Be sure to check out the Gotta Love Google Week on SimpleK12! Lots of great FREE resources for using Google in the classroom!
Youtube is a wonderful teaching resource but let's face it, sometimes what shows up around the video makes us cringe as teachers. That's why I use a wonderful website called Safeshare. With Safeshare you simply copy the youtube video URL and paste it into the Safeshare search box. Then Safeshare creates a link without the ads or other suggested videos showing up. Another great feature of Safeshare is that you are able to also download the video and audio to your computer and show it without internet connection. It's definitely a site worth checking out!!
Wow! I seriously didn't mean to have crickets chirping for my BYOD blog. That's what happens when school starts back though! Now that the school year is underway, I have found another great resource for creating short animated videos. This could be used by teachers for creating instructional videos or tutorials but students could also use it to create videos as well. It's called Moovly! It's very similar to PowToon. You have easy templates to use to just simply fill in your content. To get started, you simply sign up for a free plan. The free plan allows you to create videos or "My Moovs" in length of 10 minutes or less. There are also paid versions which allow you to create longer videos. There is also a marketplace to purchase various objects to be used in your videos. They also have great help files and videos to help you create some really cool videos. It's a pretty cool resource so Mooooov on over and check it out!
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.
Be sure to check out the information for this year's K12 Online Conference. It's a free online conference held over a two week period. Great resource to build your PLN and learn new strategies involving technology! Just click on the picture to the left to learn more! You can also apply to be a presenter. The deadline for applications is August 5th. The conference starts the week of Oct. 13th
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'm sure that many of you have used a "clicker" type app in your classroom to increase student engagment. One of my favorite student reponse apps to use is Socrative. However, I have recently found a new one called Kahoot! Kahoot! is more of a game like interface. It even provides background music while you answer the questions. l also love that it is web based so there is no app to have to download and it works on any device. There are 3 types of questions you can ask your audience-Quiz, Discussion, and Survey. Students don't have to have to login. They simply login in at kahoot.it and type in the game pin number provided by the teachers. Teachers can also create games and share with other teachers. Be sure to watch the short tutorial below. Now, give a hoot for Kahoot!
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!
I was browsing through the App store on my iPad and I came across a really cool app called Showbie. Showbie allows students to turn in their digital work so that the teacher an view it from a computer or ipad. The teacher can also annotate on the student work. Showbie is also compatible with other apps in which students can create something in another app and then pull it into Showbie so that the teacher can view it. This is a great step for any teacher looking to go paperless in their classrooms. There is a free version with limited features and there is a paid version that costs an individual teacher around $10 a month. There are also paid plans for an entire school as well.
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.
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.