Qball – The Throwable Microphone

Qball - The Throwable Microphone

WHO: Teachers that are looking for an exciting way to engage their students in the classroom.

HOW: Set up on the Qball is very easy.

First, plug in the receiver to a power outlet.

Plug receiver into speakers

Turn on the receiver (hold button for three seconds)

Turn on microphone (hold button for three seconds)

Microphone will flash while it syncs with receiver, when the light goes solid, you are all set.

Insert the microphone into the Qball.

Make sure the volume on the speakers is up, and start the fun!

WHEN: The Qball is great for question and answer sessions, reading aloud, review games, and much more!

I have featured the Qball on this site before, but now that I actually have one, I can tell you that students love to use it!  I walked into one classroom with it and overheard a student say “Oh, it’s the magic ball!”. The Qball captures students’ attention and engages pupils that want to answer and participate in the classroom.  It is durable, easy to use, and eye catching. Students not only benefit from being able to hear the teacher better, but they can also hear their classmates responses loud and clear through the classroom speakers.  The Qball has a sensor in it that shuts off the microphone while it is flying in the air, to prevent a loud whoosh sound every time it is tossed (and not blow out your speakers).  If you will be at OETC, be sure to stop by their booth to learn more! To order one, head over to http://peeq.us/

Going Google! An Introduction to G Suite for Education

 

WHO: Teachers that are interested in getting started with G Suite for Education (formally known as Google Apps for Education).

HOW: This tutorial video is under 20 minutes in length and is a simple introduction into the icons and options inside of Google Drive, Team Drives, Docs, and Forms. Viewers will learn how to navigate, organize, and utilize a small variety of G Suite For Education products.

WHEN: This video gives examples of how you could use G Suite in the classroom, as well as in School Administration.

Data USA: Easy To Use Census Data for Classrooms

Data USA

WHO: Teachers looking for an easy way to students to search and use data from the U.S.A. Census data.

HOW: Visit https://datausa.io/, type in the location y0u are searching for, and the data will be presented.  There are many different categories, graphs, charts, and easy to understand data. After selecting a location, the user can select another locale to compare.

WHEN: Data USA would be great for geography lessons, understanding the makeup of communities, comparing communities, and much more!

Top 3 Posts of 2016

Here are the Top 3 Most Viewed Posts of 2016 for Teacher’s Tech Toolbox:

3.) Wizer.me – Take your worksheets to the next level. Teachers create assignments with a variety of question types and assign to students online.  Students can also create their own assignments as an option to show mastery of content.

2.) Wheel Decide – Add in student names, subject topics, or assignment types. Then, spin the wheel and see where it lands.  This is a great tool for assigning classroom jobs, small groups, project topics, and more! 

1.) No Red Ink – English and grammar site that students enjoy using! After setting up the class, students are able to log in and choose from a variety of topics of interest in pop-culture. No Red ink then adds these interests to the assigned work, helping to keep students engaged.

Thank you for a great year! I am looking forward to 2017 and sharing more tools for your classroom. 

Flippity.net Spelling Words – Create Online Spelling Word Practice!

Flippity.net

WHO: Teachers that are looking for an interactive tool to help students study spelling words.

HOW: Teachers visit http://flippity.net/ (a bunch of great tools for teachers!), click on instructions under Flippity Spelling Words, then follow the instructions given on the page.  Teachers need to have a G Suite for Education (Formerly known as Google Apps for Education) account as this functions through a Google Sheets spreadsheet.  After making a copy of the template and adding it to their Google Drive account, teachers will then be able to add in their own words and create their own categories.  In the example, flippity.net uses individual students names to have personalized lists.  Another option may be to put in the spelling lists by week, this would allow students to work ahead if they would like.  The teacher may also decide to put all of their students as the categories and keep the same words in each group, couple this style with the “e-mail to” row in the spreadsheet, and the teacher can have each individual students results e-mailed directly to them.

When adding in words, it is important to note that you can put in a sentence using quotation marks after the word, this will speak to the student and give an example.  This is needed in the case of homonyms.  Another important note to your students is that in the practice and quiz section, the words are case-sensitive.

Once the words are in place, the teacher will need to go up to “File” then “Publish to web….” and finally “Publish”. The user will be prompted to note the URL, this will need to be copied to the clipboard.  Next, go back to the spreadsheet and look at the bottom of the page, there the user will see some tabs.  Click on the “Get the link here” tab, and paste the URL into the highlighted cell. Once this is completed, the teacher can click on the “Click here to go to your Flippity.net spelling words” and see their list live in action.  Copy and paste the new link from the address bar, share the link with students, and enjoy!

WHEN: This tool is excellent for teachers that would like students to get some help with their spelling words.  This is an easy way to get parents involved as well.  Send the link in an e-mail to all of the parents and let them work on it with their students on the computer, tablet, or even on a smart phone!

 

Here are the step-by-step instructions from Flippity.net:

Want to Make Your Own Spelling Words Manager?

Note: Works with Google Chrome and iOS for iPhone/iPad.

Step 1: Modify the Google Spreadsheet Template

  • Make a copy of this template. (You’ll need to sign-in with your Google account.)
  • Edit the Student names. You can have up to 50 lists.
  • Edit the Words lists.
    • Add a phrase in quotes to clarify homonyms.
    • Note: Practice and Quizzes are case-sensitive.
  • Optional: Add an email address in the Email Results to line to automatically receive quiz results.
    • (You can have multiple email addresses separated by commas.)
  • Optional: Label your spelling words by changing the name of the worksheet (at the bottom).

Step 2: Publish Your Spreadsheet

  • Go to File, Publish to the Web…, then click Publish.
  • Copy the link under the Link tab.

Step 3: Get Your Flippity.net Link

  • Click on the Get the Link Here tab of the template (at the bottom).
  • Paste the link in the light green cell (A3) to get the link to your Flippity Spelling Words.

Step 4: Click, Bookmark, and Share

  • Click on the Flippity.net link to see, practice, or take a quiz on your spelling words.
  • Bookmark the page to find it again quickly.
  • Tell your friends and colleagues about Flippity.net.

Tutorial – How to Create a QR Code

WHO: Teachers that would like to use QR Codes in their classroom.

HOW: The video below takes teachers through the step-by-step process of creating a QR Code to use in their classroom.

WHEN: QR Codes are useful for directing students to specific websites you would like them to use, for hiding clues in a scavenger hunt, and many other things in the classroom.

Vizia – Make Online Videos Interactive and Replace Worksheets!

WHO: Teachers that use videos in class and would like to add in checks for understanding while making the assignment more interactive.

HOW: Create an account on https://vizia.co/, add in a link to a video, then start adding questions!  Teachers have the option to include Multiple Choice (called quiz), Polls, Response (user types short answer or extended response), and Call to Action (button with external link to visit).  If teachers select the Gate Video option, it will prompt the viewer to enter their name and e-mail address. When all of the questions are added, the teacher simply copies the link in the top right corner and directs the students to visit.  This link could be posted to the classroom website, LMS, or create a QR code for the tablet classroom to utilize. After the assignment has been completed, the question results are loaded into a Google Sheet allowing the teacher to collect data, and grade if they wish. When coupled with the Google Add-On Flubaroo, these assignments could be automatically graded.

WHEN: Vizia is a great option for the flipped classroom and teachers that regularly use videos in class.  Vizia allows the teacher to capture student understanding while the videos are being watched. Vizia videos could be useful for bell-ringers, exit tickets, or assignments or inclement weather as well.

Here is an example of a Vizia video:

CoSpaces – Create Your Own Virtual Reality World

cospaces

WHO: Teachers looking for a fun and exciting way for students to demonstrate mastery of content, while utilizing the latest trend of Virtual Reality.

HOW: Sign up for a free account at https://cospaces.io, select “Create Project” and get started!  CoSpaces may not be the easiest for the digital immigrants (those who have not grown up with technology), but for students that have spent a good amount of time playing Minecraft, should pick it up and run!

WHEN: CoSpaces could be useful in a variety of classroom projects.  Ideas include virtual book reports (students create a scene and record their voice explaining), capture a moment in time (Dinosaurs, American Revolution, Ancient Egypt, etc..), or creating biomes, or community planning.  CoSpaces could be considered the new-age way of creating shoebox dioramas.

CoSpaces allows students to get hands-on with their learning and demonstrate what they were able to comprehend from the classroom.  The environment allows the user to add pictures, voice, and text, as well as many pre-made figures.  After creating a scene, students can view each others creations on the computer, tablet, or with a Virtual Reality headset.

 

Here is a video from CoSpaces to help you get started:

How to Create in CoSpaces from CoSpaces on Vimeo.

Ping Pong: Simple, Quick, & Easy Exit Tickets, Polls, & Formative Assessment

Ping Pong

WHO: Teachers that are looking for a simple way to check for student learning, quickly and easily.

HOW: Teachers visit http://gogopp.com/en, select the web app (Google Play and Apple App Store available as well, more on that later in the post), select host, then log in with Google, Facebook, or Linked In.  After logging in, the teacher directs the students to visit http://gogopp.com/en, select guest and enter a name.  The teacher will then pose a question to the students, then, inside of Ping Pong, select from the following:

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-8-26-27-am

The first four choices are straight forward, but the “Send Image” option allows students to draw their own answers on a basic whiteboard tool.

The students select/draw/type their answer and hit submit.  These answers are then immediately visible on the teacher’s view.  An option is available to display/hide names if the responses are being projected in front of the class. This is accomplished by clicking on the person icon in the top right corner.

The web app is in beta, and somewhat limited at this point in regards to collecting data.  If this is the option a teacher will be using, they will have to quickly note or screen shot responses, otherwise the data is gone when the next question is asked.

When using the app, the teacher is able to share questions and export results using Evernote.  Hopefully in the future it will allow the option to send to Drive as well.

WHEN: Ping Pong is ideal for checking understanding, exit tickets, classroom polls, and other similar activities.

While not as robust as other formative assessment tools, Ping Pong is great in its simplicity.  Upon finding out about the program, I was able to be up and running in less than two minutes.

 

Here is an introduction by Ping Pong by Spot Networking:

Bloomz: Fantastic App to Communicate with Parents

WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging way to interact and communicate with parents, while sharing information in a private and secure setting.

HOW: Teachers create an account and set up a classroom. Next step is to invite the parents.  This can be done via e-mail or printing invitations to be sent home.  Parents can create an account online, or download the app on their phone to get started.

Once in Bloomz, teachers have a plethora of options to update their parents.  Some useful examples include adding pictures to share from the class, adding calendar events, sending reminders, creating a volunteer sign-up, and scheduling parent-teacher conferences.

WHEN: Bloomz is a great addition to a classroom at all times.  Teachers can capture special moments in class and upload for the parents to see.  It is great when teachers need help with purchasing materials or bringing supplies in for an event.

 

Here is what one Grade 2 enjoys about using Bloomz in her class:

EASY to add a post, reminder, calendar event, picture, etc
QUICK just a couple clicks
PRIVATE because it is Secure for just your group, and private messaging is also available if you want to talk with an individual parent
FUN because I want to add and share pics and the parents love it too
FAMILIAR because it reminds you of “facebook” with the layout, and you can even “like” and “comment” like FB
KEEPING TRACK is easy because you can see exactly who viewed your post.  Parents can’t say they didn’t get the message!
Parents have really enjoyed it for a lot of these same reasons.  I even have a grandparent that is on because she wants to help and volunteer and wants to be able to see when events are coming up.