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The Common Core and Digital Skills Development

3 Jul

 The Common Core and Digital Skills DevelopmentHere’s a preview of my post for Edutopia – click on the link below to read more!

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is a powerful set of expectations for student learning that has been adopted by districts across the country. One of the phrases associated with this document is college and career readiness. As we prepare students for life beyond the classroom, including digital tools in our instruction and making connections to technology in the real world is absolutely essential.

Students of all ages need experience using technology and developing digital skills that can be applied to multiple tasks. If we truly want children to be college and career ready, schools must take thoughtful and strategic action to include technology tools in classroom instruction.

The CCSS clearly states expectations for technology use as it applies to different content areas. These standards also give teachers the flexibility to incorporate a variety of strategies and resources. Educators can make decisions about how to address the Common Core, meet the needs of their students, and provide opportunities to strengthen digital skills.

Embrace Multimedia

The English Language Arts (ELA) Anchor Standards of the Common Core state that students should be able to “[i]ntegrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2). Students are bombarded by media outside of the classroom. They need to…

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Sneak Peek: Otus Plus Web Platform and New Features

27 Jun

Sneak Peek: Otus Plus Web Platform and New Features I’m excited to share with you a sneak peak of the learning management system (LMS) from Otus Plus.  The redesigned Otus web-based platform is now live and brings the power of the iPad app to web browsers.  This LMS is adaptable to different teaching styles and perfect for one-to-one classrooms.  This new web-based platform, and updated iPad app is completely free for teachers and students.

Sneak Peek: Otus Plus Web Platform and New FeaturesWith Otus Plus teachers can now access real-time analytics.  This comprehensive analytics dashboard integrates a wide range of performance indicators into one place, including content from select third-party apps from Otus’ toolbox. Teachers can link data to Common Core standards or add their own standards to report on. Otus tracks a variety of data like attendance, participation, student blogs, assessments and grades.  The new Toolbox feature offers integrations with quality apps like OpenEd, Khan Academy, Actively Learn, Soft Chalk, Theme Spark, Zaption, Write About, Andover Fulcrum, Grammarly and dozens more being added this summer.

Learn more about the new updates from Otus Plus by visiting their website!

Big Update! Powerful New Features in iTunes U

26 Jun

Big Update! Powerful New Features in iTunes UiTunes U has been a transformative tool for educators working with students on iPads.  Teachers can design courses that include a variety of media, assignments and materials all in one organized place.

Big Update! Powerful New Features in iTunes UThe new iTunes U update adds lots of exciting features to this powerful app.  In addition to the in-course group discussions users can now participate in one-to-one private discussions within an iTunes U course. Teachers can now collect and grade work submitted by students in iTunes U and keep track of grades with a built in grade book. iTunes U has partnered up with a variety of apps to make it easy for students to turn in work they have created on their iPad!

Available now, this update is a game changer for current iTunes U teachers as well as those planning courses for the upcoming school year.  Visit Apple’s iTunes U page to learn more!

TinyTap Insights – Analytics for Teachers

25 Jun
TinyTap Insights - Analytics for Teachers Earlier this year I shared TinyTap, a fantastic creation tools for teachers and students.  They’ve just launched Insights, a data management tool to leverage your favorite TinyTap lessons into quantifiable teaching resources. TinyTap was designed to give teachers the power to create interactive lessons for students. They now give teachers the tools to see real-time analytics. This includes which lessons students completed, how they scored, and whether or not they’re improving over time.
TinyTap Insights - Analytics for TeachersTeachers can use TinyTap and the new Insights tool for formative assessments including tests, quizzes, and lesson reviews.  TinyTap can be used as digital homework to assign a lesson, track who played, and see how they performed.  In project-based learning environments, students can build their own portfolios of interactive presentations using the TinyTap platform.
Click here to learn more about TinyTap Insights and see it in action!




EdTech Tip: Preparing Students for Google Hangouts

25 Jun

EdTech TipHere’s a preview of my post for Channel One News – click on the link below to read more!

Google Hangouts makes it easy to connect with people from around the globe, right from the classroom. Students who participate in Google Hangouts should be prepared for the experience. It is important that they understand their role, know when to chime in or sit back and have a few tips in their back pocket for troubleshooting technology issues.

What is a Google Hangout?

A Google Hangout is a web-based video conferencing tool that lets users connect with multiple people using their Google account. It can be used on a computer connected to the Internet or on a smart phone or mobile tablet with the Google Hangout app. The built-in microphone and camera on your device lets you…

…Click HERE to read more!

View my upcoming events and workshops!

The Brainstormer – iOS and Apple Watch Storytelling App

24 Jun

The Brainstormer - iOS and Apple Watch Storytelling AppNext week I’ll be sharing ideas for storytelling with the Apple Watch at ISTE in Philadelphia.  One app that I’ve been excited about is The Brainstormer  which is available for iPhones, iPads, and now the Apple Watch.  With a tap of the screen users will see a new plot, subject and setting appear.  The dials spin and new ideas pop up.

The Brainstormer - iOS and Apple Watch Storytelling AppWhether students are orally telling stories with partners or using this app as a writing a prompt it’s a neat way to challenge student storytellers. If working with young students you may want to check out the app Writing Prompts for Kids.



Imagine Easy Scholar: Tools for Students and Teachers

22 Jun
IE Scholar - Annotation HighlightsImagine Easy Scholar has terrific tools for students and teachers that can support English Language Arts instruction and used across the content areas.  Students can use the Scholar Annotation Tool (Google Chrome Extension) to highlight text directly on a website. The highlighted information is saved to a digital notecard, where they can then add more information or their own ideas.  Each source can be cited within the Annotation Tool and all information is synced in real time in the Scholar dashboard.  With Scholar Notebook every highlighted quote or notecard created in the Annotation Tool is synced with each project’s digital notebook.  The outlining tool lets students synthesize information and organize their ideas and research in a structured way.
IE Scholar - Notebook and OutlineTeachers using Imagine Easy Scholar with their students can view analytics on a diversity of source types, information synthesis, and source attribution for their entire classes, as well as individual students.  They can view each notebook and source list in detail, and access cached pages through the browser extension.  Imagine Easy Scholar also gives teachers the power to create multi-modal assignments, which is useful in flipped or blended instruction environments.  It supports close reading, digital literacy, and ethical writing skills.
Register for a Scholar account using this link or view their short video demo to learn more!
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