Posts tagged ‘Edmodo’

Digital Creations with EdCanvas

“In creating, the only hard thing is to begin.” By James Russel Lowell

Edcanvas is a tool I shared during the Edulum’s tool smack down and figured it needed more explaining then just the two minutes I had. Edcanvas is a place where you can create presentations, projects, share resources, flip the classroom and so much more. You can create meaningful content on any Common Core or Essential Standard in minutes, yes minutes! You can also use any device as it is mobile responsive.

Once you create an account and are logged in you will see that on the left hand side you can see your canvases, classes and gallery. To start a canvas, click on creating a canvas and enter the title for the canvas at the top. You can search for resources using the search options on the right. Notice there are many options of things you can use such as YouTube, Google Drive, Flickr, Website Links and Educreations. Once you have the resource you want drag it to a box and drop it. That is it, how easy! At the top you can change your theme and templates. Notice when you scroll over a box you can add text and/or embed a quiz!

One of my favorite features is the sharing options Edcanvas has. You can share the canvas so many different ways but it also has a unique way as well that I haven’t seen on many web tool sharing options. On Edcanvas sharing you also have the option of creating a QR code; how convenient is that!

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Here is my Edcanvas that I made in 5 mins. http://edcvs.co/133iyic

Creating a class is just as easy and a great way to help you differentiate. To start click on add class, select a new class and then name your class. It will give you a code that you can post on your workflow platform. Your students will go to Edcanvas.com and select sign-up then click the student tab. Have them register using the course code. (Notice no email address is needed as it is an option only.)

Other Awesome Features:

– Autosaves (great for students who forget to save)

– It can integrated with Edmodo

– Gallery of resources from other educators

– Click on play to present your Edcanvas

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Apps and Sites That Work on All Devices for BYOT

“Honestly, I think we should be delighted people still want to read, be it on a Kindle or a Nook or whatever the latest device is.” By J.K. Rowling

With more and more schools launching, ‘Bring Your Own Technology’ or ‘Bringing Your Own Device’ (BYOT/BYOD) I created a symbaloo of all apps and web tools that work on all devices to help educators get started. Even though I am a firm believe, it doesn’t matter what site/app the students use to show mastery of a concept, some educators need a starting place and many have loved this symbaloo so I, of course, want to pass it along.

Typically when you click on the symbaloo tile it will bring you to a website/app that is linked. This symbaloo is a little different because I can’t embed the symboloo because wordpress doesn’t allow iframe widgets, so I had to make it a screen shot with url link.

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If there are sites that work on all devices that you have learned about, I would love to add them to my symbaloo. Please share in the comment section as websites are making apps everyday.

If you would like to view my previous posts on BYOT see below:

Bring Your Own Devices Resources

5 Best Practices for BYOT in the Classroom

Getting Teachers and Parents Comfortable with BYOT

Rolling Out Our BYOT

BYOT and Balancing Equality 

BYOT Our First Month in Review

Tips and Resources for a Paperless Classroom

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” By Paul J. Meyer

paperless-greenYou can go paperless, or at least reduce the use of paper in your classroom many different ways. It is easier if you are a school that has Bring Your Own Technology/Device (BYOT or BYOD) implemented but not impossible to do without devices. Below are a few tips/ideas to help you get started along with some other Paperless resources.

1. Decide on a workflow. Have students submit assignments and homework via online. Use sites such as Gaggle, Edmodo, Moodle  etc

2. Use web tools for productivity! Have student’s….

– create ebooks using flipsnack or scribble press

– present material using PowerPoint, Slide Rocket or Prezi

– keep a digital portfolio via Evernote, WikiSpaces or Mahara

– collaborate in real time using Google Docs, Zoho Documents or Mur.ly

– represent their knowledge (informal or formal assessment) through Todays Meet, Edu Glogster, Show Me or Poll Everywhere

3. Have your students blog instead of writing stories, reading responses or essays.

4. Use individual whiteboards to work out problems or brainstorm.

5. Use a doc camera or interactive whiteboard instead of showing examples on paper

6. Have more class discussions and debates!

7. Have students collaborate using 1 piece of paper verse 4. It also allows them to practice 21st century skills of collaboration, communication and critical thinking.

8. Keep a grade book online or by using a spreadsheet

9. Create eNewsletters, use email or vodcast to share out what is happening in your classroom.

10. Use a wiki or website to display hotlists, webquests and resources so students are active in their learning instead of passive.

This year in my personal life I have been trying to go paperless as well, to practice what I preach. Some of the things I have started changing is having all my bills as online payments, grocery lists are now in my Evernote or Notes App and I am having stores email me my receipts.

Paperless Resources

Paperless Coalition

Prezi- The Paperless Classroom

Paperless Classroom Blog

Paperless Classroom Website

5 Applications to Help go Paperless

Please share any tips or resources you have for making your classroom or personal life paperless!

Applying 21st Century Skills with Common Core and Trading Cards

“Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better.”  by Richard Paul

My new favorite FREE tool for the classroom, for grades 3-12, is Trading Cards; which is an iOS App and also web based  by ReadWriteThink. This tool is user-friendly  and allows students to practice 21st century skills with integration of Common Core Curriculum. The Trading Card tool gives students a choice to demonstrate their literacy knowledge by creating a trading card about a real or fictional character.

When you use this tool in the classroom, the learners apply all their 21st century skills. The students  have to….

– critically think about the information they need to write in each section. The sections have guiding questions to help the students if they need it.

– communicate the information in 120 characters or less per section.

– create the card adding a picture of the character they are describing.

– collaborate if you have the students work together.

The tool is user friendly and the creator can chose different backgrounds/designs and can also organize the cards by putting them in different collections. My favorite feature is that you can also share the cards multiple ways. One way is you can download them to your camera roll and then upload them to Edmodo or Gaggle accounts and have class discussions about the cards. Having students create cards based on characters in their books help them think about perspective in a creative way. This is also a great way for students to reflect on a biography they have read to synthesize the information.  There are a lot of lesson plans already created for grades 3-12, check them out here.

Here is the one I created on Steve Jobs on my iPad, then saved it to my camera roll.

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If you have used ReadWriteThink- Trading Cards in the classroom I would love to know how; please share in the comment section.

BYOT: Our First Month in Review

“A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.” – Thomas Carruthers

It has been a month for our Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) pilot and it has been a hug success. Each week we have more and more students bringing in devices as parents are ‘seeing’ how our teachers are using them educationally.

Each week our teachers have shared what has worked and what has not worked during their planning sessions. During this time we problem solve on how we can make it better. We have found letting the students use the device how they see fit and giving them the choice has been helpful. Meaning we do not ‘deem’ a day when they can bring their device but rather let the students bring their devices everyday and letting them know when they can take them out and use them in the classroom, just like a book. We did have some trouble as far as workflow and getting assignments turned in because of the different formats but we have found using Gaggle and Edmodo have helped with this.

Every month for the first few months we plan on doing a ‘device dig’. The device dig is when our teachers and students inventory what devices the students are bringing along with how many. We have been using this real world data as a learning experience for the students as well because they have been making graphs by collecting and analyzing the data. Then the students compare all the fifth grade classes as well.

Our device dig data for Nov

170 students 85 are bringing devices – 50%

iPods- 38

Tablets – 18 (iPads, Samsung Galaxy etc)

eReaders – 12 (Kindles and Nooks)

Phones -10

Laptops – 7

We predict after the holiday season we will have at least 20% increase and be closer to 70% of our students brining in devices. We are basing this prediction on the number of phone calls and emails asking what devices they (the parents) should buy. We have also had a lot of questions about the iPad mini’s so I do think we will see this newer device as well.

Here is a graph that represents what our usage is; the blue is internet and the red is our wi-fi. (Remember this is one grade level, 5th grade, in a K-5 school of over 1100 students.)

WiFi Usage and Internet Usage

In order for our parents to ‘see’ what we are doing with our BYOT in the classrooms we take many photo’s and post them onto our Twitter and schools Facebook Page. We also make movie trailers as a quick, easy way to grab some parents attention.

Creating Virtual Professional Developments

All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.  ~Martin H. Fischer

It is that time of year again when the end of the school year is in site and teachers are starting to sign up for Summer Professional Developments (PD). Often I hear teacher excuses about why they can’t attend Summer Professional Developments such as I don’t have time, day care or they are traveling for summer. After hearing these excuses it made me ponder ways that I could help teachers obtain PD. The best way, I could think of, was to offer the teachers at my school a virtual PD. This way teachers could ‘attend’ on their own time and it didn’t matter where in the world they were traveling too.

I decided the easiest way to create my first virtual PD was to do a book study. I choose to use the book, ‘Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to help Students Learn’ as I had completed this book study recently. I also felt it would be the most beneficial to the teachers because it capitalizes on the Common Core’s 8 Mathematical Standards as well as best practices.

I wanted teachers to also start feeling more comfortable with technology that they could possible start using in their own classrooms, so I decided to use the platform Edmodo.  Edmodo is also simple and user friendly because it is a similar set-up to Facebook which people are familiar with. I like that you can post videos, links, files etc easily. All I had to do in Edmodo was create a group and post the assignments for the book study.

To make it even easier for the teachers I did a few things. One, I offered ‘trainings’ on how to use Edmodo and if they needed more help I also offered one-on-one ‘training’ to each teacher that registered. Two, I created 3 timeline ‘schedules’ they could chose from to help keep them stay on track such as ‘Steady all Summer’, ‘Two at a Time’ or “Get ‘er Done’. Three, the assignments I created for the book study were things they can use in the classroom starting in the beginning of the year. (For example, one assignment is to create an edu.glogster, Prezi, Kerpoof, PowerPoint etc on the 5 Classroom Talks from the book. This way they can use what they have created in their classroom when they are introducing the 5 talks to their students.)

If you decide to do Virtual PD this summer for your staff I recommend  3 things….

1. Choose a book or topic that is relevant

2. Make the assignments so the teachers can use them in their classroom

3. Use a platform that is easy to use (such as Edmodo or Moodle)

If you have created Virtual Professional Developments for Elementary Teachers, I would love to hear any tips, tricks and/or what you did that made it successful. Please share in the comments section.

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