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Co-Create Multi-media Notebooks with bindrs

19 Jan

BindrInsideIf you are looking to create multi-media notebooks with your students you’ll definitely want to check out bindrs.  This completely free tool supports group projects and is as simple to use as a paper notebook.  It utilizes social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to help bring students together to create, update and share projects.  All of their work and chats are private and safely storied in one place.

BuddyChatTeachers can follow the whole group’s project and give feedback throughout the process.  It’s accessible on all devices including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones.  Instead of sending lots of emails to one another students and teachers can work together all in one place.

Check out bindrs by visiting their website, or search for “bindrs” on Facebook.  You can even contact the bindrs team for support with a trial at your school!

Online Writing Course for High School Students

17 Jan

Complete-best-2A new writing course for students and educators is now available online. Writing Whatever has been called “the missing writing course” for high schools because it bridges that gap between narrative writing in the middle grades and the expository writing of the upper grades. Using a unique, copyrighted numbering system, Writing Whatever shows students exactly how famous writers like J. K. Rowling, E. B. White, Ursula Le Guin, and Bruce Catton achieve such detail, organization, and style.

This completely online course covers the sentence, the paragraph, and ultimately the essay, with 60 lessons and over five hours of focused videos—perfect for the blended classroom.

Visit writingwhatever.com to preview the course and to order your free Teacher’s Guide!

All-in-One App from ClassDojo: Connects Teachers, Parents, and Students

15 Jan

2015-01---Refreshed-ClassDojoClassDojo has been featured on my site a handful of times the past few years because I think it is a truly transformative tool for educators.  They’ve released a brand new update that takes all of its fantastic features to the next level. The new app is available on both iOS and Android devices and includes tailored views for teachers, students and parents – one app, three ways.  Teachers get a view of their students and parents and parents see their child’s progress and can message with teachers.  Students can keep up with their progress in real­time.

With enhanced messaging capabilities, ClassDojo Messaging lets teachers and parents communicate safely, securely and instantly.  Teachers can message all parents, or just one at a time. In addition to text messages, teachers and parents can stay in touch easily with Voice Notes so teachers can record and send a message home without the need for a phone call. Teachers can also send parents messages with fun ClassDojo­ branded stickers, too.  ClassDojo Photos lets teachers share photos of fun classroom moments, projects and documents in right away to parents, straight from the ClassDojo app.  This refreshed ClassDojo app is about building the relationships that matter the most: teachers with students, teachers with parents, and parents with students!

Visit ClassDojo’s website to learn more and download the app today to get started!

URL Shorteners for Quick Website Sharing

14 Jan

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 10.53.54 PMI spend a lot of time sharing the benefits of scannable technology with teachers.  QR codes and augmented reality triggers make it easy for students, teachers, and school visitors to find a web resource by using a scanning app on their device.  Another option for quick website sharing is a URL shortener like goo.gl or bit.ly.

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 10.53.47 PM

By shortening a long URL you can make it easy for students, parents, or other educators to locate material on the web.  All you have to do is copy and paste a website into the URL shortener.  It will automatically shrink the website and give you a short URL that takes you the same place.

Some people like using URL shorteners because they can track how many people have clicked on a specific link.  It can also be used to bookmark favorite websites that you share frequently with members of your school community.

Try adding a short URL on a class newsletter or message home to parents!

ProjectWriter for Collaborative Classroom Assignments

11 Jan

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 1.24.37 PMProjectWriter is a new web tool that lets teachers design projects step-by-step.  Users start off by naming their project and adding assignments for students to complete, such as answering a question by submitting a piece of writing.  As soon as they complete the task you can view their work and offer feedback.  Students can then review the work of their peers anonymously.

ProjectWriterIt’s a great tool for conducting group nonfiction writing projects for History/Social Studies, Science, Technical Subjects, or English Language Arts.  ProjectWriter gives teachers the opportunity to break down units of study into smaller sections.  This lets students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and terms being taught.  ProjectWriter also offers built-in vocabulary tools and teacher-created student accounts.

ProjectWriter is free for teachers and easy to use, learn more by visiting their website!

 

Tweeting the Read-Aloud: Engaging and Motivating Readers

29 Dec

Tweeting the Read Aloud 1Here’s a preview of my new post for Edutopia – click on the link below to read more!

Read-alouds are a crucial part of English language arts instruction. Students of all ages should be exposed to high-quality stories and informational text. Reading aloud to children provides an amazing opportunity for them to engage with text. Younger students can listen to stories that are too challenging for them to tackle by themselves.  Older children can follow along as listeners and learn reading behaviors that will strengthen their own independent practice. The Common Core State Standards provide insight into the importance of conducting read-alouds, especially in the early grades. It’s a fantastic way to introduce students to stories and have rich discussions around theme, author’s purpose, and so much more.

Modeling Connectivity

When I speak to teachers about technology integration, one topic that I always mention is the importance of developing a personal learning network and leveraging social media to stay connected…

…Click HERE to read more!

View my upcoming events on digital storytelling!

iBook: iOS Accessibility Tools

26 Dec

accessibility-230x300If you are using iPads in your classroom you’ll want to check out the amazing accessibility tools that can help all of your students interact with their device.  Jenny Grabiec is an Apple Distinguished Educator who has created a fantastic iBook that makes it simple for teachers to understand the accessibility features available on iPads.  You can download the book for free and explore these tools in iBooks on your iPad or Mac computer.

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