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[29 Apr 2016 | Comments Off on FFTF: Booked Scheduler | ]
FFTF: Booked Scheduler

Today’s Favorite Free Tool Friday features an incredible self hosted solution for letting teachers sign up for rooms, computers, carts, or any resource really,  from the convenience of anywhere with an internet connection. It rocks.
Booked Scheduler comes in two flavors. They have a paid hosted version that you can subscribe to for $10/mo, but the flavor I’m most in love with is the one without a price tag. If your school has the server space(just about all do), you can throw Booked Scheduler on it, and customize it until your heart …

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[11 Apr 2016 | Comments Off on Going Deeper with Google Forms: Sample Teacher Observation Form and Dashboard | ]
Going Deeper with Google Forms: Sample Teacher Observation Form and Dashboard

Google Forms are incredible! There’s so many uses for them, and they make collecting information so easy. But collecting data, and displaying usable data can be two totally different things. Three things can help with this. Google’s built in response summaries are fantastic ways to chart a lot of data. The second option lives in the add-ons through the add-ons manager. Something like Flubaroo can help you manage grading pretty easily. But it’s the third option that really gets in there when you need a more granular approach, and that …

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[7 Apr 2016 | Comments Off on How We Schedule Students into Constantly Changing Classes Bi-Weekly with Office 365 Excel | ]
How We Schedule Students into Constantly Changing Classes Bi-Weekly with Office 365 Excel

When Danville High School entered in the Districts of Innovation status a few years back, an idea was conceived to create courses that met twice a week during the last period of the day. There was a twist, though. These classes would be constantly changing to cater to the diverse needs and passions of our students. Some of these classes would be long term, and others would be one and done. This created a challenge in logistics. Scheduling  students up to twice a week into these classes would mean there …

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[9 Apr 2014 | Comments Off on Poor Man’s DIY Makey-Makey | ]
Poor Man’s DIY Makey-Makey

This post isn’t a guide, as much a proof of concept. I’ve tested it minimally.  Makey-Makey’s are great, and I highly recommend buying some if you can. But if you want to try a project with your kids and see what comes of it, I think it has potential.
Most have now heard of the Makey-Makey, gator-clips and a USB board that turns things into inputs for  computer(i.e., game controller out of bananas). I sat down today to think through a plan for a summer camp that would use a similar …

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[7 Apr 2014 | Comments Off on Blending on a Budget of less than $2500 | ]
Blending on a Budget of less than $2500

I’ve spent the better part of the last few years traveling to schools that are doing things a bit different. Much of this has been in the area of blended learning. In terms of innovation, it’s been a struggle. Many of the schools doing great things have either had great funding to implement a 1:1 program, are a charter school that has more wiggle room in how things are done, or just do things in a way that are hard for a school that has 100 years of traditions to …

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[19 Mar 2009 | One Comment | ]
Pull Names From Excel Onto your Word Docs.

I was talking to a teacher today that adds their students names to everything they hand out. It sparked my interest enough to delve into the why and how they were doing it. As it turns out, it’s a great way to enforce some accountability. Putting each students name onto each document manually would be a pain though. Solution? One Excel sheet with all of your student names, and merging them automatically onto multiple individualized copies of your document. The process is a simple mail merge, which is usually used …

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[8 Dec 2008 | 5 Comments | ]
Great Royalty-Free Music for Movie Projects… (Silent Films)?

My students and I just finished a unit in which they were producing short commercials using still images and voice overs on Windows Movie Maker. We were in the process of adding audio when a student asked if I had any music they could use, and a quick Google scored this gem. http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/
Kevin MacLeod over at www.incompetech.com has produced tons of high quality music segments that served as a priceless resource for adding great music to each of the projects. Since scoring films/commercials etc… require fitting music to the …