Saturday, October 31, 2020

My Inspiration: Podcasts


The first Corona Lockdown we experienced rendered me emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted. Remember last spring?  We were in such a different place. I was emotionally exhausted from the fear of the unknown: how could I do what I needed to do while keeping myself safe. Wearing gloves in the store and wiping down every item I brought into my house on a sterile surface, before putting it in the cupboard or fridge. Mentally exhausted from doing full-on teacher training with the REED counseling team for REED teachers, literally from early morning till way after the sun went down. And physically exhausted because I wasn't looking after myself. I was sitting at the computer for 10 and 12 hours a day (if not more). The farthest I would walk would be from my desk to my kitchen to make something to eat. Towards the end of that lockdown my back was a wreck, I had put on weight and I was just a mess.  

Living on a kibbutz, I realized that I had open fields and empty perimeter roads along which I could safely walk. I discovered the joys of my smart tv where I can pull up yoga sessions of any length I have time for. That's when I realized that the only think standing between this "dilapidated me" and a "healthy me" was in my mind, alone. So now, each morning I walk for about 20 minutes and listen to a podcast, then do some yoga.

I'm in a very different place now. A much better, more comfortable and productive place. It's from within that place that I became addicted to listening to podcasts as I walk. (It's a sort of chicken and egg thing - not sure exactly which came first.) They are one of my main motivators for putting on those walking shoes, and one of my influential fountains of inspiration for work. As horrific as this pandemic is, I truly believe it has changed education and the way we teach, for the better. For ever. At least it did for me. So I'm sharing a few of my favorites here. I welcome you to listen and subscribe! Happy listening! 

SOME of my favorite podcasters (there are more):

Shake up Learning
The Cult of Pedagogy
Be Education
Spark Creativity
Google Teacher Podcast
House of #EdTech
Ditch that Textbook

Do you have a podcast that inspires you? Please share with me and I will add to this list!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Long time - no write. It's not because I have stopped producing, rather I have basically moved over to YouTube for most of my tutorials. However since some people prefer to have instructions written, as well, I will try to include my YouTube tutorials here, in my written blogposts, more often. 

I have started making tutorials I call "It's a Quickie" for little things that make all the difference and require only a few seconds to explain. This one takes 3 minutes. It's an extension to Chrome called Sir Links a Lot. What it does, basically, is it changes the URL of your Googe doc, Sheet, Form, Slides or Drawings in a way that enables others to make their own copy of it without letting them edit YOURS by mistake. ESPECIALLY in these COVID-19 days when choice boards built on Google Slides and using Forms are becoming more and more popular, it is SO important to know just how to share them properly with your colleagues!

Until now (this week, literally) I have been explaining to teachers to delete the end part of the URL, and instead to write the words "copy" or "template/preview" but not all teachers felt comfortable know EXACTLY which words to delete, and EXACTLY how to share the link. This extension takes all the guess work out of it for you! 

Step 1: Go to your Google Apps Web Store
Step 2: Find the extension Sir Links a Lot
Step 3: Accept and then pin it in your Chrome toolbar
Step 4: Set the sharing settings of your document to "Anyone on the Internet can VIEW"
Step 5: Click on Sir Links a Lot
Step 6: Choose the format in which you want to share (my go to favorite is template preview - it enables the person first to see what it is they will be making their own copy of before clicking on the blue "Use Template" button.

That's all! Now that doc/sheet/form/slideshow/drawing is THEIRS to use as is, or adapt. If it's a form, the responses will go to THEIR account rather than to YOURS by mistake. Easy peasy. Watch and see!

Hope you find that useful!

Digitally yours,