A Visual Guide to The Use of Google Books for Research

April 19, 2014
Google Books is one of the wonderful research tools I use when searching for books. Google Books provides some important features  for conducting accurate book searches and allows users to do a lot of things with the books they find. They can for instance search for key words and phrases from within the book, clip a portion of the text and share it, and download the book in different formats : PDF, EPUB, and in plain text. These and several other features render Google Books a great search platform that our students can draw on to help them with their research projects.

Here is a visual guide I created to help you learn more about the different things you can with Google Books. Check out the presentation version of this visual at the end of this post.

Head over to Google Books and :

1- Type in the title of your book

2- To refine your search, click on "search tools"

3- Click on " Any document" and choose the type of document you want: books, magazines or any document.

4- Search for books by publication dates

5- Sort your books by relevance or by date

6-Choose whether you want to see a full view or preview and full view or any view

7- Click on the "gear" icon to download the book in PDF format, EPUB format or in plain text

8- Jump to any section in the book

9- Search for keywords inside the book

10- Highlight any portion of the book to clip and share it

11- Select whether you want to read the book in single page format, two pages, or view a thumbnails of all its pages.

12- Add the book to your library

Here is the presentation version of this guide:

4 Excellent Apps to Wirelessly Control Your Mac or PC Using Your IPad

April 19, 2014
In yesterday's post I shared with you some of the tools you can use to mirror your iPad on a big screen in class. Today, I am introducing you to 4 excellent apps that you can use to  wirelessly control your projector-connected computer . When installed, you can walk around the room while seeing and using your Mac or PC on your iPad. This is wonderful for presentations and tutorials.

The tools I am sharing with you below are taken from Tony Vincent's beautiful visual entitled" iPad as The Teacher's Pet". This graphic is packed full of important apps, ideas and tips on how to use iPad in your teaching. For more resources , visit Learning in Hand.

1- Doceri

Install Doceri Desktop on your Mac or PC. Then use Doceri to control and annotate your computer's screen. Combining screencasting, desktop control, and an interactive whiteboard in one app, you’ll never have to turn your back to the class or audience again. Create a lesson or presentation, insert images, save and edit your project and record a screencast video you can easily save or share. Doceri does it all!

2- Macha VNC Lite

Using your iPhone or iPad, you can connect to a Mac or Windows PC, and see the files, programs, and resources exactly as you would if you were sitting at your desk, just on a smaller screen.

3- Splashtop 2 Remote

Install Splashtop Streamer on your Mac or PC, Then access that computer from your iPad.

4- Slashtop Whiteboard

Splashtop Whiteboard allows teachers and students to turn their iPad into an interactive white board. Once connected to their computer over Wifi, they can watch Flash media with fully synchronized video and audio, control PC and Mac applications then annotate lesson content all from an iPad. Now interact with students at their desk or teach from all four corners of the class! Splashtop Whiteboard offers users of existing interactive white boards (IWBs) - such as Mimeo, Mobi, Promethean, Polyvision, or Smart Technologies - a way to extend their investment by accessing their tools from anywhere in the class without using wireless slates. For users who do not use an IWB, now they can build one at a fraction of the cost!

Top Visualizations of Bloom's Taxonomies

April 19, 2014
Today while I was sifting through my Twitter feed I came across this  great slideshare entitled "Creative Visualizations of Bloom’s Taxonomies!" shared by Dawsonite. This presentation is created by Zaid Alsagoff, e-learning manager at the International Medical University (IMU).

Zaid aggregates some of the best visuals of Bloom's taxonomy (both the traditional and the revised versions) including the popular wheels I have shared here a while ago. Under each visual is a link to the page where you can view the original visual. I am also adding this work to " Blooms Taxonomy Resources" page here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Have a look and share with us what you think of it. Enjoy

5 Ways to Show Your iPad on A Big Screen in Class

April 18, 2014
One of the versatile ways to use iPad in class is through sharing your iPad screen with your students. You can easily mirror your iPad screen to a projector and let students see what you see on your iPad. This can be used when sharing tutorials, presentations, illustrations and several other learning tasks. How to do it is what I want to share with you today.

image cropped from ' iPad as The Teacher's Pet '

There are actually two ways you can show your iPad on a big screen: wirelessly or through using a cable. Below are some of the tools that you can use either wirelessly or via cable to display your iPad on a big screen. I have copied these tools from Tony Vincent's new wonderful graphic "iPad as The Teacher's Pet". I highly recommend that you check that visual guide for more apps and tips on how to use iPads with your students.

This method requires devices to be on the same WiFi network. Networks must have open ports for Airplay. The tools to use wirelessly for iPad mirroring are :

1- Apple TV ($99)

Connect an Apple TV to your projector and use iPad's Airplay feature to mirror. Requires HDMI or HDMI to VGA adapter.

2- Airserver ($14)

Install software on your projector-connected computer and use iPad's AirPlay feature to mirror the screen.

3- Reflector ($12.99)

Install software on your projector-connected computer and use iPad's Airplay feature to mirror the screen.

This method uses a cable to connect iPad to a projector.

1- VGA or HDMI (#30-$50)
Connect directly from your iPad to a projector.

2- iTools
Install software on your projector-connected Windows PC and attach iPad using USB cable.

Grab The ExamTime Educational App Now While It’s Free!

April 18, 2014
ExamTime is a free online learning platform which students and teachers can use to create, share and discover learning resources (Mind Maps, Quizzes, Study Planner & more). The web-app combines proven learning tools and techniques with education technology. ExamTime has created a way to help teachers encourage students to fully engage in their subjects, enhancing the learning experience.

Below are 5 reasons why you should use ExamTime in your classroom:

1. ExamTime is 100% free and an easy-to-use website
2. The tools are effective ways to encourage students to actively learn
3. It promotes collaborative learning with an online community and sharing options
4. Teachers can set homework and classwork activities for students to complete
5. It's fun!

The website is available in English, Spanish, German and Portuguese and already has users in over 140 countries worldwide. Currently, access to the platform is completely free. However, a premium version will be released soon so make sure to grab it now and try it for yourself as it will only be free for a limited time.

See an example of an ExamTime Mind Map below:

Other ExamTime features include:

Mind Maps: Make connections between ideas to improve understanding and memory
Flashcards: Memorize study material better by challenging your memory
Quizzes: Quickly test student’s knowledge with fun and interactive online quizzes
Online Notes: Organize subjects better and collaborate to incorporate different ideas
Study Planner: Encourage your students to manage their study time effectively

ExamTime is a great education resource for collaborative work between students and teachers. If
you haven’t signed up yet, get started here.

Everything Teachers Need to Know about Remind101

April 18, 2014
Remind101 is a great web tool that provides teachers with a way to safely text message students and stay in touch with parents. You can send your Remind101 messages from your computer or phone. Remind101 apps for iPad, iPhone and Android are now available. One of the best things I like about this tool is the unanimity feature. Neither students nor teachers could see each others phone numbers

There are 3 simple steps to use Remind 101 : Create a class, share a code, and send messages.

Here is how it works:
Each class you create is assigned a unique code which is what students and parents use to sign up for your notifications.To sign up, they need to send Remind101 a text message with their unique code
The good thing about Remind101 is that it works on any phone and it does not have to be a smartphone. Once they do that they will be subscribed to your class and will receive a message anytime you send it. There is a section in Remind101 where you can review your messages to see when they were sent and who they were sent to.

Some of the features that Remind101 provides for teachers include:
  • You can schedule your messages to be sent later
  • Remind101 is safe because students are identified by name not number. This means that no teacher would ever be able to see a student cellphone number and also students would not see teachers numbers.
  • Remind101 allows teachers to download all or part of their message history. This can be done through 'export message history' feature .
  • Remind101 has recently added a new feature called "send a few" that supports sending text messages to subgroups of students and parents. Before this update, teachers could only send messages to the whole class.
  • Use Remind101 Attach to send photos, assignments and presentations to your students.
Subscribing instructions for your students and parents are now available in English, Spanish and French! Check them out here.

Here are some video tutorials to help you learn more about Remind101 and how to use some of its features:

1- What is Remind101

2- How to message individual subscribers

3- Remind101 Attach: Send photos, assignments, and presentations

4- Watch how Clintondale High school uses Remind101

10 Ways to Use Google Sites with Your Students

April 18, 2014
Google Sites is one of the best website creation software I have been recommending for teachers. There are a wide variety of reasons why Google Sites is an ideal platform to host your class website and here are some of them:

  • Google Sites is easy to use and has a student friendly interface.
  • You can set up your website within minutes without the need for any HMTL or CSS knowledge.
  • It provides highly customizable themes that you can easily apply to your site.
  • It is integrated with some other Google serves like Google Calendar.
  • Google Sites has a wonderful web-based editor that allows you to easily  create, edit and share you content.
  • It provides a set of collaborative features including multiple editors and commenting.
  • Inserting images, videos, and other multimedia materials is ridiculously easy.
  • It provides a modest cloud storage capacity for you to upload documents, files, attachments, and PDFs.
  • And it is FREE.
Here is a comprehensive guide to help you learn more about how to create a website using Google Sites.

Below are some of the tips and ideas on how you can use Google Sites with your students in class:
  • Create a website for your class where you can share learning materials with your students.
  • Use the file cabinet option to upload documents and PDFs that your students can access anytime they want.
  • Create a blog inside your Google Sites using the Announcements template and start sharing updates about your class with your students.
  • Encourage students to use Google Sites to create digital portfolios displaying their best work.
  • Enhance collaborative and group work by inviting students to contribute to the Google Site  or blog you created for your class. You can do this by adding your students as either owners (they can create new pages) or  editors ( they can only edit existing pages).
  • Use it in group projects by assigning students to create their own pages and share them with each other.
  • Encourage peer review and peer editing by allowing students to post comments and feedback on each others pages.
  • If you use Google Calendar then you can have your calendar featured in your class website.
  • Embed videos, audio, presentations, and images that students can use when working on their projects and assignments.
  • Use it as a wiki where students can edit, comment, and add to each others work.