Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tech Tip: Using Lists to Organize Your Resources

There are various kinds of lists.

This week I was looking through some “old” stuff.  By old I mean the last 2 years. LOL Resources I saved but had not used yet.  I found some resources I could use now but wasn't ready for 6 - 12 months ago or maybe they didn't apply to me yet. It’s difficult to remember what you’ve read, and where you saw it so

(1) I flag emails as tasks with no due date in Outlook so I can refer back to them. 

(2) Another thing I do is to bookmark sites in my web browser.  I use Chrome and log in to the browser so I have the same resources at home and at work. I create a bookmarks folder called Resources. I use this for pages I want to refer back to but I may not have used yet.

(3) One of the best things about my tech tip blog is you can go back and read old blogs as reference. I can also subscribe to other popular blogs and that’s really helpful.

(4) Finally, I will be creating a video repository of my videos that I've been creating as tips.  Feel free to ask questions and I might be able to answer them via a video response.   YouTube video repository

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Apply, Enter, Register...and win!

I was shocked today at the news, I won! (Details yet to be released.) but it reminded me of the importance of trying, applying, and registering for opportunities. I remember a few years back my daughter won a 50" tv. When asked how she got the tv I replied, she applied. You cannot win if you don't try. Today I had a similar experience and I just want to encourage you, on the heels of a Veterans Day service about service, that without putting yourself out there applying for grants, registering for training, providing a service or trying something new you cannot win!  Good luck! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Using An LMS

The most powerful tech tool in my classroom is Schoology.  Schoology is a Learning Management System (LMS) that connects with other multi-media to help me deliver coursework, collect assignments, and manage individual students within a course.  

Since our school uses Google Drive and has accounts setup for all students in grades 6 – 12, and all teachers have Google Drive accounts too, the fact that Schoology connects to Google Drive as an app is HUGE! Previous tip shows you how!

I find with many sources I have information readily available about what tech teachers can use in the classroom but rarely do they show or tell us how to use it.  We look at it, say that’s cool, save the email or resource or pin it to a wall of sorts and never really organize it.  Or better yet (sarcastic tone), we are so excited we create “free” accounts on every service, do a lesson here or there but never really blend the assignments.  Sometimes we don’t go back to the projects or reuse them because they are hard to organize. For that reason alone is why I use Schoology.  Schoology allows me to organize all the other resources (tech or not tech) into one location and deliver those resources to students AND collect assignments back from students.  I can organize my lessons, align units, lessons, assignments to standards and use all the tech I want.  Now listen, I don’t work for Schoology, they didn’t pay me, and well maybe someone that runs their Twitter page might know I exist LOL. To convince you to start using Schoology in your classroom may take more than one blog post, and I’m OK with that.  But honestly this is one account you should go create now if you haven’t already.  And login to it if you created it but never used it.
To get started, create an account.
Then create a course
From here you can organize your course.  I use the free version of Schoology in my classroom so some of the utilities are not available to me but I have all I need to stay organized.  Since we use Google Drive I have my students create their own Schoology account using their Google Drive login information.  Then I give them the course access code to join my class.