Renewable Energy Data

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#edtech #edreform #renewableenergy

Students in elementary and middle school science classes across Poudre School District have been using Vernier Software & Technology probes and sensors. These sensors enable teachers and students to collect authentic data on computers for deep and detailed analysis. The data collected is accurate and better demonstrates to students how scientists perform and analyze similar experiments in the real world.

Students at Dunn, Bennett, and McGraw elementary schools are using GPS units to find weather investigation stations in the wilderness.  Students are collecting data and making conclusions based on that data. Rather than doing a lab that mimics being outside, studying weather, students are actually going out and collecting the data themselves.
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Middle School students at Lesher and Cache la Poudre have been investigating the factors that affect wind and solar power generation. The data they collected ranges from how the blade angle on a wind turbine can affect the energy output, to how the distance from a light source changes effectiveness of a solar panel. Teachers are making instructions interactive and easy to follow using Pear Deck, which allows for more open-ended inquiry investigations and student-driven learning.

If you are interested in checking out science probes and getting help with their use in your classroom contact the Ed Tech team. Elementary teachers it is no too late to sign up in Avatar for the Elementary Vernier training on Nov 9 (4th grade) and 10 (3rd and 5th grade).  IMG_0201 - Copy

Participate in the Hour of Code

#CSEdWeek #edtech #edapps

As part of Computer Science Education Week, December 8-14, you and your students can participate in the “Hour of Code”.  The Hour of Code is a one hour introduction to computer science.  It’s designed to make coding feel more accessible to anyone, at any age level, and teach the basics. Learning how to code can be a valuable resource in today’s information economy.

Here are some resources to get you started in participating in an Hour of Code the week of December 8th.

Khan Academy – Great tutorials already built in a platform that is familiar to teachers and students.

Code.org – Much of the site is already set up to make it easy to participate in an Hour of Code.  There are additional tutorials built in to continue learning into the future.

Codecademy – Scroll down to the “30 minute Goals” at the bottom of the page for some quick tutorials to get your students started.

These are just a few resources to get you started.  Feel free to contact anyone on the PSD Instructional Technology team to get more information or help setting up your own “Hour of Code”!

Where to Find Resources

#innedco #edtech #techtips

Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of all the technology resources PSD has to offer.  In this screencast, we show where some commonly used resources can be found on the Poudre School District website.

Principles for Fair Use in Journalism

#innedco #edtech #copyright

The following post if from guest blogger, Herb Saperstone of PSD’s own Channel 10.

The Center for Social Media has excellent information regarding fair use in the context of the ever-expanding landscape of online media. American University Law Professor, Peter Jaszi says, “Limited but significant use of preexisting copyrighted material in our own information activities and Is protected in copyright doctrine of fair use.” Student projects, media critiques, news reporting, social-oriented journalism, etc. can and must find ways to use copyrighted materials.  Video courtesy of Center for Social and Media Impact

-HS

Getting to Know You(r Students!)

#web20 #techtips #edtech

The beginning of the school year can be an exciting and busy time! Here are some fun ways to use  web-based tech tools to get to know your students.

Use Google presentations to create a student “expo”:

In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed how to use Google presentations to create an “Amazing Race“.  You can do a similar activity with your students to start off the year.  Head to Google Drive and create a new presentation.  The Topic could be anything, for example, “what did you do last summer?”, “Where did you go?”, or even better “What are you excited about for the school year?” We do some teacher trainings here at PSD Tech and have created a similar presentation.  Check it out here.

techexpo   You can set the sharing permissions on the presentation by pressing the blue “Share” button in the upper right.  It’s often easier to share the presentation’s link (or shorten the URL) with students rather than entering each student’s email address.

Next, create instructions for the students on the first slide.  After that, it’s a snap!  Students create one or more slides in the presentation and they (or the teacher) can share it out with the class.  Students can embed text, pictures, links, and videos!

Of course, there are other tech tools available for you to use.  The folks over at Socrative also have a great blog.  Check out their post on playing “Guess Who?” using the Socrative web app.

Not sure about Socrative?  Check out our post on using “Laptops as Clickers

You could also create an editable class wiki using Google Sites (or BlackBoard) to do something similar to the above activities.

Have a great school year!

New Functionality Added to Google Forms

#web20 #google #googleapps

A couple of months ago, Google added some functionality to the Forms section of Google Apps. These changes have recently been added to anyone with a Google EDU account. Users can now add images and dates/times to their forms. Check out this screencast to see the new changes!

Embed Presentations

#edtech #web20 #edchat #googleapps #elearning

Do you have presentations or class notes that you’ve created in PowerPoint or Google Presentations?  Would you like these notes to be available to your students anywhere?  You can use embed codes to upload your class notes to your class wiki or BlackBoard Page.

In this blog post, I will guide you through how to upload a PowerPoint presentation to Google Presentations and embed it into your class’ BlackBoard page.

The first step is uploading your PP into Google Presentations.  Once you’ve logged in to Google Drive, click the red “up arrow” in the upper-left part of the screen.

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Next, select “files” and navigate to your PP presentation.

Once your file is uploaded, open the presentation and go to “file>publish to web“.pub2web

A menu will come up with a variety of options.  Pick the options that work best for you and your class.  About halfway down the menu, there is an “embed code”.  Copy this code (press Ctrl + c or right click).  Now, navigate to your class’ Blackboard page.

Click the content button where you would like to add your presentation.  Under the “Build Content” tab, select “Blank Page”.  Add your title to and click the “Toggle HTML Source Mode” button (it looks like this: <>).  With HTML enabled, past the Embed code that you copied earlier. Paste the code after the <div> tags and you’re good to go!  Your students now have access to their class notes from your BlackBoard page.

Laptops as Clickers

#edtech #web20 #edchat #clickers  #elearning

Using “clickers” or electronic response systems can be a great way to gather data and give formative assessments to students.  Until recently, schools wanting to use response systems needed to purchase expensive software and equipment.  Education software companies like Promethean, CPS, and SMART all manufacture “clicker” software and hardware.

Clicker software and hardware, in the traditional sense, can now be replaced by technology that may already exist in the classroom.  Teachers and students can now use laptops, netbooks, and smart-phones as clickers thanks to some new web tools.  Best of all, most of these web based tools are free to use.

Once such web tool can be found at Socrative.com soclogo

The front page states, “Engage the class using any device” and they mean it.

On the website, you can either be directed to a log-in for teachers or students.  The sign up process is simple and free for teachers.  Once logged in, teachers will get a room number.  They can provide that room number for students using the “student log-in” and go from there!  The whole process is very simple and user friendly.

From the teacher home page, teachers have to option to create quizzes in advance or give questions “on the fly” as a single question activity.  SQAs are a great way to gather quick, formative data on your class, take a vote, or give a “ticket out the door”.   The format of the SQA can be True/False, short answer, or multiple choice.

If teachers create a quiz ahead of time, they have the same options for question formats but with a little more functionality.  Quizzes can be multiple questions and run as student-paced or teacher-paced.  Teachers can also add image content to their questions and share their quizzes with other teachers.

One of the best functions of the quiz-based activities is that teachers can add correct answers which will, in turn, give students immediate feedback and export results to an Excel spreadsheet.

Socrative makes it easy to replace clickers with laptops, netbooks, and smart-phones making it a very user-friendly and viable option as an assessment tool.

Flubaroo to Grade a Google Form

#edtech #web20 #edchat #google  #elearning

A few weeks ago,  we posted about using Google Forms.  Google Forms are a great way to collect information without the need for paper.  Teachers can use Google Forms to give students formative or summative assessments.  The benefit is that the information is automatically organized into a spreadsheet.  Another added benefit to Google Forms are “Scripts”.  One such script, called Flubaroo, will automatically grade a spreadsheet form for you with only a few simple inputs.

To get Flubaroo, head to a Google Form spreadsheet that’s open and navigate to Insert>Script.

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Next, you’ll want to do a search for “Flubaroo” in the search bar and click “install”

searchflubarooOnce installed, you will notice that “Flubaroo” is now a menu item.

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For Flubaroo to work, it needs a reference row or a “key”.  This can be one of the    rows in your spreadsheet.  Teachers will often take their own test so that it populates the first row of the test.  From that point forward, they have an easy way to grade the test/quiz.

After the quiz is graded, there will be a new tab at the bottom (similar to Microsoft Excel) called “Grades”.  Flubaroo automatically creates a spreadsheet with total correct/incorrect, % out of 100, and many other useful pieces of information.  If the teacher has the student input their email address as one of the row items, the teacher can immediately send the student their grade and feedback.

With a little work up front, using Google Forms with Flubaroo can save a lot of time for teachers.

Be sure to check out www.flubaroo.com for more information.

Online Photo Editing

#edtech #web20 #edchat #photoediting #elearning

Ever needed to crop, resize, or change a photo in some way only to discover that you have no photo editing software?  Fear not!  There are browser based photo editors available for you to use without the need to download and install software.

The First, and most versatile, is Pixlr.  Pixlar comes in three “flavors”: Pixlr-o-Matic (playful), Pixlr Express (efficient), and Pixlr editor (advanced).

The Pixlr-o-Matic app has functionality similar to that of Instagram or other smartphone apps.

jibspixlrmtcAs you can see from the picture, using the Pixlr-o-Matic version allows you to browse many automated settings to change things like hue, color balance, contrast and effects.  If your students are creating online posters (like Glogs) this would be a useful app to quickly modify pictures to match the theme.

Pixlr Express has a little more functionality.  You can still add all of the effects that are available in Pixlr-o-Matic, but there are other added features.  jibsexprssYou can add text and other special effects as well. The menus are easy to follow and use.

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The Pixlr Editor has a layout and functionality similar to that of programs like Photoshop.  Users have the ability to use layers, crop, and free transform to name a few.  The Pixlr Editor also has a lasso tool (although not a magnetic lasso).

The Pixlr suite of browser based photo editors can prove to be very useful to you and your students.  You can choose the best one for your classroom based on your needs and abilities.
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Another browser based photo editor, called ChromaPad, developed at croar.net, is also easy to use and has mixed functionality.  The best part, it’s free to use and, like Pixlr, there’s no need to download and install anything.