Monday, September 28, 2015

Something Purple, Working for a Burger, Cool Video Creator, and 2048 - A Very Random Post

Today's post is about updates, tools or sites that I found interesting as I was searching the web.  Perhaps you will find something of interest to you or your students.  Check these out.

#1 Google Forms is getting an update and it looks pretty sweet! The new icon is purple.
Read all about it here.



#2 Salaries in Real Time
How many hours do you need to work in order to buy a burger?

11 minutes and 5 seconds until my next burger. :)

#3 Biteable - a simple video animation maker
This looks like a very useful tool for creating a tutorial or a visually animated infographic. 


#4 2048 GameI often spend time in study hall or in the lunch room to see what students are choosing to do on their Chromebooks during their free time. This tile game has become quite popular among our high school students. The game is simple, move like numbers together to add the tiles up from 2 - 4 - 8 -16 -32 -64 -128 - 256 - 512 - 1024 - 2048.  Although the concept is simple, to win the game is still a challenge as the boxes fill up and soon you are without a move. 
As far as games go, this one is right up my alley. I love anything mathematical.



Sunday, September 20, 2015

An Important Update


Old

Change is good and this blog was due for updates and change. The name of the blog changed from "Sharing Technology" to "DN Tech & Integration".  

New

The url changed from www.sharingtechnology.blogspot.com to www.debnortontech.blogspot.com

And the entire look and color scheme of the blog has been updated.

If you are a follower of my blog please change your RSS feed or bookmark.

Thank you to all of my followers and to those who read my blog regularly.  I truly appreciate your friendship and follow.


Creativity Challenges

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How do you promote creativity in your classroom? This Chat with Deb will show you several digital creativity exercises that you can do with your students.

Here is the presentation from this video with all of the digital resources.



Do you have an idea to share for promoting creativity with your students? If you do, please share. 
Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this post.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Fun - Magnetic Fridge Poetry


If you are looking for a fun way for your students to express their creative side, give this Magnetic Fridge Poetry activity a try. I created this using Google Drawings. Students can drag words from the side onto the fridge to create short expressions. 

Or better yet, give your students the opportunity to create their own Magnetic Fridge Poetry. Allow students to find a fridge picture, create words to put along the side that go with a topic of their choice and then share out their creations.  The students could use a much larger vocabulary than my example.

You could go completely crazy and even allow them to use something other than a refrigerator. Oh my, imagine the possibilities.  

The important thing is to give students a platform to express themselves, use meaningful vocabulary and at the same time they can individualize their Google Drawing.

If you decide to give Magnetic Fridge Poetry a try, let me know how it goes.




Thursday, September 10, 2015

Memes - Creative, Funny and Intuitive

I just recently learned that the funny pictures with a clever little saying or thought on them are called memes (rhymes with themes).
These smart little images can convey a clever strong message.

The definition of meme is 
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/meme?s=t


So after coming across numerous memes related to education such as these:






I thought, why not give these a try in the classroom.  


Imagine if students created memes to help them remember important concepts in math, science, literacy etc.  The image is just as important and powerful as the words and having students create memes would require critical thinking and creativity. And since memes are spread via the Internet, it would be neat to hold a voting poll to see which memes get the most likes or shares. 


I like this math meme:


And check out this science meme:

And recently I shared this meme on social media:

Click here for a free download of memes for Classroom Rules.


Whenever I see a trend that is taking off in social media that is of interest to students and draws in their attention, I'm ready to put the idea into practice in the classroom. It makes the learning relevant and current for the student. 

What do you think? Would you use memes with your students? Would your students enjoy creating their own memes? 

Here's one more meme for your entertainment:
Gotcha!





Monday, September 7, 2015

Give Every Student a Voice with TitanPad - a Student Discussion Tool

Recently I was asked to suggest a tool or site for holding an online discussion with students.  Google Classroom offers a discussion option that works really well. However, some teachers may not be using Google Classroom or are looking for an alternative.

TitanPad is a nice alternative. It allows the teacher to save the discussion and also has a cool replay feature.

Watch this Chat with Deb and see it in action.



Do you have a favorite tool or site for holding an online discussion? I would love to hear about it!

Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this Chat with Deb. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Trends in Visual Storytelling

People have been telling visual stories for a very long time. When I grew up it was all about using a camera (with film!) or drawing with colored pencils.  Times sure have changed and it's no wonder that today's visual stories are much more interesting and flashy. 

Gone are the days of a simple image growing the interest and success of marketing an idea. New trends in visual storytelling today include GIFs, real-time broadcasts, and infographics.  

GIFs are really starting to take off in popularity even though they have been around for quite a while.


http://www.gifsmile.com/sound-waves-gif-animation

A series of still images looping one after another creates an animation that can visually explain a concept.  

If you would like to create your own GIF I recommend a site called Picasion.  Simply upload a series of images to create your GIF.  Makeagif.com is a site that will create a GIF from images, a YouTube video, an uploaded video or a webcam.   
Students could create GIFs to demonstrate the steps for solving a math problem, or showing a physics equation. Students could also create a how-to GIF or even a GIF to show a transformation of a living thing.

Real-time broadcasts are also growing in popularity.  Meerkat and Periscope are two such apps.  Periscope grew out of Twitter and is quickly becoming a phenomenon.  If you haven't given Periscope a try, I highly recommend checking it out. There is something about broadcasting an event live and in person that gives this storytelling 
app an edge above other apps and also gives others a chance to interact in real time while the story unfolds.  Students could broadcast a presentation or a science experiment live.



Infographics explain a concept in a very visual and factual way. Even the most complex information can be displayed in an understandable way with an infographic.  

http://sciblogs.co.nz/visibly-shaken/2010/08/12/natures-light-show-infographic/
I recommend using Pictochart or Easel.ly for creating your own infographics. Both of these sites have templates to help you get started.  Students could collect and display data on a historical event,  science concept, famous person(s), or on a specific location in the world.   Infographics tell a story in a uniquely creative and critical way.

 What is your favorite app or site for visual storytelling? How might you use that tool?  I'd love to hear from you.