Friday 4 – Catch-Up Day Edition

  • Do you ever have students watch YouTube or other web-hosted videos for class and want them to take notes on the videos? VideoNotes is a neat tool that allows you to split your screen and watch the video and take notes that can be automatically saved in your Google Drive at the same time. The notes even can be synched with the video so that you can click on your notes and jump to the exact location in the video when you took the note. Richard Byrne (@rmbyrne) brought the tool to my attention in a post on his Free Technology for Teachers blog.
  • How Creativity Works” is a nice piece from NPR in which Johan Lehrer joins NPR’s Robert Siegel to talk about the creative process — where great ideas come from, how to foster them, and what to do when you inevitably get stuck.
  • Here is a post from one of the blogs I follow on the use of clickers in the classroom. “Should students vote individually, should you have a whole class discussion? (#clicker series)” The blog is written by Stephanie Chasteen (@sciencegeekgirl) whose Twitter handle alone got me to follow her on Twitter!
  • There is a thought-provoking series of posts on the website that explores the “purpose” of education. Regardless of your role in education, there is plenty to ponder and discuss in this series of posts. The first post in the series can be found here. The second piece can be found here.


Technology in the classroom – The why and a few hows.

Friday Four – Feb 22

Of all the “issues” that teachers have to deal with, effective and appropriate use of technology in the classroom is probably the one that elicits the most fear and anxiety. Part of the anxiety comes from the fact that technology changes so rapidly and it is impossible to be the master of all of it. This anxiety or fear cannot prevent us from actively seeking out and learning how to use new technologies in our classrooms.

  • This week’s first piece is actually a series of three posts written by Chris Lehmann (@chrislehmann), the founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy. Chris is well known for his belief that “Technology must be ubiquitous, necessary and invisible.” He addresses each of his claims in the series of posts that can be found here
  • Now for a few of the “hows.” Chris Betcher (@betchaboy) is an IT teacher from Australia that I follow on Twitter who recently wrote a blog post “Office vs Drive: Some thoughts” that makes a good case for switching from “old school” to “new school” when it comes to word processing, spreadsheets or presentations.
  • If you are already a Google Drive user or are intrigued after reading the previous piece, this post from Richard Byrne (@rmbyrne) will walk you through how to use Drive on your iPad.
  • If you are really ambitious and want to seriously add to your technology toolbox, check out this page 100+ Google Tricks for Teachers.

I hope you enjoy these finds from the week and that you add a few new arrows to your teaching quiver. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Stocking stuffers from me to you

Friday 4: December 14

Today is the last day of classes for us at Loomis Chaffee before we head off for the winter holiday break. YIPPEE! These past few weeks are some of the most hectic of the entire year for most educators, and the prospect of a few weeks off to recover from the frenetic pace of life in the classroom is a welcome sight. Despite my recent efforts to have a more concrete theme for my Friday 4 posts, I am going to break from that goal today and serve up a random selection of interesting items that I came across this past week. A theme did not emerge, so there is no sense in trying to force it to happen. Think of this week’s post as an opportunity to open up four random gifts that you have no idea what each contains. To extend the metaphor even further, I am not even going to give you a little preview of what each link contains. As you open your “gifts” in the privacy of your office or wherever you may be reading this, you do not even need to pretend that they are exactly what you wanted in order to be polite! I hope you enjoy the “gifts” and have a wonderful break!