Sunday, March 30, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Bookmarking Site

Do you have a favorite bookmarking site?  Or are you like me, you have bookmarks all over the place?

I have bookmarks saved on Pinterest, Symbaloo, Listly, Delicious, Diigo, Etc.

Guess what, sometimes I have a hard time finding what I bookmarked.  :)

So I'm curious to know what you use and if you have a favorite.

Please take a minute to vote for your favorite bookmarking site on my Listly list or you can choose to vote through this Google Form if you do not want to sign up for Listly.  Let me know if I should add a site to my list that you use.  To vote you can simply click on the up arrow to vote a site up or on the down arrow to vote a site down.

Thank you for voting!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Google has Been Busy Updating Their Apps!!

Google has had many updates lately, in case you haven't heard. 

Let's take a look:

#1 Add - ons!  Click here to see how to get new add-ons for Google Docs and Google Sheets.  I've been trying some of these add-ons out and they are a great way to super charge your creations.  
Click here for a showcase of some of the add-ons.

#2 New Pricing - Click here to read about Google's new lower price for online storage.  In a time where everything is becoming more expensive, Google is actually lowering their price for cloud storage.

#3 Edit Images Right In Google Docs -Click here to see how images can now be edited right in Google Slides and Drawings.

#4 Add Voice Comments to Google Docs - Click here and here to read about adding voice comments into any Google Doc.

There are many other updates as well.  To keep up with all that is new and improved, follow the Google Drive Blog.   

Monday, March 24, 2014

These Student Desks Are a Must!

Recently our class was awarded a grant from the Education Foundation of Ripon to purchase new desks for our classroom redesign project.  Our students were so excited when they heard the announcement.  They can't wait to get a new desk.

So, the search for just the right desk is on!  We want to be able to encourage collaboration and mobility while also provide a larger work space. So,  I think we may have found just the right one!

Introducing the Shapes desk:

These amazing desks would allow us to:
  • easily make groups of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, or 12 students for collaboration throughout the day. 
  • store our materials in a backpack which can hang from any of the hooks in each of the corners
  • allow students to not be tied to one desk, but rather allow students to be able to move to any desk at any time.
  • create learning spaces throughout our room since these desks can be arranged to take up less space.
  • give our students more desk space to work with their mobile devices.
As you may have guessed, desks are expensive and our grant can only cover a portion of the cost.  So whether we will be able to afford this desk at approximately $200 a desk will be the deciding factor.  And of course there is the matter of shipping costs.
What do you think of these desks?  Do you know of a cheaper option?  Anxiously waiting to make a decision. . . 


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Geddit - Chat with Deb

Geddit is a great tool for the 1:1 or BYOD classroom.  This site makes polling your students extremely easy.  Watch this episode of Chat with Deb to see my own two sons, Ryan and Robert, use Geddit on an iPad and cell phone. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chat with Deb About Flipped Videos

Let's Chat about Flipped Videos!

Creating Flipped Videos:

  • doesn't have to take a long time
  • will benefit your students 
  • can be created in many different ways
  • can include assessments to check student understanding

The Flipped Classroom:
  • uses videos to deliver instruction
  • can be in any format that works for you
  • puts the responsibility of learning the content onto the student
  • lets students work at their own pace
  • gives the teacher more time with students during class
  • allows for more project/activity/work time during class

Are you ready for some other great tools for the Flipped Classroom?

Give these a try!

#1 Teachem  - Add flashcards to any YouTube video.  Helps students to check their understanding as they view your video.

Click here to view an example that I created.

#2 eduCanon -  Add rich questions to a video from YouTube, Teacher Tube or Vimeo.  Also keeps students engaged during the video.

Click here to view an example that I created.  

#3 Lesson Paths  - Formerly Mentor Mob, Lesson Paths lets you create a playlist for students to work through and interact with. Your play list can consist of videos, websites, files, or even a pop quiz.

Click here to view the Lesson Path that I created on microscopes and microworlds.

#4 Blendspace - this is one of my very favorite tools for blending instruction and using Flipped videos.  Blendspace lets you create a canvas of information to share with your students.  The canvas can include websites, files, google searches, and so much more.  One of the nicest features is that you can choose to add your video you created using Educreations on Blendspace.

Click here to view a Blendspace created by a different user.

#5 HapYak - Add layers on top of any YouTube video.  You can include clickable text to link to a web page, multiple choice and free text questions, video chapters that will take you to a certain part of the video, and draw and annotate on top of the video.  Teachers get feedback to measure the success of their video.

Click here to view a sample Hap Yak.

Want even more?  Click here for my collection of tools for the Flipped Classroom.

To join a community of educators and professionals using the Flipped Learning approach, click here.