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Showing posts from January, 2020

EdCamp Elmbrook 21

  We had out 5th annual EdCamp this past Saturday and it was a very different PD experience. Due to the pandemic, we help the EdCamp virtually. That meant that anyone across the globe could attend. While we usually only have educators from out region attend, we had educators across the nation and in some in Canada attend. In addition, we had an attendee from Turkey! The conference was conducted using Zoom and Zoom breakout rooms for the sessions. The team did a great job of organization and management. I could go on, but this is my first blog post in a while and I'd like to keep it brief. Below you'll find the session board for the day with notes docs linked. We had some wonderful sessions and the notes documents house some wonderful thoughts and resources. So, I recommend checking them out. Although this EdCamp was only for the morning, there was a lot of learning to be had. We had no technology issues from our end as organizers but I can imagine participants may have had iss

EdCamp Rules!

As we prepare for our 4th EdCamp Elmbrook , I realize how every year it seems like the number of first time EdCampers continues to grow.  I love this because I feel that EdCamps are an amazing source of PD. But, that puts greater responsibility on those of us that are EdCamp veterans to help model what a great EdCamp can be.  EdCamp Elmbrook is March 7th in Brookfield Wisconsin at Brookfield Central High School. We'd love to have you there.  Click here if you'd like to register. I will always remember sitting in my first EdCamp opening session in 2013 and having no clue what I was in for. So, I’d like to take this space to go over some of the basic rules of EdCamp. No One Will Pitch It for You EdCamps are unconferences. By this I mean that they have a blank slate of sessions for the day. There may be a few predetermined sessions, but ultimately the session topics are determined by attendees during the pitch & plan session that opens they day. If an idea gets pit

Learner Portfolios 2020: Upgrades & Revelations

I’ve finished my 9th cycle of Google Site Portfolios with my Physics students. There have been major iterations, for example when the new Google Sites came along. There have also been smaller iterations as some practices in my classroom have changed. Before starting a new batch of portfolios with my students (I have one major change I am making), I wanted to just give an overview of the structure for those interested in using Google Sites for portfolios in their classroom. I've included screenshots of student portfolios. Click on the images to access the student portfolios. End at the Start, the Home Page The home page of the portfolio is not something we do until the very last days of class once the portfolio is complete. In the past I’ve had students write a brief welcome note to the portfolio. As a part of my master’s coursework, I was required to make a portfolio. On the home page of that portfolio, I was tasked with creating a short video introducing the portfolio and w

Tour Creator Unleashed

We help out 7th Passion Project Expo this week. We had a lot of interesting projects but there was a first that I thought was pretty cool. For the past 3 years, I have had a few students build VR spaces to present their projects using CoSpaces. This year though, I had a student decide to use Google’s brand new Tour Creator to create VR experience . Now, Tour Creator may have been created initially with the idea of using landscape images to create a “tour”, but Emily Taylor did something a bit different. She used images and text to create an informative experience exploring theories around interdimensional beings. Her experience is embedded below, but what’s even cooler is if you go to the link: You can export it to the Expeditions App and view it in VR on your own or guide a tour. In this tour, the hotspots are not specifically tied to their location on the background. But I could image this being done with great effect on something like an

Flipgrid Camera Guide Updated

In August of 2019, Flipgrid launched a bunch of new options to their camera. These include adding text to videos, live drawing, uploading images, editing multiple clips together, camera filters, and whiteboard background. The updates are amazing! If you and the learners in your classroom haven't tried them yet, you need to get on it. Flipgrid has added some updates to the camera since August. So, I've updated my original guide to reflect those changes. Please click here to get access to the guide.  The quick link to the guide is I have also taken the annotated screenshots and put them into a slide deck if you are interested in training students or staff in how to use the new camera. Please feel free to make a copy of the slide deck and edit to your liking.  I hope you find these resources useful. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

Pear Deck & Immersive Reader

Just today Pear Deck launched a beta integration of Microsoft’s Immersive Reader as a part of student view. This means that students can use the Immersive Reader to increase accessibility to text content present in a Pear Deck Slide. Pear Deck already has the ability for video and audio content playback to be controlled by students when in Student Paced mode. This option allows learners to launch the Immersive Reader regardless of the presentation mode. If you are unfamiliar with Immersive Reader, check out the quick overview video I made below detailing the Immersive Reader Extension for Google Chrome. All of the same features are available in the Pear Deck integration. To launch Immersive Reader from a Pear Deck slide, students simply click on the icon at the bottom right corner of their screen. The Immersive Reader beta integration is currently available for premium accounts. Teachers just need to go to their settings and turn on the integration. I look forward to seeing how teac