This video is the first in a series of tools to help our students continue their academic journeys during a time of uncertainty. The presentation will be updated frequently with tools and tutorials as they are available.
WHO: Teachers that are looking for STEM/STEAM project ideas on the fly.
HOW: Head on over to https://sharpen.design/stem, choose a category, and click on the “new challenge” button. The automated system will grab random options to put together such as:
WHEN: This tool could be great for choosing random group projects, a weekly enrichment program, or planning ahead for future projects. The simplicity of clicking a single button takes a creative burden off of teachers.
WHO: If you are like me, or many educators that I have met, you have quite a few tabs open in your Google Chrome browser right now. OneTab is great for teachers that are looking for a quick and easy way to share a large number of websites with students.
HOW: Start by installing the OneTab Google Chrome extension. In a Google Chrome browser window, practice by opening a few tabs with different websites in each. Click on the OneTab extension and watch the magic happen! OneTab will close all of the tabs in that window and create a link on the OneTab page that opens. If you select “Restore all”, the tabs will be reopened. “Delete all” will remove the links. Share as a webpage creates a unique URL including a QR code, allowing for a simple way to share resources. You can also name, share, and lock a tab group under the “more…” menu. OneTab is not only great for sharing links with students and conference audience members, but it also saves precious computer system resources by closing all of those open tabs. Best of all, it is FREE and does not require registration!
WHEN: OneTab is an option for sharing resources at the beginning of a new chapter/unit. It can function as a central location for students to find websites that teachers have found useful for the class. I have also found it to be a great option during conference sessions. I typically open all the resources I talk about (including the Google Slides link), activate OneTab, hit “Share as a webpage” and then copy the link over to a URL shortener such as YellKey or Bit.ly.
As the calendar year winds down, many classrooms are switching from covering new material to reviewing past content. As teachers are gearing up for semester/midterm exams, they may look for ways to create engaging classroom review. Here are a few tools (new and old) that could prove useful.
Gimkit: In the past few years, formative assessment has boomed in the arena of engaging classroom tools. Gimkit takes the lead by adding strategy to the mix. Teachers can make their own questions/answers or import from Quizlet. Students then receive repetition through the activity while using power-ups to increase their score.
Play4A: Teachers can use Play4A to create arcade-style games using material from the classroom. Students will have the choice between a wide variety of game styles to can repetition of questions while trying to complete the game.
Classtools Arcade Game: Much like the above, the Arcade Game Generator by Classtools allows teachers to use questions and answers from class to create classic arcade games like Pac-Man. Teachers can make games rather quickly but adding questions can prove to be tedious.
Factile: There are many ways to create “Jeopardy”-style game shows for the classroom now. Factile is another one of these. The downside to factile is that many of the great features are only for paid users, such as “buzzer mode”.
Pear Deck: Are you a teacher that frequently uses slideshow presentations in the classroom? Pear Deck allows teachers to add interactive questions into their Google Slides presentations, engaging students in the lecture while also capturing important checks for understanding. This could be useful for everyday lessons as well as classroom review. Students simply open a web browser on any device, head over to joinpd.com and type in the unique code given for that session. This allows students to follow along during the presentation while also answering questions that have been adding beforehand or asked on the fly by the teacher.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging activity for students to demonstrate knowledge and/or creativity.
HOW: Create an account at https://gometa.io/ and start creating a new experience. Here is a video I created to demonstrate Metaverse in action and how to get started creating.
Direct Link to video: https://youtu.be/1Qp3O0atXQ0
WHEN: Metaverse is a great activity to use for team-building or to allow your students to create on their own.
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.
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: