Tuesday, February 25, 2014

EdPuzzle: The Missing Piece For Flipping Your Instruction

Have you ever wanted to share a YouTube video with your students, but only the middle 27 seconds? Or share video from Khan Academy, but use your own words, because the explanation doesn't quite match up with the way you would explain the concept to your students? Or assign a video as homework and be sure that your students were watching and understanding?

EdPuzzle is a tool designed by a teacher to allow teachers to remix existing video by cropping, replacing portions of audio, or simply adding audio notes. Teachers can create a path through the video by by creating a pause points and embedding many types of quiz questions.

The Teacher dashboard on EdPuzzle will show you if your students actually watched a video. (You don't get credit for "watching" if you leave the video playing in the background while you look at another website.) It will also show how many times a student watched each section of a video.

EdPuzzle is simple to try, you don't even need to create a new account. Both you and your students can sign in with your Mitty email accounts.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Do you Geddit? More Importantly Do Your Students Geddit?

I was at EdCampSV on Saturday and had the opportunity to see an in person demonstration of Geddit by the co-founder and teacher, Justin Mann.

Like Socrative and Infuse Learning, Geddit is a formative assessment tool. However, Geddit also Geddit also allows teachers to poll student's confidence in their understanding. The color-coded data makes it easy to see at a glance where your class is. Students don't even need to create a new account to join your GeddIt class - they can sign in with their MittyMonarch email account.

Take a look at the teacher resources available Geddit site:

If you want to start using Geddit with multiple classes, please let me know. I'm happy to import your class lists for you.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Accessing your TurnItIn.com Class from an iPad

Did you know that you can access all of your TurnItIn.com submissions from the TurnItIn iPad app?

Due to the fact that we have TurnItIn.com integrated with myMitty, signing into the TurnItIn.com iPad app takes a few steps. But it is well worth the effort. Here are the directions (adapted from the TurnItIn.com support site):


You will need a unique class access code in order to log in to your classes on Turnitin for iPad. To generate your unique class access code:

From your laptop:
  1. Sign into myMitty
  2. Open the document viewer for a TurnItIn assignment in the class
  3. Click on the iPad access button in the lower left
  4. Click “Generate code”
  5. The unique class access code will be displayed. Copy this code - you will need to enter it on your iPad.
From your iPad:
  1. Download the TurnItIn iPad app 
  2. Tap the “Access Code” button on the Turnitin for iPad app login screen
  3. Type in the class access code you have generated earlier
  4. Tap “Add”
You can now access your TurnItIn class through the TurnItIn iPad app.

NOTE: Class access codes are one-time use only. If you log out or “Unlink iPad from Turnitin,” you will need to generate a new access code for the class by repeating the steps above.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Text Expansion: aText

aText Basics
Ways to use text expansion to make your daily computer use easier.

aText is an app for your computer that allows you to create shortcut or "snippets" for things you type all the time. Below are some different ways you can easily use aText in your daily computer use. If you are interested in downloading the app please contact the IT department.

Example of a snippet- ;hc = Thanks, Ms. H-C

Mymitty Grading:
  • Online assignments: Create codes for things you find yourself saying over and over again. Positive feedback or suggestions.
  • Moodle 2.0: with the new moodle you can write comments directly on PDF’s, so you will be able to add specific comments that you use often to specific parts of an essay or assignment.
  • Emails to students: about make up exams, missing homework, etc.
  • Form emails like: parent emails, copy center request, and extracurricular emails (clubs, BC, sports, etc.)
  • Email sign off: personal vs. professional
  • Some emails have specific information that needs to be added based on who is receiving the email. You can create a “field” which allows you to leave an interactive blank where you need to import certain information. Then, it prompts you to enter the specific information into the field before it copies your text.
Parent Reports:
  • When sending parent reports there are certain pieces of information that are standard. You can create a boilerplate report and then add in specifics about the particular student as you go.
Other ways to use aText:
  • Observations
  • Also works with the PDF pen- can add set text on PDF’s
  • Kairos Cookies
  • When setting up your snippets think about what is easiest for you to make your codes unique. I use semi-colons, and some people use double letters. It is really up to you.
  • You can easily search your codes or “snippets” using the aText search snippets. Just start typing in what you think the code includes and all the quotes with that keyword will appear. This is helpful when you are first starting out as it allows you quick access to all your codes.
    • Example: If I type quote into the search box, all my snippets with the word quote in them will immediately pop up and I can see the shortcut.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Watching the Olympics

NBC (owned by Comcast) has restricted access to live viewing of the Olympics on the web. If you want to be able to view live coverage of the Olympics you will need to verify that you are an active CableTV subscriber.

If you are interested in watching the NBC Live Stream of the 2014 Winter Olympics please follow the directions below:

  • Acquire your cable/pay tv providers username and password. If you don’t know the username and password for you contact your tv provider:
    • Comcast: (800) 934-6489
    • DirectTV: (800) 531-5000
    • Dish: (855) 318-0572
    • UVerse: (800) 288-2020
    • Charter: (888) 438-2427
  • Go to http://stream.nbcolympics.com/olympics/winter/14498/?ctx=citi
  • Log in with your cable provider's username and password
click on the image to enlarge
  • Enjoy

If anyone has any issues please contact the IT Help Desk (408-342-HELP or help@mitty.com)

Go Polina!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Design Thinking

I first came across the idea of "Design Thinking" last July when I attended the mid-summer IISME meeting at the Stanford "D" School. Design Thinking is presented as a collaborative process that begins with empathetic listening that evolves to defining issues and experimenting with solutions.

Design Thinking was presented in the classroom again last Friday when the World Languages Department spent the day at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in their Curriculum Planning class. My notes are below.

Here is a video, taken from the "Design Thinking for Educators" site:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Teach Siri To Stop Saying Your Contact Names Like a Robot

OK, so Siri is not quite as sophisticated as, say, Scarlett Johansson’s robot character in Her. Sometimes, in fact, she has some trouble pronouncing your name, or your friend’s name.
That’s a problem, but Siri can learn new things! In fact, a little-known feature in iOS7 allows you to verbally educate Siri on how to say the names of your contacts. - Alyssa Bereznak
Here’s how you do it:


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Using Google Forms as Exit Tickets

I recently tried using a Google Form as an exit ticket in my ECJ: India class.  As we finished reading a book on various women's issues in India, I wanted a quick, easy way to check if the students were able to apply the concepts of Catholic Social Teaching to what they had learned about discrimination against women in India.  I created a two question Google Form and embedded it in myMitty.
After the students responded to the questions, I opened a link to the results on myMitty and instructed the students to review what other students had written.  This was a quick way for students to synthesize information and begin a discussion on the topics.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Do you have a younger one at home? Here's another way you can use guided access...

"There comes a time in your life when you must hand your beloved smartphone over to the slimy fingers of a young child who has asked to play Zombie Farm.
And while you may not have any control over whether your phone is sneezed on, buried in sand or dropped, you can at the very least make sure the little beast isn’t running up your Candy Crush tab or texting gibberish to your crush." -Alyssa Bereznak  
Here’s how you lock the screen of your iPhone using guided access so it functions in one app and one app only.