Friday, April 29, 2016

Sharing a Tool - And Why I'm Worried About It

To Share or Not to Share

An Attractive Tool for Creating Digital Worksheets

Lately there is a movement not to promote tools that aren't deep in pedagogy and critical thinking. It seems that as technology integrators we are to share tools and strategies that are strong in the SAMR model or promote the most cutting edge movements in education.  Gone are the days of 60 sites in 60 minutes or Top 10 sites for creating . . .

What I'm going to share today isn't cutting edge. It is at the substitution level of SAMR. I doesn't necessarily involve critical thinking, yet I really like this tool and I'm confident that teachers and students will like it as well.

The site is called Wizer.me and it is used to create a digital worksheet. Wizer.me can also be used for formative assessments. A teacher can create their own worksheet or they can explore the hundreds of already created worksheets and use them. Here is the link to a worksheet I found while browsing on rock cycles.

Here is the link to a worksheet I created on state regions.

What I like about Wizer.me is that 
  • it is visually pleasing - there are many design choices
  • it has different options for activities (fill in the blanks, matching etc.)
  •  there is a share to Google Classroom option
  • the access to the worksheet can be turned on and off
  • each student worksheet is viewable when completed with an overall score
  • teachers can share their worksheet with colleagues


What do you think? Should I worry about blogging about and sharing sites like Wizer.me just because they aren't advanced and don't lend well to higher order thinking?  When presenting at conferences, I believe it is sites such as Wizer.me that are still the types of technology that teachers are looking for. This tool is simple to use, applicable to any content area or age level, and helpful for assessments.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BreakoutEDU - Your Students and Staff Will Love This!

Unlock the Potential With BreakoutEDU

Incase you haven't heard or experienced this new educational phenomenon, here are the details and an explanation.


What is BreakoutEDU?
BreakoutEDU is a game. It involves students finding and solving clues to be able to unlock locks on a box. Once the locks are all unlocked, the students are rewarded with a prize of some sort in the box. It sounds really simple, right? 

Why should you do the BreakoutEDU challenge?
The real prize is that in order to solve the clues, students have to use critical thinking skills and they have to work together to unlock the locks. The best part is there are many BreakoutEDU challenges already created and ready to use in your classroom.  


Where do I get the BreakoutEDU materials?
Everything you need to run a BreakoutEDU challenge in your classroom can be found at www.breakoutedu.com The site will guide you through four steps.  The kit, which includes the box, locks, a hasp, a flashdrive, a UV flashlight, and an invisible ink pen can be purchased for $99. There is also the option to purchase the materials on Amazon.com




Additional Resources
  • There is a wonderful Facebook group for BreakoutEDU where people share their knowledge and ideas. 
  • The challenges all come with an explanation video which walks you through the challenge step by step to help you prepare and set up each game.  
  • To access the challenges, a person needs to know the password. This is provided to you when you complete the form to sign up on the website. 
  • Here is a video:





I hope you consider looking into using BreakoutEDU in your classroom or with your staff. Your students or staff will not be disappointed and you will enjoy the benefits of team building and higher level order thinking.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Moonshot Thinking - Chat with Deb


Moonshot Thinking 

Sustainability and Next Generation Innovators

This Chat with Deb is going to help you understand what Moonshot Thinking is and will also show you ways to support Moonshot Thinking in your classroom.






Supporting Resources:

A great example of Genius Hour Projects
Google Proof Questions blog post
Thinglink VR interactive video


Thank you to Intel's Teachers Engage for sponsoring this blog post.