Inspiration for Innovation #2

Well, maybe this will be a monthly feature… I prefer quality over quantity anyway…

In this issue: Toxic chemical fires, tech tools for student products, classroom time-savers, encouraging students during assessments

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Inspiration for Innovation #1

Welcome to my latest effort to encourage my colleagues to try new things! As our school’s STEM coordinator, I’m trying to support our staff with their professional development goals for the year. They are either focusing on PBL and our newish magnet theme of global health, increasing technology use in the classroom, and building relationships with students (mine).

I’m calling it “Inspiration for Innovation.” Each week, I’ll include a current event with curriculum ties (PBL inspiration), tech tool, teaching strategy, and positivity piece. Please let me know if you have any suggestions! I’ll definitely attribute them to any contributors. If you have a Twitter handle or other identifying professional account, send that to me along with your suggestion. In the future, these posts will stand alone, but for this first one, if you are interested, please read more!

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5 EdTech hacks that changed my life

Sometimes things on the Internet change society…

Take the Rick Roll for example (or just Rick Astley, in general):

giphy

The following Internet-based things (in no particular order) have changed my life as a teacher. Maybe they’ll do the same for you.

  1. Hotkeys that open the most recently closed tab in Chrome
  2. Google Docs Explore Tool, formerly known as the Research Tool
  3. Canvas SpeedGrader
  4. YouTube videos at 1.5x speed
  5. Symbaloo

spmkoae

(so keep reading!)

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Vocabulary PechaKucha!

Today at PD, I created a student-driven technology lesson for introducing new vocabulary in my academic chemistry class. As a preface: PechaKucha is a presentation format the includes 20 slides, presented for 20 seconds each (for a total of just under 7 minutes).

Blank Student Template:

Make ONE slide related to your term with the following info.

  • Provide TWO definitions that you found
  • Rewrite them into ONE definition in your own words
  • include any variables, units, or formulas that apply
  • include one image to illustrate your word
    • it should take up most of the slide
  • Be able to explain your word for/in 20 seconds

Technology Integration Matrix Review: This lesson falls under adaptation in all categories. I’m okay with that considering I am working towards more technology integration for that group of students.

Ten Tweets to Learn Twitter

TwitterTwitter, like all social media platforms, is what you make of it. It can be used for good, evil, or become the proverbial black hole for your time. Through its use, I’ve connected with educators outside of my school building that have become invaluable members of my professional learning network/community/team/whatever. I like to call them my virtual friends (and I get teased about that on a regular basis). I also use it to interact with my students and parents by sending out reminders, updates, etc. from another account dedicated to my classes.

In a recent professional development, participants were encouraged to use an honor-system badging spreadsheet to create a fun, interactive, gamified aspect to the PD. They completed “quests” to earn experience points (XPs) and “level up” as participants. I thought it was fun since I started toying with gamification in my classroom last year. One of the ways that participants could earn XPs was to tweet about their experiences throughout the week and use a hashtag for the particular event. However, there were a few teachers who were unfamiliar with Twitter and were not able to level up as much in the gamified part of the PD as compared to those who are Twitter pros.

So I wrote this post as a quick how-to guide for them. I assume that anyone working through these tweets has already created an account, so make sure you do that first!

Go ahead and Follow someone too…

  • Twitter will automatically suggest some people to you from your contacts
  • You can also search for someone by real name or user name at the top of the screen
  • If you’re stuck, type in @AWTeachesSci in the search field and follow me!

Secondly, look at the graphic below to understand the surprising amount of info contained in a Twitter post (called a tweet).

TweetAnatomy

Anatomy of a Tweet

Now you’re ready to dive into ten quick tweets!

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Google Docs, Drive, etc.

Yesterday, I led an early release workshop incorporating the use of Google Docs to allow students (in this case, my colleagues) to paperlessly conduct a collaborative close read. Over the past couple of years, many colleagues have asked me for info on Google Docs and Google Drive. Below are actual assignments that I give to my students at the start of a new semester (minus a little identifying information), but you may find them helpful for your own use as well.
Google Docs (learn GDocs features and share docs with you)
Google Docs and Google Drive (learn GDocs features and creating shared student folders)
More pontification and philosophy following…

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