Monday, November 24, 2014

Need Pictures for Projects? Photos for Class

The struggle to help students find safe and copyright free images to use in class projects is ongoing.  Free Technology for Teachers shared a site last week called Photos for Class that allows for students to search through Flickr and find G rated CC licensed photos for school use.   Using the search term "cougars" my results were 15+ pages of images ranging from the animals to the automobile.  All images were school appropriate.   It was quick and easy, no log ins or ads.  This site can be used on the iPad as well.  Choose download under the image, tap and hold on the loaded image, and then "save photo".  This will put the photo in the camera roll with the proper attribution at the bottom.

What sets Photos for Class apart is the fact that when you download the image the proper citing information is along the bottom of the image.  Even though to some students taking a screen shot from Google will be easier, properly attributing is an important skill to develop in our students starting at a very young age.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

Using Google Classrooms to Facilitate Performance Tasks

After visiting with many teachers who have experienced the new Smarter Balance testing environment, one of the more demanding portions of the test is the performance task, for both math and literacy.

This blog post demonstrates how teachers can use Google Classroom and create a simulated experience for students to complete performance tasks.  You can provide students with practice for online reading and online writing, as these technology skills may hinder success, especially in early grades like 3-6.

For this example "Garden of Learning 6th Grade Performance Task, a student will be provided with resources, two articles and a video.

Then they are to answer a few questions followed by writing an essay or article, may it be argumentative or informative.  When the students are finished, they click "Turn In".

Students will be able to toggle between "Assignment Details" and "My assignment" to go between resources and their work, allowing them to re-read articles or re-watch videos as often as they need.

The teacher can set up this entirely digital task and allow students to work independently until they've completed the assignment. 

I've created Performance Task Kits available for teachers to use inside their Google Classroom.  Click open the folder to find the files, make your own copies, and embed them into a Google Classroom online environment.

More kits are coming, as I've started with the three Smarter Balance example performance tasks.