MAGIC Potion EDU Podcast – A Sprinkle and a Dash Can Enhance Your Class!

WHO: Teachers looks for a way to learn on the go or an opportunity to multitask!

HOW: The MAGIC Potion EDU Podcast is a side project of mine.  This podcast will focus on techniques, ideas, and concepts to enhance your classroom and help build a positive culture in your school.  It can be accessed by most popular podcast channels (Anchor.fm, iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, etc..) or by simply visiting the homepage at www.magicpotionedu.com.

WHEN: Podcasts are great for professional development during your planning period, the commute to/from work, or even while grocery shopping!  One of my preferred times is while I am mowing the lawn and doing other chores around the house.

Gimkit – Classroom Review with a Strategic Twist

WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging review activity or formative assessment opportunity.

HOW: Sign up for an account at https://www.gimkit.com/.  Users can create their own “kits” or question sets, choose from sets that others have created.  Question sets can also be exported from Quizlet to create sets.  When you are ready to play as a class, there are a wide variety of gameplay options to choose from. While answering questions, students are awarded “cash” or lose it depending on correct/incorrect responses.  As they build up a cash value, students can utilize power-ups to earn/lose more cash on each question or other bonus items.

When setting up a game, there are quite a few options to choose from.  Under the Game Goal category, users can select Time (time limit), Target (each player hits a target score), Race (first one to the target amount wins), or All-In (all students combine to a total score goal).  Teachers can also give a starting cash amount, which can help them unlock bonuses faster.  Other gameplay options include allowing students to see correct answers following incorrect responses, settings a handicap limit, background music, clapping, and displaying a Leaderboard during the game.

After completing a game, teachers have the option to look at statistics for individual and the class as a whole.

WHEN: Gimkit is a great option for formative assessment and classroom review.  Question sets can also be assigned for homework. As we finish up the school year, this is an option to do something different in your review sessions with students.

At first, I thought Gimkit would just be another Kahoot! or Quizizz.  After trying one out, I found myself fully engaged on a set of questions regarding surface area and volume (mind you my background is social studies).  Depending on what your students prefer, any of these three options are great.  As Gimkit is using question sets, allowing a timed game will allow students to benefit from question repetition that they would typically get from flash cards.

Formative Assessment Firehose Webinar – TONIGHT!

WHO: Teachers that are looking for formative assessment tools or activities that could be used for classroom review.

HOW: Visit here and register for the webinar.  This event is free for anyone interested in participating. It is hosted by the National Catholic Educational Association.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at 7 PM EDT.

 

WEBINAR DESCRIPTION:

Participants will gain exposure to a wide variety of online Formative Assessment Tools. Short demonstrations will show viewers the teacher-side and student-side of each goal as well as discussing the features and benefits of each in the classroom. Tools to be explored are Google Forms, Kahoot, Quizizz, Plickers, Go Soap Box, Formative and More! Presented by Keven Rinaman, Director of Technolgy at Calvert Catholic Schools in Tiffin, OH.

Fuze Zubi Flyer – Hackable Flying Disc – Product Review

WHO: Teachers and schools interested in an engaging tool to start building computer science skills.

HOW: The Fuze Zubi Flyer can be used in a variety of stages as students progress through their understanding and interest.  Out of the box, the Fuze Zubi Flyer has twelve games built-in.  Students will be engaged using the diffraction glasses to see designs on the LEDs while they play the variety of games. Students are then able to connect the Fuze Zubi Flyer to the computer via USB cable and interact with ScratchX.  The games can be edited, giving students an introduction to text-based coding, while customizing to their liking. The board is Arduino-based, so it can also be programmed using that interface.

WHEN: The Fuze Zubi Flyer is geared towards students 8 years old and above.  It would be great to use in a STEM class or club or also a great addition to a MakerSpace.

Here is a video showing the Fuze Zubi Flyer in action! link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m70YVV0Q1MA

FieldTripZoom Zone Free Trial Event

WHO: Teachers looking to extend their classroom beyond their four walls and go on digital field trips.  This free trip involves learning about Climate Change through the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

HOW:  Sign up for an account and log in when the event goes live.  This event is April 10, 2018, at 10:10 am EST and 1:10 pm EST

SIGN UP HERE

WHEN: Field Trip Zoom is great for a wide variety of virtual field trips and each school year they offer a couple free field trips.

Description of the upcoming free virtual field trip:

Under the Weather
Think that “climate change” just means turning up the air conditioning? Think again—climatologists agree that the future might make you sweat…or worse. Join our Museum Educators in this investigation of how an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events may affect many public health concerns: drought, urban heat islands, floods, air pollutants, infectious diseases, and nutrition, to name a few. You’ll be recruited by our Virtual Triage Team to view several short video interviews with victims of our changing climate, and then asked to help sleuth out the maladies that have been worsened by local conditions. What can be done to help patients who are truly “under the weather”?
April 10th  10:10am | 1:10pm EST
Grades: 6th – 12th

 

Creation Swap – Free Christian Multimedia Resources

WHO: Teachers, Directors of Religious Education, and religious media creators that need resources to help create multimedia projects.

HOW: Create an account at https://www.creationswap.com/, select what type of media you are looking for and whether you want free, paid, or premium materials.  Fill in the search bar and see what is available.  There are many images, slides, videos, and loops that can be used to create eye-catching multimedia projects for your school or church.

WHEN: Creation Swap is best utilized for projects.  It could also be used to post reflective images on the classroom screen for students to think about before class begins.

Noisli – Background Noise to Improve Focus and Productivity

WHO: Teachers looking for background noise in the classroom.

HOW: Open a web browser and type https://www.noisli.com/ into the address bar or download the app in the App Store, Google Play, or Chrome Web Store.  There are a wide variety of choices to make a custom background scene for you or your students. Teachers can create an account to save the setup for use again.

WHEN: Whether a teacher is trying to increase their own productivity during a planning period or improve focus with their students while working, Noisli provides an answer with subtle background noise.

NCEA Webinars – Free Professional Development Resource for Educators!

WHO: Educators that are looking for quality professional development webinars at low-costs (better yet, free!). Many of the webinars hosted by NCEA are sponsored by various vendors, allowing educators to access the material at no cost.

HOW: Head over to ncea.org, register for an account, and register for the webinar of your choice.  As this is a Catholic-based entity, some of the webinars will focus specifically on Catholic Schools.

WHEN: Most webinars are hosted in the evening on the east coast.  Educators should be sure to check the time of the specific webinar they are interested in, but they are also available “on-demand” at a later date.

 

Wired Educator Podcast: Recharge Your Passion for Education

WHO: Teachers looking to gather ideas and hear from educational leaders from around the world! Kelly Croy has nearly thirty years in education between teaching middle school English and as an administrator. Currently serving as Director of Innovation and Instruction, Kelly has a personality that brings out the best in everyone around him.  He travels the country speaking on a variety of topics and also as a chalk artist!  Kelly is the author of Along Came a Leader (available for purchase on Amazon). I’ve been actively listening to the Wired Educator Podcast over the past few months.  I am amazed by the wide variety of topics that are covered as well as the list of educational leaders that Kelly has interviewed. I find myself motivated and ready to try something new after each episode.

HOW: Head on over to https://wirededucator.com, take a look through Kelly’s blog posts and over 100 episodes and interviews.  I highly recommend Episodes 10 (Dave Burgess), 91 (Matt Miller), 92 (Todd Whitaker), and 100 (Celebrating 100 episodes).

WHEN: Each episode of The Wired Educator Podcast is about 50 minutes, making it perfect for planning periods, the commute to work, or while grocery shopping! You can listen to episodes through the Podcast App on your Apple product or stream directly from the website.

 

Badge Tracker: Simple Credentials to Gamify Your Classroom

WHO: Teachers looking for an easy way to begin using Badges in their classroom.

HOW: Flippity.net has done it again! Another great tool with an easy-to-understand instruction sheet allows teachers to create a badging system using Google Sheets.  The instructions are listed on the website here.  Teachers find or create their own images to use for badges, add a student roster, awarded badges, and publish the spreadsheet to the web! After it has been published, teachers can grab the public link from the separate sheet at the bottom of the page.  Teachers can also add asterisks to the award column to add stars to skills.  Students are able to see all available badges and how they compare to their classmates.  If a teacher wanted to make it private, they could make an individual spreadsheet for each student by just making a copy of a completed sheet. Badges could be created for mastering content, attaining new skills, or demonstrating competency.

WHEN: Badge Tracker is a great tool to motivate students while giving a gamification flare to the classroom.

Here is how a class page looks in their demo:

Here is an example of an individual students page: