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Showing posts from February, 2017

2017 #MACUL Conference - Tipsheet #3

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The MACUL Conference is only a couple weeks away!

(This is the third in a series of 4 to help you get ready and excited about going to the conference. Tipsheet #1 contains information about hydration, food considerations and special happenings at the conference. Tipsheet #2 contains information about planning for your conference - the conference app, speakers, session information.)

Today I'm sharing some general tips for getting the most out of the conference.
Checking In: Checking in on Thursday morning can be overwhelming when there are several thousand people around!  Here are some bits of advice to avoid missing the opening keynote session (you don’t want to miss Sir Ken Robinson!): If you come into Detroit Wednesday prior to 5pm, go to registration then instead of waiting until ThursdayIf you come into Detriot Thursday morning, registration opens at 7 am Thursday Again this year there will be "self-check" registration where you check in at a computer, then proceed…

Online Game - The Tessera (ARG)

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If you want to give your students a moderated experience in an alternate reality game, you should check out The Tessera.

From the creators' Educator's Guide:
"Tessera: Light in the Dark is an online game where players use real world media and skills to interact with the fictional world of the Tessera, working together to unravel the mystery of a haunted Victorian-era tavern."

The focus of the game is on students learning about and using computational thinking.  It has been tied to the Next Generation Science Standards, and easily fits into the STEM/STEAM curriculum. 

While there is a live game happening from January to March/April, they are designing a version that is more adapted to the classroom - 
"The replayable version will have around 10 sessions or modules that include lesson plans/activities, each of which can be accomplished in approximately 30 minutes. Players will be able to explore the website and related materials above and beyond this amount of time…

Google Sites - Overview of "New" Sites

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Google's updating of Sites was much needed.  It was feeling/looking outdated and it was still in the world of WYSIWYG website creators. 

There are many reasons to switch to the updated Sites, including the following:
Resides within Google Drive: you can create new sites and access your existing sites right within Drive, no going to a different locationUser interface is more intuitive: actions are much more intuitive on the new sitesADA Compliance: the new sites works hard to force you to be compliant, which means a limit in some features.  It is still the user content that can break this, but the dynamic layouts that adjust to devices, color contrasting within the themes and ease in adding Alt Text to images are game changers from the old sites Some of the cons:
Loss of the page-level sharing: this will only impact a small percentage of people, but for me it was key in having part of a site viewable to the public and part of it private to select people.Addition of more features: a…

Google Script - Form to Email Part 2: Creating the Email

I've been working with our counselors to create an online request form that replaces the "pink slips" currently in use by students.  We are hoping this solution increases efficiencies at several levels (i.e. students can put in the appointment request at any time including at home, pink slips are not lost, etc).

There were two pieces in this.  The first was setting the counselor's email, while the second is to create and send the email.  You may want to visit the first part if you have information to add to the spreadsheet prior to creating and sending the email. 

Part 2. Creating and Sending the Email
If you already have the email you will be sending to collected via the form, you will only need to use these directions. 

First, here is the sample script you can put into the Script Editor -

function sendEmail(){

   var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();

  var startRow = 2;  // First row of data to process
  var numRows = sheet.getLastRow();   // Number of ro…

2017 #MACUL Conference - Tipsheet #2

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The 2017 MACUL Conference is now less than a month away!

(This is the second in a series of 4 to help you get ready and excited about going to the conference. Tipsheet #1 contains information about hydration, food considerations and special happenings at the conference. )

The conference sessions are all locked and loaded...meaning you can peruse the list at your leisure.  Here are some suggestions that may help you better come to the the conference feeling more prepared-

Know What You Want: have some idea(s) of what you want to walk away from the conference with.  Use these ideas to help you plan your time so you meet those goals. It's easy to become overwhelmed with all the options, and identifying YOUR walk-aways will make sure you take back meaningful learning.  For example, you are looking for new uses of Google Apps in your classroom, look for sessions about that.  Or, if you are involved in looking for new school purchases make sure to block out some time to spend…

Google Slides - Inserting Google Drive Videos (guest post from Jeremy Badinar)

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Guest post from +Jeremy Badinar at Badinar Bytes & Tech Tidbits -

Thanks to Jeremy for agreeing that I could cross post this :-)

It is finally here! The long awaited ability to insert Google Drive videos into Slides! We have always been able to insert YouTube videos, but now all those videos you have stored and shared in Drive are now able to be inserted into a Google Slide. This is big news, especially for all those who have students share their video work through Google Classroom or Drive. Follow the steps below to learn how to insert all those Google Drive videos directly into a Slide!

Insert Google Drive Videos into Slides
Open the Slide you want to insert the video into. Click on “Insert”. Click on “Video”.

Select “Google Drive”.

All your available Dive videos will be listed. Select the one you want to insert and click “Insert”.

Google Script - Form to Email Part 1: Establishing Email

I've been working with our counselors to create an online request form that replaces the "pink slips" currently in use by students.  We are hoping this solution increases efficiencies at several levels (i.e. students can put in the appointment request at any time including at home, pink slips are not lost, etc).

There were two pieces in this.  The first is setting the counselor's email, while the second is to create and send the email. 

Part 1. Establishing Email
One piece in creating this and putting it into place was having the counselors' names on the form, then using a script to add the counselor's email into another column.

Here is the script to put into the Script Editor -

function setEmail() {

  var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();

  var startRow = 2;  // First row of data to process
  var numRows = sheet.getLastRow();   // Number of rows to process
  var numColumns = sheet.getLastColumn();  //Number of columns

  var dataRange = sheet.getRange(star…

BBC Witness: Women in History

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Witness: The Story of Our Times Told By the People Who Were There Witness Women in History: A collection of interviews with people who were there at key moments in women's history Last week I showcased the Black History collection.  This week I'd like to showcase the Women's History collection.

If you are looking for first person accounts of key moments in women's history to use in your curriculum, you should check out BBC's Witness Women in History podcasts (a portion of their larger Witness segments).  Each podcast is an approximate 8 minute interview with people that witnessed these events.  Events span the globe.   Currently there are 73 episodes available.

Episodes available include:
War bridesWomen's baseball in WWIIThe Warsaw ghettoWomen's strike in New YorkAnne Frank's DiaryMother TeresaThe battle for votes for womenHelen KellerRoe vs Wade
Available on the BBC Website (iPlayer Radio) or by searching for specific episodes in iTunes

Google Sites - Create a Site (updated version)

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Google has been doing some serious revamping of Google Sites, and the "new" sites is a vast improvement over the old - both in visual appeal and ease of use for an average user.

If you go to sites.google.com, there is now an option to move into the updated Sites -
The first time you click on this, you will get a "welcome" message -
Instantly you will notice the change, as you have moved from this -

to this -

Some items in this new Sites window -
1. Clicking on the "pancake" will give a window connecting you to your Google Drive -
2. There is a link back to your "old" Google Sites if you need to view one of those (as of the time of this blog there still wasn't a way to migrate).
3. Searching and ways to view the Sites window are located in this corner
4. There is a "plus" icon - very similar to Google Classroom - for adding a new site.

Once you are in this window, simply clicking on the plus icon will add a new Site. When you come b…

2017 #MACUL Conference - Tipsheet #1

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(This is 1 in a series of 4 to help you get ready and excited about going to this year's conference.)

Yes, you are attending the conference for all the great learning and networking.  However, eating is still a necessity and it is important to know where to find food while in Detroit...especially food that you can get quickly, without waiting in long lines!  Here are some tips and hints for dealing with that while at Cobo, along with some other tidbits you should know about: Staying Hydrated: make sure you stay hydrated!there are several fountains and water coolers provided throughout the venue to get water - bring along a refillable cup/mug and keep filling it all day instead of purchasing expensive bottles of waterFood at Cobo: there are several food vendors right in COBO; some tips about these:there will be around 4000 attendees AND hundreds of additional vendors at the venue, and everyone will be taking about the same meal breaks - either pick up food at odd times or …

BBC Witness: Witness Black History

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Witness: The Story of Our Times Told By the People Who Were There Witness Black History: Interviews with people who were there at key moments in black and civil rights history If you are looking for first person accounts of key moments in black and civil rights history to use in your curriculum, you should check out BBC's Witness Black History podcasts (a portion of their larger Witness segments).  Each podcast is an approximate 8 minute interview with people that witnessed these events.  Events span the globe.   Currently there are 47 episodes available.

Episodes available include:
Ruby Bridges attends an all-white schoolThe Mississippi burning caseMixed race marriage victory in US (the film Loving is based on this)Black Congresswomen Shirley ChrisholmThe children's crusade"I Have a Dream"Muhammad Ali and the draftThe Los Angeles riots
Available at iTunes

Available on the BBC Website (iPlayer Radio)

Free to Use Open Images from Creative Commons

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Are you an educator looking to use images that are not copyrighted?  Two big announcements from Creative Commons worth your attention:
New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art releases 375,000 digital works for remix and re-use online "Today, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York announces that all public domain images in its collection will be shared under CC0, expanding their digital collection by over 375,000 images as well as providing data on over 420,000 museum objects spanning more than 5,000 years. CC0 allows anyone to use, re-use, and remix a work without restriction.

From Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley, 'the largest museum in the United States has eliminated the barriers that would otherwise prohibit access to its content, and invited the world to use, remix, and share their public domain collections widely and without restriction.' ”
 CC Image Search  Additionally,  CC has a new Image Search engine available in Beta - search the Met's images,…

Celebrating Women During Black History Month

From Tina Tribu, Instructional Technologist & Data Specialist from Kalamazoo RESA -


Celebrating Women during Black History Month ~ just to name a few that you may not have studied before.  It is exciting that when conducting a search so many great individuals and groups are within our means to celebrate!  I am hoping a little something for everyone to explore.  Please feel free to share others that you are celebrating.
1.Black Women in Computing 2.The True Story of “Hidden Figures” 3.Founder of Black Girls Code – Kimberly Bryant 4.1st Black Female Sheriff in Texas ~ Zena Stephens 5.Technology Director, Educator, Author ~ Rafranz Davis 6.Physicists Pioneer in Curing Cancer ~ Hadiyah-Nicole Green 7.Olymipian Swimmer ~Simone Manuel 8.1000 Black Girl Books Resource Guide 9.Mikalia Ulmer 11yr old Lamonade Co-Founder 10.1st Black Female District Attorney ~ Lynneice Washington 11.Founder of Black Girls Rock ~ Beverly Bond 12.Theater Actress ~ Viola Davis 13.Maya’s Ideas ~ Maya Penn 14.Civil Rights…