Thursday, February 26, 2015

Google Docs and Spreadsheets tools

Cornerstone calls these "New Google Add-Ons".  Many are neither.  But all 28 are probably useful for educators, students and others.



Benefits: The set-up is simple. Add data (names, addresses and any info) in a spreadsheet. Create a document and show Merge where you want to add the data. It creates custom documents that you can e-mail.

Drawbacks: Setting all the data up can be time-consuming, but the product is worth it.

Idea 1: Customized grade reports. Student data can be typed or exported into a sheet and shared in a fancy document with all of the data merged.


Benefits: Using the headings (next to font) Documents. It creates a clickable table of contents in a little window next to your document. It makes document navigation simple.

Drawbacks: Some users report that navigation is slow with larger documents.

Idea 2: Reports/papers. When students write, they add a table of contents for easy navigation.

Idea 3: Student work in one document. If all students do an assignment in one document, they can add their names as a heading above their work. Click on the student name to see his/her work.

Idea 4: Easily navigable readings. If you provide students with long articles or readings in document form, finding each chapter is easy. Plus, you can add a new heading after each day’s reading to serve as a bookmark.


Benefits: It very simply pulls in data from a spreadsheet into a chart/graph that can be inserted into a document.

Drawbacks: Some types of charts, like scatterplots, are not available.

Idea 5: Lab reports. Students can take readings, data, etc. from science labs and easily incorporate them into reports.

Idea 6: Tabulating results or student data. Student council elections. Class votes. Standardized test data. If it can be added to a spreadsheet, it can come out as an attractive chart or graph.


Benefits: It incorporates the approve/reject changes function of Microsoft Office to Google Documents. It shows changes made to a document and includes a simple

Learning on snow days

In 2016, let's do some advanced planning and take advantage of our broad collection of online technology tools to expand learning on snow days.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Another approach to thinking about design processes

We all promote the more common 4-step, 5-step, 8-step, and 10-step design processes, but you might consider this design thinking process from the Nueva school, promoted by the KQED Mind/Shift blog last year.

Design Thinking, Deconstructed

 | October 16, 2013
Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 9.53.23 AM

Monday, February 16, 2015

Animated math concepts

Useful videos and animations.

Pythagorean Theorem:
Source: giphy

Exterior angles of polygons ALWAYS add to 360 degrees:

                             Source: math.stackexchange


Source: imgur

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Music and STEM

Music students are typically prevented from participating in the T & E STEM electives due to limited flexibility in their schedules, so STEM and Music integration should be a priority.

Rediscovered from U.S. News and World Report:

The Magical, Musical STEM Connection

Boring math and science classes don't inspire students, so let's do better.

A student does a science experiment in class.
Get students excited about STEM, and it will stick with them.

I loved science and math as a child, so much so that I majored in mathematics in college, and went on to become an engineering professor with the hopes of sharing my love for, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, with others. You might think, then, that I loved my science and math classes as a child as well. But the truth is, when I think back on most of the STEM classes I sat through in school, what I recall most is an overwhelming feeling of boredom.
Why is that? How could a child with inherent interest and curiosity about science and math feel bored in those classes?
Looked at from afar, science is magical. It’s transformed our planet and our civilization. It’s the foundation for much of the joy of modern childhood and is manifest in every detail of a kid’s life, from

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Robert G. Templin Jr. STEM Scholarship Fund

In honor of Dr. Templin's 12 years as NOVA’s visionary leader, the NVCC Educational Foundation created an endowment that will fund an annual scholarship for deserving students studying in the STEM disciplines.

During his tenure at NOVA, Dr. Templin’s focus was on improving the quality of life of the 2.1 million citizens of Northern Virginia. He saw an opportunity to build public-private partnerships to increase Northern Virginia’s supply of students entering careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to build a pipeline of tech savvy workers to fuel the region’s economy.

The Robert G. Templin Jr. STEM Endowment will fund scholarships that will cover the cost of one year’s tuition and books. Awards will be given to students entering their last year at NOVA and the scholarship will allow them to complete their associate’s degree in a STEM field, earning 12 credits per semester and preparing them for transfer to earn a baccalaureate from a four-year institution.

Our goal is to raise $100,000 to fund the STEM Endowment established in Dr. Templin’s honor. Your support is greatly appreciated!

As Dr. Templin reached across the community, we invite the community to contribute to the scholarship.

Rain Barrel STEM and STEAM

Rain Barrel STEM / STEAM:
Connecting to Higher Learning

rainbarrels.jpgPrograms for painting rain barrels introduce students of all ages to the concepts of rainwater / stormwater management. 

Extending the rain barrel painting projects can turn this popular Art activity into much deeper STEM or STEAM (STEM with integrated Art) activities that also involve opportunities for integration with Social Studies and World Languages instruction.
Image source: Tech & Learning

Click here ( for a list of 17 ideas for expanding your rain barrel project.