LTC Monthly Tech Tips! – April 2019

PBL Idea Cards

The Buck Institute for Education’s new PBLWorks website features 63 downloadable projects for K-12 in English language arts, math, science, social studies, world languages, fine arts, health and physical education and other STEM topics.

https:/www.pblworks.org/

Add a Google Drive File to Multiple Drive Folders

Open Google Drive through your web browser and select a file or folder. Now press Shift + Z. You’ll see an “Add to Folder” pop-up. Next, select the folder where you wish to add the selected files and click OK. Your file will be in both places, without making a separate copy of the file!

Add Screencastify Videos in Google Slides

You can add Screencastify videos directly to your Google Slides with the Screencastify for Google Slides Add-On. Open a slide deck and click on Add-Ons, then Get Add-Ons. Search for the add-on and then click the “+ Free” button. Now, when you record a screencast using Screencastify, you can just go to your add-ons and add the video directly to the slide!

Organize your Google Keep

Using the Category Tabs for Google Keep Chrome extension allows you to use colors in Keep to organize your notes. Learn more about this process in this helpful article from Carlos Jeurissen.

Add Emojis to Google Drive Folders

Do you love a good emoji? Add some to your Google Drive folder/file names to spice them up! In order to do this, add an emoji keyboard to your Chromebook’s keyboard options, or simply search for an emoji keyboard in a Google search. When you find the emoji that fits your folder or file name, copy and paste it into the name area. Now you have an exciting way to organize your Google Drive! 🤗 🤩

Manage Your To-Do List with Google Tasks!

Have you taken advantage of Google’s new and improved Tasks feature? Tasks is now located in the sidebar of Gmail, Calendar, and all other Google apps! This great feature allows you to create checklists that are manageable throughout the Google Suite of tools!

Follow Twitter Hashtag without a Twitter Account

Have you seen a Twitter Hashtag advertised but you feel left out because you don’t have Twitter? Well, it is possible to follow conversations on Twitter without a Twitter account! For example, if you would like to revisit the conversation that took place during the recent ICE Conference, cut and paste the following URL into your browser: https://twitter.com/hashtag/ice19?f=tweets&vertical=default . As Twitter users post about the things they are learning and sharing at the conference using the hashtag #ice19, the posts will show up on this webpage. So even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can see what people are sharing from the conference.

Force Copy (and Preview!)

Do you know how to force someone to make a copy of a Google Doc? Did you also know that you can preview these documents before making an actual copy? Check out this 1-pager that shows you how to do both! Force Copy in Google Docs 

Teachers Talking Tech Recap

On January 25th, thirty teachers from around Northern Illinois gathered at Highland Community College in Freeport, IL to attend the first Teachers Talking Tech Mini-Conference. Attendees braved the -30 wind chill temperatures in order to learn successful technology integration practices. The LTC partnered with Carroll, JoDaviess, and Stephenson Regional Office of Education 8 to host the event.

To kick off the mini-conference, Ben Sondgeroth (RETC, Learning Technology Center North), presented a session on Moving Past the Digital Worksheet, Evaluating Technology’s Impact on the Lesson. Ben discussed tools and strategies for teachers to think through how and why they are utilizing technology in the classroom. He presented on three of the most commonly used evaluation models: SAMR, TPACK, and The 4 Shifts Protocol. Each of these models offer teachers an opportunity to reflect on their lesson’s technology integration and evaluate how they might enhance their student’s learning. Ben then encouraged teachers to think about the new tools and strategies using the Monday to Someday mindset. This mindset asks teachers to categorize new ideas and tools in two ways: am I able to take this back and implement it with my students on Monday, or is this an idea or strategy I would like to learn more about and apply someday?

Nicole Zumpano (RETC, Learning Technology Center Chicagoland) followed, sharing Google workflow tips and tricks. Presenting from a hyperdoc, Nicole provided the attendees with 19 of her most useful Google strategies. Some highlights include:

  • Using multiple Chrome profiles to separate Google accounts
  • Leveraging the power of search in Google Drive
  • Leveraging public calendar view to share events with parents
  • Adding emojis to your Google Drive file names
  • Using the G Suite Training Extension

Nicole’s helpful strategies gave many in the audience new ideas on how to better streamline their digital workflow.

Elizabeth Byam (4th Grade Teacher, Riverbend Schools) then presented several tools and strategies she is using with her students. Elizabeth immediately got the attention of the audience by doing a demonstration of Quizlet Live. Acting as the “teacher,” Elizabeth randomly placed the attendees in groups and pushed a quiz on state capitals out to them all. The room was buzzing as teams raced to finish the quiz first. Elizabeth then moved on to discuss how she is leveraging Loom for screencasting in the classroom, Estimation 180, and Green Screen by DoInk. Her creative and interactive approach had all the teachers engaged and excited to bring new tools to their classrooms!

After lunch, Jody Pauly and Scott Woodly (Pear City School District) partnered to showcase strategies they are using in their school district. Scott, an IT Director, shared his favorite Google Hacks, before turning the podium over to Jody to discuss Flipgrid. Jody demonstrated how she leveraged Flipgrid to engage her 3rd graders in online discussion. She then created a demo grid and asked participants to respond and think about how they might leverage the tool with their students. To wrap the session Scott challenged teachers to not be afraid of failing with technology. He emphasized that technology integration isn’t easy but sticking to the old methods does not help prepare our students for the future. His motivational message was a perfect ending to an amazing day of learning.

To end the day, all attendees entered a raffle for iPad cases that were generously donated by Rug-Ed Cases. Three lucky teachers left with brand new iPad cases. We appreciate Rug-Ed’s contribution to the event!

It was inspiring to see so many teachers attend a professional learning event, even when many of their schools canceled for the day. The desire to learn and grow was evident in the room, and the LTC looks forward to hosting more events like this in the future!

Filed Under

3 Tech Tips to Kick Off 2019!

Every month our staff will be publishing a post sharing some of their favorite tech tips! For January we focus on leveraging bookmarking in Google Chrome, creating online lessons, and protecting your privacy while searching.

#1 Save Space on Your Chromebook Bookmarks Bar!

Are you frustrated at the lack of space available on the Bookmarks Bar? To solve this simply delete the name of the bookmark when you are adding it to your Bookmarks Bar. In doing this, you will only see the “Favicon,” or logo, of the website.

#2 Turn Any Website into an Interactive Online Lesson

The InsertLearning Chrome Extension is a great way to teach current events or anything on the web. This extension provides you with a toolbar enabling you to make notations,  insert questions or even add discussions right within a web-based resource. There are even templates to help you get started.

#3 Try Using DuckDuckGo as a Search Engine to Protect Online Privacy

Use the search engine DuckDuckGo to take back your privacy. DuckDuckGo has a business model where they don’t need to track your searches, store or share your personal information to make money. Everything you search for using DuckDuckGo is private.

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Recapping the Redesigning Learning Spaces Summits

On January 17th and 18th, the Learning Technology Center partnered with two amazing schools, Buffalo Grove High School, Buffalo Grove, and Middletown Prairie Elementary School, Mahomet for the inaugural Redesigning Learning Spaces Summit. Educators from across the state attended both sites to better understand the design process and learn from each school’s unique experience.

David Jakes

David Jakes started both mornings off with an engaging keynote presentation that focused on why schools were deciding to redesign their spaces. David paid special attention to the details that education teams need to consider when undertaking a project of this scale. Discussion ranged from paint colors in rooms (#beyondbeige) to the specific types of furniture available for purchase. After the keynote, attendees were able to ask David about his experience in consulting schools through the redesign process.

In the afternoon, educators went on school tours by building administrators and teachers. During the tours, attendees were given detailed information on many different aspects of the redesign process including budgeting, professional development provided, and lessons learned throughout their experiences.

At the end of the day, attendees interacted with a panel of host school personnel. Each panel discussed the decision-making process and the fundamental reasons for changing their learning spaces. Attendees came away extremely impressed with both schools, and conversations sparked at how to build off the knowledge gained at the summit.

The LTC would like to thank both Buffalo Grove High School and Middleton Prairie opening their doors and being exceptional host schools. We would also like to thank David Jakes for keynoting the event and bringing his expertise to the day. If you would like the resources David shared during his presentation, please email him at david@davidjakesdesigns.com.

Learn How to Use Google Classroom!

At the start of the 2018 school year, Google launched its largest update of Google Classroom ever! With the update, Google significantly changed many of the core features of Google Classroom. To assist teachers in understanding this update RETC Ben Sondgeroth has created an in-depth video playlist on all things Google Classroom. No matter if you are new or a seasoned veteran to using Google Classroom, this video playlist is for you! Click the menu icon in the top left corner of the video screen to find all the videos on the playlist.

For more great video content be sure to subscribe to the LTC YouTube Channel!

 

Google Classroom Playlist

 

Digital Citizenship Week Recap

The Learning Technology Center of Illinois participated in Digital Citizenship Week October 15th-19th, 2018. Throughout the week, LTC staff curated and shared various digital citizenship resources through social media channels. Here are the full collection of resources from Regional Educational Technology Coordinators for use with your students.

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Encourage Digital Media Literacy with Listenwise and Allsides

In today’s world, our students continually face claims of fake news and information from biased or unreliable sources. While this is often difficult for adults to deal with, it can be extremely challenging for students to navigate the constant stream of information available to them. An important aspect of digital citizenship is learning how to decipher what is quality sourced information, and what is not.

As teachers, we have the ability to leverage online tools in our classrooms that teach our students how to critically think through and evaluate online content. While there are many resources available on the internet, two stand out as great tools to assist students in learning how to consider the reliability of the information with which they come into contact. This quick video features Listenwise and AllSides as two great websites that assist students in recognizing arguments and critically thinking through their content.

 

Google Wants Your Students to Be Internet Awesome!

In today’s society, most of our students are immersed in technology. From cell phones to devices in school to tablets and computers at home, students are accessing technology constantly. During this interaction, students are liable to encounter strangers, fake news, spam, cyberbullying, and the potential to say or post something they might regret later. Our students today face an online world that many adults cannot imagine. They face continual challenges and the threat of engaging in a bad online situation always there. So how can we, as educators, help students navigate these online situations properly? One option comes from Google’s Be Internet Awesome Digital Citizenship and Safety Curriculum. Google designed the Be Internet Awesome curriculum in collaboration with iKeepSafe with the goal of teaching students the five fundamentals of digital citizenship.

  • Share with Care
  • Don’t Fall for Fake
  • Secure Your Secrets
  • It’s Cool to Be Kind
  • When in Doubt, Talk It Out

This curriculum provides teachers with two methods to integrate these fundamentals with their students. The first is a fully written curriculum, complete with lesson plans and activities for teachers to bring to their classrooms. The written curriculum covers the five fundamentals of digital citizenship extensively, giving the teacher many different talking points to discuss with their students.

The crown jewel of the curriculum comes in the form of the web-based game Interland. Interactive and fun, the game puts students into situations in which they may find themselves while navigating the internet. In order to advance through the game, students must correctly answer questions from the curriculum. If not having Chromebooks worries you, don’t fret! Interland is available through any web browser, including on iPads!

If you have been looking for a manageable way to create learning opportunities around digital citizenship lesson in your classroom, I encourage you to explore the Be Internet Awesome website where you will find a wide variety of FREE resources that will help you get started today!