I hope that your summer is off to a fantastic start! I'm teaching a series of college application bootcamps so it seems that mine hasn't quite started yet, but this week I want to share one of my major summer goals. If you haven't made summer goals yet, I'm inviting you to take this journey with me and if you already have some expertise in this area, I'd seriously love your two cents! This summer I want to learn how to effectively use a social learning network in my classroom. I used Collaborize Classroom last year and I absolutely loved it. However, some of my colleagues have decided to take up Edmodo or Schoology and it makes sense for us to have some constancy across the curriculum.
I'm really excited to share a new teacher tech tool with you today! Although, I am just getting started with it, I think NoRedInk.com is a tool to keep an eye on!
Here's why I love it:
Remember when I told you about a few apps that my students taught me to love? Well, I just jumped on the bandwagon and realized that one of them is going to change the way I assign vocabulary study. No matter what words or book you are using for vocabulary, you have to check out this tutorial on quizlet:
The kind folks over at Grammarly recently let me try out their service with my high school English classes. The service offers to help students continue to develop writing skills through automated instructional feedback in grammar and word choice, as well as plagiarism tracking. I tried out the teacher/student version, which you can learn more about at Grammarly.com/edu. Check out the video tutorial below and the pros and cons list. Please let me know if you have questions or comments and remember to check back weekly for more teacher tips, tutorials, and tirades. ;)
We create, we share, we borrow, we modify, we teach.
I've been trying to be more tech savvy to work smarter and have more time for meaningful connections with students. One way I am accomplishing this goal is through use of google drive, google forms, google presentations and a host of other little tips and tricks that I share here weekly. (click those links for posts about how I'm incorporating each). I like using a lot of google products and services because they streamline together and for the most part my students have buy in to the google drive system for other areas of their lives so this becomes an academic way to use a tool already in their toolbox. Not only are these services easy to use for creating and sharing classroom materials, there is also a super handy trick found in the google templates! All you have to do is sign in to your google account, visit this templates page (or just search for google templates) and click to add to your drive and modify if necessary! There are tons of templates in the catalogue from google and from other users. You can browse by category, like "Students and Teachers", or search using keywords. Below are a couple of my favorites:
One of my awesome coworkers went to a conference recently and brought back information about a cool new edtech platform called cel.ly. It is a secure way for teachers, students, parents, and other education professionals to communicate via the web, text message, or the celly app.
I'm just beginning to think of all the ways this platform could be used to harness the power of "student device love" to enhance my instruction. Below is an introduction to this cool new tool. including a couple of ways I was able to use it in my classroom.
If you follow this blog regularly, you'll know that I write a lot about how to incorporate technology into the high school classroom. This week, I am excited to be sharing 2 school apps that my students found themselves and use regularly. I love both of these apps because they solve real problems that students face, they work simply, and most importantly students see their value! I teach primarily 11th and 12th grade English this year, but I can see how these apps work for most secondary grades.
Today, I am excited to bring you a tip for using google presentations to create classroom engagement and collaboration. This idea is a combination of a project that a colleague of mine has done for years, the inspiration of Catlin Tucker's vocabulary instruction (she is really amazing), plus of course, my deep seated love of socratic seminar, novel study, and google drive (full tutorial here)! This project puts ownership in the hands of students and frees up a lot of my time for meaningful writing feedback instead of a ton of prep for teaching a novel. Check out the Youtube video below for the specifics of my project:
It feels like everywhere I turn, I hear about another school moving to a 1-to-1 iPad system. My own school is the process of setting the groundwork in infrastructure and education so that we can implement iPads next school year. Unfortunately, it is not all coming up digital roses. There are of course the hiccups, like this little fiasco in LAUSD, but more pervasively, there are a lot of teachers who don't really know where to start to incorporate iPads in the classroom. Below are my 8 tips for incorporating iPads into the classroom. I'd love to hear your 2 cents too!