Wednesday, November 28, 2018

New CVSD Digital Learning Site

Have you checked out the new CVSD site for Digital Learning?  We've combined resources for various education tech tools and resources. There is also a page specific for CVU.  I will continue adding to that, but you can still search the blog in the meantime.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

NPR Podcasting Challenge

National Public Radio is sponsoring a student podcasting challenge.  The contest opens on January 1st and goes through March.  If you've been thinking about a means of communication for students other than the written word and video, an audio podcast could be just the thing.
What might students create?

  • An end of unit summary of learning
  • An interview with a senior citizen about local history
  • An explanation of a scientific concept
  • A story about something at CVU
  • etc., etc.

One nice thing about doing audio podcasts is that they are not as involved as a typical video project.  The whole thing can be done on a Chromebook.  They also focus on sound-- voice, ambient sounds, music, etc., which allows students to be creative in a different way.

I would love to work with you and your students on this.  Who's interested?

Friday, November 23, 2018

Helpful site for Chromebooks and more

In my post-Thanksgiving web browsing, I came upon Schooled in Tech, a helpful site with lots of tips for using Chromebooks and Google tools.  Some of these I've shared myself previously, but this is a nice "go-to" spot for Chromebook use.

Learn how to use your Chromebook for video-conferencing, how to export your data, useful keyboard shortcuts, and more.  There are also tips on using Microsoft Office 365.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Hour of Code is coming!

Each year, sponsors the Hour of Code.  The idea is that all students spend an hour learning to code.  This year, the event takes place the week of Dec 3-7.*

In the past, this small exposure has made a big impact on many kids.  For everyone who does it, the Hour of Code is a chance to get an idea of what programming is all about. For some, it opens a door to a new passion.  For others, it's a realization that maybe coding isn't their thing-- which is fine, too (but at least they've had the opportunity to find out).

I would love to help anyone interested in integrating a little coding in your classes.  There are lots of ways this could work:
  • Students can do one of the self-guided activities from (designing an app looks like a good one)
  • I can tailor a self-guided activity that connects to your curriculum 
  • I can come in and do a group activity
Let's get together and plan it!

*And if the week of Dec 3rd doesn't work for you, we can find another time, too.

Monday, November 12, 2018

New Google Contacts

Here's a heads-up on a change coming to Google.  Contacts, which used to be a part of GMail, is now a separate app.  That means to find your contacts, you'll need to click the 3x3 "waffle" (tip: you can click, hold, and drag to rearrange the order of icons in this drop-down.

In the new Contacts, "labels" have replaced "groups."  You can try it out for now.  There is an option to switch back to the old version in the lower left of the screen.  Everyone will be moved over in February.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Auto Draw

How good an illustrator are you?  If, like me, you're not exactly an expert at drawing, you may want to check out  AutoDraw is an AI experiment that tries to guess what you're drawing as you're making shapes.  It will offer suggesestions.  Once it comes up with what you were trying to render, you can choose it from the list.

For example, here's a picture I drew of an apple and a coffee mug. 
But...that's not really what I drew.  Rather, I drew a rough sketch of each, then let AutoDraw guess what I was looking for.
It's not perfect.  But it's fun to try and could come in handy if you need to make a drawing and can't find the shape in your graphics software.

Note-- if you're a student, you should also take one of our art classes!