Thursday, September 29, 2016

New Blog Feature - Student Studio

Are there tools you would like to use with your students, but you really would like a quick-start tutorial video to show them?  Use the form to the right to submit a video tutorial request, and I will add it to the new TTechCafe Student Studio.  The studio videos are designed to give students a quick how-to, or you can use them to familiarize yourself with the tool before explaining it to your students.  The first video has been posted - Submitting Assignments in Google Classroom.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Weekly TNT ~ Symbaloo

Time is critical in the classroom.  Symbaloo offers teachers a way to curate sites, share Google Docs, link presentations, and publish student products in one place.  This tutorial shares the basics of setting up a Symbaloo page.  Be sure to check out the guides Symbaloo offers, as well!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Weekly TNT ~ Getting Started with Google Classroom

Just the basics, please!  Google Classroom Tutorial 1 will help you get your feet wet.  The video walks through setting up a class, enrolling students, and adding an assignment.  Check for future videos on managing students and adding special types of assignments.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Weekly TNT ~ Google Forms Add-on "Check It Out" Tutorial

I may have a Google Forms Add-on that just might save your sanity!  If you loan things to students, such as books, you need this neat little add-on called Check It Out.  You can create a self-running check-out system in less than five minutes, and you might just be able to keep up with who borrowed your entire set of Harry Potter!

Check out Check It Out....sorry just had to say it.

Remix with #IMMOOC

We can be innovative without recreating the wheel...literally!  Sometimes we just need to remix what's already there.  Take for instance, the Random Name Wheel on that allows you to enter student names for random selection - a nifty tool as is.  What if we were to take that tool and make something else?  What if we were to start looking at all the tools we have in a new light?  What if we teach our kids to do the same?????  I am a firm believer that we must give our kids permission to innovate...and we must lead by example!

In Deeper Learning, a book by Jensen and Nickelsen, they have an activity called Encode It! Spinner.  Students use a paper spinner to process a piece of new information by encoding the content in a variety of ways.  Great!  Now, how about a digital wheel you could share on the interactive board or at table groups via devices?  Roll out the Random Name Wheel and do a little remixing!

The Random Spinning Wheel does come with advertisements, but they are unobtrusive, and they can be somewhat hidden when you embed the wheel into your own site!

Would you like to build a wheel?  Click Here to Make Your Own or Here to Use This Encode It!  Wheel.
Have an idea?  Tell Us!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday TNT - Differentiating Products Sample

This week's tip is more like a challenge!  I challenge you to give your students choice in showing you they understand what they are learning.  You can watch the TouchCast below to see samples of a station instruction video, the instruction/rubric student page, and a sample student product.  Just click the samples, and the cast will stop while you view the sample!

This happens to be a fifth grade science activity, but the idea of using technology tools to let students be innovative in their learning works across all content areas.

Just an extra word about using videos for instructions...

There is only one of you.  However, if you have devices available to access video instructions, you can be six places (or more) at once!  Your kids also have the power to replay you without asking.  Just something to consider.

Links to:

Instructions Video


Sample Product Video

Monday, September 12, 2016

An Innovator's Mindset - Living in Beta #IMMOOC

I always told my students we were living in Beta.  I wanted them to try new things in our learning, to innovate, release their genius.  Now I encourage educators to do the same!  I am excited to join in the Innovator's Mindset MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to learn from great innovators in education.

We have amazing tools at the fingertips of our students.  How do we harness that power?  How do we get our students so engaged with learning that they forget they don't like school?  We have the tools, but we have to shift the thinking.  Technology is not a magic bean, but the incredible new things we can have students do to create, collaborate, and problem-solve is amazing.

Original Bean Sprout from
What does it take, you ask?  Bravery.
Bravery to turn lose of the old, to release some control, to embrace what can be...

Are you ready?  Will you join me in the #IMMOOC discussion?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday TNT ~ Going Google with My Maps

Join us in our learning adventure!  Let's build our Cafe Community by sharing ideas to integrate tools in ways students can collaborate, create, and critically think.  We have already looked at how Google Maps can be embedded into blogs, but I wanted to give you a tutorial on setting up a collaborative map.

You will also find a Google Form where you can share ideas for using Google Maps HERE, and a Google Form where you can share your student-created maps HERE.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Google Maps We Have Created!

We can learn from each other!  Use the Google Form to share the maps your students have created.  This is open to all Cafe members even if you have not attended our face-to-face meetings.  I will post results here in the Cafe once we start getting responses.

Google Maps Questionaire #1

Let's get our students creating content!  After watching the Google My Maps tutorial for our collaborative, please fill out the Google Form to share ideas.  This is open to all of the Cafe audience.  You do not have to have attended a face-to-face meeting to share in our learning!  I will share the results here in the Cafe once we start getting responses.