I recently attended two professional development conferences–the Google Ed Summit in Mill Valley and the CUE (Computer Using Educators) Conference in Napa. I left both of them feeling newly excited about some handy ed/tech tools for easy use in the classroom. Here are just a few. Enjoy!
TOPIC 1: Google “My Maps”
With Google My Maps, teachers can build class community or deepen their curricula. My Maps allows students and teachers to create personalized maps showing places that are
- important to their own lives;
- involved in the stories and books they read; and
- essential to the history they study.
To try building your own My Map, simply go to drive.google.com and select New –> More –> Google My Maps. You can drop pins anywhere you like. You can choose satellite or street view. You can customize the symbols you use as pins on the map. You can create new layers, which you can filter on/off with the click of a button. And you can share My Maps like you share Docs–all very user-friendly.
(PS~ For a really fun web-based maps game, check out Smarty Pins game.)
TOPIC 2: Youtube to facilitate, enhance, and inspire learning
- Trapped on an Escalator — fun analogy for encouraging kids to problem-solve/troubleshoot on their own before asking the teacher’s help
- Energizers: Music to make you move (The Hustle, Macarena, What Does the Fox Say, Happy, Whip/NaeNae…)
- Read to Me: Eric Carle reads the Very Hungry Caterpillar…
- The Power of Words: to inspire a lesson on the revision part of the writing process
- Claymation: digital storytelling, stories with a moral, character development, setting, style, plot…
- TED Education
- The Kids Should See This
- Book Trailers
- Alan Watts – What Do You Desire? (inspiration for planning your life) and Carl Sagan Cosmos videos … and then have students create their own manifestos?? — amazing examples of this done well with 10th graders
TOPIC 3: Coding
In addition to learning new ways to implement coding tools we already use at MCDS (BeeBots, Scratch, Tynker, Python), I also picked up some possible new coding resources:
- Khan Academy coding tutorials
- MIT’s app inventor
- Lego Mindstorms and Lego WeDo (expensive but exciting)
TOPIC 4: Other handy tools
Teachers–consider adding some or all of these tools to your bag of tricks!
- 50-second Video: How to edit a photo on a Chromebook
- Clearly extension (requires Evernote premium account)–clears out all the “noise” from a website and just saves the text (eg a CNN.com article)
- Boomerang for Gmail–Allows you to schedule messages to be sent or returned at a later date.
- OneTab–send a whole collection of tabs via QR code, rather than as a series of links
- NoCyrus – Block any page that has Miley Cyrus or the word “twerk” on it
- Desmos Graphing Calculator
- Kahoot for teachers (www.kahoot.it for students): students can vote, respond to questions, and reflect at the end on what they learnedso teachers receive that feedback. Students can also re-take quizzes and compete against themselves from the previous round. Motivating!!
- Quizizz – similar to Kahoot; some think it’s better.
- Thinglink & EdPuzzle (chop up videos so questions get asked along the way)
- VOICE FEEDBACK: KAIZENA
- Vocaroo–embed link of voice recording (Good for world language or teacher feedback, or for assessment for kids w print disabilities)
- Easel.ly–create and share INFOGRAPHICS online (set of pre-made templates to choose from)