A Wonderful Note Taking App from Google

November 27, 2014
Google Keep is an excellent tool to use for creating digital sticky notes. You can use both text and images to capture and share your notes.  You can also use it   to create to-do lists and bookmark content from the web.It has an intuitive and user friendly interface that makes it way simpler to navigate and control than is the case with several other note-taking apps out there.

 Since its update a few weeks ago, Google Keep added a wide variety of new features. Here are some of them:
  • You can now color-code your notes and lists so you can easily find and edit them.
  • Google Keep now supports collaborative editing. You can  share your notes or to-do lists and assign privileges to your collaborators so that they can view, edit, and even invite further collaborators. All edits can be seen in real time in each collaborator's account.
  • You can now add reminders in your notes and to-do lists
  • Google Keep has a search function that facilitates looking for notes and content. You can filter your Keep content by  list, image, audio, or shared content.
  • Finally Google keep is available for the web, as a Chrome app, and as Android app.
Watch the video to learn more about Google Keep

A Useful Edmodo Cheat Sheet for Teachers

November, 2014
Edmodo is a web-based platform that provides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices. It is like Facebook but in a safe and  controlled environment appropriate for school.
Edmodo provides you with a secure environment where you can create a classroom group for your students. In this virtual group you can :

  • Place digital resources on Edmodo for students to access or download,
  •  Create polls for students to vote online.
  • Write short summaries of lessons for students who were absent from class (better yet: get your students to write the summary).
  •  Post homework information
If you are new to Edmodo and want a quick visual guide of the different features Edmodo provides to its users, this cheat sheet created by Monique Dalli is a good place to start with. This visual is available in PDF format  for free download from Dalli's webpage where you will also find some good resources on Edmodo.


New Poster: Explaining SAMR Model Through Google Apps

November 27, 2014
Here is another great find today from Google Apps Action. Davis created this excellent visual illustrating how to integrated SAMR model using Google Apps. She made use of two main apps: Google Docs and Google Hangout, and for each of the SAMR levels (substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) she provided an example of a task together with the app to do it. To me, the strength of this work lies in the task samples mentioned here. Teachers can repurpose them and try them with their own students in class. I also find the simple explanation of each of the SAMR levels quite helpful and  would help those new to SAMR better understand the philosophy underlying this conceptual framework. Here is how Davis defines it:

Substitution: Using new technology for an old task
Augmentation: Using additional new technology for an old task
Modification: Using new technology to change and old task
Redefinition: Using new technology to create tasks.

Explaining SAMR Model Using Google Apps
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Flipping The Classroom Using Blendspace

November 26, 2014
Blendspace is an excellent free tool to create flipped lessons for your class. You can create a class on Blendspace and invite up to 35 students to join it. The maximum number of active lessons you can have for free is 100. Besides sharing lessons with the class, you can also use it to collect web sources in a single place that you can share with students with just one link.

Blendspace offers built-in quiz functionality that allows you to create quizzes to test your students' comprehension. It also allows you to monitor student progress and adapt to students needs in real-time. Below is a set of video tutorials to help you learn more about how to use Blendspace and the different ways to use it in class:

1- Flipping the classroom using Blendspace

2- Digital Storytelling on Blendspace

3- Creating collaborative research presentations

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Characteristics of Engaged Learners Vs Disengaged learners (Infographic)

November 26, 2014
Getting students engaged in learning is the ultimate goal of every teacher yet it is usually the most daunting and arduous one to achieve. Living in a digitally focused age where tech devices are dominating students lives, attention and focus become a rare currency. Students' minds are wired to multitask and use only fragmented bursts of attention. As teachers, we have to compete with all these distractive features to get our students' focus and engage them in the learning process. It is hard but possible.

The visual I have for you today presents some interesting discrepancies as to the characteristics and attributes of engaged learners versus disengaged learners. I invite you to check it out and share with us what you think of it.

Engaged vs Disengaged students
Via: info.shiftelearning.com

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Three Effective Ways to Look for Educational Content in Twitter

November 26, 2014
Twitter search is a great alternative to the conventional ways of searching the net. This socially-based kind of search allows students to access content and resources that are both timely and relevant. And most importantly, students do not need to have Twitter accounts to search its database. Below are some of the ways students  can leverage the power of Twitter search to  look for educational content:

1- Twitter Search Operators
similar to Google search operators, Twitter search  provides a set of powerful operators that students  can use to conduct focused search queries. They can use a combination of search operators to look for tweets from specific persons, sources and locations.  Check out this cheat sheet to learn more about these search operators.

2- Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a good way to gather people around content. There are hashtags for almost anything: news, events, conferences, you name it and you will probably find a hashtag for it. Students can search for content using a specific hashtag. For instance if they are looking for resources on educational technology they can run a search query in Twitter search using the hashtag #edtech. Here is a cheat sheet with all the educational hashtags out there.

3- Use Twitter advanced search
Twitter advanced search provides some powerful features to help students refine their searches and access relevant resources. Here is some of what they can do with it:

A- Words section

The Word's section in Twitter advanced search allows students to specify the terms, and phrases to be included or excluded from the tweets to be returned in result pages. It also lets them search for tweets that include a given hashtag. They can also specify the language of their tweets and choose from a wide variety of languages provided there.


Students can use this section to look for tweets coming from, sent to, or mentioning a certain account or multiple accounts.

C- Places

This is a great feature that students can use to look for trending tweets and news in a particular place. To use this functionality, they need to click on "add location" and Twitter will automatically add their location or they can choose the location they want.

D- Dates

This feature  enables students to look for tweets and resources shared within a specific period of time.

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Twitter Search Operators Teachers Should Know about

November, 2014
Twitter search platform  is a powerful search engine that is often underused by our students. Often times, the info you will find on Twitter search is way more precise and relevant than the results you will get from conventional search engines. At its best, Twitter search allows you to search trending topics and resources others are talking about and sharing both synchronously and asynchronously. And one better way to tap into the full educational potential of this tool is to use search operators.

Search operators allow you to refine your search and make it more focused. For instance, you can use these search operators  to look for tweets shared by a specific user, tweets containing particular words or phrases, tweets containing links, tweets from a particular news source, and many more. Below is a useful chart created and shared by Twitter featuring a number of search operators together with their explanations.