Posts tagged ‘Technology’

Transforming Literacy Practices with Digital Tools

“Technology can and should be used as a tool to open the classroom to the world, to ensure that teachers present standards in a way that fosters active engagement and participation in meaningful ways.” – from Pencils to Podcasts 

Guest blog post by Katie Stover

Who knew what started as a partnership between my education students at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina and Lindsay Yearta’s fifth graders in Rock Hill, South Carolina would become a catalyst for a larger endeavor. In 2013, both groups of students read Linda Sue Park’s novel, A Long Walk to Water  and used Kid Blog as a platform for ongoing conversation about the book. This digital book club enhanced the fifth graders’ motivation and engagement in reading while providing the preservice teachers with a hands-on experience working with elementary-aged learners. The online reader response provided the preservice teachers with authentic assessment and instructional opportunities without having to physically be present in the classroom. They used students’ written responses as a springboard for online conversation about the shared text. The preservice teachers modeled proficient reader strategies like connecting, predicting, and inferring. They then probed and engaged the fifth graders through questioning to elicit deeper comprehension and discussion of the text.

When sharing about this mutually beneficial blogging partnership at the International Literacy Conference in 2014, we were asked by Solution Tree Publishers to consider writing a book about ways to integrate technology into teaching and learning. Fast forward two years later and we are thrilled to announce our new book titled, From Pencils to Podcasts: Digital Tools to Transform K-6 Literacy Practices will be released at the end of August. In this book, we share more about the online book club as well as over a dozen other suggestions for embedding technology into the curriculum to prepare students to meet the demands of the 21st century. We offer practical suggestions for integrating digital tools into familiar literacy practices to facilitate comprehension, evaluation, publication, and assessment. Each chapter provides a vignette, easy-to-use digital tools, step by step instructions for getting started as well as authentic classroom examples and suggestions for adapting across content areas.

We would love to hear from you as you try out and adapt any ideas from the book in your own schools!  Our Twitter handles are: Katie Stover @kstover24 and Lindsay Yearta @lyearta 

From Pencils to Podcasts

Join #21stedchat on October 2nd, 2017 @ 8:00 EST PM with @edu_thompson and @dprindle with guest host @kstover24 as we discuss the book From Pencils to Podcasts: Digital Tools to Transform K-6 Literacy Practices 

To read more about the blogging partnership and other publications by Katie Stover, visit https://furman.academia.edu/KatieStover.

Also check out another great book coauthored by Katie Stover, Smuggling Writing: Strategies That Get Students to Write Every Day, in Every Content Area, Grades 3-12

 

 

A Different Approach to Using OpenEd’s Google Add On

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. ” By Albert Einstein

OpenEd has recently released a new FREE Google Doc Add On called Lesson Plan Tool For Docs.  It is an add on tool built into Google documents that pops up on the right hand side (similar to how the research feature works on Google documents) that allows you to add resources to your lesson plans. You can search for K-12 resources from opened.com which makes it simple to integrate into your document. OpenED has videos, games, assessments and more all aligned to common core standards. 

You can find resources that are aligned to standards, two different ways. One way is by using the search box. Input a standard that you need resources for such as 5.NF.1 and the aligned resources will appear below. The second way is to select a standard drop down and navigate to the standard you are looking for. Teachers can obviously use this tool to build lesson plans, units of study or curriculum maps but I would use it differently!

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 8.49.34 AM

I would use this tool to build playlist or pathways for students by standard; very similar to how I have used Blendspace in the past. To create a Pathway (example below), where students have choice of what tasks they want to complete based on a particular standard; using the ‘Lesson Plan Add on Tool’ teachers can simply drag and drop resources to create some of the tasks for the pathways by standards. You can also use the assessments that are in OpenEd as checkpoints. This saves teachers time and allows them to stay within one platform (Google) plus it is easy to assign to Google Classroom as well.

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Below are some articles and more information on Lesson Plan Tools for Google Docs:

Lesson Plan Tool Docs by OpenEd

A New Lesson Plan Tool for Google Docs by Richard Byrne

OpenEd Facebook and Twitter pages

How to video on Adding on Lesson Plan Tools for Google Docs

Using Memes in the Classroom

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

Memes are images, videos, etc that has a message attached to it. Memes have been made popular on social media sites but they can also be popular in the classroom or in Professional Developments. Below are 5 ways you can use memes and how to make one.

  1. Create rules/procedures for your classroom, school or PD session using memes
  2. Have students create for a message they need to convey for any topic (Ex political or current event)
  3. Use them to teach digital citizenship. For example teaching students to recognize memes versus truths
  4. Have students create one for a character in a book they are reading
  5. Have students create motivational posters or create messages for PD sessions

steve-jobs-real.jpgbuilt-this-meme.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like using Make a Meme site because it’s free and simple. First decide what you are creating a meme for (what is your goal). Then follow these three easy steps”

  1. Create an account to login (FREE)
  2. Explore meme pictures or create your own based on your goal.
    • To make mine above I used an app called bitemoji  to make my avatar (that looks like me) and then uploaded it to the site.
  3. Add the text content and click create your meme
    • Note you can make the meme private or public. I made mine private so only I can use it and it can not be found in the gallery.

Some memes can be inappropriate for students, so a level of supervision is recommended. We must remember to always remind our students of our digital citizenships expectations and that students under 13 need permission to use web tools based on the COPPA Law . Other sites you can create meme’s with are Google drawings, Know Your Meme and Meme Creator.

As always I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts on using memes in the classroom.

Apple 9.3 Update = Education

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” Steve Jobs

Apple announced a few months ago it was debuting beta features to make device management easier for district and school IT departments (such as Apple Admins). With the release of iOS 9.3 on March 21, these features are now publicly available and many are specific to education.

  1. Classroom App offers more functionalities that are helpful for teachers. They included a teacher’s guide as well.
  2. Updates Improve Device Management such as allowing classrooms to assign multiple users to devices so students can share iPads!
  3. New Apple Education Preview Site

Apple says: “With the iOS 9.3 beta, you’ll find a preview of new features that will make it even easier for schools to put devices where they’ll have the greatest impact — in the hands of students.”

There are other cool features with iOS 9.3 such as 3D Touch, notes lock and night shift.

*Note: This update was also to help older Apple products such as iPad 2s work better with the operating system. There have been some glitches but an update has been released to fix this problem.

 

The Foos: Kids Coding App

“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.” By  Roger Lewin

The Foos is a coding app originally created for ‘The Hour of Code’ by the education company codeSpark. The Foos curriculum is based on research from MIT and Exploring Computer Science and they have mapped it to Common Core standards . Students will learn concepts such as problem solving, critical thinking, algorithms and more. Students start with challenging puzzles and then level up to coding their own games.

Fast Facts:

  • Free
  • Available as an iOS and Android  App and also on all browsers
  • Ages 3-8
  • No in App purchases

 

 

#NCTIES16 Round Up

“Leadership provides the vehicle for others to generate ideas!” By @PrincipalKafele 

One of my favorite conferences every year is #NCTIES. Below I have done a round up of resources from the sessions I  attended in no particular order that you can now look at and utilize in your classroom.

Best of the Web 2016 by Richard Byrne

Mobile Apps in Common Core Aligned ELA & Social Studies Lessons by Richard Byrne

Teaching “Wired” Learners by  Kevin Honeycutt

  • Use a video as an opportunity to narrate a story
  • Student Created Products
  • Quotes from Honeycutt that are meaningful:
    • Stop finding reasons to fail
    • Help students understand the transformational power of tech
    • The only cavalry that will save you is you!
    • People protect and support what they are proud of – tell the stories of success
      • People won’t attack stories about student success
    • Your biggest weakness is your biggest strength, ready to be told well.
    • Emotion cements learning

Sketchnoting in Classroom by Kathy Schrock
Global Collaboration (To Fit Your Needs) by Pernille Ripp

S.T.E.A.M Powered PBL for K/1 by Jill Zsuppan and Heather Surgen

Other random things I picked up:

  • Create a “You Matter Wall” have your kiddos write thoughtful messages to other students, teachers, family members, etc

  • Your plan and reality are not always the same!

  • Use the square root of your staff to find the number of staff to find momentum to see change in the classroom, coaching is a must

  • “We don’t need consensus  – we need momentum”

  • “What is the evidence that I am the instructional leader of my school?”

  • Stop and review your game film.  Is what you are doing making a difference for our students?

 

 

Creating with New* Web Tools

“One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.” By John W. Gardner

Below are new* FREE web tools I have come across that I think are wonderful additions to any classrooms because it allows students to be creators.  As always please check the terms of use for each site before utilizing in your classroom.  (*Newer to me)

Sound Trap is a tool that empowers students to create music and podcasts collaboratively or individually. Teachers can create group assignments and conference with students via video.

The Foos is a kids coding app that starts off with challenging puzzles and moves them to coding their own video games. The site has curriculum and resources for teachers to utilize as well.

The Learnia is an online whiteboard (think showme/educcreations) but for any browser. Create your own videos for a blended learning classroom environment or allow students too show what they know by creating their own.

Motivator is a tool where students can create their own motivation posters. Get creative with what students can do with this site to use their higher order thinking skills (H.O.T.S). For example – have them create a motivational poster as a character from a book.

Parapara Animation is an animation creation tool developed and hosted by Mozilla. It is simple to use and it does not require registration in order to use it.

If there is a new web tool that is free and that you love to use in your classroom that allows students to be creator, please share in the comments.

 

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