Thinglink

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 12.37.53 PMAs I start writing this post I realize how long it has been since I have added any new items and for that I am sorry.  However; there are lots of great new tools out there to write about and the first one is Thinglink.  Thinglink actually is not that new, it has been around for a few years now, but has become very popular with teachers.  This incredible little website and iPad app allows you to upload images and “tag” certain portions of that image.  This means that if students are learning about the water cycle you can create a Thinglink they can interact with in order to learn about each portion of the cycle.  You can add text, audio, video and can embed the image on  your own blog or webpage.  There are tons of great ways to use Thinglink with students.  Below you will find a video showing how to use Thinglink as well as links to other blogs showcasing how other teachers are using this nifty tool in the classroom.  As always, I love to read your comments and please let me know how you use ThingLink with your students.

Free Technology For Teachers-65 Ways to use Thinglink in the Classroom

Getting Smart-10 Ways to Use Thinglink with Students

Smore, make your newsletters engaging

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 3.46.03 PMEvery week in my sixth grade class, I would pry open the lid of my MacBook and open the text editor Pages.  This weekly ritual of writing my classroom newsletter was cumbersome and frankly seemed antiquated. I would type endless paragraphs about our school lunch schedule and what labs we took part in for the week. Sure my newsletter was colorful, but it wasn’t as engaging as it could have been.  There were times when I wished there was something I could send to parents, something with audio files of their students debating current events or videos of science lab that went awry.  If only there was a way for events to be added, an interactive poll would be nice….if only. Finally the biggest question of all “Did anyone actually read this incredibly crafted piece of literature,” I could never know for sure.

Well Dorthy, there is no need to click those ruby red slippers together and wish anymore. I would like to introduce you to Smore.  Smore lets you create  online newsletters that you can share with parents and students alike.  This tools not only allows you to embed videos and audio files, but gives you the option to allow for comments, add Wufoo forms for surveys, calendar events, and much more.  The best part is that they have templates created for  you,  just add your content and bam, Done! With the free edition (Educator Edition $59.00/year) after 30 visits you open analytics option, this gives you information about where your readers are located and how long they are spending on your newsletters.   I love this little tool and wish I had it for use in my classroom, I think it would have really added life to that newsletter that was always stuck at the bottom of student’s backpacks.  As always, I would love to hear what you think or how you are using this tool in your classroom.

Smore Tutorial from stacey schuh on Vimeo.

Vimeo

If you have created your own video tutorials or have created videos for your flipped classroom you may need a spot to keep all of these great resources.  Vimeo allows you to upload your content and share it with others either by sharing a link, posting to social media such as Twitter or Pinterest or even embedding videos on your blog or learning management systems.  Vimeo is easy to use and free, although you can upgrade for instant uploads and more options.  Check out the tutorial below to learn more about Vimeo.  I would love to hear about how you use Vimeo and any feedback on this or other Knack topics.

Vimeo Tutorial from stacey schuh on Vimeo.

Read a test to students using an iPad

This week I had an opportunity to talk with a teacher about supporting her classroom instruction through technology.  One of her biggest complaints was that she didn’t have time to read tests to students in her classroom.  She wanted to help all of her students, but was being pulled in multiple directions and wanted to find a solution.  This particular teacher has an iPad in her classroom and in talking with her we found a way that would allow students to have tests read aloud to them.

Now this teacher does not have a classroom set of iPads or banks of computers, but by using this one technique she was able to save herself time and help her students.  Below is a video outlining how we  used the iPad to fit her classroom instructional needs.

Read Text to Students from stacey schuh on Vimeo.

Notability

Some time ago I was searching for an app that would allow me to import a PDF and annotate it on the iPad.  A friend of mine recommended an app called Notability, ever since I have found this to be one of my most useful apps.  Not only does Notability allow you to annotate a PDF, it also allows you to create notes that include audio.  Now this may not sound like a big deal, but this is a great way to grade student work with audio attached, how wonderful would it be to give feedback on a writing piece showing exactly what things students did well or could improve upon.  Below are some links to Notability tutorials, as always, I would love your feedback.

Notability-Adding Category and Subject from stacey schuh on Vimeo.

View all Notability videos here.

Flipping your Classroom

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Fire up conference from sschuh26

Flipping your classroom is more than just making students watch a video. Here are some resources that will help you learn more about the Flipped Classroom and web tools to help you make the most of your time.

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Flipped Learning Network-Lots of ideas and wonderful resources.

Go Animate

Want to create your own cartoon?  With Go Animate you can easily and quickly create cartoons for students on a variety of different topics. You can also have students create their own videos to share ideas or give life to writing pieces.  To show you how easy it is, I have enlisted the help of my three year old son. Below is a video we created in our dining room in about two minutes.  Please excuse the under developed plot:

Check out our Go Animate here

Go Animate Tutorial from stacey schuh on Vimeo.