20 Ways to Keep Your Students' Attention As the end of the year approaches, it can be more and more challenging to keep your students' attention. Brain Breaks are important, but there are plenty of things you can do within a lesson to keep kids from day dreaming...or worse yet, nodding off. Here are some ideas:Desk Switch: Students have ten seconds (count down from ten) to find another desk to sit in that is in a different part of the room than his or her normal desk. Students stay in that desk for the rest of the lesson. Why? Did you get a new idea? Digital Portfolios: Revise, Reflect & Publish At the end of each school year, I ask my students to select several different writing assignments produced throughout the year and edit those pieces to reflect their current ability. My hope is that they will see and appreciate their own growth and development as writers in the process. These portfolios took the form of binders, until this year. My class is almost entirely paperless now, which is why I decided to transition from a paper to a digital portfolio. Students write everything on Google docs and submit their work digitally, so it didn’t make sense for them to print out their work and create binders. Instead, I had them create a website and publish their revised work online. In addition to digital writing, my students have created infographics, multimedia timelines, Google presentations and digital stories. As I embarked on this project, I had to: My first instinct was to make all of my students use the same website creator because that would be easiest for me.
50 Little-Known Ways Google Docs Can Help In Education 5 Ways To Be A Better Public Speaker 7.16K Views 0 Likes If you've been asked to speak at a conference or host a seminar, you may be shaking in your boots. Not only is the thought of speaking in public nerve-wracking, but being in charge of a seminar that no one wants to at... My 10 Favorite Learnist Boards Of The Year 2.66K Views 0 Likes I wanted to take a moment and share my favorite Learnist boards from the past year. Reading Without Tears: Use the iPad to Encourage Reluctant Readers By Emily | October 18, 2012 | 2 comments If your child has a meltdown when it’s time to “drop everything and read,” consider using the iPad to build good reading habits and to help your child find content that interest him. Of course parents can tell a child that “there’s no iPad until you’ve done your reading.” And, there are many, many high-quality kids book appsavailable that encourage children to read, for some kids reading remains a chore. Look for apps which, while they aren’t books, still require reading. Let your child watch BrainPop with the mute button on, so he has to read along on his own. Make reading more like a game. Work more reading into a child’s play time. Track a child’s progress. Do you have a reluctant reader at home? Photo courtesy of Flickr user Creative Donkey.
Assessing Student Progress Using Blog-Based Portfolios This article was originally published on the Powerful Learning blog of Powerful Learning Practice. A Great Tool to Continuously Assess Progress In my classroom, each of my grade one and grade two students has their own blog. These blogs also serve as digital portfolios. Throughout the school year, the children post artifacts of their learning from all subject areas, including writing samples, podcasts of reading fluency,photos of artwork, explanations of mathematics concepts and videos that summarize their learning in science, health and social studies. (Note: The videos linked to in this blog post work best when played through Google Chrome.) The children have these online portfolios for many reasons, including an authentic audience, parental engagement, and the opportunity to create an online community. Formative Assessment I am continually doing formative assessment in my classroom — that is, assessment for learning. Self-assessment is part of our formative assessment process.
8 Must-Have Google Chrome Apps For Students The Internet is an irrefutable source for information and a necessity for all students. But between social media sites, an endless number of news sources and viral videos, it’s almost too easy to be distracted when taking notes in class, studying for a final, or writing a paper. However, with today’s technology, students can take control of their browser by using customizable web apps and extensions to stay on task. Web apps offer a personalized browsing experience for you and your needs. Google’s Chrome browser has effective web apps to help students create a focused, more productive and intuitive way to study while online. Below are some of the top web apps for students looking for helpful tools to focus while online, as selected by Google’s Chrome Web Apps Guru, Rahul Roy-Chowdhury. StayFocusd – StayFocusd is a productivity extension that helps you focus on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites.
Excellent Audio Recording Apps for iPad The huge importance of iPad as a learning and teaching device lies in the fact that it can be used as a fundamental media production tool with students inside the classroom. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has been tapping into some of the areas and ways teachers and educators can use iPad both constructively and productively. We have , for instance, reviewed apps for video creation , apps for storytelling, reading apps, apps to improve writing, and the list goes on. Today, we are providing you with another great set of iPad productive apps but this time for recording and generating audio clips and messages to share with students . 1- AudioBoo Audioboo is an application for recording and sharing your voice with the world. 2-`iTalk Recorder `` iTalk Recorder is a full-featured recording app with a streamlined and intuitive user interface. 3- Mobile Podcaster 4- iPadio `` Broadcast, record, play back and share high quality audio up to 60 minutes in length. 5- Voice Recorder HD
Story in 5 Photos A five photo story is a collection of five images which tell a story of some kind without using supplementary text, audio or video. The five photos should “stand alone” as a story. A “Story in 5 Photos” project can include five different photos or images either captured with a digital camera or located online. This can be setup as a “visual charades” activity, where students create a visual story and their ‘audience’ is asked to guess the topic or subject. Students generally respond to a prompt or challenge which requires creativity and imagination to complete. Tell a story in 5 photos of a favorite fairy taleTell a story in 5 photos of a favorite bookTell a story in 5 photos of a scientific process This activity requires higher order thinking including synthesis and evaluation. While originally designed as a “visual only” activity, 5 Photo Stories can also be created as narrated slideshows or eBooks including student audio narration. Initial Setup Lesson Steps: iOS Apps (no image hosting)
10 Killer Google Chrome Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts As Google's Chrome browser celebrates its second anniversary, we thought it appropriate to commemorate the occasion with some handy tips and tricks. Here are 10 tried and tested hints that will help you to get the most out of Chrome by taking advantage of some of its more functional tools and time-saving setups. Read through the suggestions below and let us know which ones you'll be trying out, or any tricks we haven't included, in the comments box. 1. Open Multiple Pages on Startup Rather than just one trusty homepage, you can get Chrome to open several pages as it starts up, giving you instant access to whatever sites and services you prefer to start your day with. It's easy to setup. If you click "Add" it brings up a list of recently browsed sites to choose from, or you can manually enter a URL in the box at the top. Now, the next time you fire up your browser, those pages will be automatically loaded in the order in which you entered them, saving you some precious time. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
iPads in Guided Reading Before a class set of iPads I was differentiating my literacy centers for guided reading. Here were some of literacy centers and how I differentiated them: 1. Word Study--At the beginning of the year, it is beginning sounds. As the year progresses it is ending sounds, short vowel sounds, blends, digraphs, long vowels, irregular verbs. I made copies of the CD's or tapes so I would not use my originals in tape decks (so little hands would not ruin the tape by pushing record). Now, I use iPads during guided reading. Here are some of the apps I use. I am working on incorporating Raz-kids where the students will also be assigned leveled books based on their guided reading.
Radio Show An Internet-based radio show is a pre-recorded audio file available for on-demand listening, featuring different segments (or spots) combined into a single program. * Initial Setup Teacher obtains microphone and software for recording.Teacher creates website for hosting/sharing audio files. Ongoing Use Students prepare a “storyboard” for the show.Students write essays / scripts for each “corner” or spot in the show.Students record each show spot, saving each as an audio file.Student editor combines audio spots into a single program.Teacher publishes final audio file. The 5.5 minute video, “How We Make a Podcast” by 3rd and 4th graders in Bob Sprankle’s 2006 elementary classroom provides an excellent summary of the radio show production cycle. for laptop / desktop computers: for iOS: For Android : Spreaker Radio (free, Spreaker.com accounts can include 10 hours of audio) For Windows Tablets: Spreaker (free 10 hours of radio shows, browser-based) iOS Utility Apps for Podcasting: Basic
Google Docs secrets: 20 power tips Help If you haven’t looked at Google Docs recently, now’s a good time to check it out. The office suite, which works entirely within a browser window, has slowly but steadily continued to evolve into a highly usable set of free tools. The lineup has come a long way since Google bought the collaborative Writely word processor in 2006. We’ve taken an extended look under the hood of Google Docs and uncovered 20 tips for getting more done by exploring some of the less obvious features in its word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software—with a few hints for Gmail, too. 1. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to search both Gmail and your list of Google documents at the same time? Scroll down until you get to the Apps Search entry; there, click Enable, and then click the Save Changes button at the top or bottom of the list. 2. 3. In the resulting dialog box, click the All Items tab. 4. To lose the toolbar and use your entire browser window for editing, select View and then Hide Controls.
How To Safely Clean Your Tablet Or Smartphone's Touchscreen Cleaning a smartphone touchscreen is simple. You don’t need a special cleaning kit or cleaning solution to safely clean your tablet or smartphone’s touchscreen – you can do it with materials you probably have on hand. However, you do need to know what to avoid – many common types of cloths and cleaning solutions can damage a touchscreen. Once you understand what to do and what not to do, you can safely clean a smartphone or tablet’s touchscreen in just a few seconds, removing the build-up of oil, dust, and other grime that can accumulate on these devices as we rub our fingers over them all day. What Not To Do Before we go over a quick and easy method to safely clean your device’s touchscreen, let’s cover some things you should never do to clean a smartphone touchscreen: NEVER use harsh chemicals, including Windex, anything with ammonia, or alcohol-based cleaners. This process will be different if you have a screen protector on your screen. Get a Microfiber Cloth Why a microfiber cloth?
Narrated Art A narrated art project includes an image, which can be a drawing or photo, shared with accompanying audio narration. Initial Setup Create an account on a free web service listed under “tools” below.If you have a mobile device, download and install the app for the service you’re using.If you’re using a desktop or laptop computer, obtain and test a microphone if you don’t have a built-in mic.Test the website and the narrated slideshow PUBLISHING process in the location / on the network you will use with students. Ongoing Use Login to your app or website.Click record and record your audio narration.Take a photo of your art or select an existing image from your photo library.Enter the meta data (title, description, etc) for each episode.Click upload. The following table compares seven available websites/apps for creating narrated art projects. Narrated Art Projects with Single Images / Photos Narrated Art Projects with Multiple Images / Photos Live Art Screencasts