Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Bookmark Trick

If you are like me, you have a ton of bookmarks.  Have you ever noticed that some of them have pictures?  Why not only show the picture?  I know that Google Drive is a multi-colored recycle sign, so why do I need to have it say Google Drive right next to it.  I don't.  I have used that to fit more bookmarks on my bookmark bar.

Here's how to do it...
- Once you have the extension (dragging the lock to the bookmark bar or clicking the star and clicking done) go ahead and right-click the extension (2 finger click for the Chromebookies out there).
- Select the Edit option.
- Delete the name and hit enter.
- Done

So what happens when you forget what the picture means.  Well, then you shouldn't have bookmarked it as it is obviously not a favorite website of yours... But you can just hover over the picture and it should tell you.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The most important part of the implementation

As teachers, we recognize the importance of setting up norms and rules, the boundaries in which the students may operate.  We also recognize the importance of setting our discipline structure or reinforcing the discipline structure of the school/district.  When we get to technology, we get so excited about what we can do that we jump right in, or we are so afraid of what can happen that we never get started.  Don't forget the Acceptable Use Policy, Information Literacy, and Digital Citizenship.

Why is it the most important?  E-rate funding requires that teachers go through internet safety and digital citizenship.  We are supposed to teach 3 lessons each year.  Some school districts are more dependent on E-rate funding, but should your district face an audit and teachers have not been teaching this, then we have a problem... No funding for connectivity.  Don't believe me, read it here.

Where to point the finger?  You know that students are going to screw up at some point.  It is not a question of "if" it is a question of "how."  My guess is, you have no idea how.  CYA!  It is best to have a set of rules and consequences set up to ensure that students know there are expectations.  Not that you haven't done it with your classroom already, but do it again, like every time you take your class out of the room.  Electronic devices allow your students to venture far beyond the walls of your classroom.  Just like taking them to an assembly, the library, or a field trip cover the rules again in a way that is specific to the activity students will do.

I am a big fan of setting boundaries, outlining the consequences, and letting students play.  I enjoy the new things that students show me and the wonderful things that they make and learn.  When they screw up, there is a consequence, but that rarely happens.  Most of the time, students work within the boundaries and are still able to explore and learn through the activity and the use of the device.  I would say it is the most important part of my implementation.