Category Archives: Education

Blogs with an educational aspect for inside or outside of the classroom.

Google Classroom vs Apple Classroom

The use of Google products and Apple products has grown significantly in the educational environment both in school and out of school. Whether it’s iPads or the Google Drive app, these devices have become common for learning due to the connections and education that they bring between the teachers and students. Although both companies have lots to offer, deciding which one to work with is mainly based on preference and choosing the one that will be most beneficial for you.

Both technological companies have created multiple apps and resources to better educate students and a familiar app that has been around for a while is Google Classroom which focuses on making it easier for teachers to assign work and help students stay organized in terms of submitting assignments as well as getting updates of new work. But recently Apple created their own app, also called Classroom, to assist teachers and students in their academics.

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A student’s point of view of an assignment

 

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The Google Classroom App

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a student completes the assignment, they can directly turn it in their work, such as a Google Doc, link or file and mark is as done. In a Classroom’s homepage, students are also offered a whole list of assignments  (done and not done) that are sorted by date to help them stay organized of what needs to be finished. And even students have more than one class that uses Google Classroom, the application helps them see all the work that needs to be done all at once. There is also a comment section under each assignment where students can ask questions they may have for the teacher.

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A student’s point of view of a classroom homepage

What teachers may enjoy about Google Classroom is the organized and easy system of assigning work and turning in work and also the fact that it is 100% paperless,  so they don’t have to worry about having large piles of work cluttering their desks. Teachers who are most likely to get the most out of Google Classroom are those teaching English or even Science since students can easily attach essays and research papers from Google Drive.

But while some may find Google Classroom to be more beneficial, others could prefer Classroom which is offered by Apple. The use of iPads in school have become more common throughout the world. So it seems logical that these iPads should include an app that can help “teachers focus on teaching so students can focus on learning,” which is the main goal of Classroom. Unlike Google Classroom, the Classroom app is focused on making a lesson more interacting between the teacher and student. First students are offered a Shared iPad they will use throughout the class when working on an assignment. And as they work, teachers are able to use an iPad to view what app each students are using at that moment as well the ones that were most recently used by that student. There is even a Screen View option where teachers can see the same screen that is opened on a students iPad (the student will be notified if their teacher is viewing their screen). This app can be very helpful for teachers to make sure that students aren’t getting sidetracked.

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Document Camera’s In the Classroom

The Document Camera

Technology has found a way to revolutionize teaching. Now with new technology and software like google classroom, teaching and learning has been made easier for both kids and teachers. Just like google classroom has made teaching easier of teachers, Document Cameras have also found ways to enter the classroom and make teaching easier. Documents Cameras which are also known as visual presenters are real time image capture devices used for displaying an image, magnify and project images or documents for a large audience.

In education, document cameras actively engage students in the learning process. This gives teachers to opportunity to explain information whiles displaying it for students to gain a better understanding.  Document cameras also help decrease the copying process. Instead of a teachers printing copies for a class of 30, with a document camera you can place one copy under the camera, display it using your projector and have kids copy what is being displayed. Science teachers can use a document camera for dissections, you can give them a walk through using the document camera, this does not only give kids a hands on opportunity but also the chance to make sure they are doing it right whiles following the teachers steps. Some companies sell attachments that you can connect to a microscope, you analyze and look at microscopic items in class. Also using the time laps photography on a document camera science teachers can show the step by step process of things, for example a growing plant, or bacteria spreading or maybe a chick hatching. This can give kids a better understanding on that particular topic. A document camera helps teachers take pictures of a students work, which can be used in later classes, or can uploaded into the classroom website for students or parents to access. Documents cameras can also record videos, so as a math teacher, you can record how you solve a problem and upload it for students to access and learn how to solve that particular problem. English teachers can explain literature books by displaying the page of the book using the document camera and explaining it to the class for a better understanding.

In conclusion, document cameras have made teaching and learning much easier, giving teachers a wide range of options to teach new topics without the stress obtained from teaching a big class.

 

Source: http://www.engaging-technologies.com/document-camera-ideas.html

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Using iPads in the Classroom

Teachers can utilize iPads in the classroom to greatly enhance the learning experience of their students by keeping them engaged and by teaching material in new ways. iPads have several useful features as well as a plethora of educational apps and uses, one of which is airdrop. Using airdrop, teachers can project wirelessly from their iPad what is showing on their screen. Teachers could open a note-taking app (like the free one Notability) and write notes or math problems on their iPad screen for students to see. What they write is projected in real time onto their projector screen. Thus, they can teach and write things “on the board” while walking around the classroom, checking on everyone and gauging their understanding. Also, when students are using the iPads in the classroom, the teacher can require them to turn on airdrop so that all their screens appears on the projector screen, deterring students from surfing the internet or going on apps that they are not supposed to.

Students could also load a powerpoint presentation onto the Google Drive app on an iPad (also free) and more readily present, changing the slides when they want to. The teacher is free to grade and enjoy their presentation, as are all other students (who no longer have to sit and change the screens). 

Furthermore, students can use iPads or even their own phones to play games like Kahoot or participate in e-classrooms like through the Socrative app. Kahoot enables the teacher to make a fun, competitive game online, which students can then access through any mobile device and play together. This provides a fast-paced, engaging way for students to review material and for teachers to gauge their understanding. Socrative is similar in that you can see the realtime student responses and engage the entire class. However, Socrative is probably better for topics that require more thinking; as the upbeat game-showy atmosphere of Kahoot, while exhilarating at first,  could quickly become stressful if you are trying to solve math problems.

With the easy video-making apps available (mostly for free) on iPads, students can make videos in under 30 minutes and send them to the teacher so that the teacher can play them for the class. Our iPads have iMovie and Animoto, which can both be used for entertaining yet educational review or case study. For instance, a teacher could assign small groups topics to explain to the class in short, often memorable videos. No doubt this alternative method of introducing material would stick in students’ brains very readily.

Teachers could also use an automatically graded survey platform such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey to assess or probe pupils, who could use either their phones or iPads to answer the surveys. Since these grade and report their responses automatically, it saves teachers time and is a personal way for students and teachers to explore their understanding.

Another way teachers have used iPads in the classroom is by using them to talk about sensitive subjects like sexting that students might not feel comfortable speaking out about for fear of being judged by their classmates. One teacher used an app like Notability to conduct a class discussion. While she asked questions to direct the conversation, students wrote their responses on the app and held it up for her to see, and even the shyer students could contribute. 

With two iPad carts in AHS and so many interesting and engaging ways to use them in the classroom, the variety of methods which teachers can use to edify their students is expanded vastly. The only thing left to do is to explore all of the tantalizingly easy-to-use approaches to using them in the classroom.

Sources:
Burns, Monica. “Resources for Using IPads in Grades 9-12.” Edutopia. Edutopia, 13 May
2014. 
Web. 29 Mar. 2016.

 

 

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Google Classroom Quick Tips

googclass

Google Classroom is a blended learning platform for schools that aim to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. Classroom saves time and paper, and makes it easy to create classes, distribute assignments, communicate, and stay organized. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn’t completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and grades right in Classroom.

How to Use:

  1. Sign in through click teacher Google Apps for Education username and click Next. Remember: Your Google Apps for Education username looks like myname@myschool.edu.
  2. Teachers can accept an invitation to teach a class by navigating to Classroom directly or by clicking the link in the email invitation.  
  3. Click add at the top of the page and click Create class. Enter the class name in the first text box.
  4. Click the class you want to add students to.
  5. At the top, click Students.
  6. Click Invite.
  7. Check the box next to the students you want to invite or check the Select all box to invite all the students listed.
  8. To see other contact lists, click My contacts.
  9. To see all the students in your school’s domain, click Directory. You can also search for a student by name in the search box.
  10. Check the box next to any additional student you want to invite.
  11. Click Invite Students.
  12. Enjoy!

Tips and Benefits:

  • Easy setup—Teachers set up a class, invite students and co-teachers, and then share information—assignments, announcements, and questions—in the class stream.
  • Less time and paper—The simple, paperless assignment workflow allows teachers to manage student work quickly, all in one place. 
  • Better organization—Students can see assignments on the Work page, in the class stream, or on the class calendar. All class materials are automatically filed into folders in Google Drive.
  • Enhanced communication—Teachers can create assignments, send announcements, and start class discussions instantly. Students can  share resources with each other and interact in the class stream or by email. 
  • Works with apps you use—Google Forms, Calendar, Gmail, Classroom share button to share from other websites, etc. 
  • Affordable and secure—Like all other Google Apps for Education services, Classroom contains no ads, never uses your content or student data for advertising purposes, and is free.

Sources:

https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/?hl=en#topic=6020277

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Tools to Make Learning Easier – Google Classroom

With a computer in every classroom and access to one for every student at school and at home, Google Classroom provides a way for teachers and students to stay on the same page, encouraging learning and effective teacher-student communication. The video illustrates just how simple and helpful Classroom is for a student, from receiving the email to join the classroom to viewing assignments and due dates to emailing teachers and classmates with questions.

*For safety and legitimacy reasons, there is no way for a student or someone outside of a school or official organization to make a “classroom” (thus, this video focuses mainly on how Classroom looks to a student).

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Chrome App: Chalkup

Chalkup is a learning platform that makes it easier for teachers to connect with their students. The app offers an an abundant amount of shortcuts for grading and assigning work as well as easy access to communication outside of school.

One of the features of Chalkup is the ability for students to turn in their assignments through the app. The most popular app used for writing essays and reports is Google Drive. Chalkup makes it easy for teachers and students to to share their assignments from Google Drive to Chalkup. No need to download or copy and paste anything. And because every student and teacher at Ashland High School is given a Google Account, they can use that account to sign into Chalkup.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.06.07 AMAfter a student submits an assignment, the teacher can then grade it right there and then of the same website. All they have to do is click on the submitted work and in an instant they are able to highlight, comment, edit and offer feedback of their student’s work.

Not only does this app let teachers view their student’s work, but they can also create a personalized rubric for any assignment. So when they’re done reading their class’s work, they have a rubric right there to grade it.

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Chalkup also offers other features that help keep students up to date and organized with their school work. For those who prefer visual aids for studying. this app lets students create as many flashcards as they want and organize them by topic. One of the most useful tools for students is the LookAhead feature. With this, students can add a new assignment to the checklist, give the due date and give themselves an estimate of how long they believe each assignment will take. This makes it easier for students to organize the their school work and manage their time.Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 9.39.02 AM

There is also a feature almost like a group chat where students and teachers can share links to helpful websites and videos for studying or learning.

 

 

 

 

Overall the app Chalkup is rewarding for both students and teachers.

https://www.chalkup.co/tour

Chalkup and Google Drive:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmlXBPin7lY

Grading and Creating Rubrics: https://youtu.be/xw7NYkjE1q0 

Collaboration and Communication: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L4-wLklDWA  

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Citation add-ons in Chrome: Paperpile and Easybib

Paperpile is a free, easy to use, add-on in Google Chrome (especially in Drive and Docs). Basically, it is a citation device that allows users to research topics in a side bar and then easily make customized citations and annotations. While Paperpile is a highly professional tool and used by researchers and university students alike, it is simple enough and useful enough for high school and possibly younger children to utilize. It could also be useful for teachers working toward degrees (such as a Master’s).

Paper Pile Academic User Stats
Paperpile Academic User Stats, released by Paperpile.

For instance, when Paperpile is added into Chrome, should you need help navigating and using it, it provides a simple guide to help you get started, as well as many other resources.

Paperpile Quick Start Guide
Paperpile Quick Start Guide and beginning instructions in the research bar, screenshot

The simplicity and availability of Paperpiles would be useful both for students prone to forgetting to record their citations until the end of the paper to quickly research and save their citations in just a couple of clicks, staying in the document the whole time. Usually, myself included, students must go through the time-consuming process of researching something (in a book, a website, etc.) and then going to an external website to cite sources. While websites like easybib.com or owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/ make citing sources much easier, it is annoying to have to leave the document and spend valuable time inputting sources. This is why many students forgo this process while writing, only to have to laboriously re-research their sources at the end. Students and teachers can save time by using Paperpiles or even the easybib add-on. Here is what the Easybib add-on bar looks like to the right of a document:

Easybib bar, screenshot
Easybib bar, screenshot

In addition, multiple add-ons can be acquired without cluttering the document. For instance, the bar on the right can be closed when not in use, ready to be accessed with just one click.

Ready to use add-ons
Ready to use add-ons, screenshot

These in-document citation add-ons are user-friendly and efficient, and can be easily downloaded free of charge right into the document. 1,399,188 people are using the easybib add-on at the time of publication, and there are 13,572 users of Paperpile. Both teachers and students could benefit from these Google Chrome add-ons.

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Using Versal to Make Class More Interesting

Versal is an app on the Chrome App Store that allows a teacher to create an interactive course easily accessible by students.

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Versal has an easy to use sidebar as seen above. Using this, a teacher can create individual courses and sections within those courses. It is easy to add text as well. A lesson can be written plainly or it can be made interactive. There are ‘gadgets’ used to add any amount of things to a lesson.Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 9.28.38 AM

By simple click and drag, a timeline can be added, a map can be added, or you can add a quiz.

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Things such as quizzes are easily customizable from a small menu on the left. A single button adds a question or another choice of an answer, and you can type anything you need into the questions or answers. Other gadgets are interactive for the learner and just as easy to use. Along with built in gadgets, more gadgets can be added using the ‘gadget market’ button on the top of the page.

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Using the gadget market, you can find gadgets made by teachers just like yourself. These range from geography, to math, and to music. You can pick any you want to use by searching for topics and insert them into your lesson with ease. These downloaded gadgets can be edited just as easily. With Versal, you can make a course from scratch with help from built in gadgets, or you can use other people’s gadgets to start off your lesson and build your course from there.

Students in your class can view your course using the Versal app as well. This allows you to create your course and let all your students do any activities and readings in it independently.

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Impact of Computer use in the Classroom

In my opinion the use of computers in classroom is a good idea for middle schoolers through college students. I believe computer use should be limited for students that have not yet reached middle school so they are still able to learn without always relying on computers. That way the younger students can still develop their imagination and thoughts on their own without being attached to a screen all day. On the other side having younger students use computers does allow their brain more information they can learn and research about if they are interested in it.

           There are many pros to allowing younger students time to be on computers, tablets, or laptops.  It helps many younger kids to explore ideas of new things that interest them.  The ideas the look up on the Internet may lead them to real world discoveries. In giving tablets to the students in kindergarten that allows them to develop better motor skills and help they develop better hand-eye coordination.  Another pro to giving younger students computers is that those who struggle to socialize face-to-face would be able to experience and figure out how to socialize in the real world.

On the other side there are quite a few cons to giving young students computers, tablets, or laptops. Excessive use of computers can increase hyperactivity- attention difficulty- and can make it difficult to concentrate in school. Although it may lead to interesting new discoveries, it also may make the real world boring and no fun all because children would get attached to their devices.  Those students who struggle in initiating face-to-face skills would be help by talking to others online but it could make it even worse, by making that student dependent on device to talk to others. It could harm their chances of making it easier because they would have only been using a device to talk.

Overall, there are many pros and cons to giving younger students computers, laptops, or tablets.  I believe that there is such a thing as “how young is to young”. I think that tablets should be in limited use in the elementary schools but not give the kindergarten or preschoolers any tablets. The need to be able to grow and explore the world on their own, without the help or use of a tablet. The limitation in the elementary schools is so the children still explore the world without the device stuck to their side, or them stuck inside. Children need to learn common sense and figure it out by themselves without electronic devices.

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:

http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/06/pros-and-cons-of-digital-devices-in-the-hands-of-young-students/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/infographic-children-device-usage_55e75054e4b0b7a9633b6a7f



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The Influence of Computers in Education

Computers have become a very important part of our everyday lives, we can find them in our pockets, our bags and even in our kitchen. But the most important place computers have really helped is in the classroom.

Computers allow students to perform good research and also communicate with different education providers. This help students understand the topic better by experiencing different forms of teaching. Computers also help teachers in tutoring  students. Teachers can also communicate with students using the computer. Teachers can form a group chat and interact with the students, also teachers can post homework online, and all students have to do is just go online, answer those question and hit submit. This also saves paper, making us save more trees. When students get projects, computers help students perform extensive research which gives them a wide range of answers to solving that problem.

Computers also help teachers recording grades, calculate average and keep track of students to see if they are present or absent. Teachers also use computers to create presentations for the class and also find videos that can make that particular topic easier to understand. Computers also help the little children. Parents can download math, science, reading and grammar softwares on the computer and this helps your child develop basic educational skills for school, also the kid at move at his or her own pace without feeling rushed.

To every advantage there is a disadvantage but looks like the advantages of computers outweigh the disadvantages of having computers in the class room. People feel computers are distract students from studying, they feel instead of researching with your system, you are rather playing games or chatting with a friend or watching a video. But these problems can be solved by setting restrictions on that system, like blocking internet access to some websites and grant access to only educational websites. People who also grew up in a pre-computer age feel computers are killing the feeling of the classroom and making things too easy for the kids, but that’s the point of computers or technology in general, to make research, education and our daily lives better.

In conclusion, I belive computers revolutionize the way we study, they make education easier and faster. We can easily find information with just a touch of a button. And also be released to different sources which show us different ways to understand a particular topic, equation or idea. I believe computers have helped the education world in general.

 

Resources

Technology in the classroom

Making learning easier

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