft Forms drop database complexity and make it easier for K-12 and adult learners to focus on the task rather than the method.

Practical Uses of Forms in K-12 Schools

The uses of forms to support teaching, learning and leading are legion. While you can see 81 Interesting Ways to Use Forms in the Classroom, here are a few of my favorite uses:
  • Gather data about a particular phenomena or event and then use the data for analysis by staff and/or students.
  • Conduct climate surveys to get insights into staff perspectives about the work place.
  • Enable participants to craft self-assessments for appraisal or growth purposes.
  • Get insights from staff/students/community into home technology and/or social media use.
  • Employ forms for formative assessment activities, such as exit tickets.
  • Set up a help desk system to track requests for support.
You can find even more uses online in these TCEA TechNotes articles on the use of forms. Remember, you can easily adapt the uses of forms across the tools available. Find the one that works best in your environment (e.g. Google or Office 365).

Feature Comparison

Both Microsoft and Google Forms have a wealth of features. Let’s explore some of those features, keeping in mind that they are rapidly changing.
Feature Microsoft Forms
msforms
Google Forms
msforms
Web link View Microsoft Forms View Google Forms
Account required Free Office 365 account or School Office 365 account Personal Google account^ or Google Suites for Education account
Multiple question types Includes:

  • Choice (multiple choice and checkboxes)
  • Quiz
  • Text (short and long answer)
  • Rating (linear scale and star choice up to 10)
  • Date
Includes:

  • Choice (multiple choice and checkboxes)
  • Multiple choice grid
  • Quiz
  • Text (short and long answer)
  • Rating (linear scale and star choice up to 10)
  • Date
  • Time
  • File upload^
Embed media such as videos/images
  • Images
  • YouTube
  • Images
  • YouTube
Add subtitle description Yes Yes^
Option to shuffle responses Yes Yes for any questions containing multiple responses^
Add question to quiz computation Yes, add any question to a quiz Yes, create a self-grading quiz
Add other option to available responses Yes Yes
Organize form elements in sections No Yes
Adjust theme to reflect color of choice or available background image Yes Yes, and includes option to insert one’s own image
Preview form using built-in desktop or mobile Yes No, but features responsive web design
Re-order questions at any time Yes, with up/down arrows Yes, drag-and-drop
Copy/duplicate question Yes Yes
Delete or trash question Yes Yes
Organize question into multiple pages No Yes, insert page breaks after questions
Branching responses Yes, dependent upon response chosen Yes, with the ability to send to a different page.
Share form online Yes, includes the following:

  • Link provided for copying
  • Embed into OneNote Notebook Page
  • Email link
  • QR code download
  • Web page embedding
Yes, includes the following:

  • Link provided for copying
  • Share form link via email
  • Web page embedding
  • Social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) link sharing
Tracking form completion Yes, tracking is possible if user is required to login to access the form Yes, tracking is possible if user is required to login to access the form
Export results as a spreadsheet Yes, results can be exported to Excel sheet (and other formats from there) and saved for further analysis or placed online Yes, results can be exported in various formats
Form data at rest can be interacted with (Google Sheets tab is similar to an Excel Workbook sheet) No, form data can be printed or deleted but not create a live workbook sheet that can be used, interacted with on another sheet Yes, form data on one Google Sheets tab can be linked and interacted with another tab
Set start and end dates at specific times for when the form is open or closed for access Yes, by date and time No, form must be manually shut down to stop receiving responses. FormLimiter add-on can be enabled, however^.
When form is NOT accepting responses, create a custom message as to why Yes Yes^
Handling of individual or summary responses Yes, options to form creator include viewing, deleting, printing individual and/or summary responses. In summary view, responses are aggregated and appear with graphs when appropriate. Yes, options include viewing of individual and summary responses. Summary view includes aggregate results with graphs. Removing individual responses may require accessing the Google Sheet where Form responses are archived.
View average completion time for the form Yes No
^Special thanks to Eric Curts (@ericcurtsCtrl-Alt-Achieve) for his feedback and corrections indicated with this symbol.

Update 01/26/2017: Microsoft Forms Enhancements

Microsoft Forms is in the process of rolling out enhancements, as reported by Brandon Cornwell (@CornwellEdTech; Tacoma, WA schools), that include the following NEW features not included in the chart above:
  1. Print summaries of MS Forms charts are now possible.
  2. Individual quizzes featuring student responses, scores and feedback are printable by the teacher.
  3. Extra credit points can now be alloted.
  4. Teachers can post scores, enabling students to to view their quiz score and obtain feedback.
  5. Students can be provided feedback regarding their form responses.
  6. Individual items can now be scored.
  7. Specific value formats (e.g. number) can now feature data entry restrictions.
  8. Math symbols and equation creator are available in quiz mode.
  9. Form creators are prompted as to whether Form or Quiz is planned.

Reflections

Microsoft Forms features have expanded (e.g. a recent addition is collaborative form editing, a feature Google Forms also enjoys) since a preview launch in the summer of 2016. In important ways, it has achieved parity with Google Forms. In other ways, it may have outpaced Google Forms. For educators in Office 365 districts, Microsoft Forms represents a fantastic tool. Given the prompt development of both products, the feature gap will not endure long!

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

New Chromebook Features

On January 24, 2017, Google announced some powerful enhancements for Chromebooks available for education, both for educators and students. These features (available in devices from Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung) enhance the Chromebook’s versatility. With more than 20 million teachers and students employing Chromebooks, both will soon have access to devices that rely on “apps, stylus, and increased touch capabilities,” as well as USB-C charging (source).

Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

For Teachers

For teachers, Chromebooks will come with world-facing cameras. This enables teachers, as well as students, to capture videos and photos from all directions. Teachers will also have access to many Android apps, as well as specially designed cloud apps. These include Adobe Creative Cloud apps (such as Photoshop Mix, Lightroom Mobile, Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Comp CC, and Creative Cloud Mobile). Teachers will be able to combine these intelligent enhancements with Chromebooks. They can use just-announced Google Classroom notifications for better assignment management and tracking with the new models.

Chromebooks for Students

Students, in addition to a greater variety of bundled Android apps, will be able to enjoy access to creative applications:
    • Explain Everything: An incredible, robust presentation, digital whiteboard app, and video annotation tool that is indispensable.
    • Soundtrap: This web-enabled audio editing and podcasting tool is a much needed addition for Chromebooks.
    • WeVideo: A browser-based video editing solution that, like audio editing, remains in high demand in Chromebook environments.
All these solutions are available at discounted pricing for schools.
Even more exciting, especially in math and other classes where drawing is involved, students are able to take advantage of the inexpensive, high-quality stylus. This is an advantage when using the Google Classroom Android app. Styluses can be shared or easily replaced if lost since they do not require charging or pairing with a Chromebook.
Thanks to Google for continually listening to educators about the needs of the Chromebook-powered classroom!

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Teleprompter Needed?

There are a million uses for teleprompters in every and any situation you can think of. In fact, if I could, I’d have a teleprompter every time I spoke to a large group. It’s quite reassuring to know what to say, when.

No doubt, you can think of lots of teleprompter uses in the classroom. Of course, using teleprompters shown above is crazy. What could you use instead? An inexpensive Chromebook and a free add-on perhaps.

The goal of this quick post is merely to point out two available Chrome add-ons you can use. Each includes a short description from the Chrome Store:

TelePrompter

Adjustable automatic page scrolling with mouse and keyboard shortcuts.
It’s easy to use this extension to automatically scroll any page while you read your favorite articles.
A few great features in this chrome extension:
✓ Adjustable min/max and initial scroll speed through options.
✓ Both the use of mouse and keyboard to control the scrolling.
✓ Change scroll direction with both the keyboard and mouse wheel.
✓ Toggle scrolling with a quick double click.
✓ Auto scroll start on page loads.

Simple, free teleprompter. Paste text into editor window, and click “Start Presenting”.


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Dystopian Learning: No Matter What the Device

“You’re just a shill for Google,” a district colleague joked when I shared I had been selected to participate in the Google Certified Innovator program in 2010. I laughed for a moment. If that moment was funny, the fact that I became a Microsoft Innovative Education (MIE) Expert in 2016 must generate a few more chuckles. And some wondered at my efforts with a 1:1 Apple iPad classroom. Work in education, you soon find yourself avoiding a dystopian, technology singularity.
The Big Three, which includes Apple, Google, and Microsoft (let’s refer to them as AGM going forward), are competing for space in today’s classrooms. Each boasts new, powerful software, hardware, and online spaces that bridge the learning gap for educators around the world. From Apple’s Distinguished Educator (ADE)  to Google Certified Trainer to Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Trainer, each program connects you to a vibrant community of educators.
AGM’s respective efforts involve getting educators to adopt education versions of their consumer technologies. While claims of classroom transformations must be taken with a grain of salt, there are real benefits. Let’s explore some of the benefits below.

Drink the Kool-Aid!

“Have you drunk the kool-aid?” When you drink the kool-aid, you suspend your cynicism of AGM’s intentions. Instead, you embrace problem-solving with the technologies at your disposal. The more active the AGM-affiliated educator community, the better off you are. These communities connect via various social media, email lists, and face-to-face gatherings. All are focused on helping you bring the power of their technologies to bear on overcoming learning challenges.

Solving Learning Challenges

How would you approach the problem below?
Students need to adapt propaganda techniques seen in presidential candidate advertising. After analyzing those techniques in several video segments, students must create their own version. The version will connect to their reading of TIM, Defender of Earth, a dystopian novel featuring a dinosaur in a world-saving battle with nanobots.
How would you approach this from your particular AGM perspective? For fun, let’s jump right in and see (i  alphabetical order):

Apple

Students could collect video clips, recording relevant clips using the iPad’s built-in camera. They must provide a brief analysis of the propaganda techniques in the video, then transition to their application of the techniques to a TIM, Defender of Earth main character. They could use one of these free apps (Shadow Puppet EDU or Touchcast) to create narrated video clips and then stitch the production together in iMovie ($4.99), Videocraft ($3) or Pinnacle Studio Pro ($13). Videos would be turned into the class Seesaw account (free), appearing on the Class Seesaw Blog after the teacher approved them. Students in other groups could offer feedback via the Seesaw app on their iPads.
That’s one approach to solving this challenge using Apple. Let’s take a look at another way.

Google Suite

After reviewing YouTube versions of commercials and advertisements, students decide to use video annotation tools built into YouTube. They annotate parts of the video, highlighting the parts that exemplify a certain technique. Upon completion, students organize a Google Slide featuring still images, incorporating a comic strip storyboarded in Google Draw, and a video they recorded to YouTube using either their mobile phone with the YouTube Capture or their Chromebook’s webcam with ClipChamp extension($49 per classroom per year). Other students incorporate audio into their Google Slides presentation by recording voice-overs using Nimbus Screenrecording extension (free). And others might use Adobe Spark (free) or WeVideo ($250 per classroom per year) online.

Microsoft

Students might create a OneNote notebook, providing a written analysis of several videos from YouTube and Vimeo. They can copy and paste the video link (a.k.a. embedding) into a OneNote page, the video appearing for viewing. Then they use their MS Surface Pro 4 tablets to record a video rendition of their advertising. They could blend propaganda tips into the video and then add their explanation of what they did. As a final step, they create a view link for their OneNote Notebook. This makes it possible for anyone with an Internet browser to view the OneNote Online. Their teacher can make a class Sway highlighting the published products and share it online via Docs.com. Students with special needs are able to interact with the OneNote Notebooks their classmates create using the Learning Tools add-in.

Conclusion

You may have seen several possible ways to overcome the learning challenges in the scenario presented. In fact, like most educators, you imagined ways for all technologies to co-exist and empower students. Settling on only one technology may lead to an unwanted dystopian learning situation. Consider blending technologies instead. With that in mind, what would your technology classroom utopia look like? Please share in the comments!

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Learning In Spite of That iPad, Chromebook, Surface

Check out my latest blog entry over at the TCEA TechNotes Blog! I had a lot of fun writing it. The problem I write about in this entry remains a pressing concern for many educators. 
“You’re just a shill for Google,” a district colleague joked when I shared I had been selected to participate in the Google Certified Innovator program in 2010. I laughed for a moment. If that moment was funny, the fact that I became a Microsoft Innovative Education (MIE) Expert in 2016 must generate a few more chuckles. And some wondered at my efforts with a 1:1 Apple iPad classroom. Work in education, you soon find yourself avoiding a dystopian, technology singularity.
The Big Three, which includes Apple, Google, and Microsoft (let’s refer to them as AGM going forward), are competing for space in today’s classrooms. Each boasts new, powerful software, hardware, and online spaces that bridge the learning gap for educators around the world. From Apple’s Distinguished Educator (ADE)  to Google Certified Trainer to Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Trainer, each program connects you to a vibrant community of educators.
AGM’s respective efforts involve getting educators to adopt education versions of their consumer technologies. While claims of classroom transformations must be taken with a grain of salt, there are real benefits. Let’s explore some of the benefits below.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Technological Relativity: Exploring My Journey

When I started working at my new position at a non-profit education organization on March 21, 2016, I had no idea how I would be handling a fresh challenge–providing professional learning about Microsoft products. The team had its Google advocates, but the position that I was filling as a Director of Professional Development, well, that was meant to fulfill the partnership that the organization had with Microsoft (not that Google or Apple were excluded).

In fact, some people came up to me in workshops just this month. “Miguel,” said one young educator, “I read your Around the Corner blog. I know you write about GNU/Linux a lot, so I was surprised to see your support of Microsoft products.” I laughed at this observation that I’ve often made over the last few months. Yet, I discovered a path forward that allowed me to reconcile differing perspectives. As someone who seeks balance (hey, I’ve been labeled a Libra and grew up seeing the “scales” as my personal symbol without embracing astrology). May I share it with you?

“The journey that I have undertaken, meeting people from all walks of life and learning from them, has been my biggest achievement.” -Aamir Khan

#1 – Give voice to the Community.
Early on, a participant at a Microsoft workshop said to me, “We have been waiting for so long for someone to support us.” I documented this story in a blog entry that was published here and described it in this way:

“We are longing for a community,” said a session participant. “Most of us have adopted Office 365 tools, but we don’t see ourselves in the numerous edcamps and workshops offered. Each of us is struggling to connect.” As instructional coach and author of The Art of Coaching Elena Aguilar says, “With a powerful community I can do so much more. I am happier. I learn and expand and, possibly, I can transform.” The 5 strategies below seek to answer the challenge of community building. Read Build a Community

I detailed this journey in a Skypechat that I gave to Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE) Trainers. Wow, that’s a LOT of people to connect with and I’m grateful to RH for making it possible.

I realized that our (e.g. bloggers, instructional tech specialists, edtech pundits) fanatical focus on Google Suites, via edcamps/unconferences, being buried in tweets, blog entries, books, articles, how-to videos has left an entire community of educators in the dark. Sure, there are TONS of folks using Google Suites. But there are also lots of folks using Microsoft tools and they have no interest in switching to Google Suites.

No one had stepped up to connect all the wisdom and expertise that this Microsoft-focused community had. So, there was an opportunity to reach people and amplify their voices. And, doing that has been such a rewarding journey! I can’t tell you how much fun it has been to chat with educators who have chosen to embrace Microsoft tools (whether by choice or district mandate) to make a difference in their classrooms and offices. Passion excites, no matter how it expresses itself.

Did you know? I had the opportunity to work with 369+ educators during the 2016 calendar year, exploring Microsoft solutions face to face! Isn’t that incredible? Obviously, I also worked with about 50-60 folks earning Google certifications.

And, there’s been fun in tapping into the cognitive dissonance between these two perspectives. Use one idea to ask, “How would doing this in Microsoft look like?” You can read one example in my Classroom Smackdown blog entry. Often, reading how to do something in one system inspires me to discover how it may be done in another. What fun!

#2 – Connect with a global community of educators.
In addition to building a Texas-wide community of educators, I have been awed by the global community of genuine, authentic educators excited about enhancing teaching, learning and leading with Microsoft tools. I remember my amazement when joining the various Facebook groups in support of Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE) and thinking, “Wow, these folks are very committed to ‘hacking education.’ That is, they were as passionate about bringing about change as those in the Google camp. And that’s really great!”

“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.”  – Izaak Walton. 

I can and do interact with people around the nation and the world every day. It has been incredible. And, the Microsoft Education Community–offering tons of professional learning in video format, badges and online certificates, empowering trainers to easily track professional development–has been fun to explore and grow into. At every turn, I have found Microsoft team members who extended their knowledge and expertise to provide assistance. Instead of an impersonal web site, there are many smiling faces willing to reach out and help.

“Friends are as companions on a journey, who ought to aid each other to persevere in the road to a happier life.” -Pythagoras

#3 – Warm Welcome.
What a warm welcome I’ve received since I began my journey in March. Sure, I had to learn a lot (earning Microsoft Certified Trainer, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, and Minecraft Certified Trainer) in a short time but it’s been phenomenal to be able to provide support to folks who didn’t see themselves in the flurry of professional learning opportunities available in Texas. Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve enjoyed a warm welcome. And, in the meantime, I’ve also picked up my Google Educator Level 1 and Google Administrator certification. I’ve learned (again) that technology skills and ecosystems are additive, not subtractive.

For fellow bilingual educators, I need not explain that some detractors refer to learning a second language as a process that must diminish the first. Or to be inaccurate, I added Microsoft and my expertise in Google was diminished. Jim Cummins’ theory is described in this way:

Cummins draws the distinction between additive bilingualism in which the first language continues to be developed and the first culture to be valued while the second language is added; and subtractive bilingualism in which the second language is added at the expense of the first language and culture, which diminish…. (Read Source)

This isn’t true. I love the fact that adding a language, adding technology tools and ecosystems allows one to develop greater expertise and deepens the relationships one has with others.

What is Technological Relativity?
The possibility that access to different technological capabilities could result in differences in thought patterns. (Source)


#4 – On the Shoulders of Giants.
As a bilingual person, I often find myself switching between languages, looking for the right way to express an idea in my head. When I’m chatting with a fellow dual language learner, what’s incredible is that the right phrase in Spanish or English can capture a different nuance of meaning that appears non-existent in one language.

The language I use impacts my perceptions and thoughts about a particular situation or action. This is known as linguistic relativity, which I was introduced to many years ago as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis:

The principle of linguistic relativity holds that the structure of a language affects its speakers’ world view or cognition. Popularly known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, the principle is often defined to include two versions. The strong version says that language determines thought, and that linguistic categories limit and determine cognitive categories, whereas the weak version says that linguistic categories and usage only influence thought and decisions. (Source)

By embracing Apple, Google and Microsoft, learning the way these seemingly opposing systems focus my learning and reflections from my experiences, not unlike the triangle magnifying glass shown above, is exciting. I’m really looking forward to sharing an unpublished blog entry with you, entitled, Dystopian Learning with Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Our brains get more efficient as we do things. Our brain function improves as we learn something, then move onto the next. If we dwell on the same activity then our cortical energy decreases as our brain gets more efficient (Source: 5 Ways to Maximize Your Cognitive Potential). 

It explores solving the same problem from different technology worldviews (e.g. Apple, Google, Microsoft). This kind of technological flexibility is fun to cultivate and keeps me learning new things.

“Every single journey that I’ve embarked on, I’ve learned something new.” -Shailene Woodley

As I reflect on my experiences with these technological companions, I wonder what’s in store next.


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Holiday Flyers: Microsoft, Chromebook, 3D Printing, Makers

I had a lot of fun making these flyers using Powerpoint. It was the first time I’d ever used Powerpoint to create flyers, believe it or not!

Note: These were published as a series of blog entries at TCEA.org Technotes Blog! TCEA.org is a non-profit education organization. Check it out at http://www.tcea.org/blog. In the interests of full disclosure, Miguel Guhlin serves as a Director of Professional Development; find out more about his work at http://ly.tcea.org/connect

While some report that 3D printing isn’t a thing anymore, it remains one of the top tech trends for the foreseeable future. That may be because 3D printers are finding their way into classrooms and homes with startling alacrity. This blog entry shares a few choices for printers, design tools, and sources, as well as mobile device apps.
merry

3D Printers for Home

Wondering what printers you can get for your home? Consider these three offerings, ranging from least expensive to most expensive. The Dremel IdeaBuilder packs a punch to your wallet, but offers the most flexibility and versatility in its options. The Mod T also has adherents who praise its small size as perfect for your office desk. Whether you’re looking for a home printer, or considering a small 3D printer for the classroom, there’s something available to match your budget.

Looking for 3D Printing Designs and Tools?

Look no further than Thingiverse and 3D Warehouse! They have literally thousands of designs already created and ready to modify or use as is. And if you want to design your own, consider these two programs for use on your device of choice:
  • Tinkercad – A wonderfully easy to use, web-based 3D printing tool.
  • SketchUp Pro – This $695 program for Mac and Windows computers is available at NO CHARGE to K-12 public schools! Click the link to find out more about TCEA’s offer.
  • My SketchUp – This browser-based version works great on Chromebooks and is available at no charge.

3D Printable Ornaments

Never worry about breaking glass ornaments again with 3D filament-based tree decorations. These curios are easy to design, modify, and print for home and office. More importantly, they make it easy to print take-home designs for students.
Find more designs online with these apps at Thingiverse using their iOS app (free) , and 3D Warehouse using SketchUp Viewer for iOS ($14.99).

  1. Free Office 365 Account: Students and teachers get the online versions of Office plus 1TB online storage for free! Get it at http://office.com/teachers 
  2. Office Mix: You can add Office Mix to Powerpoint 2016 to create screencasts, video, narrated slide shows, and more! Get it at http://mix.office.com 
  3. Office Lens: Get this document scanner and whiteboard capture tool! You can save to PDF, Mail, Photo Library, as well as Immersive Reader, OneNote, and Office apps. Get it via your mobile device in the iOS App store, Google Play Store, or Windows Store. 
  4. OneNote: A fantastic app for keeping track of every day notes, collaborative lesson planning, and online notebooks. Add OneNote 2016 and Immersive Reader to reach various populations of students! Get it at http://onenote.com 
  5. Sway: A joy to use, Microsoft Sway presents an alternative presentation and storytelling tool. Use any mobile device to create web-friendly, simple yet powerful content for others. Get started at http://sway.com 
  6. Touch Develop: Combined with the Creative Coding through Games and Apps (CCGA) curriculum, create engaging apps that work on any device. Get started at http://ly.tcea.org/ccga 
  7. Microsoft Selfie: For your iOS device, this app makes taking beautiful images possible with automatic touchup features. Get it at http://ly.tcea.org/iosselfie 
  8. Docs.com: Create Sway powered web pages, share Office365 documents, and more with others. Get started at http://docs.com 
  9. Translator: Overcome the language barrier. Use your camera, voice, or keyboard to translate on-the-go, even without an Internet connection. Get it in the iOS, Android or Windows Store. 
  10. OneNote Web Clipper: Clip web page content and save it directly to your OneNote Notebook using Clipper. Get it online at https://www.onenote.com/clipper 
  11. Snip: Why just show when  you can show-and-tell? Share your idea in 3 easy steps or less! Get it at http://mix.office.com/snip 
  12. Fresh Paint: Create anything–original artwork, turn photos into beautiful paintings, and more! Get it in the Windows Store. 


magic
  

Build It!
1.KEVA Planks: Model construction creativity with KEVA Planks, cuboid wooden block toys for children. Explore STEM lessons at http://www.kevaplanks.com/stem
2.Play Well with Legos : Use legos to build marble runs, craft poetry bricks and more. And get Lego Digital Designer – http://ldd.lego.com/en-us/
3.Makedo Cardboard Kit : Use Makedo to make magical cardboard creations! Find out more at https://www.make.do Also explore digital origami tools!
Make It Digital!
4.BeeBot Model coding with the BeeBot floor robot. Check out available curriculum!
5.Ozobot A tiny robot that makes coding approachable for youngsters! http://ozobot.com and…
One bonus tip:
6. Minecraft- Education Edition :Use Minecraft to create and design objects in 3D virtual space. Learn more about the possibilities at http://ly.tcea.org/tceamee
Get access to more cool maker ideas at http://ly.tcea.org/makermagic

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Google Research Tools

“How do you activate engagement, motivation, and interest with research tools?” Researching and sharing meaningful findings can be daunting for students. That’s why two tools, Google Scholar and Tour Builder, can be used to create a virtual tour of student learning.

Note: This is an article I wrote for publication for TCEA TechNotes.

During a recent workshop session I had the opportunity to facilitate, participants learned ways they can use some lesser-known aspects of Google’s suite of tools available to students to enhance engagement. “If students are not paying attention, they are not engaged; and, hence, they are not learning” (Pat Wolfe, as cited in Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms). If students are not engaged, they simply report facts and information without real meaning (Source). Google tools like Scholar and Tour Builder make learning more engaging for students of varying ages.
Teachers say a top priority in today’s classrooms should be teaching students how to “judge the quality of online information.” A significant portion of the teachers surveyed report spending class time discussing with students how search engines work, how to assess the reliability of the information they find online, and how to improve their search skills. (Excerpt from Pew Research study How Teens Do Research in the Digital World)

Tool #1 – Google Scholar

Not familiar with Google Scholar? Scholar can be a boon to high school students keen on researching a topic. It provides one virtual space where they can find scholarly literature and locate documents through the library or via the web. Furthermore, publications, authors, references, and citations can be searched and accessed. Google Scholar boasts a detailed set of support documents for learners.

Sample Search: Immigration Reform

One potential big question an educator might pose is: “How have immigration policies changed from the 1950s to present?” With Google Scholar, students can do a simple search on immigration reform and then work through the results to develop a portrait. They can also focus results through a range of years:researching
Scholar offers students access to high quality research, a level above a traditional Google search. Combine this approach with an information problem-solving approach (e.g. Big6, Super 3) or Guided Inquiry Design (shown below).

 Tool #2 – Google Tour Builder

Students can interact with research data in a different way. They can learn to situate research within a geo-spatial context. Tour Builder enables students to create a virtual tour of their research data, adding photos, text, and video as needed. This map-based approach enables students to organize their research according to location and impact, which is appropriate for a topic like African immigration in colonial America. They can combine research, life stories, images, and video to make a compelling case for their research thesis.

Conclusion

As you can see, Google Scholar and Google Tour Builder together can provide access to sources and offer a way to create interactional research conclusions. The next time you consider creating a research assignment, move beyond more traditional approaches.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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