Mr. R Davidson’s Blog

Kingswood Regional Middle School

Quote of the day from Sir Kenneth Robinson

April 24, 2015 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

I number of years ago, I helped out on a low budget independent film. I remember someone accusing the film makers of being “wannabes”.  Don’t we all start out as wannabes?  If you are engaged, as Paul McCartney points out, the ambition grows, you learn more and you practice more. I can’t help but think that the job of a teacher is to encourage and nurture the engagement that leads to the ambition to learn. What will engage us is different for everyone of us.  Sir Kenneth Robinson passes on some wisdom from Paul McCartney.  I found this on Larry Ferlazzo’s “Websites of the Day” site.  Larry’s site is a great resource for all educators.

 

Curated Education Sites on Scoop It

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SafeShare.tv

April 20, 2015 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

Safeshare.tv is a service that allows you to convert a YouTube link so that the viewer only sees the video. The up next list that normally appears to the right of a YouTube video is not visible.  While that list is useful for finding similar videos, often the featured video are not school appropriate.  Bottom line is that safeshare.tv eliminates all distractions and shows just the movie you wish to watch or show. The service is legal.  It also offers a download option and the video can be shared in a multitude of ways.  This is a very useful tool for teachers who want to show or share a video without the usual YouTube distractions.

Education links on:

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Everything Teachers need to know about Google Classroom from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

April 14, 2015 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

Many of the teachers in the Governor Wentworth Regional School District have been making use of Google Classroom  It is an excellent way to organize assignments, provide formative assessments, archive student work and save time. It is a very useful addition to Google Apps for education that we are all using.   It is free and easy to use.  Now that our district has increased bandwidth at all of the schools, we now have the power to use Google Classroom effectively. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has posted an excellent, easy to understand tutorial on how to us this great tool. Everything Teachers Need To Know About Google Classroom.

Interesting curated education sites on Scoop It 

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20 Chrome Apps Every Teacher Should Know About And An Interesting Article On Narrative Writing Across All Content Areas

March 27, 2015 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning have created a list of 22 Google Chrome Apps that are useful for education. The list is not exhaustive but I have found most of these to be useful.

Here is another article that is  interesting look at Argument Writing across Content Areas by Heather Wolpert-Gawron. I  am reading Minds Made For Stories by UNH English Professor by Thomas Newkirk. Professor Newkirk challenges the idea that narrative writing and informational writing are different.  He maintains that narrative storytelling is, in his own words, the Mother of all Modes” of discourse.  Both Wolpert-Gawon’s and Newkirk’s arguments are very compelling and should be considered as the Common Core calls for more emphasis on information reading and writing.

New Scoop It links

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Google has added speech recognition to its Google Docs add-ons

February 16, 2015 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

I have been playing with Google’s Speech Add-on.  It actually works quite well.  It appears to recognize some speech recognition commands but not all. For example, saying “new line” starts the next sentence with a capital letter.  “Saying “full stop”creates a period, “question mark” creates one. Google “speech recognition commands” to get a full list of possible commands.  The add-0n is at the Google Store.  This works better than most speech recognition software I have tried in the past and it is free.

 

Click here for Education Links on my Scoop it

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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s response to a six year asking about the meaning of life

January 22, 2015 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

This is Neil deGrasse Tyson’s response to a six year old that asked him about the meaning of life.

 

Scoop It  Links

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The Lucidpress App Online Desktop Publishing Alternative

January 22, 2015 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

For quite some time I have been looking for either an open source or online alternative to “Microsoft Publisher” and “Adobe In Design”.  I think I have found it  Click on “Connect more apps” on the “New” drop down menu in “Google Drive” and add it to your apps.  There are easy to use templates for brochures, business cards, pamphlets, invitations, photo books, newsletters, magazines, etc.  If you go to “Lucidpress” pricing, you will see that this app is free for educators and students.   The final publication can be downloaded to the computer and printed.  It can be exported to Google Drive.   “Lucidpress”  can be used on Chromebooks. It is encouraging to see that more and more cloud apps are being developed that provide alternatives to traditional software.  The WeVideo app also provides a cloud alternative to “iMovie” and “Windows Movie Maker”.  These apps make Chromebooks even more useful in the classroom.

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10 Classroom Ideas To Try in 2015 fromEdWeek

January 6, 2015 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

EdWeek for teachers has 10 ideas for 2015.  Some I have already used but some have some interesting twists that look quite interesting and effective. 10 Classroom Ideas to try in 2015.  The Twitter Tuesday idea is new to me.  Here is a great intro to Twitter from Miles MacFarlane. Click here to Check out his poster on how to use Twitter.  Twitter is my lifeline to finding and sharing ideas.

 

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Technology Integrator midyear reflection for the Governor Wentworth School District

January 6, 2015 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

This is my mid year reflection for the 2014-2015 school year. It reflects how we are trying to address both teaching and infrastructure challenges.

For the 2014-2015 school year I am continuing to use the same guidelines that are included in the District Technology Plan. The SAMR model of technology integration (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition), the district ICT standards, (I can statements),and Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. During the fall of 2014, I have continued to meet with media personnel and teachers throughout the district. We have collaborated to implement multimedia projects that enhance student publications. I have provided training for Google Classroom and helped teachers enhance their Blizzard Bags. I have continued to stress the  proper siting of images and materials that are “free to use” on the Internet. I feel that we have made real progress in exposing students to the Creative Commons concept. I am already seeing an increase in the acceptance of CC in the middle school. This is because the students have been introduced to CC in the lower grades. I presented a workshop on Creative Commons at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference. I also conducted a video making workshop. To face the challenges in technology infrastructure, I have been working with IT to provide solutions that include the increased purchase of Chromebooks, adding RAM to to units that can accept upgrades, establishing criteria for future purchases, and addressing issues of bandwidth. The goal is to provide each student in the district with adequate technology access whenever and wherever it is appropriate. It will also be necessary to provide this quality of access for online testing. The task force is also looking into the feasibility of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). The good news is that bandwidth issues are surfacing because of the acceptance of Google Apps and Internet usage. Now that our staff is showing the ability and willingness to use technology tools, it is important that we provide them with the proper resources. I would like to see staff members taking advantage of online learning opportunities and the task force is looking at internal webinars. I continue to follow many education experts via Twitter, blogs, and curation sites such as “Scoop It.”. I will continue to share ideas using district e-mail and my blog. I continue to be one of the administrators of the district Google Console and I am the webmaster for the middle school. Rebecca Bureau, Jo Williams, and I advised the students who successfully submitted a completed three minute video to the Governor’s “Manufacturing is Fun” film making contest. This is the kind of project that is very gratifying for both the students and the teachers involved. The students were very proud of what they accomplished. We were proud of them. Unfortunately my schedule makes it difficult to keep up with helping students to continue to create the KRMS TV show. I am hoping that perhaps collaboration with Jo Williams and Scott Geiessler may lead to the continuation of this program. In the future I intend to continue to work with teachers and media personnel throughout the district. I am encouraged by the progress that has made made. I see my task as being there to help get beyond the substitution and augmentation levels in the SAMR model. Through collaboration and a willingness to take risks we can all enhance what we are already doing.  We will be able to redefine how we teach using technology, not as a means to an end, but rather as a tool that can enhance powerful student and teacher learning.

 

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It is now possible to open and edit Microsoft Office files in Google

December 17, 2014 by · No Comments · Blogs and Opinions

With the Chrome Extension, you can now upload, open, and edit Office files in Google.  Docs, Sheets, and Slides work with any file, anywhere (with suggest edits too).

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