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Showing posts from January, 2016

Online Learning Tool: IXL - Math and English

We have used this tool in our district for a few years now. IXL offers standards-aligned practice and curriculum for grades K-12. I witnessed a lot of student success with this tool. IXL is not a free tool, but has been well worth it according to many of the teachers using IXL. This tool works on virtually any device with a web browser and internet access. From IXL's Description on iTunes Highlights of IXL - Comprehensive standards-aligned curriculum 
 - Wide variety of question types to engage students 
- Unlimited access to all grade levels
 - Insightful reports and weekly updates on your student’s progress
 - 20 billion unique problems answered on IXL 
More than 3,300 standards-aligned skills provide comprehensive coverage of pre-K through 12th grade math. Unlimited questions and no templates mean students can practice, review, and master a skill—and never see the same question twice. From skip-counting with pictures to graphing quadratic functi

197 YouTube Channels for Learning

This post from Teach Thought is a great resource for finding educational YouTube channels. Here are a few that I liked below. General Education Sources YouTube EDU Teaching Channel Ted & Ted-Ed Edutopia ASCD Khan Academy, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Biography, Smithsonian Technology Related Links ISTE This week in Tech The Computer History Museum Not on the list, but I found interesting Crash Course Great source for quick and informative overviews on certain topics. 8-Bit Guy (Formerly iBook Guy) I just find this channel fascinating. This "guy" posts a lot of interesting videos on the history of some tech as well as determining if older tech is obsolete. If you are a fan of old video games, check out his "How 8-bit Sounds Works" & "How Old School Graphics Work"

Useing Technology in Your Faculty Meetings Two tools I know my school district uses... Have faculty bring their devices Have faculty share tech experiences or tech tools

Chromebooks: Tools for creating Animation

WeVideo WeVideo makes video editing easy for everyone and accessible from anywhere. It supports three editing modes: storyboard, timeline and advanced mode and allows you to trim videos to focus on key moments. You can also add text, effects, music and transitions and choose from over 100 royalty-free effects and audio clips to enhance your videos. Other interesting features provided by WeVideo include: record and add your voice-overs, choose from a wide variety of professional themes to use with your videos, invite others to collaborate with you on your videos using Google Drive, publish to YouTube or Drive and share your videos on Facebook and Twitter. PowToon Presentation Edu Pontoon Edu allows you to animate difficult topics and engage your students using a wide variety of tools. You can easily drag and drop characters and props into your slides and assign it an animation, choose from different pre-designed templates and style libraries.Videos and animated pre

Strategies for Encouraging Critical Thinking

I came across this article today that offers some good tips to encourage critical thinking skills in your classroom. These strategies are low-tech. It goes to show that a good teacher, not just technology, can make a huge impact on student learning. Here are a few of the points from the article below, as well as some of my input. Know when to jump in to help (Don't always jump in to help) A skill that I have learned providing tech support. Troubleshooting is a very high level of thinking. It is a skill that teaches you to find more than one answer and eliminate the incorrect ones. The more you troubleshoot, the more efficient your thinking skills become. Don't take that away from students. Make Connections Learn with a purpose. I can try to learn to play the piano. If there is not a particular song I am interested in playing however, the learning experience is very difficult, I lose interes

Web Tools: Theme Poems - ReadWriteThink I really like the tools offered on If you are an educator, and have never been there, you should check it out. This particular tool is geared toward students creating their own theme poems. While using the tool, students learn exactly what a theme poem is. Students can save and publish their work as well. Video Tutorial/Overview

iPad App: Mystery Word Town - Sight Word Spelling Pros: Witty characters and fun challenges draw kids in and keep them playing. Cons: The ability for teachers to get student reports would be very helpful. Bottom Line: A challenging and really fun way for kids to practice spelling.

Get The Most Out of Your Teacher iPad

This site offers some great tips about using the 1 teacher iPad in your classroom. I have neglected it in recent months, but I also have a site with some good iPad tips and tricks

Chromebooks: Apps for Creating Infographics and Posters

PiktoChart PiktoChart is a web-based application that allows you to create beautiful visuals without the need for any prior design knowledge. You can choose from a wide variety of professionally made templates; customize the text, graphics, charts and color of your infographics, add interactive elements such as charts, HTML output then save and publish to social networks or download as an image. Canva Canva is another powerful tool to create visuals on Chrome. It allows you to design a number of things that include flyers, presentations, cards, invitations and posters. You can choose ‘from more than one million layouts, stock photographs and illustrations. Search for the best graphics, photos, and fonts then use Canva’s simple drag and drop tool to create a design.’ ThingLink ThingLink is an excellent web tool that allows you to create interactive images online. The images you create can come alive by adding to them text, video, music, and links. ThingLink has al

Project-Based Learning and Gamification

Check out this great article from EduTopia about Project Based Learning and Gamification A very interesting topic covered in this article is the idea of a lesson plan web, showing the different ways that lessons open up based on completion of previous lessons. "So lesson A starts a student on their journey of learning. Kids submit their assignment, and I approve it (which then opens up lessons B and C). B, once approved, opens up D, and so on."

Scrumy - Formative Assessment Tool From Scrumy is a project management tool loosely based off of Scrum . Who made this thing? A few guys with ridiculous mustaches and inconsistent accents. Why does Scrumy exist? We were attempting to use Scrum to manage our projects, but the generic sticky notes we bought kept falling off the wall. We looked for online solutions to scrum, but all of them were too complicated and expensive. All we really wanted was an online version of our wall sticky notes. So we made one. How much does Scrumy cost? The original version of Scrumy is and will always be available for free. However, we did take some time to add a few extra features which you can get by clicking the upgrade link on your project. You can upgrade for $7/month, or $5/month if you prepay for a year.

Study Tools: Flashcard Apps

If you are looking to create flashcard style reviews with online tools, the following tools may help you. Quizlet - StudyStack - Cram - Source & More Info:

Using Ted-Ed - Lessons By Grade Level

If you haven't seen Ted-Ed, take a look at the link below. View Lessons By Grade Level

GoFormative - Formative Assessment Tool

Description : GoFormative is an assessment tool where students can type, draw, or submit images to demonstrate their understanding. What differentiates this tool is that you can upload existing assignments from pdfs, Word, and Google Docs, and add interactive pieces to them. What this means is that much of your existing best lessons and resources can find new life in a digital format. For more information

Social Media FOR Schools

Does your school embrace or block out social media? Schools that I have read about in case studies, as well as schools in my local area, differ greatly with policies regarding social media. There are many aspects to look at when learning how to use social media for your school. The post below presents some information on social media in schools.  Blog Post on Social Media for Schools This post does not focus on any of these issues, but on the potential of using social media FOR schools. Telling the story of schools serves several purposes: curation (find, filter, organize, connect and present) information for their stakeholders adding value to a conversation, topic, theme, initiative with quality content sharing of best practices in teaching and learning making quality content visible to and shareable with others creating connections and a network of schools to advance education documenting institutional memory

How to be a Teacherpreneur!

I recently finished the book Teacherpreneurs by Berry, Byrd, and Wieder . A very good read for those of you who wish to innovate and/or become teacher leaders. What is a Teacherpreneur? Teacherpreneurs are classroom experts who teach students regularly, but also have time, space, and reward to incubate and execute their own ideas -- just like entrepreneurs! For more information Blog Article on Teacherpreneurs: EduTopia Article on Teacherpreneurs:

Co-Teaching - Making it Work

There is a lot of great information in the last issue of Educational Leadership Magazine recently. I have co-taught with a lot of different teachers at different grade levels. To Clone or Not to Clone : One of the biggest challenges I faced with co-teaching was keeping myself from stepping on the other teacher's toes (so to speak). I was constantly thinking about keeping a respectful boundary from the other teacher. This checklist below would be invaluable if I was still co-teaching today. It sounds really simple, but writing down the responsibilities of each teacher could help tremendously. Figure 1. Collaborative Teaching Responsibilities Checklist Directions:  Discuss the following questions with your partner and reach a conclusion in each case regarding who will bear the responsibility for the tasks. Who will be responsible for Classroom Teacher S

Integrating Google Calendar to Google Classroom See this article for instructions on how to integrate Google Calendar into your Google Classroom, or see the video below.

Twitter BINGO

This article presents a great idea about using Twitter Bingo in your school.

Digital Badges - Better than grades? This article has very interesting ideas about giving badges for each standard mastered in a course. This could be more meaningful than the final grade in the course.

Tiny Tap: Create your Own Games

This tool was started initially as a way to help a patient with dementia. However, it has a lot of potential to help engage your students in the classroom as well. Create your own games for students to practice on... or you can do what I often like to do... Have students create their own review games!

65 Things You Can Do In iOS 9 That You Couldn’t In iOS 8

If you haven't made the update yet, you probably should. If you use your device for "AirPlay" for wireless mirroring to an Apple TV, it is always best to keep your devices up-to-date. Features I constantly use: Siri Suggestions Drawing, Sketching, and Checklists in Notes the "Back To" Button 4x4 Folders on iPads Now 16 apps fit in a folder page rather than 9 on the previous iOS Music automatically playing when you plug in headphones (or other audio device using a headphone jack) I keep meaning to set up Apple Pay. Split View****** This is by far my favorite update! What can run iOS 9?

iPad App - Pox: Save the People Pros: Really engaging gameplay with a very important lesson and strategy practice. Cons: Eerie music may be too distracting and sad for some kids (but can be turned off). Bottom Line: POX: Save the People is an incredible game of strategy, collaboration, and public health education.

Using Video in Online Courses

There are many tools you can use for video in your Online Courses. This article offers some good tips on how to use video in online (or blended) classes. Where should you add video to the course? Student & Teacher Introduction Videos Unit/Lesson Introductions or Overviews Content Presentations How long should videos be? "Engagement drops off as videos get longer" "One minute or less is recommended" -- "Several shorter videos are more likely to be watched in their entirety than one longer video." Add engagement to your videos with EdPuzzle Educannon Add questions during videos

Apple's New iPad in Education Features iOS 9.3 Preview

Coming soon to iPads in education. This update will apply to every iPad since the iPad 2 (released nearly 5 years ago!) The biggest new feature I am looking forward to after managing iPads for nearly 4 years is MULTIPLE USER ACCOUNTS on iPads, FINALLY! See more from here:

Using Google Drawing in the Classroom

This article offers several good tips for using Google Drawing in the classroom. Mind Maps Example

10 Lessons For The Digital Teacher

Very interesting article about teaching with digital tools.

How Technology Should Have Already Changed Your Teaching

Very interesting article about the impact of technology on teaching.

Evaluating Apps for the Classroom

iBook on Evaluating Apps for the Classroom

Automatic charts and insights in Google Sheets

Have you ever used the "Explore" button in Google Sheets? More information:

Twitter for Learning

5 Ideas for Using Twitter for PD in Your School District For more information on the info-graphic, check out this link below. Easy Tweets Learn English with real tweets at your language level. 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom 28 Creative Ideas for Teaching with Twitter

Collaborating with Google Hangouts

Does your school allow hangouts for students? This tool has been great for me as an educator. I have been able to successfully collaborate with other teachers, students, as well as industry professionals over Google Hangouts. I have also just recently hosted my first "Hangouts On-Air." Collaborative Learning with Google Hangouts from Shelly Sanchez Terrell