Using Google Images

Source image to the one : By Bronwynne Gwyneth Anne Jones , CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0

One of the most common misconceptions that people have about using images online is that you can use whatever image you find when you search. That is simply not true. All images are copyrighted the minute they are created. They are owned by the photographer or artist. In many cases, images that end up online are used by people without permission from the owner of the image. This is a common practice that is, in fact, illegal. So, what can you do if you are putting together that killer presentation and you find the greatest image ever, but it’s not yours? You could reach out directly to the person who owns the image to ask for permission, although that could be difficult depending on where the image came from. However, there are ways to find images where the creators have already given permission for various kinds of use (so long as you give attribution to the creator.) These images are licensed under Creative Commons. There is a special page on their site for media searches or you can do a Google Image search and then use the search tools to limit your results by usage rights. Regardless of the method, it’s much better to find images that you can legally use.

Special thanks to Judy Van Alstyne for her mad proofing skills!

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Starting an iPad 1:1 program

We started our iPad 1:1 program with our middle school students 4 years ago. If given the chance to reset and do it all over again, here are the top five things that I would make sure to do.

  1. Know why you are going 1:1 before you get to far into the process.

If you are going 1:1 to replace textbooks or as a direct substitute for existing educational technology tools, then you are wasting your time and money. iPads, and any 1:1 initiative, should transform your learning environment. It should also change the way teachers teach. Which leads me to #2.

  1.  Provide teachers planning, and professional development time.

When we first started, we gave our teachers about 5 months to prepare. It just wasn’t enough time. At that time, were one of the first schools to go with iPads in a 1:1 environment, so there were hardly any resources available. I would make sure to provide teachers with a good base of understanding of how the iPad works, with time for them to play and meet with each other on a semi-regular basis. I would introduce teachers to the SAMR model of technology integration. I would  have faculty meetings to brainstorm and rework curriculum based on using the SAMR model.  Send a few teachers to some conference or training that specifically covers iPad integration. There is so much more available to schools and teachers now.

  1. Establish a “program”.iPad program

Meaning, set up rules and guidelines that everyone adheres to. This should cover everything from etiquette to appropriate time for usage both in and out of the classroom.  The image to the right has our our current iPad policies. We review this at the end of every school year or sooner if needed. Establishing a program should also include a learning management system (LMS). An LMS will help you with consistent delivery of information to your students. We currently use Google Classroom, but there are a ton of great LMS options to choose from. Schoology, Haiku and Canvas are a few that we have tried.

  1.  Include parents and students in the process.

I am not suggesting that parents or students should make the decisions when it comes to implementing changes at your school. However, they are voices that need to be heard. If you can’t reasonably answer most of the parental concerns then you might want to rethink what your are doing. The student voice is also important, since they will be the ones carrying around these little powerhouse devices. They should be part of how the devices are going to be used at school. There is no better way to get student buy in than to have them be part of the process. Our student government plays a major role in establishing the policies that were created for our iPad program.

  1. Establish a Digital Literacy class for both teachers, students and parents.

Contrary to popular belief, young people are not digital natives. If they were, then they wouldn’t make so many mistakes in online spaces. This class will help you establish a baseline of skills that the teachers all know and can expect the students to be able to use in their classroom. The skills can range from how to manage the storage on your device to what is the best workflow for turning in work to digital citizenship.

I could go on for days. What do you think are vital and important for establishing a 1:1 program? What am I missing?

Tech Tool of Week – Notability

I would like to recommend an app that our middle school students use that improves productivity. The app that stands out for our students is Notability. Here are some reasons why they like using Notability:

“It is a good note taking app. You can draw diagrams, doodle, insert pictures.” -Kyla

“You can put worksheets into it and you can do your homework without printing.” -Kyla

“You can move information back and forth between Google Drive very easily, and then you can turn in work using Google Classroom.” -Cassandra and Cameron

“You can write on (annotate) worksheets and pictures that you insert.” -Cameron

“It has a left handed mode for writing.” -Cameron

“It’s really awesome. You have a lot of options, and it’s really simple. It has a bar at the top that has all of the things you can do and it’s really simple to navigate.”  -Middy

“You can control how you want to organize the information that you put into it.” -Cameron 

image1

Cameron’s organized Notability files

What are some other productivity and note taking apps that you like?

Tech Tool of The Week – Class Dojo

Last year, Allendale Columbia School art teacher Amy Oliveri introduced me to Class Dojo. It has been a staple in my classes ever since. Here is how I use it:

Attendance – We don’t have a centralized method for taking attendance at our school. I love the simple, fun interface. It’s quick and easy to mark everyone present. It also lets me view the data a variety of ways, both as a visual chart or a downloadable file.

Attendance

Tracking in-class behavior for effort grades – I use an effort scale (see previous post) with my classes. I set up Class Dojo to help me evaluate components of the students’ effort grades during class. It’s hard to keep track of class participation and disruptions while you are teaching. This simple tool lets me give students points based on criteria that I preset. So, if students contribute to the discussion or ask great questions, I can give them participation points or other kinds of points. It’s very customizable. I can also check the data for each week, each day or go back as far as I want.AssessmentReports

Class Dojo has some great easy-to-use features for teachers. Best of all, it’s completely free!

Do you use Class Dojo? If yes, how do you use it with your students? Do you use any other tools to keep track of classroom behaviors?

Tech Tuesday 8.12.14 – Teaching with Tech? Learn about SAMR

This post was co-written by Judy Van Alstyne.

Image from Jonathan Brubaker’s blog Tech Tips for Education

What does SAMR stand for?

Substitution • Augmentation • Modification • Redefinition

What is SAMR?

A model, by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D., which shows four levels of how technology is used in the classroom from the simple exchange of tools (Substitution) to the sophisticated development of new tasks conceived and created in novel ways (Redefinition).

Example:

Notetaking

S: taking notes with a word processing application

A: taking notes with a word processing application and using built in dictionary and thesaurus tools

M: students create shared notes that allows them to collaborate with peers to create the ultimate study guide

R: study guide is shared with the teacher, peers in another school and/or other experts for feedback and revision to create a presentation (for example, an American Revolution study guide is exchanged with one created by a class in Great Britain)

Why SAMR?

to help educators integrate technology into teaching and learning… to enable teachers to design, develop, and integrate digital learning experiences that utilize technology to transform learning experiences to lead to high levels of achievement for students.”
(Quote from: http://msad75summertechnologyinstitute.wordpress.com/beyond-substitution/)

Does this mean I have to completely redesign every lesson plan to achieve the most sophisticated use of technology?

No! Understanding the SAMR model allows you to choose effectively which lessons are worth redefinition, which lessons work fine with simple augmentation, or which are simple substitutions that might even be better without technology at all.

Where do I start?

Check out Kathy Schrock’s site for a wealth of resources. Our favorite from her site: A flow chart for deciding where a given lesson falls within the SAMR model.

If you work at AC, come to the library after school on Tuesday, March 18th at 3:30 for a special SAMR workshop. Be prepared with lessons or tasks to share, analyze, and potentially redefine!

Tech Tuesday 6.3.14 – Makey Makey May Term Session 1

On May 28th, we completed session 1 of our May Term program at Allendale Columbia School. Without a doubt, it has been an overwhelming success. Below is a write up and a short video overview of what happened during the Makey Makey (if you aren’t sure what a Makey Makey is click here) session that I co-taught with AC Senior, Martjin Appelo (he is assisting as part of his Senior Study Project).

Post written by 8th Grader, Caroline.

Makey Makey was a fun way to use everyday objects in different ways. We plug in alligator clips to a key, the key is hooked up to the computer and anything you hook up to the alligator clips will work as a keyboard on a computer. This allowed us to be creative and use use our imagination to invent something with common objects. Some of us got a view of reprogramming the Makey Makey (using Arduino software). The group I was in, made a band out of fruit, water, old cans, and cardboard. Other groups made controllers for video games. One group made a one hand controller for Pokemon for people that are disabled and hungry. Two boys made a life size Minecraft controller, and another boy made a motorcycle game controller that looked like the handlebars of a bike. All of these ideas wouldn’t have been possible without the Makey Makey. The Makey Makey was a fun way to use our imagination, and I would take the course again to create even more complex devices.

 

All the music playing in this recording was created using Makey Makey instruments!

Tech Tuesday 5.13.14 – Protecing Digital Learners

Too often, Internet safety is presented to kids in a way that only shows the negative side. Kids are told what not to do, and often they don’t understand why. There is a positive side to the web, and learning to navigate it safely is easy. This is so critical, as the term “digital native” is thrown around too often as we assume our young people will innately understand the ins and outs of their online footprint. This assumption causes frustration for educators and students alike. We, as teachers and parents, need to be role models for our children. There is great power in the Internet and with that power comes great responsibility. There is more truth to this now than ever before. We all have a great resource, the Internet, and like any super power, some people don’t know how to wield it. We must be taught. Our children DO NOT possess this ability just by being born. If anything, children and adolescents need more guidance than ever. Scaring kids into believing that the Internet is a bad place where bad things happen is not going to teach them anything. We need to be proactive and teach responsibility. Being safe online is really no different than being safe in your neighborhood.

Below is a link to some excellent resources collected in a post published on the website Educators Technology and Mobile Learning. If you end up using any of the information from this post or if you have any other great ideas or resources, please share in the comments sections. I would love to know what people are trying and how they are using these tools in the classroom or at home with your families.

Tools to Protect and Raise Digital Learners ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.