Zoom + Teams!

Zoom is now integrated with Teams! How exciting is that you can have two most popular meeting apps together in one place! The following tutorial is for people who have already set up their school Zoom account. If you haven’t done so, please refer to the guidelines in the following post to do it first:

 ➡️Zoom accounts for all NCPA teachers and students⬅️

If you have already finished those steps, here’s how you can schedule and join a meeting with Zoom integration: Continue reading “Zoom + Teams!”

iPhone 默认存储图像为JPEG的方法 | How to save your picture as JPEG instead of HEIC

经常用iPhone拍照交作业,结果格式显示错误?JPEG格式的图像比HEIC更通用——你可以通过下图在系统设置中把默认的图片格式给为JPEG. 当然, HEIC格式的一些优势(地理信息、拍照设备信息等)就没有了。

How to save in Jpeg instead of HEIC. This will obviously result in Jpegs being shared from your iPhone, but it also means you lose the benefits that HEIC brings.

Work it Through: Easy and Motivating Workout Routine for Quarantine Times

Hello everyone!

After 7 weeks of working online, it seems to be the perfect time to start a work-out routine to power through!

So, the NCPA Tech Ambassadors here present our 15 minute-ish exercises and invite everyone to join!

Get your work-out outfit and gears – a yoga mat is recommended but not compulsory (for noise-canceling); furniture like chairs and table could be handy too. Reminder: be very mindful of your own body condition. Switch to alternative moves whenever you want to. The point is to cheer your self up!

 

🏃🏃🏃🏃🏃🏃Quarantine Fullbody Workout Starting Now🏃🏃🏃🏃🏃🏃

Continue reading “Work it Through: Easy and Motivating Workout Routine for Quarantine Times”

[Repost] Alternatives to Padlet

Padlet is an effective tool for online interactive learning. However, we are not able to use it because of you-know-what-that-is. Trish (@TrishMerewether) discovered this blog post on 6 possible alternatives to Padlet by Richard Brayne.

In short, the 6 alternatives tools are:

  1. Dotstorming
  2. Lino
  3. Wakelet
  4. Scrumblr
  5. Pinside
  6. Fligrid

Each tool has its features and focus. Experiment and see which fits your class better!

Co-planning Meeting with Teams 101

Why using Teams but not Wechat, Skype, etc?

As a built-in function of the Microsoft Office software package, Teams is ready to be used by all NCPA staff. Rather than switching between a phone and a laptop when using Wechat, or registering and adding a Skype account just for the meeting, Teams provides the fastest solution to our current meeting needs.

What is the quickest way to set up an online meeting with Teams?

First of all, you don’t have to download the Teams app for its functions. To set up a meeting, you will only need to use the Outlook Calendar invite.

Here are two ways of doing it, one through web and another through the Outlook app.

Continue reading “Co-planning Meeting with Teams 101”

Read Aloud Any Text in Mac!

Have you ever wonder what is the use of the “Speech” function in Preview? Well, literally, it can read you the selected text of the document.

 

Why should I listen to a text?

It may because you are tired of reading after a whole day’s work or you just want to try something new. Listen to a text activates a different part of your brain for decoding and comprehension. Listening to something also requires you to be focused in a different way than reading.

Why should my students listen to a text?

Although the computer-generated voice may not be the ideal choice for mimicking, students can adjust the speed, volume, gender and many more features of the sound so that they can follow along.  Also, if you ever have encountered a situation that after a whole unit of study on a certain topic, students still can’t say the key vocabulary out loud – it is reminding you to create more listening and speaking practice opportunities. The Speech function is easy and quick – when switched on from the system setting, the computer can read any selected text in Word, Preview, Browser, etc. It allows students to figure out the pronunciation by themselves in a very short time. Not even necessary to copy, open a dictionary app, paste, click for reading aloud. The keyboard shortcut can make it possible in a second.

How can I enable Speech function?

Step 1: In System Preferences, search Speech

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Click on Speech, then enable the function by selecting the box. The default shortcut is Option+Esc, which I personally feel very easy to use. You can change to your preferred combination by clicking on the Change Key button.

Step 3: Select your preferred voice feature. Gender, region, speaking speed are all changeable.

Now, select any text on this page and try it out! Once you press the shortcut to speaking, you can switch to a different app/page and the text does not need to remain selected.

Endnote: If you have a student who struggles to speak any English, show him/her this feature and encourage him/her to use it outside the class. Language production requires a massive amount of input.

Happy reading/listening!

Teach with Real-time Captions in Powerpoint!

If you use Microsoft Powerpoint Online to teach, you NEED to try this feature. What you say in class will be automatically captured and shown on the screen. A good tool to use if you know some students are struggling to understand English instructions.

To use this function,  you have to save your Powerpoint slides in your OneDrive or Sharepoint.

You will then need to change the settings for the slide show:

 

Choose English for both the Spoken language and the Subtitle Language.

You can choose Chinese as well! Just remember to select Chinese for both Spoken and Subtitle language.

Then choose where you want the subtitle to be – below slides works perfectly.

 

 

 

When you present the slides, click the subtitle button down in the left corner:

A confirmation page will show up the first time you use this function. Now anything you say will be transcribed on the screen!

 

Pros:

Scaffold Listening

If you have students who may shut-down for verbal instructions but do just fine with readings, this function may help them to process and decode spoken English.

Student Engagement

The time when Palacios and I accidentally switched it on, the students were amazed by being able to “see” what they hear. They paid close attention to what we said and were definitely cross-referencing that with the captions on the screen.

Easy Set-up

Since every teacher at NCPA has an Office 365 account, this function is ready to use. No need of registering /authorizing/linking your account with another website!

Go Wherever You Need

You may think you will have to stand right next to the computer so that it can pick up your words. However, real-use in the classroom has shown that the computer is able to detect utterance from the other side of the classroom (AQ1). Depending on your own setting, the situation may be slightly different – be flexible.

Cons:

Possible Longer Processing Time

Bilingual students process language in different ways – seeing English words may trigger Chinese translation on their minds. It is possible to cause some students a longer time to fully understand the whole situation because of the bi-sensory circumstance.

Only on Office 365

If you are not a fan of Microsoft Office, or if you prefer to use the app version of Powerpoint, you can’t use this function.

One Mic

You need to make sure you are the only person talking otherwise the subtitle will not make sense. Your computer is very sensitive to noise. It also means that if a student answers a question in English, Powerpoint can help to transcribe it.

 

Give it a try to see if it works for your class!

 

Acknowledge:

Thanks to @Palacios to notice this Powerpoint feature!

Resources:

Present with real-time, automatic captions or subtitles in PowerPoint

 

Optimize Your Use of the Whiteboard Tables Now!

At NCPA, we are facilitated with the wonderful whiteboard tables but – how can students use it meaningfully? You must have noticed that students are generally engaged when you tell them they can write things down on the tables. Use their excitement as the starting point to create some different learning experiences!

  • Input Stage – Notetaking and Question-answering 
    • Whenever there is a 10 minutes-ish input time – either it’s you talking or a video – ask your students to grab a marker and take notes. You can easily differentiate the notes depending on students’ language proficiency:
      • only copy words from subtitle (video)
      • write in phrases
      • write down content-specific words only
      • allow drawing as notes
      • allow writing in Chinese

 

(Students writing down what they see and what they notice from summative samples)

    • A tabletop is a perfect place for students to write down answers quickly:
      • Do Now – questions to review the previous lesson
      • 10-2 – a perfect follow up of input activity: ask students to use the notes to answer a question about the information they just hear
      • Preparation for discussion – having a few words written helps ELLs to have oral output

(Students writing down what they can say to practice persuasive strategies)

 

  • Intake Stage – Information Organizing
    • Mindmaps

Whenever you want students to summarize or synthesizing a piece of information, mindmap is always a good tool. Allowing students to create mindmaps on their tables gives them a third-space to storage their ideas; it also allows them to quickly share their design or generate conversation around it.

(Students creating mindmap with a list of translate content vocabulary)

  • Sorting and Matching

Consider the table to be a giant piece of blank paper – many of the charts you have to print before may not be needed now. If you want students to put words or any information into different categories, they can simply draw the charts, lines, and write the words on their tables.

(Students sorting examples of living in the Neolithic and Paleolithic Age into different categories)

  • Comparing and Contrasting

Drawing and filling a T-chart is much easier to be done on a bigger surface. You can also ask students to draw the chart over on two tables. Even more exciting!

(Example chart to compare different water problems)

  • Output Stage – Presenting 
    • If you think gallery walk is too much preparation, the tables can be easily turned into the materials you need. Ask students to draw, write and design on their tables; then, you write down the numbers of the stations on the tables; when they are ready to present, everything is clear and in order.

 

  • Grouping/Classroom management 
    • You can number off students by writing it down on their desks. No student has the excuse that they forget the number!
    • When you need to introduce a new seating arrangement, write down their names on the desk.

 

BONUS: Office Lens

A drawback of using the whiteboard table is that students may not be able to save the work they produced. Of course, you can allow them to take a picture of any needed information. To further organize it, using Office Lens can be helpful. The mobile app is free to download and use. Basically, Lens can scan to create documents or pictures. As part of the Office family, Lens is connected with OneDrive, Outlook and many other apps – which allows you to easily export and save your scanned image at a specific online location, or share with another person.

There are three modes: 1. Whiteboard 2. Document 3. Business Card

Whiteboard mode works the best with our tables or any other white/light color background surface.

Document mode is good to use to scan any print materials.

Business Card mode is good for business cards, I suppose.

 

 

 

 

A picture is generated after taking a picture of the material. If you are in the Whiteboard mode, the background of the material will be altered to be white. The scanning area will also be larger than in the Document mode.

You can edit, add notes or add another page at this step.

 

 

 

 

 

When you press the Done button, Lens will ask you what you want to do with the material. You will need to connect your Microsoft 365 account when it’s the first time you come to this screen. After setting it up, you can choose to either just add it as a picture, or export as a PDF file, or simply send it out with an email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the files you created can be found on the welcome screen – tap on the three-dot button and then “My Files.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgment: 

Special thanks to my co-teaching team @Palacios and @Elsen for always being so creative and flexible to allow the best content + language learning experience to happen in social studies classroom!

Another thank you to @Kelsey for bringing up the useful Office Lens.

 

Cellphone Games for English Learning

The traditional Cross-and-down has envolved to the next level – check out the following three English related games which provide a unique perspective of learning the language and having fun at the same time.

 

1. Alphabear I & II

Fun, easy game to start noticing spelling techniques and the rules make up a word. Simply put the letters in the field to form a word and collect the bears.

 

2. Typeshift

Powered by the whole dictionary of Merrian-Webster, this game requires its player a good knowledge of morphemes. It may be difficult to identify all the possible combinations of the listed letters, but that is why it is addictive!

 

3. Dear Reader

Read a classic novel by putting the keywords in the appropriate place to form correct sentences. Long text is chunked into short, manageable paragraphs for easy access. Recommended!

 

 

Edpuzzle – Interactive Video Creator

The problem of playing an information video to a whole class may include:

  1. Student disengaged after the beginning 2 minutes
  2. Too much information for students to understand on the spot
  3. You can’t pause and explain everything

Well, with the use of Edpuzzle.com, you can have a way to maintain student engagement and provide a necessary supplementary explanation while playing a video – free and fast.

What you will need to do is:

  • Create an Edpuzzle account.
  • Choose a video to start with – choose one of the channels listed below and search for a video you want to edit.

  • You can also upload your own video through here:

  • Go through the steps to crop the video and insert different types of questions.

  • Test run before you finish editing.

The introductory PPT slides are also attached to this post. Feel free to download it and have a look!