Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Math goodies

This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Annual Conference of the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State.  Yes - me and Math.  This conference gave me the opportunity to gain some skills in the "new" math (yes, I did number bonds!) and gather some terrific resources, including websites and apps.  Below is a list of links that I think will provide you with some cool new FREE tools.  If you'd like to use the apps, please let me know and I can load them on either our ipads or ideapads.  Email me or come see me for details on how to reserve these items and load the apps.  Many of the websites also have app versions.  Check 'em out!

Cool Tech Tools for Math

Desmos Graphing Calculator - Lesson idea : Graph your name!  Includes an activity bank.
Hotmath - FREE math textbooks, review exercises, lessons and more.

Kahoot  - Create, play and share fun learning games for any subject, for all ages, for free!
Quizizz - Multiplayer quizzes for any age.
Braingenie - AWESOME tool for students to build deep mastery and sharpen problem-solving skills.  Students learn, practice and compete in real-time.
Plickers - "simple tool that lets teachers collect real-time formative assessment data without the need for student devices"
Flubaroo - Simple, free way to create and grade assignments online.  

Khan Academy - "Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Our math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. We've also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content."

Edpuzzle - Import, edit, create interactive video lessons.  Super tool for the flipped classroom.  I'm going to try this one myself!

Blendspace - Use Blendspace to create lessons and assessments that include a variety of digital resources.

Rekenrek and Number Rack apps - Excellent manipulative number line tool for younger elementary students.

13 Rules That Expire - Article by the National Council of Mathematics Teachers on math rules that eventually expire

Friday, August 28, 2015

Create, Invent, Learn in the library!

This year we hope to make the library a true hub for student creativity and ingenuity!  Please stop in as the year progresses to visit our new "makerspace," a space for students to experiment and create with a variety of technologies.

If you are not familiar, makerspaces are: "creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. In libraries they often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools, and more."

The LCS makerspace will focus at first on basic computer programming (SCRATCH and other object oriented languages) with small programmable robots attached to computers.  Students are invited to come to the library to experiment with programming, create with photoshop, and invent their own creative projects.  We will also be working with classroom teachers to provide creative Science challenges for students.  If you have ideas or supplies, we are really looking forward to hearing from you.  We will also be borrowing the BOCES 3D printer for students to experiment with.  We will not have craft or hardware supplies at this time.  Ours will be focused on technology.

This space will be a slow work in progress.  Students must be "into" inventing and working quietly in the area set aside for creating.  Please see library staff for information on passes to the library for makerspace activities.  We will also have a programming station in the elementary library for students to develop programming skills.

We hope these spaces grow and become school-wide collaborative places for students to experiment and invent.  

See you all next week and welcome back!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Movie Licensing, USA

Our school district has recently purchased a Public Performance Site License through Movie Licensing, USA which puts us in full copyright compliance in terms of showing copyrighted films within the school building.  Without this license, federal copyright law prohibits teachers and schools from showing films unless the following applies:

Rented or Purchased Movies May Be Played By Teachers Without a License

Section 110(1) of Title 17 of the United States Code grants a specific exemption from the copyright laws for:
performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance, or the display of individual images, is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made under this title, and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made ....
Q:  What can we do now that we couldn't do before?
A:  Without this license, we are limited to only showing films in the classroom if they are directly related to instruction.  With this license, we can now show films during:
  • Family Movie Nights
  • Before/After School Programs
  • Staffing Emergencies/Substitute Teachers
  • Last Days of School
  • Student Rewards for Academics, Attendance and Good Behavior
  • Lunch Hour Control
  • Rainy/Snow Days
  • Indoor Recess
  • Children's Entertainment during Parent Meetings
  • Safe Prom/Graduation
  • Holiday Events
  • Scout and Club Meetings
  • Lock-Ins
  • Dances
  • Assemblies
  • Idle Periods during State Testing
  • Summer Camps
  • Film & Foreign Language Clubs
  • Student Council Activities
Q:  What can't we do?
A: We can never charge admission to see a film.  However, we can show a film during a fundraising activity in which we ask for donations.  We also cannot advertise through public media (radio, TV, website) the movie title or studio name.

Q: Can we stream videos from Netflix or other streaming sources and show them in the classroom?
A: SEE website at University Libraries
Without this license, no we cannot.  With this license, we can use movies that are slated for home use only.  Please see the library staff if you have a question as to whether a movie is a legal copy.

 Q: Which studios are we licensed to show?
A: A lot!  See below.  Also, visit the Movie Licensing USA webpage. 

Q: What does "legally obtained copy" of the movie mean?
A: Well, generally copies (burning on your computer, etc) you make of movies are not legally obtained.  Also, movies you rent or stream through a personal account are not for distribution or viewing in a classroom.  However, this license does support using Home Use Only movies.