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. 

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.

PicLits: Create Images To Spark Writing Creativity

screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-10-40-14-am

WHO: Teachers looking for something to help students get their creativity flowing.

HOW: Create an account at http://www.piclits.com/, select an image, choose words, or select freestyle and type your own message in.

WHEN: PicLits are great for writing prompts. Teachers can use these in class to give students a starting point for their writing assignment.  Teachers could also use this as an assessment option where students are directed to create their own.

Here is an example of a PicLit freestyle mode:

screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-10-40-22-am

Who Am I? Civil War Mystery

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 10.06.54 AM

 

WHO: Teachers looking for Civil War resources that help bring lessons to life.

HOW: Direct students to http://amhistory.si.edu/militaryhistory/resources/whoami/whoami.html

WHEN: Who Am I is a great option to extend a lesson on the Civil War. Through investigating the clues, the students are quickly immersed into the lives of various people of the time period. Students digitally examine a variety of items and learn about life in the mid-1800s.

Who Am I does not take a long time to complete.  This would be an option for small group work or as a side project/lesson extension.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!

Thank you to all the teachers out there! Please do no think that it goes unnoticed when you spend your own money on supplies, give up weekends for PD, or stay late to plan lessons and grade papers. There are many of you out there across the globe, and you are each special, especially to that classroom full of students you greet each morning.

You are greatly loved and respected.

Easy Notecards: Digital Study Tool

EasyNoteCards

WHO: Teachers and students looking for digital study tools.

HOW: Visit http://www.easynotecards.com/, search for topics or even the textbook used in class, or start creating your own flashcards.  Once you have a set you would like to study, you can choose from Cards, Quiz, Matching, Bingo, or Print.  This gives students the option that works best for them, and allows the teacher to have a variety to display in front of class.

WHEN: Easy Notecards would be beneficial for whole-class review, individual review, or study tables.

NotebookCast – Simple, Collaborative, Cross-Platform Online Whiteboard

WHO: Teachers that would like students to work together on brainstorming and/or creation using whiteboard space online.

HOW: Create an account on https://www.notebookcast.com, create a whiteboard, and share with collaborators using a unique code for each board.  Simple tools available such as shapes, lines, text, image insert, board capture, erase, etc.  NotebookCast is designed to also be used on tablets along with full size computers.  When creating a board, the owner sets the dimensions, which include portrait and landscape mode on iPads.

WHEN: NotebookCast is great for brainstorming projects, students creating lessons, or allowing students to demonstrate mastery of content.

Ohio Educational Technology Conference Day One

While I did not make it to all the sessions I was hoping to today, I would still say it was a success.  The major theme I took from the special presentation speakers (Jaime Casap – Google Education Evangelist and Hadi Partovi – Code.org and Hour of Code Founder), was that 60% of today’s kindergarten students will have careers in jobs that do not exist yet.  How do we prepare our students for these positions that have not even become thoughts in someone’s mind yet? We need to grow skillsets in our students and understand that they live in the age of information.  The classic regurgitation of facts has never been a sign of true learning, and it is even less relevant today.

In the vendor area, I was able to run into some great folks that have fantastic products.

The first person I ran into was Shawn Hendrickson from ITSaavy.  I have worked with Shawn on a few different products, and he has also been very generous when it has come to sponsorship of events I have put on.  Shawn and I got into a good discussion on the Amazon Echo and it’s uses in the home.  If you are at OETC, be sure to stop by and see all of the awesome products they have available.

I ran into was Alex Yang from IPEVO.  This company has great products from multi-iPad chargers, document cameras, interactive whiteboards and more.  The best part of IPEVO is that they keep their margins low to keep products affordable.  They realize that schools are working on slim budgets and some teachers buy items out of their own product.  Alex hooked me up with some goodies to give away at our presentation tomorrow morning.

While wondering the hallways, I noticed a gentleman carrying around a foam dodgeball and the logo on his shirt looked very familiar.  Shane Cox is the CEO/Salesman/Spokesperson and many other titles with his invention, the Qball.  I was able to speak with Shane for a good amount of time and he even allowed me to do a Live Periscope with him (view here). The Qball is a game changer for the classroom. It is a simple to install microphone set up inside of a foam ball.  The wireless receiver is plugged into your classroom speakers and question/answer sessions immediately come to life.  Not only will the students be able to hear the teacher better using a microphone, but they will be able to hear each others answers clearly.  Students will also be engaged by the introduction of a brightly colored ball that produces sound.  Shane is letting us use the Qball for our presentation on “So You Want To Start An EdCamp? Lessons From EdCamp Ohio” tomorrow morning. Our session is scheduled for 8am in room C223-225.

Zeal Exit Tickets To Be Discontinued

Received an e-mail from Zeal yesterday with sad news. I won’t post the whole message, but here is the first paragraph.

“We are sad to say that Zeal will be discontinuing our free product, Zeal Exit Tickets, at the end of this school year to focus on Zeal Tutoring. We know that many of you have come to love and depend on Zeal Exit Tickets and we are deeply sorry that we are not able to support this free product past the end of this school year. To continue to access your free account you can log in at et.zeal.com starting today. Starting Thursday, February 4, going to www.zeal.com will direct you to Zeal Tutoring.”

The teachers I have worked directly with loved these Exit Tickets, and students enjoyed using them. If there were a way to keep this product going, I’d love to see someone take it over.