3DU NOW AVAILABLE

It has been a while since I have posted and a major reason is that I have been working on a book. 3DU: A Guide to 3D Printing in Every Classroom has been published by the Wired Educator and is available now on Amazon!

Did your school purchase a 3D printer for teachers to use? Did someone donate one to your classroom and you are not sure how you will use it with your students? Check out 3DU: A Guide to 3D Printing in Every Classroom. This book is full of project ideas and lessons that will help any teacher, in any grade level, and in any content area, learn how they can use this technology with their students.

Starting with the basics of vocabulary and how the printer functions, readers will then embark on a journey that features projects and lessons that dive deeper with their students and make a cultural shift from consumption to creation. This book will give students the opportunity to get hands-on with their learning and make objects that demonstrate their understanding of classroom content through creative means.

3DU is for you if…

  • You are a teacher eager to engage students with your content.
  • You want students to design, create, and find solutions.
  • You are an administrator leading instructional change toward a 21st-century learning environment.
  • You want to create opportunities of hope, fun, and fulfillment for students.


A Wired Educator Book
Published by Wired Educator Consulting, Inc.

RecordCast: More Than Just Screen Capture

WHO: RecordCast is a tool that can be used for screen capturing but it also has a simple video editing option as well. While trying out RecordCast for the first time, I offered a suggestion to the creators and the feature was added in no time. Teachers that do not have access to video editing tools or the knowledge and skills for putting together videos will find this system simple to get started with. This tool would be great for teachers that are working remotely as well as those looking to get going with the Flipped Classroom model. This is also useful for having students creating videos for classroom content.

HOW: Accounts are free and can be linked to Google accounts for an easy sign-in method. Once in, you can create a video by uploading files you already have or recording. When recording a video, there are a few options to choose from: Screen + Webcam, Screen Only, and Webcam Only.

Choose what works for you! If the video is for your students, I recommend using the Screen + Webcam. This allows your students to hear and SEE you, which makes it a more class-like experience.

After recording/uploading a video, users can then edit their masterpiece. This is a step forward in comparison to other screen recording tools as you can trim out unwanted parts (instead of starting over each time), do picture in picture for you and your whiteboard, as well as adding background music and titles. While this might be more than you need for creating lecture videos, having those options available makes RecordCast much more versatile. I could see it being used by students on Chromebooks in classrooms everywhere.

WHEN: RecordCast is a great addition to the Flipped Classroom model and for teachers creating content for asynchronous online classes. It is also great for students to use for creating videos that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of classroom content.

Sharpen STEM – Project Prompts

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.

OneTab – Share Resources and Save System Memory

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.

Five Tools for Classroom Review in 2018!

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.

GimkitIn 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.

 

These are just a few great options for review tools in the classroom.  Kahoot and Quizizz are always tools that grab student attention and spark their competitive nature.

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.

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.

 

Metaverse – Create AR Experiences in the Classroom

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.