As the school year draws to a close, I would like to share a few of the many vendor emails I get on a daily basis. These actually have something to offer busy teachers. Check out new developments at ReadWorks, Symbaloo, JoeZoo and EasyBib.
There are 2 new, exciting updates from ReadWorks coming next fall. There will be a new digital website and a new K-5 Article-A-Day program.
The new ReadWorks Digital website will be available for all teachers and students.
Read Works - Article a Day
"ReadWorks Introduces Article-A-Day for Kindergarten - 5th grade
In just 10-15 minutes each day you can dramatically improve your students’ reading comprehension by systematically building their background knowledge and vocabulary with Article-A-Day.
Learn more about Article-A-Day"
Symbaloo Edu Lesson Plans
Symbaloo, which we use at HES for a start page for students ( with a separate start page for teachers), recently rolled out a new service using their platform- Lesson Plans for students. Essentially this is like a pathfinder. Here's their promo:
Engage your students with truly personalized learning by creating your own lesson plans and fully customizing the look and feel. Simply add videos, documents, quizzes and educational games that guide students through custom learning paths from start to finish. View the progress of your students in real time, chat with them to help them with the assignment and utilize the built-in grading tool to make your life easier. You can now get started with creating your first lesson plan. How? By taking your first lesson: A lesson plan explaining Symbaloo Lesson Plans. See what we did there? ;-)
Joe Zoo is a Google Add On, built for teachers to help with rubrics, grading and feedback. It is relatively new and has made some good upgrades recently. It is integrated with Google Classroom.
Check it out here. The video below is just a short promo video, but there is a complete playlist of how to videos on YouTube
Easy Bib Edu
I got this from Easy Bib recently. Easy Bib is an easy to use citation service and has a Google Docs add on. Click on the link to the form to get this for free if you would like to be able to view and manage student accounts. They also have a helpful resource for educators- with articles like Teaching Students How To Summarize and Paraphrase in their Own Words, or How to Conquer the Dreaded Blank Page with Writing Prompts
Questions? Check the FAQ page
To get right to it: we heard you when you said that your students loved using EasyBib, so we’re excited to let you know that you and your students can have FULL ACCESS to EasyBib EDU for free, starting with the 2016-2017 school year and beyond! This means:
We’ll keep improving EasyBib throughout the upcoming school year, adding enhancements such as a new and improved notebook, an annotation tool to help your students find and capture important information, and an improved Google Docs add-on with notes and outline support to assist students throughout the writing process.
Stay tuned for more updates and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let us know, and don’t forget to sign up for EasyBib EDU here.
Thanks and we will be in touch!
The Imagine Easy Team
What. is. a. hyperdoc?
I've been hearing about, reading about teachers using hyperdocs for a couple of years, and to be honest, my first reaction was- really? Do we need more jargon? Can't they just be called documents with hyperlinks? Yet another buzz word... BUT, last week I participated in a GAFEchat on twitter and came away as, if not an evangelist- at least a convert and am excited to explore and see if this can be useful for you and your students. So, first things first.
Isn't this just a document with hyperlinks?
Lisa Highfill, one of the creators of Hyperdocs (along with Kelly Hilton and Sarah Landis) at a 2015 TEDX conference defined hyperdocs as-
Karly Moura, an instructional coach in Concord, Ca created an excellent comparison chart.
What you will notice in the comparison is that the creation of hyperdocs helps teachers create UDL lessons- considering how the materials are presented to students, engaging the students in creative ways and allowing for multiple means of representation. Sarah Landis has created an excellent Template you can follow. Click to see in Google Docs. Karly Moura has also created a mashup of this original template and some new ideas. She has even created a "close reading template".
Who are these for? Elementary? Middle School? High School?
All of the above. The resources I collected on the GAFEchat are saved on the One tab qr code to the left, but there are many, many more collections- and more teachers are creating and sharing these every day. Check out @TsGiveTs! on Twitter- it is an amazing resource. Here is a link toKarly's shared hyperdoc folder to check out some of her resources for elementary age kids. Below you will find some amazing resources shared by fellow educators and collected on Padlets as well as inspiring and informational presentations Lisa Highfill gave recently at the CUE conference.
Want to learn more?
You can check out the Hyperdocs FaceBook group here.
Want to learn even more? Lisa, Kelly and Sarah have a book coming out soon.
This is a great addition to Google Slides. It doesn't appear to have rolled out to our district as yet, but you should see it relatively soon. Essentially it allows your audience to ask questions during the presentation. The video below will walk your through the steps. The other cool new feature on Google Slides is a built in laser pointer. Handy tool to have. You can probably see these new features on your personal Google account, but look for them in the upcoming week on your school accounts too.
You can find more VR videos from Discovery Education at http://www.discoveryvr.com/
I spent the day on Saturday over at #edcampGrafton. One of the sessions, which I did not attend was on Google Cardboard, and VR video. Google Cardboard has been out for at least 18 months, if not more. Click here to see the shared notes from that session. However, I did win a Google Cardboard set up in the door prize drawings. Have to say, I will probably never use it, and anyone who would like to borrow it to check it out- come see me. This fancy dancy new version of the old ViewMaster simply makes me seasick. It is very cool… but not only do I not own a smartphone, I quite literally cannot stand the 3D immersive view. I hated Second Life back when that was popular too. But- you may love it and find it incredibly useful… so here’s some info.
Check out the Google Plus community or look around on the Twitter hashtag... see embedded example below.
You can buy or make your cardboard viewer. There are also fancier Oculus Rift VR systems, pricey. Just to clarify- these are not just headsets for gamers- altho a lot of content is being developed for playing immersive games. Think of the possibilities- visit the jungles of Belize, walk along the Great Wall of China, check out models of Ancient Rome… The VR version can be very engaging for your students. There are lots of apps you can try out for both iOS and Android smartphones. There are good starter lists on the notes, as well as some of the links.
If you’re not really ready for all this- check out the VR or 360° videos on youtube- you can maneuver around just like you can when in street view on Google Maps.
Here’s a couple of examples: Remember- zoom in/out and move around with your mouse or arrow keys or use your google cardboard and your smartphone.
Looking for more ideas? VentureBeat had a nice write up a while back, Science Beyond the Boundaries has some great links and Ronnie Burt over at Edublogger recently posted about using it on a trip.
TRY IT... You might like it!
Or.. you may enjoy the April Fools Version, which works so much better for me.
Welcome back to school!
Looking for a way to spice up your lessons in 2016? Try using one of the free interactive video tools to flip your classroom, use blended learning, to help chunk materials, promote discussions and insert formative assessment into the videos you are already using.
Zaption has made a lot of changes of late. One new offering is the Zaption presenter, which allows teachers to broadcast directly to student devices, while allowing students to interact and ask questions as the video plays. So, what is this tool? It is a way to make videos more interactive right in the classroom, by adding text, images and questions.
Here's a quick video to give you a better idea. There are free and paid options, but the free options give you a lot of options.
Educanon offers another resource to create interactive videos. You can add "any of seven interactive question types and rich media into the video's timeline".
Here's what they say about themselves on their website.
Backed by AT&T and Stanford's startX, eduCanon is an online learning environment to create and share interactive video lessons. Teachers begin with any online video (screencasts, Khan Academy, TED, etc.) and transform what is traditionally passive content into an active experience for students, with time-embedded activities.
Edpuzzle is yet another system to create interactive videos and track student engagement, assess their understanding. You can choose videos from a variety of sources, trim the video, add audio narration and questions and then track student progress. Easy to use and you can upload your own videos to their servers to avoid any youtube blocks for your students, or simply assign it as homework.
There are many ways to use video in the classroom as an interactive, engaging tool.
What tools do you use? YouTube has some quick and easy tools that I will show you another time...
Use Ted-Ed lessons to amplify your great lessons!
TED talks have been around for years and offer engaging talks about technology, education and design. TED-Ed takes this one step further and now offers an amazing array of excellent lessons that you can use in your class as is, or modify to suit your curriculum. You can use the lesson creator and make your own lessons too. You can even take any educational video, modify it and submit it to the review panel to be animated and added to the site. "TED-Ed's mission is to capture and amplify the voices of great educators around the world. We do this by pairing extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of curiosity-igniting videos. "
These videos can help engage your learners and serve as an introduction to a lesson, a springboard for discussion, or just a way to differentiate and add choices for your students.
You can sort prepared lessons in various ways, including- content, student, duration. Another way to find interesting videos is to use the Series option. Students from elementary grades through higher ed can all benefit.
Each lesson has 4 parts: Watch, Think, Discuss, and Dig Deeper.
Here's a couple ideas for elementary age students: Sponge Bob math lesson and a lesson on heros from Matthew Winkler
Looking for Writing or Grammar videos?
Check out How misused modifiers can hurt your writing
Richard Byrne has compiled an excellent playlist of TED-Ed videos on the Human Body
There are some great Social Studies and History choices too!
Check out the TED-Ed blog for more great ideas!
Make history by recording it with StoryCorps
"Everyone has a story. What’s yours? What about your parents and teachers? Your elders and mentors? Now is a great time to add all of these stories to the largest living archive of human voices on the planet: StoryCorps."
I started to use Kahoot! with students last year as the 3rd grade was finishing up some work on the Solar System. The students in 3B were thrilled to take this quiz, very engaged, and begged to take it again. They even decided to go home and create their own quizzes for their peers to try. Kahoot is simply a way to do a very engaging online quiz, discussion or survey. So, what's a Kahoot? Online quizzes, discussions or surveys. They are simple to create or you can probably find one in the thousands shared by teachers online and simply modify it to fit your topic or age group. You can use this as an assessment, since the data from all students will come into your teacher dashboard, or assign it to your students to come up with a way to help themselves or their peers review for an exam.
Here's a tutorial to check it out.
Another similar assessment tool is Socrative. Socrative is less "game show" like, but still engaging for your students and a fun way to do a quick assessment.
From the web site:
" Socrative empowers you to engage and assess your students as learning happens. Through the use of real-time questioning, result aggregation, and visualization, you have instant insight into levels of understanding so you can use class time to better collaborate and grow as a community of learners."
Looking for More Ideas?
Check out the video below with other tools you may enjoy using in your classroom for assessment.
Follow Ups to October PD