Sunday, November 3, 2013

C4T Summary

This month I commented on John R. Sowash's blog, The Electric Educator

The first post I commented on was titled "5 Chrome Setting that will Make Teachers Smile" In this blog, Mr. Sowash stated that he had always chosen google chrome as his main browser. He said it is an awesome browser for the classroom, and then he continued by giving five tips or tricks to get the most out of using google chrome. 

This five things include: 
"1. Launch Tabs on Startup
Most of us spend the majority of our time on the Internet on the same 3-5 websites. For me, it's Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar - my productivity essentials.

You can ask Google chrome to automatically load your favorite websites each time you start Chrome. No need to manually visit these pages. Open Chrome and you're ready to go!

To enable this feature: Settings > Show Advanced Settings > On Startup
Tip 1: Don't auto-load too many pages! I recommend you keep it at three or less!

Tip 2: If you use Chromebooks in your classroom with students, you can set which pages load when a student logs on to their Chromebook. This feature is controlled from within the Google Apps dashboard so you'll want to make your IT director a pan of brownies and ask him to turn it on.

2. Bookmark Sync
Teacher love bookmarking pages. Now you can synchronize your bookmarks across Chrome! You can use Chrome on your PC, Mac, Chromebook, iPhone or Android tablet. As long as you sign in to chrome, your book marks will be there when you need them!

You must sign in to Chrome to enable this feature: Settings > Sign in to Chrome. Make sure you check the box for "bookmarks". You can adjust your Chrome sync settings at any time by going to Settings > Users > Advance Sync Settings
3. Tab Sync
Have you ever pulled up a web page on your home computer, gone in to the office and wished you could remember the web address of the page back at home? With tab sync, you can view any open tab on any of your devices and open them with a single click. Pull up a map on your laptop, jump in the car and open up the map on your phone!

You must sign in to Chrome to enable this feature: Settings > Sign in to Chrome. Make sure you check the box for "open tabs". You must repeat these steps on every device you wish to use the tab sync feature. 
After enabling tab sync, when you open a new tab in Chrome, you will see an option for "other devices" where all of your open tabs will be displayed. The screen shot below is from an iPhone, showing tabs on several other devices.

4. Zoom
When you are projecting something in class and you want to highlight a specific area of the screen you can use the keyboard shortcut ctrl and + to zoom in. When you are ready to zoom back out, use ctrl and - or ctrl and 0.

Nothing to enable here! Just use ctrl and +/- to zoom in and out! 
5. Settings Search
Do you need to reset your pass-phrase, adjust your trackpad sensitivity or delete an extension? Don't worry about remember where that button is, just search for it! Chrome user settings can be quickly searched. It makes adjusting settings super easy!

Nothing to enable here! Just go into settings and look for the search box!"

In my comment to Mr. Sowash, I told him who I was and that I was a student in EDM 310. I also told him that I found his blog post to be very helpful. I continued by saying the most helpful to me was the launch tabs tip because each time I use Chrome, I do go to the same websites each time: the class blog, my blog, and google drive. It would be great if they would automatically open each time. I ended by thanking him for sharing all of these great tips, and I gave him a link to my blog so he could check it out!

The second post I read was titled "Cleaning Up YouTube for your Classroom."

"Video is a powerful teaching tool. As the largest online video repository, YouTube is a popular destination for video clips however YouTube is blocked at many schools and teachers are often hesitant to use YouTube because of easy access to inappropriate content and the unpredictability of when inappropriate content can appear. The good news, is that there are ways to safely and effectively use YouTube in your classroom! Here are some tips and suggestions.

Option 1: Don't use YouTube.comInstead of directing students to YouTube where they could potentially get into trouble, embed videos into your class blog or website. Embedding video avoids inappropriate comments and related videos which regularly appear on It will require some additional work on the part of the teacher to find and embed the videos on a class website, but if the videos are good, it's worth the effort! 

Tip: Utilize Playlists
Playlists help you curate content as you find it. Playlists can be easily shared with students or embedded in your blog or web page, like the example below.

Tip: Instructions: How to embed a playlist.

Tip: Disable Related Videos
Google provides users with the option to exclude problematic "related videos" from displaying after a video finishes. Simply check the "do not show related videos" box when sharing a video.

Option 2: Use YouTube for Schools
YouTube for Schools is a special version of YouTube that only allows students to view selected videos. YouTube for schools must be enabled by a school network administrator.

Setting up YouTube for Schools 30 min. overview of YouTube for Schools
Become a Video Curator - Create Your Own YouTube Chanel
Creating your own YouTube channel allows you to upload your own video content, favorite videos and create playlists. These features are helpful and important if you plan on showing video clips in your classroom or embedding clips into your class blog or wiki. 

Examples of Teacher YouTube Channels
Create a Class Chanel
A Class YouTube Chanel can be used to highlight student work. You will need an email address that is NOT currently associated with a YouTube channel in order to setup a class channel. Students LOVE seeing their work online and can easily share their work with others. Creating a class channel avoids the problems that can arise if you ask students to create their own YouTube channel.

Examples of Class YouTube Channels:

Additional Resources: 

  • YouTube for Teachers - A site designed to help teachers learn how to incorporate video effectively into the classroom. 
  • YouTube EDU - Educational content from a variety of content providers such as Khan Academy, Universities, TED, and Discovery Education. Note: the content of Youtube EDU is what students with access to YouTube for Schools will see. 
  • Harnessing the Power of YouTube - A 30 min. presentation by classroom teacher James Sanders on how he has incorporated YouTube into his classroom."
In my comment to Mr. Sowash, I again stated who I was, and thanked him for sharing these tips on making YouTube safer. I told him that it especially helpful to me as a future teacher. YouTube has a ton of great education videos, but it is also risky because of all the inappropriate things that are out there. I stated that I thought embedding the videos on a class blog or website was a great idea to ensure that the students only see the videos that we intended them to see.

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