Friday, November 17, 2017

Links and Loves

It has been a week filled with great technology learning moments.

I attended the Amplify CollaborateIT conference on Tuesday. Here are some of the incredible takeaways from the keynote speaker, John McElligott who talked about Embracing Disruption. John works at York Exponential in Pennsylvania. He spoke about Robotics,  Humanized Computing and mind controlled bionic arms OH MY!  To say the least, I was in my techy element.

This week I listened to this podcast - Is Facebook Spying on You? Have you experienced talking about a product and then having it appear on your Facebook Ads?

This book was recommended to me and I’m going to start reading it over Thanksgiving break. It’s about coping with the exponential increase in computing power.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. A friend made me a turkey placeholder like this one.  Simple and fun!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Links and Loves

Happy Veteran’s Day - today and tomorrow I celebrate all of the men and women that serve or have served in our military. Thank you to Andrew Schaller for putting together this honor wall at Oshkosh West High School. My Uncle Jerry Kunde is on this wall.

I listened to this podcast this week which gave me so many things to think about and consider with technology and deep thinking.  Are we using the applications and tools to the fullest potential?

Did you read my blogpost on Ways to Use Animation for Student Projects and Engaging Lessons?  It amazes me how far animation and 3D design has come in just a few years.

This week I am working with a teacher and her students to record a Ted Talk using Flipgrid. I also set up a new BreakoutEDU, a scrapbooking and card making station and we finished a pixel art poster in the Innovation Lab.

This week, someone surprised me with free printable pumpkins for our Innovation Lab. What a thoughtful thing to do.

And yesterday, I received a Boogie Board with Liquid Crystal Paper from Blackboard to try out. Think of a modern, cutting-edge way to take notes and share them digitally.

It has been a productive week and I'm thankful for all of the wonderful surprises.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

How to Use Animation for Student Projects and Engaging Lessons

Animation Comes in Many Forms

Using animation tools can help to add engagement, creativity and technological knowledge for students . Animations can also add excitement to your lessons. With plenty of applications for animation, the days of static imagery and boring presentations are long gone. Here are some of the possibilities.

Create looping Gifs 
ABCya Animate or Giphy can be used to make looping animations called gifs. Students could show a process, change over time or movement through a gif. 

With ABCya Animate, students can create scenes that will play in a short animated video.  This site seems most appropriate for elementary and middle school students, however, when I showed this recently to some high school students, they enjoyed creating gifs and with the ability to add your own images this site becomes more attractive. 

Giphy can be used to upload a series of images to turn into a gif or a paste in the url of a YouTube video and select a portion to turn into a gif.


Comic Strip Animation
Sometimes an appropriate way to show learning or creativity is through a comic strip. With the growing popularity of graphic novels and of animated films, comic strips are a popular choice for student creation.

MakeBeliefsComix is a simple comic strip creator that has a very low learning curve. No account is needed to use this site and the options for sharing include email, print or save image as a png (image file). Add backgrounds, characters, thought bubbles and objects easily. Use the selection window to customize the look of each item being added. Here are 25 ways to use Make Beliefs Comix in the classroom.

StoryboardThat is one of the most advanced free comic strip creators out there. With the ability to edit and customize every frame and object in the comic, students will be able to create very detailed and realistic comics.

3D Animation
With the advancements in 3D printing and virtual reality and 3D animation in movies, this technology is of interest to most students and educators. Uses in the classroom might include creating 3D models, designing home decor or jewelry, prototyping a product, creating unique objects, character creation for games or displaying objects for viewing.

TinkerCad is a free online 3D design tool where the user can add or import shapes, adjust those shapes to exact dimensions, rotations or levels, and combine shapes to build models, characters or objects. Download as a stl file for 3D printing on a 3D printer.

SketchFab is a place to create, upload, view and share your 3D creations online. Import a stl file (stl is a file for 3D viewing and printing), perhaps from TinkerCad, and enjoy the ability to edit your creation. Use the SketchFab app on your phone to view your creation in VR mode.

Animation Videos
The days of boring presentations and still imagery are going away. With the ability to create animated catchy videos and avatars, today's students can delve into exciting new options.

Powtoon is free, easy to use and helps to create clever and entertaining videos and presentations. With ready-made templates, a simple click and drag interface, a quick voiceover tool and easy animations, Powtoon is a great choice for student and teacher creation. 

Voki is a great free tool for creating an animated avatar with some features available with a premium account.  Add a computer generated voice or your own voice to send a spoken message to your audience. Create avatars that resemble a real person, characters from a story, historical figures, famous people, etc.  
click here
I hope this blog post inspires you and your students to give animation a try. I love all of the possibilities and options.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

CheckMark - Give Feedback and Grade Writing Quickly

CheckMark is an Extension for Giving Feedback Quickly

Classrooms continue to become more and more paperless with writing assignments in Google Docs and extensions such as CheckMark can make the process of giving feedback and grading writing assignments much more timely and efficient.

Here is how the extension works. First add the extension in the Chrome Web Store. Once you have added the extension, open a writing assignment in Google Docs. 

Next click on the extension to turn the check mark green.

Then highlight any word or group of words and a popup list of possible comments will appear. 

If the popup list does not appear, you may need to click on the Secure or i next to the url to allow for popups. 

When you hover over an icon in the list, the feedback text will show.  When you click on a icon, the feedback will be added to the Google Doc as a comment. 

Here are all of the choices for possible feedback that can be given.  If you wanted to give feedback that is not on this list, you could simply insert a comment by highlighting text and typing in the feedback. The difference is with the CheckMark extension, you do not need to type anything in for the comment to appear. Simply selecting the icon will insert the comment.

Giving critical feedback in a timely manner is important for increasing student engagement. Students should know if they are doing things correctly or if there are areas that they can improve on. The Chrome extension CheckMark can help teachers to add comments quickly and give this critical feedback to students.  If you give this extension a try, let me know how it works for you.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Links and Loves

Happy Fall Ya’ll

Today is my Friday, so I’m sharing some Links and Loves a little early.

I want to try making these pumpkins - this is called Hydro Dipping and it is sooooo interesting!  Or perhaps I will make these since they look simple.

This is an excellent video for National Stop Bullying Month (October)

The people of Puerto Rico are getting some help with Internet through Project Loon.  Read more about Project loon and other moonshot thinking projects here.

Padlet now has
voting and grading. Woo Hoo!  I use Padlet all of the time.

One of my goals this fall is to eat healthy and prep meals for the week on the weekend. Here are some recipes I’ve been giving a try.  I made the Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash and it was so flavorful! And because I had a lot of leftover Quinoa, I also made this recipe. YUMMMMMMM!  Finally, I’ve been savoring this lovely zucchini bread.  You can follow my healthy (low carb) recipes on Pinterest.

Happy Halloween and stay safe.