Saturday, September 29, 2018

Making connections

One of the most transformative learning experiences that technology can afford is connecting to others outside of the classroom. This might be an expert on a topic talking to students from their location or another classroom in Vermont (or across the world).  Also, there are also many institutions (NASA, art museums, etc.) that offer streaming events for classrooms.

Here at CVU, we've recently had classes talking with Senator Sanders and Representative Welch, students in Uganda and Denmark, and local experts in the areas of business, coding, and more.

Let's make more of these kinds of connections at CVU.  The technology has become easier to use.  Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype are three great options.  I'm happy to do that end of it and/or assist in finding others to connect to.

The biggest challenge tends to be timing-- particularly when time zones are different.  But the effort is worth it.

Interested? Let's talk!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Vermont Fest 2018

The Vermont Fest ed tech conference in Killington Nov 8-9 this year. I'll be going and would love to have your company.

VITA-Learn has just announced the keynote speakers for the conference: our new Vermont Secretary of Education Dan French and Rushton Hurley of Next Vista for Learning, whose "specialty is working with educators to discover what digital media can do for their classroom and their teaching." Check him out below.

Early bird pricing ends October 24th.  Complete information is here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Adobe Spark Accounts

Interested in using Adobe Spark with your students? 

To get the premium features, your students will need to have accounts created.  Because account creation generates an email, it's best to have this done moments before you introduce Spark for the first time.

Here's the process:

  1. A few days before introducing Spark, let me (Charlie) know, so I can get the accounts ready. 
  2. When you are ready to begin, I will activate the accounts, triggering an email to the students.
  3. Begin getting creative with Spark!

Printed codes for Google

Did you know that there's another way to log into Google when you get the 2-factor authentication request and you don't have your phone or USB drive with you?

You can print a set of codes and keep them with you in your wallet, lanyard, etc.  This has bailed me out more than once when I've left my phone somewhere and have needed to log into a new computer.

Here's how, from Google Support:

Create and view a set of backup codes

  1. Go to the 2-Step Verification section of your Google Account.
  2. Under "Backup codes," select Setup or Show codes.You can print or download your codes.
If you think you backup codes were stolen or if you're running out, select Get new codes. Your old set of backup codes will automatically become inactive.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Thinking Video? How about Audio?

When considering media tools for students to communicate their learning, we often turn to video (with good reason, as many successful video projects can attest). 

But there are some compelling reasons to try a purely audio project, instead:

  • Removing video creates a different experience for the listener (just think of your favorite podcast or radio show)
  • Constraining the communication to audio brings out creativity in students
  • Ambient sound recordings, sound effects, music, and overdubbing can tell a story with more than words
  • Audio projects require less equipment and physical space than with video
  • Removing the video means that students have more time to focus on the message rather than grappling with capturing and editing video

    At CVU, teachers have had students:
    • Capture the sounds of nature around CVU on their phones and create soundscapes
    • Record "radio broadcasts" from the World War II era
    • Read their original poetry and stories
    • Create podcasts on current events
    Think about what your students might create.  Gary and I are happy to help you get started and to teach you and your students how to capture, edit, and produce sound recordings.