Thursday, April 30, 2020

Quarantine LIke It's 1985!

There were few better ways to spend a sick day home from school in 1985 than to just lay on the couch and watch nothing but MTV.

Thanks to the magic of YouTube, here's a 9-hour, playlist of 150 videos, upcoming movie trailers, commercials, and MTV promos, all likely to have played on an early May sick day, 35 years ago.

The tagline of this blog is "Educational Stuff. Fun Stuff. Dumb Staff" and this playlist checks all three boxes. So, go ahead and quarantine like it's 1985.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Be a #HomePro Hero with GoPro and CrossBraining - Win big!

GoPro is teaming up with project-based learning specialist Crossbraining to present the HomePro Hero Challenge and showcase all of the great learning and engineering that families are doing from home. Of course, GoPro would love for you to use one of their cameras, but any camera will work.

Josh Nichols at Crossbraining has rounded up a crew of enthusiastic educators and I am proud to be one of them. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we have been assembling a ton of fun activities with the sole goal of making learning a blast. Visit the Crossbraining Lesson Page for fully guided ideas or come up with one of your own.

From there, it's super simple to enter:
  1. Download the free GoPro App to a phone or tablet and build your video with it. 
  2. Share your project to social media by tagging #GoPro #HomePro and @crossbraining – Use these tags upfront in the description of your post so GoPro and Crossbraining can find it for consideration.
For this special partnership project, you will be entered to win the Hero 8 Black, GoPro's newest and most advanced action camera as well as a subscription to Crossbraining. In addition, you will be in the running for cameras, and prizes that GoPro is giving away daily in its separate social media contest

Even if you don't decide to enter, check out the great lesson ideas at Crossbraining.

Good luck!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Dream it. Build it. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now. The Learning Continues

One of the great "day brighteners" for me through this crisis has been the arrivals of pictures and videos sent to me from families of my students. It's been both a spoken and unspoken goal that the 50 minutes per week in STEM class at school should serve as inspiration for a life-long love of creativity and building. Well, that effort is repaid a hundred-fold when I see kids joyously engaging in STEM activities on their own.

Here are a couple of minutes of the joy of learning.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

You may not love your Chromebook yet...

Earlier this year, my school district began to transition from school-issued MacBooks to Chromebooks. Needless to say, the change was a big one. I presented to elementary staff this set of slides designed to help them find the new settings, move files to Drive, and just overall get the feel for using the new device.

The presentation is broken down into Settings, Google Drive, and Create With Chrome. The slides in themselves aren't designed to be a tutorial but accompanied my explanations. Hopefully, there is still helpful information contained within them. If you'd like your own copy of these slides, here's the link.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Slay Your Remote Learning Videos with Jon Corippo and Matt Miller

One would be hard-pressed to find two guys better suited for helping you teach better and work less while ditching your physical textbooks than Jon Corippo and Matt Miller.

Both of these guys have been at the forefront of re-thinking education and here they team up to help teachers make simple upgrades to the videos they are sending out while teaching virtually. May we all bring this much energy to our students.

In this video, Matt and Jon host a live chat while answering a number of questions based around teaching with video.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

If You Can't Find What You Need for Teaching Remotely on Wide Open School, You Don't Need It

Wow! I have been a fan of Common Sense Media's guides for evaluating the appropriateness of online content for years, but their latest project Wide Open School is one-stop-shopping for all of the help teachers transitioning to teaching remotely need right now.

Do you teach with a Mac? Boom, got it. Or, are you all Google Apps based? Boom, got it! Are you trying to figure out Zoom while hosting Zoom meetings? Boom, got it! What about Google Classroom? Yes! Are you concerned about healthy balances between media and healthy communication? That's there too.

I think you get the point, and I didn't even mention how there are about a dozen other topics beyond just setting up the virtual space. There are resources for special needs, specific subject areas, even how to set up virtual field trips.

Oh, and there is a family side to the whole thing as well.

Here's the bottom line. If you can't find what you need for teaching remotely on Wide Open School, you don't need it.