BreakoutEdu Digital – Engaging Digital Activities

WHO: Teachers looking for an engaging activity to build skills including critical thinking, problem solving, team work, persistence, patience, internet research and more!

HOW:  I tried activities with grades 7-8 on laptops, and grades 5-6 on iPads.  While we were in a 1:1 environment utilizing small groups, these could be done in groups of 3-5 students with one device or as an entire class together.

Visit http://www.breakoutedu.com/digital, I suggest starting with “Og’s Great Adventure” for yourself.  This will help you understand what the students will be looking for.  In both of the events I helped with, the students worked on “San Diego Vacation“.

During these events, locks will be listed on the left hand side. These locks could be words, numbers, directions, colors, etc..  Students need to search on the screen for links.  Many will be hidden and users need to pick up on subtle clues to find where to click.  These will take you to clues, hints, puzzles, or riddles. These answers could be the locks, or could give you something to search for in order to unlock the code.

WHEN: Breakouts are great activities for team building and can be used to leave lasting memories with your students here at the end of the day. The students I worked with were deeply engaged, focused for the entire time, and had huge smiles on their faces, even when they were frustrated.  The best part is being around the students when they have the “a-ha” moment of solving a lock on their own.

Teachers Try Science – Lesson Plans and Resources

WHO: Teachers looking for lesson plans and resources for Algebra, Earth Science, Geometry, Measurement, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, and Special Needs.

HOW: Teachers sign up for a free account at http://www.teacherstryscience.org/, click on “Lesson Plans”, and sort through topic, target grade (5-12), and/or estimated time required.  Teachers Try Science will then give many options of lesson plans to try.  Many of these lesson plans also contain any resources, such as worksheets, presentation, etc..

WHEN: The summer months are a great time to start looking ahead for lessons the next school year. As teachers, we should reflect on the lessons we use, and be open to seeing what works for others.

Reflector 2 by Squirrels

Reflector2

*I have only used the software with Apple devices*

SOFTWARE TITLE: Reflector 2

COST: $14.99

OS: OS X 10.7.5 or Later, Windows 7, Windows 8 (Windows 8 RT is not supported) or Windows 10, Android 4.1 & compatible device.

POSITIVE: Reflector 2 is a great alternative to having an AppleTV in the classroom, many would actually consider it to be better.  When Reflector is on, the computer is then available as an option for AirPlay.  I was able to use it from an iPad, iPhone, and a MacBook.  This gives teachers an option to display student works, quickly and easily, at a fraction of the cost.  When purchasing for a school, be sure to contact the company for bulk pricing options.

Another piece that makes Reflector 2 stand out over the AppleTV is that you can have multiple devices connected at once.  This allows the teacher to display multiple students work at one time.  Teachers can also mute screens and have them set up for next in line.

The final feature that sets Reflector 2 out as a great match for the classroom is the option to record.  If a student is giving a presentation, or you are creating a tutorial video, simply connect the device and click the record button.

My understanding is that it also works when using Windows or Android based devices, but I have not tried it out myself.

NEGATIVE: The only issue I have run into is a little bit of lag when I was streaming Apple Music from my iPhone to my MacBook Pro.  This issue could have been due to network traffic, but I have not had the opportunity to troubleshoot it yet.

SIDE NOTE: Squirrels is based out of Ohio and is a sponsor of the EdCamp movement.

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.