Thursday, February 2, 2017

Four Sites to Try with Your Students - Inspired by my Colleagues

Lately I've been using various sites and activities with students in our high school classrooms. Many of these are inspired by the amazing and creative teachers that I work with. They come to me with an idea of what they want their students to accomplish, and I help them find the right tech tools to use.  Kudos to Kerry, Alexis, Dave and Jennifer who inspire me every day to use various technology tools in the classroom.

Here are some of the sites we've been using lately:

Storyboard That - comic strip creator 

The free account allows for 2 boards per week with the ability to create either 3 or 6 cell comics. Learn more about the free and paid versions here. There are some fantastic teacher resources and guides. Check them out by clicking here.  I love these examples of possible student activities for the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. 

Thinglink - create interactive images and videos to tell a story or deliver a lesson

I love the possibilities of Thinglink for student creation and learning. Students can put interactive tags on images and videos to Google Docs, Drawings, images, audio, videos; anything with a URL.  

What I really love is the ability for teachers to create a Thinglink to deliver a blended lesson to students.  In this example I used a 360 degree image to take students on a virtual field trip. The 360 degree image import is part of the premium feature. If you are a teacher or student at our high school (EHS) I can give you access to the premium account for you and your students. 

Tagul - inspiring and creative word clouds

Click here for the actual word cloud

Create a word cloud in a shape by copying and pasting text or by using the URL to a website. There are many different settings that students can use to customize their Tagul. Easily download, print or share the link to a Tagul.  And the best part is that this site is completely free and works on Chromebooks.

Sway - Microsoft's version for making presentations
If you are a teacher in our AASD district, you will want to log into Sway using your Microsoft Outlook 365 account and click on the nine boxes in the corner.  Anyone can use Sway for free using an email account.  
Students and teachers can create attractive scrolling webpages by adding various types of "cards" such as a heading, text, video, image, etc. The presentation will play like a slideshow or a vertical or horizontal webpage. A few features I really like are the ability to add voiceovers right within Sway and also to add focal points to images and emphasis to text. Presentations made with Sway look modern and visually pleasing.

Here is a Sway (vertical scroll) on educational trends. 

I hope you are inspired to try one of these sites with your students. If you do, let me know how it goes. 

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