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Showing posts from March, 2014

Moodle - Getting Notified On Late Assignments

What to do when you have graded a majority of assignments...but you know there will be a handful that will still be coming in?  Remembering to go check for those assignments can be bad enough, but repeatedly checking for them when nothing new is in there yet is even worse. Yet, if you get notified as ALL assignments are submitted you end up spamming your own inbox.

Here's a little trick you can use to get notification ONLY on those late submissions for a particular assignment:

Non video directions:
Under the Assignment Description, check the box to Enable the Due Date for the assignment.  It will use the current server date and timeUnder Notifications, turn on notifications for late submissions

The Changing Classroom

This school year I have attended several conferences that have really emphasized the changing landscape of the classroom.  The conversations have changed from IF classrooms will change to HOW classrooms will change.  The common thread through all of these - whether it is our governor’s drive behind legislative reform in Michigan to iNACOL’s changing vision - is the focus on student-centered learning systems.  
What is a student-centered learning system?  According to iNACOL it is a model that “...personalizes learning using competency-based approaches, supported by blended and online learning modalities and environments.”  Further,
Teachers use technology daily to analyze and utilize real-time data to differentiate instruction, customize learning and to engage students in deeper learning.  All students are responsible for their own learning and work at their own pace by demonstrating mastery of required concepts, resulting in higher achievement and ensuring all students are prepared for…

Friday Finds - Fresh from MACUL 2014

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Fresh from the 2014 MACUL Conference, some Friday Finds to listen to on your mp3 or other audio player!  These are both audio recordings of sessions that took place during the MACUL Conference last week. Both are well work listening to (in my humble opinion).

First up - Issues & Ales: Closing the Digital Divide in Education
This site has the audio recording done during the MACUL Conference, and lists the panel members participating.  

Second - #michED Podcast 7: Voices from the Community
This site has the audio recording from the #michED panel held during the MACUL Conference.  (If you are a twitter user and haven't checked out the weekly #michED chats, you really should!  Even if you cannot join them, back reading the discussion can be a great way to stretch and grow.)

7 Ways to Grow from Twitter Educational Chats

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Last night I had about 5 minutes to hop on Twitter and catch the tail end of the #MichEd chat.  During those few minutes I had the following exchange with @techsavvyed (Ben Rimes) and @bushjms (Jeff Bush):

In thinking of that conversation as I was tucking in Thing #3 at our house (at the back-scratching phase with lots of time to just think...) and some other chatter at the end of the chat time, it occurred to me that it should be re-iterated that there are many ways to grow from the Twitter educational chats that occur.  So, here's my list in no particular order.

1. Read the archives when they are convenient to you
Often we have family and work events that take place during the chat times.  You don't have to totally miss out just because you couldn't be there "live."  You can do a Twitter search for the chat if you miss it by a little (this is what I do post-tucking my kids in many evening).  Another option is finding out if the educational chat you are intereste…

iPads in Education - Digital Literacy Resources on your iPad

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Common Sense Media has been around for awhile.  Many people don't know that they provide many resources to help address Digital Literacy.  They have resources in the form of: iBooks TextbooksAppsiTunes U Courses Not only are they excellent resources, but they are FREE.  I would highly recommend checking them out at: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewMultiRoom?fcId=806514490&v0=itunes.com%2Fcommonsensemedia

Google Apps - Add Event to Calendar from Email

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Do you ever get emails that contain dates that you would like to add to your calendar? If so, did you know you can add the event very quickly from right within your email? Here's how:
Look for a dashed line under the date/time information, similar to here:


Click on the date, and a pop-up window appears:


You can then customize the information going into your calendar in the pop-up:


After you are done customizing it, click on Add to Calendar and violĂ ! event added and you didn't even leave mail!

Mobile Device Management - the Who and How of Success

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(Part 2 - Deploying Mobile Devices) In my last post, I talked about the fact we should be talking about what our stakeholder needs are when discussing which device(s) should be considered for purchase.  Another piece that needs to be considered in a school setting is that of device management.  We often forget we are still dealing with several technologies that are new.  This means management techniques for these devices is still developing and changing.
There are two key components to consider when making decisions about management.  We need to identify who is going to manage the devices, and how managed they are going to be. Some thoughts on these two components:
Who Manages the Devices: Because we are dealing with an evolving technology, it is not just about teaching someone how to “change the lightbulb in the projector.” Rather, there must be a commitment to learning - and even relearning - skills necessary in managing devices.  Additionally, those that most successfully manage the …

Which is the "Right" Device? Choosing between iPads, Chromebooks & Laptops

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I am often asked by people what they should buy for their classrooms - an iPad, a Chromebook or a laptop (I know there are also Android tablets out there, but I haven't been asked about those in the classroom yet!).This is a very difficult question to answer for several reasons, but mainly due to the fact that we are focusing on the device not the needs.You see, these are all distinct devices and each serves a different need.This is not to say that a person has to actually use all three devices, as there is some overlap.So the questions we should be asking are “What capabilities do our teachers/students/administrators need from their device?” and then “What capabilities might we want our teachers/students/administrators to be able to do in the future?”
If we instead evaluate our needs based on these questions, we get a clearer picture of which device is a best fit.  For instance, if we determine that the need is for web-based services then a Chromebook would probably be the most c…

Moodle - Restoring Grades When Restoring a Student

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Occasionally it happens...a student leaves a class, and then comes back in.  Or, even worse, the WRONG student is removed from a course. 
With Moodle 2.5, did you know you have the ability to attempt a grade restore when reinstating the student into the course?

When in the Enroll Users window, there is an understated area called Enrollment options:


Clicking on this, reveals some additional choices available to you:

With these choices, you can:opt to try to recover the user's old grades if possible (depends on your database & backup system)have them start from the current date OR the course start dateIf you have a course that has finite duration, you can set the enrollment duration Another awesome feature when you need it!

iPads in Education - Seven Ways to Display Your iPad

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Seven Ways to Display Your iPadThis lovely resource comes from Tony Vincent's Learning in Hand website. (If you have never checked it out, you need to!)

Tony has put together a comparison chart for the various methods of displaying an iPad's screen onto a projector.  This is one of the most frequently asked questions for me when I am doing iPad training, so I figure there may be others out there than have a need to know.

To see the full resolution chart, go to his blog posting.

Google Apps - Ways to View Attached Email Documents

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Ways to View Attached Documents There are three different ways to view attached documents in your Google Mail.  Each serves a different purpose, so I thought I'd address it here.

When you have an emails with attachment, it should appear at the bottom of your email as a squarish graphic.  You probably have noted that it has both an icon to indicate the type of file it is and the file name on the bottom of it:

(In my example I have a Word document and a PDF.)

If you mouse over the graphic, you will note that it changes and displays the full name on the graphic, the icon indicating the file type moves to the upper left, and two additional icons appear:

Ok, now you know enough to access the document in all three ways, so here are the three ways to view it and pros/cons to each:
Preview while in Mail: click anywhere on the graphic OTHER than the two icons at the bottom.  This will display the document over your mail (which will be "blacked out" underneath)Pros: yo…