Friday, May 15, 2020

Online Whiteboad Tool for Any Grade and Any Content Area

Whiteboard.fi

Online whiteboard tool for teachers and students.

Created by Scott Aten, May 15, 2020
Well this year certenly did not end like we thought it was going to end. Remote Learning has been quite an adventure for all of us. One request I heard a lot during the past few weeks was a way for a class to replicate students using a white board and marker. I have to give Kourtney Groholy credit for finding this amazing tool - whiteboard.fi. This free whiteboard tool has the potential to solve a lot of the student participation problems I heard during remote learning. Watch their shot promo video to see an explanation of how it works.


I see this tool being used in just about any content area and just about any grade level. Can easily be used as a part of your next Google Meet live session. If you have a chance to use it during the last week of Remote Learning, I would love to hear how it went.


Hang in there we are almost at the finish line!


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 24, 2020

Using Kami with Remote Learning

Using Kami

Annotate right on top of your PDF assignments.

Created by Scott Aten, March 24, 2020
I know we are on Spring Break, but I wanted to get this to you in the event that you are working/planning things for next week when we begin "Remote Learning".  Kami has been an app/extension that we have been using in the district for several years.  I have done various trainings on it in the past and I know many of you use it.  To put it in simple terms, Kami allows both staff and students to annotate on top of PDF documents.  As a result of being off school, the creators of Kami are making the full version of their tool available till July.  With this in mind, I have prepared some lessons on how you can use Kami with your students..

The lessons include:
Setting Up a Kami Assignment - In this video you will see how to add the Kami extension, how to record your directions for the assignment directly on the PDF document, and how to assign the PDF directly through Google Classroom.


The Student View of a Kami Assignment - In this video you will see the assignment given in part one from the perspective of the student.  In the assignment the student uses the text to speech tool, the dictionary tool, the highlighter tool, and the drawing tools to complete the work.  You will also see the student turning in the work to Google Classroom.

Grading a Kami Assignment - Continuing with the same sample assignment, this video shows how the teacher can grade the Kami assignment in Google Classroom and use many of the Kami tools.  This demonstration includes how a teacher can essentially use a "red pen" to mark on a student's assignment, provide a recorded comment, and add a text box message directly on the students work.  Finally, I demonstrate how to return this work to the student allowing them to see all the notations you added to their assignment.

More Kami Tools - this final video shows how some of the additional tools can be used in assignments.  The Equation Tool is great for math, science, and music.  The drawing tools are shown in a math lesson.  The insert image tool is used for a Social Studies type activity.  MATH, SCIENCE, MUSIC

Great Google Classroom integration - Check it out!

I added all of this information on the Remote Learning part of the Green Google Training Center, so you don't need this email to find it in the future.


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

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Chromebook Accessibility

Chromebook Accessibility

Ensuring all students have the opportunity to participate in digital content.

Created by Scott Aten, February 27, 2020
I recently participated in a webinar with a team of Google Program Managers for Chrome OS that focused on accessibility features that come on all of our Chromebooks. I learned a lot from this webinar and wanted to be sure to share it with you. We are all responsible for educating a wide range of learners. There are times we may provide digital content to some students who will have difficulty accessing it and that is where these features can make a difference. It will serve all teachers to be aware of these features and how to help students access them.

I am going to break down what I saw in the presentation and I am also going to provide you with the link to the webinar in the event you would like to watch it for yourself and see everything demonstrated.

Many of the features will require the Accessibility Features to be turned on. Here is how you turn them on:
  • Turn on Accessibility features of a Chromebook
    • Click the status tray (the clock area in the lower left corner)
    • Click the settings button (the gear)
    • Click Advanced
    • Click Accessibility
    • Toggle On
Making things Easier to See

  • Increase the size of browser content - just the browser, the desktop is unaffected
    • Zoom-In (ctrl + plus key)
    • Zoom-out (ctrl + minus key)
    • Reset (ctrl + 0)
  • Full Screen Magnifier - Zooms everything in
    • TAB Key can help you toggle to different parts of the screen
    • ctrl + alt + increase brightness button - zoom out
    • ctrl + alt + decrease brightness button - zoom in
  • Docked Magnifier - splits the screen to allow you to magnify an area, but still see everything in normal size at the same time.
  • Adjustable Mouse Cursor - makes the mouse cursor larger and easier to see.
    • Click on the status tray (clock)
    • Click the settings button (gear)
    • Click Accessibility
    • Mouse and Touch pad
    • Toggle on the "Show large mouse cursor"
    • Adjust the size with the slider
  • Highlight - Three options to help bring focus to where a student is working
    • Text Caret - visual clue of where you are on the page. Appears blue but disappears after a few seconds.
    • Move Cursor - Puts a red circle around the mouse to help you see where it is at.
    • Object with Keyboard Focus - Puts a box around where to type and then disappears
  • High Contrast - Inverts the colors of the screen for students with light sensitivity.
    • ctrl + search button (magnifying glass) + H will toggle on and off
Features for Improved Motor Interactions
  • Easy Dictation - allows students to speak what they want typed in any editable area or search box.
    • When turned on you will see a microphone in the lower left portion of the Chromebook screen
    • Click the Mic icon OR search button + D to activate
  • On Screen Keyboard/Hand Writing Mode - can be used if students have difficulty using the keyboard. This will allow them to click the letters they want to type using the touch pad or a mouse.
  • Automatic Clicks - if students have trouble using the touch pad to left click, right click, double click, etc
  • Sticky Keys - can be set to replace multi button key sequences (i.e. Shift plus a letter to make capitals)
Captions and Making Content Easier to Hear
  • Mono Audio - For students with limited hearing in one ear, this will make both headphone speakers play the same sound. Eliminates what they may miss in stereo mode.
  • Captions - use the closed captions feature of Google Slides. Will display what you say as you speak when presenting a Google Slides presentation.
  • Select to Speak - Built in read aloud tool. - DON'T MISS THIS ONE!!
    • Once turned on the student can press search button + click and drag a box around what they want read allowed. Works on Google Form Quizzes in locked mode as well.
    • For students that are English Language Learners - they can switch the language to their native language and use it to translate speak the English text in their native language.

There is a lot of good tools listed here. If you have students that have visual, fine motor, or hearing issue, then many of these FREE features could help them access the content you have been assigning.



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

Monday, February 24, 2020

Google Earth Projects

Google Earth Projects

Google Earth offers a new and different way for students to show what they know.

Created by Scott Aten, February 24, 2020
If you have not looked at Google Earth in awhile, you may want to take a look. There have been many new features added that make it a great tool to use with students. If you are teaching anything that involves locations on our planet from the past or present, then Google Earth can be a useful tool in your teaching tool kit. I recently provided a live PD webcast for Social Studies teachers, but much of what we looked at can be used in other content areas as well. Practical applications include:

  • Science - Study land forms, glacial geology, tectonics
  • Social Studies - See locations of various historical events, see the relationship between locations of events by distance.
  • Language Arts - Lit trips, see locations described in literature
  • Foreign Language - visit locations where the language is spoken, see how the culture has impacted the architecture and city design.
  • Mathematics - Measurement tools teach distance, area, and volume (Real World Math), use real-time coordinates to demonstrate distance calculations.
  • Art History and Architecture - Search for museums, study city planning techniques and trends
  • More ideas can be found on this website

Google Earth has many built in features that make it more than just a digital globe. Tools and features include:
  • Quickly find any location on the earth by searching for it by name. Once at the location yo can use the pre-created info cards to learn more about the location, see points of interest, and even add the location to a project.
  • The Voyager tool takes you to some Google created content that includes an education section. In the education section you will find projects that include topics like: The Underground Railroad, Exploring Earth's Keystone Species, Poetry Around the World, Congressional Redistricting in the United States, and much more.
  • I'm Feeling Lucky tool takes you to a random spot on our planet. Great intro activity to get conversation started in the classroom.
  • Projects are a great alternative to PowerPoint or Google Slides and are built right on top of Google Earth. Perfect for you as a teacher to design a lesson presentation taking your students from location to location with ease. Or better - let you students create projects to demonstrate their understanding of what you have been studying.
  • Measure Distances is a newer tool that allows you to measure the distance from one location to another or find the area of a space you draw on the map. Unit conversion is included as a part of the tool so calculations can easily be changed to whatever units on which you are focusing.

The map tools themselves provide you with the opportunity to zoom in and out of locations, change your view from 2D flat satellite view to 3D model view, and the ability to go down to street view of any location to see what it looks like today. All of this works on the Chromebook, so all of your students will be able to use this great tool.

I am sure that if you do some exploration on your own you will begin to think of many ways that Google
Earth could be used in your classroom to make what you are studying have more impact for your students.

Watch my presentation to see these tools in action.



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

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

BuzzIn.live ~ The simple online buzzer system!

BuzzIn.live

The quick and easy way to play a buzz-in game with your students.
Created by Scott Aten, January 29, 2020
Every once in-awhile someone asks me for something that is a new challenge for me. Last week Mr. Froelich at GHS came to my office with this question, "Do you know of an buzzer game that I can use with my students?". My first thought was something like kahoot, but he didn't want something that
required him to build all the question. He just wanted a simple way for students use their phones (or Chromebooks) to "buzz-in" on questions that he would ask out loud. Here is what I found: BuzzIn.live.


This site is silly simple to use. As the teacher you go to the site and click the "Host" button. Once there you will see a unique join code is created for you. Students then go to buzzin.live website on their device (phones/Chromebooks) and click the "Join" button. Once there they type in the join code you have provided and type their name (or whatever they want to use as their name). That is it, the game is ready for you to ask a question to the class.

During the game you will see the order in which the students "buzz in". You can then clear the board for the next question and continue on for as long as you would like.

In the settings area you can:
  1. Choose to see just the first person to buzz (default is to see them all in order of buzzing)
  2. Turn on/off the buzzing sounds of the student devices
  3. When a buzz sound is played on the Host device
  4. Disable/Enable others to join a game later
This is what the student device looks like.
They just tap the big green "BUZZ" button if they know the answer. That sends their name to the Host device. Really cool! Students do not need to be on the school network to play.

I went back to ask Mr. Froelich how it went and he said it was a success and was easy to use with his class.

Next time you are looking for a quick and fun way to review with your students, give buzzin.live a try!



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