Posts

Google Arts and Culture: The British Library's Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition

Image
I am continually amazed at what the Google Arts and Culture team curates. If you haven't ever checked it out, you are missing an amazing resource for all subject areas. When I discovered this in Google Arts and Culture, I knew I had to share this with you.

Right now, they are featuring The British Library's Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition. This exhibition celebrates the twentieth anniversary of J. K. Rowling's magical series.  I have to confess that I am a Harry Potter geek. My classroom is filled with Harry Potter memorabilia. My student authors in our Writers' Club work hard to earn a prize from my Harry Potter showcase.

As a student of the writers' craft, I am continually amazed how well this series is crafted. Names are often allusions. Traditional tales are woven into Rowling's rich tapestry.

The exhibition includes Jim Kay's wonderful sketches of his illustrations and J.K. Rowlings' Early sketches and notes. There is so much more. Hav…

Review: Kasey Bell's Book: Shake Up Learning

Image
I have to confess, as much as I love to read, professional books are not my cup-of-tea, but I decided I would take a chance on this one. For me, reading this book was like listening to an old friend. I loved every minute of it. I love and rely on Kasey Bell’s website ShakeupLearning.com and the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast to keep up-to-date on all things Google and ed tech related. 
Kasey’s book, Shake Up Learning, is organized into three parts. The first part explains in clear, friendly prose why we teachers need to change the way we teach. Ultimately, this part is a call to action, a call for teachers to reflect and make a thoughtful and meaningful change in our teaching practice.  Part two leads the reader to a thorough understanding of what dynamic learning is and how it differs from traditional (static) learning. Part three encourages teachers to rethink the way we plan our lessons to fit the Dynamic Learning model. Kasey includes real-world examples of dynamic learning experienc…

ACER ChromeOS Tablet is here and I want one.

Image
I have been sitting on this since MACUL 18. I am thrilled I can now talk about it. I have longed for the day I could handwrite notes on a tablet. Now that time has come. I was able to get my hands on one of these tablets at MACUL. Writing with the stylus (which comes with it) is just like writing on paper. I am not kidding. It is the best digital pen/paper experience I have ever tried. The ACER Tab 10 will retail at $329 same price as the current iPad. This tablet runs the Chrome OS that will run Android Apps. I think this might be the first tablet that can really compete with the iPad. For schools, having all technology easily managed through the G Suite for education dashboard makes device management so much easier. According to the Verge "The Tab 10 has a 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536 display with front- and rear-facing cameras, an estimated nine hours of battery life, an OP1 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a USB-C port. There’s also a microSD card slot and a headpho…

Kasey Bell's new book, Shake Up Learning is coming soon! #superexcited

Image
Have you ever had a professional book grab you from the beginning? I hadn't unit I started reading Kasey Bell's new book Shake Up Learning,I love this book so much, I just had to share before I have even finished reading it,I am loving what I have read so far.  Kasey is best known for her website,  ShakeUpLearning.com, that is filled with insightful practical posts about using educational technology and the Google Teacher Tribe podcast. But if you are looking for a compilation of her posts, you will be disappointed because that isn't what her book is about. Shake Up Learning is about dynamic teaching (pedagogy) so your students can be dynamic learners. Kasy's book is making me rethink how I teach. I really want to make learning in my classroom more dynamic  Don't worry, Kasey does integrate practical technology tips that you can easily insert into your lessons. Ultimately, this book is about teaching and learning, not technology. Shake Up Learning will go on presale …

MacChyver Tech Facebook Page.

Image
I have been remiss in posting to my blog. I have been putting most of my posts on the MacChyverTech Facebook page. I will be reposting them here as I get time. Please like the page if you find it helpful. I would also encourage you to join the Teachers Using Google Classroom Facebook Group.


Introduction to Peergrade.io - Improved Student Feedback

Image
I just started using Peergrade for anonymous peer feedback. Love it. It works with Google Classroom. So excited. I am working on two walkthrough videos and a full blog post. I hope to have up this week: one for teachers and one for students. It's free. Support is really helpful. You can run live synchronous or asynchronous sessions. Check it out. https://www.peergrade.io/ Checkout their video below.




Online Courseware Can't Replace a real teacher

For the last three weeks I have been "teaching" summer school.  I put teaching in quotes because what I am really doing is proctoring students while they complete courses on Edgenuity Courseware, an online course provider. Edgenuity website states that
Our courses are built using an instructional model grounded in research and are ... state-standards aligned. We combine direct-instruction videos featuring expert, on-screen teachers with rigorous assignments, performances tasks, and assessments to engage students and ensure subject-area mastery.  While the concept might be sound  and research based, I have a few problems with using this type of program with students who have learning differences.

For the highly motivated student with above average academic skills, Edgenutiy and other third party course ware providers allow them to move through the curriculum at their own pace, helping them earn credits and master content quickly. In small schools, it allows students to take …