Have you ever wanted to create a quick one page website that your students and/or parents could access? Well there's two resources to do just that. The first one is called Smore. On Smore you can create online flyers for anything and everything. I use Smore for my weekly newsletter and then go in a update it each week. Parents and students can view it by simply returning to the same link or I can embed a copy of it on my class webite. Each week when you update online it will automatically update the copy embedded on your website. Students can also create a Smore flyer for any content learning as well. It allows you add different forms of media such as photos and movies. There is also an education version (smore.com/education) that has a free and paid subscription based on your needs. See the video below for more information.
Another great resource for creating one pagers is Tackk. Tackk is very similiar to Smore and allows you to create a one page website as well. It's easy to create and edit these pages. There are different kinds of Tackks that you can create. My favorite is the Classroom Assignment because it allows my students to add content to the Tackk page itself. It would be a great way to do a short or extended research project. You can add all kinds of media to the Tackk page. See the video below for more ways for using Tackk.
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!
Most of us might not be aware that the Google Chrome web browser is more than just a way to surf the internet. Chrome has several apps that can be added that can increase productivity and can be used by students. It's very simple to add them to your Chrome browser. Follow these steps to really unlock everything Chrome has to offer:
1. The first step is to sign into the Chrome browser. Watch the video below to see how to do that.
2. Once you are signed in, type in chrome.google.com/webstore. This will open the app store and you can search for a variety of apps. I have a screen shot below of my chrome start page.
3. Most of the apps are free but there are a few paid apps as well.
The beautiful thing about using Chrome with apps is that you can sign into any computer anywhere and have all your apps ready to go. Just remember that you will need to sign out before you leave that computer.
Here is a list of just a few apps that I especially like: Evernote, PowtoonEDU, Google Drive, Edmodo, Dropbox, Livebinders, Padlet, EdPuzzle
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.
**Click on the picture above to go to Symbaloo EDU!**
One of the things that I still struggle with at times is how do I share links with my students so that they don't have to type in a web address that seems to be a mile long. The main reason I don't want students typing in the address themselves is that out of a class of 25 students at least 10 will type it in wrong and then I'm spending valuable instructional time trying to get them to the correct web page.
About a year ago I stumbled across a great way to save links and share them called Symbaloo. Symbaloo has a version just for education too called Symbaloo EDU. There is also an iOS app and Android app for tablet computers and cell phones. Symbaloo allows you to create what is called a "webmix". The webmix is made up of many "tiles" that you can customize to any websites that you want your students to visit. Students will need their own Symbaloo EDU accounts to be able to view your webmix. If you school has student email accounts I suggest you use that email address to set up their accounts.
One of the really great features is that I can find other webmixes created by other educators. Let's say that I wanted to find a webmix or tiles on "Common Core Reading". Symbaloo has a search box for that you can search for tiles related to a particular website or topic. Below is a short video that introduces Symbaloo. I also suggest that you watch this webinar on using Symbaloo in the classroom. It lasts about 45 minutes.
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.