Top 100 Sites & Apps of 2012
- MentorMob – Probably the coolest site I’ve come across this year. MentorMob is a place where teachers can curate the web into learning playlists and then share them with their students via a link or embedding into a site.
- Pinterest – This is the most popular site on my list and another great site for curating the web. Lots of educators can be found on here sharing and “pinning” great sites for education.
- Nearpod – A terrific free iPad app that teachers use to create interactive presentations then share on student’s iPad devices. Students then use their Nearpod app to submit responses which teachers can then assess on their own Nearpod app.
- Edshelf – One of my favorite sites of the year. Ideal for educators to find educational technology sites or curate them into shelves.
- ClassBadges – A fantastic new site that allows teachers to award digital badges to students for accomplishments.
- FluencyFinder – A innovative new iOS app for assessing student’s reading fluency. This is a very simple app to use and get instant real-time results for assessing student’s reading fluency.
- PowToon – One of the best sites I’ve seen for making stunning animated presentations.http://playfic.com/
- 3D Toad – An amazing site for finding interactive educational images that a person can zoom in and out and rotate 360 degrees.
- SendHub – A fantastic way to send free text or group messages to parents/students.
- BeeClip EDU – A great site with educational portal (no student email necessary to register) that is ideal for students for creating digital scrapbooks.
- The Answer Pad – This is a great site/iPad app combo that allows teachers to create answer sheets online and then assign them to students. The students then using a free app fill in the answer sheet, show their work, etc and then submit to their teacher which they get instant real-time results/graphs.
- WatchKnowLearn – A site that reminds me a lot of Discovery Streaming and is great for finding educational videos for K-12.
- Nanoogo – A wonderful new site that gives students/teachers a digital canvas to ignite creativity and share lessons/ideas/work etc in a new and exciting way.
- Class Dojo iOS App – A wonderful free iOS app that interacts with the fantastic behavior management site. Teachers can award or discipline students via a mobile device without having to be worried about being tied down to a desktop machine.
- iBooks Author – A free iPad app for creating interactive digital books. This could be a game changer in education as more and more text books are being phased out.
- SideVibe – A great way to take any content from the web and turn it into an activity for students.
- OuiBox – A great site for writing. Cites sources, annotates, and more as you write.
- Flocabulary -A neat site for finding teaching lessons, songs, and videos through the use of educational hip hop.
- Remind 101 – A great and safe way to text parents/students.
- PicMonkey – An excellent free online photo editor where users can upload photos to edit, create collages and more.
- GoClass – GoClass is an excellent web based app for the iPad that works a bit like Nearpod. It allows teachers to manage their class on the web and then create assignments that students take on their iPad. Teachers can then assess student’s work via the web or the iPad app.
- NoRedInk – A terrific site for helping student with their grammar and writing skills. Teachers can assign lessons and quizzes as well as tracking student progress.
- MeoGraph – An innovative new site for four dimensional storytelling that has an educational portal.
- Inklewriter – A fun site that allows students to write creative stories online for free. It works by adding to a current story or starting your own and then branching off to where you want to go. It’s great for collaborating with others and once it’s finished it gets published online and can be shared with others.
- 9 Slides – A fantastic site for adding narration or video to slideshows. This is great for professional development or for explaining and introducing a new concept or subject.
- Winged Sandals – This is my favorite site for all things Greek Mythology, great for finding out interesting facts, images, pictures and games.
- theLearnia – A nice educational social learning network that is great for students and educators to share and learn knowledge through online lessons.
- Playfic – This is a site after my own heart that allows users to create, play, and remix online text based games (Zork anyone?). A great way to interact with others and strengthen your writing/grammar skills.
- Teachers Tech – Wonderful iOS app for finding “how to” videos on all things Web 2.0 related in the classroom.
- Trash Chaos – A fun original iPad app for learning about recycling. This app is ideal for younger kids, has excellent animated graphics and by a top-notch company, Yogome.
- Humanline – One of the best new sites around for finding free educational images.
- Hello Slide – This is a very cool site that gives a voice or narration to slides by simply typing what you want it to say.
- Moms with Apps – A great place for finding educational apps as well as learning about other great mobile programs such as App Friday.
- InSkilled – A unique site that allows users to track and share what they learn online through a very useful self-paced interface.
- Musicshake Edu – Students create music online that can then be downloaded or used anywhere.
- List.ly – A great way to curate the web into lists and then share with others or embed into a site.
- Knowmia – A nice place to find educational videos on 1000s of lessons for every subject. Ideal for high school level.
- Nulu – A innovative site for learning Spanish by reading relative articles on a wide variety of subjects that is translated into Spanish. A user can then select which words are difficult for them to help guide his or her learning.
- Storyboard That – Excellent web tool for students to visual tell a story through a storyboard. This is ideal for digital storytelling as well as brainstorming new ideas.
- Snip.it – A fun site for curating the web into thumbnails similar to Pinterest.
- Educreations – This is a wonderful site/iPad app for creating a lesson on a digital whiteboard, then recording what’s happening.
- QR Voice – A neat way to add a voice to a QR code.
- Backpack TV – A nice site for educational videos on a wide variety of subjects.
- SpellingCity iOS app – A great free iOS app that goes hand and hand with the SpellingCity website. Students can access 100s of word lists and lots of popular games and activities.
- MinecraftEdu – The popular PC is now being used in education to build creative worlds and geographical landmarks/buildings.
- ClassPager – Turns your mobile device into a classroom clicker for text messages, responding to polls, and more.
- CubertsCube – This is a fun site that allows students to polish their writing skills by working and getting feedback from others.
- ACMI Generator – This is a great place to find or creating writing prompts to build a story.
- GradeCam – Use any web or document camera to scan in assignments and have it graded instantly with real-time feedback.
- Toontastic – One of my favorite iPad apps for digital storytelling. Kids select their characters and backgrounds and add their voice to create a story.
- Knowit – Another nice site for curating the web and saving on sorts of resources to share with others.
- Google Cloud Print – This is an amazing way to print to any printer from any device anywhere as long as the printer supports GCP.
- Alien Buddies – A fun app for young learners where they can take part in many activities such as: matching, puzzles, stickers, and connect the dots.
- History Engine – The History Engine is an ambitious project that puts the student in the part of a historian to creating stunning projects.
- Teachers with Apps – A fantastic site for finding detailed reviews with images of educational apps.
- Understoodit – A very simple idea for a site that works. A teacher creates a page where students click understand or confused (about any subject the teacher is teaching) and the teacher gets instant real-time feedback.
- Literacy Shed – A great place to find resources for literacy on a wide range of topics.
- United Classrooms – This is a global social learning network that connects classrooms around the world.
- AnMisH – A fun site for digital storytelling where you can use your own image as one of the characters.
- Every1Speaks – A great way to harvest an idea by collaborating with others and introducing into a school setting.
- Essay Tagger – A stunningly simple way to grade essays through a web based tool.
- Famigo – A fun site to find and download educational apps.
- Flash Card Maker – A cool iOS app for kids to create flash cards using their own images and text.
- QuizSlides – Create quizzes from PPTs or PDFs and view results online.
- Learnist – Is like an educational version Pinterest with the ability to curate more then just sites such as videos, audio, etc.
- myHistro – A terrific site/app for creating interactive timelines that integrates with Google Maps.
- WikiBrains – A great site for social brainstorming that is very easy and fun to use.
- Chegg – This is a great site for renting, selling, or buying text books. Also, it has an educational portal which is great for finding step-by-step help on homework problems.
- Maily – A fantastic free iPad app that is geared for younger kids to teach them how to email in a safe environment.
- KidzVuz – A fun site for kids to find reviews of videos by kids.
- Share my Lesson – A great site for teachers to find educational resources developed by teachers.
- Avatar Classroom – An innovative site, it’s a web based classroom hosted in a virtual world, similar to MyLife.
- I Tell a Story – An excellent free iOS app for digital storytelling that reminds me a lot of the way Garageband is used to create a podcast.
- Tioki – This is a nice network for educators to collaborate and share resources.
- DuoLingo – A neat site for learning a foreign language by translating different articles on the web with others.
- LyricsGaps – A very fun site for learning a foreign language by filling in gaps of a song that are missing.
- Quick ScreenShare – This is a very handy web tool that allows people to share their screen with no registration needed. This is a great way to help troubleshoot or explain things to people by showing them your computer screen.
- Moo-O – A entertaining site that is puts kids right in the middle of the story and helps nurture their love of reading.
- Teach with Portals – A interesting site for gamification that uses the award winning Portal PC game for teaching. This site has a nice help forum as well as lesson plans on how to integrate into the classroom.
- Miracle of Life – One of the most beautiful looking iPad apps that I have ever seen. This app is in both English & Spanish and focuses on the human growth cycle.
- EdSurge – A community that is great for educators that has excellent articles as well as product reviews.
- Grammar Bytes – A great site for all things grammar such as handouts, definitions, presentations, videos, and more.
- Problem-Attic – A nice site to find and customize educational resources based on Regent exams in Math, Science, Social Studies, and English.
- Power my Learning – One of my favorite sites for finding educational activities on a wide range of subjects.
- BusyTeacher – A terrific site for finding free printable worksheets as well as resources for ESL teachers.
- Lingt Classroom – A cool site for learning a foreign language by creating voice based lessons.
- Storybricks – A great site for digital storytelling that uses MMO and gamification to create a creative/unique story.
- C-Fit – Consists of a series of iOS apps designed to keep kids healthy by engaging in exercise via walk-through videos.
- Story Patch – A fantastic iOS app for digital storytelling that goes through the step by step process of telling a story.
- Kindertown – A great site/app for finding educational apps for Pre-schoolers and young kids.
- Creating Music – A nice site for learning different terms and composing your own music.
- Google Course Builder – A new project by Google to help people build their own online courses uses Google tools.
- ESL Library – A wonderful site for ESL teachers looking to find lesson plans and flashcards.
- Scribble Press – A excellent site/iPad app for creating digital books and stories. Ideal for teachers with educational portal for creating student accounts.
- Teachem – A cool site for creating an online course by adding flashcard style questions to YouTube videos.
- Infuse Learning – A nice student response system that works on a wide variety of mobile devices.
- Doodlecast – A great iOS app for kids that allows them to create a drawing while recording their voice.
- Scribblenauts – One of my son’s favorite iOS platform games; it allows him to work on spelling to create objects.
- Mobento – A unique site that allows users to search for spoken words inside a video.
- SnaPanda – A great Android and iPhone app that uses a mobile devices camera to scan a word and give a definition.
cross-posted on http://cyber-kap.blogspot.com/
David Kapuler is an educational consultant with more than 10 years of experience working in the K-12 environment. For more information about his work, contact him at email@example.com
100 Video Sites Educators Should Bookmark
Editor’s Note: I recently shared A Collection of Classroom Videos to Use in Your Professional Development and More! This post courtesy of The Accredited Online Colleges blog is a perfect suppliment to the on-demand response I received from my PLN.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran teacher or a newbie just now taking college courses — finding new ways to get students engaged in the classroom is always a great thing. One way many teachers are reaching out is with the multitude of material found on the web, allowing them to turn everyday lessons into a multimedia experience. You can find a great amount of helpful material on these sites, including videos to augment your lessons, lectures to inspire students, documentaries to show them how things work, and loads of additional videos to help you become a better, smarter teacher
Educational Video Collections These sites are full of videos on a wealth of topics that can help grab your students’ attention.
- Teacher Tube: On this site, teachers can post their own educational videos and find videos made by others on virtually every topic out there.
- Edublogs.tv: Visit this site to search through a great collection of educational content.
- Edutopia: Sponsored by George Lucas, this site contains some great lesson plans as well as an assortment of lectures and inspiring videos.
- You Tube Edu: Check out this site to get access to the great content offered by YouTube, but narrowed down to all but educational videos.
- EduTube: Here you’ll find educational videos on just about every topic you could imagine.
- Classroom Clips: If you’re looking for teacher submitted and approved video and audio content for your courses, give this site a try.
- neoK12: This site believes that kids learn better by seeing and doing, and offers a wide range of educational videos and games to help them do it.
- Scholar Spot: Designed with both students and teachers in mind, this site has lots of educational content including lectures, animated videos and inspiring news stories.
- OV Guide: If you still haven’t found the video you’re looking for, consider paying a visit to this site. It will help you search through hundreds of sites for the best educational content on the web.
- Cosmo Learning: This educational site offers videos that can work well for students from grade school as well as those geared towards high school or college students.
- Google Educational Videos: Here you’ll find instructions on how to search through Google Videos and bring up only those that relate to education.
- Lectr: On this site teachers and students alike can find free lectures from learning institutions around the world.
General Video Collections These sites do offer some great educational content, but contain other types of videos as well.
- Hulu: Hulu carries a lot of everyday, pure entertainment TV shows, but it also streams programs from PBS and National Geographic that can be great for classroom use.
- Internet Archive: This site compiles videos from all over the web, giving you access to archives, public domain movies and a whole lot more.
- TED: Get your students or even yourself inspired with the amazing lectures posted on this site.
- MIT World: Hear from some of the world’s foremost scholars in lectures provided by MIT.
- TVO Big Ideas: On this site you’ll be able to hear from some big names in business, politics and activism and get a look at how they feel about some of the bigger issues facing our world.
- Big Think: Check out this site from video programming that asks you to truly think about a topic. Not all videos may be appropriate for the classroom, but there are definitely a few that could spark some interesting conversation.
- The Open Video Project: If you want access to loads of public domain digital video, go through the archives collected on this high-tech library site.
- @Google Talks: Hear from experts in fields like history, technology and business in this impressive collection of lectures from Google.
- Forum Network: This PBS site is absolutely full of video lectures from authors, academics and thinkers, but you’ll also find some great free PBS programs on topics that are especially relevant to history, science and technological education.
- UChannel: On this site you’ll find video lectures from some of the most prestigious institutions around the world.
Teacher Education Check out these sites to find some videos that will help you learn more about the subjects you teach and the technology you use.
- Academic Earth: Visit this site to see a wide range of lectures and courses from schools like Yale, Princeton and MIT, giving you the opportunity to learn more about your subject matter without spending a dime.
- Teacher Training Videos: If you need a little extra instruction on working with technology or students with ESL needs, check out the free content on this site.
- iMovie in Teacher Education: This site will show you how you can use iMovie, and by extension videos and interactive experiences, more effectively in your classroom.
- Classroom 2.0 Video: Those who struggle with implementing technology in the classroom should check out the videos on this site. You’ll learn how to do a wide range of technological tasks and there are lesson-worthy videos on the site as well.
- Atomic Learning: Use the videos on this site to find out how to harness the power for 21st century technological tools for more effective teaching. Most of the content comes at a cost, so you may want to try to talk your school district into sponsoring it.
- iTunesU: Take some of the free courses and lectures on this site to brush up on your knowledge of your specialty subject matter or just about anything else.
- Videos for Personal Development: Check out this site for a listing of some truly great personal development videos that will help your general teaching skills as well as your technological knowledge.
- Learner.org: While you will find a great deal of video content that can be of use in the classroom, the real wealth of this site lies in the great personal development materials for teachers.
Lesson Planning These video sites offer some great content to add to your lesson plans, and many are geared towards students so they can use them at home as well.
- Teachers Domain: Create a free profile on this site and you will get access to hundreds of lessons with accompanying videos, photos and other media.
- Meet Me at the Corner: This site offers students educational programming, book clubs, podcasting lessons and even virtual field trips–all great additions to lessons.
- WatchKnow: Designed for younger students, this site is home to some great educational videos on everything from inspirational biographies to ESL help.
- BrainPOP: While not all the content on this site is free, teachers can still find some great animated videos on a wide range of topics on this site for use in the classroom.
- Kids Know It Network: This site contains videos on topics like dinosaurs, biology, geography, history and math that are free to use and share.
- Khan Academy: This not-for-profit organization wants people everywhere to have access to educational content, and on their site, you can find instructional videos on numerous topics.
- Awesome Stories Video: Use the videos on this site in all kinds of lessons. You’ll find content that ranges from discussing the lives of penguins in Antarctica to the role of African Americans in WWII.
- Nobel Prize Lectures: Why not augment a lecture about a famous face in history with a real clip of them giving a Nobel Prize lecture or a documentary about their life? You’ll find both here.
- John Locker: Choose a subject like history, science or even sports on this site and you’ll get access to some amazing educational content.
- Teachers’ TV: This site is a goldmine for teachers, with videos posted by subject, grade level, popularity and with the added bonus of a special section for professional development as well.
Science, Math and Technology On these sites, the videos focus on the fields of science, math and technology.
- Green Energy TV: Teach your students about the latest innovations in green technologies with free videos from this site.
- Research Channel: The programming on this Internet TV site highlights some of the latest research being done in science, technology, medicine and even the humanities so you can educate yourself and your students on the next big things.
- BioInteractive: Explore biology with a little help from this site, offering videos and animations that can be a big help in teaching complex topics.
- ARKive: For lessons about the natural world, this site is perfect. It contains a wide range of videos on the animal and plant life of Earth.
- Math TV: If your students are struggling to understand a mathematical concept, augment their lessons with some of the material found on this site.
- The Vega Science Trust Videos: Let your students see potential science careers, discuss important issues and see inspirational figures in the field with videos found on this site.
- The Science Network: See interviews with big names in science that touch on important topics like stem cell research, evolution, neuroscience, genetics, learning and more on this site.
- Pop Tech: Inspire your students with the videos found on this site, showing individuals who are using science, technology and plain old hard work to change the world.
- Channel N: This site is full of lectures and videos on the human brain and psychology.
- How Stuff Works Videos: Show your students amazing and instructional videos through the content on this site.
- ScienceStage: You’ll find everything from videos of the Hubble Telescope to problems with human nutrition on this research-focused site.
- Exploratorium: Check out the webcasts on this site to let your students hear from biologists, cosmologists, physicists and more.
- SciVee: Give your students a view into the real working world of science, with this site that allows scientists to post videos of their real-life research for students and other scientists to use.
- The Futures Channel: This online channel is full of lessons and video clips on all types of math and science topics, from how to predict the weather to how to build stronger snowboards.
History, Arts and Social Sciences Here you’ll find a great collection of videos to illustrate the past and help your students see the beauty of the arts.
- EASE History: Watch videos about historical events, campaign ads, and cultural values on this historical site.
- Kennedy Center Archives: Through this site you can show students performances from some of the most amazing musicians in the world.
- The Archaeology Channel: Help your students to explore the history of mankind through the great free content offered here.
- Peoples Archive: This site collects the biographies of well-known people around the world told by the people who know it best–themselves.
- Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive: On this site you’ll find an amazing collection of WWII-era footage of the horrors of the Holocaust.
- Culture Catch: This site will let you see some of the work being done by up-and-coming artists.
- Folk Streams: Use this site to show students documentaries about traditional and folk culture in America.
- Digital History: With lesson plans and interactive online experiences for students, the videos found here are just the icing on the cake.
- History Matters: This site explores the primary historical documents central to understanding American history.
- Social Studies Video Dictionary: Your students can look up vocabulary words in style with this video dictionary.
Video Tools If you want to share, upload or store your own videos, consider using one of these great online tools.
- Drop.io: You can work with colleagues, parents or on your own in real time using this free online video and collaboration tool.
- DropShots: Keep your educational video collection private using this hosting site.
- Shwup: Store and share all your educational media using this site.
- Tonido: If you’ve got your videos stored on your computer, this site will let you upload them to the web and play them in the classroom free of charge.
- StashSpace: Create an account on this site and you’ll be able to store all kinds of video content.
- Troovi: With this site you can create an account to store all of your educational photos, videos and documents so you’re always prepared to teach.
- VidQue Edu: Search through this site for other educational videos even if you’re not quite ready to post your own.
- SchoolTube.com: This site is a great social networking forum for students and teachers to share videos.
Network and Program Videos These video sites are maintained by TV networks, offering videos of their programming for teachers to use for free.
- PBS Video: With this site you’ll be able to bring the great content from PBS right into your classroom for free.
- National Geographic Video: From nature to ancient cultures, you’ll find videos aplenty on this site.
- Nova Teachers Watch Video Online: Using this site you can show clips or whole programs from the television series Nova.
- Discovery Education: The Discovery Channel has compiled the videos on this site just for teachers and students.
- C-SPAN Video Library: Students learning about government can see it in action through the videos here.
- iCue: NBC News sponsors this site that offers great clips of important world events.
- History Channel Video Guide: Bring history to life through biographies and historical documentaries found here.
- Biography.com: Let your students learn more about famous figures in history using the short clips from the Biography Channel found here.
- Educational Internet TV: Check out this site to find out about free educational channels from around the world that you can watch online for free.
- BBC Learning: BBC Learning offers thousands of clips that have been pre-edited and selected to work well in the classroom.
Free Movies and Clips Visit these sites to get access to free documentaries, public domain films and short clips.
- Film Clips Online: Here you’ll find short, and legal to use film clips that are perfect for the classroom.
- Free Documentaries.org: Use this site to find some free documentary films for the classroom.
- SnagFilms: This site is home to a wide range of both free and pay film content.
- Top Documentary Films: Search through the documentaries on this site to find something perfect for the lessons you’re creating.
- Movies Found Online: Check out the search tool on this site to find whole public domain films online.
- ABC Documentaries: This site offers free documentaries from an Australian television station, including many shorter TV programs that can work well in school.
How-Tos If you’ve got no clue how to use a technology or want to see how things work in video form, these tutorial-filled sites should be your first stop.
- 5 Min: Got five minutes? Then you have enough time to watch one of these great instructional videos.
- Wonder How To: No matter what you’re trying to accomplish around the classroom, this site likely has a video to help you do it.
- Instructables: Learn how to make some great crafts that can accompany your lessons, play new games, or just figure out how to do something you’ve always wanted to do through this site.
- Howcast: If you want to know how to do something, this site is a great place to start looking for instruction.
- MindBites: You can not only find great videos on this site, but you may even be able to earn a little extra when others use videos you post.
- W3 Schools: Want to create a class website but don’t even know where to begin? This site offers some excellent tutorials on all the programming languages and tech expertise you’ll need.
Government and Organizations Go through these sites to get great videos and footage from the past and present of American history.
- The National Archives: Through this site you’ll get access to multimedia records that are held in the U.S. National Archives — a perfect addition to any history lesson.
- National Science Foundation Multimedia: Here, the NSF provides educators and interested learners with videos of nature, interviews, animations and a whole lot more.
- NASA e-Clips: Use these short clips as a way of showing students about our world and the universe that lies beyond.
- NASA TV: From live footage of space shuttles and space stations to programming geared towards use in the classroom, this NASA site is an invaluable resource for teachers looking to add to lessons about space travel.
- Library of Congress Teacher Resources: This site helps bring together some of the best material offered by the Library of Congress for use in a range of lesson plans on American History.
- American Memory Motion Pictures: If you prefer to look through the material on your own, this site will let you search through the multimedia material held by the Library of Congress.
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This website will take you to dozens of math games that correlate with students’ RIT Scores!
I use this one all the time- great resource!http://www.sowashco.k12.mn.us/ro/pages/studentlinks/map/
5 Ways To Have A High-Tech Classroom With What You Already Have
Added by Katie Lepi on 2012-09-26
&lt;img title=”tech-chalkboard” src=”http://edudemic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/tech-chalkboard-400×266.jpg” alt=”” width=”400″ height=”266″/&gt;This is an excerpt from a larger article all about the real world ways teachers can use the technology they already have in their classroom to have a high-tech learning environment. Be sure to download the Edudemic Magazine iPad app (free to download!) and check out the September issue of the magazine for the full story (including an interview with a teacher who has done some amazing things with the tech he already has).
There are a host of ways to use the technology you already have at your fingertips to create a Classroom 2.0. In the September issue of Edudemic Magazine, Kris Tetzlaff was kind enough to share some of his tips and tricks but we wanted to offer a few more things that might help you get your classroom upgraded on the cheap. Below are our 5 favorite ways to turn your current classroom into, well, a classroom of the future. If you have already done this kind of stuff, let us know about it! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
That Dusty Desktop Is A Gateway To Free Web Tools
Your clunky desktop is more than just a place to update your Excel sheets or Word documents. There are countless free web 2.0 tools that are just aching for you to try them out in your classroom. From Skype to Twitter to Learnist to Glogster to Prezi to Voki to Bitstrips, the list goes on and on. Check out this page for the 100 best tools chosen by Edudemic readers.
Can’t Afford an iPhone? Grab A Used iPod Touch
You don’t need 24-7 4G access to bring apps into your classroom. For less than a hundred dollars, you can get a used iPod Touch on eBay, Apple’s refurbished center (this may vary), and other resellers. You’ll be able to leverage the power of most cutting-edge apps like Apple’s Remote app, Learnist, and Skype. What better way to expose your students to high quality apps at a budget price?
That Overhead Projector Is Ready And Waiting
Most classrooms have a projector and screen. If you don’t use it every day, you’re missing out. You could have a BYOD environment where students can each take turns attaching their devices (via a cheap dongle) to the projector and show what they did / are doing with their device. Better still, you could use the projector to attach to a desktop you already have and mirror the monitor. Then you can have digital field trips via the Smithsonian, video calls with other schools via Skype, and display presentations and videos with ease.
Music Lessons From The World
Thanks to your trusty desktop or laptop computer that already lives in your classroom, why not try the free version of Spotify or Pandora? You could run quizzes of classical music and have your students try to guess who composed the music, who performed it, and perhaps how the song makes them feel. With Spotify, you could have your students compile their own playlists to help tell a story or use as a background to any presentation. It’s like having the entire world of music at your fingertips for free 24-7.
Manage Behavior And Attendance
Got an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad in your classroom? Class Dojo just released apps for iOS that lets you (for free) manage just about everything in your classroom. From rewarding good behavior to managing attendance and interaction, you can do all kinds of great things. We got a first-hand look at the new apps from the founders of Class Dojo and were blown away by the ease of use. You can even shake your iPhone to have the app automatically pick a student to call on. Talk about a nerve-wracking app!
Be sure to download the Edudemic Magazine iPad app (free to download!) and check out the September issue of the magazine for the full story (including an interview with a teacher who has done some amazing things with the tech he already has).
This will link will take you to a site loaded with dozens of apps for sight word and phonics practice. Some of the apps are free.
It is so important to teach our students about digital citizenship. This poster can be found at
http://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/middlehigh_poster. It’s a great resource for starting conversations with your students.
January 23, 2013
Today’s teachers—particularly those of us who graduated from college more than five years ago—must make some cognitive shifts in order to be tech-savvy. Here I discuss just a couple of that have been helpful to me.
Shift #1: Recognize technology as a tool for learning, not as the goal of the learning.
The other day, I was discussing classroom technology with a good friend. The two of us have worked together for many years, and collaborated on multiple projects. Our conversation centered on this shared observation: While many teachers want to use technology, some seem unaware that different tools work well for different purposes.
Not long ago, a teacher contacted my friend: “Come teach my students PowerPoint.” My friend asked, “Why?” The response: “I want them to write a report.”
All too often, with the best intentions, teachers use a wrench like a hammer … simply because they know students should be able to use a wrench.
In this case, my friend suggested the students use a word processing program to write the report. The next step would be for students to use a tool like PowerPoint to create a presentation summarizing the report.
Of course, some would say developing a PowerPoint presentation on the fly (without the substance of a report to inform it) is a valuable task for 21st-century learners. It’s a scenario they may face in real life. If you’re seeking to fine-tune students’ communication and presentation skills, then going straight to PowerPoint may be your best option.
But it’s all about what you want students to accomplish. Establish the goal, and then select the tool.
Shift #2 – Get past the fear factor.
Remember the blue screen that meant you lost all your work? Many teachers recall misadventures with early computers: finding ourselves at strange screens with no way out, or accidentally deleting all our files. Pretty intimidating.
It may sound simple, but I was freed from fear by the power of the “Control + Z” key command. I was taking an Adobe Illustrator class when the instructor said, “Any time you find yourself in a place you don’t want to be, or think you have completely messed up, press Control + Z until you are comfortable again. You cannot break this program.”
Wow. Those few sentences granted me freedom! But once I started moving without fear, I rarely messed up. And when I did, I had my pinky on the Ctrl key and my ring finger flicking through those Zs.
Every tech class I teach, I mention the power of Control + Z. While it doesn’t apply to every situation, goof-up, or uncertainty, it does remind my colleagues that there are solutions. That we are in charge of the technology. That Google is there for times like these. That it will all be fine.
Delonna Halliday, a National Board-certified teacher and a member of the Washington New Millennium Initiative team, is a literacy coach at First Creek Middle School in Tacoma, WA
Building with Blocks & Technology
by Jamie Reimer
Using the iPad as a guide for building with blocks brings technology into a real hands on activity. Photos can be taken of any tower of blocks to rebuild!
What’s awesome is that once you get your child started with this activity, they’ll likely want to build more towers to take photos of to use as new block building guides!
One morning while George and I were playing with blocks when Henry was at school, I decided to snap some photos of the things we were making together. I used my iPad to take the photos.
Ever since getting the iPad [we have the mini, its awesome!], the boys have kind of fallen into a rut of playing on it a lot. I haven’t set up boundaries yet for it, but probably need to.
However, I did find a way to incorporate the iPad into a fun hands on activity that also got Henry out of the iPad rut.
I put the photos I took earlier of the block towers that day into a separate folder on the iPad. I had about 6 of them at the time. I did this so Henry could swipe back and forth through the photos himself and wouldn’t end up looking through a hundred other photos that didn’t matter.
For the first block tower, I showed Henry what to do, how to use the photo on the iPad as a guide to build the tower.
Henry grasped it right away and was going to town building block towers exactly like the photo showed.
I thought this was great for two reasons.
- It stretched Henry’s building capabilities. Some were super easy that gave him the confidence. Some were more difficult that make him work on balance and paying close attention to how he placed them.
- Henry followed ‘directions’ from the photo. While its not someone telling him to place a block here and there, the photo is telling him that.
I think technology has its place in our kids lives.
They’re going to need to learn how to use it. Its in their future, that’s for sure. But I do think it should be used in a constructive way. Instead of, for instance, to just play mindless video games on it for hours at a time.
If you’re not a fan of the kids using technology, the photos you take could easily be printed out and laminated if you’d like.
For us, the iPad works great for this block activity. Henry can create his own towers, snap a photo of it, and build it again later. And I’m excited to see what other ways I’ll be able to incorporate the iPad into more activities.
Never be bored with blocks again and be inspired by 40 block activities I shared previously.
How will you be building with blocks?
Henry is 4.5 years old.
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