Five Tech Topics in a Flash

In a flash-- here is a brain dump! We share these tools and resources regularly with primary source enthusiasts and we were asked for a one stop reference... Here it is! ( At least for today's selection.... )

21st Century Learning: Harnessing the Power in the Classroom

Thinking about 21st Century Learning: Sir Ken Robinson: http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U

Accessing Primary Sources and Teaching Resources for Analysis on the Web:

Library of Congress: www.loc.gov
Gilder Lehrman: www.gilderlehrman.org

Tech Tools and Resources

Google Shorten URL: http://goo.gl/

Blabberize: www.Blabberize.com

Spicynodes: www.spicynodes.com

Zoom Tool: Zoom.it


Website Evaluation: RADCAB  www.radcab.com

Media Training:  Common Sense Media www.commonsensemedia.org

Photo Editing: 

Cutting Tools:
Snippet tool in windows

QR Code: Inigma or QR Reader

Wikis/ Blogs: 
pbworks.com:  https://pbworks.com
Blogspot.com: Www.blogspot.com
wikispaces.com: www.wikispaces.com

Others that are just plain wonderful!

Flat Classroom: www.Flatconnections.com
Nearpod: http://www.nearpod.com
Timetoast: www.timetoast.com
Animoto: www.animoto.com

Blogs: Reference Points for Technology and Primary Sources

Teacher Librarian Days


You Might Be a Geeky Teacher if You Introduce Makey Makey to Your Students

Today I introduced Makey Makey from two M.I.T. graduate students to my students. The power of inquiry is amazing. I funded this project using Donorschoose.org and with matching contributions, I had 6 Makey Makey's within a few weeks!  We had a short lesson on what a Makey Makey is and how to basically hook it up and then they worked together in teams to make it work. All of the 4 C's of 21st Century Learning were covered today! Every time a student identified when we were doing one of the 4 C's, they raised their hand and said it out loud! "Collaborate!" or "Communicate" or "Critical Thinking" and finally "Creativity". This exercise covers all 4 and they could identify when it did. It was incredible. Here are some pictures, notice the joy on their faces. After the hour was over they didn't want to stop and asked to stay. I love those kinds of days!

Makey Makey

Digital Literacy Skills:
  • 5.1 Generates and revises inquiry questions or problems as needed to arrive at a manageable topic.
  • 5.12 Uses keyboard efficiently including shortcuts, arrows, backspace, shift etc.
  • 5.16 Applies knowledge of similar characteristics in various technologies to effectively use new tools.
  • 5.19 Uses technology to work collaboratively with peers
  • Define the tenets and processes of industrial design with an emphasis on ergonomics.
  • Sketch and create video game controller prototypes.
  • Assess the prototype designs through user testing (observation, survey, focus groups).
  • Modify designs based on user testing.

Day 1:

1.  Show video to introduce what a Makey Makey is:http://youtu.be/1m2iQ4fws8Y
2.  Walk through the steps of What is a Makey Makey and what can I do. http://makeymakey.com/
3.  Create a piano keyboard using demonstration computer, Makey Makey, bananas, pennies and a person http://makeymakey.com/piano/
4.  Using table groups, divide the students up into 6 groups.  Together using a netbook, walk through hooking up the drums http://makeymakey.com/howto.php  Load this link into their edmodo accounts.  Have three things that conduct electricity on each table with the netbook.
5.  Formative assessment - class checklist of who was able to make all keys work and play all of the drums.

Day 2:
1.  Meet with your group and develop a plan to use Makey Makey in another way.  Watch some of the demonstration videos on this site:  http://makeymakey.com/gallery/  You can use either side of the Makey Makey to make your creation.  
2.You will determine and bring the supplies that your group needs.  
3. You will use iMovie to film your Makey Makey in action.  
4. The best Makey Makey inventions will be uploaded to the Makey Makey site!  Bring supplies to next class.

Day 3:  
1.  Using your supplies and plan, put your invention together and film it working.
2.  Export the movie to your email and turn in the link to edmodo.  



A Primary Source Birthday Present to Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Teacher Librarian Days (#TLD2014)

Geek 2 is an organization nut and sometimes a bookmark list is just too hard to handle and manipulate when looking for resources. So I have looked for alternate options for students and myself!

I have found @Symbaloo to be a great visual reminder and bookmarking tool  to share with fellow colleagues AND with students. The design features and layout are easy to make your own, and can give visual clues to students when accessing preselected sites for research and online discovery.

As part of the Teaching With Primary Sources Teacher Librarian Days 2014, @TwoGeekyTeachers would like to share a primary source Symbaloo created in the last year to assist students with accessing quality primary sources and exemplary research materials and websites with our fellow learners young and more wise. Enjoy!

Primary Source Symbaloo

And PS.... Happy 10th Birthday #TLD2014!


Google Search Strategies

I've been working with my 21st Century Learning students on search strategies.  We started with a hoax site and learned that we can't trust everything on the web.  We decided that we should have some background knowledge using a book or a subscription database because we know how those are created before we head out to the world wide web.  Once we have some background knowledge from a trusted resource, we choose a search engine and work to find the information we want for our research.  We use some of these search strategies:

GFC.Learnfree.org is a great resource that I just learned about.  They have cheat sheets and other kid friendly resources like this on their site: 
Screenshot of cheat sheet
I was thrilled to learn about searching for images and sorting them based on their copyright and permissions.  This screen shot shows you how to search for images that you have permission to use.  

You can also search and sort by reading level to differentiate for your students using these search tools:

Use some of these simple tools and strategies to help your students become savvy internet users!  


You Might Be a Geeky Teacher If You Like to Use Hoax Sites to Teach Website Evaluation.

website_evaluation.8-10.custom_structured_siteIn this day and age when anyone with access to the internet can create a website, it is critical that we as educators teach our students how to evaluate web content. There are some great resources available for educating students on this matter, such as RADCAB, CRAP (and CRAP Rubric) Kathy Schrock’s Five W’s of Website Evaluation, Joyce Valenza's CARRDS or the University of Southern Maine’s Checklist for Evaluating Websites.
Along with checklists and articles, you will also find wonderfully funny hoax websites, aimed at testing readers on their ability to evaluate websites. These hoax sites are a great way to bring humor and hands-on evaluation into your classroom, and test your students’ web resource evaluation IQ!
Check out these 11 example hoax sites for use in your own classrooms:

  1. All About Explorers
  1. Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division
  1. California’s Velcro Crop Under Challenge
  1. Feline Reactions to Bearded Men
  1. Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
  1. Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie
  1. British Stick Insect Foundation
  1. The Jackalope Conspiracy
  1. Buy Dehydrated Water
  1. Republic of Molossia
  1. Dog Island

One of my favorites is always the Dihydrogen Monoxide website, which aims to ban dihydrogen monoxide and talks in detail about its dangers. Only after a few minutes did I catch that dihydrogen monoxide, is after all, H2O!

I am starting the Explorer Unit with my 4th and 5th Graders.  We are launching in edmodo and here is a tutorial for start the unit.  I actually have a substitute and love to use a screencast when I have a sub.  This time I used Screencastomatic.  I also like Screenr.  All About Explorers has lessons, lesson plans and websites with incorrect information.  The students completely fell for using the sites for researching their explorers.  They then have to learn to search the right way and evaluate websites and information sources that they can trust.  In the end, they email the webmaster and ask them to correct the incorrect information based on their research.  It is such an important conversation to have with students.  


Happy Hoax Hunting!