PhET for Mathies by Kay Davidson

phetCU-Boulder has been pushing out PhET Interactive Simulations for years and they haven’t always been Chromebook-compatible.  The science department knows this well as we have been moving our students all over the building the past 5+ years or so looking for a computer lab that would run these simulations.

PhET now has changed over most of their simulations to run on Chromebooks!  It’s great news, but if you don’t know what a PhET is, you don’t know what you’re really missing out on.

These simulations, more specifically for Math, cover different topics and applications.  I recorded a Screencast so that you could take a quick look at what they offer.  You can also head right over to their site: http://phet.colorado.edu.  It may not be for all levels of math, but it will certainly add to some classroom experiences with fun activities.  Lesson plans are included in case you didn’t want to create something from scratch.  It’s worth checking out!

 

phet

Clearing Browsing History: Another tool for fixing CB related issues by Kay Davidson

erase imageUsually, when I call IT and explain my problem, they ask me two questions:

  1. Did you power your CB all the way down?
  2. Did you clear your browsing history?

Honestly, I don’t know why clearing your browsing history works with some CB issues……but it does.  I recently had one with Schoology where it wouldn’t let me log in. Weird.  So, I cleared my browser and that took care of the problem.  Even weirder.

I created a Screencast to show you how to do this on your own CB.  I hope this helps and will only add another tool to your Chromebook tool belt.

Screenshot 2017-05-18 at 1.50.23 PM

IPEVO Document Cameras and your Chromebook

IPEVO document cameras make presenting worksheets, student work, or 3D models with your Chromebook simple. IPEVO document cameras are nondescript pieces of hardware that blend in nicely with any desk. They contain a weighted base, articulating arm with various positions, and camera. Additionally, the device folds into a compact package to make transporting the camera from room to room hassle-free.

There are currently two models of the IPEVO Presenter that work with your Chromebook: the Point 2 View (P2V) and the Ziggi-HD. The P2V camera is a slightly cheaper solution, but the pricier Ziggi-HD has a few distinct advantages. First, the camera resolution of the Ziggi-HD is much higher (8MP on the Ziggi-HD versus the 2MP of the P2V). This means that the projected image is sharper and shows more detail. Second, the Ziggi-HD comes with an integrated light to illuminate the document that you are projecting. The P2V camera does not have a light, which can make presenting a document challenging in a classroom that is not well-lit.

The setup is extremely simple:

  1. Download the IPEVO Chrome app
  2. Plug in the USB cable on the IPEVO camera to your Chromebook
  3. Launch the app
  4. Adjust the camera as necessary

PresenterThe IPEVO Chrome app interface.

If you have any questions or would like help with setup, please email me (stephen.kelly@bvsd.org) or stop by room 303!

No more “Put your phone away” for the Science Department with their new policy for 2017/2018.

The phone battle is over.  Way over.

Screenshot 2017-05-04 at 12.39.11 PM

After years of mostly losing the attention battle of student cell phones vs. teachers, the Science Department has adopted a strategy that will be enforced in all classes beginning in the Fall of 2017:

Check your phone in at the beginning of the period and pick it up at the end.  

Setting this clear classroom expectation has worked well in both Jim Davidson’s 9th grade English classes and Eliza Rayner’s 10th grade + Science classes.  It is simple.  It is effective.  It is class climate changing.

Here’s a video example of Jim’s class checking their phones in at the beginning of the period.  No complaints…..it just gets done.  There is a list of student names and slot numbers by the cell phone holder so they know whose phone goes in the correct slot.  You can see this being done in the video.

Here’s a link to the cell phone holders Jim and Eliza have in their classrooms from Amazon.  Additional slots for up to 42 phones allow for extra slips of paper to be put in the corresponding student slot number when they don’t have their device that day but need to be counted for attendance.  That’s the deal.  Phone = attendance.  If a student in Eliza’s class is caught with their phone, she does one of two things:

  • confiscates it and returns it at the end of the school day or
  • gives it to Mr. Barnes to deal with the issue.

I honestly can’t wait for the next school year to start JUST to implement this classroom and Science Department policy.  I am tired of the phone battle and knowing it works in other classrooms gives me some peace.  Maybe I’ll even get to see their adorable faces instead of the tops of their heads!!!!

Wish us luck!