Today I took my classes to the computer lab to do synchronous editing on an essay they are writing. As they continued to work on their essays, I edited them. This way we can work simultaneously on their documents and use the instant chat window to discuss questions or problems.
While I was working, I saw a new feature in the upper right hand corner of their Google documents below the grey “Comments” button.
2015 is almost upon us, which means we’re somewhere between 1/6 and 1/7 of the way through the 21st century.
Which is an odd quantitative analysis, but does underscore that we’re past the point where “21st century” is an adequate label. These are odd times we live–and teach–in, the following 25 signs as proof that you’re teaching in 2015.
Deb Gardner's insight:
Kind of like motherhood - energizing and exhausting! :)
There are a lot of ways the iPhone can (and probably does) make your life easier. For example, you can quickly whip out your phone and use it to discover new restaurants nearby using Yelp or perhaps find out where your son or daughter is using Find My Friends.
But there’s a lot going on underneath the shiny exterior of your phone that you may not realize. So, in honor of the new announcements coming out from Apple, we wanted to highlight a fun video that details nearly a dozen ways to use your phone that you might not (yet) know about.
In our newly released Smart Bundle: Blending Middle School Math, we dive into just how important the middle grades are to future success in mathematics. Algebra can be a turning point for many in their math education. As a gatekeeper subject, it indicates future success and acts as a gateway into advanced math. We continue to see more and more resources developed to better teach and prepare for Algebra.
Like any tool, twitter is designed for a task. The results of that task depends on the knowledge and skill of its user. There is nothing other-wordly about twitter, if we’re being honest. It has its talents (a few of which we looked at in why twitter works in education), but it is, in shorty, some thing some one made.
Maybe you love Google. You use Gmail, use YouTube like a television, and consider Google Search your second brain.
But while you like Google’s first-party Nexus devices and variety of second-party tablets from Samsung and others, there’s something about the iPad that draws you closer. The question then becomes a matter of utility and function. Or even manners.
As the world is ever changing, so are the students we teach. We, as teachers, can’t just open up a textbook and teach a lesson like we did 10 years ago. Modern day students have grown up in a world of iPads and smart phones—a world of constant stimulation.
Now, they need teachers who can provide lessons that are just as stimulating. We must evolve with the learner and update our teaching strategies so that they are engaging, motivating, and hold our students’ interests.
Here are a handful of web tools I’ve used in my elementary classroom that will create a stimulating educational environment.
Deb Gardner's insight:
Some of these are a little "gimmicky" but we can purposefully go there!
One of my favorite Google Apps resources is Google Calendar. If your school has enrolled inGoogle Apps for Education, it is part of the GAFE suite of tools. With a Google Calendar, you can more effectively organize and plan your class. Here are five quick tips to help you create an enhanced classroom Calendar to make your school year run smoothly.
I encourage readers to forget everything they have heard about KA and revisit the site with a fresh perspective. More importantly, I hope this article sparks conversation about how technology is used in your school this year. This is just one example of using technology to differentiate student outcomes, and meeting the needs of each individual student are driving this approach. Some teachers can get caught up in the latest ed tech resources and forget to prioritize educational value above all else. Read more about not falling into the trap of cool tools rather than learning in this Connect IT article.
At a time when many teachers and parents (and students!) can feel overwhelmed by the seeming overabundance of standardized tests and educational standards more generally, it falls to the teacher to help the students and parents understand how all of this fits into the larger picture of what students will need to know and be able to do to be successful in the future. This means helping them understand how educational standards fit into 21st century learning, a concept that to many seems contradictory.
One of the things I hear most often from teachers who are reluctant to put technology into the hands of their students is that they have visions of students goofing off constantly behind their screen instead of focusing on their work.
Playing games, chatting with their friends, and browsing the internet are all likely suspects drawing your students’ attention away from whatever the task at hand happens to be, but just because students have access to technology doesn’t mean you have to transform into device police and forget about teaching. Even if your students would much rather be watching videos on YouTube than learning about the Roman Empire, you still have the upper hand: they want to be using the device. Period.
So how can you leverage that into students who are actually working on what they should be? Here are a few tips. Tell us what you do in your classroom to keep your students from goofing off while they have devices in hand! Share with the Edudemic community by by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.
If you’re on the education technology fence, you probably can’t decide which device or app is the best one to really use. You aren’t sure if you want to jump into the edtech pool with Evernote, Moodle, an iPad, a Chromebook, or some other hot new product or service. That’s because there are an overwhelmingly large number of options out there.
In continuation of Part I of “A Gold Mine of #EdTech Resources,” please find below the accumulated list for Part II. As always, I have given you my best, but I am quite sure I have left off some technology tools that may flabberghast you. No problem. Simply help us all improve by adding comments at the bottom of this blog post. After reaching a word-count limit for this blog post, I quickly realized a Part III could be necessary. Anyway…enjoy, my talented colleagues.
Instagram is a hugely popular social network for photo sharing. Though the use of social media in the classroom may have skyrocketed, Twitter and Facebook definitely reign supreme as the key social media tools for schools and teachers. Somehow, despite the widespread popularity of Instagram, few teachers are employing it in the classroom.
We’ve heard from a few of you that your concerns lie in the privacy arena. Since sharing photos that may be of students in your classroom should obviously be a concern – make sure your classroom account is private. You can choose to have a single account for your class, which would be the ‘safest’ way of approaching these privacy concerns. The teacher should be the only one who can vet followers – and they should only be associated with the class (parents, students, other classes in your school). Using a group hashtag for a particular project or theme is a good way to keep track of what they’re doing, eg: #edudemicclassproject14.
The team at USC Rossier School of Education, who run the Twitter handle @USCTeachers, recently pulled together a resource guide for one of the most popular hashtags in education, #EdChat. The Essential #EdChat Resource Guide is a quick and simple guide, that provides the ins-and-outs of how to use #EdChat and what it can do for teachers, students, and education. New to Twitter? This guide shows you how to access past #EdChat discussions.
As I am sure it is for any educator, my student teaching experience was definitely memorable for many reasons. Some good. Some bad. One particular moment, however, has stayed with me all these years. My department chair at the time, Mrs. Kelly, recognized my ceaseless and struggling search for anything that could augment my classroom practices.
Since it was 1996, valid internet resources were not that common, and my ability to locate such files was close to nil. Enter Mrs. Kelly with arms full of educational gold. That’s right. Educational gold disguised as manilla folders. This very generous veteran of teaching delivered a stack of transparencies, worksheets, handwritten notes, lesson plans, and project exemplars. Basically, her life’s work introduced itself to me with a loud and resounding thud on my desk. Her generosity can be likened to the opening of Fort Knox’s vaulted doors while someone yells, “Take aaaaaaall the gold you can use!” And that…well…that just about sums me up these past 18 years. But I’m not talking about the taking; I’m referring to the sharing.
Through social media, a public cellphone number and a classroom blog, the fourth- and fifth-grade high-ability teacher makes himself and the classroom readily available to parents.
A website serves as a virtual timeline of what Scott's class does on a daily basis. Photos of the day's activities, reminders for parents and students, and links used during lessons are on the site, which serves as the classroom newsletter.
As the new school year starts many teachers will be trying to develop classroom blogs for the first time or revamping old blogs for the new year. The slides below contain examples of classroom blogs. You may find a new-to-you idea in these examples. The slides were created last fall with the help of many readers of Free Technology for Teachers.
A couple of weeks ago I published a round-up of popular ed tech tools that were updated this summer. I had a couple of readers ask if they could print the post to pass out in their schools. Yes, you can. To make it easier to print I put the post into PDF format. In creating the PDF I changed some of the "click here" items to written URLs for finding video demonstrations of updated features. The PDF is embedded below, you can also click here for the PDF.
Even though I’m not a music teacher (nor have I ever been, or will I be), I tend to find technology in music classrooms to be some of the most exciting ways that technology is being put to use in classrooms overall. While there’s lots of time-saving-efficient-cool-useful stuff happening in all types of classrooms, there’s something particularly awesome about making music and integrating some awesome digital technologies into the process. There are a million and one ways to use aniPad or other tablet in your music classroom, but it definitely doesn’t stop there! The handy infographic below takes a look at how technology is revitalizing how musicians compose, record, perform, and distribute music – both in and out of the classroom.
Deb Gardner's insight:
Technology in the music classroom? That's music to my ears!
But technology may be able to help. This list, for example. We’ve offered ideas in the past to help teachers save time, but those can only do so much. As can these apps, but every little bit helps, yes? Your workload, grade level, school climate, personal organizational habits–even beliefs about what a teacher is supposed to be and do all matter more than an app, but if you’re mobile and connected, you at least have a chance.