Five Facebook problems you need to fix right now – The Kim Komando Show

I came across this article this morning and there was a lot I didn’t know. I went directly to my Facebook account and changed some of my settings. Whether you are a staff, parent or both, there are some useful tips here. Check it out!

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Using Facebook incorrectly can expose your information. Here are some settings you need to change now….

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The Plagiarism Plague: A presentation using NearPod

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 12.37.15 PMYesterday I gave a presentation to the Grade 7s about plagiarism. It was meant as an introduction – what exactly is Plagiarism? What are the consequences? What is the best way to avoid accidental plagiarism?

I focused on talking about  the different ways you can accidentally plagiarize and suggested that summarizing or paraphrasing the information instead of copy and pasting it into their projects would go a long way in avoiding cheating. Once again, I want to repeat: this was meant only as an introduction! There are so many other things I want to tell them (how to evaluate a source, how to cite your sources, etc) but at least this is a good start.

I used this opportunity to try out Nearpod, an app that claims to be an” all in one mobile solution for teachers” and which I reviewed recently.

Although near pod allows you to create slides in the app itself, they only give you one template. But they do allow you to import slides from power points, PDFs, image files. So first of all, I made a simple powerpoint presentation and then uploaded these to Nearpod.


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LESSON LEARNED: I spent a lot of time deleting and re-importing my powerpoint slides. Either I found a mistake, decided I wanted to add a slide, changed my mind about layout. Every time one of the slides changed, I had to delete the previous slides and re-import the new ones. Each slide has to be deleted individually and sometimes the Nearpod site was very slow so this was very time-consuming.

BEST PRACTICE: I would suggest mapping out your presentation before even uploading to Nearpod. Make sure your slides are the best they can be, has everything on them, etc, before uploading.

Why not just use a powerpoint presentation you ask? Well, it is because of the interactive nature of Nearpod. When the students join your session, they see your presentation and you control their screens, in that they can’t rush ahead. When you swipe to another slide, the presentations on their iPad changes too. I wanted to try out this interactive feature- give them formative assessments, try out the drawing tool.

But I get ahead of myself…

Once the students join the session (You see the session code at the top left corner of the screenshots) they are asked to identify themselves:

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When I asked them if they knew what Plagiarism is, I was surprised by how many students had no idea what it was. In the future, I would put my definition slide before I gave the following quiz:

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I asked them a series of 9 questions, all true or false. It is plagiarism…

  1. If you copy a few sentences without adding quotation marks
  2. If you copy a few sentences without citing your source
  3. If you take someone else’s ideas without citing where you took the ideas from
  4. If you copy and paste information into a project
  5. If you write you opinion about someone else’s ideas
  6. If you copy someone else’s homework
  7. If you change a few words from text you copy and pasted
  8. You download an image licensed under the creative commons
  9. You do not cite your source for the image you downloaded

Here is what I saw on my screen as the students submitted their answers:

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As you can see, very few students got them all right. Confusion about whether or not changing a few words in a text was plagiarism or not abounded.


  1. In a stubborn old school moment, I was still projecting this presentation, even though all the students could see it on their screens. If I had to do it again, I would not project my screen, as everyone could see the results of the other students. It didn’t matter so much in this context, but one of the great aspects of this kind of guerrilla formative assessment is that the students can answer honestly and discreetly.
  2. I would take some time to discuss every question before they move not o the next. The results were coming in very quickly and because my screen doesn’t give me the actual questions, I ended up not being able to understand the results on the spot. I would have gone slower in this part and talked about every question.


  • Only project when necessary- remember the kids have it on their screens!
  • Get to know the software a little bit – how the quiz results look before actually using it in class. I only tried it out with one other person, which doesn’t give you the experience of having to dissect the answers of a whole class.

I am not going to show all my slides because, well, that would be boring, but here is an infographic I made last year about what makes you a plagiarist:

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Once we talked about what kinds of behaviours constituted plagiarism, I gave them an activity. We read a text about the Tasmanian Devil. Once we were finished reading it carefully (I read it aloud and the kids could follow along) I asked them to draw a mind map with the information they could remember of the text. This was a way for them to get some distance from the actual text and start thinking about it in their own words.



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The students used the “Draw it” function of Nearpod and submitted their mind maps:

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BEST PRACTICE: This worked very well, though the Draw it function is limiting and a little hard to use. But their mind maps didn’t need to be perfect for this experiment – it was only to give them an idea of how you construct one. For the purposes of this presentation it worked really well. The students also liked seeing their mind maps being shared with the group.

We looked at the information on the Tasmanian devil again. This time I asked them to write a summary of the information in their own words, once again without having the text in front of their faces:

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We shared a few answers with the group- and lo and behold, they sounded very different from the original text!

We then looked at other note-taking techniques: index cards, audio notes, columns, etc. We ended the workshop with the students pairing up and trying out the different methods of note-taking.

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Here are some screenshots of their work:

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BEST PRACTICE: I was very nervous that Nearpod wasn’t going to work, that the internet was going to be slow, that the software would crash, etc. so I made sure I had my slides loaded in my keynote on my iPad and that there was analogue solution for all the activities- I had a whole bunch of scrap paper at the ready just in case. I didn’t end up needing it, but it made me feel a lot better to have a Plan B, especially since the app crashed about two minutes before the presentation.

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All in all, I think it was a successful first attempt!

How Do You Cite a Tweet in an Academic Paper?

I attended a MELS symposium last week where all the presentations were available via links through twitter. For some reason, I have been very slow to get on the Twitter bandwagon- just don’t have that much to say in 140 characters or less I guess (If I do have something to say, I usually like to use a lot of words to say it). Still, I am slowly learning the usefulness of the tweet in terms of keeping up with my profession as well as promoting my own work. Case in point: while a dialogue was happening in real time, there was also a professional conversation going on via Twitter.

So what if someone says something brilliant, has a brilliant insight that emphasizes your point and you want to cite one of your colleague’s tweets in your paper?

Look no further- the Atlantic has the answer!

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There are rules for these sorts of things. They are how civilizations are built and maintained.

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Students Sue Google for Monitoring Their Emails

Ever write an email about wanting chocolate and have an ad for Dairy milk appear above your emails?

Check out this very interesting case, especially for our school which also uses Google’s Apps for Education

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A group of students are suing Google alleging that Gmail’s scanning of their emails violates their privacy.

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How to upload your videos to youtube and have it actually work

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 10.53.02 AMWhile walking a teacher through the process of using her iPad as a document camera so that she could record her geometry lesson, we got stuck at the sharing part. It is all well and good to flip the classroom, to record your lessons so that your students can refer back to them, but how do you actually get the videos to them? The video files are too big to email. Having to transfer your video from your iPad to your computer just to upload it to a sharing device is a pain in the patootie and wayyyy too many steps. The “upload to youtube” seems perfect, especially since we use gmail and every student has a youtube account attached to it. Simple check the “Unlisted” option in the privacy settings where anyone with a link can view and you can either email the link to your students or add it to your portal.

Perfect, right?

Except for lately, I’ve noticed that uploading to youtube just never works.This annoying problem has cropped up suspiciously with the new iOS 7 and I have not found a suitable solution.

That is until I finally sought out an answer and came across this article about Youtube Capture. According to this article, youtube now has one app for watching videos and another for uploading and editing:

If you are frustrated that YouTube’s iOS app doesn’t let you upload videos, then you missed YouTube Capture’s release last December. Google decided to keep video uploading separate from video viewing. YouTube Capture made it easy to capture, lightly edit, and upload videos from your iPhone or iPod Touch, but there was no love shown for those who wanted to perform such a trick with an iPad. Now, with yesterday’s update, YouTube Capture is universal, bringing iPad videographers into the fold.

Oh. So what you are saying is that I have been dealing with this problem for over a year homer-simpson-dohand the answer was right there? A big fat slap on the forehead and Homer Simpson like Doh for me please.

Here are the simple steps you must do in order to once again upload your video to youtube:

1. Download Youtube Capture. Don’t worry, it is free.

2. Sign in with your gmail account (for us at Traf, that means our school email).

3. Allow access to your camera roll and to the microphone.

4. You will see all the videos from your camera roll on the side:

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4. Choose your video and edit it if you feel like being fancy (you can trim it just like in iMovie).

5. Tap Upload.

6. Give it a title and description (especially if you are planning on making many how to videos for your class). Having an organized, uniform system for naming your videos might be a good idea. eg. Math Sec II Transformations: Triangles. Well, you get the idea…

7. Choose your privacy settings. Do you want it to be public? If you choose this option, you can embed it into blogs and other websites. If you choose unlisted, you only get the link. If you choose private, nobody but you will be able to see it…

8. Tap Done and watch the magic happen!

NOTE: I found that the video on Youtube Capture uploaded fine but then got stuck on processing. However, when I logged on to my youtube account either via a search engine or the youtube app and tapped the video (even if it said it was still being edited) it worked almost right away. Sometimes I don’t understand technology…


Copious resources for coping with digital distractions

Via TechChef4U

I really like this acronym to remind our students about a mindful, balanced use for technology. If you scroll down past the twitter feed, there is a very neat quizlet with some brief thoughts on how to not be tech zombie (an analogy I use with the grade 7 class swell!) as well as a great list of resources!

Check it out!

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» Thought Leadership Tuesday: Surviving the Digital Zombie Apocalypse |

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Don’t be a techhole: A common sense guide to tech courtesy

I especially recommend the PSA on Vertical Video Syndrome…

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Google issued guidelines to help Google Glass users not be ‘Glassholes,’ but why stop there? Here’s the missing manual to put an end to some top technology peeves. Read this article by Danny Sullivan on CNET News.

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