Wordless News, Read Write Think, & Reducing Screen Addiction

The resources I have to share with you this week are Wordless News and Read Write Think. Both of these websites help spark discussions and writing with students. Educators can leverage these websites to enhance literacy learning. Wordless news is also a neat way to learn about current events.

Technology Wellness Tip: Reduce Screen Addiction

When we are really addicted to our screens we forget that they are just a tool. When screens are in black and white, your brain doesn’t feel the exciting rewards. This is a great reminder that our technology is just a tool. View this video from Common Sense Media to learn how to change these settings on an iPhone.


The Like Movie

Last night, I had the privilege of attending a community screening of the Like movie. Thank you to University Liggett School for hosting this event. The documentary is about the impact of social media on our lives (Ironically, how I found out about the event was through Facebook). It was great to watch and reflect on what that impact is. The message of this documentary is a necessary reminder to be mindful of the way we choose to interact and engage with our technology. I’m happy to see that this message is being shared, especially in a community setting.

The evening had a powerful start. One of the students opened the night by performing Touchscreen by Marshall Jones.

While technology can be positive in so many ways, it is still important to consider negative consequences. Too much of anything can be bad. A connection I make to this is nutrition and how humans need to find a healthy balance of nutrients. There seems to be copious amounts of information regarding nutrition available for society to learn from. It’d be nice to see that same amount of information on how to find a healthy balance when it comes to technology use. I feel that the information is out there but many people do not have that awareness. I often present on technology wellness and feel that I’m more aware of it simply because of my background in educational technology. My wish is for this information to become more mainstream for the general public. I strongly believe that this will be the case in the near future.

The documentary was very though provoking and I could go on and on about all of the connections I made (Those are topics for several blog posts to come). Watching this film really resonated with me. At the screening, the community had the opportunity debrief the film through a Q & A session with Max Stossel. His message that stuck with me the most was that it is our responsibility as educators, to help children learn focus, patience, and how to be without their devices.

After this experience, I’m looking forward to attending a community screening of Screenagers next week.





Powersearching with Google

The resources I have to share with you this week are Powersearching With Google and A Google A Day. Both of these websites help you become faster and more efficient when conducting online research.

Google Tip: The Omnibox is not just for URLs

In the past, I’ve shared with you that you can use the omnibox to set a timer by typing in “set a timer for 5 minutes”. The omnibox can also perform other tasks such as unit conversions (kg to lbs), calculator (12% of 68) , dictionary (define technology), weather (weather honolulu), tracking flights (ha 124), rolling a dice (roll a die), and flipping a coin (flip a coin). 

Synth & Voice Experiments with Google

The tool I have to share with you this week is Synth (formerly known as Recap). This tool transforms any conversation into an interactive podcast empowering student and teacher voice. You could leverage this tool to listen to student discussions, for formative assessment, school announcements and updates, professional development and more. Check out their education page for more details on getting started.

Google Tip: Voice Experiments with Google

Voice Experiments with Google are another unique way for students to use their voice to interact with technology. Invent brand new animals using Safari Mixer, create interactive talking stories with Story Speaker, or use deductive reasoning to guess the Mystery Animal.  There are many different experiements to explore. Memebuddy is a neat one that you can use to create a meme using your voice. This would be an easy way to create memes with students. Check out ISTE’s 5 Ways to Use Memes with Students for ideas.

Chrome Experiments by Google & Kami

The tools I have to share with you this week are from Chrome experiments by Google. These are great web experiences to show students. You can even circle back and make connections to coding, too. Chrome Music Song Maker and Autodraw are a few of my favorites.

Kami is an extension you can add to google chrome that helps with digital annotation. This is a student friendly tool that is accessible through chromebooks or any device. It also integrates with Google Classroom.

CoSpaces EDU & Science Journal

The tool I have to share with you this week is CoSpaces EDU. This is a tool that engages students with AR and VR experiences. Not only can they consume and immerse themselves in these experiences, but they can be creators of these spaces. They have many adaptable lesson plans available and is equipped with a class management dashboard where you can monitor student work. For more computer science extension, CoSpaces EDU also has a feature to tie in coding. Yesterday they just announced more new features.

Google Tip: Google Science Journal Updates

Google Science Journal is updating their resources and there are many more activities in their bank of experiments. In the past, when I shared this tool with you it had some limitations.  However, Science Journal now supports multiple platforms and now integrates with Google Drive accounts. Check out the new content! You may even notice some of the OK Go Sandbox activities I shared at the beginning of the school year.

Google Tour Creator & EDU in 90

The tool I have to share with you this week is Google Tour Creator. This is a tool that allows you to create immersive virtual reality 360 experiences for students. The tours you create can be viewed on any device (mobile, desktop, or through VR viewer). There are templates with examples of what is possible. Here is a demo one I made called Where in the world was Miss Galang? This was used for a See, Think, Wonder thinking routine. If you are would like to use this tool in your classroom and would like assistance, please let me know!

Google Tip: Edu in 90

Edu in 90 is an informative video series by Google for Education. Each video is done in 90 seconds and highlights important topics related to G Suite tools. Since it’s Computer Science Education week, check out Edu in 90’s Made With Code video

Goosechase EDU & Suggestion Mode in Google Docs

The tool I have to share with you this week is Goosechase EDU. This is a tool that allows educators to facilitate educational scavenger hunts. This is great for blended and flipped learning. The affordance of this tool is that you can curate learning and document real-world examples their learning. This tool can transform lessons, field trips, or even homework.

Google Tip: Suggesting feature in Google Docs

When in suggesting mode, none of the original content is changed. Changes show up as suggestions in the comments section that the owner of the file can accept or reject.  This is a great feature to utilize for peer editing.

suggestion mode in google docs (1).jpg

Computer Sciences resources & Google Slides Background Trick

The tools I have to share with you this week are all coding resources for Computer Science Education Week, which is the first week of December. Code.org and hourofcode.com are both good places to start to find activities. They are easy to sort through by grade level and subject area, as well as what technology you’ll be using for the activity. I also recommend taking a look at Made With Code by Google and Mozilla Web Literacy. Remember that computer science and computational thinking can be taught as unplugged activities. This can also be taught anytime of the year, you aren’t limited to CSEd Week. Please reach out if you need any help planning or implementing coding activities with your class!

Google Tip: How to lock the background on a template in Google Slides

Set the background on any given slide to a photo. To make a template that includes graphic organizers, you can create the graphic organizer in Google Drawings and save the file as an image. This is helpful when you want students to work off of a template but not change the formatting.  All they need to do to “fill it in” is add text boxes over the area they need to type in. View this demo.

Story Corps & Flippity

The tool I have to share with you this week is Story Corps. Story Corps has the mission of preserving and sharing humanity’s stories through audio recordings. This is great in an educational setting for many reasons. One benefit of this is having students write and conduct interviews. This month, they have a neat project called #TheGreatListen.

Flippity is an add-on that can transform a Google Sheet’s data into an assortment of teaching materials to match your content such as flashcards, practice typing tests, random name generators, crossword puzzles, etc. To get the add-on, open a google sheet, go to the add-ons tab, click Get Add-ons, search for Flippity, and add it. If you prefer to skip that process, visit this link.