Archive for the ‘21st Century Learning’ Category

I Be Jammin’

September 27, 2017

Yesterday, as part of my professional development, I had the opportunity to play with a Jamboard.  What is that, you ask?  It is a classy looking whiteboard with a difference… or two.  Made by Google (and globally distributed by BenQ), it integrates with G-Suite (Google Suite).

 

Here are a couple of You Tube videos that illustrate the features… a picture is worth a thousand words after all!

 

You can see that the videos show the Jamboard in a business environment but when I think of coaching, math, science and more, there are many reasons I would like one of these in my classroom.  The words that come to mind are EASY, COLLABORATIVE and ENGAGING.  Why wouldn’t I want one?  Check it out!

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

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Comment on: I Don’t have Time to Teach my Students how to Use the Program

March 8, 2017

This is my personal observation and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of those with whom I work.   I do invite debate and would love to hear from you about how much we need to demonstrate to our students.  For me the teaching includes safety, ethics and consideration for others.

From time to time I talk to teachers who say that they like the games in SMART Lab and in the Table Activity Toolkit but they just do not have time to show the students how to play them.  Let’s consider this.  When was the last time an adult sat down with their child to show them how to use an electronic game?  Often it is the other way round!  The child shows the adult.  I remember when an enthusiastic, 7 year old Minecraft player tried to teach me the ropes.  It caused him to be more articulate and to slow down!  I could almost see the wheels turning as he tried to figure out how to explain it all so that it made sense for someone else.  As for me, I was blown away by his understanding of the intent, rules and strategies and he had learned either by himself or by soliciting advice from his brother or friends.

Chances are that when you put the students in front of any of the games, they will figure them out, or they will ask a friend and that friend just may learn how to teach others effectively.  Additionally, if they do not play in the way it was intended, does that mean that they are not learning?  Sometimes they use the game in a way that teaches them something they need to know.  The fun and learning just may be in the challenge of figuring it all out.

What are your thoughts?  Comment below or email me at pd@advanced-education.com

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

Another Fun Widget

February 22, 2017

A little while ago, I wrote about the Widgets on the SMART Exchange. Here is one that can be downloaded and there is a video that demonstrates creative uses.

Download the Random Words Slot Machine and see the video at http://tinyurl.com/randomwordsslotmachine.

You cannot add or change words but that did not matter to my students because we had fun using the ones that were available.  Some of them tried to see how quickly they could draw the pictures of the words when the appeared.  Two could work together on our flat panel SMART Board.  Then they compared the ideas in their images.  It was amazing how different they were.  It shows that when people hear words, they can all picture them differently.

What do you picture when you think of a tree?  What does your friend picture?

 

Happy Learning!
Mrs Blossom Signature

Widgets for your Notebook Files on the SMART Exchange

February 8, 2017

Have you checked out the Widgets on the SMART Exchange site?

Go to exchange.smarttech.com (Note:  A shortcut can be found in Notebook.)   Scroll down the column at the left on the search page.  You will see 3D content, manipulatives, Gallery collections etc.  Click on Widgets.  Now to the right you will see all the widgets that are available.

Many teachers like the piano for the music curriculum, the math tool for practising coordinates or the six thinking hats. I like the trash can.  When you download it, you are asked if you want to open or save it.  I open it and soon a new Notebook file will open with the trash at the top left.  Now if there is something on the page that you or the students don’t want, you can drag it into the trash.  I save the page in My Content so that it is handy for other files that I build.

Questions?  Please contact me at pd@advanced-education.com

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

SMART Table Backgrounds

January 25, 2017

The other day, I was working with Erin who shared her idea for making simple SMART Table activities that help her special needs students learn.  She wanted them to perform one to one matching, self-correcting activities.  Her idea was to use one background and isolate the pictures from it to match to the background images and she created the activity in Hot Spots.  See the instructions for her activity here and download the software at

https://support.smarttech.com/en/downloads/other-hardware/table/table-toolkit

The manual for the table can be found on the download page for the Table Activity Toolkit.

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

3D Printing Challenges

January 11, 2017

We have been excited about trying out our 3D printer but we were unsure how to involve students in using this new technology.  Searching online we found some worthy projects for students.  Future Engineers (http://www.futureengineers.org) has several challenges a year.  The most recent is a challenge to “create a digital 3D model of an object that could be used by an astronaut to maintain physical health on a 3-year mission to Mars.”  There is a description of the problem and a challenge to consider the design of the item.  American students can enter their design in an online contest and you can see some of their submissions and winners in the Future Engineers gallery.

Stratasys offers a white paper that describes seven 3D printing challenges including designing a game controller and creating a source of hydro power.  This paper also describes “managing 3d print projects for optimal learning”.  Find this paper at http://tinyurl.com/stratasyswhitepaper

Let me know if you find other great sources for 3D printing ideas and I will credit your submission and share these resources with our readers.

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

YouTube and Notebook 16

October 19, 2016

There are some great videos on Youtube that I love to use in the classroom but it is a distraction for the students to sit and wait while I navigate to the videos.  Now using Youtube is so much easier!  There is a Youtube search in Notebook 16.  You will find this by clicking on the puzzle piece in the tabs area of Notebook.

  • Click on the red Youtube icon and then click on Search.
  • Type in any topic that might correlate with your present curriculum.
  • You can watch the chosen video at that moment or you can select the video and click on Add Video.

Each time you arrive at that page, the video loads from Youtube.  When I typed in Platypus, I got videos from a zoo, songs, informational videos and even one video that showed how to draw a platypus.  There were a few videos in the 300 found that were not animal related but they were easy to skip.  Try out the Youtube search.   Notebook just keeps on getting better!

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

Screen Capturing Drop-Down Menus in Notebook

October 5, 2016

Sometimes I want to share my Notebook instructions with other teachers and with you!  This means that sometimes I have to screen capture drop-down menus on my PC.  Here is how to accomplish this.

  • Click on the drop-down menu of the item.
  • Hold the alt key and press the prt sc button. This captures the whole screen.
  • CTRL V to paste this image onto a Notebook page.
  • Use the camera screen capture tool or the Windows’ Snipping tool to capture the part of the image you want.

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

A Fast Image Search in Notebook 16

September 21, 2016

There is a new add-on in SMART Notebook 16. It is now possible to search the net for graphics and then drag them onto a page.

This means I don’t have to leave Notebook and there is no need to copy and paste or save images.  Just click on the puzzle piece in the tabs and choose Image Web Search.  You can select pictures or clip art, type in the object you want to search and then click on the magnifying glass.

A search for ‘apple’ resulted in 28 clipart images and 20 pictures.  I dragged one of them onto the page and made it just the right size for my application.  At the bottom left of every picture you will see a small globe.  This is the link to the page where the image was found and it can demonstrate to students that we credit items we take from the web.  It is possible to remove that link and credit the picture somewhere else.

Click here to download the step-by-step instructions

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature

Our Tech Tubs2 Arrived!

September 7, 2016

My class received a modular tech tub2 that holds 24 iPads and has a usb syncing hub.  The four modules can unclip so that we can share the iPads with four classes or we can use the cart on wheels to roll all of them to another room.

Two students got busy putting the iPads into their slots and then plugging them in so that they would not lose charge over the summer.   The great thing is it only takes one electrical outlet to support the whole cart.

I am so happy that our iPads are protected and locked safely away.

I used Google to create this shortened url so you could watch a video about these tubs.  Go to goo.gl/n5TUz4.

 

Happy Learning!

Mrs Blossom Signature