Thursday, March 26, 2015

Free webinar on Google Tips, March 31st - featuring Richard Byrne

Next Tuesday, March 31st Simple K12 is hosting an afternoon of free webinars about Google tools for teachers. The webinars will start at 1pm Eastern Time and run until 5pm Eastern Time.

My colleague, Richard Byrne, is conducting two of the sessions and always does a great job.

These webinars by Simple 12 are always excellent and a great way to learn some new things.
Click here to register.


SimpleK12 - great resource for all educators


Google Keep note taking app gets labels for easier organizing and recurring reminders

Google Keep

Google Keep, Google's easy to use note taking app, is a great resource for students and teachers. It just received a new feature that helps with organizing your notes, labels, and recurring reminders.

This makes organizing your notes/tasks/reminders easier. You can add as many labels as you like to a note to track it by tasks, project, category, etc. Along with color coding, you can really organize your notes better.

You can also now set recurring reminders. Reminders can be set by location (great for reminding you to do something when you get to a certain place, if you don't know what time you will get there) and by day/time. You can also set recurring reminders as daily, weekly, monthly or yearly or even create your own interval.

Keep also has the ability to share notes, create tasks lists, and even audio notes.

I use Evernote for most things, but also use Keep for quick notes on the go and for shopping lists, along with voice notes, and then I can share the notes to other apps, or just access them as needed. It's quicker than Evernote, but has less features. It is useful for students and teachers.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Prepfactory - free online test prep tips and practice

PrepFactory is a site that offers students free SAT + ACT instructional videos and practice questions (kind of like Duolingo meets Khan Academy, specifically for test prep).

Their mission is to "bring quality test prep to kids who can't afford shelling out hundreds / thousands of dollars for the (often mediocre) instruction that the Kaplans and Princeton Reviews of the world provide".

It's easy to use and offers tips for taking the tests as well as practice questions and videos. There are multiple tutorials and questions and students earn badges as they work through the site. 

Beyond test prep, this also helps students develop thinking skills that can help them anywhere.


Standardized tests - why we still need to prepare students for them

10 Important Skills Students need for the Future


Using Vernier Data Tools on a Chromebook

Determining grip strength with the Hand Dynamometer, Go!Link, and Graphical Analysis for Chrome

Chromebooks are very powerful, and very useful, devices. You can even use them with Vernier Data Tools.

Vernier is a huge name in data collection tools for science and math and they have been working to support Chromebooks for some time.  Earlier this year they released their Graphical Analysis tool for Chromebooks (free) and they have continued to make their products work with Chromebooks.

There are two different ways you can use their tools with Chromebooks. One is using a USB connector and the other is wireless. For the USB connection for the sensors, you need the USB connector and the Graphical Analysis Software. For the Wireless connection, you need the Labquest device and the software. Many schools already have the Labquest devices anyway.

  1. Students begin their experiment by connecting sensors to their Chromebook USB port.
  2. Using Graphical Analysis for Chrome, students set experiment parameters and start data collection.
  3. Real-time sensor data is shown as a graph, a meter, or a table for different learning styles.
  4. Students can annotate their graph, perform curve fits, run calculations, and more.
  5. Students can easily create and send a finished lab report to their instructor, save their work to Google Drive™, or export data to Plotly™ for further study.
  1. Students in a lab group set up an experiment with Vernier sensors and LabQuest 2.
  2. Each student launches Graphical Analysis for Chrome on a Chromebook and connect to LabQuest 2.
  3. After starting data collection, experiment data are wirelessly streamed from LabQuest 2 to each Chromebook.
  4. Every lab group member analyzes data on a Chromebook in class or at home.

Vernier devices and sensors are used by high school and college courses around the world and it's nice to see that Chromebooks are supported.


What can you do on a Chromebook? Pretty much everything.

eGFI - Dream Up the Future - STEM Resource for Students and Teachers

Engineering - Go For It! - this site is produced by the ASEE and is completely devoted to promoting engineering. It has resources for educators and students, as well as lessons and career exploration resources.

The site opens with "cards" with different topics on them. Students can click on the cards for more information. They can also shuffle the deck to get new cards shown. There is information about different engineering topics and areas, as well as examples. 

There is also a student blog with engineering career info, news, scholarships, links, videos and much more. 

The "Engineer Your Path" section of the site has information on how to become an engineer, including tips and resources. 

There are also digital magazines and newsletters that the students can access for more information.

There is an excellent teachers section on the site also that has lesson plans, activities and other resources for teachers. Lesson plans and activities are sorted by topic and grade level and are easily searchable. There is also a monthly newsletter that you can sign up for to receive updated resources and information.

eGFI is an excellent resource for teachers and students to find resources on Engineering. 



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