Tag Archives: michael gorman

Part 2 … The Google Advanced Search.. Uncover Awesome Searching Secrets For Teaching And Learning

Welcome to the second post in my  Googal In Google Series giving an in depth view of the Google Advanced Search Engine. In this second of a three part posting, I will cover some great techniques many people do not know or seldom use in the Google Advanced Search As always,  feel free to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or email, follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), and also discover some great resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki!  You will also find my other postings at Tech and Learning Magazine. Also please mark November 30, at 7PM on your calendar. I will be presenting a free webinar about MIT’s free program, Scratch, in conjunction with Discovery Education. Please click here to learn even more! Now let’s advance our knowledge in using the Google Advanced Search!  Have a great week – Mike

In the last posting we checked out some of those tools that can be used in the Advanced Search to teach students how to better use the basic search. That’s right, use an advanced tool in order to simplify the basic. If I got your interest, then check out the last post.  In this post, I will cover four important tools that will provide students more focused research, and teachers amazing new resources… read on! I am sure you may discover some interesting ways to implement these valuable techniques. I will introduce these resources one tool at a time.

Results Per Page

OK, no big deal but by using this tool you will have less need to hit the enter button.  You may find yourself using the scroll down just a little more. Please note in the image below that you are allowed up to 100 results a page.


Time to get a little more interesting. Perhaps you want to find an article or website written in a foreign language. Perfect fit if you are teaching foreign language or social studies. Note that there is a drop down menu that allows you to scroll, revealing over 45 languages.

This really can be a lot of fun. For instance, I look up Apple Computer in Simple Chinese.  I get pretty awesome results as displayed below. Notice that I can even translate the pages. This allows me to get a primary source of a current event, or even past events, right from the area of origin.. I may not understand the language, but I can translate it back to English! Think of the lessons that could incorporate this idea involving relevancy and engagement for twenty-first century learners.

Also note that when landing on a foreign language page there is often a language translation tool at the top. As a side note, Google provides a great Language Tool in fine print next to the Google Basic Search EngineTake a look!

File Type

This is one of my personal favorites in the Google Advanced Search. In a typical search Google is finding HTML Web Pages. Some of the real neat stuff is buried hundreds of pages beyond those first pages of returns. This includes files such as Power Points, Google Earth Files, PDF Files, Excel Spreadsheets, Word Documents, and even Flash Files!

Looking for a great educational Power Point on Mars… enter Mars in the search box and select Microsoft Powerpoint (.ppt) as the File Type. Your return pages will be Power Points that have something to do with Mars. How about a 3d Journey of Rome using Google Earth? Enter Rome 3D in the Search Box and Google Earth KML or KMZ in the File Type Box! Not only will this method help your students, it will also allow you to find some pretty awesome resources to engage students in their learning!

Search Within A Domain Or Site

This is a very valuable tool in helping narrow down a topic and drill down within a domain or site. By putting in a domain name, the search will be limited to only sites within that domain. Perhaps information such as state populations maybe best found in a government doc.  Then the domain gov would be put in this Search Within box. Domains can lead the searcher to areas that they feel may be most reliable or supply information that compliments their research.

Domains include: gov – government, org – organization, com – commercial enterprises, int – international, edu – higher education, k12 – public schools, mil – military

The Search Within also allows the user to specify a web site to search, including all the pages within that web site. An example may be searching for moon exploration. In this case the user may place nasa.gov in the Search Within box. Perhaps a video at Youtube would require the searcher to put youtube.com in the Search Within box.

Combining Advanced Search Techniques

The image above represents a search that  has been constructed to find an Excel Document from the US Census Department in regards to state populations. This would require the Exact Phrase state population, with a File Type of (Microsoft Excel .xls), and a search within of http://www.census.gov. Your return may look much like this. See image below.

As you can see, there is so much we can teach our students about finding valuable resources on the internet. The tools in the Advanced Google Search allow students to not just find valuable materials, but to engage in a reflective thinking process necessary for proper research. The Google Advanced Search really does provide an avenue to go beyond the searching basics by providing students a resource to not just retrieve great information, but learn how to find it along the way!

Thanks for joining me in this second article uncovering the Google Advanced Search. Feel free to print this and use it with your students. Please share this posting URL with other educators and encourage them to subscribe! Be on the lookout for my next Google Advanced  Search Post that will take advanced searching one step further. Also prepare yourself for my Evaluating a Web Page Series. Please take a moment to comment and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email, share with others, and as always follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Please remember to join me at Discovery Education for my webinar entitled Learn, Create, and Innovate with Scratch. Until next time… transform, educate, and inspire! – Mike


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Changes At Glogster… Great Info and Links For All Levels Of Users

First there were Blogs, then even Phlogs, and of course there are Glogs. While many educators are aware of Glogster, they may not know of the changes that have come and are coming to this awesome tool.  The basic edition is still free, although there is even a change coming to the free edition. As always,  feel free to subscribe to this Blog by RSS or email, follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), and also discover some great resources at my 21centuryedtech Wiki!  You will also find my postings at Tech and Learning Magazine. Now lets take a moment to check out some good gab from Glogster! – Have a great week – Mike

OK, I Am New – What is Glogster? (Or, Just Skip Down To Next Bold Heading  Because  You And Your Students Are Already Glogging)

What do you get when you mix up the whole genre of  multimedia, smack it into a blog, and then artistically arrange it into an awesome interactive on-line poster. The results as all of you may know is a Glog, made popular by the people at Glogster!  The benefits of using Glogster in the education include the opportunity for students to use a dynamic, multi-sensory learning program that fulfills Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, enables standards mastery, provides differentiated instruction and so much more. Are you a newbie to Glogster, or just want to get your class started?  Then be sure to visit Glogster EDU, because that is where the free sign up resides for educators. What are the educational benefits of Glogster?  First, students can become engaged in any curriculum by  creating a Glog (interactive poster). Let your lesson plans run wild! It could be a book review, a science fair project,  a biography of a famous person, a timeline, or an interactive report on anything! Perhaps you wish to work on the 21st Century Skill involving collaboration. Then start a class project Glog involving a project based learning activity or a unit of study!  Glogster allows for school-level teacher management of students and classes claiming a private and safe student environment.  Glogster really does allow for engagement of students in fun and creative activities which can be aligned to national educational standards along with those ever-important ISTE NET-S Standards. Take a moment and make your own test Glog and then more importantly, sign up!

The First Big Change … 50 Reasons To Sign Up Now For A Free Educational Glogster Account!

The free Educational Glogster Account allows teachers to create accounts for 100 student users! Beginning in November 2010 Glogster is lowering the number of student accounts to 50 per teacher. Sign up now and you have 50 more student accounts then in November. That really is 50 reasons to get a Glogster Edu Free account Now!

Most Gloster Changes Are In The Premium Account… And They Look Not Only Good… But Great!

OK, not everything is free… although the free version of Glogster really is pretty amazing! If your school or classroom wants to step its Glogging experience up a notch then you may want to investigate Glogster Premium For Education.  In addition to the Free Version’s 100 student accounts, student account management, comment management, profiles management, and a public for all feature; Glogster Premium For Education includes a host of extra features. Some of these include direct teacher access to student work and nicknames  along with classroom, project, and assessment management resources. There are also tools for presentations, portfolios, and class messaging.

The Other Changes!

On September 15, 2010  edu.glogster.com launched a new product interface and partnerships that will now allow teachers to share students and projects with each other at the school level. As part of this new solution, teachers and students can now be interconnected in a school-based educational network enabling them to work on collaborative cross-curricular projects within dynamic teacher accounts. Teachers can even share students with other teachers, create class projects, construct engaging homework assignments, and encourage the building of student portfolios.  Glog presentations can be produced by teachers and students and better yet,  teachers can invite students to participate in projects at the school-level as well as expanded classroom activities. Glogster claims these changes allow for a real school virtual environment, but in a safe, online setting. Martin Santorcl, Co-Founder & Product Director at Glogster states, “Our new Portfolio & Presentation features allow educators to file and sort many Glogs in one Digital Glog Book. This is the next step for digital literacy because now schools can easily create curriculum utilizing appropriate interactive multimedia books and then archive them for future teaching.

Still More Changes… Glogster Has Also Enlisted New Partners

Are your students  creating wikis? In its latest integrative application, Wikispaces users can now add a Glog to their wikis with one click from any Glogster EDU account. Now teachers, students, librarians, and other educators can make their Wikis even more powerful, and do it with ease. Are you an Edmodo user?  Glogster EDUcators can now move their Glogs into their Edmodo live feed clicking the  button under each Glog (“Edmodo this Glog”). This allows educators to easily showcase their multimedia content.

Ten Glogster Links To Check Out

Glogster Education Resource Library – The Glogster EDU Educator Resource Library is a 29 page PDF document of outstanding examples of Glogsterlesson plans and rubrics, standards alignment activities, and Glog building media resources. It has been built by and for the Glogster community of educators.

Glogopedia – The very best of educational Glogs. A great place to get inspired  and create Glogs to be used in the classroom and activities for students.

Glog Categories – Check out thousands of Glogs by subject. A lot of wonderful ideas reside in these teacher and student works.

Certified EDU Glog Ambassador – Are you already working hard teaching students to Glog and providing Glog expertise to other professionals? Take a look at this program with a lot of perks, including a free premium upgrade!

The G Lab – Great place to share your Glog Experience while learning from others.

Glogster Tutorial – A great five minute tutorial for educators on how to set up an educator account and use Glogster by Traci Blazosky

Discovery Education On Glogster – Great short tutorial presented by Discovery’s Steve Dembo and company.

Adding Video and Audio To Glogster – Short tutorial video on using open source Camstudio to import video and audio into Glogster.

ABC News – An excellent news story on Glogster

Make A Virtual Science Fair – A fantastic way to use Glogster to create a Digital Science Fair project using Glogster.

Hope I was able to provide some new Glogster information for those just starting and those pro gloggers!  While I am a free user, I will saving my pennies to invest in that Premium Account.  Be on the look out for my Advanced Google Search and my Evaluating a Web Page Series. You can also find a variety of my postings under Blogs at Tech & Learning Magazine. Take a moment to leave a comment and also subscribe to this blog by RSS or email, share with others, and as always follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). See you soon and happy Glogging! – Mike


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Free Quality Multimedia Resources … Learn and Create In The Teachers’ Domain!

Welcome to the fourth in a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. Summer is a  perfect time to examine what you just might want to include in next year’s lesson plans that will engage your students. I plan to share resources that will cover all the curricular areas. Each article will give an in-depth and informative visit to one of these sites. Make sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share! If it is not summer where you are, then you can jump right in and facilitate learning with some new material  tomorrow. I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans) so be sure to follow. – Mike

Teachers’ Domain definitley qualifies as a mega site from the people at PBS station WGBH in Boston. As described on the website it really is “an online library of more than 1,000 free media resources from the best in public television. These classroom resources, featuring media from NOVA, Frontline, Design Squad, American Experience, and other public broadcasting and content partners are easy to use and correlate to state and national standards.” Resources include video and audio segments, Flash interactives, images, documents, lesson plans for teachers, and student-oriented activities. Teachers can personalize the site using “My Folders” and “My Groups” to save resources into a folder and share them with your other teachers or their students. Some of the resources even allow downloading and remixing for teacher mash up presentations. There is a strong effort at integrating lessons with technology to engage student learning.

Educators will excited to find that the site contains even more then countless amazing and engaging videos. On entering Teachers’s Domain there is an area set up for K12 curriculum. In this area teachers can find lessons devoted to Arts, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The Arts reveals multiple resources and lessons exploring dance, music, theater and the visual arts.  Investigate the power of language in the English Language Arts Section!  This collection of video segments, activities and engaging lesson plans focuses on literacy skills for early childhood readers through high school students. Best of all these resources correlate to state and national English Language Arts standards. Students can become a  math whiz with a wonderful collection of Mathematics resources! This new and expanding collection of media resources  explore main concepts in elementary mathematics and correlate to educational standards. Broaden you and your students  knowledge of science content and effective inquiry-based methodologies.  The Science area  offers over 1,500 media resources in science, engineering, and technology as well as standards-based professional development courses. This area is certainly worthy of its own blog posting by itself! The Social Studies area allows classrooms to journey back in time and around the globe! This ever growing collection of video segments, activities and lesson plans  brings alive selected topics in U.S. and world history and also correlates to state and national standards.

Teacher Domain also provides avenues towards professional development. Educators can even earn continuing education credits and college credit. Check out Teachers’ Domain Professional Development area that offers K-12 teachers new ways to inspire students, broaden content knowledge, and integrate technology into classrooms. Especially interesting is an area devoted to teaching strategies. This contains awesome videos covering English Language Arts,  Innovative StrategiesIntegrating TechnologyScienceMedia ResourcesGuides/Tutorials/ Workshops, and  Professional Development Activities.

I believe this next paragraph could be invaluable as a free resource. I want to introduce you to some of the awesome collection of public media series filled with great videos, lessons, and activities found at Teachers’ Doman. Explore the links I have included for some great resources. You will be amazed! NOVA on Teachers’ Domain is the most popular science series on public television while  podcasts about science are available from PRI’s The World . Discoverd epic stories about Americas past and present that will engage students at American Experience,  and check out a collection of adventures and history lessons from Antiques Roadshow that will provide some amazing adventures in history detective work. For early readers Between The Lions has twenty great clips or engage students with Cyberchase the Emmy-winning math mystery show. You may wish to study immigration using Faces Of America or meet America’s most extraordinary young musicians aged 8 to 18 at From The Top. Any course that includes current events and debate should include Frontline, and science classes will enjoy the powerful documentaries found at Nature, along with the fast-paced, innovative, and entertaining science program featuring timely science and technology stories entitled Nova Science Now. Students can also follow the life and contributions of Percy Julian, and explore the power of language while building reading and writing skills using video segments drawn from the Poetry Everywhere series. Your students can gain awareness and understanding of the diversity of religions and religious experiences by viewing Religion and Ethics and will appreciate the workings of the US judicial system from The Supreme Court. Last, enrich the study of Global History by using contemporary examples as jumping-off points to engage students with historical themes that were as relevant in the past as they are today through the integration of Wide Angle.

Just when you may think you have discovered all of the resources there are other amazing links which I know you will find valuable. Students can explore 21st Century careers at ATE or discover a unique Alaska’s Native perspective on earth and climate. There is also an area devoted to Native American perspective on global warming at Where Worlds Touch The Earth. There are resources on  Biotechnology, and students can explore Cool Careers in Science,   or study impacts of Global Climate Change and Warming. Watch participants in the National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers program, (ITEST), as they learn science by doing it. Check out some early age literacy at Literacy 360 or take a moment to inspire some Middle School Literacy. Explore themes in science, literacy and language arts, fine arts, and social studies through the perspective of culturally diverse communities in these resources from the Education Through Art, Culture, and History (ECHO) initiative. The Civil Rights Collection provides archival news footage, primary sources, and interview segments filmed for Eyes on the Prize, this collection captures the voices, images, and events of the Civil Rights movement and the ongoing struggle for racial equality in America. Learn about the Arctic, the Antarctic, and why scientists are so interested in studying Earth’s polar regions by visiting Polar Sciences Collection. Students can learn about personal finance with this collection of video resources, interactive games and lesson plans at the The Citi Collection for Financial Capability. My favorite, encourages students to create their own multimedia using Building Blocks,which are short downloadable video segments that students can edit and embed into their own presentations.

While you are at Teachers’ Domain check out some of their local links. You will find great resources such as Keystone eMedia, an outstanding KQED Science Media Collection, resources from the Ohio Collection Of Digital Media, and this Teacher’s Guide designed to help you make optimum use of video in your classroom. Teachers’ Domain is currently converting video to full screen. They also offer tutorials for teachers using  Teachers’ Domain in the classroom. They include topics such as Introduction to TDUsing TD in the Classroom,Technology Guide to Using TDUsing Folders and Groups, andCreating User-Generated Media. You may also wish to check out this promotional video to learn even more, then register for your free account! Be sure to read more about Teachers’ Domain including its mission, contributors, and usage policy. Possibly the best feature of Teachers’ Domain is that it has been constructed to integrate in and across curriculum while allowing teachers to use the important video segments for teachable moments. It incorporates lessons that are engaging and provides opportunities to not just consume the technology but to also create. It really is time for you to explore and incorporate Teachers’ Domain as part of your 21st Century Classroom!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as Teachers’ Domain this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! I will continue to bring thought, reflection, and amazing web apps along with this summer series. Please share with others, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki, follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply!  Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike


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NCAA Bracketology: Classroom Lessons Never Taught. It’s Madness!

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Welcome to a midweek post with my mix of educational ideas with the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It is amazing the impact that the NCAA tournament has on students. In this reflection I would like to share a story and dream about educational transformation.  We must learn to put into practice some of the best lessons never taught!

It was twenty minutes before the first school bell would ring, signifying the beginning of another day of learning. Students were beginning to enter and fill the classroom.  There was air of extreme excitement as the teacher looked from nook to corner. It was a typical room filled with students, desks, chairs, and a few computers. This morning seemed to be different from the others. The teacher stood perplexed, in awe of an  amazing event that was beginning to unfold. Students were using computers and  printers to produce what appeared to be a complicated worksheet. Some kids were on the floor while others were seated at tables eagerly filling the paper out! Their eyes were filled with inquiry and enthusiasm as they completed the graphical sheet from top to bottom! It was definitely a worksheet experience like no other the teacher had ever witnessed! Upon closer inspection the teacher realized the students had searched for and found the new NCAA Basketball Brackets.

The teacher watched students engaged in a true spirit of collaboration, as they learned from each other some interesting facts about various college teams. Geography was a main topic, as students discovered using Google Maps, the location of various universities. The teacher could hear students compare and contrast strengths and weakness of the various competitors, while others children used mathematics to perform some comparative scoring.  There was a massive research symposium, as students looked on the internet to find out what the experts of the newly found science of “Bracketology” thought!  Some students came to the teacher ready to present their reasoning for their selections and amazingly showcased their persuasion skills. Any observer would have been amazed by the thought, creativity, and reflections that the students were able to share. It appeared that that the students were in control of this special learning experience. They had created their own lesson with an engagement based on their interest in the real world. It was much like watching a game of neighborhood baseball long before the advent of sanctioned  leagues and teams.

The twenty minutes were soon past as the bell  rang, and announced yet another day of learning. The Brackets Papers were put away, while the room came to a silent halt. Students left their collaborative groups and sat in their individual seats. They pulled out a worksheet, some only half filled out, assigned  from the day before. The teacher initiated a lecture entitled ” Making Predictions Using Compare and Contrast”. The students  appeared to listen as they took notes. After all this was an important standard to be repeated for a test. What a change the bell had made.  The March of Madness was over.  It was now a time to learn!

Thanks for joining me on another reflection of 21st Century Learning! Please take a moment and follow me on Twitter (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we will learn from one another. You are also welcome to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with free and amazing resources. As you make your pick for the NCAA Basketball Tournament make sure the real winner is your facilitation of 21st century educational transformation! Put the kids in center court!  Please feel free to leave any comments and have a great week – Mike


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It’s Free – Intel Provides An Amazing Tool To Assess 21st Century Skills


“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler an American futurist.

This quote found on the front page of the Intel’s Assessing Project Tool web site gives a foundation  and premise for Intel’s  free educational resource . For those trying to assess 21century skills, this site provides some practical tools and resources to answer this question. Not only does Intel provide a unique interface to construct a rubric, it includes theory, rational, best practices, and outstanding examples. It is more then an assessment tool, if used correctly it allows teacher’s to truely transform their practice using a planning process that starts with the end and involves on-going assessment. Please take a moment to read over my review and explore the links that will highlight some of the outstanding attitibutes of this site. As always, take a moment to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki .  If you have 21century skill assessment practices to share please post a reply or send an email. I enjoy reading and make it a practice to answer each and every e-mail. – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

The biggest question I get from teachers when conducting workshops on technology integration and 21st century skills remains, “How do you assess the 21st century skills?”  While it is important to make sure content standards are integrated and assessed in student projects, many times the 21st century skills are loosely incorporated and assessed . This leaves students often confused with the attempted integration of  21st century skill, resulting in a goal never achieved. Once again, as most research suggests, it is important that all projects are designed with the end in mind. The conclusion includes both content standards, and the 21st century skills that are to be acheived by students. This end, is a part of the planning process that is communicated to students in the form of a rubric. The rubric must act as a guide while students engage with the project’s on-going process.

This preparation can be time consuming for the educator, which is why I invite you to explore Intel Education’s Assessing Projects Tool. I am a long time fan of the Intel Thinking  Tools. I am just as impressed with the Assessing  Projects Tool.  Intel states, “When assessment drives instruction, students learn more and become more confident, self-directed learners. Assessing Projects helps teachers create assessments that address 21st century skills and provides strategies to make assessment an integral part of their teaching and help students understand content more deeply, think at higher levels, and become self-directed learners”.

The site overview page  gives the benefits of assessing projects, numerous references and authoritive writings,  and some outstanding assessment based websites  based on 21st century education. Learn more about the purpose of assessment, various assessments that go beyond tests, papers, and oral presentations, and how formative assessment which is continuous and ongoing promotes real achievement. Additionally, while higher-order thinking such as critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and metacognition, can be a challenge. this tool explores methods for assessing thinking. Last, this tool explores what components are necessary for successful assessment in a school.

Intel gives you the opportunity to Try It.  Here you can try a Demo to explore the Assessment Library and examine checklists, rubrics, and scoring guides on thinking skills, processes, products, and performances. There is also a video tutorial that allows you to see how features of the Assessing Projects application work in the classroom. You can also view a great animation of the process which helps simplify the process. Explore some example project assessment forms for both the elementary and secondary level. Intel states that assessment strategies can be broken into five main categories. While not all methods within a category are needed, all categories should be included in an assessment plan. The categories included are Strategies for Gauging Student Needs ,  Strategies for Encouraging Self-Direction and Collaboration,  Strategies for Monitoring ProgressStrategies for Checking for Understanding and Encouraging Metacognition,  and Strategies for Demonstrating Understanding and Skill. There is also an area that describes the planning of assessment, the changing of assessment strategies, and some sample lesson plans complete with timeline of project, venn diagram, table, and assessment timeline. I find it useful to use the large selection of pre-made rubics and modify and save them to my Intel Work Space. From here they can be exported as a Word or Excel file.

In conclusion, Intel offers a top of the line tool that is free to educators. There are other tools which I will explore in future posts but I do suggest that anyone exploring assessment of 21st century skills take a look at the Intel Assessing Projects Tool for its ease of use, vast resources of information,  on-line productivity, and theory behind practice. While it acts as a rubric machine, it goes much farther by transtorming educational practice. Please feel free to email or post. I am interested in learning about other tools available for 21st century assessment.  While taking your journey in 21st century education, please visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)



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