1. Google Apps for Education got a new name this week. Google Apps for Education is now called G Suite for Education. This changes absolutely nothing about the way that your Google Apps err, ahh, umm G Suite tools work.
In that same announcement regarding the name change, Google shared that the Explore feature for Slides, Docs, and Sheets that was rolled-out last week should be appearing in your G Suite account soon.
2. Some of you have asked about the special "google url" that some of my links have. Well you can have a special google url too! Goo.gl is Google's free URL shortening service. Goo.gl can be a good tool to help you get all of your students on the same webpage at the same time. By shortening a long URL to something manageable, students can more easily type in the address for themselves. If you are thinking about going BYOD, Goo.gl also lets you create a QR code for any web link. Print or project that QR code and let your students scan it to get to the webpage you want them to see or post it on your website for parents to use.. Finally, Goo.gl includes an analytics feature that will show you how many times your shortened URL has been used.
3. The Trading Card Creator is one of my favorite tools offered by Read Write Think. The Trading Card Creator allows students to create trading cards about people, places, and events both real and fictional. It is also available as an iPad app, and as an Android app. Plus Read, Write, Think provides all types of lesson plan ideas to go along with your trading cards.
4. This next tip is designed for teachers of primary students, PK-2. It is called Teach Your Monster to Read. Teach Your Monster to Read is a fun game designed to help students improve the speed and accuracy with which they recognize letters and sounds. The game has eight levels (or islands as they're called in the game) each containing four activities. Students play the game as a friendly monster avatar. On each island students can earn prizes for their monsters and customize the look of their monsters. Creating Teach Your Monster to Read accounts for all of your students is a simple process. Just register yourself as a teacher then enter your students' names (first names only) or upload a CSV file of your students' names. Teach Your Monster to Read will automatically generate a password for each student. As the teacher you can log-in anytime to see your students' progress.
5. Friday at the Movies- The Secret Lives of Baby Fish is a cute and informative TED-Ed video. The video explains how coral reef fish reproduce, grow, and survive. Through the video viewers can also learn about how new research is changing marine scientists' understanding of some aspects of the geographical distribution of coral reef fish.
If you liked the video you really need to check out the page containing the accompanying questions found on the TED-Ed site. Instead of just asking "did you pay attention?" types of questions, the first three questions ask students to think and use the information they just heard. Don't forget to keep Ted-Ed in mind as you are building your flipped and blended lessons. Although research says most recordings you do for students should be you-their familiar teacher-it does not hurt every once in a while to pull in a "guest video!"
_Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools,
located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to
work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work
with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus,
I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler