Tag Archives: instructional technology

Digital Citizenship and Scratch

digital citizenship Scratch

There are so many great things about Scratch: it teaches programming skills to kids, it’s fun and easy, and it’s free! Another fantastic feature is the Scratch online community. Students can browse completed projects, try tutorials, create interactive media, share, get feedback, learn from others, participate in discussion forums, and more! A bonus spinoff of this learning community is that students build essential digital citizenship skills as they interact with other Scratch programmers.

Scratch can be used offline, but there are so many benefits to joining the creative online community of Scratchers! If you are interested in digital citizenship and coding, TechnoCode has programming lessons that are the perfect fit.

Starter Projects

digital citizenship and Scratch

Scratch has an extensive gallery of sample animations, games, interactive art, music, and stories. New users are encouraged to view them, look at the basic code, and modify them. The code often has tips that explain what it does. Suggestions are given for what can be changed: add sprites to a story, devise more obstacles for a game, or add sound effects. This is a great way for students to create their own unique project yet experience success early in their learning.

Look at the Code

digital citizenship see inside

The See Inside button allows you to view the programming of a project. You can see how someone else’s project works, figure out the blocks needed to create a specific effect, add part of a project to your backpack, or remix it and save it as a new project.

Tutorials

Users new to Scratch can follow step-by-step, animated tutorials to make a project. Alternatively, download a set of illustrated, colorful activity cards and print them for easy to follow instructions.

Remix

The motto of Scratch is Imagine, Program, Share. Budding programmers can learn by downloading and modifying the work of others. Check out how many remixes there are of a sample project in the gallery – sometimes there are over 100 different versions of the original!

When it is uploaded, the remix of another creator’s project automatically gives credit to the original author and any others who contributed to it. Students are also encouraged to write something like “Based on […] by […]” Or “Thanks to […] for […]” In the Project Notes. Citing the source is an essential skill that students must master in any research work. Learning to acknowledge an author and avoiding plagiarism is a critical part of fostering sound digital citizenship.

Build Key Personal Skills

As young people learn to program, they learn to be innovative, build logical and computational thinking, and work collaboratively. These are all important life skills as well as fundamental competencies for the careers of the future.

Foster Digital Citizenship

Using the Scratch online community, students share their work, ask for help, exchange ideas and projects, and collaborate. As students view the work of others, they can click a star to ‘favorite a project’, click a heart to ‘love a project’, or leave a comment. This support boosts the concept of a community of creators who are working together and who encourage one another.

There’s also a set of Scratch Community Guidelines, a brief outline of common sense standards:

  • Be respectful
  • Be constructive
  • Share
  • Keep personal info private
  • Be honest
  • Help keep the site friendly

As students are building programming skills, Scratch can also help them to develop safe and responsible online practices.

Promote Digital Citizenship with Scratch Coding Lessons

TechnoCode, is a Scratch project with activities that emphasize digital citizenship. Lessons include instructions that guide students to share Scratch projects appropriately. Teach how to give credit to peers when remixing, cite the source of external resources, and comment responsibly. Moreover, their are many collaborative learning opportunities.

digital citizenship and Scratch

Teach digital citizenship by joining the Scratch community. Lessons in TechnoCode promote responsible behavior.

Why Students Should Use Presenter View in PowerPoint 1

presentation view

Are you or your students giving a PowerPoint presentation using a projector? Do you have speaker notes on the slides to which you would like to refer? Presenter View is a great feature in PowerPoint 2016 that allows the audience to see only the slide on a large screen while the presenter can see the slide, speaker notes, navigation icons, and even pen and laser pointer tools on their computer screen.

Few people are completely comfortable with speaking to a group. But having the tools to refer to notes, appear self-assured, and present a slide show competently will boost anyone’s confidence.

How to ‘Test’ Presenter View

Turn on Presenter View without being connected to a projector to test it.

  1. View slide 1 of a PowerPoint 2016 presentation. Click Slide Show in the taskbar.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, click Slide Show Options.
  3. Click Show Presenter View.
  4. If this does not work and you just see the slide, click Display Settings. Select Swap Presenter View and Slide Show.
presenter view

You will see the slide, the next slide that will appear (or next animation), speaker notes and a number of useful presenter tools.

Presenter View Features

Presenter View is an enhanced version of viewing the slide show. You see much more than just the slides, and the extra tools are helpful in giving a professional, effective presentation.

  • Navigation Buttons – Advance to the next slide or animation or go to the previous slide using the arrows.
  • Speaker Notes – Refer to your notes as a reminder of what you wanted to say for the slide. You can even change the font size of the notes while in Presenter View using the text tools at the bottom of the notes pane.
  • Next Slide – See a preview of the next slide, or if you have animations to control the flow of information, see what will appear next.
  • Tools – Direct the attention of the audience with a laser pointer, pen, or highlighter. You can change the pen color and erase as well.
  • Zoom – Use the magnifying glass tool to zoom into a specific part of the slide to draw the attention of the audience to it.
  • See All Slides – If there is a question period at the end or your presentation, or if you need to quickly go to another slide, use this tool to see a thumbnail of all slides.
  • Timer – Track how long you have been presenting the slide show. If the presentation is on a time limit, refer to this useful tool to time the slide show.

In my next post, I’ll list some of the benefits of using Presenter View with students to build public speaking skills and make their presentations engaging and compelling for their peers.

Teach Presentation Skills

technopresenter

Power up a presentation, teach essential research skills, and build public speaking techniques with TechnoPresenter technology project. Integrate this project into an area of the curriculum using any topic of study. This project is suitable for student in junior and middle school grades. Learn more about TechnoPresenter here.

PDF Adobe Acrobat Reader and TechnoKids Projects

TechnoKids Teacher Guides and Student Workbooks are in PDF format. Which PDF reader will you use to view the documents? There are lots of free and paid PDF readers but you may already have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. If not, it’s a free download. Follow the link at the end of this blog to download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

You can use Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and read files, but it has some additional features that allow you to comment, or annotate, the PDF document. Often TechnoKids assignments ask students to fill in the blanks, write a planner, complete a quiz, or check items in a checklist. With the tools in Adobe Reader, these questions can be answered digitally, a bonus for the paperless classroom. TechnoKids even includes separate digital copies of every assignment so that students can easily complete and track their work electronically.

Watch an Adobe Acrobat Reader video.

pdf and video

Here are step-by-step instructions to use Adobe Acrobat Reader to open PDF files and use the tools to add notes or comments.

Open the File in Adobe Reader

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. From the File menu, pick Open.
  3. Go to the place where you saved the TechnoKids assignments. Choose Assignment 1 and click Open.
  4. Find a place where an answer or annotation is needed – a blank to fill in, a checklist to complete, a multiple choice review, or other question.
  5. In the pane on the right side of the window, pick Comment. A commenting toolbar appears at the top of the screen. Use the tools to draw freehand or type with the keyboard.

Draw Free Form

Use this tool to make a checkmark, circle, line, or whatever you need to draw.

  1. Select the pencil, called Draw free form. Draw Free Form
  2. Click the Color Picker and choose a color.
  3. Click Line Thickness and drag the slider to choose a width.
  4. Click and drag on the document.

Draw Free Form

Add a Text Box

This method adds a text box with an outline.

  1. Select Add text box. adobe acrobat reader
  2. Click in the document where the text box is to be placed. A box appears.
  3. Type the answer. Press the ESC key or click outside the box when finished.
  4. To adjust the placement of the text box, drag it to position.
  5. Use the Color Picker to change the border or fill color of the box.

textbox

Add Text Without a Text Box

Use this tool if you want just text with no box outline.

  1. Select Add text comment. add text comment
  2. Click in the document and begin typing.
  3. To format the words, select the text and use the Text Properties tools that appear: font, size, color, and line spacing.
  4. Press ESC or click away from the text.
  5. If necessary, move the words by dragging.

text

Save Your Work

  1. From the File menu, click Save As.
  2. Go to the place where you save your work. (You may want to organize your files by creating a subfolder with the name of the project.)
  3. Click Save.
  4. Close Adobe Reader.

Open and Continue Working

  1. Open Adobe Reader.
  2. Double click on the document listed in the main window, or click Open in the File menu.
  3. Click Comment in the pane on the right. Notice that there is a list of the annotations made in the last session, together with the tool used.
  4. To make changes – edit, format, or delete – click on any comment in the list to select it.
  5. Continue to fill in any answers.
  6. When finished, click Save to overwrite the previous work.

Be sure to have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the updated features. Download it here.

TechnoPresenter is a technology project animating a presentationto build public speaking skills with elementary and middle school students. Students use the digital workbook to answer questions and follow instructions. They create a slide show on a topic of their choice, add speaker notes, and then present to their peers. Read more about TechnoPresenter here.

8 Free Sound Libraries for Schools

sound librariesLooking for music or sound effects to enhance a digital project? Here are some sites offering free downloads that are legal for use in any educational, non-commercial application.
Caution: Some sound collections may contain sounds inappropriate for school use. Discuss with students before using these libraries to confirm their understanding of suitable content.

SoundBible

  • comprehensive list of free sound effects, download in wav or mp3 format
  • may contain sounds not appropriate for school use

Flash Kit

  • has search feature, an easy index to browse through, and lists length of sound
  • it is not obvious how to download – right click the sound and pick Save As

Free Sound Effects.com

  • download button is clear, there is a choice of mp3 or wav
  • even though there are better quality “Pro Sound Effects” to purchase, the list of “Free Sound Effects” is on the first page – scroll down to see them

freeSFX

  • searchable, lists sound length, download button is obvious
  • only mp3 sound format

SeaWorld Animal Sounds

  • safe for young children, click on the animal image to hear the sound or click on the name to see animal facts
  • limited choice, must right click to download

Freeplay Music

  • music is free for use in education, high quality, can search by music mood
  • must create an account and login to download

Partners in Rhyme

  • huge collection, scroll down to Free Resources to find Free Sound Effects or Free Royalty Free Music
  • easy to confuse free downloads with Royalty Free Music which must be purchased

Free Music Archive

  • library of free legal audio downloads, can search by genre, preview and download buttons are clear and easy to see
  • length of music and size file are not listed

sound library