Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Announcing EduPuppets.com

I am happy to announce that with a lot of help from Jeff Bradbury at TeacherCast.net I am officially launching the EduPuppets Vlog at EduPuppets.com.  
With over 24 episodes, there is plenty to see and so much to learn.  Wokka will be Vlogging at the #ISTE2014 conference.  Together we hope to make pedagogically sound tech integration accessible to all educators.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Creating a Classic Cell Style Animation using Google Slides

THIS POST HAS MOVED TO:

http://www.teachercast.net/animating-google-slides/

Links to the finished project:
As Published at 1 FPS

On this link the delay has been modified to create a rate of 12 FPS



Here is the animation I mentioned.



 Are you inspired yet? Post a link in the comments to your animations and I will collect them here.

Animation Gallery (click image to follow link)


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Video Creation to Empower Students


Video and Google Apps for Education from Sam Patterson, MFA, Ed.D.

There are times in my life where I feel like a curtain of a type has been lifted and an essential truth has been exposed.  This week it happened as I was presenting about GAfE and creating video.
I discovered that the reason I love teaching kids about video creating is because authorship changes lives.
My life was changed forever when a teacher in high school looked at what I was writing and responded to the message.  It was the first time my work had found an audience.
I loved that audience.  I wrote poetry and performed it in coffee houses, I ran poetry readings for years because I wanted others to be able to find an audience.
The contemporary availability of video tools and their awesome ease of use has created an opportunity that most teachers are unprepared for.
We can lead our students to create meaningful texts that connect with a real audience in more media than ever.
Although my fellow English teachers might disown me for this sentiment: Video creation is an act of authorship that requires all of the skill and process of writing.

Sphero and STEM teaching Polygons and Angles


This is a review of the the Second main lesson Sphero Education supplies to get teachers started with STEM and Sphero.  The video walk through notes the support and structure Sphero has put in place.  From clear standards to screen by screen programming guidance.  My question to you is, seeing how this is done, what else can we teach with these robots?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Learn One Thing -Blogger

So I am presenting at several conferences and workshops that focus on Google Apps tools for use in the classroom.  If you haven't noticed there are MANY Google tools, but Forms, Sites, Docs, Drive Slides, and Sheets tend to get the first run of attention.
When I am sharing Google tools, I love to share Blogger.  I think it often gets passed over as "just a blogging platform."  I am sure that my daily use of and success with Blogger is one of the reasons I love this platform.  One  of the challenges to learning tech as a teacher is that time is finite.  If I want to learn how to use a platform i have to put time into it.  This can be made easier if the platform uses common editing tools and icons, but it takes time and research to understand the potential uses of a platform and to really zero in on the best uses for the tool in your class.
I am trying to gather all the best uses I know of Blogger into one demo introduces the idea of Blogger as 
  1. a professional reflective space for teachers
  2. a private class newsletter
  3. an inclass workflow tool to collect and share student work
  4. a classwork and homework support center for students and parents
In the workshop we will look at some blogs, but more importantly we will build blogs for each of these purposes.  The key is to deliver a balance of skill-based instruction, inspiration, and creation of useful work product.  William Carlos Williams famously said "No ideas but in things."  In my workshops I try to live this by making sure participants leave with something they have built using the ideas in the session.  this gets the ball rolling. Below is the first version of this presentation aimed at primary teachers, no worries, we have a full menu of awesome for upper grade too.



Monday, June 16, 2014

The Wiki that I Forgot

It seems like I am always creating something online: a blog post, a Google+ community, a Wiki, a Livebinder, an account on any number of websites.  In general I do a pretty good job of keeping track of the work I create, in general.  This morning as I added a pin to the PATUE pinboard  I saw this pin and realized that I have at least one orphaned Wiki out there.

I will have to get back to that page and make sure my contact information is up to date, although I don't plan on developing it further.  
The doughnut in the picture is from Happy Doughnut, a now closed 24 hour pasty shop in Palo Alto.  
My question to you is "How do you track your online real estate?"  Once we stop using a site should we take it down?  or should we wait for whomever owns the server to clean up dead accounts?  
Thank for sharing your tips with me, I will keep creating and try to remember to track my work in a livebinder.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Learn Along with Me this Summer

Since this is my first summer working on a 12 month contract, I knew I couldn't make the commitments I had made in past summers.  This wasn't going to be a summer of running summer camps, or teaching middle school students to blog.  What was this summer going to be about?  

I actually didn't plan on presenting at many conferences, I sent out a few session proposals for conferences I wanted to attend, and then other opportunities came up.  Once I collected the information all in one place I realized I have a full summer of learning ahead.  I am looking forward to sharing what I know about blogging and programming and learning more about makerspace, minecraft, and STEM in all things.  
I am energized to work with teachers to get them creating digital content for their students. I want to inspire teachers to take risks and make movies.  I want them to write blogs and play with robots.  
There are so many platforms we can use to engage students in learning and empower them to share that learning beyond our immediate school community.
I will be posting sessions on the blog as I deliver them.  Recently I have been creating slides in HaikuDeck and importing them into powerpoint for a hybrid approach to the slide deck.  As I develop my presentations I have also started scheduling when I "birdwalk."  All of my presentations have me walking participants through the admin side of one Google apps platform or another.  I used to take screenshots, but they become outdated too quickly and demoing live from my blog or youtube channel allows me to shape the tour to the audience's needs.


Conferences and Topics 


June 11  SF Google Summit San Francisco 

Blogger for Elementary Ed –

Setting up a private class blog with blogger can make it safe and easy to share work from your class or school with subscribed readers. (Private Blogger, Google Forms for invite)  
   

Video, BYOT, GAFE –

Using video with a wide variety of devices and Google tools can support learning in a wide variety of ways. Join us to learn how to get your students making videos to share their learning. 

June 16       San Domenico iTeach    

Programming in K-5        

 -Kodable and other Apps help students learn the basics of coding. We will explore a sequence of programming tools and platforms from cup stacking, to robots. This workshop will get participants programming in as many platforms as we have time for and will focus on iPad based programming instruction. Kodable is a very structured interaction, Hopscotch is more open design, and the Sphero robots use a variety of interfaces, all on the iPad.

Twitter in the classroom    

-How you can use twitter to build an ongoing professional network. We will talk about setting up an account and what to do when your boss follows you and other real dilemmas. In this session you will be inspired to give twitter the opportunity to change your teaching life. We will have a guided tour of twitter and then a live demo of a twitter chat. We will likely start on today’s meet.

Wed, June 18 – Fri ,June 20  Rockstar Tulare County

Programming in K-5


Description
Explore a sequence of programming tools and platforms from cup stacking, to robots.  This workshop will get participants exposed to programming in as many platforms as we have time for.  Ipad Apps (Kodable, Hopscotch) + Robots (sphero, Lego, Bee bot)

Requirements
Ipads will be needed, 1 per participant with Kodable and Hopscotch.  Lego robots per every 2 participants, desktop to every participant with modern browser and NXT Programming.

Outline
We will start on the Ipads and talk about the skills in programming and tips for implementation.  Next we will discuss how robots help student internalize programming skills and ideas.


STEMBOT 3000 
Description
Using Lego and other robots as STEM learning platforms, this session will explore 2 different approaches to robots and STEM Learning.  Participants will design a robot supported lesson.

Requirements
12 iPads with Sphero software loaded and working bluetooth.  Lego robots 1:1 with participants if possible (NOTE we are going to have to prebuild rovers, or what ever.  There isn’t time to program and build).  One desktop computer per LEGO robot with NXT software loaded.  I am bringing 12 sphero robots.

Outline
Participants will explore robots and STEM lesson plans that use interaction with robots to discover and test knowledge.  Participants will then write lesson plans that use robots and computational thinking to support STEM learning.
Blogger
Description
How to setup and use blogger as a professional journal, classroom document manager, a power sharing platform, a lesson plan book, and class newsletter.

Requirements
Desktop or Laptop computers, 1 per participant, with internet, a camera, and a connection to a modern browser.

Outline
We will explore some blogs, tour “under the hood in blogger” and get to work creating great tools for class level and social sharing with Blogger.

June 28 through July 1 ISTE Atlanta, GA Presenting
Puppets and Podcasting
BLC Boston
7/15-7/18 Presenting
Flipping the Classroom using "Just in Time" Recording

Do the challenges to flipping your class prevent you from getting started? Are you having a hard time seeing when the best time to start flipping would be? Learn how “Just In Time” recording – where you can record as you teach without having to take additional time from your day - helps you overcome the barriers to flipping your class and can get you up and running easily and quickly.  Finally, we will spend some time on what makes the best videos and digital content. 


Programming in K-5
Description
Explore a sequence of programming tools and platforms from cup stacking, to robots.  This workshop will get participants exposed to programming in as many platforms as we have time for.  Ipad Apps (Kodable, Hopscotch) + Robots (sphero, Lego, Bee bot)

Requirements
Ipads will be needed, 1 per participant with Kodable and Hopscotch.  Lego robots per every 2 participants, desktop to every participant with modern browser and NXT Programming.

Outline
We will start on the Ipads and talk about the skills in programming and tips for implementation.  Next we will discuss how robots help student internalize programming skills and ideas.

STEMBOT 3000
Description
using Lego and other robots as STEM learning platforms.  This session will explore 2 different approaches to robots and STEM Learning.  Participants will design a robot supported lesson.

Requirements
12 iPads with Sphero software loaded and working bluetooth.  Lego robots 1:1 with participants if possible (NOTE we are going to have to prebuild rovers, or what ever.  There isn’t time to program and build).  One desktop computer per LEGO robot with NXT software loaded.  I am bringing 12 sphero robots.

Outline
Participants will explore robots and STEM lesson plans that use interaction with robots to discover and test knowledge.  Participants will then write lesson plans that use robots and computational thinking to support STEM learning.
Blogger
Description

How to setup and use blogger as a professional journal, classroom document manager, a power sharing platform, a lesson plan book, and class newsletter.


Requirements
Desktop or Laptop computers, 1 per participant, with internet, a camera, and a connection to a modern browser.


Outline
We will explore some blogs, tour “under the hood in blogger” and get to work creating great tools for class level and social sharing with Blogger.

July 30-31: Google Teacher Academy Mountain View, USA Attending


What are you learning this summer and how will you share it?


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

5 Things to Make your MakerSpace a Hub of Learning and Design


Next year we are turning one of the two computer labs into a MakerSpace.  We have been talking all year about how to mitigate the loss of 24 desktop PC's and everything they do.  While the conversations have been difficult, I think we have finally resolved to get a cart of Mac laptops, set up to emulate windows when needed.
My excitement about the laptop cart is balanced by the relative unknown of what will be in our MakerSpace.  On my quest for answers I visited Ravenswood's MakerSpace and found these essential components to creating an awesome space for kids to create and explore.  

  1. A place for your makers.  From name tags, to project storage, the Raveswood space reflects that it was built for students to use.
  2. Support for independent work.  The Ravenswood students ask questions when they need to, but they decide what they are doing any given day.
  3. Inspiration resources.  There is a Chill Zone in this space, a couch and many back issues of Maker magazine get kids thinking about design.
  4. A project.  When I visited Ravenswood students were invited to work together to design a school bus out of recycled materials.  An outside group had approached Ravenswood about this project and the kids were proud that their work was being used for something awesome.
  5.  Awesome teachers.  At Ravenswood Robert and Mario supervise the Maker Space and they are constantly learning, developing resources, helping students and creating more opportunities for students.

The video highlights many of the stations in the space and their accompanying hardware, but the success of the space does not depend on the choice between a 3D printer and a laser cutter.  Keep the focus on learning and use the best tools you can.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Educational Value of StarWars in The Classroom





This week on the Techeducator podcast we talked to the brains behind StarwarsintheClassroom.com and Shakespeare's Star Wars about the value of Star wars in the classroom. Find links and shownotes on the Techeducator Site.