7 Tech Tips for Your Next Read-Aloud Reading aloud to children is an essential part of the school day. Experiencing stories as a whole class or in a small group can help students learn essential reading skills. Educators who read aloud to children understand the importance of modeling thinking, providing opportunities to talk about books, and encouraging students to respond to reading with their own thoughts and opinions. As schools increase the amount of technology available to teachers, educators are presented with unique opportunities to incorporate tech tools into their instruction. When teachers thoughtfully integrate technology, they make clear connections to learning objectives. Technology can enhance learning experiences by increasing the frequency and quality of interaction with a text. Beam in a Guest Reader With free video conferencing technology like Google Hangouts and Skype, it's easy to bring a parent, librarian, or author to your classroom. Use the Big Screen Set Up an Online Exit Slip Try a Digital Text
10 Most Engaging Uses of Tech Integration 44 Smart Ways to Use Smartphones in Class (Part 1) - Getting Smart by @JohnHardison1 - This week an online article grabbed my attention. Its title read “94 Percent of High School Students Using Cellphones in Class.” I immediately scoped out the heading and thought to myself, “Finally, teachers are beginning to embrace the powerful little gadgets.” However, it did not take me long to realize the researched article took quite a different slant. One quotation in particular caused serious professional introspection on my behalf. The article quotes the researchers as stating, “‘The potential damage stemming from heightened cell phone use during class casts a pall on the entire educational system, on the school atmosphere, on the educational achievements of the class, on the pupil’s own learning experience and on the teacher’s burnout having to cope with discipline problems in class.’” I understand the tougher task of using regular cell phones in class versus internet ready smartphones, however , I could not disagree more with the above quotation. Use Smartphones to Collaborate
The best tools for your paperless classroom Whether you’ve had a paperless classroom for awhile, have tried to go paperless but have made it only halfway there, or if you’re just taking your first baby steps into emptying your classroom of its paper piles, selecting tools that will take the place of your papers. If you’ve already gone paperless (or partly paperless), you’ve likely already tried out a few tools or more, to varying degrees of ease and success. Part of the issue may be offerings – there are about a bajillion (yes, that’s a real number, and it is a really really big number). How do you decide which of these tools, nearly all of which are marketed as a ‘must’ and the ‘best’ for your classroom, will work well and be worth your time and effort? You have other people try out the apps for you, and recommend the best ones. If you have a favorite that we haven’t included here, we’d love for you to share it with the Daily Genius community! 8 Essential tools for your paperless classroom
iPad Classroom Visit Look-Fors I think we would all agree that a classroom with iPads looks and functions very differently than a classroom without iPads. While many administrators and support staff complete standard walk-throughs, some of them struggle with what to look for beyond the basics when it comes to evaluating a classroom infused with iPads. Recently, our district started offering iLEAP academies, which blend classroom site visits and in-house professional development for districts all over my state. Many of the attendees are administrators, support staff, and teachers that have limited familiarity with 1:1 classrooms but are seeking best practices to take back to their own schools and campuses as they implement a 1:1 iPad initiative or pilot. When I began searching for ways to facilitate this type of classroom visit, I happened on an excellent list of observation tips for a traditional classroom but found nothing specifically tailored to iPads. Student Behavior What are students doing? Teacher Behavior
20 Google Apps activities for classroom innovation Google Apps for Education is a powerful toolbox that opens up exciting possibilities in the classroom for students and teachers. Here are some concrete, practical and innovative ideas for using them. (Public domain image via Pixabay) Google Apps for Education has made new ideas and activities possible in classrooms all over the world. One of the best parts about the entire Google Apps suite is that teachers and students can use these versatile tools to create their own custom-made learning experiences. When the #DitchBook community on Twitter started talking Google Apps for Education, great classroom ideas flew around for the entire hour. To see the entire chat, check out the Storify of the evening by clicking here. Here are 20 ideas that stood out to me that could be implemented in classrooms immediately: 1. Did you miss the #HyperDoc Webinar today? 2. #ditchbook I used Google Sites to create websites linked to QR Codes for students to do a gallery walk. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
What Happens When Teens Try to Disconnect From Tech For Three Days Being without a phone can be an incapacitating feeling, possibly worse than leaving a wallet at home. Many adults can remember an analog era of living without a mobile phone. But for young digital natives, taking a break from the phone, where they live and socialize, can induce all kinds of emotions. Recently, a line of teenage boys were frantically sending last-minute texts and posting to Facebook one final time before grabbing a manilla envelope and sealing their devices inside. These boys volunteered to abstain from using not just their phones but all digital devices for three days to better understand the role of technology in their lives. The Tech Timeout Academic Challenge was taken by boys and girls in grades 4 through 12 at Convent & Stuart Hall in San Francisco — along with some teachers and parents — as part of this private school’s attempt to implement its one-to-one iPad program. “This is going to be really hard for me. Students react to the technology-free life.
How to Cure the Classroom Library Blues Advice from Real Teachers Series Are you feeling the classroom library blues? Whether you have a huge book collection or you're just getting started, the cure is finding a checkout system that works for you. Otherwise, you'll find your book collection dwindling throughout the year. Wouldn't you love to know how other teachers handle classroom library checkout? Read on to learn some tech-savvy methods as well as some tried-and-true ways to manage a classroom library.Today's Question Ally, a fan of the Teaching Resources Facebook page, asked for help with this issue, "I still struggle with my classroom library procedures. Over 100 teachers responded, so I compiled the best answers and removed duplicates. Systems That Require Technology This category includes recommendations for apps that can be used with a mobile device, as well as hand-held barcode scanners. Do you have your own library checkout system that works for you?
7 Apps for Student Creators Creation-based tasks promote higher-order thinking, encourage collaboration, and connect students to real-world learning. Whether you're teaching in a project-based learning classroom, engaging students with authentic assessments, or committed to pushing students to analyze and synthesize, providing opportunities for creation is a must. Students who are "making" to demonstrate their learning can produce content that is shareable and valuable. Their creations can be geared toward a specific audience and viewed outside of the classroom. The sense of purpose that students have as creators can be leveraged to increase engagement and get learners of all ages excited about content. There are a handful of dynamic iPad apps that can turn your students into creators. Book Creator What better way to have students show their understanding of a topic than to write a book about it? Shadow Puppet Edu This narrated slideshow app is perfect for student creators across the content areas. Explain Everything
The top 3 questions teachers ask me about classroom tech | The Cornerstone There are a handful of questions I can count on being asked at least once at every school in which I do instructional technology coaching. I’m sure many of you have the same issues, so I thought I’d share the answers here on the blog for you all, too! How to show YouTube videos at school The question: My school doesn’t care if I show educational video clips from YouTube, but the district blocks the site so the kids can’t use it–is there a way I can still show YouTube videos to the class? Working around a YouTube block at school: YouTube’s terms of service state that you can only download videos “if you see a ‘download’ or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content.” Try to see if you can find the video you’re looking for on Vimeo, TeacherTube, SchoolTube or another online video sharing site that does permit videos to be downloaded. Avoiding questionable content while showing YouTube videos: The question: Connecting the iPad to the SMART Board We finally got some iPads!
Pandora in the Classroom Do you use Pandora in your classroom? In case you don't know what Pandora is, it's a free site that lets you stream music. You do need to create an account though, and the free account does have some inconveniences: it only plays for one hour and then you have to refresh, and there are commercials that are much louder than the music. But my kiddos have become used to the commercials, and we like to laugh at them and make fun of them. Commercial: "Do you need a new ________?" And then I'll shout something like, "NO! I can't stand silence, so Pandora has been a life saver in my classroom. Anyway, this post was actually inspired by a question I asked on my Facebook page. I only stream instrumental music. Here are some of my Facebook Friends' favorite stations, as well as stations that were suggested by blog readers in the comments. * The Piano Guys (LOTS of "likes" for this one, and I have to agree! * Jack Johnson Children's Radio * Relaxation Radio * Clair de Lune * Nature Sounds
Storytelling With Wearable Technology Wearable technology is incredibly exciting for educators and students of all ages. In the past few years, mobile devices have found an essential place in the classroom. If you've used smartphones and tablets as instructional tools, you know how powerful these devices can be in the hands of students. Will this also be true for wearable technology? When we think of wearable technology, products like the Apple Watch and Google Glass might pop into your mind. Although there are teachers who have done exciting things with Google Glass -- and I'm sure many will find ways to bring the Apple Watch into the equation -- teachers are examining their options as they explore how wearables can transform their classroom. So what does this have to do with storytelling? One exciting feature of wearable technology is that it can change our view of the world and collect information about our interactions in different spaces. Google Cardboard Fitbit GoPro Apple Watch The world is changing.
Using New Technology to Rediscover Traditional Ways of Learning Older, more traditional forms of learning resonate with students because they connect with something deep within our human psyche. They engage the full person, not just the part of the brain that can decipher words on a page. They evoke a time when all of our ancestors were more alike than different in their cultural practices. Learning through movement and the senses is becoming easier to do as bulky, stationary technology has become more mobile. Rediscovering Oral Traditions The oral tradition of teaching is not just about speaking out loud, but how one speaks and the narrative style used to convey meaning. One can start by having students listen to the amazing amount of free audio available through podcasting. One of my most memorable moments this summer was listening to Sir Ian McKellen recite Shakespeare on Marc Maron's podcast. In addition to the free audio that is out there, I would also recommend that we let students listen to literature instead of reading it.
Back to the future of school: amazing edtech gadgets By now, kids across the country are back to school, with gadgets and technology previous generations could have only dreamed of at their fingertips. You could say that 2015 has lived up to the expectations of Back to the Future Part II. Hoverboards? We got ’em. But if Marty McFly, the time-travelling ’80s teen, dropped in on a modern-day classroom, his mind would surely be blown away by what educational technology has to offer. DIY computers While I remember collecting ‘Computers for Schools’ vouchers so our class of about 30 students might get access to just one computer, kids today can build their own interactive devices with pocket-sized components such as Raspberry Pi single-board computers, Intel Galileo development boards, and microcontroller-based kits from Arduino. Kano Computer Kit Perhaps what’s most incredible is how simple it all seems to be. LittleBits build-your-own electronics LittleBits Arduino Coding Kit Smart pens and digital ink Lucky students of today – they can do both.