Google Cast for Education – Free Screen Mirror Tool

Google Cast for EDU - Screen Mirror tool

WHO: Teachers that need an easy way to share student screens with the class.

HOW: Teachers install Google Cast for Education to their Chrome browser from the Chrome Web Store. Once installed, teachers then set up a name and sharing capabilities.  Students can be added via GAFE e-mails, groups, or classes. Using a future version of Chrome, students will be able to select the cast feature and show the class their work.

WHEN: Most commonly, this can be used to display student projects.  However, teachers can use it as a “show me how you solved this” moment. It is also useful for getting feedback from the class on a difficult problem. It could even be used for digital show and tell.

There are many options out there to mirror student displays. The difference here is that no additional hardware (e.g. AppleTV) or paid software (e.g. Reflector 2) is needed to purchase.  The system administrator simply adds the chrome app to the teacher computer that is connected to the classroom presentation system, and the student devices have an up-to-date version of Chrome when it is released.

Using Google Apps For Education in the past has allowed students to click the share button and have the teacher show the work from the front of the classroom.  Google Cast for Education now allows the student to control the screen from their seat. The added benefit is that the teacher can now walk around the classroom. Educators will be able to help students while the work is being displayed.

Here is a video from Google Apps for Education:

Flat.io: Collaborative Sheet Music – Compose Music With Others In Real-time

Flat.io - Collaborative Musical Score Sheets

WHO: Music teachers interested in students composing music together, online, in real-time.

HOW: Sign up for an account at www.flat.io, or log in with your Google account. Users can manually create song sheets or connect via MIDI controller.  There are 70 instruments to choose from.  When creating a masterpiece, students can collaborate with others by clicking on the add icon by their account, adding others via flat username or e-mail address. Using the school version, there is also an option for teachers to share to Google Classroom.  Teachers can also create assignments from scores they have created.

Flat.io Create Assignment From Score

WHEN: Music teachers would find this useful for lessons on music notation, creating quizzes, tests, and projects. The real-time collaborative aspect gives a great opportunity for group work creating musical scores.

 

By no means am I a musically inclined person, but immediately after selecting to start a new score, I found myself engaged. I play guitar some, so for my first project I created a score for an acoustic guitar. As I put in notes, flat.io played the music for me and created tabs, which I found really useful. There are many different selections to choose from when creating your music.  When you are finished composing, you have the option to export to: .pdf, MusicXML, .mp3, .wav, and .mid.

Wheel Decide: Spin the Wheel to Pick a Random Topic

Wheel Decide - Spin the Wheel to Pick a Student, Topic, or group
Wheel Decide – Spin the wheel to pick a random answer, person, or topic

WHO: Teachers looking for a fun and fair way to let students pick topics at random for class work.

HOW: Visit  http://wheeldecide.com/, click to modify the wheel, add topics, give the wheel a title, and pick advanced options. Choices can removed after they have been landed on, color scheme can be changed, seconds to spin, and more.

WHEN: Wheel Decide is great to have student pick topics for presentations and projects. Teachers could also use it to pick topics for review games in class.  Another option would be to randomly call on students during class time. Wheel Decide is also very useful to studying vocabulary or even assigning teams. After creating a wheel, teachers can copy the embed code to their classroom LMS or website.

Below is a wheel for countries involved in World War II.

 

Google Forms Adds Option For Quizzes

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WHO: Teachers looking for an easy way to make digital assessments utilizing Google Apps for Education.  If you have used the Flubaroo Add-on in the past, you will enjoy how easy it is to assess student responses using Google Forms now!

HOW: Teachers create a new form in Google Drive, then under the settings tab, there are now three options:

“General” which contains selections regarding restrictions, collecting username, number of responses, editing responses, and viewing summary of responses.

“Presentation” which includes Progress Bar, Question Order, Link for Another Response, and Confirmation Message.

“Quizzes” which allows the creator to make the form a quiz, select when grade is released, and what the respondents can see such as correct answers, missed questions, and point values.

After selecting to make the form a quiz, the user can now add an answer key and point value to Multiple Choice, Check All That Apply, and Dropdown style questions.  Simply click the answer key button at the bottom of the new question and there will now be an area to select point value, and also click on the correct answers to create the key (image below).Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.51.08 AM

After creating the key, the teacher can also add an option for answer feedback, both for correct and incorrect answers, including links (image below).

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Once the responses to the quiz start coming in, the teacher is given great data.  Insights include Mean, Median, and Range of points, a bar graph with total point distribution, frequently missed questions, and graphs for the responses of each question.  By clicking over to the “Individual” tab under responses, the teacher can see each students quiz individually.

WHEN:  Using Google Forms Quiz selection is great for quizzes, but it could also be used for formative assessment or as an exit ticket.  You can even go back and change old forms from before, click on settings, and turn it into a quiz.

Who Am I? Civil War Mystery

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WHO: Teachers looking for Civil War resources that help bring lessons to life.

HOW: Direct students to http://amhistory.si.edu/militaryhistory/resources/whoami/whoami.html

WHEN: Who Am I is a great option to extend a lesson on the Civil War. Through investigating the clues, the students are quickly immersed into the lives of various people of the time period. Students digitally examine a variety of items and learn about life in the mid-1800s.

Who Am I does not take a long time to complete.  This would be an option for small group work or as a side project/lesson extension.

BreakoutEdu Digital – Engaging Digital Activities

WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging activity to build skills including critical thinking, problem solving, team work, persistence, patience, internet research and more!

HOW:  I tried activities with grades 7-8 on laptops, and grades 5-6 on iPads.  While we were in a 1:1 environment utilizing small groups, these could be done in groups of 3-5 students with one device or as an entire class together.

Visit http://www.breakoutedu.com/digital, I suggest starting with “Og’s Great Adventure” for yourself.  This will help you understand what the students will be looking for.  In both of the events I helped with, the students worked on “San Diego Vacation“.

During these events, locks will be listed on the left hand side. These locks could be words, numbers, directions, colors, etc..  Students need to search on the screen for links.  Many will be hidden and users need to pick up on subtle clues to find where to click.  These will take you to clues, hints, puzzles, or riddles. These answers could be the locks, or could give you something to search for in order to unlock the code.

WHEN: Breakouts are great activities for team building and can be used to leave lasting memories with your students here at the end of the day. The students I worked with were deeply engaged, focused for the entire time, and had huge smiles on their faces, even when they were frustrated.  The best part is being around the students when they have the “a-ha” moment of solving a lock on their own.

Teachers Try Science – Lesson Plans and Resources

WHO: Teachers looking for lesson plans and resources for Algebra, Earth Science, Geometry, Measurement, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Special Needs.

HOW: Teachers sign up for a free account at http://www.teacherstryscience.org/, click on “Lesson Plans”, and sort through topic, target grade (5-12), and/or estimated time required.  Teachers Try Science will then give many options of lesson plans to try.  Many of these lesson plans also contain any resources, such as worksheets, presentation, etc..

WHEN: The summer months are a great time to start looking ahead for lessons the next school year. As teachers, we should reflect on the lessons we use, and be open to seeing what works for others.

Reflector 2 by Squirrels

Reflector2

*I have only used the software with Apple devices*

SOFTWARE TITLE: Reflector 2

COST: $14.99

OS: OS X 10.7.5 or Later, Windows 7, Windows 8 (Windows 8 RT is not supported) or Windows 10, Android 4.1 & compatible device.

POSITIVE: Reflector 2 is a great alternative to having an AppleTV in the classroom, many would actually consider it to be better.  When Reflector is on, the computer is then available as an option for AirPlay.  I was able to use it from an iPad, iPhone, and a MacBook.  This gives teachers an option to display student works, quickly and easily, at a fraction of the cost.  When purchasing for a school, be sure to contact the company for bulk pricing options.

Another piece that makes Reflector 2 stand out over the AppleTV is that you can have multiple devices connected at once.  This allows the teacher to display multiple students work at one time.  Teachers can also mute screens and have them set up for next in line.

The final feature that sets Reflector 2 out as a great match for the classroom is the option to record.  If a student is giving a presentation, or you are creating a tutorial video, simply connect the device and click the record button.

My understanding is that it also works when using Windows or Android based devices, but I have not tried it out myself.

NEGATIVE: The only issue I have run into is a little bit of lag when I was streaming Apple Music from my iPhone to my MacBook Pro.  This issue could have been due to network traffic, but I have not had the opportunity to troubleshoot it yet.

SIDE NOTE: Squirrels is based out of Ohio and is a sponsor of the EdCamp movement.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!

Thank you to all the teachers out there! Please do no think that it goes unnoticed when you spend your own money on supplies, give up weekends for PD, or stay late to plan lessons and grade papers. There are many of you out there across the globe, and you are each special, especially to that classroom full of students you greet each morning.

You are greatly loved and respected.

Share My Lesson: Online Platform Share Lessons With Other Teachers

WHO: K-12 Teachers looking to share their lessons and resources with others, as well as teachers that are looking for lessons to use in their classroom.

HOW: Teachers need to create an account in order to use ShareMyLesson.  After logging in, users can upload lessons, including tagging standards, adding attachments and links, and descriptions.

Teachers looking for lesson ideas, can search by state standards, grade level, topic area and more.

WHEN: During the summer months, teachers can use ShareMyLesson to either upload their lessons to have in one area, or start looking at what other teachers are doing to enhance their own.

ShareMyLesson is great as it allows teachers from anywhere to share ideas with others.