3 excellent sources of free images for school use

Websites for finding images

3 sources of images

There are lots of websites for finding images online. Here are three of my favourite for use with students, and in your own work.

  1. Photos for Class  – this is my favourite site, especially for use with children in lower elementary school. The images are safe for school use, and the citation is embedded in the image. You can even embed Photos for Class right into your class website so that it’s easy for your students to find and use.
  2.  Unsplash– this website exists through the generosity of creators, who allow their images to be used completely free. Citations are appreciated but not required. There are some photos that may be racy for younger children, but a quick search with some key words did not reveal any pornography.
  3. The Noun Project – this site has images for every noun, which is especially useful for teachers. An account is required, as are citations.

Classroom Use

These sites are appropriate for all grade levels. Share it with students by e-mail, through posters or on a class website.

For the elementary classroom, I suggest that you download the poster and put it in your classroom. Students can scan the QR code to quickly access any of the websites without having to type in the address. You can also take the opportunity to teach children to bookmark the websites. If you have iOS 11, you can scan the QR code with the built-in camera app. On Android, Google Goggles reads QR codes. Otherwise, download i-Nigma or another QR code reader. The app works on iOS, Android, Blackberry or Windows mobile devices

Mind Mapping Improves Learning

how to mindmap

What is Mind Mapping?

Mind Mapping lets you visually organize information using spatial organization and a hierarchical structure of main branches and sub-branches, which is a useful strategy for constructing knowledge. It helps people make sense of what they’re learning by building connections between concepts and ideas. Integrating multimedia strengthens the learning.

Benefits of Mind Mapping

benefits of mindmapping

  • Helps students organize ideas and understand concepts better
  • Non-sequential way of organizing information works better than linear methods for some students
  • Shows the whole as well as the parts
  • Can be an assistive tool for people who are visually minded
  • Benefits found by the Institute for the Advancement of Research in Education study, 2003
    • Improves reading comprehension
    • Enhances critical thinking and learning skills
    • Supports cognitive learning theory
    • Increases retention

Uses of Mind Mapping

  • Brainstorm
  • Visualise concepts
  • Improve critical thinking
  • Outline written documents
  • Storyboard presentations
  • Review notes

Rules for Mind Mapping in the Buzan Method

  • One word per branch
  • Length of the word is the length of the branch
  • Use colours and images where possible
  • Be clear in your printing and organization

How to Mind Map

How to Mind Map with Tony Buzan – Use this as a basis to create a list for your students, or co-create the list with your students by looking at an example of a mind map

Examples

Resources

Free Technology Tools

  • Lucidchart (web, iOS, Android, Chrome, free premium version for educators and students, K+ with a GApp account)
  • MeisterTask (webChrome, free unlimited maps, great for G4+ if using GApps)
  • Mindomo (web, iOS, Android, Chrome, up to 3 free maps, great for MS+)
  • Kidspiration (iOS free for 5 maps, great for K+)
  • Popplet (iOS allows one map, great for K+)
  • 7 Steps to Making a Mind Map

Visit the Tony Buzan website for 7 Steps to Making a Mind Map. You may want to use the list as inspiration to create your own steps for your classroom.

 

This was part of a longer workshop that I presented to some teachers in Prague on Dec. 4, 2017.

Modelling is a Powerful Coaching Practice

coaching for iPad use

Modelling is a powerful coaching practice because a demonstration builds a picture that is richer than words alone.  If you have a coaching methodology, you may think that modelling has to be formal, planned in consultation with a teacher, and evaluated/debriefed to pull out the learning points. That is one approach to modelling, as part of a formal coaching process, but it’s not the only way.

Opportunities for Modelling

I’ve noticed that there are many opportunities for modelling when working with teachers. If a teacher asks you to lead a lesson, demonstrate a tool, or co-teach a lesson, you have an opportunity for modelling, and you can find ways for both you and the teacher to learn from the collaboration. Depending on the context, here are 3 activities that you can engage the teacher in:

  • while students explore an app/approach for the first time, brainstorm a list of uses of the app with the teacher
  • get feedback from the teacher about what worked well and what needs improvement from your lesson/demonstration (this only needs to take 5 minutes)
  • discuss the affordances/limitations of the approach or tool that you used (possibly while students are working individually or in groups)

Benefits of Modelling

I think it’s beneficial for students to see their teachers discussing teaching and learning. We want them to engage in this same kind of practice, so that they personalize their own learning. Any collaboration between teachers has the potential to help each teacher improve, and models collaboration and decision-making for students.

I integrated the 3 teacher engagement activities into my work with teachers, to support their technology integration. I noticed that teachers gained confidence in using digital devices independently in the classroom, and started taking more risks with trying new ways of integrating technology. This showed me that modelling has a place in everyday teaching and learning, and it’s important to discuss the demonstration because it enhances teachers’ creativity and confidence.

How do you incorporate modelling as part of your teaching/coaching practice? I’d love to hear your stories.

Email Large files using Google Drive and Gmail

Attach document from Google Drive

This isn’t so new, but it’s a very useful feature. If you have a large file that you want to send by email:

  1. Save it to Google Drive
  2. E-mail the copy that you’ve saved in Google Drive using Gmail.

Attach document from Google Drive
It’s very easy to send one or more files from Google Drive, right from your email, which means you can send a combination of files from Google Drive and your desktop at the same time.

Google documents (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms) must be sent as a link, and other documents like pdfs, MS Office files (not converted) and image files can either be sent as links, or as attachments. A great feature of Google Drive attachment is that Gmail ensures that the recipients have access to any files that you are sharing with them using links, and prompts you if you need to change the file permissions.

iOS 11 Release – Check before you update

Do not disturb in iOS 11

Apple will release iOS 11 tomorrow, September 19. Before you update, make sure that you check the readiness of your device. iOS 11 is a major update, with new features as well as security updates. New features include:

  • Files app to manage your files on your iOS device
  • Dock available in apps, with quick access to recent apps
  • Better multitasking on iPad
  • Drag and Drop on iPad
  • Inline drawing and searchable handwriting in Notes
  • Document scanner built-in to Notes
  • Inline drawing in Mail
  • New filters built into Camera
  • Customize the Control Center
  • Driving mode so that you are not disturbed while you drive
  • Lane guidance and speed limit built into Maps
  • Quick type keyboard for typing with one hand
  • Automatically set up iOS device from another iOS device by proximity

Check your hardware

iOS 11 is compatible with iOS 5S and newer iPhones, iPad mini 2 and newer iPads, 6th generation iPod and iPod touch. However, be aware that new operating systems can slow down older devices. Just because you can update your device doesn’t mean you should. If you have an older device that you depend on for frequent use, I suggest waiting for later updates of iOS 11, and checking reviews of how it works with your device before you update to iOS 11.

Check you apps

ios 11 app compatibility imageMany developers have updated their apps to work with the new operating system, but some apps (especially free ones) may not work with your device. If you have any of those apps installed, find a replacement for the ones that you use. If there are any apps on the list that are critical for you, you may want to wait for an app update before updating to iOS 11.

To check which apps many not work after you update your device,

  1. Open Settings
  2. General — About
  3. Applications

Check your space

If you’re getting storage almost full messages on your device, it’s a good idea to clean the storage. If you need help, see this article from Macworld.

Other consideration

Before you update, make sure that you know your Apple ID and password. If you have it saved on the device and don’t haven’t it memorized, make sure to write it down temporarily. Also, make sure that your device is backed up to iCloud* (or your computer). If you depend on your iOS device, I think it’s a good idea to invest in iCloud. I pay CDN$1.29 a month for 50GB of iCloud storage.

*Note that iCloud doesn’t back up your apps. It makes note of what apps you have installed on your device so that you can restore them later from the App Store, but it won’t allow you to restore any apps that are no longer available in the App Store. It also doesn’t back up data from the Health app.

If you have a question or need some help, post on my Facebook page or email me at damianne@presidentialtech.com.