Sunday, 30 April 2017

There is a New Google Earth and it's Amazing!

The new update for Google Earth has been rolled out and it is THE BIGGEST Update so far! Not only are the images updated and crisp clear. You know have 3D Renders of the structures and environment whilst exploring the globe. 

The biggest chance in my opinion is the ability of using Google Earth within your browser on any platform without the need to download anything! Ok, there's still a PRO version available for download, but the vast majority of users will find that the Standard Cloud-based version is more than enough.

Another New Feature is called 'Voyager' and this will take you on Guided Tours around the globe with Curated Content, perfect to use in class! When taking one of these Guided tours you will travel from pinpoint to pinpoint and learn all about the locations highlighted with information, photos and even video!

You can check out my full walk through of the new Google Earth in the video Below:

Please use the comment section below to let me know how you have been using Google Earth in class and what your Favourite New feature is? How are you going to use these in class and what has the response from your students been like? I would love to hear your feedback. 

Now, let's get back to exploring our beautiful Planet!

Designing a Logo for your School Project is really easy!

That's right. You've read it correctly. I actually said that its easy to design a professional looking logo for every school project or even for those special events you're holding.

Don't believe what I say: Simply have a look at the video below and see just how quick and easy it is using nothing but Google Tools! If you have a Google account (educational or Private) you have access to these same tools! Not only are you creating a good looking logo, you are creating a vector based image, which if you understand what vector images are is easily scaled up for crisp clean and clear printing.

The tools used are:

-Google Drawings, Google Drawings, a little bit of Google Drawings...

and.... oh yes! Some more Google Drawings!

Have fun exploring this Powerful yet UNDERVALUED and UNDERUSED Tool!

As an added bonus I would love for us to show off some of our own Logo's created in Google Drawings. If you and/or your students are brave and confident enough to do so Simply add your image to the following Padlet*:

Made with Padlet
*Padlet is an Online 'wall' or 'notice board' which allows you to easily collaborate and share ideas (oh, and it's FREE)

Monday, 24 April 2017

Get a Professional Signature for your mail Today!

We've all received email that looked dull, plain or even Unprofessional. Not only does it reflect a lack of technical know-how or the motivation to create a unique email identity it also isn't very appealing to read.
The main reason you should consider getting a professional signature is to further develop your own personal branding.

People will link the signature to a style, it encourages reader responses and overall is a great eye-catcher for your audience, parents, students and/or colleagues.

But how do you go about creating such a signature?
Well, there are a growing number of different services out there that will provide you with easy to use templates and signatures. But it could be as easy as going into the settings and adding a personalized signature containing information relevant to the reader such as Social Media profiles, website and/or position. 

For Teachers this could be: 

First Name, Last Name
School Name, Position or Class

Image result for sent from iphone
School Address and/or website (Note: Only if it’s relevant)

I can not begin to count the number of time I've receive an email which says 'Sent from my iPhone' at the end of the message.

It is important to remember that a Good email Signature need to be both Attractive AND Informative.

The way most professional Signatures are created is by using Html and in particular tables within Html. Don't worry. If you do not know html I will link to some all in one services below that will allow you to create these signature with simple drag-and-drop interfaces or menu's.

In the embedded video I walk you through one such service and show you how easy it is to create a signature that is both visually appealing and easy to use or implement.

The service I used in the video is called NewOldStamp and has both a Premium offering AND a FREE option available.

Some other ways you could go about creating a signature is finding a responsive html signature(Very Basic Understanding of Html needed) such as here: Link and change the html were appropriate!

My personal favourite, as you might have guessed from using it in the video, is NewOldStamp as it is easy to use and user friendly, it allows you to change and adapt the signature with just a few clicks.

I've contacted NewOldStamp with the request for some special benefits for you as a member of our Community and if you choose to use their Premium service, you can now get a 20% DISCOUNT by using the following link and entering the COUPON code: EDUFLIP

Link to NewOldStamp 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Earth Day 2017 - A Search Engine that plants trees? It's HERE!

That's right. The Title said it. In this Blog Post I will briefly discuss the Search engine Ecosia. Never heard of it? Well that's probably because it's a search engine with a twist! Ecosia prides itself on using the income generated by the ad revenue on its website to plant trees, actual REAL trees! They currently have four different projects and continue to grow(pun intended) daily. All searches are powered by Microsoft's Bing Engine and are enhanced with Ecosia's own algorithms to provide additional Environmental search results and info.

Perfect for a day as today and They have made it very easy for you to add the search as your default search engine.

There is even a Simple browser extension available that keeps track of how many trees you have helped plant. For all those Earth Loving Teachers and students out there, this might be THE best way you can contribute to a greener and better Earth by doing what you already do! Surf the internet and Search for content!

Find out more about how it works Here:

Monday, 17 April 2017

How to effectively Flip your classroom today!

'Flipped Classroom', 'Blended learning' and 'Student engagement' are just some of the Keywords that have been flying around. Many more educators are now embracing these forms of lesson design and plan accordingly, but we are still seeing a technological gap.

Not everyone finds every aspect of flipping a lesson easy or user friendly. There are literally thousands of edtech tools and many are complex and/or useless when we talk about using them to flip the teaching.

Flipping the classroom or a blended learning model is at the most basic level switching the instructions previously given in class to home via online tools(Such as video and research tools) leaving more time in class to dive into the understanding and application of the learned concepts.

Many countries and their respective curriculum are switching to 'deepening' the understanding of concepts and talk about 'mastery'. A Blended model allows the teacher to do just this as differentiation is made easier and students come to class, ready with questions to extend their learning.

Sound great! Where do I start?

Well, if you are looking for an ALL-IN-ONE Solution, I would suggest looking into Flipasaurus. The video below will outline all its key features and show you how you can use this in your class today!

Some key Features you can use within Flipasaurus are:

- Uploading Private Content

- Upload Public Content
- Set Expiration Dates to content
- Check Views
- Link outside of the platform
- Easily create QR-Codes
- Create and Host Podcasts
- Embed the content onto Virtual Learning Environments
- Free and Advertisement free!

Let me know what your thoughts are on this powerful platform to 'flip' your classroom and introducing a 'flipped' or 'blended' model.
Are you ready to try this? What are the key benefits of using a blended model? What is stopping you from trying it? What do you see as the main hurdles to overcome when introducing this model?

If you would like to learn more about this form of teaching and implementing it into your class you can check out Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day by the International Society for Technology in Education or their most recent publication: . Flipped Learning for Elementary Instruction

Also check out the many great resources on the following website:

And never forget!
Creativity is intelligence having fun. -- Albert Einstein

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Resources for my class created in Google Drawings!

It has been a busy couple of weeks and I have been very busy planning and creating resources for some upcoming topics in my class.
As you might already know, I am a huge fan of programmable robots and especially bee-bots and thus have created some new Bee-bot mats to use with my students.

I also needed some new Bee-bot rulers as well as some other resources, so I figured making my own would be the easiest thing to do. I made all these, using Google Drawings and you can see some of the results here:

First up my Bee Bot rulers:
Now these had to be exactly 15 cm to work so I had to create two separate Drawings documents.
- 1 Document for the ruler with the exact dimensions being 15 cm x 2 cm and another document A4 size.Once the rulers had been created it was as simple as copying one image onto the second document. (Yes, I'll probably make a 1 min tech tip video on this)

You can download your own copy of these rulers by clicking on the image. Also, if you choose to download this file. I would really appreciate some feedback and/or ratings ;-) 

As for the other resources I made I focused on two upcoming topics in particular; Pirates and Space.
For both topics I went ahead and created vocabulary cards and a Colourful Bee-bot mats to use in class. 

The Space Mat contains a selection of objects the bee-bot can navigate to and this will help the students not only develop their necessary spoken language skills but also their understanding of how Algorithms work and are used in real life.

The card included contain a large section of images alongside key vocabulary that will be introduced such as; asteroid, planet names and many more.

You can find the file to use in your own classrooms, on my TPT Store by clicking on the image or link.

As I continued to plan for this topic I decided that having a focus on debugging and writing down the algorithms would be beneficial to my students at this point in time as they need a little more practice especially in the area of  'debugging'.

This prompted me to create Space Task cards on which the students can plan, write and debug their sequence of instructions used with the bee-bot.

These too are available as a Free download.

The final topic I planned some Bee-bot lessons for is on pirates. Not only does this topic introduce a range of new vocabulary it is great for directional work and using treasure maps to explore North, East, South and West. The Bee-bot needed an interesting and easy to use mat so I made the following using nothing but Google Drawings:

Click the image or link to find it in my TPT store.

As I continue to create more resources I will write another post and share more of the creation process in future videos. Hopefully you enjoy using these resources as much as I did creating them and once I have used them in class, I will write a follow-up blog post on the different activities and how the students responded to them.