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Showing posts from February, 2020

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Tech Tip of the Week - Feb. 28, 2020

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The Internet is the wild west. It can be a bit… uncivilized. How do we teach our students, as well as our own children… and ourselves for that matter, to bring a touch of civilization to the internet? How do teach and learn how to protect ourselves from those internet ruffians? Google to the rescue! Go check out beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com. (That’s “be internet awesome (dot) with google (dot) com” without the spaces.) Be Internet Awesome covers topics like being kind, but not oversharing, securing your accounts, and finding truth on the internet. It’s even got games to teach the concepts. Yes, it seems like it’s aimed at students younger than High School, but if they haven’t learned it by now, they could use the exposure. Consider this for your own children as well.

Tech Tip of the Week - Feb. 21, 2020

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I fought against this one for a long time, but it has more value than I originally thought as a professional learning tool. I’m talking about Twitter. Just like every other “social media” platform, it is what you make of it. At first, it can be a bit like trying to sip water from a firehose. Realize you don’t have to read it all, so just relax and take whatever you get whenever you get the chance. The beauty of Twitter is that you will see what you follow. So here’s what you do… make a Twitter account specifically for professionals worth following. Here’s some recommendations… follow @DrBradJohnson, @jmattmiller, @teachbetterteam, @googledocs, @ericcurts, @burgessdave, @shakeuplearning, @JakeMillerTech, @danielrivera, and of course, @itsthemitchell. Want a crash course in using Twitter as a Professional Learning Network? Hit me up!

Tech Tip of the Week - Feb 18, 2020

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Think of an idea. Something for your classroom, or perhaps your life. Something big. Something unattainable. Something pie-in-the-sky. Got it? Great. Now, let’s talk about the adjacent possible. The adjacent possible is in the shadows around where you are right now. It’s something you can do that would move you (and your new adjacent possible) closer to that ultimate goal. Want to try something new? Want to move your classroom, life, or career in a different direction, but don’t think it’s possible? Maybe it’s not possible now, but through interactions with the adjacent possible, you can get there. Now I want you to not only apply the adjacent possible to your idea, but I also want you to show your students their adjacent possible. Most importantly, be the reason somebody smiles today.

Tech Tip of the Week - Feb 14, 2020

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By now you’ve seen the Squatter… and if you haven’t check it out here... (Squatter 1, Squatter 2, Squatter 3, Squatter 4, Squatter 5, Squatter 6) Anyway, the amazing graphic design work done on the Squatter is all done on Canva.com. Canva is a graphic design website. It is a “freemium” website, so some features are free, and others cost money. Have your students give it a try the next time you are having them create something. You’ll be surprised at the quality of work that can be achieved without previous expertise… just look at the Squatter. It’s all done for free on Canva.

Tech Tip of the Week - Feb 10, 2020

I'll make this short.

Niceonedad.com

You're welcome.

Tech Tip of the Week - Feb 7, 2020

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How far do you drive to work? 5 minutes? 10? 30? If you’re commuting to the bustling metropolis for work every day, consider subscribing to a podcast or two. This may come as a surprise, but many of my ideas aren’t my ideas at all. They’re ideas that come from podcasts I listen to on the way to and from work each day (except Friday. Friday is reserved for music.) There are several podcast apps (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Sticher, even Spotify has a podcast section now.) There are also tons of subject areas for you to consider subscribing to. For Ed Tech, I listen to Google Teacher Tribe, Shake Up Learning, Cult of Pedagogy, and Educational Duct Tape. Let me know if you need any recommendations or help getting started. As always, be the reason somebody smiles today.

Tech Tip of the Week - Feb 7, 2020

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We don't like to talk about this, but you need to understand... Copyright is a real thing, and you are responsible for making sure you have the legal right to use your class resources. Here’s something helpful to make sure the images you are using when creating those class resources are legal for reuse. Go to images.google.com and search for the image you want. Once you have your results, click “Tools” then “Usage Rights” then select one of the “Labeled for Reuse” options. If you are going to be selling the resource on Teachers Pay Teachers, make sure you are allowed to commercially use the images you select. I know it’s a pain, but take a minute to Google “Houston ISD Copyright” for an example of why it matters.

Update - Earlier this week, a school in California was fined $250 for a public showing of a movie. The PTO legally purchased a Blu-Ray copy of The Lion King (2019) and used that for a family movie night fundraiser. What's the problem with that? Well, legally purchasi…

Tech Tip of the Week - Feb 5, 2020

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Oh Snap! How often do you want to have two programs open next to each other on your Windows laptop? I am constantly working with multiple windows open. If you want to snap a window to one half of the screen, hold the windows key, and push the left (or right) arrow key. That should snap the window to half of the screen. Better yet, if you have other windows open, it will ask you which one you want open on the other side of the screen. You can also do this by clicking and dragging the title bar of the window to the side or corner of the screen. This is a Windows feature called Snap.

Tech Tip of the Week - Feb 3, 2020

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Work with PDF files? If you haven’t found it yet, pdfcandy.com is a one-stop-shop for your PDF needs. You can convert various files to and from PDF files, edit them, combine, crop, split, delete pages, resize, add watermark, extract text, extract images… and a ton of other things. At last count, there were a total of 42 PDF-related tools at pdfcandy.com. If you’re concerned about editing or converting files via the internet, PDF Candy is also installable on your Windows laptop.