Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer Reading List

Have you thought about trying out integrating some technology tools in your lessons, but just didn't have the time?  Now that summer is right around the corner, it's a good time to learn about some innovative ways to use technology to enhance your lessons next fall.

Here are some of my favorite books and some new ones that I am looking forward reading when they are released this summer.  These books don't just describe using the technology, but also give great ideas and examples on how to use it in your class, in all disciplines.

  • Blended Learning -Leveraging the Power of Technology to Create Student-Centered Classrooms by Catlin Tucker 
    • Catlin was our keynote speaker in August, and this is her first book.  I use this as a reference when meeting with teachers in different subject areas.  It has great examples for all core subject areas, which can also be modified to work with any other subject area.

  • Creatively Teach the Common Core with Technology by Catlin Tucker     
    • This is Catlin's new book which will be released at the end of June.  I'm super excited, and have been waiting for it for a few years now.  It has ideas and lesson plans to help teachers teach the CCSS literacy standards in all subject areas.  Here's a description from Amazon:  "As you explore the creative road to academic success, with the Common Core ELA and literacy standards—you will turn your classroom into a student-centered learning environment that fosters collaboration, individualizes instruction, and cultivates technological literacy." 

  • 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom by Alice Keeler and Libbi Miller
    • Google Classroom was released this past fall and has been adopted by many teachers here in our district.  It solves the problem of students having to share their Google Docs with their teachers and causing a big mess in your Shared With Me folder.  Classroom helps organize both you and your students assignments using Google Apps.  Alice is one of my favorite people to see at conferences and always has innovative ideas to save a teacher time.  The book was just released and I am looking forward to reading it.  

  • Power Up:  Making the Shift to 1:1 Teaching and Learning by Diana Neebe and Jen Robert's
    • I have met Jen at multiple conferences and she has some amazing ideas.  Her new book is geared towards high school teachers using devices with their students. Whether you have your own set of devices in your classroom, or just a cart to check out when you can, this will be a great book to help give you ideas on what to do when you have the devices.  The book will be released at the end of June.
I hope you have a great summer!  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Helping Students Find Images and Cite Sources

It is important to teach students how to find Fair Use/Creative Commons images that they are free to use or modify in their work.  When using Google Docs, Slides, and Drawings, students can search for images that are free to use from right within the Google App.  In the following example, I'll show you how to do this in Google Docs, but you could follow the same instructions if you are using Slides or Drawings.

  1. In the top menu bar, choose "Insert".
  2. Then choose "Image".
  3. Choose "Search".
  4. Then type in your search term.
  5. Click on the magnifying glass.
  6. You can search Google, Life, or Stock Images by clicking on the different icons.
  7. Then you will click on an image you want to use and press "Select" to add it to your document.

Research Tool to Automatically Cite Sources
Another great tool in Google Docs and Slides is the Research Tool Bar.  This allows students to find not only images but web resources.  It will then automatically create footnotes for you to cite your sources in MLA, APA, or Chicago styles.  Here are instructions on how to use the Research Tool Bar.

More Tips and Tricks for Student Research Using Google Tools
If you are interested in more tips and tricks to help your students do research, here is a presentation I gave at the Annual CUE conference this year.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Copyright and Fair Use

When assigning a project, have you ever had students use images in their PowerPoints with a big copyright watermark across the front?  I'm still surprised how many high school students think that any image they find online is free for them to use.  Or that they can add their favorite song as a soundtrack to the videos they make for class.

Any work created, regardless of where it is posted or shared, is copyrighted.  As a teacher, you and your students, do have some rights to use some copyrighted materials, but there are limitations to what constitutes fair use.  For example, if you want to photocopy a chapter of a textbook you are using for each of your students, you are only allowed to copy 1,000 words.  Or, if you use a song as a soundtrack to a video you have created, you can only use a maximum of 30 seconds.

Below is a summary of copyright and fair use with some great resources on fair use in education, where to find Creative Commons images, songs, and materials, and how to give proper attribution to the copyright owner.  

The links in the embedded image below aren't working.  
Please click here to view the Google Drawing where the links are live.