This is the summer of "me", which means relaxing, chilling, reading and sleeping. But if you know me, I have a hard time slowing down and not being a complete workaholic. And, this weather is not helping either. San Francisco = No fun in the sun. Hard to get into a beach read when it's not sunny.
My goal of the week is to blog about my educational technology take aways. And, after I press "publish" I will be on my way to less screen time for the next few days. Yeah right, I can try! If all else fails, I give myself permission to take the time to work with these fun tools until I dive into more next week. So here goes...
5+ Tech Tools for this Week and How I Envision Immediate Impact on My Classroom
Self Graded Assessments Using Google Drive with Flubaroo
As a school that uses google drive for just about everything I was excited to view this tutorial and learn about how I can make google forms be self graded. This will be a great way to have the boys work through short problem solving activities, graded warm ups, entry events and formative exit tickets. While I don't always ask questions that have only one solution, when I do I can see this being an easy way to not only grade (for me) but to offer immediate feedback (for them). I like the set up of google forms as they are easy to create. But I do wish you could not only see responses in a spreadsheet but also as a single student response sheet. Please Google!!!
While participating in EdmodoCon Wednesday, @grammasheri recommended Blend Space to me. I was immediately intrigued and found it to be a really easy to use interface. Perhaps it's the word "blend" that got me after my 3 day conference on Blended Learning. In all seriousness, the fact that it has tabs to link educreations, web pages, google drive, and youtube sold me. I can't wait to try my first fully blended unit using Blend Space and have the boys complete it self paced and as differentiated as we need. Might even find a way to use it for Back to School Night. Let's see!
Tackk is a very cool site that allows collaboration using a similar interface to my web page (square space). This automatically made it nice to work with for me, familiarity is always nice. I think it could be one of those tools I introduce the boys to that will allow us to work together creatively to share our thoughts and message as we travel through global learning experiences. We will continue to process with Edmodo but things we can share with others could be done easily with Tackk. This could also be a good way to share our wor(l)d problems with other classes. Classes from around the world could collaborate on the Tackk, share their questions or thoughts too! The images available to insert are great, we could embed video for others to see. In fact, the more I think about it we could probably incorporate it into sharing our message with others in MANY ways. I worked through a little demo here (you can also see it below). I went basic. Check out Tackk in the Classroom Video for ideas too.
So maybe it's not the most interactive website on the list but it's a cute way to change regular text into something fun. For me, I can see making fun announcements for the boys. For the boys it will be put into the list of "tools to try" as they get into running their own business. It could be used for creative advertising or announcing sales and business updates.
For years I have tried to use Lino in my classroom. Whether it be with the boys, or in professional development, something about those stickies just hasn't stuck! Yes, a lot of times with the boys I want to get "messy" with real sticky notes and chalk talk paper, but something about this website Padlet stuck with me. It could be a great group brainstorming tool, or as we did at NAISTOF a way to share an end of class "nugget". I love finding ways to get the boys to share without using their voices all the time and this is another tool for the tool box. Perhaps it's simpler in it's interface? Most importantly I like that it can shared in a variety of ways: image, pdf, excel spreadsheet, and more! Padlet claims: You'll feel like a superhero? Sold.
Last but not least...having used socrative.com for years I am calling this my +. Because if you counted, you will notice this is my 6th tech tool. However, socrative got an "up do"! It's moving on up and I am excited about what I see. While google forms can now be self graded, socrative has always offered that and more but with the need to be "live" with your class. It's a little harder to give as a homework assignment as the teacher needs to keep the room open, but it does enable you to look at one student's report. I love having the kids do an appropriate space race challenge and the new quick question will be great for off the cuff questions that come from in class discussions that I want individual responses from.
So that's a wrap! 5+ tech tools that I can't wait to incorporate into my classroom. Notice that none of them are "math" apps. Rather ways to share, collaborate, and create. What are some of you go to tech tools? I would love to hear.