A Great Pairing: Google Chrome and DocentEDU

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As you have undoubtedly figured out, Google Chrome is incredibly flexible and powerful, especially when paired with the right extensions.  The quest for going paperless appears daunting at first. Many teachers are reluctant, as they don’t know how to get good resources for their paperless classrooms. At first, it was a task to gather resources, and make it usable in a classroom setting. Not any longer. DocentEDU has made this task relatively painless, and for that, we thank them. After a brief discussion on Twitter last night with someone who has never heard of DocentEDU, I decided it was time to share the greatness of it.

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How Much Minecraft is Too Much Minecraft?


Minecraft. That one word can evoke a wide range of reactions. For some, that reaction borders on hostile. Many react by ridiculing those who love the game. For me, it is an ever-changing reaction.

My daughter first started playing Minecraft about three years ago, more or less. When she started, it was very basic. We all played together, building grand houses and that was about it. She stuck with it, though her love of the game went through it’s own sort of metamorphosis. Now, she has exceeded the practical abilities of her tools.

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The Importance of Training Outside of Your School


Before we get rolling, yes, this is my room almost ready to start the year. In teaching, I generally think we have three types of teachers.

We have the ones who just go through the motions, who get there at the bell, and leave at the bell. These are the ones who you never see at a school function. The ones who don’t do a whole lot to their rooms. They arrive at school the day teachers are due back, not a day before. While they are at school, they do their job. They are reliable, but, average in most cases.

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Screencasting Using Google Chrome and Snagit

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Unfortunately, we have been informed that Techsmith is retiring the Chrome extension for Snagit. They are going to keep the desktop versions alive. We will try to get that software so we can review it. (May 17, 2016)

Screencasting. Most people tend to think it’s not a terribly valuable resource. Many think they are troublesome to create. Many don’t want their voice all over the internet. After being asked how to do the exact same thing several times, I made a joke, saying I needed to record myself showing how to do it… then it hit me, I really did need to record myself showing how to do it, I needed to screencast it.

Believe it or not, my 11 year old daughter had been experimenting with screencasting. She knew all about it. She regularly watches screencasts of people doing certain tasks in Minecraft. She had mentioned wanting to make screencasts of her own, and I now saw a need to make them, so we plunged into it together.

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The Basics of Using Google Forms


Have you ever seen a horse pushing a cart? Neither have I, and I feel like I put the cart before the horse yesterday with the Flubaroo post. So, rewinding a bit, here are the basics of how to create a Google Form.

First off, head over to your Google Drive. When you get there click NEW then hover over MORE so you see the menu shown below.

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Paperless Grading Using Flubaroo, Google Sheets, and Google Forms

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To many, going paperless seems like a daunting task. Most teachers have gotten into a comfort zone. They know how things run, they know how long tasks take, they have it down. However, as we progress as educators, we must change with the times. Kids are growing up in a digital age, and it only seems logical that we would teach them the way they are growing up.

The age old pen and paper tests can often be digitized. Let’s face it, many of the tests teachers give are multiple choice. Google Forms is an excellent way to digitally deliver the same test. It saves paper, ink, and grading time. Yes, grading time. One of the chief concerns I hear from teachers is they don’t wish to go paperless because they don’t know how to test and grade tests on a computer. This is where the Google Sheets add-on Flubaroo comes in. Continue reading

Writing Across Subject Areas (and an aside about the Teen Mind)

We had our first official professional development day as a precursor to returning to school. While I know some parts of the world still have a month or more, we in the southern US are down to a couple weeks.

The topic of the training was teaching writing across the subject areas. We were two of the only three English teachers in attendance. Most of the teachers taught Social Studies or Science. It was nice to see so many teachers visibly open to the idea of having their students write in other subjects.

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Google Certified Educator Level 1

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Ok, let me preface this post with the following:

If you are looking for inside information on what is on the test, you have come to the wrong blog spot. You would be better served by clicking HERE.

Now, on to the post.

I took the Google Certified Educator, Level 1 exam this morning. It allowed plenty of time, 3 hours. I went through the online course, and made sure to perform each and every task.  Continue reading

Google Sheets and Essay Metrics for Writing

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A couple of weeks ago, I read a tweet about a Google Sheets add-on called Essay Metrics, by Oli Trussell. I clicked the link and did a little reading, and quickly realized just how awesome this tool could be. I added it to my Google Sheets and played with it, and confirmed, yep… this is awesome.

This is one of those add-ons that are great for any subject area. Let’s take a look at it and see how it works, and go from there.

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The Power of the Parent

Ok, I know, some of you are wondering what this post is doing here. Stick it out, and we will get there.

Parents. That one word can evoke a wide range of reactions from teachers. After this many years in education, I think I have seen and/or experienced all of the possible reactions. The key to a child being successful is a team effort. How can we foster that partnership with parents, and how does EdTech factor in?

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