This week, we're focused on technology. Of course, the instruction ALWAYS comes before the tool, but sometimes, you have an idea and just need to figure out the best way to bring that idea to life. We touch on app building, podcast recording, content curation, and share a music playlist. Take 5 and explore some tech tools with us!
An easy way to create an app? Yes please! I learned about Glide on the Hacking School Libraries Facebook group -- it's a neat little FREE tool that allows you to put togther an app using the contents of a Google sheet. What about a book recommendation app, built by your studnets? Or a guidebook for your school? An end product option for project based learning? The possibilities are limitless.
At BubbleUp Classroom, we love listening to podcasts. So what could be better than an easy-to-use tool for podcasting in the classroom! Synth is web-based so it's available across devices. They have built in safety features for students and offer lots of ideas for using this audio tool in the classroom. Check out this post from Class Tech Tips for more deatils.
Anchor is another podcasting tool with a few more features than Synth. Upload to social platforms, collaborate with co-hosts anywhere in the world, all free in this multi-platorm tool. Maybe this is the year to start that podcast you've been mulling over in your head!
Have you discovered Wakelet yet? It's a neat curation tool that allows your to build collections of information. I used it to archive and share out a few Twitter chats (both the conversation and the resources mentioned during the chat) such as this #vaslchat on the AASL Standards. You can bookmark content from across the web (articles, video, social media posts, images. etc) and then organize it in accessible way, adding text and captions. It's a great way to present information to students! And why as your students to curate collections as well?
I recently ran across this playlist on YouTube from Relaxing Records: "Study and Concentration Music." Each piece is at least 30 minutes (and some are an hour or more) to help with focus, concentration, memory and more. Great for kids who prefer to study with music or classroom ambient noise.
What tech-y things have been sparking your interest lately?
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This week's Take5 explores a new approach to grades, the problems created by extremely early lunch times in some schools (9 am, really?), and compassionate ways to manage your classroom. Also, we talk about new tech tools for the classroom and a dynamic resource from TED-Ed that gets kids using TED Talks to make connections beyond the classroom walls. So Take5.
In today's Take10, we are excited to feature the one and only, Sam Wightman. We first met Sam at a local edCamp -- he is part of the team that coordinates edCamp NOVA, educator-driven professional development that offers choice and relevance, while building relationships across school districts throughout Northern Virginia. As a Senior Instructional Technology Coordinator, Sam is an innovator in our field, helping to meaningfully infuse technology into classrooms and into the lives of students. So Take10 and meet the insightful, funny, techie, Sam Wightman.
Cell phones. I want them out of middle school classrooms (and elementary school classrooms if by some chance they've made their way into the world of K-6 students). And no, I haven't always wanted them out. This is tech-loving me, doing a 180 degree reversal of where I stood a mere months ago. I once believed that phones were instructional tools that if managed correctly could enhance learning. But the research plus my experience this year has dramatically altered my thinking. Because I care about kids, about teaching and learning, about school communities, and equity, I want these cell phones gone - put in lockers from the moment the first school bell rings until the end of the day. So why the sudden change in my thinking?
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