Book Review: The Chromebook Classroom by John Sowash

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Are you considering rolling out Chromebooks in your school or classroom? If so, then this book is a great starting point. Chromebooks are great devices for the K-12 environment. John Sowash has done a great job putting together a sort of how-to book for implementing them. Continue reading

The Life of a Chromebook

samsung chromebook

Ask a public school administrator about a cost effective way to try to go 1:1 in a school, and the odds are a good many of them will say to buy Chromebooks.  We had the privilege of being asked to come to a school to pioneer paperless classrooms. We were always known as those teachers who were out there, dancing around the room, doing whatever we could to keep kids engaged. We were also known as those who were always looking for new ways to engage students. To us, this sounded perfect. Continue reading

Newsela and DocentEDU, a Powerful Combination

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In the past, I have written about both, Newsela and DocentEDU. At the time, I suppose one could say my vision was still developing regarding how to best utilize each tool. I have spent some time tinkering, playing, and trying to break them. I am happy to say, that not only have I found the perfect combination of each, I have utterly failed to break either… and I’m pretty good at breaking stuff.

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Today’s Meet Teacher Tools, worth the upgrade?

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First of all, allow me to apologize for the delay in posting. School has started, and I need to figure out a workable schedule for blogging, teaching, and preparing lessons.

So, today is the day. I decided to bite the proverbial bullet. I have been using Todaysmeet.com for a while, and have loved the backchannel discussions that I was able to have. I’ve used it with students, during professional development seminars, and anywhere else I could get away with it. To be honest, I thought this tool was just about as great as sliced bread.

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Easy Ways to EdTechinize a Classroom

Yes, I created that word…. EdTechinize. (well, I think I did at least) Lately, several people have made statements along the lines of how difficult it can be to bring technology into a classroom where there has never been tech before. More than a few fellow teachers have asked about easy ways to start to try bringing it in, so, VIOLA, here you go. Continue reading

Does Student Collaboration Really Matter?

You can go to just about any venue where educators come together, and hear umpteen (yes, that really is a word) strategies to use in the classroom. You will hear catchphrase after catchphrase, all claiming to be the be all end all fountain of knowledge, the bringer of prosperity to all students. Ok, that may be a wee bit extreme, but you know what I am talking about.

Teacher conventions are filled with people like those described above. People who say this ONE thing, be it strategy, app, program, or whatever, will do more for kids than any other. The fact of the matter is that no one thing does that, it is how one implements that one thing that makes a difference.

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Making Life Easier with Google Chrome Extensions

The internet is a virtual wonderland of resources. Today, it seems that there are websites and tools for just about anything, you just need to know where to find them.

Youtube is a great resource for the classroom. Everyone loves to use a clip to spur discussion, right? However, sometimes, the ads that come up before the clip can make for an uncomfortable situation in the classroom.  Certainly, there is a way to skip that thing and not have to wait 15 seconds for the students to see who knows what, right?

Let’s here it for Google Chrome extensions. If you don’t know what an extension is, it is a sort of add on to your Chrome web browser that helps it do certain tasks.

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Gutenberg.org A plethora of free resources

Anyone making an effort to go paperless will, sooner or later, as the question…

What will my kids read if we have no books?

My answer to that is one that has been around for quite some time.  www.gutenberg.org has a wealth of classic literature, free for the taking. We are going into our third year of being paperless, and gutenberg has made the transition much easier.

Head over to www.gutenberg.org and search for your favorite classic. When you do, you get a screen that looks remarkably like…

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Click the text you want, and you will see some options.

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You can download the format you wish, send it out to students to put on their devices, or you can click more options and download it as a text file.  The text file is by far one of our favorites. We copy the text into a Google doc, then send it out via Google Classroom. Students can then comment and collaborate inside the document they are reading.  What more can you ask for!?