Tech Talk 6: Zoom Conferences: Online Tutorials

Check out 

Give more real-time support to students in online classes when they need you!

Zoom is a free video conferencing service that is much easier than Adobe Connect or Google Hangouts.  Students don’t have to pre-install any software.

All you have to do is send out an invitation URL and anyone can join by clicking, prompting the launch of a web application.

In our online classes, we are using these zoom tutorials to build community and to support student learning by meeting in small groups or 1:1.  It has also been a useful tool for staff meetings and professional learning at multiple school sites.  Finally, it is helpful for tech troubleshooting.

As the host of a Zoom session, you can choose to share your screen, allowing anyone to annotate on top of documents you are both looking at.  This supports effective collaboration and makes student thinking visible.  The teacher or student can also request remote access to control mouse and keyboard to help with tech support.

For students who couldn’t attend the online tutorial in real-time, save and record your zoom session and publish to YouTube for asynchronous learning.

The free version of Zoom has been sufficient for my needs as an online teacher.

Check Spelling and Grammar with Grammarly

Tech Talk 5:  This tutorial focuses on how to use Google Extension Grammarly to check your spelling and grammar.  You can get this from the Chrome Web Store looking for  Grammarly.  This integrates automatically when you are logged into Google Chrome.  Grammarly doesn’t naturally work with Google Docs, but there is an easy workaround for this.

All students and staff with a Google account automatically have Grammarly extension installed.

Annotate with OneNote

I’m very lucky and now have a Microsoft Surface Pro 4!  I want to look at annotation and have used PDF Annotator in the past.

OneNote is already on my new machine and is quick and easy to annotate student work submitted from D2L.  Check out walkthrough below on what this could look like in your online course.

Of course, I would also include a feedback video to a student using SNAGIT too.

Tech Talk 2 – Read and Write Chrome Extension for Assistive Technology

I’m a bit embarrassed that I have not posted for so long.  My next share is exciting that we have purchased 400 licences for Loyola students.

We can also use Read and Write to annotate pdf files – share file with student and let them voice-type, read back and highlight.

We now have SNAPVERTER that lets you convert any PDF to make it readable.  You can even take a picture of ANY document with your phone and send it to your SNAPVERTER folder in your Google Drive to convert to readable PDF!

Tech Talk 1 – Sharing Google Docs

Here is my challenge – colleagues have asked for more technology PD.  I am looking to provide workshops every 1-2 weeks together, but thought some regular 2-5 minute Tech Talk videos might spark interest and from feedback could guide where we go in our technology direction.

Here is my first one:  It is on creating and sharing a Google Doc.  This lets multiple users edit the same document in Real Time – people can comment or edit.  No need to email documents, just share them! Everyone is always on the same most current version!

Don’t just deliver information

George Curous tweeted a link recently

I like how Krissy said “When we are the ‘deliverers of all information’ we steal something special.”

We don’t give our students the opportunity to make connections and to learn!  I’m trying now in my computer class to show a few neat things but more importantly to give them time to explore.  They need to get frustrated and learn how to deal with that frustration.

When a student asks me how to do something, I say that I don’t always know the answer, but we can learn it together and I model how I would figure it out.  Often I suggest to Google “How do I…” and look for a video.  I believe that this empowers them to know they can learn without me.

If we give them a project and ask them to recreate it, where is the learning and exploration?  I loved Randy Pausch’s book “The Last Lecure:  Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”.  You should really check out his lecture on-stage at:

But specifically this clip I cut from video (using where he talks about setting the bar in an assignment.  

“I obviously didn’t know how high the bar should be, and I’d only do them a disservice by putting it anywhere.”


Why should I blog?

I am a teacher with a passion for integrating technology in the classroom.  Currently, I am teaching at Loyola School of Adult and Continuing Education in Kingston Ontario.

I have been teaching for many years and have had so many wonderful experiences.  I am currently completing my Principal Qualifications Course and was creating a new Professional Portfolio.

I realized that I have a few binders of resumes, reference letters, certificates etc.  They all seem so outdated.  If I am going to lead by example, I need to put my ideas and values out there to “learn openly” as George Couros calls it.  Allow others to challenge me and make me better.  Of course I may have no followers on my blog, but that is OK, I’m doing it for my own journey.

I am going to break down my blog into categories and that should help me identify my strengths and also my weaknesses so I know what I need to work on.

I feel that I have put off publishing my thoughts because I don’t like to brag about things I have done, or am doing.  However, if I am learning openly and sharing, I can have a record of who I am and how I am growing.

I think that if I write it down, I am more likely to be self-reflective and force me to follow through.

George Curous has some great resources on using Blogs as a Digital Portfolio:  Blogs as Digital Portfolios