Posts tagged ‘Technology’

Wizenworld

“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” By Winston Churchill

I learned about Wizenworld via Twitter. Wizenworld asked me to try out their game based math learning platform for students and this is my review. This short video will give you a quick back ground on what Wizenworld is:

Once I created an account, Wizenworld walks you through a quick tutorial. This tutorial is great as you don’t need to teach the students how to use the product. It also explains your mission is to defeat goons and free the Meings. There are six different environments with different meings in each.

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I soon began my math adventure by choosing the domain (fractions)  then a strand (recognizing fractions). The first game I tried immediately reminded me of  old school Zelda but as I continued to try all the games, I noticed they were all different. I liked that the games have students apply the concepts using manipulatives such as number lines or pictures. This is a great way for students that are taking online assessments to practice in a fun way.

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The games are engaging, adaptive and fun. There is formative analysis on class and student level that provides actionable data for teachers and students. They are in beta so they are looking for feedback on how they can improve. I sent in feedback about aligning standards to Common Core and they are working on it. I would love to know your thoughts if you try this in your classroom.

#NCTIES14 Recap

“Live your life in beta! Be your best today and be better tomorrow.” by Adam Bellow

This week I attended the North Carolina Technology in Education Society (NCTIES) and like all conference I learned a wealth of information. If you are on twitter, you can also follow #ncties14 for all the tweets/resources shared. My favorite moment was meeting my PLN- #nced chat members (Tuesday @ 8:00 pm)  that attended the conference.  My second favorite moment was Adam Bellows closing keynote. I didn’t take any notes because I was so engaged. Below I decided to share my top 10 resources I learned but not in order as they are all awesome.

#NCED chat

1. Building Entrepreneurs by Kevin Honeycutt. Kevin shared a lot of great ways to build entrepreneurs such as researching entrepreneurs by study their biographies trying to crack their code to success. Make sure you check out his presentation by clicking here.

2. Minecraft Resources by Lucas Gillispie including assignment ideas.

3. Google Stuff: 1. Google Newspapers: Google has newspapers from everywhere and from all time periods. Great for non-fiction! 2. Google a Day Challenge question each day, good for morning work or when you have a few minutes after a lesson 3. Google Story Builder  create stories with others.

4. Edtalks: Collaborate, Innovate and Educate by Kevin Honeycutt

5. Maker Space Thinglink with great resources and ideas.

6. Intel Education Resources has a teaching program with tools for student centered learning.

7.  Organizing you Digital Life: The Personality Test

8. White House student Film Festival. Look what kids are making on their own and how creative!

9. Math Class Needs a Makeover 

10. Technology in Education: A Future Classroom

Google App Scripts for Educators

“The rise of Google, the rise of Facebook, the rise of Apple, I think are proof that there is a place for computer science as something that solves problems that people face every day.” By Eric Schmidt

Google

Recently I went to an ‘Advance Google Session’ at a conference that was conducted by John Warf.  The session was mostly about Google Apps Script (GAS). GAS is a JavaScript cloud scripting language that provides easy ways to automate tasks across Google products and third party services and build web applications.*  GAS lets you do more with Google Apps for Education (GAFE) such as drive and calendars. There a tons of already created scripts that help educators but you can also create your own by opening a Google Doc, spreadsheet etc and clicking on tools, script editor. Below is a complied list of the most helpful scripts for educators and links to how-to’s for each one:

GClass Folders: Create folders teachers need for class

GClass Hub: Pre-configured app-script that works with GClass folders for spreadsheets etc

Doctopus: Easily share documents with students

Flubaroo: Grading solution for Google forms

- FormEmailer: Automate emails on form data

- Formlimiter: Stop accepting additional forms

- Autocrat: Form data to Google documents in folder structure

FormRanger: Automatically populates the options in any multiple-choice, checkbox, or listbox style question in a Google form from any column in the attached spreadsheet.

Other Resources/Sites:

List of Google Apps Script by Programmer’s Library

Top 10 Google Apps Scripts for Education

Google + App Script Community

* Work Cited:

“Apps Script – Google Apps Script.” 2012. 23 Feb. 2014 <http://www.google.com/script/start/>

Why we should be App Smashing!

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” Robert Frost

‘App Smashing’ (I have also heard it called App Synergy) was invented by Gregory Kulowiec.  App Smashing is when students create content using a variety of apps for example smashing Tellagami and iMovie to make a video. Intro to App-Smashing from misterkling on Vimeo does a great job of explaining what App Smashing is more in-depth.

Why should you be App Smashing? That is easy, because why limit yourself or your students to just one app! App smashing allows more creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication of content mastery; all 21st century skills we want our students using along with integrating technology seamlessly. Take the concept a step further and have the students explain how they created their app smash.

10 FREE Apps You Can Smash:

1. Telligami

2. iMovie (now free) or TouchCast

3. Thinglink

4. Evernote

5. Skitch

6. Popplet Lite

7. Google Drive

8. Pic Collage

9. Haiku Deck

10. Story Me

Below are more resources on App Smashing:

On Twitter: #appsmashing #appsmash

App Synergy: The Art Form of App Smashing 

App Smash: The Ben Bloom Fist in the SAMR Glove

The Definitive App Smashing Guide

Place Value App Smash

How about you? Please share what App Smashing you have done with your students on the iPads?

Playlists in Education

“To provide children with the different support they need, a school has to be able to draw on resources that lie beyond its walls.”  Charles Leadbeater

The term ‘playlists’ is becoming more and more popular in education because it is a way that teachers can personalize students learning based on standards and interest. But when most people think of  playlists they think music but it is taking on a new meaning in education.

Playlists are tasks complied using multiple media resources such as urls, videos, articles, images, files, assessments etc. Often playlists are a unit or concept broken down into tasks for students to be able to learn at their own level, pace and time. Playlists are often used in a blended learning classroom when the teacher is facilitating a small group other students are working on their playlist that is individualized for them based on their needs.

Playlists is a very new concept and is also in beta mode in education. Educators and different web tool developers are still being ‘perfected’.  Below are a list of FREE Playlists web tools that I have been testing out. I have not found a favorite yet but OpenEd and Sophia are at the top of my list.

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OpenEd: There are three reasons I really like OpenEd. One reason that makes OpenEd different from other playlists is that it works with many other learning management systems (LMS) such as LearnZillion, You Tube and IXL. You can also choose by Common Core Standards as well. Another reason is because you can create courses which is great for teachers in the older grades or as a PD tool. The third reason is because the company is very responsive to suggestions and has teachers, like me, as Ambassadors to continue to make their product the best. I ask questions and they have responded both via email and twitter (@OpenEDio) within 24 hrs. They do have an Android App and are working on an iPad App but this site works on all devices using any browser. Adding your own resources is something that’s “in the works.”

Sophia.org: I have been using Sophia for years for the flipped classroom, recently I have started creating playlists. I like how user-friendly it is and they just added Common Core and NGSS-Aligned Content which has made a huge difference in using this web tool. I also like that Sophia provides Professional Development for teachers as well.

Other Playlists web tools:

Lesson Paths

Khan Academy

Activate Instruction

EDLE 

Blendspaces

Before playlists web tools were available I used Google docs to create playlists. I used the feature ‘Table of Contents’ (under insert) and added the resources for the students. This is something you can still do, the down fall, it takes a lot more time then having resources already curated for you. :-)

If you use a playlists web tool in your classroom that you love, please share in the comments section so our blog readers can add it to the list.

Technology Integration and Blended Learning – There is a Difference

“We learn by pushing ourselves and finding what really lie sat the outer reaches of our abilities.” Josh Waitzkin

Todays blog post stems from a question I often get asked, “What is the difference between technology integration and blended learning?” They are similar concepts as both use technology as  a tool for students to learn, a way to incorporate 21st century skills into lessons and often real world application. Lets break the two concepts down to better understand how both are effective practices for the classroom but are different.

Technology integration is when teachers use technology in a lesson or has students create to show mastery of curriculum standards. An example to technology integration is having students create or show mastery on an App/web tool such as ShowMe or EduGlogster. A great way to integrate technology into a lesson is to use the Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge (TPACK method) There are different levels of technology integration for a teacher, using a SMAR model or technology integration matrix, helps teachers see where they are on the continuum.

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Blended learning combines face to face classroom learning with global online content, giving student more control over the time, place, path, pace of their learning. There are many different models of blended learning. You can learn more in-depth definitions of  these blended learning models at the Christensen Institute. The pedagogy of blended learning is that the teachers’ role is to facilitate student instruction and mastery of  their goals, which is a shift in the tradition model.

This video does an excellent job of explaining the difference between blended learning and technology integration.

Creating with Pixiclip

“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.” By Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Pixiclip puts creating and recording at your fingertips as a FREE web app, that works on all devices. PixiClip provides a screencasting, whiteboard space where you can easily sketch a diagram, add your voice/video/image and type. The clips can be shared but made private, hidden, or even password protected.This web app doesn’t require you to create an account in order to use it but I did notice it worked much better in the chrome browser. Below are ways you can use this application in the classroom.

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1. Flipped Lesson: This is an easy tool to use to flip a lesson. Explaining  a concept such as, rock cycle, as you draw you can also include a video in the top corner that shows you explaining it or you  can just record your voice. Want to now how to start flipping your classroom or other good tools, click here to see my previous posts.

2. Student Assessment:  Get students showing what they know by having students explain a concept. They can easily share it with you by posting it in the blog (embed code) or emailing it.

3. Learning Vocabulary: Have the students draw a vocabulary word and have the other students guess it. Great way to add a creative way to review vocabulary. (Think of the App Draw Something but for education)

4. Reflection: Have the students upload an image of something they have created or done and share a reflection about what they learned or the process. Great for reflecting on a Problem or Project based learning (PBL) activity.

5. Creating Story/How to: Have students create short stories to help them understand beginning, middle and end or have them create how to’s with images.

I would love to know how you use it in the classroom, please share!

20 Digital Citizenship Resources

“Digital citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use.”  by Mike Ribble

Digital Citizenship is a concept which helps educators and parents to understand what student users should know to use technology appropriately. There are 9 elements of digital citizenship such as digital rights & responsibilities, digital law and digital etiquette. With more devices and blended learning, teaching Digital Citizenship in the classroom is apart of the hidden curriculum that should be infused with the schools/classrooms current Character Education program.

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Other Blogs and Resources on Digital Citizenship:

1. Curriculum: Understanding YouTube & Digital Citizenship

2. Know the Net Site

3. Digital Citizenship: There is more to teaching than three R’s

4. Common Sense Media

5. FBI Cyber Surfing

6. Live Binder of Digital Citizenship Resources

7. Educational Origami – 21st Century Pedagogy

8. Digital Passport

9. Copyright Website

10. Plagiarism.org

11. Internet Saftey

12. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning Digital Citizenship Posts

13. 20 Basic Rules For Digital Citizenship

14. 5 More Places To Help You Find Quality Creative Commons Images

15. Digital Citizenship in Schools

16. 10 Interactive Lessons By Google On Digital Citizenship

17. Digital Citizenship Comic

18. Brain Pop: Digital Citizenship (Free)

19. Teachers Channel – Super Digital Citizen

20. Ideas for Digital Citizenship PBL Projects

I would love to know how you teach digital citizenship. Please share in the comments.

Engaging Students with GoogleTreks

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” By St. Augustine

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I was recently came across this amazing Google Site called  GoogleTreks  – taking virtual field trip and learning to a whole new place. (GoogleTreks™ is not affiliated with or endorsed by Google® or any of its companies. Google® is a registered trademark.) GoogleTreks was created by Dr. Alice Christie who is a Google Certified Teacher and has taught in the classroom for 25 years. Dr. Christie used the formula of  web tools + Google Maps = GoogleTrek. Here is an example of GoogleTreks she created about the History of GoogleTreks.

GoogleTreks are engaging lessons that can work on any device which makes for great activities for Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) or technology rich classrooms. The lessons also have the students using their 21st century skills of creating, collaborating, communicating and critically thinking while also aligned to Common Core Standards. You can easily differentiate these lessons and make them accessible using QR Codes. You could also have the students create their own to show mastery of content. Check out some of these great ones below:

How Does Global Warming Affect Human Health?

5.G.4. Classify two-dimensional figures in a hierarchy based on properties

Want to make your own GoogleTrek? Use this tutorial and create your own, it walks you through the steps. Then you can submit them  here for others or you can have it saved in your google account. If you chose to submit, all GoogleTreks are scored based on a rubric so you know you are getting quality lessons.

Other Google Trek Resources:

Google Treks gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Maps’ most awe-inspiring Views

Google Trek – Street View

Trek the world with Google Maps

INTERNET EXPLORER: Take a virtual field trip with Google Treks

I would love to hear how you have used GoogleTrek or plan on using it if you are not already!

Utilizing Mathigon Site in the Classroom

“Math is like going to the gym for your brain. It sharpens your mind.” By Danica McKellar

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Mathigon is a new STEM website that consists of interactive eBooks, videos, slideshows and animations, with the aim of making advanced mathematics more accessible, entertaining and applies real world application. This website is FREE, works on all devices and has a Chrome App extension and can be made into an iOS App (by saving to home screen). Follow them on TwitterFacebook and Google Plus.

You can choose from a variety of activities, lesson plans and slideshows that have been designed specifically for the classroom. This site is created out of the UK but meets many Common Core Math Standards,  Math Practices and NC Science Essential Standards.

One of my favorites is the ebook,  “World of Mathematics” which was also 2013 Lovie Awards Gold Winner. It is a great, engaging way to add non-fiction text, class discussions and writing tasks into the math or science classroom. Another favorite activity, that the students also love, is the Math Treasure Hunt (Middle of Page).

“This essay (The Value of Mathematics PDF) explores the practical, intellectual and cultural value of teaching mathematics at school, examining a wide range of research and with many examples.”

Mathigon is still being developed but many of the activities to coming soon look very promising such as Mathemagic, Carnival of Mathematics and more ‘chapters’ in the ebook called Motion and Matter.  I would love to hear what you think of this new site and how you will incorporate it into your classroom.

Work Sited: About Us – Mathigon | About.” 2012. 4 Jan. 2014 http://www.mathigon.org/about

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