Grab a seat on your couch and join educators from all over the world for a 24 hour free online conference.  Get tips and tools to boost student engagement, collaboration and productivity in the classroom.  Sessions around the clock and around the world.  December 2, 2016 at 5:00 PM — December 3, 2016 at 6:00 PM CST.  Register for the Event.


Follow the hashtag on Twitter to see who is presenting and on what topics.  #GoogleEduOnAir

Cyber Security Curriculum from ISU


Iowa State University has created the nation’s first cyber security curriculum for the K-12 classroom.  We hear a lot about literacy and digital literacy.  What about security literacy?  The Security Literacy Project is dedicated to providing educators the materials needed to teach security-literacy to grades K – 16. The prime goal of practical computer security literacy is to provide students with the information and processes to secure their digital devices and information. The topics and objectives of the teaching modules are designed specifically to meet this goal.

The primary method for educating students and the general public about cyber security has been through limited awareness campaigns and the construction of top-ten security lists.  

Formal computer security education is the key to combating the threats intrinsic to the Information Age.  Each day, people are inundated with alerts and pop-ups informing them about patch updates, antivirus signatures, firewall exceptions, suspicious emails, and malware threats but lack the proper education or vocabulary to make value-based decisions regarding the benefits and consequences of taking specific action on these items.  This course in practical computer security provides the context and knowledge for students to apply computer security best practices when faced with a novel situation and the ability to be proactive, not reactive, in the face of new threats. It is argued that computer security literacy is not only the next logical step in computer security defense; it is the most important step that, we, as individuals can take.  Through this website and project ISU encourages and promotes security literacy.

Two types of materials are available to support various classroom settings and curricular objectives.  

  • The first set of materials are called Cyber-Toons and are short (1-2 minutes) videos designed to be played in a class to simulate discussion around a topic.  The Cyber-Toons can be included into any class and are more targeted at middle schools.  An instructors guide, discussion questions, and short assessments are provided with each of the Cyber-Toons.
  • The second set of materials are longer modules (5 to 10 minutes) that are also in video format.  These are designed to be used in class or in a “flipped” course (where students watch the videos before class).  Like the Cyber-Toons instructors can pick modules based on topic to be included in any existing course.   A curriculum for a school that wants to teach an entire course on security literacy is also provided.  The modules are designed for upper middle school and high school.  

Access the course at http://www.security-literacy.org/

Awesome Tables are… Awesome!

Awesome Tables is a web application that allows you to turn Google spreadsheet data into easy to filter tables, maps, cards, and more. The Awesome Table documentation will help you create your first table step by step. You might want to look at the example templates on their site first to get an idea of what this application can do!

Once you’ve created your Awesome Table, you can either let people view it on the Awesome Table site or embed it into your Google Site with Insert>Gadget – then search the public gadgets for Awesome Table.

Here is an example table view made by copying the spreadsheet of all the Google Expeditions available to teachers and students.

Here is an example of the Geocode template which creates a Google Map from Spreadsheet Data – this one is on some Famous Iowans.

Here is an example of the Cards template – the Google sheet pulled in all the tweets with our #ghaea hashtag, then Awesome Tables makes it not only sortable and clickable but easy on the eyes!

Make YouTube Work for You!

YouTube Extensions can help you enjoy and have more control over how you use YouTube in your classroom or at home. Here are some I learned about from Daniel Sharpe @get_sharpe at ISTE in Denver this summer (plus a couple others that I use.) (Thanks, Daniel!)

Google Cast for Education

“Teach and learn from everywhere!”  – “Make every student a presenter.”

New from Google this summer, Google Cast for Education gives students the ability to share their Chrome screen and sound wirelessly through the teacher’s computer connected to the projector and speakers. The teacher then can accept or deny their request to project. The beauty of this is that when students are doing presentations or showing a video they created or even if they just want to share a photo or some resecastarch they found with the class, it’s as simple as clicking the extension! No more moving from their seats, unplugging the teacher device and speakers, and plugging in to the student’s device.

To get started, teachers need to install the Google Cast for Education app
and set it up – name it. Students need the Google Cast extension in their Chrome browser. Chrome management admins can install the new Cast for Education app for all teachers, and the Google Cast extension for their entire domain. Important… make sure Chrome is updated to the newest version for this to work!

Oldies but Goodies


tablet pc and colorful real books. 3D illustration. Vintage styl

I came across a list of 50 Web 2.0 Tools for Educators.  Many were ones I had not used for awhile.  It occurred to me that all of you may have forgotten about these too.  Here is a link to the Simple K-12 List published in October, 2015.   

Several on the list would be useful in teaching reading and writing.  

Blabbarize makes pictures talk.  It is a free resource.  It does require a login.  Students could write their own stories and then record themselves reading the story.  Once published the picture will tell the story.  

Vocaroo is another audio tool.  It doesn’t require a login.  Students would push the record button and record what they wanted to say.  When finished the site generates a URL of the recording making it easy to share with others.  This would be a great tool to have students review their fluency and for teachers to archive student improvement in fluency.  

Story Jumper  “StoryJumper is a site that gives teachers, students, parents, and authors a fun set of intuitive tools for writing and illustrating stories. Our goal is to inspire anyone that’s ever wanted to write an illustrated story to get started!”
Storybird  “Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. We curate artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspire writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories.”

Zaption Is Closing

For a couple years, I’ve been promoting Zaption to make interactive videos for flipped or blended classroom learning. However, as of this summer, Zaption is moving on to bigger and better endeavors. (If it’s technology, it’s going to change.) So… for those of you Zaption fans, you can still use all the videos you’ve made interactive simply by exporting them to EdPuzzle. Start by going to EdPuzzle.com/Zaption and follow the directions in the video below.

Where should a young Social Scientist look?

Do you wonder where to get high quality information and data about all of the countries of the world?  Would you like to skip combing through a plethora of useless resources on Google to find a few nuggets of information about different countries?  The Iowa AEA Online Databases offer the solution.Where should a young Social Scientist look-  (1)

CultureGrams from ProQuest goes beyond basic facts and figures with local perspectives on more than 200 countries, detailing daily life and culture, including history, customs, and lifestyles. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, each concise, reliable, and up-to-date report is written and reviewed by local experts, providing users with unique, intimate cultural details from a real insider’s perspective.

Britannica Online offers several databases for the young social scientist.  The first is the Britannica Encyclopedia school edition with over 120,000 articles revised and updated on a continuous bases.  These articles are offered for elementary, middle and high school students.  Each has the text to speech component.  Multimedia and additional resources are included. Encyclopædia Britannica World Data Analyst combines detailed statistics with powerful tools for analysis and display, this resource features a unique collectioWhere should a young Social Scientist look-n of in-depth information about the countries of the world and allows you to create interesting and informative comparative charts and tables. The last is SIRS, Social Issues Researcher for grades 9-12.  This provides information on current topics in countries of the world from newspapers, magazines, reference books and select websites.  Young Social Scientists will find much in not all what they need in these resources.  

Image Quest


Are you looking for some high quality images?  Don’t want to rely on Google Images?  Did you know that Image Quest is part of the Britannica Online product provided as one of the Iowa AEA Online Databases.  Here is a direct link.  http://quest.eb.com/  You will need to log in with your AEA Database Username and Password.  Ask your teacher librarian for these or call the Green Hills Media Center for access.  844-366-0503.
You can access it through the Britannica Portal too.  Click on the Your Britannica Resources in the upper right.   Choose Image Quest on the top of the drop down.