Friday, October 20, 2017

Links and Loves

One of the things I love about technology and the Internet is how random things can be.
Here is a list of very random Links and Loves.

This week I did some coding with students in an after school program. has an entire collection of coding activities ranging from grades 2 - 12. We used Karel the Dog to learn basic Java Script which was challenging enough for the students.

Thank you Kasey Bell from Shake Up Learning for teaching me how to make short gifs using Gyazo. This is such a simple and useful tool for any educator.

I was very moved by this video shared with me from Tara Lere, an educator from East Range Academy of Science and Technology in Minnesota, who is participating in ISTE’s Verizon Mobile Learning Academy. Tara uses the video in her health class.

Gotta Love Millennials is a multi-track video sung by a Gen X singer with a lot of humor. Compare this to If Ye Love Me which is a multi-track video of a song from the Renaissance time period sung by a Millennial.

I warned you these were RANDOM!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Troubleshooting with a Capital T

Sharing a Few Troubleshooting Tips

With updates to browsers and the GSuite happening at lightening speed, I sometimes have to solve computer issues on a daily basis.

Today I'm sharing a few troubleshooting tips for you and your students that can make mobile learning in the classroom a bit easier.

Tip #1 - Enable Flash for recording or viewing videos
Sometimes you or your students will get the dreaded puzzle piece screen. This is because Adobe Flash is not being allowed on the site.

Here is the quick fix.  Click on the puzzle piece and then click on allow.

Here is more of a long term fix. Click on the lock and secure area to the left of the URL (omni box) and then click on always allow on this site. Finally reload the page and Flash will run.

Tip #2 - If you get a blocked site screen, one thing to try is to make sure your connection is secure. Add https:// at the beginning of the url to give yourself a secure connection. You may also have to add www. at the beginning of the URL.

Tip #3 - If sites aren't loading correctly or if you are seeing a different search page or new tab page than what you usually do, try this. Click on the three dots in the top right corner (this might also be a circle with an explanation point), and go to more tools and extensions. Disable or delete any extensions that you are not familiar with or that you have added. Extensions often can cause issues with webpages loading correctly.

Tip #4 -  Too many extensions on your Chrome browser can cause your pages to load slowly or to not load at all.  Use the extension Extensity to quickly enable and disable extensions. 

Tip #5 - If you are seeing issues with your Chromebook or laptop working slowly or shutting down randomly, check to make sure your device has at least 10% battery. If not, plug it in. 

Another thing to check is to make sure you have the latest version of Chrome. Type chrome:chrome in the omni box and then allow your browser to update. Restart your computer and you will be good to go.

Hopefully these few troubleshooting tips were helpful. Do you have a troubleshooting trick that you use? Please share it with us.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Links and Loves

I showed a few students Auto Draw this week. They were impressed. They felt artistic, talented and creative.
Did you play the Baamboozle game “How Well Do You Know Deb Norton?”  I wrote about Baamboozle here. I love playing games for learning.

Google Pixel Buds - These could be a game changer. Wireless headphones that translate in 40 languages.

 After a busy week of HOCO activities and teaching, sometimes we need to just sit for 2 minutes and do nothing. Another option is to be calm and meditate.

My weekend goal is to take time to breathe, relax and rejuvenate; even though there are a million things that need to be done. What are your weekend goals?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Baamboozle - Let's Play A Game

Baamboozle - A fun game that can be played with your class

When I first came across the site Baamboozle, I was instantly reminded of this Friends episode:

Games can be so much fun and make learning truly enjoyable. Unless you are playing the game Bamboozled with Joey, Ross and Chandler.

Now that I have sidetracked everyone, let's start over. 
Baamboozle is a site that has featured games as well as a simple game creation tool. 

There are two modes to Baamboozle: Play Game and Study Mode.
Study Mode is for students to practice the content in class and Play Game is to play the game in teams.

Here is an example of one of the featured games on idioms.

Creating your own game is very easy.  Type in a question and the answer and choose how many points the question is worth. Add an image if you wish and click on +Add question.  

Project your game in front of your class and decide which mode (study or play) you want to use. 
If you choose Play Game - you then are prompted to tell how many teams you will have in your class. You will also choose between Quiz or Classic mode. 

A team chooses a number on the board and tries to answer the question. Click on "check" to see if the answer is correct and then click on Oops or Okay to award points or not.

Classic mode adds luck to the game with random events like these. Somehow I now see the connection between Joey's Bamboozled and this game, Baamboozle. 

or this
or this

With Study Mode there are no teams and when the question is selected the answer appears and you can select oops or okay to keep track of your progress.

Baamboozle can easily be shared with the URL link and students can play the game on their own devices.

Are you ready to play my Baamboozle game? It is called "How Well Do You Know Deb Norton?"  Click here to play.  
***Note: Everything in this quiz is 100% truthful.

I highly recommend using Baamboozle to bring a challenge and some fun to your lessons. And I'm pretty sure students will learn from the games as well.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Links and Loves

How was your week? Mine was great!!  Here are some Links and Loves to support your classrooms.

Classroom Screen looks like a useful tool for any classroom. Project various items on the screen for your class including a timer, a random name picker, stop light, text box, etc. No account needed and very easy to use.
If you are looking for a timeline creation tool for your students, Time Graphics looks really REALLY good!  It’s free and these examples look impressive.

Do you want to promote writing with students? Try this simple website.  Set a time and start writing. If the student stops writing for more than 5 seconds, the writing disappears!  When the time is up, the work is saved by date. Students can then download what they wrote or click on the saved file.

A student felt this was important enough to share with me. So I must pass it onto you as well. It's the simple things that can bring me to smile.

It's been an incredible week of connecting with educators both at Oshkosh North High School where I work and with teachers and administrators from all over the nation who are participating in the VMLA free ISTE course in which I am an online coach.  I'm one lucky lady to be able to work and learn from so many amazing and dedicated educators.