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.

Blooket – A New Spin on Classroom Review Games

https://www.blooket.com/

WHO: Teachers looking for a new way to engage students in review activities in their classroom.

HOW: Create an account (login with Google is an option for you and students) at Blooket and create a set of questions. There is a community bank with topics already available. If you cannot find what you are looking for in the community, you can also import flashcards from other question bank sources.

After finding or creating a set of questions, you will then host a game. Students sign-in with a unique code or access as homework if that is how you assign it.

Options include (at this time):

Classic: “Good Ol’ Fashioned Blooket! Compete by answering questions quickly to earn points and climb the leaderboard”

Tower of Doom: “Survive to Ascend the Magical Tower of Doom! Answer questions to collect cards that help you defeat evil Blooks and climb the Tower of Doom to victory” This is only available as homework.

Racing: “Exhilarating, Suspense-Filled Action! Answer questions to race opponents and use power-ups to get to the finish line first”

Battle Royale: “Intense, Competitive Showdowns! Players face each other in 1 vs 1 (or team vs team) showdowns and try to keep their energy up until only one remains”

Factory: “Fast-Paced, Money-Making Madness! Quickly answer self-paced questions to unlock and upgrade Blooks that make you some cold, hard, virtual cash”

Cafe: “Order Up! It’s Time For Some Delicious Food! Serve food to customers, restock your supplies by answering questions, and buy upgrades to create an awesome Café”

Gold Quest: “Exciting Twists and Chests Full of Gold! Build your riches in this chaotic mode by answering questions to earn gold and take it from other players”

WHEN: Blooket is fantastic for classroom review or as a formative assessment. Much like the other competition-based online activities, Blooket will have your students attention from the start.

WHY: Students find a “blook” (a square character used as an avatar) of their own. They can earn rewards throughout all of the classes in their school that use Blooket to unlock new blooks. This simple addition coupled with the variety of games, engages students in a new form for reviewing information you have covered in your class. Unfortunatly, individual results from each game are not available in the free account. You are able to see results from your class as a whole after each game, so you can guide your content from the class-wide perspective.

If you signup, let them know user krinaman sent you!

Classroom Q – A Digital Waiting List for Students Needing Assistance

WHO: Teachers that are looking for a way to know which students need help, what they need to help with, and who was first, all at a glance.

HOW: Teachers can sign up for a free account (paid versions available with additional options) using their school Google account at https://classroomq.com/. When the class is ready to go, the teacher launches a new session with a unique ID. Students open a new tab on their device and head to https://classroomq.com/students/, enter their name and the class ID code. If they have a question, students can click on the “Assistance Needed” button and optionally add a text comment. Students are also able to see where they are in line, so they can continue working.

WHEN: This product is great for classrooms where students are working individually or in groups. It allows the teacher to see who digitally “raised their hand” first, while also addressing the class as a whole if they notice many students have the same issue.

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.

Chartify: Create Great Charts in Minutes

WHO: Teachers that are looking for an easy-to-use program to make data visually interesting in the classroom.

HOW: Head over to https://chartify.io/, no need to create an account. Click the “Try It for Free” button.  Select which type of chart you want to use first, there are a variety of options. Give the chart a title/subtitle and input the data.  The graphics will adjust accordingly as you enter the numbers. You can change the colors by using the selections on the left. The toolbar across the top allows the use to adjust a few settings such as, light/dark mode, number mode (number or %), aspect ratio, display subtitle, and add/remove data blocks.  It seems that each chart type allows for a different amount of data selections, so be sure to check out which one will work for you. When finished, simply click the “Generate Chart” button in the top right corner and then share a unique link, share to social media, or download the image file.

WHEN: Chartify could be used by the teacher in class to demonstrate data. Students could use it for projects of all sorts. As no account is required to create, any grade level could easily use this tool. As we move forward in this day of data analysis and instant gratification, charts and infographics allow teachers to show and explain information in an instant.

 

Currently Chartify is free but ad-supported.  The pricing page states:

Chartify is 100% FREE.

We will explore how to monetise this service at a later stage.

Enjoy ; )”

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.

PLAY4A: Convert Multiple Choice Questions Into Interactive Games

WHO: Teachers interested in an engaging platform for classroom content review.

HOW: Head over to https://play4a.com/ and select “Create A Quiz”.  You will be prompted to create as a guest or to create an account.  Add multiple choice questions and answers then share when you are finished.  You will be given a code to share with your class.  Instruct your students to head over to the same website, but they should select “Play A Game”. Next students will enter the code you have provided and choose to play as a guest or to create an account. Upon entering, students will have the opportunity to play 15 different games using the questions that you have entered.

WHEN: As it currently stands, this website does not record any results from the games being played. Due to this, I would not recommend this option for formative assessment, but rather an option to reinforce fact-based content.  As the only question type is multiple-choice, teachers are limited to low-level questions. Students will find the games to have a wide variety and engaging.