Thursday, March 28, 2013

30 Hands - Example of 1st Grade Math



I had a pleasant surprise yesterday in my inbox. It was close to the end of the day and there was a video sent by a student in Mrs. Yoder's first grade class. This is using the 30 Hands application that I recently blogged about in the Presentation Tools section.
30hands

Here the student took pictures of his math manipulatives, and recorded his voice telling what addition number sentence he was solving. The students not only sent it through email, but also posted it on their Kidblog.

The real benefit was when I went home and Mrs. Yoder was able to watch each video. Instantly, she was able to determine how well each student understood the lesson. It was as if she was able to check-in with every student all from one location.

Let me know what is working for you. Have a few students send me a sample from time to time. I think all teachers could benefit from seeing the products that our students are capable of doing with their devices. When you share, we all gain.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Labelbox

[youtube=http://youtu.be/5PJ8EDYNFFo]

Labelbox is an extremely easy-to-use iPod/iPad application. Students can take pictures or use pictures that you have sent to them, place labels on the image, and save it to their camera roll to either be emailed or posted on Kidblog.org This is much like many of the other applications that I have blogged about in the past that allow students to build their own creative projects. The thing is, it is just as fast for students to use an application like Labelbox than it is to give the students a worksheet. However, which one do you think the kids are going to respond to more?

So let's brainstorm some ways that it could be used:

[caption id="attachment_252" align="aligncenter" width="430"]Here are some ideas of how it could be used. I used Labelbox to make it. :) Here are some ideas of how it could be used. I used Labelbox to make it. :)[/caption]

Please feel free to comment with your own ideas!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Freckle Juice and Puppet Pals

I recently visited Mrs. Abbs to work with a small group of first grade students to create a Puppet Pals presentation. If you have not used Puppet Pals before, try checking out these reviews on how it can be used. Here is the review about Puppet Pals. Here is one for Puppet Pals 2.

In this scenario, the students were reenacting their favorite part of Freckle Juice by Judy Blume. It took students roughly about 15 minutes to create the video and publish it on Kidblog. Mrs. Abbs had the students do a walk-through the book. They reviewed important parts, and the students picked which one they wanted use for their project. The students were able to quickly record their voice and move the characters around to best demonstrate the scene.

The students were extremely engaged as they using the application for a specific purpose. I believe that is the key to integrating technology. Applications like Puppet Pals holds great potential for all students, if it is used in a manner that is going to promote their educational process.

Thanks goes to Mrs. Abbs for including me in the project. What was most exciting for me? I had very little to do with the planning of the project. Not trying to seem lazy, but that means that she is naturally following the TPACK. Mrs. Abbs had the vision for how it could be used, shared it with me, and I helped her make it happen. Great work, Mrs. Abbs!

Notice she figured out how to change the background to show the change in time from one day to the next!


30 Hands - YouTube

30 Hands - YouTube.


  30 Hands is a very simple and easy presentation tool available on iPod and iPad. The user simply selects pictures or takes pictures directly from the application, and then records their voice over each picture. If you want students to get even more detailed, they could edit photos and annotate them with Skitch. This would allow them to essentially make their photos into presentation slides and record their voice telling about each slide.

The applications of 30 Hands is endless. Have students make their own digital story. Have them record about a learning opportunity that occurred in class. Students could take pictures of the books they are reading to tell about them or create book reviews. Basically, if you want your students to share information, this application gives them a quick and easy avenue for making that happen.

For our Kidblog users, the students can upload their 30 Hands slideshow directly to the blog. This provides a great opportunity to keep their digital work.

I also have an example that my son, who is three, created with me while we had school canceled due to snow. It was a lot of fun!

(Sorry he had a cold.)


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Free Technology for Teachers: A Simple Yet Powerful Student BloggingActivity

Free Technology for Teachers: A Simple Yet Powerful Student Blogging Activity.

I do not want to steal Mr. Byrne's thunder here, but I do want to make my teachers aware of his wisdom. So am sharing this to encourage you to look at his blog-post for yourself.

One of the most common questions people ask me is, "What do I do with a blog?" That is actually a tough question for me to answer because I there are so many different options that my mind begins to draw a blank when I am put on the spot. However, I will more than likely respond with Richard Byrne's response from this point forward. His suggestion is to use it as a place to perform a weekly reflection upon what they learned. This would give you an opportunity to build your vision as to what you want your class blog to become.

I completely understand how difficult it is to visualize prior to having a blog. I think it is something you figure out as you go, learn from your mistakes, and also learn from others' mistakes.

On a side note, many people ask me what you do with a Twitter account. I should immediately respond with, "Follow Richard Byrne."

via Free Technology for Teachers: A Simple Yet Powerful Student Blogging Activity.

TerraClues – Google Maps scavenger hunt game | Teach Amazing!

TerraClues – Google Maps scavenger hunt game | Teach Amazing!.


Mark Brumley recently posted the above link on Twitter, and I was glad that I was able to come across it. (If you do not follow him...do it now!) TerraClues is a free resource that utilizes Google Maps to create a virtual scavenger hunt. You can create clues, the students have to figure out the location of the clue, and they move on to the next clue.

Mark suggests that this would make a great opportunity to familiarize students with a specific area in the world whenever they are reading a novel or studying history. When I read Number the Stars by Lois Lowery to my fourth graders, this would have made a great resource to build their schema.

To add to his post, I came across a Youtube video that shows how to create your own education accounts so that you can track student progress.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/86XQGHpe6lQ]

I also came across a video for how to create your own "Terrahunt." If you are one that would rather see full directions before jumping in headfirst, this one is for you.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/bCvQ3bqnVQc]

via TerraClues – Google Maps scavenger hunt game | Teach Amazing!.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Good Interactive Whiteboard Websites

As we are driving home from the MACUL conference in Detroit, I thought I would make the most of my time and talk about some of the things that I was able to absorb from some great people doing great things in the EdTech realm. In fact, there are a few great people in the van with me even as we speak. :) 

Image

I sat in a session, T is for Tinkering, by Steve Dembo. He spent a little bit of time talking about finding innovated web-tools that you can use with your Brightlink Interactive Whiteboard. Some things you have to consider when looking at these types of web-tools are: 

  1. That you can run it without having to right-click on a mouse. It makes using it on a board tedious.
  2. That you do not have to type.

Here are a few examples:

Padlet - Padlet is virtual bulletin board where you can import weblinks, pictures, videos, and write text all over the board. Along with all those abilities comes in with the interactive whiteboard tools where you are able to actually circle and write directly on the board. You could make a whole presentation straight from this site so that you could see all the information collected from multiple websites all at once in an interactive form. 

Here is an example of what you can create with Padlet.

Image

Another great site that I was already familiar with was Popplet.com. Many of our teachers that have students using iPods or iPads are using this app. More for the awesome mind-mapping features it possess. However, I had never thought of using it with the interactive whiteboard. 

Here is the kicker with Popplet that I didn't think of, You can hand-write in the popples! This allows you to avoid making mind-maps that would require typing. 

The last web-tool that I am going to mention from this presentation is ipiccy.com. It is actually a full featured Photoshop tool that is completely free. You can edit and photoshop photos right before the kids eyes. Change color and impose other pictures on top of others. By imposing pictures on top of others, you could make a whole collage of photos. If you choose to not use it with your interactive board, it would at least be usable for your own photos straight from your laptop. 

In East Noble School Corporation, we have a few buildings that do not have the interactive boards. However, these schools could still use their tablet features on their laptops while plugged into a projector.

Let me know what cool web-tools you have tried with your interactive board. I'd love to get some suggestions!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

21st Century Learning and Educational Technology: Understanding the TPACK Framework

I am attending this session at MACUL even as I write. Here is an overview of what I gathered about the session by Punya Mishra.

"For facts, go to Google. For wisdom, come to me." That is what makes us as teachers different than all the amazing content that is available. This changes how we teach. There is still a need for the connection between student and teacher because the need for wisdom or the application for all the content still requires that personal touch.

We also have to change what we are teaching. The transformation of content due to technology. Think about how technology has changed mathematics, art, science, physics, music, engineering, history and political science. How has education changed because of technology? Now we have multiple ways to represent the content. It changes because we are no longer constrained by print alone.



20130321-150149.jpg

TPACK - Teaching has always been about TPACK. Whether it has been about slateboads, computers, or websites. We have always thought about the technologies available to us and how we can integrate them. This reminds me of how excited I was to take shower board from Home Depot, cutting them into a square foot board, and thinking of all the ways I could utilize that as a resource. Are today's technologies any different?

What does not work? Technology/Pedagogy/Content being completely separated. When you consider them in an integrated manner, you will be effective.

MACUL

Currently attending the opening keynote at MACUL2013. Kevin Honeycutt is talking about reaching today's kids with technology. Not only that, he is pretty funny too. We can build relationships with students through devices. Kids learn different than we did. We have this giant gap between the past and today. Society has never changed so rapidly.
View the Presentation



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20130321-090700.jpg

Monday, March 18, 2013

Soo Meta - A Nice, New Way to Create Multimedia Presentations

Free Technology for Teachers: Soo Meta - A Nice, New Way to Create Multimedia Presentations.

Soo Meta is a cool presentation tool that allows you to pull in videos and photo content into an easy presentation format. This would be especially good if you were wanting to just use a playlist from Youtube that appears to be more of a presentation than a video player.

I attempted to make my own and was pleased with the results. However, making the project took some patience. I found it to be a little clunky and tedious. As the product continues to improve, I think that this could be a very valuable use for students using laptop devices in the classroom.

Here is the link to my own example:

http://www.soometa.com/stories/3263

via Free Technology for Teachers: Soo Meta - A Nice, New Way to Create Multimedia Presentations.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Organizing for Instructional Results

Organizing for Instructional Results

[caption id="attachment_1285" align="aligncenter" width="632"]Kindergarten Students Blogging Kindergarten Students Using Nearpod[/caption]

East Noble School Corporation is getting close to wrapping up year-two of being a 1:1 technology school district. So now that we have come this far, the question is where do we advance from here? Teachers are having students use the devices on a daily basis. Teachers are having kids email their work, create books with Scribble Press, teach lessons using apps like Screen Chomp and Ask 3.

East Noble's curriculum director, Becca Lamon, recently sent this article to me. As I read through it, it really causes me to question even how I have encouraged technology integration. Are we taking advantage of the technologies our students have in their hands? I think the answer is both "yes" and "no".

The article breaks down how technologies are being used into three categories:

  1. Literacy Uses

  2. Adapting Uses 

  3. Transforming Uses

I would encourage you to look at the examples that are listed in the article. Our end-goal here is that we are providing students with the opportunities to transform their learning. Allowing the students to do something that was previously inconceivable without the iPad in their hand is making the best use of the device, is powerful in the learning process, and it is a lot of fun. :)

Moleskine for iPod Touch

http://youtu.be/je6gcS7fbtM

Moleskine is a free app that is actually a part of the Evernote family. If you are already an Evernote user, I would recommend trying this app out for yourself in an everyday situation. Try using it when taking notes during a meeting. Try using it to plan your writing in front of your students. Either way, I am a firm believer that if you want to see the application of technology in your classroom, you have to first be willing to be a user yourself.

Moleskine is basically a digital journal. You can have multiple notebooks with different types of paper. There are plain, lined, squares, and storyboard papers. You have pencils, paintbrushes, and pens to use, text that will fit anywhere (even on top of pictures), and you can import your own pictures.

The practical application that I see is that students can record multiple day events. Have them record a specific reading strategy. Have them import pictures of examples that they want to keep. Have them make a journal about the characters in your book. Whatever you did with a notebook, you can do here, and a little more. The added picture option makes it a tool that would give it a "one-up" on a traditional notebook.

If you try this application out for yourself, please take some time to let me know how you have found it to be useful.

Friday, March 15, 2013

QR Codes and Counting to 20

I cannot take credit for this discovery. My wife actually sent me the link, but here is a QR activity for counting to twenty. One has a St. Patrick's Day theme while there is also one for anytime of the year.

Students count the number of shamrocks on a page, and check their answer through using a QR code Scanner. The teacher even supplies the directions on how she went about setting up her lesson. Isn't it terribly nice when people share their good stuff on the internet? Thanks Mrs. Nelson!

If you are not certain what a QR code is, download this app and use it to scan the code in the picture below.

Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day!

image

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Math Games Math Vs Zombies

Math Games Math Vs Zombies by Tap To Learn for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad on the iTunes App Store.


Math Vs. Zombies has received a change of face. I know when I recommended this app in the past for math facts practice, the biggest criticism was that the students were using a gun (laser canon of some sort) to kill zombies.


The change that took place now has the student use magical powers shooting from hands to change the zombies back into humans. So if you had reservations in the past about this application, please take some time to look at it again as they have obviously made some efforts to appease the masses.



via Math Games Math Vs Zombies.

Space Place Prime

Space Place Prime for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad on the iTunes App Store.


via Space Place Prime.

Space Place Prime is a free app distributed by NASA. It contains all kinds of cool articles, videos, and images put out by NASA, but completely intended for elementary level. However, when I say elementary level, most of it would probably meet the needs for second grade on up.

One drawback of this application is the organization. I wish there were some sort of search option so that the contents of it could be easily found. At this point, it seems pretty random, and sometimes it is difficult to navigate through. Other than that, the contents are good and would be good for students to use as a supplemental science resource.

Show and Explain Your Work

Here is a blog-post Zack came across that discusses how students can use the whiteboard app to show and explain their work. Simple and easy way to integrate technology. Also, it requires much more thinking than playing a skill and drill app.

Measure Time and Length

Measure Time and Length is not a typical app I would spend a lot of time reviewing. (No offense to the developers.) I tend to focus more on applications that can meet a wide range of skills and cause the students to develop their creativity as well. However, with the pressures of standardized testing, this application could be necessary for all classrooms.

East Noble School Corporation recently underwent a "stress test" to check the ability of our network and devices to handle standardized testing. To make this test happen, a practice test took place. The practice test required use of virtual mathematics tools. This application supplies a similar tool that will allow students to become accustomed to using a virtual ruler vs. the cardboard eight inch ruler they used to supply on the paper and pencil version.

With that said, the app is simple and basic, and without a doubt will provide students with the familiarity of using virtual tools on an iPad for testing.

[gallery type="slideshow" columns="4" ids="134,135,136,133"]

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mission-us.org

[youtube=http://youtu.be/wyHiNU3oBmc]

Mission-us.org is a website intended for students from fifth to eighth grade. It primarily focuses on two areas of American history. The American Revolution and the Civil War era.

What is exciting about this website is that it provides lessons plans/curriculum guides that will assist you in implementing the materials in your classroom. You are not left rooting through the materials to determine what comes next. With it completely laid out for you, implementation should go fairly smooth. I would recommend having a student or two try it out to see if it is something that would be of value to you.

The students participate in a role playing game of characters living during this time period. It gives the student the opportunity to see with their own eyes what the era was like and deepen their understanding of our history. Imagine how much easier it would be to read from the textbook or articles if they had a good amount of prior knowledge developed.

It is well worth your time. Students can create accounts on their own. They only have to create a username and password. No email addresses or other personal information is necessary. It is not available on the iPad.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Kidblog Application Setup



There has been an overwhelming response to teachers implementing Kidblog.org in their classroom. (I even have some Kindergarten teachers dabbling.) It is a great resource. I blogged about Kidblog a long time ago. However, the site has changed quite a bit. I will make an updated tutorial in the near future.

For now, I thought I would throw out a few materials for those of you that are interested in initiating a blog. The video embedded in this post is one I made for a classroom of second graders that needed to make the Kidblog application connect to their accounts. Feel free to use the video for your own classroom to get your students connected if I am not able to help you personally. Mrs. Gaines reported that her students did not have trouble connecting to the site after showing the video.

If you are thinking about implementing a blog, I would highly recommend looking at the following website: Getting More Out of Student Blogging. It is somewhat lengthy, but it includes a free webinar to watch. The blog post summarizes the webinar so you don't even have to watch it if you would rather just read through the materials yourself. It will provide you with a strong foundation on blogging. It will get you thinking about how to establish it, build excitement in your classroom, and make blogging a successful activity in your routine.

"Blogging is an authentic avenue for developing student literacy skills.   When you invest the time in teaching, modelling, revising and promoting high quality writing of comments, students can make great gains in their overall literacy development." - Sue Waters



Kidblog Application Setup

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Remind 101




Remind 101 is a web-tool that is very simple to use. It is a free mass messaging service that goes out to your subscriber's cell phones. This is not limited to smart phone users because it works through text messaging.

Many upper-level classroom teachers are using this tool with students because most of them have cell phones. Down here with the elementary students that I work with, I see this more as a service for parents. (Principals, you could use this with your teachers.)

Here is how it works: After you sign up, you will create a class. That class will have a phone number for parents to send a text to and a specific message that they are to place in the body of the text. After that, they are official signed up to receive your messages!

You can even have multiple groups. You could have one if you are a coach, student council leader, or any other after school activity coordinator. You are allowed up to 10 different groups all from your Remind 101 account.

Lastly, these groups are closed. If a parent tries to text back to your remind 101 group, you will not receive it. This also means that if they attempt to text back, it will not go to any of the other subscribers, nor can anyone see who is subscribed to the group.

These is an app available on iOS and Android devices if you prefer to send your messages from mobile devices. You do not have to use a cell phone. This service will actually work over wifi on your iPad.

Monday, March 4, 2013

5 Dimensions of Technology Integration by @InstTechTalk - TeacherCast Blog

5 Dimensions of Technology Integration by @InstTechTalk - TeacherCast Blog.


Zack and I frequently talk about how we would rather have teachers use a few excellent tools that are applicable across multiple subjects, and that they are easy to use. This is a better alternative to having tons of applications that repeat the same skills over and over. This article is right inline with that same thinking. The purpose of the article is to get you to think about how you select your tools. If you are an avid follower of my Pinterest, Twitter, or blog, be rest assured that I already go through these steps when looking for quality technology tools.


Here is my take on the article and how it applies to my East Noble teachers:




  1. Contemplate about what task the students are actually accomplishing with their devices. Is it low level thinking, or is it giving them the skills that is going to prepare them for the future?

  2. Learn the technology yourself. If you want, I will spend time showing you tools that you can possibly integrate. See how you can apply it to your daily life and your teaching. If you can see the benefit for yourself, you may start to see how it carries over to your students.

  3. Is it going to be worth your time? Technology integration is motivating when you find it to actually save you time in the long-run.  It may require an investment in the beginning. However, as time progresses and you make it a part of your regular routine, it will pay off.


Look over the article linked above the Word Cloud. Let Zack or myself know how we can assist you in your technology integration. We want to help!

Multi-Photo Voice Recorder - YouTube







Multi-Photo Voice Recorder is a quick and simple application to use on the iPod Touch or iPad. I picture this application working well with our early elementary students. The student can take a picture(s), record their voice, and email the recording.

Math example: If a student was working with manipulatives in mathematics, it would be near impossible for the teacher to check-in with every student without taking an enormous amount of class time. Couldn't the student take a picture of their work, record what they accomplished, and email it to their teacher?

Literacy Example(s): Students could take a picture of a book, and then make a recording of them reading a page or two of the text. They could also simply tell you what they read about that particular day. Have them create book recommendations using this app. How about sharing  difficult or new words?

For our teachers using Kidblog, these recordings could even take place by having the student save the recording to their camera roll and uploading it from the Kidblog application. 

I am excited about the opportunities that this app could provide for our early elementary students and teachers alike. Please feel free to share ways that you think this tool could be used in the comments section.

Vocabulary Lessons: Flipped, Collaborative & Student Centeredby @CTuckerEnglish - TeacherCast Blog

Vocabulary Lessons: Flipped, Collaborative & Student Centered by @CTuckerEnglish - TeacherCast Blog.

Flipping the classroom is such a hot topic. In the mathematics realm, it nicely fits into the daily routine. The teacher shows some examples in a video, the kids watch it, and you can differentiate your instruction farther than you ever could before.

The linked article is a high school teacher using the flipped classroom to teach vocabulary and language arts instruction. Why can't teachers in the elementary setting do the same in language arts? Create a five minute video demonstrating the skill/strategy.

Flipping the classroom does not have to take place with the mindset that the videos have to be watched at home. Students could watch the videos as soon as they enter class or as you want to begin the lesson. The teacher can then easily differentiate instruction by meeting with small groups of students as the task is already set for the rest of the class.

Here are some links to iPad applications that the teacher can use to accomplish this blended learning model:

Screen Chomp

Ask 3

Show Me

Educreations

Great resources for accomplishing the same task on a laptop:

Camtasia (If you are an East Noble employee, please contact me if interested.)

Snag it (If you are an East Noble employee, please contact me if interested.)

Screencast -O-Matic