Recently at the Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco, Microsoft announced a few big updates. A couple of them will be of importance for Grand Erie English teachers and Grade 3 or 4 teachers as they will impact the teacher/student experience with Dell Venue tablets now being used in our classrooms.
1. The START MENU is coming back. Many Windows 8 users have complained that the familiar Start Menu (from Windows 7, Vista, XP, etc) is missing. Personally, I’ve found that the new Windows 8 Start Screen does the job of the old Start Menu, and more. If you simply go to the new Start Screen, swipe up for All Apps and start typing, you can easily find what you’re looking for (much more quickly than manually browsing the old All Programs list). In any case, for those who prefer the old Start Menu, it will be returning along with added links to live tiles on the Start Screen.
2. Apps from the Start Screen can appear as windows on the Desktop. If you prefer to operate solely in Desktop mode (rather than working from the Start Screen), you will be able to have apps from the Start Screen open within a window on the traditional Desktop.
For a 90 second summary of things that happened at the Microsoft Build conference, checkout THIS POST by The Verge.
Note: release date for the above updates is not yet known.
Bitstrips for Schools
Bitstrips for Schools is a fantastic educational tool that engages students through the creation of comics. Free access is available to all Ontario schools through the Ministry of Education (OSAPAC). Check out the Bitstrips BLOG for great lesson ideas.
ENGLISH teachers, check out this post, Much Ado About Shakespeare for great Bitstrips lesson ideas for Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, and Hamlet.
MATH teachers, check out this post, Math Is Everywhere for some great Bitstrips lesson ideas for Math in the Real World, Fractions, Geometry, Word Problems, Linear Relations, and Pythagorean Theorem.
The classroom possibilities for use of digital images are endless. Last week Grand Erie DSB Superintendent Dave Abbey shared some thoughts via HIS BLOG on use of digital images after participating in our Ed Tech “Play To Learn” workshop for grade 3 & 4 teachers. On February 18 & 19, we are running a similar workshop for all Secondary English Teachers. Feel free check out CoolCatTeacher’s blog post on 5 Smart Ways To Use Digital Images In The Classroom that include details on:
1. Visual Biographies
2. Photo Essays
3. Visual Storytelling
5. Vocabulary Building
If you’re coming to Secondary Ed Tech “Play To Learn”, be sure to stop by Meghan Cameron’s table on “Presenting in the Classroom” and/or Chris Bates’ table on “Digital Storytelling in the Classroom” and/or Kate Johnson-McGregor’s table on “Communicating in the Classroom” for help with Ed Tech Tools that support ideas for using digital images.