Educreations Interactive Whiteboard

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Take a look at this tutorial video for a wonderful whiteboard/screencasting app called Educreations Interactive Whiteboard. You can acquire a free account at Educreations.com, and any videos you create on the iPad will upload directly to the cloud for later reference. This is a great app. I hope you explore the possible uses.

 

 

 

Edmodo!

Edmodo is a fantastic tool for the classroom teacher! It brings social learning, collaboration, creativity, and efficiency closer togetheredmodo  for you and for your students. It’s not a new tool for me, but I’ve recently become more interested in it.

Here are a few things you can do with Edmodo:

  • Create classes for your students to join
  • Send notes and alerts, give assignments, quizzes, and polls
  • Create a “library” of resources that may be freely shared with any of your connections
  • Gather ideas from other teachers around the world
  • Link to your Google account so you can have access to your documents

Watch this Getting Started video to find out how you can use Edmodo in the classroom:

 

Edmodo is a wonderful learning management system that I believe you and your students will enjoy using. If you are interested in learning more, let me know. I’ll be glad to help!

Using Voice Thread in the Classroom

Check out this embedded Voice Thread! I had fun making this example, and I hope you’ll give it a try with your students. If you’d like me to come to your classroom to show how to use this tool, let me know.

Note:

Voice Thread requires you to set up a free account in order to use their service. You may click on the picture while it’s playing in order to zoom in.

Feel free to leave a comment!

Edublogs Instructional Videos

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The following series of videos will demonstrate various steps in creating a fully functioning blog for use in your classroom. Enjoy!

This video will show you how to create a post and assign categories to a post.

 

This video will show you how to add media like pictures and videos.

 

This video’s focus is on embedding videos from places like Youtube, SchoolTube, and TeacherTube.

 

Using Animoto

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Animoto is an application available on the web or as an app on mobile devices that allows the user to very quickly make a video that includes music, still images, and video. The basic account is free, and those who thirst for more features may upgrade for a small fee.

I have put together some videos that run through the basics of using Animoto – enjoy!

Making a Video with Animoto

 Finalizing the Video

 How to Share the Video

 Animoto Help and FAQ

Upgrading Your Account

Connecting Math and Technology

Using Video to Help with Instruction

Whether you use Khan Academy or some other similar resource, the power of video instruction is huge. Your students are given the power to review your teaching repeatedly until the learning is cemented.

Understand that you may also make your own videos with sites like Educreations or Show Me, and embed these lessons in your teacher web, or share the link through email. Both of these resources are also available as apps for the iPad.

You may also use the SMART recorder in conjunction with your SMART board to make video lessons that can be distributed for student consumption.

A thought that has occurred to me in the past is to have the students use the above-mentioned technology to explain their own learning. The students could just as easily access these technologies and make videos that will explain their thought processes as they solve a math problem. In this way, you could have them submit a paperless assignment.

A Medium for Videos

So once we have some videos made, how do we share them with students? This is a great question. Fortunately, we have several tools at our disposal that help answer this question. Here is a list:

  • Teacher Web – you may upload a video file and link it to a page for student access.
  • Weebly – you may sign up for a free account, and use the site as a host for videos.
  • Edmodo – this is education’s answer to Facebook. This amazing tool really is powerful. Contact me for the school code, so you can start uploading videos today.
  • Edublogs – this blogging platform is essentially the same as WordPress, and there’s much you can do with it. Let me know if you are interested in setting up a blog for your classroom.
  • YouTube – each teacher has an educator’s account with YouTube. Once you are signed in to Google Docs, YouTube appears as one of the apps.
  • TeacherTube and SchoolTube – these are also viable options for hosting videos.

Response Systems

Make raising your hand a lot more fun! Use one of the many response systems that are on the market. Some exist on campus (Turning Point Clickers available for check out in the library) and others are free online.

Some online possibilities are as follows:

Each of the above tools have varied learning curves and features offered. Make it your goal to use a couple of these in the classroom this school year.
 http://www.stanforddaily.com/2011/02/02/something-just-clicks-in-large-lectures/ 
 

Web 2.0

There are free sites out there that will allow us to do some amazing work for free. One that comes to mind is Board800. This site allows the user to create on online whiteboard and invite collaborators. Users can even expand their collaboration across multiple boards! This seems like a powerful tool for learning math.

Another amazing tool is Google Docs. Each teacher and student has an account with Google Docs. All they need is their login credentials. The power of Google Docs is the power of collaboration. Unlike most of the other programs we are used to, Docs allows multiple users to work on a particular doc at the same time. Simultaneous collaboration even allows for greater productivity beyond school hours, since the students would be able to access their Docs accounts from home.

Watch this video that shows how easy it is to make a spreadsheet and a graph in Google Docs.

Another thing Google Docs does well is that it provides an online quiz capability. All you have to do is create a form, ask students to submit their answers, and then run a script called Flubaroo to grade the responses. Really easy.

Here is another list of resources:

SMART Resources

Another very useful resource is found at the SMART Exchange. This online resource allows users who have set up a free account to download ready-made SMART Notebook files that may then be modified to fit the needs of the downloader. Users may search for lessons by TEKS! This is a great resource that should not be ignored.

Do You Have 5 Minutes?

Ok.Ok. The question about how much time you have is getting old. But I decided to run with it. I was directed to a site that is new to me today. The site goes by the name of World-Shaker, and the focus is mainly on social media and education. The link is here.

What caught my attention above all of the other great content, is the section called “My Favorite Teacher.” I can easily answer the question, “Who was your favorite teacher?” and it only took me about 5 minutes to write the following description of him to submit it to World-Shaker and add to the growing collection of essays about great educators. I think you should take the time as well.

My favorite teacher in all my years of learning has been Dr. Rodgers. He was my Botany teacher at the University of North Texas circa 1988 (yes, I’m old). He began the year welcoming us to Dr. Rodgers’ neighborhood, and continued the theme when he would pass around his daily “guests” (plants that decided to “visit” us during our lecture.

As the “guests” were passed from hand to hand, Dr. Rodgers would share fascinating details (I’m not being sarcastic, here). The good doctor would tell why this particular plant or that particular plant was a vital part of our ecosystem, how it had been used by humans through the ages, and what uses for the plant might surface in the future.

I learned something profound from every lecture. In fact, Dr. Rodgers had a way of making me feel like the lecture hall full of many people was really a family room where important discussions were had. I wonder if any of his former students feel the way that I do about his teaching style, and how it changed the way I approached my craft as an educator.

Thanks to Dr. Rodgers for making a difference!