Care enough to know that teaching…

There is absolutely nothing like engaging with motivated educators, sharing ideas and making a stronger workforce of teachers. It is evident of a teacher’s will to improve on their craft when they arrive early on a Saturday morning, either towards the end of their school year or in some cases already on their summer vacation.

The 3rd Annual Think, Create, Share Conference at Cal State Fullerton was kicked off by the very engaging and inspiring poetry of Taylor Mali . Mali is a former classroom teacher who can now be found speaking all over the world, reciting his poetry and supporting the teaching profession.

It is the teaching profession and the educators who make the wheel of learning go round and round, that inspire me, to care enough to share ideas and make a forward moving difference in education.

This is a simple message to all teachers. Care enough to know that teaching….

 

  • is demanding

  • is rewarding

  • is not following a step-by-step procedural textbook

  • is not over when the last bell rings

  • requires you to be open to new ideas

  • requires you to love children

  • requires you to differentiate

  • requires you to be early and leave late

  • requires you to stop making excuses

  • requires you to create or find solutions

  • requires you to engage with technology

  • requires you to seek out the latest teaching strategies

  • requires you to love teaching

Thank you to all educators who inspire me and thank to all educators who care enough to know what teaching is and is not!

Creating Batch/Bulk QR Codes

Design_QR_Code_generator_-_Free_-_Unitag

There are a lot of easy to use QR code generators out there to be used in education. Some of them even create large batches of codes by simply cutting and pasting. There is one small problem with most of these generators if you are creating more than one, more often than not you lose track of which QR code belongs to whom. As a teacher, one way to double up on your productivity and create batch QR codes identified by a student name is to create them in a spreadsheet.

Here is how:
1. Collect student’s digital projects via a Google form (optional)

2. The form that students fill out requests that students submit a link to their project which ends up on a spreadsheet.

3. Once in the spreadsheet, the teacher simply pastes the the following QR Code formula (not sure who created the formula but here is a link to where it is stored online: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s2/sh/bf44024f-837e-4fd3-8f0a-61089874ca8d/155aae1d8d6bb1a777dc79f8755d5ec8) in the last cell of the first row of cells.

QR Code Formula
=image(“https://chart.googleapis.com/chart?chs=150×150&cht=qr&chl=”&A2)

4. Look at the formula and notice that the last couple characters are A2, which refers to the cell that QR code will be made for. If the links that you want converted into QR codes are on column D2 for example, then change the last piece of code to D2.

5. Click on the cell that contains the formula. The cell will highlight and you will see a small blue box that you can click on, hold and drag down, making QR codes for every single student link just like that!

6. Lastly resize the cells horizontally and vertically to increase the size of the QR code and print.

Screenshot aided directions to create batch QR Code

Mr__Diaz__Assignment_Dropper_-_Google_Forms

 

Mr__Diaz__Assignment_Dropper__Responses__-_Google_SheetsMr__Diaz__Assignment_Dropper__Responses__-_Google_SheetsMr__Diaz__Assignment_Dropper__Responses__-_Google_Sheets

&nbsp

PlayPlay

Twitter Interview

  • A Fresno State student is interviewing me through Twitter! Below are the questions and my responses. The Interview was recorded over the course of a few days
  • Question 1 by: Jessica Zendejas ‏ @jessica84011
    @teachusingtech Hi Mr. Diaz, I am going to begin our interview.How have you used twitter in your professional development?Thankyou #ci100
  • Question 1 response: I use Twitter on a nightly basis to improve my skills as a teacher, stay current with ongoing education news and also to help where I can professionally. Twitter is an awesome tool that allows me to reach out to teaching professionals on a daily basis and ask questions and/or provide help to those in need. I primarily follow like minded people on Twitter. What I mean by that, is that I follow people in the area of education. This allows me to ready micro-blogs that are written specifically for my area of interest.
  • Follow-up Question 1a: Jessica Zendejas ‏ @jessica84011
    @teachusingtech and why twitter, when there are so many other social media sites out there? Thanks again for your help
  • Question 1a response: You are right, there are a lot of choices when it comes to social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and so on. However, it has been my experience that Twitter allows for the most convenient and densely populated center for the type of information I am looking for. You get to populate your Twitter feed with interests that fit your needs. My needs are in the area of education and more specifically education technology and I follow like minded educators. My Twitter feed is populated with links to articles and videos, as well as 142 characters of thought provoking statements and conversations.
  • Question 2 by:Jessica Zendejas ‏ @jessica84011
    @teachusingtech Thankyou. Second question:what suggestions do you have for educators who want to use twitter as an educational resource?
  • Question 2 response: My number one suggestion would be to try it out and see if it fits your needs. I am a fan of Twitter but you may not be and that is okay. On the other hand, the education conversation needs to continue outside of the classroom and being a good educator, one who works on making a difference, takes time outside of the classroom. Therefore, some type of social media allows you to access the minds and thoughts of thousands of educators all around the world who have a similar mission. Okay back to Twitter as a resource. Another suggestion I have is to find a hash tag, which is a grouping of comments tied to a specific idea, and begin browsing through content and comment when you can to add to the discussion. You can only be better for it and you begin to form relationships with people you can count on. If you want to follow education technology conversations, a suggestion would be #edtech or if you are a new teacher #ntchat is great! One last suggestion would be to have parents, students and/or teachers create a hashtag, so that you can create a conversation about a particular topic. For example, I have started a hash tag on the greatness of #dchilders. Please go there and comment when you can. We will see how popular this topic is?
  • Sir Ken Robinson: Creativity

    Evaluate these thoughts:

    • Legislation destroys creativity
    • Standardized testing has become an obsession
    • The thought has been to learn things in school that lead to jobs
    • Industrialization has shaped modern education
    • For math and science, the question is asked, “how can we make it better.” For art, there needs to be a space created for dialogue and discussion to even take place. Why?
    • Our current system is obsolete
    • Promote innovation and creativity
    • Education+Culture+Commerce
    • Organizations are having trouble with complexity
    • Promoting creativity is a bottom line imperative
    • For most of human history we have led local lives and communicated primarily with those around us. Today we act differently
    • Technology is in its infancy
    • Within the next ten years, computers may go from algorithms to rewriting their own operating systems
    • We direct people to jobs we believe will be available
    • Misconceptions: Only special people are creative
    • We can’t wait to change education, children cannot postpone their lives
    • There are three types of people (trying to change education):
    1. Immovable: you are never going to change their thoughts, do not bother
    2. Movable: might be able to be persuaded
    3. Movers: those who create change
    • Create the right conditions
    • Encourage students at what they are good at
    • Special knowledge is a complex set of disciplines
    • Do attempt to teach “academic disciplines” through the arts, because what you are saying is that art is not academic and then not worthy to stand side by side next to such things as math and science.

    Not seen or heard Sir Ken Robinson in action? I highly recommend the following talks:

     

    Two books I am reading:

     

    Make a Movie: Part One

    I currently teach 6th Grade Math, Technology and Spanish and its always exciting for students, not to mention myself, to make a movie about what we are studying. There are many ways to make a video or movie. You can simply have students shoot raw footage of the content of your choice, transfer it to your computer and display it to the whole class or place it on your class website for everyone to enjoy! You can get a little more sophisticated and import your video into some software, like Garageband which is part of the Apple iLife suite, which also is bundled with iPhoto and iMovie. With Garageband you can add narration video or images and background music to your project. On the Windows side, I have only used Audacity which does the job for composing audio but lacks the image and video components of your project. I did some research on a product for windows that is very intriguing. It does a very similar job to Garageband and most importantly it has the capability of combining images or videos and narration to your project. The name of this software is Acoustica Mixcraft 5.

    • Checkout Mixcraft 5:
    • These are just some of many ways to go and make a movie from your content and have some fun along the way.For those of you who really want to wow ’em and take your movies to the next level, there are more robust programs such as iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Quick Time and Avid Technologies just to name a few. I recently came across a piece of software that I have not used yet, but I am certainly taking a look at and it is Illusion Mage. Click on the link and watch some of the videos of what it can do. Simply “Amazing.” Stay tuned for part two of this blog post, where I am going to show you how to use some of this software and give you some ideas on projects that you can put together for your students!

     

     

    CUE Conference 2010 – How To Videos Posted

    Hello and thank you to all the people that attended “Igniting the Mathematical Mind” session at CUE on Friday (3/5 ) @ 11:30 AM! Jamie Sweet and myself really enjoyed ourselves and you were a great audience! We would really love to hear from you. We have posted how to create many of the games that we covered in our session. If you see something that is not there and would like to know how to create it, please let us know. Also, if you have time, please visit Session Evaluations (Friday @ 11:30 AM)and evaluate our session, Thanks! Click on the CUE 2010 tab above to access the videos. Subscribe to access the latest videos!

    The four minute flip chart for ActivStudio 3

    Activstudio 3 is a wonderful piece of software that comes with the purchase of a Promethean Activboard. Some of you may have just received your Promethean board and your not sure where to begin. Sure, you can start writing on the board and even begin to bring in a few shapes or text but you want more, so did I! What I’m about to explain is an easy way to get you and your students started in just minutes.

    1. Open Activstudio 3 Professional
    2. Click on your RESOURCE LIBRARY
    3. Click on the SHARED SHAPES ICON
    4. Expand shared shapes and click on SQUARES AND RECTANGLES
    5. Drag a HORIZONTAL RECTANGLE onto your blank flip chart (do this 3 times)
    6. Expand the rectangles so that they are all of equal size and so that they cover the entire flip chart and are connected
    7. Now, click on the first rectangle, from the color palette click on green and then click on the FILL TOOL icon (the bucket), move it over the first rectangle and click the space bar. The rectangle should have changed to green.
    8. Leave the second rectangle black
    9. Repeat step 7 for the third triangle, but change it to blue
    10. Double click on the first rectangle and click on the icon, OBJECTS TO BACK. Repeat this step for the third rectangle
    11. Double click on the second rectangle and click on the icon, OBJECTS TO FRONT
    12. Let’s add some text! Click on the TEXT TOOL (“T”) and move the cursor over the first rectangle, towards the top portion and click the space bar. An area for you to type and a text palette will open.
    13. On the text palette change the color to blue and type 1.23 + 0.02 = ?
    14. Press the space bar 7 times (or so), change the text color to green and type ? = 1.25
    15. Un-check the BACKGROUND box on the TEXT PALETTE
    16. Close the TEXT PALETTE
  • Note: that when un-checking the background box, at times it converts back. Simply go back and un-check the background box.
  • There you have it! A revealing flip chart template. Move the math question from the left to the right and it will magically disappear and the answer will appear in the blue section. You can use this template to further be creative and add objects, multiple backgrounds and much, much more! Have fun with it. If you have any questions leave a comment or e-mail me. I am glad to help!
  • If you are more of a visual person, click on the tutorials tab for a video enhanced explanation!
  • Cell Phones and PDA’s for Learning?

    There is no doubt about it, as technology evolves, so do the opportunities for teachers to meld fantastic, pioneering technology with great teaching. In a newspaper article written in the Sunday edition of the Orange County Register, one of these opportunities are coming to fruition. We have heard of food on the run, but education on the run? Coastline College in Fountain Valley, California is launching what they hope to be a very successful campaign to allow students to complete classes, not only online, but on their cell phones and PDA’s. In an age where cell phones are carried by young children as low as 10 years of age, maybe younger, cell phones can now be utilized as a bridge for learning, rather than the nuisance that they have become in schools around America. The misuse of phones in the classroom, such as texting or the inadvertent ring to disrupt a lesson have no place in school. However, when used to incorporate and allow students to get excited about content and buy in, I’M ALL FOR IT! We owe it to our students, at any level, to provide them with professional instruction in order to cause learning and understanding of content. As a professional, I look for opportunities for students to learn in an ever advancing technological age. Cells phones and PDA’s may not be the answer for middle school students, not yet anyways, but for high school and college I believe there will be an ever growing progression in the utilization of all media, especially learning on the go. You may even see a student finishing their biology lab assignment at a bus stop near you.

      Click here to read “Studying on the digital run.”
      Click here for Coastline College website

    Photo Booth: How to use it for making movie clips!

    If you have a Mac and it has the Leopard Operating System, then you have Photo Booth. If you do not see it in the lower icon tray, then you can find it in the applications folder from the desktop Macintosh HD icon. Once you find the Photo Booth icon, drag it to your icons tray.

    tray

    What is nice about this version of Photo Booth is that it has the capability of inserting a static (still)  image or a dynamic (moving) image behind you as you record yourself in front of the image. It is very easy work with and gives, you the teacher, a great way to demonstrate a lesson or students the ability to create great projects. Creating is at the top of the updated Blooms Taxonomy model, so this is just another way to create, design and develop. Look under the TUTORIALS tab for step by step instructions on how to create a presentation using Photo Booth and its green screen properties.

    photo-booth

    ELMO TT-OS Document Camera

    elmo-usa_s-document-cameras-and-digital-visual-presenters

    You have worked hard to plan your lesson or activity, you have all your transparencies made, the day went great and then your off to a meeting with a parent. You go to shake their hand and you notice that your hands are covered in ink. You know, a day of transparencies, Vis-A-Vis markers and paper towels to try to clean up the mess. Not the most embarrassing thing in the world, however, teacher ink hands are just not necessary!  I utilize a document camera in my class everyday and guess what? NO MORE TEACHER HANDS! I use the TT-OS ELMO Image Mate in my classroom and it is great. You can place written or typed paper under the camera and display it on your screen through your LCD projector. Virtually anything that you have in the classroom will fit under the camera’s eye. Have you ever done a science demonstration for your class, only to have a number of students that cannot see what is going on in the experiment. Having the document camera allows you to place a beaker or a Petri dish under the camera. The camera has a flexible neck that allows for angled views as well as phenomenal zooming to get close to the action. It changes the way you teach and increases those teachable moments that were once held captive, not due to your creativity, but to the lack of hardware that you have at your disposal.  Additionally, on the ELMO TT-OS, you can utilize an SD card to make a still image straight from the camera or even pre-load the SD card and project it onto your computer. Once on your computer, the possibilities are endless. You can annotate, highlight and so much more. Only your creativity decides the possibilities. Remember, no more teacher hands!