After a very long wait, I was finally able to get the Google Nexus 7 tablets all setup for the small group of teachers and students. Although they did not have very much time to use the tablets with students, the teachers were able to see how much a tablet can transform their classrooms. Students were able to pick up the tablets and seamlessly access the apps that were pre-loaded. In the K-2 building, students were logging into Brain Pop Jr. to watch informational videos, reading Madagascar or having it read to them, and playing patterning games. There was no lag time and no problems with student access. The students were sharing ideas and milestones from each app. In the 3-6 building, the students were using Skitch to edit pictures and really transform their learning. I am eager to see how this pilot will expand in the future and the great things that the students will create.
I just recently got my invitation to try Google Classroom. This new feature offered by Google is a great way to organize your classroom online. Everything is confined within the Google space and students are able to submit all of their assignments online. Teachers can create class lists that will allow them to push out assignments, emails, and conversations easily. I know I am looking forward to utilizing this great new feature with teachers and students.
I recently came across a new presentation website called Tackk. This a great alternative to a traditional PowerPoint. Tackk has the capabilities to embed text, photos, videos, audio, maps, links, buttons, forms and buy options. Students can use Tackk to display their information after researching and present it to the class. Some teachers are even using it for writing. It is a fairly easy to use website with great potential. Schools who use Google Apps for Education can easily let their students log in right through Google. Here is a Tackk about how to use Tackk in the classroom!
Some teachers do digital story telling in their classrooms so I thought they may want to check out a website called Little Bird Tales, https://littlebirdtales.com/ . It is a very kid friendly site that allows students to draw, add pictures, add their voices, and add words at the bottom of a page. You can then save the book and it will play like a movie. It would be a great addition to websites to have student or class books posted.
In a workshop promoting the use of Inquiry in the classroom, we used a Padlet to create a post-it wall in order to collaborate and collect thoughts. The Padlet is great for instant publication and collaboration. There is no need for the user to log in to post and it does allow for a place to add a name to the comment. By creating a padlet you can see the many ideas that others have on one topic. The inquiry model promotes this thinking and allows for a more broad spectrum of responses based on the depth of the questions asked. Take a look at our padlet below and feel free to add your thoughts and ideas!
Infographics are a great way for students to display information in an appealing and informative way. They are always eye catching and as we search on the Internet they are easy to read without spending hours researching the topic. Here is a great website, http://www.easel.ly/, that will allow you to easily create your own infographics from a variety of templates.
Each year we have used Edmodo in various ways to provide professional development and showcase ways for students to use technology. This blog post highlights 15 ways that students can use Edmodo in the classroom and also links to a guide for teachers on how to use Edmodo. I know some teachers are already using this great tool and I would encourage you to take a look at if you are not. The site is accessible for students at home and school and allows you as the teacher to easily share information, gather information, and provide a place for your students to collaborate with each other.
This is a great TED talk about how we need to shift our teaching of mathematics to promote deeper understanding of ideas and problem solving!
Welcome back to another school year! We have many new initiatives this year including the new website, using the PowerSchool Gradebook and the Common Core Curriculum. It is sure to be a learning experience! Since I am home with Nicoletta until December, I will not be as readily available for each of you. I do plan on posting regularly with new technology tools that you could use and helpful hints for using the new tools and integrating 21st Century skills effectively. As of right now, all of your websites are live and linked to the directory. Make sure you refer to the Website Requirements document for updating protocols. Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions that you may have. Stay tuned for the next post! Good luck on the first day!
Teachers have done a great job creating their new websites for next year! They will continue to develop and add to these websites as the new year approaches. As they finish their sites, parents and other staff members will be able to access the content through the directory pages. I really appreciate all of the effort that has been put into the sites.
As we transition into a new school year, there will be many changes. Although I will be on maternity leave for the first three months, please do not hesitate to ask questions via e-mail. One of the biggest changes that is occurring is the implementation of the new progress report and subsequent use of the PowerSchool Gradebook. I am very optimistic about this new tool that teachers will have access too. In this blog, I will post some handouts and how-tos that will hopefully help teachers become comfortable and familiar with the change.