Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Free Tutorials for MS Office, OpenOffice and GoogleDocs #inpictures

As technology changes at an astounding rate, and given how many people are making how-to tutorials in video and print, making how-to tutorials has fallen by the wayside. Why bother making a tutorial for teachers if you can just find them online in infinite variety and languages?
http://www.inpics.net/index.html


Thanks to inpictures, these tutorials are available for free to educators:
My company creates illustration-based computer tutorials that are free for any teacher or student to use. Around the Corner readers might appreciate knowing about them.
The tutorials are available at www.inpics.net. They were developed through a research study funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education.
We've recently created many new tutorials, several on Google Drive applications. Considering the rapid adoption of Google Apps in schools, this might be of interest to readers of your blog. 
That aside, you may want to check these tutorials out. Although MS Office and OpenOffice tutorials are available, you can also find some for:
Google Drive Apps
Google DocsGoogle SheetsGoogle Slides

Here's one of the pictures from the GoogleSheets tutorial:


Will this be helpful for you?



View my Flipboard Magazine.
Make Donations via PayPal below:



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sharing Ideas with Freshmen Students via @postachio @evernote #PostachioEd


Image Source: http://goo.gl/lgxEl3
In response to my education-focused series--featuring over 13 articles--on the use of Evernote and Postach.io, Professor Michael Flowers writes the following:
The posting describing this process is very helpful to me. I am used to snapping the class whiteboard, emailing the snapshots to myself, and then adding them to a section of my course website-a process that delays availability for students...and sometimes leads to forgetting (or getting behind on) that final "get it on the web" step. Going the route of Postach.io/Evernote will be so much quicker. Also, I will be teaching two sections of a freshman course and the immediate posting process will help me avoid confusing work from the two classes.

I am really pleased that you are putting so much energy into the education-uses-of-Postach.io/Evernote project. You efforts will benefit many (and give Postach.io a leg up as well). Although I am a long time Mac user, my wife and I have had cell phones for only two years (we tried holding out...not for any particularly good reasons since I am otherwise a "techie") and so I am still getting used to all the things my iPhone is capable of. Thus I owe you a "thank you".
Consider that Michael is able to create a Postach.io blog for each of his courses. Each Postach.io blog will connect to a separate Evernote notebook (also one per class). What a great digital archive of content Michael and his students will have.
Some additional ideas come to mind:

  1. Michael can invite his students to email their content into the notebook simply by giving out his "top-secret" Evernote email address (check your Evernote Account settings), then coaching students on putting the @notebookname in the Subject line of the email. This will deposit their work in the appropriate notebook.
  2. He can write up an outline of his course, placing all materials in the Evernote notebook then this will be accessible for his classes.
  3. He can create a "page" (that's a tag he can add per Evernote note in a notebook that is being shared with Postach.io) that is a "table of contents" that features links to all other entries.
  4. He can activate Disqus commenting to allow students to share their reflections:
What else could Michael do?


View my Flipboard Magazine.

Make Donations via PayPal below:



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Make Your Own Book Study eBook! @evernote @postachio #PostachioEd

Earlier this week, a colleague in Texas asked,
Does anyone have suggestions for a book study that includes tech integration, instructional practices and is research based? The study is geared for teachers and administrators.
Someone asked me what I thought and here’s my brainstorm in 3 steps:
STEP 1 - Figuring out a Delivery Method
1) You could focus on ONE blog and just freak the blogger out. Someone that would be good for that would be the Connected PrincipalsDangerously IrrelevantSchool Admin Virtual Mentor Program (SAVMP)Michael Fullan articles, etc. This could involve reflections about what is being written (or has been written), reflections on the audio/video podcasts (especially when you consider SAVMP’s content) and more.

Since blogs are more like conversations, why not let the blogger know what is going on? It might result in some interesting collaborations and conversations.

2) Create a blog/edmodo/moodle/wiki and copy-n-paste content or link content, sprinkling in podcasts. You are essentially designing an online course. I like this approach a lot more because you can tailor it to what your folks' needs are, or if you want to push a particular agenda.

A variant of that is to…

3) Create an ePub/PDF ebook of your own--easy to do--and drop all the content in there, then share that "digital text" with them. It will be formatted like a book, it IS a book, and you're the editor. You can use the free, cross-platform open source LibreOffice.org then use ODFToEPUB to convert content you’ve organized into an ePub ebook. Or, if you are an Apple Mac user, try Pagesas an ePub ebook creation tool. There are other tools, too. If you’re on an iPad, it shouldn’t be too difficult to create something with Book Creator that includes video and audio, as well as text.

Of course, you could also just create a PDF formatted as a book. That’s not hard to do using your choice of word processor!
STEP 2 - Selecting Juicy, Relevant Topics
“What do I include?" Well, you’re an editor now, so think like a reader-what would you, as a reader, find absolutely helpful and worth spending time on? You could do an informal survey (or a formal one) to collect topics, then do some google searches. To start, I'd list out what are the hot button topics of MOST interest to potential participants, then organize it into chapters. There is so much rich content on the web, I don't think this would be too hard.

STEP 3 - Capturing Ideas with Evernote and Postach.io
I’d also encourage folks to share their reflections as audio or text. If you were using Evernote and Postach.io (creates blog entries from an Evernote notebook), you could have book study participants email their reflections to the “special Evernote email address," add the @notebook where “notebook" is the name of the book study. From there, setup Postach.io to point to the Evernote notebook (e.g. @bookstudy1) and voila! Instantly shared ideas and content!

Just some quick ideas. Crazy? Unworkable? You tell me.


View my Flipboard Magazine.

Make Donations via PayPal below:



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Baker's Dozen of Education Tips Using @evernote and @postachio #PostachioEd @arguhlin

Over the last 2-3 weeks, I've shared a variety of articles focusing on the use of Evernote and Postach.io in education to impact teaching, learning and leading. Although the series has come to an end, in this blog entry, you'll find a recap of 16 relevant blog entries. There's also some links to university student using Evernote and Postachio, as well as some bonus blog entries. You can also see my content curation efforts with Evernote at http://evernoteit.postach.io or view it on Evernote.

Consider reading one per month for this school year to keep you learning and growing!

You'


In case you missed it, here's the #PostachioEd series (Update: most recent articles first):
  1. Make Your Own Book Study eBook: This article explores how you can create your own eBooks, but also take advantage of Evernote and Postach.io to facilitate book studies.
  2. Go Digital: Teaching Non-Fiction Writing with Postachio: This article explores how Evernote Notebooks and Postach.io are a winning combination if you are using non-fiction notebooks in your classroom.
  3. A Better Way: Preparing Feedback for Student Work: In this article, we explore how Evernote and Postach.io can be used to provide meaningful feedback—text, audio—to student writing.
  4. Picture ePortfolios Made Easy with @Postachio: Ever wanted to quickly capture student work and share it others in your academic community, including students, parents and administration? This article shows you how.
  5. Writing Down Their Words: A Student’s Perspective: This article explores new research regarding note-taking and how Evernote+Postach.io can help.
  6. 5 Actions for Empowering School Administrators with Postachio: Learn how you, as campus leader, can turbo-charge your leadership with Evernote and Postachio.
  7. 28 Tips to Turbo-Charge Your Leadership: This offers 28 tips on how to transform your work as a campus/district leader using Evernote and, to some degree, Postach.io.
  8. 3 Steps to Walkthrough Checklists: Looking for an easy way to developing coaching walkthrough checklists? Go no further than Evernote.
  9. Blog Your List of FAQs: Many of us have a great story to tell, but don’t know how. This article presents a sure-fire formula that capitalizes on Evernote+Postachio for powerful sharing that is quick, powerful and proven.
  10. What Student Writers Do with @Evernote and @Postachio: This article continues the exploration of how student writers can use Evernote+Postachio to better understand the craft of writing. A must-read for classroom teachers entrusted with fostering student writing in any content area.
  11. ePortfolios Made Easy with @Evernote and @Postachio: This article goes more in depth, offering a variety of solutions that include Evernote and Postachio.
  12. Wired for Drama-Information Wrestling with @Evernote and @Postachio: Make your thinking about writing--meta-writing?--transparent with Evernote and Postachio.
  13. Curating Content with Evernote and Postach.io: Learn how to curate content with Evernote and Postachio, making sense of all the information coming at you.
And, here are two articles authored by guest blogger and author, Aida Guhlin (@arguhlin). Note: Aida Guhlin publishes regularly at The Prospect andWannabeScientist. You can subscribe to her blog online at http://arguhlin.wordpress.com



I hope you’ll stay tuned for even more content. Are you curious about how you can seize the power of Evernote, Dropbox and Postachio to enhance teaching,learning and leading? Then, don’t be afraid to make contact via Twitter.

BONUS STUFF FOR YOU
Check out these quick reads:
  1. Publishing Images with Postach.io
  2. iPad Blogging with Evernote and Postach.io



View my Flipboard Magazine.

Make Donations via PayPal below:



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Study Group Organization via @Evernote & @Postachio via @arguhlin

By Aida Guhlin (@arguhlin), A Geographer's Musings

How do study groups work? No, really. Does one person do all the work of reading the material and then breaking it down for their study buddies? Does the group break up the material amongst themselves and then rely on each other’s notes of the material? Either way, how are these notes distributed? Nowadays, you may often hear the words, “Google Docs" and nod - obviously, it works really well. Type up some information, share it with others, and together the study group can come together and work on the material together.
However, some issues often come up. The individuals with access to the doc don’t always receive a notification that material in the doc has been altered, and if they do, it comes in the (too) subtle form of a bolding of the doc in Google Drive. Scrolling also becomes an issue, as students can’t just click and select one section of the doc containing the notes they’re interested in. Instead, if you want the peace of freedom from extraneous information, you have to copy and paste that information out of its crowded environment. Lastly, the frustration of someone else writing over/changing something you wrote without telling you is real - especially since those notifications don’t explicitly clarify what’s different.
An Evernote/Postach.io model works differently though. Instead of creating a doc for everyone to jump straight into and muddle around in, an Evernote notebook publishing to a class blog works even better. Let’s say we went with the equitable division of the material and everyone was to write and share notes on their respective chapter. So, someone makes an Evernote notebook, and then shares it with all of the Evernote users. Each student logs a note on their chapter. Each one tags it with “publish" and each note is then sent to the class blog on Postach.io. Done and done.
Instead of having to scroll and scroll, only to have the doc potentially jolt up and down on you due to other people suddenly logging on and typing, you can select the notes and read them there. There’s no copy and pasting. No downloading. If a new post has been made, you’ll see it, and probably hear about it too. The information also looks a lot more professional now. If you want to one day show your potential employer a neat display of teamwork and collaboration, send them that pistachio link! It’s called making your education work for you. Or, you know, your previous self, but either way, you’ll probably ace that test because you spent more time studying than figuring out the logistics of studying.
Can you say #worthit?


View my Flipboard Magazine.
Make Donations via PayPal below:



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Picture ePortfolios with @Evernote and @Postachio

“Margarita,” asks Ms. Nuñez, third grade bilingual teacher, “cual de estos te gustaría compartir con el mundo hoy? What work would you like to share with the world today?” Margarita smiles and holds up her Día de Los Muertos poster. Ms. Nuñez snaps a picture with her iPad’s Evernote app. Then, she taps on the microphone logo and asks Margarita to explain her poster. She records the audio of Margarita’s explanation, then saves both the picture and audio recording to the Evernote notebook entitled, Unit2-SocialStudies. The notebook’s contents are set to automatically share work online using Postach.io.

Ever wished that you could quickly capture students’ work, organize it according to contents according to topic, then instantly share it with the world? You can do so with Evernote and Postach.io Education solution. This is a great solution for parents, too! Imagine how easy it is to capture student work these days and keep it organized.

Note: Not included are the steps on how to connect your Evernote Notebook to Postach.io. You will want to refer to these instructions. This post concludes my series on Evernote and Postach.io to impact teaching, learning and leading. If you decide to get an Evernote Premium account, I hope you use this referral link.

Let’s review the steps on how to do that:

Step #1 - Grab your iPad, iPhone or Android device.
Although you may not be aware of it, you have everything you need to begin capturing your students’ work—or, your children if you are a parent—and sharing it with a world of viewers and listeners. All you need to get started is your smartphone, provided it has a built-in camera and is able to run the Evernote app. Even if you have a more simple phone that can only send email, you can easily email photos to Evernote then view them on a computer like a netbook, Chromebook, or desktop computer.

Step #2 - Prepare Evernote for Sharing.


As you might imagine, this step is as simple as creating a space in Evernote where you will be sharing. You can do that by creating a Notebook in Evernote for a specific project (e.g. Unit2-SocialStudies) that will allow you to place ALL notes featuring students’ work. For example, your Notebook would have 1 note per student, each note containing a picture of that student’s work and, if you like, an audio explanation of what they have created.

If you are able to run Evernote on your computer, you can begin by going to the Evernote Notebook you have created, and then choosing to add a new note in that Notebook. Title the note with the child’s name (e.g. Margarita-10/2014) and then you are ready for the next step.

Step #3 - Take a picture of the student’s work.
This could be an easy way to capture student work that you want to celebrate or that best epitomizes the principles design of a student product. Note that you should already have permission from parents to share students’ work online.

When you take the picture, you will want to hold your phone normally (rather than sideways) if you are using the Evernote app. Or, you can use the built-in camera app to take the picture (turn your phone sideways) then add the picture to the Evernote Notebook Note for that student.




Step #4 - Save the picture. 
Saving the picture is a pretty easy step. As you can see in the screenshot below, simply click on the checkmark in the top right hand corner. Once you’ve done that, you can choose to add audio. Tap on the checkmark—which appears in the top right corner of the picture below--after taking the photo, then tap on the microphone button. This will enable you to record audio until you stop. The audio will be automatically included in the student’s Note in the special Notebook you created in Evernote.




Step #5 - Sharing Student Work on the Web
Now that you have a picture and audio for each of your students—you can also choose to capture cooperative group work in this manner—you are ready for the next step, which is to mark it ready for publication. Consider adding a quick note at the top of each student’s note (copy-n-paste works just fine for this) that says something along the lines of, “Below, please find an example of student work developed in Ms. Guhlin’s class at Rayburn Elementary School. Click on the audio link to hear the student share about the picture.”

Once you have everything ready to go, you are ready to add a tag to each students’ note. You can do this one at a time, as shown below…



...or do them in bulk by holding down the Ctrl-key and clicking on more than one Note at a time. A window will pop up on the right side of your screen (in the web view of Evernote). Then, add the relevant tag, as shown below:




In the hustle and bustle of the school day, you can change the tag on your mobile device, or, you can change it later via the web version of Evernote or your desktop/laptop computer. Whatever works best for you.


Conclusion
The power of student voices cannot be underestimated. Nothing is more powerful than listening to a child elaborate on their own work, especially at the younger grades. As a teacher of students, or a parent documenting their own child’s cognitive processes over the years, Evernote and Postach.io can make that process much easier. Using your own mobile device, give it a try with your own students or children. Your understanding of their work will never be the same again as they record, day by day, their thoughts about the work they are doing.



About the Author
As a lead learner of learners in K-12 public schools, Miguel Guhlin (Twitter: @mguhlin) encourages adult learners to engage in reflection on teaching, learning and leading in educational settings. He is most happy when helping others cross the digital divide via transformative, technology-based experiences. You can read more about those experiences at his blog, Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org - www.mguhlin.org


View my Flipboard Magazine.

Make Donations via PayPal below:



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Monday, August 4, 2014

A Better Way: Preparing Feedback for Student Work (Updated)

Note: This continues my series on Evernote and Postach.io to impact teaching, learning and leading. If you decide to get an Evernote Premium account, I hope you use this referral link.

My daughter hunched over her spiral notebook, words flowing, one letter at a time, from the BIC ballpoint pen she clasped tensely in her hand. Although the ink spilled out easily, I could see the frustration on her face when she made a mistake. That would necessitate a complete re-write of the page. As I continued to type on the laptop in front of me, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Why do we, as adults, have access to the latest writing technologies, but our children are forced to labor with paper-n-pen in schools?” The question must have slipped out, because she looked at me and repeated a response that she had undoubtedly heard her teacher say—“Because, the writing test is done by hand and this builds stamina.” 
Update 08/04/2014: Special Thanks to Michael Flower for pointing out some of my images weren't showing up- "have been following your postings about the use of Postach.io in education (as you can see, I teach at the university level). I, too, use Postach.io...mostly (so far) as a way to send out reading suggestions for the difficult articles we work with."

ISN’T THERE A BETTER WAY?
What’s worse, her teachers also had to provide feedback to each piece of student work in the same—by hand with a red pen or pencil, marking in crimson all the mistakes my daughter had made. There has to be a better way. In this article, you will have the opportunity to explore another approach that enables you, as teacher to offer feedback. The need for this is clear and present, especially today when everyone has a mobile device with a built-in camera. Small screens abound and posting that content to a blog is easy with Postach.io.


YES, THERE IS!
New technologies are transforming how we provide feedback on student work, not just writing. In their research, Riki Thompson and Meredith J. Lee highlight relevant points in their literature review in Talking with Students through Screencasting: Experimentations with Video Feedback to Improve Student Learning. I have summarized some of these points below, including my own perspective below:
  1. Communication with students about their work is transforming as instructors in all fields experiment with a variety of tools to deliver information, present lessons, conference with students and provide feedback on written and visual projects.
  2. There is a need to find more effective ways to provide feedback that students can understand and apply to improve their work.
  3. When reading or viewing a student’s representation of learning, the teacher engages in a conversation, engaging the text and asking questions. This conversation often goes unrecorded or unsaved, or worse, is relegated to a few remarks scribbled in the margins of a piece of writing or a post-it slapped on the board.
These challenges should prompt us to embrace technology tools as a way to transform how we offer feedback. In their excellent article, Thompson and Lee make an argument—which I agree with--for screencasting. These are digital recordings of the activity on one’s computer screen, accompanied by voiceover narration

While screen casting has garnered attention in recent years through the work of Flipped Classroom approach proponents, which has made a wealth of screencast tools available (e.g. TechSmith’s SnagIt or Screencast-o-matic on computers, ExplainEverything on iOS/Android, EduCreations or ShadowPuppet on iPad to name a few examples of easy tools available), the entry point for many teachers can be lot easier. 

Some of the challenges with creating screencasts is that teachers often fear video because it has many “moving parts.” Video may often be perceived as being too difficult, requiring more than “one-take.” The truth is, “one-take” video or audio works because it’s authentic and is not meant to be at a professional level. 

What’s more, collecting student writing may involve snapping pictures of multiple page documents, stitching them together, then trying to import them into a screencasting tool of choice. And, then unless you’ve setup your own video hosting provider (e.g. PHPMotion), you will need to rely on other locations to save content, like cloud storage (e.g. Dropbox, Box.net, GoogleDrive), or commercial solutions (such as YouTube.com, Vimeo.com, Screencast.com) that come with their own problems. How do you provide multimedia feedback that is only accessible by the student?

Ideally, students would submit their writing in digital format and then the teacher could review content online. Blogs provide an easy way to accomplish this. Let’s explore what this might look like using two popular tools, Evernote and Postach.io.

A SIMPLER WORKFLOW: EVERNOTE AND POSTACH.IO
“Are you typing that on your iPhone, Edward?” I asked my son while we sat in the living room. His reply—an affirmative grunt--astonished me but is the reality for many teens today, who are unafraid of using a small screen for creating content. 

Many educators are familiar with the ever popular Evernote and Postach.io tools, which allow one to clip/create multimedia content and then easily share it online. What they may not know is how easy it is to capture student work and offer audio feedback. 

A Notebook Stack where every student has their own Notebook

Students simply have to email a secret email address—provided with each Evernote account—and add @NotebookName to place that email in the correct Evernote Notebook. The main benefit is that the students’ work is ready for a teachers’ review. As a teacher, I could open up a variety of students work in sequence, and click click click, provide some quick audio feedback by using Evernote’s record button. With an Evernote Premium account ($50 cost which is well-worth it), I could share a notebook (one notebook per student with unlimited notes), and they could go in and listen to that feedback. This means that students and teacher enjoy the following benefits:
  • Students can easily submit their writing or work via email to the Evernote Notebook created for them (e.g. @Maain_Martha).
  • Teachers get access to the students’ writing in digital format, and they have a choice to add audio feedback to a piece of writing by sentence or paragraph, depending on where they insert the audio file, as well as highlight content using Evernote’s highlighting tool.
  • Teachers can share the students’ notebook with the student (view/modify rights).
  • Teachers can also “publish” a student’s final draft of writing using Postach.io if it’s ready to be shared and after consulting with the student.
  • If the teacher wants to record a screencast, she can do that because the content is already in digital format.
CLASS WRITING FEEDBACK
As a teacher, it’s sometimes useful to grab a piece of student writing, without sharing who it belongs to, and then offer feedback on that piece of writing. Sharing that feedback using a tool like Postach.io—which is a blog created from an Evernote Notebook—makes one's job as teacher easier when offering feedback. What’s more, once the information is displayed on a Postach.io blog, if one wanted to, the teacher could record a screencast and then attach the video file (MP4 video format is recommended). The video file would be viewable on the Postach.io provided it is in MP4 format.

Here’s what audio feedback looks like on Postach.io:



And, what a video looks like on Postach.io:




CONCLUSION
As you can see, while there are many methods for offering feedback on student writing, screencasting being one of them, Evernote and Postach.io make it easy to add audio annotations to student projects, then share those with the world via an online blog using Postach.io. Screencasting videos can also be included as teachers grow more comfortable with the video recording tools.


References
Thompson, R. & Lee, M.J. (3/2012). Talking with students through screen casting: Experimentations with video feedback to improve student learning. Available online at http://tinyurl.com/b4jkd9v


About the Author
As a lead learner of learners in K-12 public schools, Miguel Guhlin (Twitter: @mguhlin) encourages others to engage in reflection on teaching, learning and leading in educational settings. He is most happy when helping others cross the digital divide via transformative, technology-based experiences. You can read more about those experiences at his blog, Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org - www.mguhlin.org


View my Flipboard Magazine.

Make Donations via PayPal below:



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure