On this page I will regularly add new links for use in the classroom with some practical advice about the uses and the suggested year level it is appropriate for. This will allow me to point you in the direction of some teaching and learning productivity tools. If you find any errors or wish to comment please use my Twitter @rachbath or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject “Ed Tech Innovations Blog”
- Google Apps for Education
The interactivity of these tools shows just how we can collaboreate in real-time and increase productivity. Using these in the classroom had embedded the practices into the student’s learning and supported them to not only see this workflow but to replicate parts of it in their own tasks. See my blog post for more detailed information
This is a tool I have just found thanks to the Free Technology for teachers blog. Without even signing in you can have your blog posts…
…automatically converted into a podcast using text-to-speech technology.
When you have converted your blog posts, you and your followers can…
Subscribe using your favourite podcast reader: Subscribe to this podcast in iTunes or Open podcast RSS feed.
Below is a link to my most recent blog post converted using “Podcastomatic“, I hope you gat much enjoyment with this tool. would recommend this too can be used with all levels of schooling and is especially useful for younger students who may have difficulty reading or even a great tool for special Ed to include blogging and blogs in their learning.
The following are resources that have been collated by my network. I will share but I am not necessarily endorsing these.
1. TEACHERS/COMMUNITY WRITERS/IMAGE CARDS:http://imagesandwritingideas.webnode.com
Hats, boxes, magic and the moon – This online writing resource provides image cards to stimulate creative writing.
2. TEACHERS/COMMUNITY WRITERS/IMAGE CARDS: www.raftriverandrainbow.com – This is a set of images which are writing prompts for community writing workshops and for student writing sessions. These prompts are useful for fiction writing, autobiographical writing and writing and discussion to promote resilience in the face of difficulties. They take a strengths based approach to personal growth and change.
3. TEACHERS/IWBs/CARTOON WRITING RESOURCE:http://pigandbearcartoons.webnode.com – The delightful cartoons of Nik Scott provide teachers of younger students with the option of creating/writing stories together and re-reading these in the reading session. Can be used with an interactive white baord, or away from computers.
4. TEACHERS/READING COMPREHENSION: http://supersix.webnode.com
This is an introduction to web-based resources supporting reading comprehension.
5. TEACHERS/DESIGNING A PROGRAM OF WORK:http://programmingsuccess.webnode.com – This resource is an introduction to writing an effective series of lessons, leading towards a culminating assignment.
6. TEACHERS/AUTHORS/FAN FICTION WRITING: http://www.band-of-heroes.net – This is a framework I have come up with, which features heroes of equal stature [rather than a hero + helpers]. Some new fiction is written featuring a band of heroes and much fan fiction writing is a collaborative response to the band of heroes idea [although fan fiction is also quite clearly in response to the hero’s journey paradigm, as well]. Students have written fan fiction on a “band of heroes” blog at http://bandofheroesfanfiction.edublogs.org in response to Friday Night Lights [Series 1] and Tomorrow when the war began by John Marsden. There are teacher resources on the website, including a set of fantasy fiction blogging tasks. Could you please let me know the names of any of your favourite stories featuring a band of heroes of equal stature?
7. TEACHERS/WEB 2 TOOLS IN ENGLISH LESSONS: I have written a series of free downloadable PDF English lessons at http://otherworlds.yolasite.com for upper primary and lower secondary students, integrating Web 2.0 tools into student responses to 12 books, so that they can create multimedia texts. There is a focus on research skills, digital storytelling and visual arts tools. I am just sending this to you, in case you know teacher friends or teacher librarians who may find them useful.
8. PARENTS/MENTORS/COMMUNITY WRITING: http://parentsreflect.webnode.com – This is a free ebook in which parents/mentors/aunties/uncles of adults in their 20s and 30s reflect about their parenting experiences, both the happy memories and the lessons gained with hindsight. I am seeking further contributions to this book, could you please pass this web address on to parent type peoples, so they can read what’s already there and possibly contribute?
Scribblar on-line collaborative shared whiteboard
This Tool I have only come across today when reading the blog Keeping Track Of Absentees With Technology one of the tools described was an on line whiteboards the author used to collaborate with a student during their absence. The tool is Scribblar as yet I have not tried this tool, but according to the site it is “Simple, effective on-line collaboration Multi-user whiteboard, live audio,image collaboration, text-chat and more” I would like to hope that this tool is as useful to you as it claims to be. I look forward to using this tool and try it out. In addition to this too the author of the blog also discussed the use of using a Google hangout (in Google+) in the same manner of a video conference call with shared screen and interaction. I have used Google Hangouts before, and I will discuss the applications for this in schools in a later post. Your feedback would be great.
If This Then That (IFTTT)
This week I am sharing a tool that I have only being using for the past few months but find its impacting everything I do to ensure my productivity. I am sharing “If This Then That” (IFTTT) as a productivity tool to ensure you curate and sort information from the many streams into a workable and manageable system uniquely for YOU. You can select pre-made ‘recipes’ or you can create your own. IFTTT is a response based system where for example every Tweet I favorite it will create a new note with link in Evernote for me to refer back to, in addition to this it applies tags of who posted the original Tweet. This is great when referring to a particular person’s posts. Take a look and try just a few recipes to begin with and as you realise the potential you will be returning to make or bake some more, I’m sure.
Superclubs Plus/ Skoodle
This week’s tool is one that is already in use in the year 5 classes and is more focussed on years 3-7. I am referring to Super Clubs Plus. This site is supported by the Australian Government, South Australian and Victorian Education departments ACMA Cyber Smart and a vast number of others including teachers and students who currently and have used it. Super Clubs Plus is set up to guide students in developing their on-line skills in a safe and monitored space. Here learners develop skills in web development, copyright, appropriate use of the internet and communications, web coding, computer programs, they also get to interact with many celebrities such as authors and actors who chat with the students. If you would like to find out more about this site please contact me or alternatively speak to Jane or Bruce about their use of it.
This week I am not only showcasing a tool but putting out a challenge to everyone to start using this tool and communicating how you are using it in you classroom. I am talking about blogging. For classroom blogs you can use a number of sites, WordPress , Edublogs, Kid Blog. All of these sites are equally good and they have free spaces for you to sign up to. I would encourage you to try a class blog for younger grades initially, with student direction about the content. Imaging your shared writing experience being available to parents, family of the students and other schools or classes across the world. Imaging the excitement when a class from another school, on the other side of the world makes comment on what your class is doing. For older students I would recommend you have them all set up a blog as a personal learning/reflection journal. This could be set up with places for comments from peers, polls, and surveys. If getting closer to the end of their schooling this could also be a place for them to showcase themselves and their skills, with a resume page that links to work and participation in learning examples. If you would like so help in setting this up or more ideas for use at school please feel free to send me a message.
Evernote & Skitch
The tool I have come across in the last few weeks is “Evernote” this is a tool for all platforms and mobile devices, it can be downloaded onto a Mac and Windows computers, smart phones, iPads and all Android phones and tablets. This tool is a place where you can record audio, images, attach electronic documents, as well as take notes. if you have it installed onto more than one device all can be linked and kept up to date at all times. you can sort your notes into ‘notebooks’ and have numerous notes in each notebook. In addition to this tool you can also download “Skitch” which extends the functionality in Evernote to allow you to take an image and draw/notate the image and attach this to the Evernote document. You can get these tools at Evernote or Skitch
Have you ever wanted to show your skills on how to do a sequence of steps on a computer? This week’s site is a tool is Screenr; is a web-based screen recorder which makes it fast and simple to create tutorials and screencast clips to share vial the link that is created when you are finished. Screenr is a site that could be easily incorporated into classes from year 5 upwards for assignment presentations and tutorials. If you would like to see how it works or how you could use it in your class please feel free to come and have a chat about the tool.
Creative Commons (CC) & Plagiarism Checker
Do your students need to understand copyrights and the laws associated with citation? Creative Commons and Creative Commons Australia; “is an international non-profit organisation that provides free licences and tools that copyright owners can use to allow others to share, reuse and remix their material, legally. Creative Commons Australia is the affiliate that supports Creative Commons in Australia and administers the Australian Creative Commons licences”. This can be used as a reference for conversation or prevention before assignments are submitted, if you would like more information I have documentation on how to find (CC) resourcesIn addition to this the Advanced Plagiarism Checker; can scan passaged of text to check for plagiarism without citation. This is a great tool for middle and senior students to use before submission of assignments
Looking to create mind maps using more than just text fields. SpiderScribe; is an online tool that allows for incorporation of Google maps, word documents, PDF files plus more. When you have created the mind-map you can choose to share or keep it private. The link is to a video of the potential of the site. I would recommend this for all levels of teaching and learning.
Are you looking towards assessment and next semesters’ curriculum? Do you want to know you’re your students have learnt or already know? Does your teaching method suit the learning styles of your students? Do you want feedback? If you answered yes to any of these questions you can use this week’s website – Survey Monkey is an online tool that allows you to ask the questions to your selected group. To get started you can sign up for the basic plan for free. Design your survey; send a link to your responders. After your responses are completed you can return and analyse your results, and export them in your selected format. This tool is fantastic for teacher and students. Have a go and share your story.
CyberQuoll & Cyber Safety
If you are concerned about the internet and student safety, have a browse through the videos and challenges of CyberQuoll. Another site which requires a paid subscription is Super Clubs Plus – http://www.scplus.com which is a safe social learning network where the students can learn how to behave in an online environment that is supervised and moderated by teachers. I know of schools that restrict the use of the internet until students and can show knowledge of the appropriate use of the internet through these tools. These sites are supported by the Australian Government – ACMA. For more information please feel free to ask in twitter or post a comment.
Dance Mat Typing
This week I am presenting a fantastic site that will enhance student use of the computer and keyboard. Dance Mat Typing; is a fun site that teachers the students how to efficiently and effectively type with confidence. Typing is a skill that in the advancement of technology is as important as handwriting. For students to have a grounded foundation in typing is to provide a skill that will be lifelong. I have used this site in all year levels from R-6 with resounding success. I would also suggest that all students are given 30mis on this twice a week. For more information please send me a message or make a comment here.
This week I am highlighting a site that has several links to activities that focus on spelling skills CrickWeb. This is a section of a greater site (www.crickweb.co.uk) that has many free online education resources and games. It is particularly well designed for interactive whiteboard use.These spelling activities lend themselves to use from Junior primary through to and including Middle school students. Some of the activities included here in this link are: Spelling Checker – look, say, cover, type, check; Spelling Rule Tester – singular to plural;Word Selector – Year 4 random word list selector; Alien Hangman – updated version of the traditional game. I hope this is a useful site for your class if you need any more information please come and see me.
This week I am highlighting a site that promotes sequential learning and supports lessons in the classroom. Khan Academy has video resources in Maths, Science, Finance & Economics, Humanities, and Test Preparation. This site has amazing resources especially for students needing individual support. The levels of suitability are from Yr 3- Senior Secondary and beyond. Have a look and see how you could use this site in your class.
You may recognize I am also publishing these posts at my locally at my school. Please disregard any local contexts I have included.
Thank You for reading,