Thursday, April 28, 2022

Virtual Field Trips with Expeditions Pro

 

Expeditions Pro

Taking virtual field trips with Expeditions Pro



Created by Scott Aten, April 28, 2022
Many of you may remember Google Expeditions.  This was a great tool that allowed students to travel virtually to locations all over the globe.  Teachers could expose students to sights they may never have an opportunity to see or experience.  Unfortunately Google elected to stop supporting this tool, much to the disappointment of teachers everywhere.  Expeditions Pro is filling the void left by the retired Google Expeditions.  

Expeditions Pro is a free download from the app store and is available for both IOS and Android devices.  Teachers can then choose from hundreds of existing tours from around the world.  Here are a few examples that are available now:
  • American Revolution - Massachusetts
  • Ancient Rome
  • Flight 93 Memorial
  • Lincoln Assassination
  • US Federal Government
  • The War of 1812
  • African Safari
  • Artic Regions
  • Rainforest Rambler
  • Under the Sea
  • Machu Picchu
  • Exothermic Reactions
  • Photosynthesis 
  • Solar System
  • 7 Wonders of the World
  • New tours are constantly being added
The teacher downloads the tour with the app on their phone.  Once downloaded the teacher selects "Class" in the menu at the bottom and choose "Lead".  Students install the app on their phone, choose "Class" and then "Follow".  The teacher's tour is then available for the students to follow.  

Both the teacher and students need to be on the same network, so if you would like to run a virtual tour with your students you should start by putting in a help desk ticket and choose "tech integration" as the category.  Be sure to allow a few days for the tech department to set things up.  

We have a set of View Master Views that you can schedule to use.  Students will need their own cell phone to participate (we have 3 loaners but not enough for a full class).


If you would like me to come and help you please feel free to schedule me to come and assist you.  I am always ready to come help.  

For more helpful information and the archive of previous posts, look for items in the menu to the left.


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Green Local Schools

Tech Integration Team

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Monitor Student Chromebooks with Lightspeed Classroom

 

Lightspeed Classroom

Monitor student Chromebooks while students are in your classroom

Created by Scott Aten, April 12, 2022
One of the biggest issues staff have faced since going 1-1, is keeping students on task when in the classroom.  The lure of games, internet searches, and videos is too much for some of our students.  As a classroom teacher it is challenging to keep these tech savvy students focused on the learning at hand while still making use of the great tool the Chromebooks have become.  We now have a tool available to you that should help tip the advantage back into your favor.  Lightspeed Classroom is a tool to monitor your students while using their Chromebooks in your classroom during your class period.

Getting started using Lightspeed Classroom
You will want to bookmark this site: https://classroom.relay.school/
Login with Google to access your account and classes.  Your classes have been added for you already.  If you have any students that are missing or misplaced, please put in a help desk ticket to have this resolved for you.

Helpful Instructions
I have broken down all the parts of this application to make it easy for you to get this up and running in your classroom.
NOTE - There are two different "Getting Started" videos.  One is for GMS and GHS, the other is for the rest of the district.

Recommendations for staff who have been using it
Make sure you unlock the class before they leave your room. You don’t want them to be blocked from cites they may need to access in their next period’s class. (GIS, GPS, GWD)
If something is not working the way you want, don't panic. Just set web rules to none and have students refresh.

Allow Lists
As you will see, you restrict students to an "allowed" list of sites.  The teachers that helped pilot this application have started a list of URLs to include in allow lists based on content area as well as by building.  You can access this list here and add URLs that are helpful for everyone.  Please only add URLs to your building and sites that are beneficial to everyone.  Also remember this is a document for the whole district and any changes you make are visible to everyone - not just you.

If you would like me to come and assist you during a TBT or department meeting or even one on one please feel free to schedule me to come and assist you.  I am always ready to come help.  

For more helpful information and the archive of previous posts, look for items in the menu to the left.


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Green Local Schools

Tech Integration Team

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Manage Classroom Noise with Bouncy Balls

 

Bouncy Balls

Manage Classroom Noise



Created by Scott Aten, March 8, 2022
A quiet classroom does not necessarily mean optimal learning is happening.  Students can learn a lot by collaborating, discussing solutions together, and exchanging viewpoints on what they are learning.  There can be a fine line, however,  between productive classroom noise and disruptive classroom noise.   As teachers we can train our students on how to keep classroom discussions and collaboration at a volume that can be productive.  Joe Grigas shared this site with the staff at GMS recently and after looking at it myself,  I thought it was worth sharing with all of you.  The site is called "Bouncy Balls" and it can be used to measure the noise in a room.  

Here is how it works.  The teacher launches the free Bouncy Balls website. In the upper right corner of the site you will see a microphone with a line through it.  Clicking on this icon will turn on your microphone (you need to have a microphone connected to the computer). 

Next the teacher has the ability to set the sensitivity of the microphone.  This may takes some practice to determine what is the best setting for your classroom and microphone placement.  This also helps determines what noise level is too much.


The "Total" area allows you to determine the number of "balls" or other items appear on the screen.  Sliding the control to the right adds more and to the left reduces the number of elements on the screen. 


Bouncy Balls comes with more options than just balls.  You can choose different "themes" to bounce Emojis, Bubble, or Eyeballs.  Plastic is the default and represents the "bouncy balls".


The training part occurs when the "Noise Alert" is turned on.  The site will make a noise and display a message when the max noise level is reached.  This can be an audible clue to the class that things have gotten too noisy for productive learning.  There are two options for the noise alert - Beep and "Shush".  This alert can be turned off as well by clicking the "checkmark".


Overall this is a simple site to use and creates a visual interpretation of the noise in the classroom.  Give it a try next time students are working in groups.

Please feel free to schedule me to come and assist you with your next project that has at technology piece included.  I am always ready to come help.  

For more helpful information and the archive of previous posts, look for items in the menu to the left.


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Green Local Schools

Tech Integration Team

Friday, December 3, 2021

Taking the Mystery Out of Canvas Assignments

 

Canvas Assignments

Taking the Mystery Out of Canvas Assignments



Created by Scott Aten, December 3, 2021
Hopefully Canvas is becoming a little easier for you this second year.   On our past PD days I did a session called "Taking the Mystery out of Canvas Assignments."  I have recorded this session and am posting it hear in case you were not able to attend.  I am also including some time stamps in case you are looking for something specific dealing with Canvas Assignments and don't want to watch the whole presentation.  I am also including a link to the session presentation notes if you would like to see them as well.

Video Time Stamps
Canvas Assignment explained - 0:48
Creating Assignments in the "Assignments Area" - 2:21
Creating Assignments in the "Module Area" - 4:25
Importing assignments from past courses/sandbox - 5:42
Create new assignments that will sync to ProgressBook - 17:20
What types of things can be added into a Canvas Assignment - 21:03
Adding assignment information in the Rich Content Editor - 22:53
Four basic submission types - 25:33
Assign to Area - 30:24
Online Submission types explained - 33:05
Student Annotation Assignments explained - 36:26
Google LTI assignments - 39:54
Grading Assignment Tips - 47:09
Troubleshooting assignments that did not sync to ProgressBook - 53:07



Please feel free to schedule me to come and assist you with Canvas Assignments if you have specific issues with your Canvas Course.  

For more helpful information and the archive of previous posts, look for items in the menu to the left.


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Green Local Schools

Tech Integration Team

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Using the Canvas Commons

 

Using the Canvas Commons

Find existing content for your Canvas Course



Created by Scott Aten, November 9, 2021
After talking with some of the presenters from our PD day, shout to out Natalie and Christine, we were surprised that a good amount of the staff is not aware of the Canvas Commons.  So I thought I would create this quick post to remind everyone about this great resource.

What is the Canvas Commons?
The Canvas Commons is a digital library that contains content created by other teachers. The Commons allows teachers to share resources with others, allowing them to import these resources into their own Canvas course. 

Where can I find the Canvas Commons?
When you have logged into your Canvas Instructor account, look for the "Commons" button in the far left menu.  Click on it to enter the Commons.

How does the Canvas Commons Work?
There is a lot of content available in the Canvas Commons.  By default, you will have the "Green Local Schools" filter turned on.  This filters and shows only content Green staff members have added to the Commons.  More on sharing content later, but for looking for things created by non-Green staff you will need to turn this filter off. Turn off this filter by simply clicking the X at the end of the label.
You can now search for content and will discover material added by teachers outside of Green.  Start by typing something in the search box at the top.  For example if I am doing lessons on "The Great Gatsby" I could type in "Great Gatsby" and I would find 102 results that include quizzes, modules, pages, assignments and even entire courses.  I am able to import any of these into my own course and use them with my students.

You can apply filters to your search in order to find more specific content.  For example if I wanted to find a quiz I can use with my students who just read "The Great Gatsby", I can click the filter button and then click the quiz button.



This will limit the search results to just Canvas Quizzes.  You can run similar filters for Modules, Assignments, and Pages as well.  You may also filter by grade level to help focus the content to your age students.
You can preview the content by clicking on the links in the search.  This will allow you to see if the content is what you want before you bring it into your Canvas Course.  Please note that this content is not vetted, so please use your professional discretion before adding content to your course from the Canvas Commons.
How do I get this content into my Canvas Course?
Once you find content you like and want to use in your Canvas course, you can import it by clicking the "Import/Download" button on the right side of the screen.

You will then be asked to identify into which of your Canvas course(s) you would like to import the content.  Then simply click the "Import into Course" button.

Keep in mind if you import a Module, you will be getting all the pieces of that Module (assignments, quizzes, pages, discussions, etc.).  So this is a fast way to get a lot of content into your course.

Once the content is in your course, you will need to unpublish things you don't want the students to see, add the appropriate assignment types (practice and achievement), as well as alter some due dates.  If you import things to ProgressBook you will have to set assignments to sync as well.

Can you just show me a video of you doing all the steps?


How can I share content to the Canvas Commons for other to find?
If you have designed a nice assignment, module, quiz or other piece of Canvas content, you can easily add it to the commons by following these steps.
1) Find the content you want to share (if it is an assignment, go into "Assignments"  in your Canvas, if it is a Module, go into the "Modules" in your Canvas course, etc.)
2) Click the three dots at the end of the content
3) Choose "Share to Commons"
4) Choose who can use this resource ("All of Green Local Schools" - will limit it to just our staff)
5) Complete the rest of the info as appropriate
6) Click "Share"
It is that easy!

Hopefully this will help you find and share content in the Canvas Commons.  If you need assistance feel free to schedule me to come and work with you or your department.


For more helpful information and the archive of previous posts, look for items in the menu to the left.


bulldogstrong.jpg

Green Local Schools

Tech Integration Team