Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Friday, September 30, 2016

USD's STEAM Program, Apps to Edit PDFs and Provide Feedback

steam logo-L.png
The Union School District STEAM program is up and running at all elementary schools in the district.  Hopefully you have been getting to know your site’s STEAM ToSA and have enjoyed learning about the engineering design process, participated in some collaborative challenges, and gotten to see STEAM in action!

The STEAM ToSAs have been working hard to prepare engaging and collaborative lessons for your students, and hope to connect and collaborate with you to incorporate STEAM activities into your current curriculum.  One easy place to incorporate STEAM is in your science curriculum.

Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 11.00.42 AM.png

One website that the STEAM ToSAs have used to find engaging engineering design challenges that correlate to the new NGSS standards that are coming our way is Curiosity Machine.  Curiosity Machine is a free website for educators that links design challenges to specific NGSS standards for each grade level.  Teachers can sign up for free and have access to hundreds of challenges!  Each challenge is designed for students to solve a real-world problem using the engineering design process.  

If you are interested in incorporating any of these challenges into your science curriculum or STEAM time, talk with your site STEAM ToSA! We look forward to collaborating with you as the year continues, please let us know how we can help incorporate STEAM into your daily activities.
--guest blogger, Heather Koleszar

A Few Apps You Might Like to Check Out

Are you tired of making copies of student worksheets and looking for a way to have them completed online? One of these two Chrome tools might be what you’ve been hoping for. I recently saw Dianna Talley using DocHub to correct student Daily Language Review. PDF’s are assigned to the students through Google Classroom. The students use the highlighting, drawing, and typing tools to edit the PDF, and then return it to her. To use it, both the teacher and the student will have to install the Chrome extension. Find out more about it here.

Another app I’ve been exploring is Kami. It will open PDFs in Google Drive where you can use the tools to annotate text. While this video is a bit long it has all the information you need on using Kami with GAFE and Chromebooks.

Giving feedback is really an important piece of teaching. With Google docs, it is easy to leave comments, but I always missed that personal piece that written comments misses. Kaizena is a Google Doc Addon that gives you the ability to leave voice comments. Here are a few videos to get you started on building a class and learning how to begin having asynchronous conversations with your students.

Read&Write for Google Chrome extension has lots of features. If you decide to try it, be sure to register as a teacher otherwise you’ll have a limited time full featured version.The one I want to highlight is “Voice Note.”  It allows you to record a 1 minute note that is inserted into the comment field on a Google Doc. Students don’t need to have the extension to listen to the recorded voice comment.

Please let us know if you’d like help finding, installing, or learning to use any of these tools. As always, we’re here to help.