Tech Tuesday

Finds and Thoughts about Tech Integration

Voice Typing – Assisting the Writing Process


I was reminded of a powerful feature in Google Docs… Voice Typing.

Many students struggle with getting thoughts down on paper or typed on a screen. The numerous steps involved in the physical act of the writing process can be a challenging endeavor for lots of people. How often are ideas lost because a student can’t find a character key or doesn’t know how to even start spelling a word?

Under the tools menu in Docs, you can enable Voice Typing. While it is not perfect, this tool is an easy to use accommodation. I’m even thinking that it could help with the very beginning of writing – brainstorming, allowing a student to get creative ideas out on the Doc without all of the possible hindrances. The student then could copy and paste the notes into the rest of the Doc or on a separate one as their writing unfolds and becomes more formalized.

Check out the video below to see how quick this tool can be be used:

Also, here are some resources to type with your voice: directions and commands.

I wonder how many students take advantage of this feature? I’d love to hear from you.

AutoDraw – A Little Artistic Assistance


Some of us never fully developed drawing skills (with no fault to our art teachers). I think I’m good at sketching cows and cats (sitting backwards), but boy, do I struggle sometimes to make a doodle look like what I intend. Therefore, I empathize with many of our students. I totally encourage them to do their best with their own artwork. However, there are times when a little assist may be the appropriate accommodation for a frustrated student (or even adult). Or perhaps, you just don’t have time to devote to many blocks of making illustrations, but don’t want students to use clip art or photos from online.

Take 2 minutes to learn about AutoDraw

Please let me know if you’ve given AutoDraw a try… or want to do so!

(A thank you to Mrs. Butterline for showing me this site.)

Fear of Failure… It’s Not Just the Students


I read an excellent blog post by John Spencer that included this video. (It’s worth the 2 1/2 minutes!)

As I reflect on my time at my school as its elementary digital learning specialist for the past fourteen years, I have witnessed unsure students. I have encouraged them to take risks and try things out. Often, the reaction was hesitation and even some cajoling may have taken place. And then more reassurance. In conjunction with many “Yes, you can” and “What do you think?” quips.

However, the students have not been the only ones who have been uncertain about taking leaps. Teachers also have taken pause about some of the suggestions and ideas that I have tossed out over the years. Doubts have been voiced. Choices to stay the course may have been made. Teachers want to do right by their students, and sometimes that brings extra caution with instructional practices.

John Spencer’s video is a good reminder that we, teachers, don’t have to be perfect. Trying something new can yield innovation or missteps. Both should be regarded as valuable because there is an opportunity to model how to handle success, “failure” and/or where to go next. Showing students how to approach these outcomes graciously and without shame is important for everyone’s growth.

What do you think of the Beta mindset?

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Seesaw PD


This week, I’m passing along another professional development opportunity with no traveling required.

Seesaw, the student learning journal with the family connection, has new offerings for webinars and constantly is adding more. The webinars also are archived if you can’t participate live. There also seems to be something for all levels and interest… I’m intrigued by “LIVE PD for Tech IntegrationistsCreating a Hands-On PD Lab“.

Go here to check out the latest options.

PD Opportunity for MassCUE Members


$40 can get you in on a PDP opportunity with MassCUE.

The Digital Educator Recognition Program is a four level micro-credentialing system to enhance and show your skills. Currently, it is free to all MassCUE members. Therefore, it only costs the price of a membership! Also, the higher you go in the badge system, the more benefits you will receive from MassCUE as well.

Right now, the Level 1: Explorer Badge is open and ready to go.

Here are some screenshots to give you a peek:

I am intrigued to give this a try, and I think this program has the potential to be a great study group for teachers. Anyone else interested?

by posted under Uncategorized | tagged under , , , ,  |  2 Comments »    
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