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Haters and Trolls on Internet, Oh My!

While sharing our newest literacy collaboration tool, Biblionasium, with students the issue of internet trolls came up and I wondered how many of us know what is an internet troll. An internet troll is a person who says things on internet discussion sites with the intention of making people upset. They seem to exist to only bring attention to themselves and get others to follow their lead. Taken seriously, they can really cause hard feelings and cause quite a stir in what otherwise might be productive discussions. Common Sense Media has a good, less than a minute, explanation  video among their parent resources dedicated to combatting Cyberbullying.

Interested in knowing more? Common Sense media has some really great resources for parents, students and teachers trying to navigate the internet in a safe way.

 5 Tips for dealing with Haters and Trolls
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Going to Pieces over Math Pieces Chrome App

With tax time around the corner perhaps money is on your mind. This app can help you count it! Actually, it can help you teach your students how to count money in a very interactive fashion. Users of SmartNotebook know that there are many kinds of interactive activities for math instruction but this app is made specifically for counting and using coins. Sometimes you want something quick and you want it now, Math Pieces, by the Math Learning Center, might do just that. Did I mention that it is free? Here is a site to help you find the Math Pieces Chrome along with other good Chrome Apps for math made just for you.

Math Apps

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Working with Google Calendar today an older Chicago song with the lyric “Does anybody really know what time it is?” is on an infinite loop in my head. With Google Calendar, everyone can stay on the same page. With it teachers can keep track and share assignment due dates, send invitations to parents and peers to collaboration sessions and be notified when planned events have changed. GAFE has another feature not available for the general public, appointments. After feedback from educators, this feature was brought back from Google’s chopping block because of its usefulness in an educational setting. If you have yet to work with calendar I would highly recommend it.

Record your screen in Chrome.

Today we learned how to make a screencast.  The original intent was to use Screen-Cast-O-Matic but due to the fluid nature of the internet, their Google authenitcation piece was not up to Google’s current policies and was not coopertive.  This led us to explore other alterntives such as Chrome’s ScreenCastify.  This worked well. There are a few things to keep in mind while using it.  As soon as the extension is loaded it will be ready to go.  Any setup prompts can be ignored at this point. It may begin recording willy-nilly so just click stop and delete recording; it should behave after that.  When you want to record, pay attention to the setting that asks which view you’d like to use.  Most often you will want to choose to record the entire screen.  When you are through you are given the choice to save it to your drive and/or YouTube.

Storybird for Chrome

Below is a story I created with the help of Storybird. Storybird does things a little differently in that they provide the illustrations while you provide the story. I recently rediscovered Storybird while I was helping a fellow teacher find quick literacy resources to share. It is worth a look. //storybird.com/books/the-strangest-creature-you-have-ever-seen/embed/?token=6rsm8a6mx4

Google Unplugged

Today was a challenge. The Google server was intermittent and a challenge. We quickly became experts at chrome’s offline capabilites.

https://edu.symbaloo.com/embed/googlegaggle?

Learning is not linear just because they start with the same letter.

We learn when we encounter a change in our environment.

Sheets, Another Thing to Love, Protect Specific Cells 

The collaborative nature of GAFE is both a blessing and a curse. You want to give collaborative access to others but what if you want to place certain areas off limits. Did you know that you can protect a range of cells within Google Sheets? With just a few clicks you can make certain areas off limits to others while still allowing editing on other areas.  I could see this being useful with students as you could share a sign up sheet with the confidence of knowing that the basic structure is protected. I’ve designed a demo that shows how this works.

Wonderopolis, did you ever wonder…

With Common Core now in full swing and taking center stage it would be easy to set aside the magic and fun that teaching and learning can bring. Luckily with great sites like Thinkfinity’s Wonderopolis you don’t have to. The site can bring out the natural wonder of the every day by offering brief excursions from everything from animals and architecture to volcanoes and woodworking all high interest in an easy to digest format. Users can search the site for CCSS aligned wonders or explore the “Wonder of the Day”.
I wonder what I’ll explore next…
Wonderopolis

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