Screen recording is becoming easier and easier

Ever think about making a quick introductory video to help get students hooked on a new topic at the beginning of a unit?

How about having students explain their reasoning by creating quick videos to help teach a concept to their peers? 

Or maybe you just want to record a small part of a lesson. 

Google Chrome (Internet browser) has many hidden add-ons you can install on your own; called Extensions

Screencastify, a Chrome Extension, adds the ability for anyone to create screen recordings with no additional software. Screencastify will save a video directly to Google Drive for you to keep privately for yourself, share with one or two people, or to publish on the web for everyone!

**Add the Screencastify extension to your Google Chrome by following this link:   **

For those you like to read directions about recording, find those here: 

Want help with any of this, want to talk more about how you can leverage technology for learning, or have a project idea and want help making the technology do what you want it to do? Just let me know. 

Also, follow our Twitter feed, authored by Tony VonBank, for Princeton classroom highlights and the occasional intriguing article @innovation477

Google Classroom

So far this year, Eric, the tech coaches, and I have been doing our best to make great strategies and integrated resources available so teachers can teach more effectively and efficiently. One tool, however, has taken us a bit by surprise, mostly because we haven't really pushed it or recommended it at all, it just sort of caught fire on its own...

If you haven't heard of Google Classroom, here is a quick run-down: Classroom is accessible through your Google Apps for Education account in the same way Drive, Calendar, Mail, and Sites are. It is under the cluster of nine dots on the top of most Google pages.

Google Classroom is somewhat like a Learning Management System, such as Moodle, Edmodo, or Schoology. What makes Classroom unique is that it is built in to the tools you already use. In truth, it is more of a companion to Google Drive than anything, but it works really well for managing online and digital classwork and the related communication that goes with digital work. Is it as powerful as Moodle or Schoology? No, not quite. However, once you figure in the very easy learning curve and the fact that students don't really need to learn anything new to use it, it kind of sells itself.

Entry level: Beginning teachers can easily and efficiently use this tool to make a daily record of what was done in class. This benefits students who miss class and those who will need another look at materials used in class. Add documents from your drive, slideshows or YouTube videos with one click. The basic structure of the flipped classroom is available here, allowing for video lessons to be easily posted from day to day.

Digital lessons: Classroom can also be used to use digitally rich lessons and projects in a way that is easy to collect, evaluate, and respond to. Using the assignment posting, teachers can post directions to a learning task, and attach everything the student might need to produce great 21st Century work: rubrics, examples, related content, video instructions or inspirations, and any pre-made forms that will be needed to be completed by the student.

Making a copy: When teachers use Google Drive with students, they often ask students to share an assignment with them, perhaps even asking them to take a pre-made document, make themselves a copy change the settings, and share it back to the teacher. The teacher then collects the documents that are shared back into a folder. Google Classroom eliminates the need to do any of this. When a teacher wants students to turn something in as an assignment, the incoming work is automatically tagged by name, date, and assignment, and neatly added to a folder marked with the name of the assignment. Pre-made documents the teacher creates and shares with the class are automatically copied for each student, eliminating the need for the student to do anything but submit.

Paperless classroom? Ok, this may be a stretch if the students do not have a device every day, but you can get pretty close. Host discussions in Google Drive or though a third-party app like, host student blogs, create online quizzes and tests with Google Forms, flip lessons, and get everything typed and organized. Communication is simple since all students will have access to Gmail at the same time they use Classroom. It's a great all-in-one solution.

Check it out or let me know and I can stop by for a walkthough. The HS Science and Social Studies departments are already using it pretty well, so if you want a closer look, check with any of them as well!