The students in grades 3-6 in our school all have Chromebooks, and the teachers are encouraged to use Google Classroom with their students. In library class, we like to use Google Slides a lot as a repository and showcase of student learning.
For that reason, I was drawn to the link in this lesson for "Adding Audio Files to Google Drive." That link took me to YouTube and more related videos on the topic. I found "Narration Over Google Slides" which shows how to use Snagit to narrate a Google Slides presentation.
I had to use some work-arounds, but here's the end product and the steps I took:
The downside to this method is that I couldn't get Snagit to just capture the presentation. The video image shows my browser windows and the slides navigation bar.
1: What did I learn?
From the wonderful list of productivity tools to try out, I initially chose Airdrop. I could have used it recently when I was trying to upload videos from my iPad to my blog! (I ended up using Dropbox.) However, I discovered that my iPad was not new enough and the operating system on my Mac was not compatible for using Airdrop.
Next I went to the Google Drive voice typing tool which seemed like it would be helpful for some of my self-contained classroom students and bilingual students. It was so easy to use! I slowly read the blurb off of a book, speaking the punctuation, and it was quite accurate. I even tried speaking a few words in Spanish, and was delighted to see that Google differentiated between Spanish spoken in a variety of countries. I can't wait to try it with my students.
Next I revisited Evernote and Zotero both which I looked into last year. I think they are fantastic tools but require that you consistently invest time using them to gain fluency.
One thing that I knew I wanted help with was quickly citing Creative Commons licensed images. We use them all the time in student projects, but citing them can be a laborious. Zotero to the rescue! This YouTube video (created by a librarian!) shows how quick and easy it is to save the image to Zotero then drag the description into a word processing document where it magically transforms into a citation. To chose the Citation Style, you go to Settings > Preferences > Export. This will be a tremendous time-saver.
I decided to explore Snagit because it's free, works on both Macs and PCs, and integrates seamlessly with Google Classroom. Everything captured with Snagit automatically saves to your Google Drive which makes it a breeze to use in Google Classroom.
i started by reading a blogpost entitled Snagit for Chrome and Google Classroom. Next I downloaded the TechSmith Snagit Extension and watched 2 videos about Assigning Snagit for Chrome Captures in Google Classroom and Assigning Snagit for Chrome Screencasts in Google Classroom.
Finally, I created a Screencast for a project I am doing with my 4th-grade library students using Storybird.com.
As a librarian, I am interested in curation for three purposes:
1. to organize, store and retrieve information that I collect for professional and personal use.
2. to provide a service to my teaching colleagues.
3. to teach my students how to gather, evaluate, store and share information.
So I was eager to read the ALA Library Technology Report on Social Media Curation by Joyce Valenza et. al., chapter 4 (Curation in School Libraries) and chapter 8 (Curation Platforms) in particular.
Some wonderful benefits of curation:
Looking over the platforms listed in the ALA Report, I realized that I had dabbled in many already: Zotero, Flikr, YouTube, Vimeo, Symbaloo, SlideShare, LibGuides, Blogging, Wikis, Twitter, Evernote, Diigo, Google+ and Pinterest!
Because I have barely used Pinterest and a colleague uses it for curating, I chose to pursue Pinterest. First I read 20 Top Pinterest Tips and attached the Pinterest add-on to my browser. I then created a Pinterest board for my 5th-6th Grade Suggested Reading List.
Recently a reading teacher and I were discussing book suggestions for her 5th & 6th Grade Reading Club. I emailed her my suggestions but told her that I was in the process of creating a Pinterest board with the titles. Her eyes lit up! Next time I will be ready! Also, I'm thinking that using the Pinterest board would be a great way to book talk selected titles with book trailers and author interviews embedded along with the book cover images.
I am so excited that this topic was added to Cool Tools for School this year! From my experience, students love writing their own stories.
In the past I've had students create their own original fables, stories, or nonfiction reports. They have used a variety of methods ranging from paper and art supplies to Storybird or Google Slides.
So I began by eagerly reading 6 Reasons You Should Be Doing Digital Storytelling with your Students. The author of that article asserts that digital storytelling teaches the writing process while increasing the students' technology competence and providing a creative means of assessment.
I was excited to try out Little Bird Tales but then I discovered that data storage for the free version only lasts 90 days. However, when I went back and looked at the other digital storytelling options, I realized the Little Bird Tales had the features that I was looking for:
I used part of a sample book that I produced in Google Slides about stingrays (see above) and uploaded some of those slides, adding chapter divisions using the "draw" feature and narrating the text. Here's the finished product!
As an elementary librarian in the Rochester City School District, I enjoy integrating technology into my lesson plans to increase student engagement and teach twenty-first century skills.
I have used several platforms in the past:
So this year I decided to try Weebly (a new platform for me) to record my 2015-2016 Cool Tools for School Journey.
As always, it has been a bit frustrating to learn a new platform and tempting to go back to the familiar and comfortable. However, I am also interested in comparing blogging options because I need to find a good platform for displaying eBooks created by the 3rd-6th grade students in library class using Google slides and then downloaded as a PDF.
I compared EduBlogs, KidBlog, and Blackboard Schoolwires (the platform the Rochester City School District provides and which I am currently using for my library website). This is what I found: