This week I have been playing around with a new technology site called ClassFlow. I haven't been this excited about a resource since I discovered Evernote!. In my humble opinion, ClassFlow is a great crossbreed between and interactive lesson resource and a collaborative whiteboard. It's great for teachers K-High School and any subject area. ClassFlow allows teachers to create not only polls an quizzes but student can view a webpage or video and annotate on them directly from an ipad or a computer. It also allows a teacher to connect to their Dropbox, Google Drive, and/or Onedrive accounts to pull in even more resources. Teachers can also use lessons that other teachers have created. This resource is in beta so some features may be available for a while and then disappear only to reappear in a much better format. There is also a ClassFlow Student app for the ipad and a ClassFlow Teacher app for the iphone. I highly recommend that you watch the one hour recorded webinar that goes into much more detail about the uses of ClassFlow. ClassFlow also has several tutorial videos on YouTube that you will want to check out.
I know what some of you are thinking. What in the world is an LMS? An LMS is a Learning Management System. Many of you may have used Blackboard or Moodle. These are examples of an LMS. However, some LMS systems can be complicated to use and may even cost ridiculous amonts of money. I want to share information about a new LMS that I have recently run across called Schoology. If you are familiar with Edmodo, then Schoolgy is very similar. It has a Facebook like interace and the beauty of both Schoology and Edmodo is that they are both FREE!!! That's a wonderful word to hear in times of major budget cuts. While I found many of the features of Schoology very similar to Edmodo, I found some things that I really liked about Schoology. One thing that I really like is that it is easy to integrate a lot of apps and sites that I use on a daily basis such as Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, and Remind 101. There is also a really good ipad app for Schoology that is easy to use and is a little more user friendly than the Edmodo app. I also love that I can join different professional groups so that I can connect and learn from other educators around the world. The last that I really love about Schoology is the capability of having discussions separately from posts about assignments. This is something that is not possible in Edmodo. It also has the capability of creating tests and quizzes to an entire class or indivdually to students. It also allows assignments to be graded with a rubric. It's definitely worth checking out!
Want a great way to create or have students create educational videos? Well you might want to give PowToon a try. PowToon is one of those great apps that can be added to your Google Chrome browser or you can go to their website and sign up for a free account. I love the animations and it makes creating an engaging video so easy for you and for students! If you already have a Google account, you can use that as your log in. See the video below for an example of a PowToon video.
Photo Credit: https://www. facebook.com/edmodo
I spent most of the day today attending the EdmodoCon online conference from the comfort of my home. There were sessions on implementing Common Core standards, Project Based Learning, Flipped Classrooms, Global Read Alouds, etc. Whew! It was a good day and was simply the best professional development that I have attended all summer long! There will be an archive of those sessions that you can view at any time on the EdmodoCon w If you don't know what Edmodo is it's a social networking platform very similiar to Facebook but is strictly geared towards education. It allows teachers to create closed groups that have a special code or URL to join them. No one can view anything without being a member. That's just the very tip of the iceberg of what all a teacher can use Edmodo for. Parents can also join with a special parent code that allows them to view anything their child can view. Edmodo is available via the web on a computer but there is also an app for Ipads and Android devices. Teachers can also create polls and quizzes. My favorite feature that I've just begun to learn about is their embedded Apps. I highly suggest that you visit the Edmodo site and sign up for a teacher account TODAY!! Here are just a few ways to use Edmodo in the classroom:
1. Use it to post daily assignments. I do this every day at the end of school. This makes it very easy to update an absent student. I can also include any links, videos, handouts, etc. that they would need to. I use this format: Today in class we: Tonight's Homework: Special Reminders:
2. Create Book Clubs/Lit Circles: Use Edmodo as a place for members of Lit Circles to discuss their book ahead of the classroom discussions. I use Edmodo as part of my Summer Reading so that I can begin connecting to my new students over the summer and getting them familiar with the Edmodo format.
3. Create a Parent Group: Use Edmodo to share valuable information with parents on school functions and helpful information on how to help their child at home.
4. Daily Bellringer: Use Edmodo to post your daily bellringer activity.
Another great feature of Edmodo for teachers is that there are lots of groups for your own professional growth from Digital Citizenship to the Basal Alignment Project. They also have a wonderful support department and help files for those times when you don't know how to do something. DO NOT hesitate! Sign up for an Edmodo account today.
AudioBoo is a really great app! You may be wondering, "What can I do with Audioboo?". Well think of turning your device into a digital recorder and that's just the beginning of what this app is capable of. My favorite way to use AudioBoo is to create digital book reviews. The cool thing about AudioBoo is that I can attach a picture along with the digital file to make it even more appealing. Your recordings or "boos" also have their own web URL address so you can create a QR code that will send kids and parents straight to that particular recording. If that's not enough, you can also embed your boos on your website. Audioboo is available on the web (audioboo.com) and also as Apple and Android apps. So what are you waiting for?!?! Go create yourself an account and get busy creating some wonderful Boos!
Screenshot of what Audiobook looks like embedded on a website.
Click Here for even more ways to use Audioboo!
In my school system each school is getting a set of 30 ipads to use in our classrooms and I am completely excited!! So I thought I would share some great resources for apps and lessons for using ipads in the classrooms.
1. Ipads4School-This is one of my absolute FAVORITE people to follow! Richard Byrne always has some great resources and what I especially like about it is that he always shares some ideas for using that app in the classroom.
2. Student Publishing Using the Ipad-This is a link to a webinar from the Classroom Live 2.0 website complete with more links to explore. They host weekly webinars on Saturday mornings starting at 11:00 am CST. I thought this was a great resource since the new common core standards have a more rigorous emphasis on writing.
3. Using Ipads to Enhance Learning-Another link to a webinar from the Classroom Live 2.0 website with lots of great links and resources for using ipads.
I have to give a HUGE Thank You to a wonderful teacher at my school who led me to LearnZillion. This is a wonderful resource for math, english, and reading lessons aligned to the Common Core. You can search by the subject, grade, strand, and even a specific objective. You can also sign up for a free account and create classes. Then simply add your students and you can assign them particular video lessons and practice! If you want to teach the lesson yourself, simply download the lesson slides and customize them to fit your needs. They are in Powerpoint format so they are easy to edit. It's a truly amazing place to go for great lessons and ideas!! Don't wait another second! Go there now and check it out!
I'm a 7th grade Reading teacher and a technology lover. During the 2011-2012 school year we implemented a BYOD initiative. I hope that you will find some helpful information here.