An edublog about integrating technology into the classroom.
Friday Recap: TGIF (especially a 3 day weekend TGIF!!)
You know it has been one of those weeks when I only manage ONE post here all week long. I think that is an all time low since I started iLearn Technology in 2007. Just wow.
Between starting a school and working out details for the Learning Genome it has been a busy week where I feel like...
** This is not a sponsored post, I’m just super excited about this product and can’t wait to see what our students do with it!
What it is: Why yes, this is a technology blog. But no, this manipulative is not a technology product. I’m writing about SumBlox here anyway because technology led to the happy discovery of SumBlox and is a great reminder of why it is important to be a connected educator! I learned about SumBlox just a few weeks ago on Twitter as a share from ISTE from @michellek107 and @sumblox. This also isn’t a free tool (like I normally share), but I’m already so impressed by the brilliance of this tool, that I’m sharing it anyway!
SumBlox are a wooden block set of numbers 1-10. What makes those blocks and numbers super amazing: each block size corresponds to the number that it represents. (1 being the smallest and 10 the biggest). Even more super amazing, when the blocks are stacked, they represent the equivalent number. For example, when the 2 and 3 blocks are stacked, they are the same height as a 5 block! GENIUS!! These blocks are a visual and kinesthetic representation of our base-ten number system.
I purchased the Educational Set for our classrooms which comes with 100 solid hardwood blocks including: Thirty 1 blocks; twelve 2 blocks; eight each of the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 blocks; two 10 blocks and four teaching manuals. The purchase was right around the $300 mark with free shipping and a 10% discount with the code “sumfun.”
How to use SumBlox in the classroom: These blocks allow students to visually represent and discover math relationships. Students can stack blocks to explore and visualize addition equations, if the stacks are the same height, they also have equivalent values. Students can stack multiples of a number to represent abstract math concepts like multiplication grouping or addens of ten. Students can also explore the concept of fractions and of the mathematics behind adding fractions with different denominators by stacking and scaling fractions. SumBlox also are a fantastic introduction to algebra concepts.
The educational set comes with 4 guides that lead you (the teacher) through exercises and lessons to do with your students. While these are extremely well done, because we are inquiry based, my excitement comes in seeing how students will explore these independently first. I’m excited to see students discover the number/size relationships and number patterns.
At Anastasis, we have a 1:1 iPad program. I anticipate that students will use these blocks for stop-motion animation projects as they explore (iMotion HD is the app they use), capture their discoveries of number relationships in their eportfolio (we use Evernote), and even in Explain Everything videos.
Tips: If you are an administrator purchasing these for your school, go ahead and purchase a few of the educator kits. I only purchased one and am already going back to order one for each classroom. These are going to be popular!
What it is:123D Design is a free super powerful, but simple to use, 3D creation and editing tool. As if that wasn’t great enough, it also supports many new 3D printers! The 3D creation tool is available for PC, Mac, and iPad download ensuring that no matter what devices you have at your disposal, you can take advantage of this awesome tool. The 123D app is incredibly intuitive, within just a few minutes, you can be creating like a pro (really!). Not feeling like a pro? There is also a quick start guide and a library of video tutorials that will explain how the different tools within the app work. The app has lots of 3D designs to start with that can be altered, but it also gives students complete creative license to create all on their own. So cool!
How to integrate 123D Design into your classroom:123D Design is a fantastic tool that brings the principles of geometry to life while giving students an outlet for creative design and invention. The app is easy enough to use that even young primary students can use it successfully to create.
I introduced this app to some of our students who have been learning the basics about coordinate planes. They quickly were able to identify the coordinate planes and were able to understand x, y, and z! This is the type of creation tool that helps students understand the application possibilities of the math they are learning (math in context, what a novel idea!)
At Anastasis, we’ve been playing with the iPad version of 123D Design. In the app version, students begin by choosing a basic shape and then can edit it to be exactly what they want it to be. They can easily connect shapes to make really detailed creations. Example projects help them to play with the tools in the app until they understand and can start from scratch on their own. When students are finished, they save it to “My Projects” which is accessible in the 123D Design web and desktop app. If you are lucky enough to have access to a 3D printer, the kids can even print out their creations!
This is a great addition to any maker space/prototype lab/design thinking routine. Don’t have any of that fanciness at your school? No problem! Adding this app to your classroom gives students an outlet to do some design thinking and work through ideas and inventions right in your classroom. Instant prototype lab!
Our students often engage in design thinking as they engage inquiry. Right now one of our 4th grade students is inquiring into how much water is wasted in our daily activities. One area of waste is when we brush our teeth. This student is designing and creating a toothbrush with the water built-in so that the faucet doesn’t have to be turned on to wet the toothbrush. She’s been experimenting to find out how much waste there is in this activity in our prototype lab. Next, she’ll begin to bring her designs to life with 123D Design and we’re hopeful that she’ll be able to print out a prototype on our Printrbot (still experimenting with how to do that!).
Tips: Sign up to become a member of Autodesk 123D. This gives you access to 3D models, tutorials, 10 free premium models each month, ability to send the 3D model directly to your own 3D printer (or if you don’t have one, to a printing service), unlimited cloud storage of your student designs, and access to the Autodesk forums.
In November, I wrote a post about the book/PBS documentary series “How We Got to Now” by Steven Johnson. If you haven’t read this book or watched the series, it is a must! Truly, this is one of those books that has stayed with me. I’m not the only one. Students from 1st-8th grade at Anastasis have become fascinated with Steven Johnson’s journey through the six innovations that made the modern world. The way that Steven weaves the story is remarkable. It reminds us just how interconnected the world is and that innovation doesn’t happen in isolation, but as a result of connection. This book, perhaps more than any we’ve read as a school, has reminded us of the beauty of inquiry. What happens when hunches collide and people pursue those hunches.
I love the way that Johnson explores innovation through these 6 lenses. Instead of offering up the typical “heroes” of invention, Johnson introduces students to concepts that span hundreds of years of invention and many of the unsung heroes. The six innovations include: glass, time, clean, light, sound, and cold. I’m telling you, the way that Johnson helps kids see connections in innovation and invention is brilliant! So much the way that inquiry works.
In my first post, I wrote about how our students had imagined these innovations as a series of dominoes. Each new discovery leads to the next. Much like dominoes creating a chain reaction. The students have spent the last months exploring each of the 6 innovations in-depth. In addition to the PBS series, they’ve spent time really digging into each innovation that led to the next.
@dweissmo really took on this project with her students. The process wasn’t without it’s frustrations (for teacher and students) but the end result was absolutely incredible! Honestly, I couldn’t have imagined a better outcome than what I saw today when Deb’s class unveiled their mini museum. Before I get to that, let me lead you through the process of how this project came together.
First, Deb’s class watched each of the How We Got to Now @PBS documentary series. The students took notes (in Evernote, through sketchnotes, etc.) about each innovation. The class would also debrief after each video and talk about what surprised them, encouraged them about the invention process, the key players, and the timeline. @dweissmo is a master at leading these conversations. Her enthusiasm is infectious and the students caught her passion. Steven Johnson also has a way of presenting the unfolding of each innovation in a way that hooks your interests and keeps you marveling and making connections long after the video is over. After watching the documentary series, Deb put each of the six innovations up on her wall and asked students to write their names on a sticky note and choose which innovation that they were most excited to learn more about.
Students chose which innovation they wanted to do a more in-depth study of and would, ultimately, create dominoes based on.
For the dominoes, we snagged a bunch of the flat-rate shipping boxes from USPS. The students painted them different colors according to the innovation they were studying (a different color for each innovation). Next they took all of their notes and research and started creating their “dominoes” with information about that innovation. They quickly realized that there was SO much to say about each innovation, that it didn’t fit on their domino. The kids decided to create websites where they could add a little more in-depth information about the innovation. To make it easier for the museum audience, they connected the websites and webpages they built to QR codes for each domino. You guys, these are 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students!!! I’m so proud of them I could burst. They built their websites using Wix (a wonderful and amazing WYSIWYG editor). The QR codes were built using Google’s URL shortener which also happens to include a QR code. On the back of each domino, the kids affixed their QR codes. Some of the kids also created videos that were included on their website. (If you are interested in seeing these websites, all are linked here.) All of this was done over the course of a few months as the kids continued on their inquiry journey of How We Express Ourselves, and How the World Works.
Then came the full moon. Any teacher will tell you that the full moon does something to children. Perfectly wonderful, reasonable children are suddenly unrecognizable and cannot make a decision or work together to save their lives. This is a real thing! This full moon coincided with class decisions about how to set up their museum. And much chaos ensued. Despite the full moon, the kids were able to come to a decision about how they would set up their museum for the rest of Team Anastasis and families to enjoy. For all of the trouble they had coming to a decision, they did a remarkable job in the end! They created a sort of maze/labyrinth to walk through with dominoes along the journey. They decided to organize the dominoes not by innovation, but instead as a timeline so that you could see the interconnectedness of innovation. They had a station set up with clips from the How We Got to Now PBS series, a station where kids/parents could download a QR code scanner and learn how to use it before going through the museum, the actual domino mini-museum, and a place to reflect on the museum afterward. It was incredible!!
What was truly inspiring was watching the other classes (and parents) journey through the museum. Kids of all ages were SO engaged and impressed with what Team Weissman had put on. They spent time sitting at each domino and learning more about the innovations. They asked questions. They told Team Weissman what a neat website they had built. They connected with each other and learned together. Seriously, I couldn’t have dreamed up a better scenario. As the 1st-3rd grade class was leaving, they stopped and asked some of Team Weissman, “could you show us how to do QR codes and websites for our Body Tracings?” This is what learning looks like!
After all their hard work, the kids sat down and reflected on what could have gone better. What they would like to do differently for their next museum. They congratulated each other for a job well done. They talked about how hard the project felt at times and how very proud of themselves they were when they persevered through the hard parts. They made plans for the next opportunity to share it.
And now for our next trick, Team Weissman is creating their own inventions…How We Get to Next! These are so brilliant, I can’t wait to share them!
If you are joining us for the 5sigma Education Conference (and I hope you are!!), you will get a first hand look at the How We Got to Now mini domino museum and hear from the students who created it.
What it is:Post-it Notes are among my very favorite office supplies. I use them for brainstorming, my calendar, to jot down reminders, and to collect the brilliant ideas that happen in the middle of the night. At Anastasis, we use Post It Notes constantly to help organize brainstorm sessions and lines of inquiry during an inquiry block. As you might imagine, we use TONS of Post-it Notes during any given week! They are hard not to love, brightly colored squares just waiting to collect brilliance and post it for the world to see. Recently, I stumbled on an app, Post-it Plus, that takes my love of sticky notes to a whole new level! Post-it Plus is an app that lets you snap pictures of a Post-it note brainstorm session, and then arrange, refine, and organize the notes on a virtual board. The newly organized digital board can then be shared out. Students can capture 50 Post-it notes at a time and collect and combine ideas from multiple categories. Notes can be organized on a grid, or free form any way that you would like. Boards can be shared via email, PowerPoint, Excel, Dropbox, by PDF, etc. After the work has been shared, anyone can help contribute and arrange the notes to create a great idea! The app is free and optimized for iOS 8.
How to integrate Post-it Plus in your classroom: Post-it Plus is a great way for students to capture their brainstorms and group work so that they can take it with them.
Collaboratively brainstorm with your class or explore some different lines of inquiry and record each new thought on a sticky note. Students can then take a picture of the group on their iOS devices and arrange and group in a way that best makes sense to them. Now all of your students can manipulate the sticky notes individually and bring their learning with them.
As students are writing (either creative or informational), they can write each new idea or paragraph on a different sticky note. Then they can arrange their notes and take a picture. As they create different arrangements, they can use the digital version to compare with the original to make decisions about the flow of their writing.
Teach young students? Write down the different parts of a story (beginning, middle, supporting details, end) on several sticky notes. Students can snap a picture of the notes and practice sequencing the story. Each student has the digital version, so each can practice ordering and you can quickly assess their understanding.
Post-it Plus could also be used for phonics work. Write phonemes on individual sticky notes and ask students to take pictures of each phoneme with the app. Then call out words that students can create with their phonemes in the app.
Post-it Plus is also fantastic for students learning math processes (order of operations anyone?) and algebraic thinking. Write each part of an equation down and students can manipulate the digital sticky notes to show process.
Students can also use Post-it Plus to categorize and organize ideas and events in history, science, government, etc. How We Got to Now anyone?
Tips: I can’t tell you how many conferences I’ve been to that we used Sticky notes to brainstorm ideas. Post-it Plus makes it easy to take that thinking and learning with you in a very practical form that you can interact with later! Speaking of conferences, the 5 Sigma Edu Conference is a great one to test out this app!
At Anastasis Academy, we are in the middle of the inquiry block “Where We Are in Place and Time.” During this block our students are exploring orientation in place and time, personal histories, explorations and migrations of humankind, and the relationships between the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations from local and global perspectives. Serendipitously, Steven Johnson’s new book “How We Got to Now” just came out along with a PBS documentary. The timing could not have been better!! Steven looks at 6 innovations that made the modern world. In his telling about these 6 innovations, he demonstrates the inquiry approach in really brilliant ways. The interdisciplinary nature of this series is fantastic! I’ve been reading “How We Got to Now” (I highly recommend it!) and the students have been watching the new PBS documentary series by the same name as part of the inquiry unit. In addition to the book and documentary series, PBS has a brilliant How We Got to Now website for the classroom!
What it is:How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson is a website from PBS. The resources on the site are meant to support the documentary series (or book) and recommended for 6th-12th grade. At Anastasis, we are using it with students as young as 3rd grade and they are all getting something out of it and loving the connections of history and these innovations.
How to use How We Got to Now in the classroom: I love the way that Johnson explores innovation through these 6 lenses. Instead of offering up the typical “heroes” of invention, Johnson introduces students to concepts that span hundreds of years of invention and many of the unsung heroes. The six innovations include: glass, time, clean, light, sound, and cold. I’m telling you, the way that Johnson helps kids see connections in innovation and invention is brilliant! So much the way that inquiry works.
The How We Got to Now site has a great “Big Ideas” section that leads students to dig deeper into the six innovations and has provocations for students to continue making connections, learning, asking questions, and even coming up with their own innovations.
Students can explore and discuss how change happens and think about how we get to “next.”
As I mentioned, our students at Anastasis are really loving this block. They are enjoying exploring Where We Are in Place and Time with the help of Steven Johnson and through the lens of these six innovations. It has led to a lot of additional lines of inquiry and has also prompted our students to create their own innovations and inventions for the “next.”
As I was reading “How We Got to Now,” I couldn’t help but imagine a set of dominoes. Each innovation connects to something prior that sets off a chain reaction like the domino effect. I suggested to our classes that the students choose one of the six innovations to illustrate this way. The students will create a mini museum for our families to go through that is full of large cardboard dominoes with the inventions and catalysts of the chain reaction. The last domino will be their invention. I’m excited to see this come together!
I haven’t been a regular watcher of America’s Got Talent, but one of our families recently forwarded on this video of their friend Abigail Baird who is on the current season. Abigail is incredible. Her talent is Aerial Animation, digital story telling mixed with aerial dancing and acrobatics. You have got to see it!
As I said, she is incredible! This clip reminds me of a chapter in Sir Ken Robinson’s The Element. In it, he talks about the way that body movement and manipulation (the kinesthetic and rhythmic/musical multiple intelligences) are often overlooked in schools. What a shame! I love the creativity that Abigail uses to marry her talent and multiple intelligence gifting with story telling. This goes beyond just entertainment, it is a new method of communicating story. This is a fantastic video to share with your students. It is inspirational to see someone use their talent so creatively. We often think of storytelling very linearly and through paper/pencil and occasionally digital media, this is a great example of how to think outside of the box, create something new and think about all of the ways we can communicate.
If you are in an inquiry based school using the PYP, this would be the perfect video to share during the inquiry unit on How We Express Ourselves!
America’s Got Talent is on TONIGHT, you can vote for Abigail! I hope that you will vote for this incredible talent and creativity! Find Abigail on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What it is: EDpuzzle is a neat new educational site to help you better utilize video in your classroom for learning. You can find and crop video to use only what you need, add audio notes within the video or do some voice over work for a video, and you can embed questions throughout the video to track student understanding. EDpuzzle collects data as students watch and interact with the video. You can see if and when a student watched the video, and see the progress of all students through the answers to embedded questions.
How to use EDpuzzle in your classroom: What makes EDpuzzle great is the level of freedom given in cropping, sharing, and tracking video use in the classroom. EDpuzzle enhances the “flipped” classroom by allowing you to embed formative assessment directly into your videos. As students watch, you can check understanding and ensure active watching vs. passive watching. In a flipped scenario, this gives you the ability to completely tailor a lesson the next day based on the formative assessment results you get from homework. This is truly utilizing assessment to inform instruction (which is the point of assessment!).
EDpuzzle can be used in conjunction with videos that you have made for your students, or with videos that you find. I like using video to introduce students to a brand new topic or idea. Well-created video has the ability to quickly and succinctly help students dive into new learning and formulate new questions and lines of inquiry. For example, when Anastasis Jr. High started our last inquiry block about “How the World Works” and explored the topic of food and farming, they started by watching the documentary Food, Inc. This was a great way to launch their thinking and lines of questioning about where our food comes from. Out of that video, students chose different lines of inquiry to explore and research. EDpuzzle would be a good way for students to help others see where their line of inquiry started from. Students could grab the clip of the documentary that intrigued them, and embed audio to show their thought process as they watched. Sort of a Saved-by-the-Bell Zack Morris “Time out” moment where they can describe their line of thinking.
For primary teachers, EDpuzzle could be used as part of a guided reading center. YouTube has lots of great read-along videos. (You can also create your own based on class reading!) Use these videos along with EDpuzzle to check for comprehension. As the video plays, embed questions to check for understanding. Students can independently go through the guided reading (or Close reading) activity, while you work one-on-one with other reading groups. Rotate the reading groups throughout the week so that each student gets the opportunity to go through the EDpuzzle guided reading activity, and each group gets one-on-one time with you. This is a fantastic way to maximize your time and get valuable feedback from all student learning. EDpuzzle could also be used in this way as a science center (with a video pertaining to an experiment or new learning), a math center, etc. I love using center rotations because it ensures that I have time to work closely with each group.
For secondary students, use EDpuzzle is a great way to check for understanding. It is also a wonderful way for students to create and demonstrate understanding. EDpuzzle would be ideal for sub days. I always dreaded being away from the classroom because it was essentially a lost day. Even if the substitute did EXACTLY what I asked, I missed the opportunity to see my students work and think. EDpuzzle would give you the ability to “teach” remotely and embed the same questions and promptings you would give if you were live in the classroom. While you won’t get to hear all of the discussion, you will have some feedback to better understand how your students were thinking.
With documentary-type videos, EDpuzzle can be used to embed writing prompts. Record a prompt throughout the video so that students can pause and write out their reflections and thoughts. I find that good documentaries are often SO packed full of good things that by the end of the video, only the last 10 minutes get well-reflected on. The documentary Baraka would be an incredible video to do this with!
Have you seen Vi Hart’s YouTube channel? I am obsessed! I love the way that she goes through math in a casual stream-of-conscious type approach. Embed related practice math problems based on the topics that Vi is sharing in her videos. As students get those light-bulb moments of, “oh, that is how that works!” capitalize on the new understanding by giving them a place to put it into practice and try it out.
Do you record your students learning? EDpuzzle could be a fantastic way to record audio feedback to the videos that they upload. These can then be shared with parents and students for review.
Tips: Don’t have access to YouTube at school? No worries! You can still use EDpuzzle with your students. EDpuzzle lets you search for video by topic, or pull video from Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, National Geographic, TED, Veritasium, and Numberphile as well. LOTS of incredible learning just waiting to happen!
I love this time of year, it comes with such wonderful anticipation of things to come. A time to be mindful.
You can build some of that anticipation into your classroom with a digital advent calendar that reveals something each day in preparation for the holiday season. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, “coming.” In Christian traditions, this refers to God’s coming into our midst. Anastasis is a faith-based school, so the advent calendar I created for our students and families is to be in celebration of this coming. Your classroom advent calendar doesn’t have to be faith-based.
Your advent calendar could be in anticipation of the coming new year, the coming break from school, or just a fun way to surprise your students with something they get to reveal each day. It would even be fun to reveal some sort of “Mission Impossible” task each day for your students. Be creative! This could be related to something they are learning/working on in your classroom, a kindness challenge, a video of the day, a writing prompt for the day, brain teaser, a book/poem/website for the day, a peek into your classroom for families, inquiry question of the day, song/podcast, 25 days of science experiments, etc. Even as adults we enjoy moments of anticipation, why not capitalize on that in your classroom?
I used Weebly to create our digital advent calendar. You can follow our calendar here. Weebly is an easy to use, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) website builder. It makes it simple to quickly put together a site that you can easily edit in preparation for the next day of revealed surprise. Weebly also lets you include a nice variety of content so that it is flexible enough to meet your needs. I started December first with some text and an image. My plan is to take a video each day of our students sharing a verse, quote, thought, blessing, song, etc. and embed the video using the YouTube option. The only thing for me to do each day will be to take the video and upload it to our Anastasis YouTube channel and then copy the url into the Weebly image for the day. SO easy to keep up with each day!
Choose a template to start with for your calendar. Any of the templates will work, choose the look you like best!
Start by dragging some text onto your page. This is a great place for a few sentences about your calendar and what students/families can expect to find each day.
Under the “Structure” section, select and drag over the “Columns” onto your page. I chose 5 columns. Repeat so that you have multiple rows of 5 columns. I have a total of 5 for 5 rows and 5 columns.
Into each row and column, drag over the “Image” option so that you have 25 image place holders.
I used Apple’s Pages software to create my daily images with the dates listed on them. I used some digital paper, layered a solid box of color, and two text boxes. I took a screenshot of each date (I just created one image and then changed the text for each screenshot).
Back in Weebly, click on the image placeholder to upload the images created (alternately, you can just use the search option to find images to use). Repeat for each image.
Create a new page (under the Pages tab a the top of the Weebly screen). Be sure to check the box so that the page is hidden from navigation. This is going to be your “come back on the appropriate day” page. Click “Save and Edit.”
On your new page, add some text and an image. Type a greeting message from those who are trying to sneak a peek early.
Navigate back to your home page. Click on each image, an edit box for the image will come up. Select “Link” and choose “Standard Page” and then the page you just created. Save.
Create other pages for your site if you would like to, I created an “About” page for those who are curious about Anastasis. It might be fun to include a “contact” page where students can submit ideas for the calendar (maybe original writing or other work?)
Publish your site.
Each day go back and click on the image for the appropriate day. From the edit box, go back to “Link” and change where the image links to. It can link to another page that you create on the Weebly site, a website or video, a file, or an email address (what if your students got a new email address each day to email an encouraging note to?). Alternatively, you can delete the image for that day all together and embed a video, html, flash, etc.
Don’t forget to re-publish after you’ve added/edited the site!
There is something truly wonderful about revealing a surprise each day. Don’t leave the families of your students out, it would be great to give families a glimpse of your classroom so that they can see what there kids are up to each day. This can be photos, original student writing, video, or fun activities to be completed as a family in lieu of homework.
Students can also be in charge of creating their own advent calendar. The possibilities for this are endless!
What great ideas do you have for using an advent calendar in your classroom? Share them below!
What it is:Our Little Earth is a great international online newspaper for kids. It is delivered every two weeks directly to email and best of all, it is free! Past editions of Our Little Earth can be found on the site for students to read and explore. Each issue helps students stay informed about what current events are happening in the world around them. Every edition has a map showing students where the news came from for the issue. The articles are easy for students to read and do a great job of offering enough background information so that students can make connections to the text and better understand it.
How to integrate Our Little Earth into your classroom: I really like Our Little Earth kids news, it is simple in its delivery, but packs a substantial punch of great information. This is a fantastic source for students to read just-in-time, non-fiction text, at a level that is accessible to them. Subscribe to Our Little Earth and read through a story-a-day for the weeks following. Make sure to model for kids how to explore the themes, politics, geography and history that is related in each article. This is also a great starting point for kids to fact check, make connections, and confirm the reliability of a source. The news is current, so there is always something fresh!
I love using current news with students, it keeps the classroom relevant and touches enough transdisciplinary themes that students can make connections to other reading and learning they are doing. Combine Our Little Earth with @angelamaiersWhat Breaks Your Heart project. As students are more informed, they will be able to better articulate things about the world they would like to be a part of changing.
Use Google Earth to help students learn geography at the same time. Create a pin on the map for each story read. Ask students to come up with a title for each story (or use the title provided) to help them remember what they read about that location. Add to the same Google Earth map all year-long so that students can begin to see common themes by geography.
Tips: Use the search feature to help students dig even deeper into events and themes. What happened a year ago at this time?
What do you think of Our Little Earth? How do you plan to use it in your classroom?
What it is:Eliademy has a wonderful mission of democratizing education with technology. The tool makes it easy for anyone to create an online classroom, for free! Eliademy makes it easy for educators to create, share and manage courses. Eliademy is a free learning management system and course content created by you. Educators can engage students through discussion boards, videos, images, news feeds, visual notifications and calendar with a fast and easy to use interface. Eliademy is available everywhere: Mac, PC, tablet, smart phone. Very handy! Even better, you can create a course from your tablet (not available in a lot of LMS/online classroom options).
How to integrate Eliademy into your classroom: Eliademy isn’t just for offering distance-learning. It is a great way to connect your students in new and awesome ways in a blended-learning environment. Keep all of your digital classroom resources in one, easy-to access place. Make sure that your students can always be connected to what is happening in class with a shared calendar. Extend classroom discussions with discussion boards, video, and news feeds.
I’ve long been a fan of blending online experiences with offline. Students begin to see that learning can happen anywhere, not just in your classroom. They also connect in different ways online. I’ve found that kids are willing to have deeper, more vulnerable conversations in an online environment. This is especially true when the relationships are established first in the classroom.
Host your “flipped” materials using Eliademy. Not only can students access video, they can extend the experience with access to additional classroom materials, the ability to discuss and share resources online, etc.
Challenge students to create their own course to share. What are they passionate about? What can they offer to teach others?
Tips: Eliademy makes the promise that it will always be secure, without advertisements, and free. Outstanding.
What do you think of Eliademy? How do you plan to use it in your classroom?