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Maybe More Better Tech in Math & School?

Sigh. It's tough to disagree with Fawn Nguyen. (

She wrote, in particular:
I want them talking and interacting more than anything! Learning mathematics is a social endeavor. Here’s my perennial classroom routine, “Turn and talk with your neighbor.” I want to bring back the arts of speaking and listening, reading and writing, debating and presenting. Now, if you've ever dropped by my class (and, thanks to #ObserveMe you're always welcome to! I just realized, I never wrote about #ObserveMe ... something to correct over this March Break) you'lll notice a lot of devices.
My classroom has 1:1 pen-based Win10 TabletPCs -- everyhone thinks of "Surfaces" but they're actually made by Fujitsu.
My classroom has OneNote, which captures as much as everything that gets written and a part of what gets said/displayed/acted out using audio/video capture.
This means we have access to digital ink - so everything …
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Party On (Outlook), Garth!

So… say you wanted to have a party… but what’s the right time to have it?
Office365 Outlook (free for all teachers & students!) will let you poll people to decide when’s the right time to meet. You need to use Outlook-on-the-web though.  Now Outlook-on-the-web is actually a pretty good Outlook and has the same information that your Desktop Outlook has -- same mail, same calendar, just in a more web-active environment. Some of my faculty use Outlook-on-the-web as their main client because it's so powerful and has some nice options (like this polling feature!)

Visit and click on the Calendar icon at the bottom of that page, or click on the CALENDAR button when visiting … or click on the Waffle & choose Calendar. So many different routes to get there -- it's always a great surprise to me when someone shows me a different way!
When you click NEW you can then click POLL FOR A TIME TO MEET and create a poll for your friends…

Say, can you see?

So there comes a time when you're presenting (or you know, you're old) and you want to zoom in on an area of the screen.   Press the Windows + Plus (+) on the keyboard to turn the built-in Magnifier on. Then, you can press Windows + Esc to turn it off. Now we use a Fujitsu pen-based TabletPC when means we can write on the screen with a pen or tap the screen in the place of a mouse.  Here's a video run-down of how that works on a touch screen -- this definitely the preferred & quickest way to get around!

When you're on a touch/pen device, to zoom in and out you can tap on the plus (+) and minus (-) symbols on the corners of the screen. To move around the screen, drag along the borders of the screen in full screen view.

To instantly zoom out and see where you are on the screen, tap with one finger on opposite borders of the screen simultaneously.
Now, if you're not using a pen/touch enabled device (and you should be!) you can still use the magnifier.  Go ahead with t…

Emojis ... Windows Full Stop

You know that when you’re typing in any application (Word, Outlook, OneNote for example) you can press WINDOWS & PERIOD to pull up your Emoji keyboard. 👍

Click on the Magnifying Glass and you can type a word to quickly find the right emoji. Or you can click through all the other options available on the bottom menu bar.

If you choose the PEOPLE tab, in the upper right corner you can find the Skin Hue option, so that you're not just showing Simpsons characters.

Wait, you say... WINDOWS PERIOD doesn't give you an Emoji keyboard? You should update your Windows10! If you can't, you can go Old-School (which works in older versions of Win10):

1. Right click your taskbar and select Show touch keyboard button (if it isn’t already ticked). This will place a new keyboard icon (shown above) within your taskbar’s notification area.
2. Click this keyboard icon and a keyboard will appear on your screen. You’ll then see a smiley face button for the emojis.
You can also put these emo…

Reading is FUNdamental-ly EDGEy

So sitting at lunch the other day, one of my colleagues was muttering about all the reading she had to do for a course and wished she could buy audiobooks for all of her readings. Well, I stuck my nose in her business. Microsoft Edge will let you read an ePUB book in a cleaned-up and paper-like window, letting you change the text size, spacing, font & colour.  For small children and, umm, older folks, this is a great option!   There is a quick Chapter button letting you quickly move around the book, and a Bookmark feature that lets you keep track of interesting pieces of your reading.   In more recent versions of Windows you also get option of highlighting texts, inserting notes inside the text and, of course, asking Cortana anything, which pulls up definitions, other references, etc. (If you've been working with Microsoft tools, you know that AI is being built into everything). But for her purpose, I shared that Edge will also Read Aloud to you. You can control the speed at w…

Using Assignments in Microsoft Teams

So everything we do is in OneNote. Everything. But we (okay, me) are trying to break out into other tools and that includes Microsoft Teams and their Assignment workflow.  What I tried was this:
1) In a Word document we wrote about what they had to do and how they would be assessed.

Parenthetically -- Word works GREAT with Teams! I have a Channel in our Math Department Team for our MPM2D course and we created the Word document in there and then collaboratively edited it on our own devices at our own pace. I prefer to use my desktop at home and when I opened Word, it went to Teams on its own and grabbed the file and I could continue to edit.  Nice!

2) Then I went to the TEAM for my course and created an Assignment.  Now, Teams lets you assign an Assignment to more than one section at a time, which is nice cuz I've got 3. 
This got posted to their Assignments page and they were off! Okay, it was a little funny; this was the first time I had given them an Assignment through Teams, so …

Back to the BreakOut

So, long story short, we have a bit of extra time in our Right-Angle Trigonometry unit, so I mentioned to my team that I would put together a BreakOut for review.  During this time, we have a lot of kids away for various reasons so having something self-paced is helpful.
You can read more about creating BreakOut/EscapeRooms in OneNote on my earlier post here: Escape Room / BreakOut in OneNote - even if you don't use OneNote in your school, you could do this with a Personal OneNote.  All you have to do is create a view-only Share with your class and they can view it online!  Even on their phones!

I first made a OneNote Notebook and shared it with the other members of my team. I had hoped that they would contribute but only one jumped on board and added some questions -- not upset though. There's a lot of things that happen at my school, so I just lay out breadcrumbs and see who's hungry enough to follow.
In this Notebook, I created 5 Sections - each section is a "Room&…