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Showing posts from 2015

I Heart Desmos

I have written about Desmos before but that was two years ago. And the folks at Desmos have been busy. Specifically today I want to talk about three specific things they have given us since.
Activities by DesmosOne of the first things they started to create was a set of activities that, at times, didn't even use the graphing calculator. But all of them are really well done. I still think my favourite is Central Park. In this one students walk through the development of what a formula is. And they do it in such a low key way that starts with estimation and a simple visual interface that deals with making parking spaces. Other activities like Penny Circle (modelling functions) used the skills of Dan Meyer to interface the graphing calculator with an interesting activity. Function Carnival (distance time graphs), Tile Pile (ratios) and Waterline (modelling functions) showed the diversity of mathematics. From lower end ratio stuff all the way to related rates.
And then they came out w…

10 Creative Alternatives to Research Reports and Papers

10 creative alternatives to research reports and papers

 (Flickr / Nic McPhee)
 The following article was pulled from the Ditch the Textbook website  by Matt Miller
I felt the 10 alternatives are worth a look and so is his website.
The merits of doing research and creating these reports and papers are valid. When they create them, students … Gather informationEvaluate sourcesOrganize and synthesize dataForm ideas and cohesive thoughtsCreate a polished, finished product

Guest Post: EDpuzzle- Import Videos and Incorporate Questions

EDpuzzle is a free tool that allows you to import videos from sources such as Youtube, Ted Talks, etc and then edit the videos and incorporate questions for the students to complete into the videos.  The program then tallies the performance of your students and displays the results.

Personally I have used it for: Review of material Flipped Classroom Completing simple material that I do not want to spend class time on.

The students I have used it with have found it very easy to use and seem to enjoy interacting with the videos.  Furthermore, once an EDpuzzle is created it is available for anyone to use, so you can search EDpuzzle itself for videos related to your topic of interest.

Instructions for Setting up an EDpuzzle

Step 1 - Create a teacher account Simple follow the onscreen instructions.  I would recommend using your Mytools2go account as your log in.

Step 2 - Create a Class

Once you are logged in as a teacher you will see a screen like the one above and you will select ‘A…

Caution on new Iphone iOS 9 Feature

The new iOS 9 has a new feature that will allow your iphone to switch between your data plan and wifi to keep a strong uninterrupted signal.  This feature is on by default.  Keep an eye on this!  It can be very useful but some social media apps and other websites can pull some major bandwidth quickly!  This is OK on wifi but if your iphone switches automatically between the two you may get a very high unwelcomed data bill!

Please look for a more detailed report here:  

That's how they do that...!

CREATING VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS AND NARRATED PRESENTATIONS USING SCREENCASTING SOFTWAREWHAT IS SCREENCASTING? Wikipedia defines a screencast as a digital recording of a computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration. 
A screencast is essentially a movie of the changes over time that a user sees on a computer screen, enhanced with audio narration.
There are two free options for creating screenscasts quickly. screencastomatic is best for laptops, computers, etc.offers up 15 minutes of screencasting at a timetutorial (video)screencastify - Chrome app available on Chromebooks and other devicesoffers up to 10 minutes of screencasting at a timetutorial (video)LEARNING OPPORTUNITIESIn the classroom, screencasting is an opportunity for both educators and students:
NARRATED PRESENTATIONSStudents and Teachers create a slideshow or image, create a screencast while narrating the slideshow, and then 'present' the video to the class, or simply share i…

The Future of Field Trips

So I just purchased my own Google Cardboard. And if you don't know what that is, well then this post is for you. Depending on your age you might remember a thing called a ViewMaster. You may have even had one as a kid. Well Google Cardboard is the 2015 version. Google Cardboard is the way to get an Oculus Rift-like 3D virtual reality experience for a fraction of the cost. It is basically a cardboard holder for your smartphone and takes stereographic images to the next level. So before I go any further, let me show you a very quick demo of what Google Cardboard can do (at least a few features):

So you get the 3D effect (like on a Viewmaster) because you are seeing two stereographic images (one with each eye) and because these images and videos are shot with a special 360o camera rig, that means you can take advantage of the gyroscopic tech in your phones to actually look anywhere in those images or videos (even as the video is playing).
Google Cardboard Not NeededNow you don't …

GUEST POST: Howard B. Wigglebottom Animated Books

As a speciality teacher at Notre Dame Elementary School, my role this year has been to teach computers to students from grades JK-6. One of my earlier goals was to incorporate media literacy into my lessons, providing students with meaningful and engaging stories while also incorporating technology into the lesson. One of my favourite series of books is Howard B. Wigglebottom; I have most of the hard cover books. In September, I had introduced my students to the story, “Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen,”  since it is an appropriate selection to help reinforce back-to-school rules. The books in this series revolve around one theme, an important life lesson as experienced through the main character, a bunny named Howard B. Wigglebottom. Seeing how the students reacted positively to my choice in books, I found myself searching the Internet for computer based activities which would tie in nicely with this series. In my quest, I was fortunate to come across a website which provides …

Google Classroom APP

The Following was taken from the Google Classroom Android App Description.

The App is available on ANDROID and IOS

Using Google Classroom in school? Get the Android App to use Classroom on the go. Classroom helps teachers save time, keep classes organized, and improve communication with students. It is available to anyone with Google Apps for Education, a free suite of productivity tools including Gmail, Drive and Docs. Classroom is designed to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly, including time-saving features like the ability to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student. It also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized. Students can keep track of what’s due on the Assignments page and begin working with just a click. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom. With the mobile app for Android, students …