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Posts from the ‘tools’ Category

5 ways (and a couple of bonus tips) for using Loom to create powerful learning activities

It’s cold. Seriously cold. So even if your building wasn’t already doing the COVID remote dance, the cold and snow probably chased your kids out of the building for at least a few days.

And connecting with your students is always difficult, current conditions are making it even harder.

Loom, a free, ready to use screencast recording tool, can help.

Simple to use. Simple to share. There’s a free version for teachers and kids. And it works great for both face to face classrooms and remote learning environments.

If you’re already using Loom, you may be in the wrong place. This post is for Loom newbies and how we can use the tool as part of effective social studies instruction. So maybe take a few minutes to browse through a list of History Tech posts highlighting historical thinking resources and strategies. (But you’re not gonna hurt my feelings if you skip past the quick Loom introduction and scroll down for the social studies examples.)

So what’s a screencast recording tool? Basically it’s a button you push that records your screen while at the same time recording your face and voice, saving them all together in a downloadable and shareable video format. And it does all of that in a matter of seconds.

Need a quick example? Read more

Need some EdTech Gear advice?

I’ve always enjoyed Jonathan Wylie’s stuff. He’s got fingers in lots of pies spending time at the Grant Woods AEA Digital Learning Team, on Twitter, and his own incredibly useful site. He always has great ideas, I especially like his How To posts.

Late last year, he developed something new called EdTech Gear Guides. We’re all looking for the best ways to integrate technology into our instructional designs. And there’s always a ton of great ideas out there but it can be difficult getting all of the details and gadgets and tools and gear to actually pull off that great idea.

That’s where EdTech Gear Guides can help. The guides are: Read more

Live blog #mcss17: Inspiring Local Learners in a Global Community

Two words that you really don’t want to hear in the same sentence:

            Minnesota / February

As in, “Hey. I can’t wait to travel to Minnesota in the middle of February.”

But when the two involve the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies annual conference, I’ll risk it. Lots of great people in Minnesota doing some awesome things in the social studies and I am honored to be a part of it. (My session on 3D History is later this afternoon – I’ll post a few details from that preso later this evening.)

I’ll be live blogging throughout the day on some of the cool stuff I’m learning. So be sure to refresh.

Opening Keynote
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon

Secretary Simon highlighted the importance of what social studies teachers do every day by sharing examples of how well Minnesota participates in elections

 We are voters. We work hard at building civic engagement.

The state is the number one state in voter turnout nine of the last 10 elections because of “laws and culture.” He highlighted the efforts that Minnesota makes to ensure that voter registration is as easy as possible with same day and online voter registration. Simon also discussed how early and absentee voting is encouraged.

The state also works hard to encourage kids to vote. I like how Simon talked about how getting younger kids to participate takes more than just using idealistic arguments such as “it’s good for the country” and “it’s your patriotic duty.” Simon suggests that we need to also encourage younger voters to participate also based on self interest and “to be part of something.” That kids need to be encouraged to vote and participate because it will make their lives, and the lives of people they know, better. So Minnesota uses a massive outreach program into the school system to support this sort of civic engagement.

He shared the saying on a tee shirt:  “Choosing not to vote isn’t a sign of rebellion, it’s a sign of surrender.” They work very hard to help kids understand that participating is the smarter choice.

And with the highest rate of voter turnout anywhere in the US, Read more

A student’s view of technology: “A cat is not a dog.”

Audrey Mullen is a sophomore at Presentation High School in San Jose, California. She started Kite Reviews, an all-student consulting service that provides user reviews of your edtech products. She’s worked with Brainpop, All Can Code, and Readorium.

And she recently posted an article at EdSurge, sharing her thoughts on the use of technology in the high school classroom and the teachers that use it. For those of us on the far side of being a sophomore in high school and who advocate for the effective use of technology as part of instruction, Audrey’s viewpoint should be a vital part of that conversation.

Her article is also a good reminder of how we need to be much more aware of how our decisions impact the actual people who make up our very large customer base. Read the entire article over at EdSurge but here’s a brief teaser of some of her topics: Read more

Tip of the Week: Edublog Awards 2014

This sort of thing is always a bit weird. I usually tweet or post something about the Edublog Awards every year. But this is the first time that I’ve done it when my site has been a finalist.

So.

Same as always . . . but this time with just a touch of shameless self-promotion. I really do like getting the list of both the finalists and winners. I always find people, sites, and tools that are new and useful. And the cool thing for History Tech lovers, is that HT was selected as a finalist in Best Ed Tech category.

You can find the entire list of categories here. And the touch of shameless self-promotion list highlighting the Best Ed Tech / Resource Sharing Blog can be found here.

So head over. Find some new and useful people, sites, and tools. And if you feel inclined, give History Tech a little love.

Need the voting instructions? Read more

12 real time visualization tools & a few not so real time

I’m a map guy. And I’m also starting to realize that I’m a data guy. Infographics. Graphic images of data and graphs and charts and colorful statistics and numbers organized in handy ways. Yup. I’m into that.

So when I ran across a quick post on the ASIDE blog, I couldn’t resist spending some time browsing through a whole ton of very cool tools. And, of course, still trying to figure out how you might use them in a classroom. But my head is moving in the geography / civics / government direction.

The ASIDE post highlights a few web sites that track real-time Internet usage and profit for a variety of companies. Apple, in case you’re curious, is making a boatload of cash.

real time profit

But the post also provides some handy ideas for taking the Amazon data and comparing it with Read more