Archive for Category: "Ed2ools"
Behind every successful adult there is a great teacher – probably quite a few. Ask any adult about their favorite teacher and you’ll hear stories, heartfelt and rich in detail. Great teachers share a lot in common with great students. They have insatiable curiosity, a willingness to go above and beyond, and are passionate about learning.
Can you define the word “Grok?” InstaGrok is a developing answer-engine that is specifically designed for the education market. The mission of InstaGrok is to teach 21st Century research and curation skills in a safe, age appropriate environment. InstaGrok is commercial free and organizes search results according to themes and concepts. In a way, InstaGrok is similar to Wolfram|Alpha as it provides answers and information rather than a list of links. Using the search box, type in any term or idea that you are interested [...]
Moodle was launched as a pet project in 1999 by Martin Dougiamas. Since then, it has grown into an enormously popular learning platform that boasts over 57 million users who have access to roughly 5.8 million courses. Moodle is an open source, community driven learning management system that is used in traditional, blended, and fully online classrooms. Anyone can setup a Moodle server and start building online courses in a matter of minutes. Because of my interest in online learning, [...]
As we gather more data using Google Forms and Spreadsheets there are a lot of questions out there about how we can reformat and share this data in a more consumable understandable way. In the last couple of months the Maine 207 technology team of Mark Ordonez and Janice Cacciatore and Hank Thiele have tackled this issue on several projects and as a result have created a reproducible Google Script that takes the information off a spreadsheet and ultimately creates a unique document that can be shared with anyone.
Got an iPad? Got a Droid? Got a Mac? A PC? Doesn’t matter! Whatever you have, the free, multi-platform student response system, Socrative.com will use any of these. Did you spend $3000 on Activotes or other student “clicker” systems? Well, you could have simply used those laptop carts, those iPads, a desktop computer, or asked your students to bring their own device and fired up Socrative.
Some of you might have noticed that EdReach is focused on sharing tools this week. My first choice was sharing all the resources I use from the BBC. They have great activities for my social studies and language arts class, but it is a very specific tool that might not be pertinent to most. I finally decided to share some of the tools I use within the Chrome web browser. Google is the creator of Chrome and they make it [...]
StoryBird is a web tool that allows students to use artists’ artwork to create a story book. I have used this tool in the classroom to help reluctant 4th and 5th grade writers find motivation for creative writing. There are many applications for use, for example: creative writing, using art with spelling words to create a story, illustrating content areas in creative ways… the possibilities are endless! To start the year you might think about having your students create a StoryBird highlighting their summer [...]
One of the fondest memories I have of my childhood is reading the Sunday comics from the Chicago Tribune, however, back then we called them “The Funnies”. It helped me feel like I was part of the “grown up” world, asking for a section of the newspaper to read. But, it also taught me about family, war, animals, and a whole lot more… I remember doodling the 7-UP Spot for hours – turning him into a swashbuckling pirate, swinging between [...]
I’m always on the lookout for new ways to create, design, and visualize. The presentation tool Prezi.com has always been a unique way to create whiz-bang visuals for professional development conferences or workshops, and has a nice way of drawing the viewers in. Voicethread.com is also one of those unique tools that educators have latched on to for lots of different authentic purposes. I’ve been ready for something new. And now comes Popplet.com. Popplet is like a cross between Prezi, [...]
I use YouTube to host most of my tutorials. Up until now, I have always used a Google Site, or a Google Presentation to lay out all of those step-by-step instructions. However, I’ve stumbled across a site that focuses strictly on step-by-step. It’s called Tildee.com, and they’ve made it super easy to create a step-by-step process. Teachers will like this: it’s got a super simple user-interface, they’re extremely easy to share to a group or a classroom. Students will like [...]
Could this be a sign of great things to come? Walking the vendor floor at ISTE, we’re finally starting to see cool Ed apps and tools from the TechCrunch world arrive in the Education world. Desmos.com, a very interesting startup, who attended TechCrunch Disrupt NYC, showed off their online, interactive graphing calculator. Here’s what we saw from these talented coders.
EdReach had a great time at #EdubloggerCon 2011! We met some great new educators (new to us), met the Desmos.com guys, Symbaloo team, and we had some in-depth discussions with the creators of some of the best education tools out there, like Wikispaces. As for the conference, numerous ideas were shared about Khan Academy, Bring Your Own Device, and the state of education in the news media. Good to see that the TechCrunch spillover (Desmos.com) is finally finding its way [...]
With more and more app developers designing innovative apps like The Elements: A Visual Exploration and Our Choice, it is clear that traditional textbooks are no longer needed as mobile learning devices become common classroom tools. Students can easily have access to updated information in a variety of different ways, whether it is through text, images, audio, or video. There is an incredible amount of content-specific apps, podcasts (have you seen iTunesU?), and eBooks available. And of course we can’t [...]
Mobile learning is a popular topic in education right now, and Apple just took it to a new level with iOS 5, their newest operating system for the iPod touch, the iPhone, and the iPad. A new operating system means new features for iDevice users. Apple’s announcement of their upgraded operating system for iOS devices has started a new discussion with educators using them: how will these new features impact education? We are just beginning to learn about the new [...]
The Web needs something new for education. I’ve talked about this before. Teachers have been happily using Glogster, Voicethread, and Google Apps for the past couple of years. Then the economy went in the dumper, Silicon Valley focused on “social,” and we’ve been quietly waiting for some of the new platforms to emerge that might have education in mind. It’s been a long wait, but friends, we may have a winner (however, they may not know this yet). See, last week, [...]
This week brings us the debate over whether the “freemium” model of pricing Web 2.o tools and platforms is fair and reasonable. Also, with the recent tornadoes, we share a few teaching strategies and ideas for using that as a teachable moment. Additionally, we respond to Jennifer- from Glogster EDU’s reaction to our EdRoundtable post: Have you read the morning Glog? from last week. She offers some insights to Glogster’s strategy as a new media platform, and we discuss Glogster’s [...]
Welcome to a new column on EdReach! The EdRoundtable. One of us will throw out an idea or question, and the roundtable adds their views. This first EdRoundtable has some questions about Glogster.com, and its strength as a media platform for students. I quite like the idea of Glogster.com. Take elements of the web- videos, links, photos, text- put them together and posterize the Web; that- I get. If there’s not bandwidth problems, kids quite like the tool, too. It’s [...]
The other day, someone reminded me that the Internet tools we use as educators, like Flickr, Voicethread, and Delicious- weren’t originally targeted to educators. Educators took those tools and ran with them. One thing I know- we get tired of hearing the word tools, and that’s mostly because we sometimes feel that it takes the focus off of creation or higher-order thinking. I’ve been complaining lately that there have been very few new creative platforms that have surfaced lately, mostly because [...]