Our next webinar is designed to help educators transform teaching and learning with ThingLink with Google Docs. Educators can use a Google Doc to collect information, automate tasks and make the workflow progress smoothly throughout a student driven learning experience. ThingLink’s media rich platform displays published Google Docs right on top of any image or video. Better yet, those Google Docs are live and interactive. This is a truly great combination of tools for the classroom. We hope you will join us by signing up to participate live or on demand.
Create Engaging Resources with ThingLink EDU and Google Apps
Live on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 8:00 PM EDT or On Demand
Ways to Put Google Docs to Work
- Gather student feedback to personalize learning.
- Embed a Google Doc inside of a video to increase student engagement and add a layer or accountability.
- Informally assess students and use the results to guide instruction.
- Collect assignments with a link for sharing in one place, sort it to assess growth and encourage student self-reflection
- Pre-assess knowledge and skills for use in providing resources and instructional grouping.
- Inform and teach by including instructional videos and resources
- + more!
Sign up to participate in the live session or receive the archived version in your inbox.
We now have a more widely used hashtag and more of our teachers are beginning to use Twitter to document some of the great things happening in our classrooms, primarily through text and a photo. This is a very good start, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. This post is dedicated to educators who are just starting to step into the world of Twitter and for innovative educators and tech coaches to share as you lead the way.
Twitter is a quick and efficient method of exchanging information and ideas in order to learn with a global audience. Twitter is a great way to become a connected educator and engage in the exchange of ideas that could lead to positive transformations in your own classroom. This powerful method of connecting with others who share your passions can be life-changing.
Twitter is considered to be a micro-blogging service because it allows users to send and receive quick bursts of information that are limited to 140 characters or less. Regular tweeters learn to use Twitter slang or cave man language to conserve characters and make room for hashtags, often abandoning punctuation. There is an art to writing a tweet, just like there is an art to writing a clear and concise message. Tweeters are allowed to break traditional spelling and grammar rules, as long as the message is coherent.
When you sign up for Twitter you will need to create a username, which starts with the symbol @. Your username can be a form of your own name, but your name may already be taken. Educators are encouraged to set up a professional account to keep your personal and professional lives separate on Twitter. Tweets are public and they do become part of your digital footprint.
Hashtags are Twitter labels that are searchable. They help users find tweets about specific topics, but more importantly, they help users find people to follow and connect with who tweet about those topics. Anyone can create a hashtag for your own group or initiative, as long as it starts with the symbol # and contains no spaces, for example #iPadEd
Let’s say you’re interested in learning more about the common core standards. You can search the hashtag #ccss and find a running stream of relevant tweets. If you find something interesting you can tweet about it yourself and include the hashtag of your group. If you find someone who seems to have a lot to share, you can follow that person. This is a good place to start if you don’t quite know how to behave in the Twitosphere. For those of you who are relatively new to Twitter, you might appreciate the The Complete Guide to Twitter Hashtags for Education by @TeachThought to find some great hashtags for educational use.
When you follow people, their tweets show up in a steady stream on your Twitter home page. Since a tweet is 140 characters or less, it’s fairly easy to sift through a lot of information in a very short amount of time. Of course, 140 characters does not allow a tweeter to share more than a preview or a quick idea. To fully maximize the power of Twitter, tweets usually include links to more information. As users sift through their tweets, they click on the links to dig deeper into the ideas behind the tweet, often following the author of the Tweet or the author of the article itself. Twitter will notify you when someone follows you. They also make recommendations about who to follow that show up on your own home screen.
If you come across a powerful idea on Twitter, you can retweet it. This allows your followers to see the tweet in their home feed. Better yet, you can use the abbreviation MT, mention tweet, in a tweet you quote. You can then add your group’s hashtag to the end of the tweet to share that idea with colleagues who follow a specific hashtag. You can also compose your own tweet, add a link to the source of information and add a hashtag to the tweet. This is how ideas fly across the Twitosphere. Your followers will read the ideas you share, they share those ideas with their followers, they follow others and so on. There is no faster or more efficient way to share ideas.
If the information you share on Twitter is useful to like-minded Tweeters, they will follow you. Use the reply button at the bottom of a tweet to ask questions, send a thank you for the information and start a conversation about the topic of the tweet. Often, tweeters will share your ideas and add their own hashtags to bring your ideas to their group. This is how you learn with other, build your PLN and expand your learning and knowledge beyond the classroom or school walls. We are all learning together and this is maximized through the use of Twitter.
Twitter chats are informal exchanges of ideas at prearranged times. Twitter chats utilize a hashtag to encourage conversations about specific topics, such as #1to1iPadChat. Twitter chats usually include a moderator who asks questions by adding, Q1 to a tweet with a hashtag for the twitter chat. Participants use A1 to answer that questions and start conversations.
Participants in Twitter chats often end up following each other to continue exchanging ideas. Twitter chats are usually archived so interested Twitter users can sort through it all when the chat ends. Twitter chats can be very confusing when using Twitter alone, and they are much easier when using a service that provides users with a dashboard to manage your Twitter feed and the feed from the hashtags you are using. Tweetdeck is a popular Twitter tool used by participants in Twitter Chats. Sue Waters, @suewaters, has compiled a great resource to help educators learn more about Hashtags, Tweetdeck and Twitter Chats for Education.
Twitter is an efficient and powerful platform for exchanging ideas and information to extend learning beyond the classroom, school, or district. This global exchange of information can truly help educators adapt and succeed in our rapidly changing educational climate by building on the expertise of educators across the globe.
October is Connected Educators month and there’s no better time like the present to embrace Twitter to connect and build a global professional learning network! #CE15
Join me for the first in a series of free webinars designed to Transform Teaching and Learning with ThingLink EDU. Explore the interactive image above to learn more about all of the webinars in the series and sign up to participate live or to receive the archived version in your inbox.
Transform Teaching and Learning with ThingLink EDU
Live on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM EDT or On Demand
Over the weekend I hosted a webinar for Simple K12 to share Great Ways to Use Google Drive to Power Up Your Classroom. The content included a closer look at some of the resources found on a popular interactive image I’ve been building and fine tuning over the course of the past 5 years. To view the infographic, click on the Google tab above.
I’ve received requests from many of the readers of this blog to share the slideshow, since the webinar was available for Simple K12 members only. So, here is the slideshow. I hope it sparks some ideas for leveraging the power of Google Docs in your classroom.
Google Docs has added Voice Typing to the Google Document! This built in feature allows anyone using Google Docs in the Chrome web browser to dictate text that will be typed.
This built in accessibility feature will be extremely useful for students with special needs because it levels the playing field and provides all students with the opportunity to use the same tools in the classroom. Best of all, It’s easy to use and free!
Locating Google Voice Typing
The voice typing tool can be conveniently found in the Tools Menu of a Google Document. While the feature is not yet available in a Slides, I would guess it’s coming. In the meantime, students can dictate text in the document and copy and paste it into Slides.
- “Exclamation point”
- “Question mark”
- “New line”
- “New paragraph”
Voice typing currently supports the following languages:
Thoughts and a Wish List
Recently, the work that I do with ThingLink EDU has connected me with the Head of Design and Director of Digital Learning at an Independent school in West London. Ed’s ideas was to host a ThingLink Creative Challenge for students, known as the project that challenges students across the globe to learn about everyday products we use by taking them apart. The first round of this project runs through December 4, 2015 and all students are encouraged to enter.
AppSmashing for the Product Deconstruction Challenge
At the time of this writing, we now have 34 student entries in the Product Deconstruction Challenge. This provides me with a great opportunity to do some AppSmashing to quickly share and publish this amazing collection of student work.
AppSmashing with ThingLink & Padlet
The example below takes advantage of just two Apps, ThingLink EDU and Padlet. It demonstrates one of the easiest ways to quickly share and publish the work that was created for the Product Deconstruction Challenge. Taking this a step further, this collection can be embedded and shared in a variety of teacher claimed websites, blogs or wikis.
Explore Student Entries
In this case, I used the Padlet extension for Chrome, a handy button that allows users to quickly grab content and publish it to an existing Padlet without having to switch screens. Just click on the ThingLink image to view it, click the Padlet button in the toolbar and the content is immediately added to any existing Padlet without having to switch the screens. The process of adding the ThingLink images to Padlet took less than 10 minutes.
ThingLink, Explain Everything, YouTube & Padlet
- Create a ThingLink.
- Open the ThingLink in the web browser in Explain Everything.
- Narrate and record a guided tour of the ThingLink.
- Upload the completed Explain Everything to YouTube.
- Copy and paste the link from YouTube to a Padlet.
Explore this Example & Contribute
I happen to be teaching 6 AppSmashing workshops tomorrow, and hope to have more teacher created examples for display. I hope to see this Padlet grow with examples from those workshops, as well as examples from innovative educators reading this post.
Calling All Connected Educators
If you’re a big fan of the Google Form like me, you may have noticed that the icon has changed colors. No longer does the form share the color green with it’s counterpart, the Google Sheet, it now has has it’s own purple icon.
I noticed this a few days ago and thought it was a great idea to acknowledge my favorite Google tool with it’s own color, since I often get confused between the results that are displayed in a spreadsheet and the form itself, when using multiple tabs. Upon further investigation I learned that the Google Form has a new look completely.
Explore the New Google Form
What’s New with Google Forms?
Ways to Use Google Forms
Use a Google Form as an exit ticket to check for understanding. Turn multiple choice or true/false questions into a self-grading quiz by using the Add On Flubaroo on the spreadsheet of results.