Sunday, May 6, 2018

Great Content

I was just reading my Tech & Learning Daily News and found some links I want to share. They contain some fantastic content that we can all use in classrooms.

Clicking each link below will take you to the appropriate Tech & Learning Website page.

The last one is really a reprint from Eric Curts' Control Alt Achieve website. Eric is one of my favorite gurus and everyone should subscribe to his content and follow him on Twitter.

Friday, April 13, 2018

New Google Sites Adding Features

I must admit, I didn't love Classic Google Sites when I first started using it as I was a Dreamweaver/CSS/code kind of person. I found it limiting and somewhat frustrating. After using it for a while it grew on me, mostly because I saw how easy it was for teachers to use!  Classic had some features that most users wouldn't have been able to use in another site creation program. 

Then came the New Google Sites!  It was so easy that anyone could use it - including elementary students.  However, it had been stripped of so many features that it really didn't work for anyone other than students. When Google announced they were discontinuing Classic Sites for New Sites I was skeptical that enough could/would be added to New Sites for that to really work.

I must say that Google is starting (at last) to add more features. A month or so ago they added the ability to use embed codes to allow you to drop in content from other sites.  Now they are adding you to add custom links to Sites navigation. This is such a basic function that I'm surprised it took this long.

I loved the ability in Classic Sites to set page-level permissions. Now I can see in New Sites that I can use this new feature to do a workaround to do the same. I plan to create two or three identical sites and link to them using the custom links option. I can give different people edit permissions to the different sites, accomplishing what page-level permissions in Classic Sites did.

Now if they'd only let me duplicate a site so I don't have to rebuild it!!!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

FlipGrid

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FlipGrid - a voice for student engagement and formative assessment.

This app is super easy to use. There is both a free version and a paid account for it. I like it so much that I paid the money for the upgrade. Below is a comparison of the features. 

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What the app really does is this - the teacher either records a video of herself/himself, uploads one, or embeds one from YouTube. Students in turn, post a "selfie video" up to 90 seconds (paid account allows up to 5") with their reflection on what the teacher asked. It is great for students that can't write well as it allows their ideas and message to get through without the limitations of writing. 

One slight drawback is that it isn't aligned with Google so you have to remember your login and password. I guess Microsoft got to them first!  

Some really cool applications exist for ESOL teachers, foreign language teachers, music teachers, etc. I love the fact that they can tailor this app for their needs!  Everyone always thinks of the "littles" or SpEd kiddos, and yes it is also good for that, but as a district tech support person I am always thinking of the content areas that don't seem to fit in all the time. FlipGrid offers a simple rubric for evaluating responses, but the paid version allows the user to create a much more dynamic rubric with personalized feedback.