The new web version of Google Earth is usable on Chromebooks. This is, of course, a plus. I noticed that some of the images have been updated and the detail in both 2D and 3D are stunning. Some other locations seem to still be using older images that are not as detailed. The web version is great for searching and browsing but it is not so user-friendly for adding placemarks. Richard Byrne has created a video that demonstrates a workaround should you want to add placemarks. I assume that Google will continue to add features to the web version. For the moment, it’s nice to have the option of using Google Earth on the Chromebooks. Check out famous locations. The ones I looked at are impressive.
Having been a professional photographer and technology integrator, I think this article is insightful and relevant. It is great to see that, because of technology, more and more people are creating great images as well as viewing them. I also appreciate George Couros‘s observations on photography being such a catalyst for change. I certainly have had to adapt to the evolution of photography from film to digital. It would be difficult to keep up an interest in photography by doing things “the way the were always done”. I just ordered my first mirrorless camera. I can wait to try it out.
What Schools Can Learn From the World of Photography by George Couros
The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, Creative Commons by Sue Waters and Ronnie Burt is a very comprehensive guide to what resources may be legally used in all types of publications. I have shared information on copyright and creative commons in the past but this post is particularly succinct and easy to understand.
Add Google Tone to Chrome and you can send a webpage address to another computer that has the extension. Google Tone uses the computers’ microphones and speakers to transfer the URL. In other words, any computer that has speakers, a microphone, the Google Zone extension and is within earshot can transfer this information. Load all of the computers in a classroom with this app and webpage sharing just got a lot easier. Even easier than Share to Classroom. You just might have to ask the students to be quiet for a few moments.
Google Cast for Education makes is possible for students to cast their screens to the teacher’s computer. The teacher can then project a given student’s screen to a projection screen or to a TV. You would need a projector or mirroring software such as Apple TV or Chrome Cast. This app seems to work most easily by using existing classes in Google Classroom. Check it out. I think that a teacher can even do this from home. One of our IT people and I are going to test it tomorrow morning. Google Cast for Education
Recently I came across an article in a blog post by Larry Cuban in “Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice”. He had the opportunity to observe a 7th-grade teacher, John DiCosmo, as he conducted a class on John Steinbeck’s “The Pearl”. John began the class by using a back channel called Padlet. He elicited responses from his students to the following questions: “What would you do if you found a treasure of millions, in cash, free and clear? How would your life change?” A back channel is net-worked or online chat software that allows participants in a classroom or workshop to carry on a secondary chat exchange while the primary instructor conducts the discussion. In this case, the students respond to the question anonymously as a stimulus for conversation. The question is a very appropriate way to start talking about the “The Pearl” as the novella is about the ramifications of the discovery of a potentially very valuable pearl. The student posts can be projected on a white board or smart board. They can also be mirrored onto a TV using a tool such as Apple TV. This article is about a 7th-grade classroom but the back channel technique could be used on other levels as well. Padlet allows the student to write a response and they can drag in images, videos, and other files. Mr. DiCosmo also created a video book trailer using fellow staff members to play the primary characters from the book. What a fun way to show the students what would be expected when they make their own book trailers!
Other back channel possibilities are Twitter, TodaysMeet, and Socrative. I have used TodaysMeet in a number of workshops both as a participant and as an instructor. It is very easy to use. Whichever software you choose, back channels are a great way to elicit real-time responses from your students. It can be particularly effective with students who might be reticent to speak in class
Sometime I run into an article that says what’s on my mind better than I could ever say it. “10 Essential Characteristic of a 21st Century Educator” is just such an article. I especially like George Couros’ observation that “It is not technology that has the biggest influence on what we do; it is the speed of change being thrust upon us.” Mr Couros, the author of “The Innovator’s Mindset” goes on to list ten characteristics that he considers crucial for 21st Century educators. They are relationship builder, learner, inclusive, reflective, networked, innovator, leader, storyteller, designer, artist. “10 Essential Characteristics of a 21st Century Educator” This article is worth reading. Definitely food for thought.
These are the 2016 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards. The older standards included ways that students could demonstrate how they could use technology. The new standards recognize that technology has revolutionized how we acquire, process and communicate knowledge. Specifically, they reflect how technology can empower learning, the acquisition of knowledge, innovation, the thinking process, communication and collaboration. Technology is redefining how we learn, what we learn and how we use what we learn. The new standards reflect the reality that the digital age has truly provided us with the means to do things we couldn’t do before. Along with the power of digital tools comes the responsibility to critically evaluate data as well as to use it effectively and conscientiously. While our students may be digital natives, most have not learned how to really use technology to empower their learning and their ability to communicate and collaborate. The new standards recognize the need to help our students reach their greatest potential given the truly awesome tools available to all of us.
My first novel is about a mountain lion in northern New Hampshire that kills other animals and some people. I chose a Catamount because they are very effective stalkers and they were, at one time, indigenous to New England. There are many who claim that these magnificent animals are still around. Until I saw this blog post by Bill Gates, I never really considered that a mountain lion would actually be quite far down on the list of dangerous killers. Hmm! I wonder if one of my next novels will have to be titled “Mosquitos, A North Country Thriller”. Check out Mr. Gate’s post. It is eye opening. “Why I’d Rather Cuddle with a Shark than a Kissing Bug” By Bill Gates