Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Citations You Can Do

The last two weeks, I've shared how to help students do better searching and then choose better results. The final piece to this series focuses on helping your students do better citations. This piece is easy to forget or let fall by the wayside. But it is in incredibly important for us to teach.


Students will not understand - unless we teach them - how important it is to give credit to the places where they are gathering their information (or using their photos) from. Our students are not being malicious when doing their research. They are simply answering the questions that often, WE are asking them to answer. We cannot let citations be skipped. We need to teach our students how important it is to give others credit. AND ... we are lucky to have tools that make citations incredibly easy. 

Here is a quick Google Slidedeck that shows how citations can be super easy. Tonight, I showed my own 4th grade daughter use it in her latest project. She used it for both her information and her images. After doing it with her twice, she was able to cite all of her sources independently.



The link to this presentation is "Citations in Google". 
Feel free to use it in your class "as is" OR make your own copy of it.

And finally, I have a confession to make. There will be one more post in this series. It came as quite a surprise to me. As is true of many of my blogs, one of my daughters plays a starring role . . . she brought home a research project and asked for my help. Next week, I'll be back with the whole story and the addition to this research series. It really changed my thought process about research with students.


I've also gathered several resources in my Google Chrome Wakelet collection. 

Have a question or comment? Feel free to comment below, reach out to me on Twitter @kiefersj, or email me at sarah@techyoucando.com.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Better Google Results You Can Do

Last week I shared "Better Google Searching You Can Do". I focused on the conversation I had with a teacher about using a kid-safe browser vs teaching better search skills. I recommend we teach better search skills since I firmly believe they will serve our students long after they leave our classrooms.

This week, I'm back with a follow up. Let's say your students use the tips I shared and do a better Google Search.

Now what? 

Using better search terms will help get better initial results. Can we help our students at this point go through the results and narrow down to find the better results? 

Of course!

These tips will definitely take practice, but once you & your students get into a routine of using them, you will hopefully find they pay off in the quality of your results. Post this in your Google Classroom (or other LMS or website) so your students can refer to them anytime they do a search. I choose to focus on "tropical rainforest animals" - feel free to use this as the example and have your students do a search on their own topics. 

The link to this presentation is "Better Google Search Results". 
Feel free to use it in your class "as is" OR make your own copy of it.

And rounding this series out, the 3rd part will focus on helping students to cite their work once they've found the sources they are wanting to use.

I've also gathered several resources in my Google Chrome Wakelet collection. 

Have a question or comment? Feel free to comment below, reach out to me on Twitter @kiefersj, or email me at sarah@techyoucando.com.


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Better Google Searching You Can Do

A big part of my job is having conversations with teachers about ideas they have for their classrooms. I recently had a conversation with a teacher who wanted to know what would be a safe search engine for her students. This teacher was asking with the best of intentions - wanting to do what she can to protect her students. I completely understand her thinking, but I challenged her idea of using a "kid safe engine". Instead, I proposed this ... we spend the same time teaching her students how to perform "better" searches on the search engine we all know they will use tomorrow and for years in the future. She agreed, and I agreed to join this conversation with her students.

Research is an important skill that is taught in some way at each grade level. At younger grades, it could be using books and other print material to find information about Presidents or animals. At older grades it could involve researching hybrid cars or causes of the Civil War. I've seen my 7th/8th grade students only doing basic searches. I've seen my own daughters coming home with projects and would have very little direct instruction on how to research.

Teaching students how to do better internet searches can be a very valuable lesson ... and one well worth the time. Imagine if we can teach our students how to limit the millions of results? Imagine if we can teach them how to filter out some of the 'noise'? Imagine if we can teach them how to use the built in tools to narrow their results even further? Imagine if we teach our students how to search so that it doesn't matter if they are researching an animal or historical person or event or even a disease?

How about we take 30 minutes and give students - of all ages - some direct instruction and practice? Practicing good searching skills can pay off just like practicing math facts or collaboration or reading. And if we, the teachers, provide time to learn some solid search strategies, it tells our students we value good search skills and we want our students to find better information. 


There are 6 basic search tips, along with 4 advanced tips. 


The link to this presentation is "Better Google Searching ... for kids!". 

Feel free to use it in your class "as is" OR make your own copy of it.


Next time, I'll be back with how to filter out even more once you've done your search. This is the next step in researching online. Your search terms are important, but once you've done this, we'll look at how to find better results from this point. And rounding it out, the 3rd part will focus on helping students to cite their work once they've found the sources they are wanting to use. 

I've also gathered several resources in my Google Chrome Wakelet collection. 

Have a question or comment? Feel free to comment below, reach out to me on Twitter @kiefersj, or email me at sarah@techyoucando.com.


Sunday, November 3, 2019

Thankful Thoughts You Can Do

I can not hide my love for working with students. I was a classroom teacher for 14 years, after all! As a technology integration specialist, I don't work with students as much as I used to, but I am lucky enough to work with students at two elementary buildings. I'm even luckier that I am able to work with all their teachers, too! You could say these are two somethings that I am thankful for!

With November's arrival - my FAVORITE month - I was talking with a 4th grade teacher I collaborate with often. She was throwing out numerous wonderful ideas and we finally settled on a "short" activity I could do with her students. 

It's November, and the whole month is all about fall and Thanksgiving (at least here in America). I was inspired by this TWEET I saw by Tara Martin & Tisha Richmond. Loved it! But our students are only 4th graders, so rather than using social media, I created a Google Slide students can make a copy of and learn some Slides skills while creating a similar image. 

I'll have them share it with me & we can display them in the hallway. I could also opt to make a published Slidedeck that can be shared with the parents, too! So many options!

Are you interested? Here's what I created ... feel free to make your own copy & use it with your students. Click ↬ LINK.


Also, check out my Wakelet collections for all kinds of things Google & more.

Have a question or comment? Feel free to comment below, reach out to me on Twitter @kiefersj, or email me at sarah@techyoucando.com.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

4 Google MyMaps Activities You Can Do

Last week I shared an intro to MyMaps - one of the unsung hero's of the Google Apps. You can read that here, "Google MyMaps You Can Do". This tool is fantastic for students of all ages. This week is all about activities you can do with MyMaps.

You might think MyMaps is only for the Social Studies classroom, but you'd be mistaken. MyMaps can be a great tool to use across the curriculum. I know I was blown away the first time I saw MyMaps being used for something other than a map.

I've created a Slidedeck with 4 possible activities you could do with your students. You can always "level them up or down" depending on the skill level. In my opinion, one of the best parts, is MyMaps can be individual work OR a collaborative activity. And, just like the other Google Apps, MyMaps are created and live in Drive. The only limitations are the ones we place on its use.

Feel free to share the Slidedeck as is, or make your own copy and modify as it fits you & your students. I've included a link on each activity with an example MyMap. These are only examples - students can do so much more with it than what I've done.

If you like what you see, feel free to make your own copy. TEMPLATE LINK



I also want to give a little shoutout to SlidesMania for the design template I used for the Slidedeck. 💖LOVE, love, love this website 💛. So many awesome Slides templates - check them out!

MyMaps Wakelet Collection


I've also started a Wakelet collection with MyMaps resources, links, and other activities.


Have a question or comment? Feel free to comment below, reach out to me on Twitter @kiefersj, or email me at sarah@techyoucando.com.