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.
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 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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
Digital Compass from Common Sense takes your students through a choose-your-own-adventure digital citizenship game. Designed for middle schoolers, Digital Compass takes them through the experiences of digital life: https://www.digitalcompass.org/.
Through animated videos, short films, games and interactive comics, NetSmartz Teens teaches tweens and teens about making safer choices online: https://www.nsteens.org/.
There are many issues students face on the web, 21 Things for Students has “quests” for students to go on. The quests allow them to learn about different digital citizenship topics: http://21things4students.net/.
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.
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!