Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Google For Teachers Guide

What is it: Google For Teachers is a 33 page guide to help teachers and administrators, go beyond the obvious with various Google Tools.  I add the administrator group to this because I have been on some campuses where there is a push by the leaders to integrate technology in the classroom. While at the same time those leaders are dissemination information to everyone with an overhead projector or the old PowerPoint. Teachers, we need your help to get everyone on board!

How to integrate it into the classroom: In this guide there are 21 ideas and directions on how to use Google Tools and Gadgets such as Google Books, Google Maps, Google News, and Google Forms. Did you know that you can create an interactive map that students can collaborate on at the same time?  They can even create their own placemarks with descriptions and personalized icons! The Google for Teachers Guide also shows teachers how to create an assessment that student can take online from the classroom blog using Google Forms. Thank you to Free Technology for Teachers for this resource.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Study Island and Promethean Integration

What is it: Study Island is an educational state standards based program. Teachers are able to create learning experiences for your students that target specific state standards.

How to integrate it into the classroom: Study Island has now created a way to integrate your classroom response devices such as ActiVotes and ActivExpressions into their program. What makes this different from using the Promethean software is that you do not need to run ActivStudio or ActivInspire to conduct classroom voting. Everything is done through Study Island! Similar features available with Promethean's Learner Response System are also available on Study Island.  You start and stop the voting as well as view class results!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Google Public Data Explorer

What is it: Google Public Data Explorer is a Google Labs project, so that means their testing it out, that is available to anyone. With the Google Public Data Explorer you have access to large data sets of public information such as Unemployment, Population, and Retail Sales. What great is that you can view them in a as various interactive graphs or charts that you customize. For example, I want to see a line graph that compares the unemployment rate of Texas, California and Florida.

How to integrate it into the classroom: Students and teachers can create incredible visualizations, of the data sets, that can be explored and discussed with one another.  At the elementary level, students can begin to explore the parts of an effective graph.  At the secondary level, students can synthesize the information into vivid discussions.
Once you've used the Google Public Data Explorer to create an awesome visualization of a set of data, you can link or embed them into your blog or web page.  Embeds and links are updated automatically! Real time data.  That's powerful! Some visualizations can be animated to show change over time.  Imagine the types of projects that students can create.

Keep Your Gmail Safe

I actually ran acroos this on Twitter last night. Thanks for the retweet, Greg. I didn't even know about this setting on Gmail.  Thanks Chris Pirillo for posting this on your blog.

"When you are logged in to your Gmail account, go up to the top of the page and click on Settings. The fifth header down on the page is Browser connection. Next to this, click the little button that says to Always use https. This will ensure that no matter where you are at, you are logging in to your email securely."