November 7, 2016

My Upcoming Schedule:

  • Monday, Nov 7: noon – 5:30pm in Park Rapids (Webpage training at 3:30)
  • Tuesday, Nov 8: 8am-noon in Park Rapids, 1-5:30pm in Nevis (Blogging class at 3:30)
  • Wednesday, Nov 9: 1 – 5:30pm in Park Rapids (Blogging class at 3:30)
  • Thursday, Nov 10: noon – 4:30 in Park Rapids (Webpage training at 3:30)
  • Friday, Nov 11: No appointments scheduled: let me know if you want to meet. J

Please feel free to contact me at any time via my cell phone (320-241-6150), my home email ( or my Park Rapids email ( .

Scheduled Classes:

There is a two-hour technology class scheduled in Nevis on Tuesday, Nov 8, on Blogging, and one in Park Rapids on Wednesday, Nov 9, also on blogging. All of you are welcome to attend any of these classes. Please email me to let me know if you’ll be joining us. Thanks!

Google Tip:

Up until now a teacher wanting to create a quiz in Google Forms would have to add the additional “Flubaroo” extension. However, now Google Forms has scoring & grading built into the program! This means that you can add points and select the correct answer for every question and Google Forms will not only grade it for you, but will allow you to create settings to notify students of their grade. Imagine creating a review quiz for your class and posting it to Google Classroom. Your students can answer all of the questions and if you want them to immediately see their answers you can allow viewing of the total score, and you can allow students to view their incorrect answers, correct answers or even set it so students can retest.


Discovery Education,, is filled with great free resources for teachers of every level and subject area. These resources include support for teachers, parents and students, with virtual field trips, featured programs, and a puzzlemaker that you can use to create word puzzles, mazes, crytograms, and more. There is a community blog where teachers from all across the country can connect and collaborate. This area also includes resources for literacy, mathematics, science, STEM, language arts, numeracy, social studies, and cross-curricular activities.

In this month’s Discovery Education Online Community you can find this article about STEM teaching: Four Elements of Great STEM Education. These four elements include: problem-based learning, rigorous learning, career, technology & life skills, and personalization of learning. The article ends with “Our world is becoming increasingly complex. All students, whether or not they go on to pursue STEM careers, need a solid STEM education.”

Google Trends

Google is able to uncover a huge amount of data based on the everyday searches of the public. This data can be accessed and evaluated in a tool called Google Trends. According to the help site, Google Trends data is an unbiased sample of Google search data. Only a percentage of searches are used to compile Trends data. Real time data is a random sample of searches from the last seven days. Non-real time data is a random sample of Google search data that can be pulled from as far back as 2004 and up to 36 hours prior to your search. Once the search data is collected, Google categorizes it, connects it to a topic, and removes any personal information.

Searches made by very few people are excluded. Trends only shows data for popular terms, so search terms with low volume appear as 0.

  • Duplicate searches: Trends eliminates repeated searches from the same person over a short period of time.
  • Special characters: Trends filters out queries with apostrophes and other special characters.
  • While being interesting to anyone, Google Trends can be especially helpful for students analyzing current events (like election trends).

Taking Great Pictures with your Cell Phone or iPad:

Your cellphone or other small device can take terrific pictures, especially if you know these six tricks.

  1. Tap on the screen to focus in, particularly if you have a lot of different depths in your picture. Tapping the screen also allows you to adjust the brightness in different places in your picture. (If your subjects have sun behind them you can click on their faces to lighten them.)
  2. Pinch to zoom – but if you want the highest quality image, walk closer to your subject. You will get a higher resolution photo if you can take a close-up without having to zoom in so much. (And, just a note, although pictures taken with cellphones/iPads can’t be used in the newspaper, they can be used on the Internet – so don’t let that keep you from taking pictures.)
  3. Turn HDR on. High Dynamic Range photos take more memory, but are higher resolution.
  4. Take continuous shots by continuing to hold the shutter button. Many times you’ll snag the best smile if you have a few shots to choose from.
  5. Delete unwanted photos from your phone or device. This frees up space on your device and makes it easier to make your selections when you’re ready to print, post or share.
  6. Turn on the grid or select a square image to help frame your picture.

And one more tip: don’t be afraid to put your camera in the hands of your students when you’re doing classroom activities.

The Great Thanksgiving Listen The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a national education project that empowers high school students to create an oral history of the contemporary United States by recording an interview with an elder over Thanksgiving weekend using the StoryCorps App. Find all the information online and find out how your class can participate. And if you’re not a high school teacher, consider how you might do some type of similar project in your own classroom.

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