Create bookmark collections with your class – or just yourself!

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I am newly in love. With Wakelet. You can create groups (“Politics” – “Differentiated Learning” – whatever you want!) and then, as you come across interesting articles or websites online, you can use the handy Wakelet extension to add them to your collection! But it’s not only bookmarks you can save – here’s a (partial?) list:

  • Links
  • Images
  • PDFs
  • YouTube videos
  • Tweets
  • Facebook & Instagram posts
  • Google files of any sort (docs, sheets, etc.)
  • Spotify or Soundcloud playlists
  • Flipgrid responses
  • Screencast recordings (on your favorite screencasting tool)

Students can create groups as they work on projects together, or you can make a class group and allow everyone to add to it. I made a sample group here for the Crossroads satire edition.

Let me know if you have questions, or check out their help site!

Ditch That Textbook gives guidance for the end of the year

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Looking to shake things up and have your students create a project as an end-of-the-semester assessment? As usual, Matt Miller is full of ideas. Check out his post called “10 ideas for digital end-of-semester final projects” for inspiration!

Looking for a framework for research?

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Our head librarian Eric Franklin put this presentation together in Adobe Spark for classes embarking upon research projects to teach critical thinking skills. If you’d like for him to visit you here at CCHS, send him an email!

Here are some other entries I’ve posted on developing research skills with your students.

 

Hipster Google 2 has dropped!

 

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Hipster Google 2: More Google Tools You Probably Never Heard Of is the sequel to the popular-in-edtech-circles Hipster Google. There are twenty-two Google-based ideas in this post, but there’s something for everyone! Music teachers! Science teachers! Math teachers! Humanities teachers! ALL THE TEACHERS. My two favorites are Just a Line, an augmented reality app for your phone (iOS or Android) that lets you draw on your environment, and LIFE Tags, which gives students quick access from the LIFE magazine photo database from 1936-2000. (In my heart, I lived through World War II and the Great Depression. My favorite periodical is Reminisce magazine.) Set aside a few minutes to explore here! Your students will thank you!

Combat cheating with Google Forms

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This is a great video about how students can cheat on assessments – even if you’re using Google Forms. Learn how to use Forms more proactively after watching this video. *You will need this form open in another window as you watch – to practice what he’s explaining.*

Focus on the video…not the comments

noun_645938_ccWe all know that the comments section under a YouTube video is a dangerous place. If you’re showing a quick video in class, here are four ways to ensure that your students’ attention is focused on what you want them to see – not words you don’t want them to learn in your presence.

Safe YouTube allows you to share YouTube videos with your class by pasting the video link on the Safe YouTube site and then sharing their link. Students won’t see suggested videos or comments, but they will see any ads that appear (unless they’ve installed an Ad Blocker!). Unlike other similar services, this one is free.

Toggle YouTube Contents is an extension that gets to work when you open up a YouTube video: the comments section will not automatically show. You CAN read comments, if you wish, by clicking “Show Comments.” The great thing about this extension is that you don’t have to remember to turn it on – it will always engage when you pull up YouTube.

Turn off the Lights darkens your screen so that only the YouTube video (or any video!) is easy to see. This is a slightly more robust app, though, as you can select an option to have this feature on all websites you visit – so if you want your students to focus on just part of the Parts of the Frog website you’ve pulled up, you click where they should focus and dim the rest of the site.

Other sites exist that will only show the video – and none of the other nonsense surrounding it. One is Clean Video Search – type your request into the search box, and when your video appears, it plays with a blank background. This is a good one for sharing YouTube links with your students to view independently.