Monday, 16 January 2017

Digital Bytes 16th January, 2017

12 Tools that Made a Difference in My Teaching Year

Rachelle Dane Poth spent a year testing a number of tools with her class to see which ones she felt were most useful to her students.

She came up with a list of 12 of the best tools for her students and has given a short description of each. They are well worth your time to check them out.

Listenwise is a fantastic tool for your classroom. Once your students have used their Google account to sign in there are a number of podcasts for your students.

All you need to know is in this short 90 second video. You won’t regret checking it out.
Fake Websites

Last week we looked at how to spot fake news and as a follow up we are looking at spotting fake websites this week. Share some of these fake websites like Dog Island with your students and see if they can tell that they are fake. Or share some real and some fake and see if they can tell.

Friday, 13 January 2017

New Year, New ways of thinking about your technology?

Welcoming the new year with a new perspective?

Here are a few prompts to help you reevaluate your digital health and well-eBeing:

1. Is that wearble wearing you out or helping you out?
"In an ideal world, all that information helps us become better people. More fit, healthier, rested, hydrated. And for some people, those stats are the motivational key to a better life. But what happens when the data just sabotages you? For some of us, data just isn’t the magic bullet for optimizing our quantified selves."
Explore this question via this episode of Note To Self. 

2. Get your photos under control

"Google Photos does the hard work of backing up and organizing your photos for you. The Auto-awesome tools polish your photos and turn them into albums, GIFs, collages and more."
Consider making use of Google Photos to take better care of your photos this year. 

3. Up your email game

"Say someone asks you to reach back out in a couple weeks once his schedule has opened up—instead of having this message linger in your mind (and inbox) until then, or just forgetting to follow up, write the message now and schedule it for three weeks out.
You can even schedule things to come back to the top of your inbox if someone hasn’t replied to you—making it easier to remember to check in when other people haven’t followed up."
Use Boomerang for a more efficient gmail experience this year. 

4. Get a better handle on your best habits

"Gretchen Rubin, mega-bestselling author of The Happiness Project, says the key to long-term habit change is understanding how we respond to expectations. She names four broad categories of responders: the Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin of habit-changing. Figuring out your cognitive house might be the key to changing your bad habits for good. Including one habit we hear about a lot: clinging to the phone right up until our eyes drop closed."
Take 17 minutes and indulge in some advice from Gretchen Rubin and Manoush Zamarodi 

Top image courtesy of Flickr's bank of Creative Commons images
Kate Ter Haar

The greatest wealth is health

Monday, 9 January 2017

Digital Bytes 9th January 2017

Garageband in the Reading Classroom

Garageband is on our computers and iPads and this article shares a number of ways that you can use it in your reading classroom.

Whether is it capturing book talks, creating a musical accompaniment, capturing the voice of a book character in an interview or exploring the different instruments from around the world, there is something for everyone.

Screencastify is a wonderful Chrome Extension which allows you to capture your screen and annotate as you capture the video.

You can also store the video directly in your Google Drive or save it on your computer.
The Fact-Checker’s Guide for Detecting Fake News

The Washington Post has a great series of steps you can take to detect fake news. Exploring these ideas, particularly for articles shared on social media platforms is increasingly important for teachers and their students.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Kanopy Streaming - Amazing Videos for your Classroom

UWCSEA East recently got a Patron-Driven subscription to Kanopy Streaming - and what a treasure trove it is! (UWC Teachers, click here; everyone else, try this link). If you have never heard of it before, let me tell you a little about it.

Kanopy began selling DVDs to universities in Australia, but has moved with the times to deliver a video streaming service to education providers worldwide, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale. They have over 26,000 videos available currently, which are added to regularly.

So why should you care?

It is no secret how much students love learning through film. Kanopy has an incredible range of documentaries available: from  BBC's Shakespeare Collection or its Planet Earth Series, through to Gravitas's Food Choices: How Our Diet Affects the Planet, there is - quite literally - something for everyone.

A lot of the content is more suited to older audiences, but there is plenty in there to support Elementary learners. We'd encourage Elementary teachers to search Kanopy for a subject/unit they have upcoming, and preview the content before use with students.

One of the features that we love is the ability to clip and share a section of a video, so students don't necessarily watch the whole video, but a pre-selected segment that most closely relates to what they are learning.

Teachers can also create playlists of videos and share those. For more details on this process, check out this help section on the Kanopy website.

If you are a UWCSEA Teacher who wants to watch at home, you just need to log in with your Google Account, and you're away.

If you would like further information about Kanopy, just contact one of the DLCs, or have a chat to our friendly Librarians!