eMINTS Conference: Session 1 (Thursday)

Don’t Bookmark It – LIVEBINDER it!

Roger Brallier of Mexico School District helps educators organize all of their online resources in ONE central location through Livebinders. This simple and easy-to-use online virtual “3-ring binder” is a great time saver for teachers. With Livebinders, one can create links to sites, files, even use it to organize a WebQuest. The best part might be that Livebinders is FREE!

Standards-based Grading – How to Get There

Becky Schafer of Mexico Middle School shares how to give a grade that truly represents what a student has learned in their class. The objective of this session is to review standards-based grading, from a teacher’s viewpoint. Participants learned how to make the transition from traditional grading to standards-based grading. Becky walked participants through the process, sharing challenges and accolades.

SMART Board 800

Laura Brockman, a SMART Technologies trainer, demonstrates how collaborative learning becomes an extraordinarily natural experience with the SMART Board® 800 series interactive whiteboard. Two people can instantly work together anywhere on the surface at the same time using either their fingers or a pen. This interactive whiteboard also features a multiuser Pen Tray with buttons that make it easy for users to switch ink color, right-mouse click and bring up the On-Screen Keyboard.

Design Patterns 2.0

WebQuest guru Bernie Dodge shows how the best WebQuests are those built around tasks that resemble the authentic work that people do outside of school. Design patterns provide us with a way to describe that work and make it easier to create WebQuests that better prepare our students for life. This session is the world premier of a new set of design patterns that will kick lessons up a notch. Basically, Bernie suggests teachers anchor their content in a person, place, thing, activity, or problem. Then, students do something with that anchor, involving the verbs deciding, designing, creating, analyzing, or predicting. Bernie’s presentation can be found here.

eMINTS Instructional Specialists Smackdown!

Presenters introduce participants to Web 2.0 tools, resources, and lesson ideas that they can integrate into their instruction. The session is a high energy smackdown of sorts with eMINTS Instructional Specialists from around the state sharing their favorite Web 2.0 tools, resources and lesson ideas. There will be more posted on this session by the end of the day including the resources shared.

District-wide eMINTS Initiative & Implementation – eMINTS ETS Tools and Tricks for Survival

Presenter Nicole Whitfield of Morgan County R-II School District  shares tips, tricks and tools to consider when implementing eMINTS district-wide and how to survive the process as an eMINTS ETS, technology coordinator or administrator. The goal of the presentation is to communicate to participants how our rural Missouri district implemented an initiative to bring eMINTS professional development and technology into classrooms PK-12 and how she survived training 50+ teachers over two years (Comprehensive, eMINTS4All and modified program teachers).

To follow all the eMINTS Conference action, return to this blog and follow the hashtag #eC12.

Tuesday’s Tool: Google Presentation

Collaborative presentations used to be a headache when students worked on a single PowerPoint (or equivalent presentation software) presentation. They either had to wait their turn to input their content or struggle with merging separate files. The end result was usually that one student took over and created the presentation on his or her own.

Getting past the obvious faults in cooperative learning design, Google Presentation provides an easy alternative to the scenario above. Multiple users can have access to the same presentation at the same time. Ideally, all members of a team can have their own slide or set of slides to contribute. Editing can happen in real time, simultaneously instead of downtime creating opportunities for classroom management nightmares.

Google Presentation has several other great features that makes it an ideal collaborative tool:

  • The “View Together” feature allows audience members to chat during a presentation, possibly adding to the presentation through viewer participation.
  • Hyperlinks can be inserted as a way to create a rudimentary website housed on Google’s servers.
  • Slides from other presentations can be added to a current presentation.
  • PowerPoint files can be uploaded and edited using Google’s interface.
  • A presentation can be embedded onto a blog, Moodle course space, or any site that incorporates HTML coding.

So, how could one use these features in the classroom? I have a list for that as well:

  • Collect content gathered for the purposes of a Jigsaw activity on one presentation.
  • Open up editing rights as a way to collaborative gather ideas, much like Tom Barrett’s Interesting Ways project.
  • Collect scientific data to share with classrooms in other schools, towns, states, or countries.
  • I use Google Presentation to provide an agenda for the teachers I train.
  • Organize a WebQuest on a single presentation.

How have you used Google Presentation? Are there other collaborative presentation tools that work as well as Google’s? What other uses can you see for Google Presentation?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Tuesday’s Tool: Create Video Snippets with Tube Chop

Have you ever wanted to show a small portion of a video from YouTube during a lesson or presentation?

What I usually did was create a link to the full video and then during the lesson/presentation I would drag the play-head to the exact time I wanted to start playing. I usually ended up waiting forever for the video to load, taking up tons of time that I didn’t have, and it never seemed to work out as I had planned.

Now TubeChop makes this task simple.

1. Before your lesson or presentation copy the YouTube video URL and then go to TubeChop.
2. Insert the URL in the text field at the top of the page and click search.

3. Once you can view the video use the beginning and ending play heads below the video.

4. Then click the Chop It button and presto – you have your “chopped video” clip, an embedding code, a direct link, and more.

Hopefully this easy to use tool will help you to have more effective and efficient lessons and presentations.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

Tuesday’s Tool: Engaging Presentations with Prezi

Bored with the same old presentation software? Want to spice up your presentations and involve your audience? Prezi might be the alternative for which you’re looking.

Prezi is an online zooming presentation tool. The projects students are able to create on Prezi are more interactive for viewers and focus on the information. The presentation is set up to follow a path to lead the viewer through in an interesting and engaging manner. Emphasis is placed on focal points of the information and anyone going through the presentation will understand the importance of the message being conveyed. Prezi is a new and interesting way to present ideas. Check it out!

Carla Chaffin is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

4ALL: Convert PowerPoint Presentations to Video

Are your students bored with PowerPoint? Do they respond better to video? Well, there’s a free converter you can download today!

Convert your Power Point presentations to video. This program will allow you to turn your static slide presentation into a video for streaming online. Best of all, it is free! (Did we mention that it was free?)

Carla Chaffin is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.