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Showing posts from November, 2016

Digital Note Taking

So much pressure is placed in education on using technology. However, in many classrooms it is the teacher utilizing the technology for presentation of their notes, and the students are the ones who are handwriting them down in journals and notebooks. In my opinion, using digital tools in the classroom as a form of note taking is a tremendous stride in the right direction. There are many tools that can assist students with note taking; G Suite, Evernote,Notability, etc. are just a few of the examples.
Today’s big push appears the interactive notebooks. An interactive notebook is a paper notebook that allows students to place notes and teachers can create activities within the sheets of paper (Interactive-notebooks-home, N.D.). I could easily see this transition to students using either Google Slides in conjunction with Google Draw or Evernote to create an interactive notebook and replace its paper counterpart.
Some advantages of incorporating digital notes into your classroom: There is n…

Creating Infographics and Posters for Digital Literacy

What is digital literacy?
By definition, “Digital Literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills” (ALA Connect, 2016). Technology is changing the way our students learn, read, and obtain information. We need to create a curriculum that nurtures this way of learning. Being able to close-read visual information is just as valid as being able to close-read text. There are many tools on the market that enhance our understanding of digital literacy as well as our students.
Today we will be looking at a product called PiktoChart found at https://piktochart.com/

PiktoChart has free and of course, paid educational offers.

Within PiktoChart, students have the ability to make and publish Posters, Infographics, Presentations and Reports. Templates are provided, however I prefer to have my students create their own from scratch.
Can I say that I love the fact that you can e…

Setting Safe Search to Pixabay

If you are ever in the search for royalty free, high-quality images to use with your students, Pixabay.com is the place to go. I have been a huge fan for years and have found from experience that the bigger they grow and the more popular they have become, the more I am running into questionable images.


Luckily, {although not foolproof} Pixabay has a Safe Search for images built right into their Website. Please know that sometimes, (like anything else) questionable content slips through the cracks. You are always your students best line in defense to make certain they are safe. Making sure students know how to "handle" the situation is also a priority (i.e. have them turn off the screen before the come and report it).

Here is how to access it Pixabay's Safe Search:

1. In the top right-hand corner is a menu button. Select it and press FAQ.

2. Scroll down until you find the Safe Search section and check off the box to enable.
That's it! Happy safe searching!

Using Google Draw to create a Doodle 4 Google

What can I say?
There is nothing you cannot do in the G Suite. For the last two years or so my 4th-grade students have taking place in Google's contest, Doodle for Google (found here: https://doodles.google.com/d4g/).
In years past we have used a variety of tools employing various devices (iPads, tablets, etc.). This year I decided to give Google Draw a go with my students.
I love Google Draw. How can you not love a tool that you can access anywhere? An artist by trade, I have found many workarounds to use this basic tool.
For example, check out this Google Draw Artist, Joshua Pomeroy by watching his video here:  https://youtu.be/OkAuMOjXFCc He makes it look so easy right?
Here was my give-it-a-go:

Not too shabby for my first attempt if I do say so myself!
I thought to myself, "self, why couldn't I use this tool with my students to illustrate what they feel the future will look like?"
Below is a Screencast of what tools I introduced to my students. You can hear their discu…