Tech Tip Tuesday: Backing Up Your Schoology Resources

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We are in the stretch run toward to the end of the year. Now is as good as a time as any to begin organizing your materials and saving them for next year. So what if there was an easy way to do this is Schoology? Have you checked out Schoology’s “Resources” tab?

The Schoology Resources is where you can save all of your stuff to your personal filing cabinet to be reused next year. You have a few options with this. You can save individual assignments, save entire folders of content (great for entire units), and/or save your entire class!

Here is how to do this:

To save your course to your personal resources: Select the course you want to back up –> click “options” –> then “save course to resources”. In the box that follows, leave the collection as “home” and folder as “no folder”. This will then save your ENTIRE course and ALL of the assignments/materials within to your personal resources folder. Depending on the size of your course and number of files within, this may take a few minutes. Wait it out. To see your course and all of its content once backed up go to the “Resources” tab at the top –> select “Personal” –> and you should see the course folder on the right.

To save an individual folder or assignment to your personal resources: Select the course that you want to back up an individual folder of contents or individual assignment/material from. Select the “gear” icon to the right of the folder/assignment –> then “save to resources”. In the box that follows, leave the collection as “home” and folder as “no folder”. This will then save your folder with all of the contents within OR the individual assignment/material to your personal resources folder. To see your folder or the individual assignment go to the “Resources” tab at the top –> select “Personal” –> and you should see the course folder on the right.

To retrieve your course/folder/assignment next year: Select the “Resources” tab at the top –> then select “Personal”. Once you find your course/folder/assignment in the list to the right, select the “gear” icon to the right of it –> then select “add to course” –> then choose the course you want to add it to. This will copy and add this folder/assignment to your new course next year. What is great is that all of the contents within/settings etc will be moved as well. So if you had an entire unit worth of work in your resources folder in a particular order, it will copy it directly over. The only thing that is not saved to your resources or brought back to the new course is any student work/submissions.

Hope this helps!

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Tech Tip Tuesday: Coggle.it

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Coggle.it is a great online “brainstorming” or “bubble” tool that makes for a great way for students to generate ideas and share complex information.  Coggle.it lets users create “bubble” that are posted to a board with text, images, or links.  Further, with Coggle, users can connect these “thoughts” to others to make connections. Simply go to Coggle.it, select sign up here, then use the Google single sign-in to register.

Taking a page out of Google’s platform, some other great features include being able to collaborate live on a document, leave comments, managing the public or private share settings, and being able to present the information in a fullscreen mode OR download and print it. I also like that your participants do not need a login to join the room. Finally, I like that Coggle.it simply saves your information as you go!

I used Coggle.it to create a map of the 4 C’s and the various edtech tools that are out there and where they fall in these 4 categories.  So what if …

  • Students made text-text, text-world, text-self connections during reading?
  • Students researched their lineage to create a family tree?
  • Teachers collaborated on a Coggle.it as part of evidence during a PLC?
  • Teachers documented evidence/examples as part of an ongoing SGO?
  • Students selected a topic of study to analyze during a reading and mapped the progression throughout the text?
  • Students created a mindmap as part of a social media campaign along with infographics, etc?
  • Students created a sociogram- a graphic organizer that maps relationships between people and can connections – both obvious and subtle? Perfect for a History or English class.

Hope this helps!

 

Tech Tip Tuesday- No Photoshop? No Problem- Try Sumopaint or Pixlr

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As we begin to shift to life without Adobe, I figured now is as good as ever to share two apps/programs that I think will help replace the loss of Photoshop, should you need that sort of editing program.

SumoPaint looks and feels almost exactly like Photoshop and requires no sign-up. This is a browser-based app that simply runs off flash in your web browser. Simply go to sumopaint.com. I have tested it myself (for what it’s worth) and found that it is stable and loads fairly well. There are obviously features found in PhotoShop that you won’t find here, but this is probably the closest to being a direct PhotoShop clone that I have found. Image layering effects are also there. I was able to crop myself out of a photo and drop me on a beach in Bora Bora…

The second tool is called Pixlr. Pixlr is an online photo editor that is another PhotoShop alternative. As with Sumopaint, Pixlr works in your browser. Just go to https://pixlr.com OR use the Google Chrome App found here. What’s nice is this program also offers some advanced image editing and effect tools and works decently well on your phone/tablet!

Combine the two and I think this will help ease the loss of PhotoShop.

Hope that helps!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Create Copies of Google Docs With a Simple Add-on

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One of the things to remember, when sharing Google Docs with others (especially students) is to only share documents as “view only”. This will save your document from being edited or deleted by the other user.

However- what if you teach multiple sections of the same class over the course of the day? Instead of making multiple copies of one document to send out to each of these classes, what if you could make a duplicate of any Google doc, sheet, slide, or drawing, for each of these classes?

There is an add-on by Alice Keeler called Copydocs that will do just that! Simply follow the link above to get this add-on and for directions on how to use it! Each class is named in the document title to help manage the correct documents for the correct class.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Using Wizer.me for Digital Worksheets

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Wizer.me is a free website where you can create digital “worksheets” built to engage and track student progress. This site makes great use of SAMR levels 1 and 2 (Substitution and Augmentation). As a teacher, you can embed a number of key features in your digital worksheet such as:

  • Video clips/ Youtube
  • Audio
  • Images
  • a variety of question types such as multiple choice, open-ended, fill in the blank, matching, sorting, etc.

Another added feature is that you can embed various other tools within Wizer.me such as Quizlet, Thinglink, Google Maps/Slides/Docs/Sheets, and a plethora of others just by using the embed code as you would with Schoology.

Interested in Wizer.me? Just head over to www.wizer.me  and select signup. Then use the Google Single Sign-in.  Once in, you can begin creating your “worksheet” from a variety of templates and themes/colors. Click to insert question types or tasks (found at the bottom). Once you are finished you can use the 1-click feature to share your assignment with students or post to Schoology (or embed within a material). You can even have Wizer.me auto-grade for you or you can check the responses individually.

Hope this helps!