Featured Post

Writing Repeater with Loopy

What it is: Writing Repeater with Loopy is a virtual piece of paper that lets you write letters or words and plays them back with looping. How to integrate Writing Repeater with Loopy into the classroom: The Writing Repeater is ideally used with an interactive whiteboard. Teachers or students can...

Read More

Math Class Needs a Makeover: videos, inquiry, math stories and more

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Blogs, Create, Download, Evaluate, inspiration, Knowledge (remember), Math, professional development, Teacher Resources, TED Talk Tuesdays, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 18-06-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1

 

What it is:  I’ve had the great fortune of time to go through my Google Reader favorites this week as I prepare for the shutdown (still bitter about that!).  The unexpected benefit I’ve had from Google Reader’s demise? The forced opportunity to go back through and be reminded of some of the truly amazing people and resources in education.  Dan Meyer is one of my all time favorite math geniuses.  He reminds us that math is more than computation, it is a frame of mind and an outlook on the world.  If your math program isn’t that…it is time to change!  As I went back through the resources of Dan’s that I had tagged, I re-watched his TEDx Talk: Math Class Needs a Makeover.  If you haven’t seen this TED Talk, or haven’t watched it in a while…now is the time.  I’ve embedded the talk above for your viewing pleasure…you don’t even have to go anywhere!  If you have watched it recently, be a friend and share it with someone else.

Dan also has some other really useful mathspiration.  His blog, dy/dan, is a source of math prompts and discussions that will have you thinking beyond computation. 101Questions is a project that encourages students to think about math through photo prompts and inquiry.  Graphing Stories is STINKING fantastic, Dan offers a printout for your students, they can then watch any video and graph the story.  AWESOME describes this resource. Three Act Math is a curricula that Dan developed, click on the links within the doc to get to the resources.  Again…AWESOME. Geometry curricula offers you Dan’s handouts, pdfs, powerpoint and keynote presentations.  Algebra curricula offers the same.

THANK YOU Dan for sharing your passion for mathematics, your inspiration for those of us who aren’t as naturally inclined to geek out about math, and for your openness of resources.

How to integrate Dan Meyer’s awesomeness into the classroom:  Dan makes it really easy for you to integrate his methods into your classroom.  Everything you need from inspiration, to mathematical story sets, to curricula materials is available.  If you teach math, the obvious place to start is with the type of math that you teach.  Dan’s resources are mostly intended for high school students use.  However, as I looked through his resources again, I think they could be appropriate for students in elementary school as well.

101Questions is a great way to have your kids enter an inquiry mindset as they approach math.  These are photos that ask your students what the first thing that comes to mind is.  Students can type in their answer and get a new prompt.  These would be a great way to start your class using a projector or interactive whiteboard.  Have your class inquire and come up with questions together.  Students can also do this as an independent activity and then share their questions with other students.

Graphing Stories speaks for itself.  Again, it is geared toward secondary students, but I think that given enough support, primary students would really enjoy engaging math this way too.  (Sometimes we don’t give students enough credit for where an interest can take their thinking.  Case in point: Anastasis 2nd and 3rd graders who know Fibonacci inside and out. Normally you wouldn’t see the concept until high school or later.)

The Three Act Math is also a favorite of mine.  Use Dan’s three acts, or use his as inspiration for creating your own!

Dan’s resources hit on every level of Bloom’s Taxonomy…that alone is good reason to stop reading this and go on your own exploration!

Tips: Dan is great to follow on Twitter...a constant stream of 140 character mathspiration!

How are you using Dan Meyer’s Awesome in your classroom?  Leave a comment below!

Presefy: Go mobile with your presentations and give everyone a front row seat

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Classroom Management, collaboration, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 22-04-2013

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1

Screen Shot 2013-04-22 at 1.10.18 PM

What it is: Presefy is a new tool that lets you present with your mobile device wirelessly.  The best part: those attending the presentation can view your presentations from their own web browsers (on a mobile device or a computer), and follow along using your unique “channel.”  Upload pdf or ppt(x) files, at the moment those are the two supported file types.

How to integrate Presefy into the classroom: Presefy would obviously be wonderful to use when you are presenting at a conference or to a large group, but I also love the implications in the classroom and school setting.  Have you ever been sitting in a conference or a session where your vantage point stinks?  You go right ahead and check out because you can’t see what the speaker is referring to anyway.  Imagine having the ability to follow along on your own device.  Now you are more engaged than ever!  The same is true for students, having something on a projector for all to see is great, but if you have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or a one-to-one setting, Presefy is a great way to share.  Students can follow along on their own devices.  Added benefit: now there doesn’t have to be a front of your classroom.

At Anastasis, we don’t have clear fronts of the classroom.  This is intentional.  We want to be able to share and discuss in a variety of ways and locations.  Presefy lets us do just that by taking away the need for everyone to be facing one direction, with one presenter at the front.  Instead, the teacher can present and be a part of the discussion and conversation in a way that is more organic.  Students can follow along on their own devices.  Everyone has a front row seat.  Everyone can see clearly and be part of the presentation.  SO much better!

With Presefy you can broadcast and run your presentation right from your mobile device.  You even have access to see your notes and jump to any slide.  Additional features are coming soon including the ability to poll your audience, ask questions, make notes, etc.

Tips:  Right now, you are limited to having two presentations uploaded at a time.  If you invite a friend to join Presefy, you will get to upload additional presentations.

I’ve been nominated for a Bammy Award for Educational Blogger.  I’d appreciate your vote to help spread the word about iLearn Technology.  Vote here.  Thank you for your continued support!!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Presefy in your classroom.

Media 4 Math: Math in the News

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Math, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Video Tutorials, Websites | Posted on 10-12-2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is: Media 4 Math: Math in the News helps students view current events through the “prism of mathematics.”  Every week features a new story that makes headlines and the underlying mathematical story gets extracted.  The Math in the News site is a little bit confusing to navigate at first (it isn’t really clear where to find each issue of Math in the News).  Scroll down to see an archive of stories.  Each entry has a Slideshare version of the presentation, a YouTube version or the Math in the News app version.  These presentations are full lessons with embedded background knowledge articles and videos, data  sets, current event explanations and a walk through of how to solve.

In addition to Math in the News, Media 4 Math also has Math Tutorials, Promethean Flipcharts, Powerpoint slideshows, Math Labs, Print Resources, a Video Gallery, Math Solvers and more.  I really like the Math Solvers, students can choose a problem type, input their own data and see a breakdown of how to solve the problem.  The Math Labs include PDF worksheets and YouTube Videos that lead them through real-math problem sets.

How to integrate Media 4 Math: Math in the News into the classroom: Media 4 Math: Math in the News is a fantastic way to help your students make the connection between the upper-level math they are learning and life. I’m fairly certain that every math teacher in history has heard “what are we ever going to use this for?”  This site helps students not only see that math is everywhere, but also walks them through how to think mathematically.  There are plenty of resources that walk students through common mathematical functions.  This site is a great supplement to any math curriculum!

With new content weekly, your curriculum will be fresh and relevant!  Share Math in the News using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, as a math center on classroom computers, individually with laptops or iPads, etc.   Flip your math class and have students explore a Math Tutorial to prepare them for the next day of learning.  Then they can test a few scenarios in Math Solvers and come up with their own explanation of the concept.  In class, students can work with you to solidify and practice the learning.

Tips: Sign up for the free weekly newsletter to have Math in the News delivered right to your inbox.  Do you have a classroom iPad?  Math in the News now has an app!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Math in the News in your classroom.

Crocodoc

Posted by admin | Posted in collaboration, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, professional development, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0 | Posted on 08-03-2010

Tags: , , , , , ,

3

Picture 1

What it is: Crocodoc is a new online tool that is quickly becoming a go-to application in my technology  toolbox.  Crocodoc lets you easily share and review documents online including pdfs, Word documents, and PowerPoint slides.

It is as easy as 1-2-3

1. Upload the document from your computer or a URL (no registration required!).

2. Mark up the document using the built in highlighter, sticky notes, strike out, and text.

3. Share the unique URL of your Crocodoc with others.

This is an easy way to collaborate on projects, edit student work, and critique written works.  Since Crocodoc was released last week, I have used it to share numerous documents with my students, edit a technology grant, send a lesson plans to teachers with notes about how to use them, and added my suggestions to a PowerPoint presentation.  It is SO easy to use, and since it doesn’t require registration, it is perfect for the classroom.

How to integrate Crocodoc into the classroom: Crocodoc is sure to become a favorite in the classroom setting.  Students can submit their work to you using Crocodoc.  You can add notes, highlight, and edit the document and “send”  the revisions back to the students.  Share documents with your colleagues using Crocodoc, this is an easy way to collaborate on lesson plans, educational articles, and presentations.  Students can use Crocodoc to collaborate on group projects.  It is simple to go back and forth on a document adding notes, text suggestions, highlight, and strikeout. Many free e-books can be viewed as PDF files, upload the e-book to Crocodoc and share the URL with students.  Students can highlight and add virtual sticky notes to the text as they read.  If you teach using PowerPoint slides, upload the presenations to Crocodoc to share with students who were absent.  The absent student can review the presentation, add notes, and type questions that they may have about the learning.

Tips: Crocodoc is free to use, there is no registration or sign up required.  Each document is stored securely and given a unique URL that you choose to share.  Crocodoc also offers premium pro accounts for documents that need to be password protected, priority tech support, and searchable document histories.  The paid option has some nice features, but the free option should handle everything that students and teachers need it to.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Crocodoc in your classroom.

ActivInspire

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Geography, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, PE, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Software, Spelling, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 05-03-2009

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3

 

What it is:  ActivInspire is a new software from Promethean that is free!  The free edition is a ‘personal’ license that can be used by anyone.  The ActivInspire software works with ANY interactive whiteboard (SMART, Mimio, Wiimote Whiteboard, eBeam, etc.)  and even for those of you who do not have an interactive whiteboard, use the software with just a computer and projector!  The Promethean Planet website has thousands of lessons and resources that are free to access and can be used with ActivInspire to engage your students.  ActivInspire has two launch options, the first is to launch in Primary function.  In Primary, ActivInspire is very user friendly for primary elementary students.  The second option is to launch in Studio with tools that are perfect for older students.  ActivInspire works on Windows, Mac, and Linux based machines.  Some of the goodies in ActivInspire include interactive protractors, rulers, clocks, grids, and more.  New power tools include intelligent shapes and handwriting recognition.  There are themed templates for fast and easy lesson building.  ActivInspire supports flash files that can be embeded in Flipchart lessons.  ActivInspire can open SMART and PowerPoint files, making it quick and easy to pick up any lesson and improve it.

How to integrate ActivInspire into the classroom:  ActivInspire is software that can keep students engaged in any lesson in your curriculum.  The software is incredibly intuitive and makes it easy to create amazing interactive lessons.  The lessons (flipcharts) can be saved and shared among colleagues.  Begin building a library of interactive lessons for your students.  Be sure to visit Promethean Planet for thousands of ready made (FREE) flipcharts and activities to use with the ActivInspire software.  

 

Tips:  To see the possiblities of the ActivInspire software, take a look at Flipcharts created by the developers of ActivInspire.  Promethean also has a great set of support tutorials that will have you up and running in no time! 

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using ActivInspire  in your classroom.

ARKive

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Geography, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 25-02-2009

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

0

 

What it is:  ARKive is an incredible website that I learned about from a tweet on Twitter (forgive me I was in the middle of class and didn’t keep track of who- thank you whoever you are!)  ARKive tag line is “images of life on Earth”, but ARKive is so much more than just a collection of images, it has thousands of videos, images and facts about the world’s species.  This is the digital version of Noah’s Ark!  This is the most impressive animal and life website I have seen!  I truly can’t say enough about this site, students of all ages will enjoy this one (I’m talking k-12 here!)  ARKive has an education section of the site that is a free multi-media educational resources complete with downloadable, ready to use audio/visual modules on a wide range of science, geography, citizenship, and environmental based topics.  ARKive also has some great games for students to play that are directly related to the lessons they learn while on the ARKive site.  Games range from building a habitat to word searches and digital fridge poetry.

How to integrate ARKive into the classroom:    ARKive’s ready made educational resources make it simple to integrate into your science, geography, or general classes.  The resources are ready made PowerPoint presentations (which incidentally also open nicely in Keynote which we use).  The resources bring learning to life with images, videos, facts, and some interactive pieces.  This is what textbooks should be!  ARKive’s ready made resources can be downloaded on classroom computers for use by small learning groups as a center, downloaded to a lab of computers for individual student exploration, or used with a projector and an interactive whiteboard for whole class learning and exploration.  The ARKive site itself is a wonderful place for students to explore and learn more about animal species and life on Earth.  This would be a great place for students to collect information, images, and video to create their own presentations.  The games provided on the ARKive site are fun for students and teach them as they play.  For example, students who are studying habitat can play the Design a Habitat game and gain an additional opportunity to interact with the concepts they are learning.  Older students can dig into the facts provided on ARKive and learn about animal classification and species of the world.  ARKive images could be used in the language arts classroom as a story starter or creative writing prompt.  

 

Tips:  This is truly an incredible site, I encourage you to take a look at it and use it with your class!  (Click on the education link at the bottom of the site for the Resources and Games.) 

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using ARKive  in your classroom.

Prezi

Posted by admin | Posted in Foreign Language, Geography, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 12-01-2009

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1

 

What it is:  Prezi is a unique online presentation builder that seems to be popping up a lot lately all over the web.  It is getting so much attention because of its new approach to online slide shows.  Prezi has some unique features like zooming presentations that grab and hold viewers attention.  Prezi lets you create a sort of walking path through your presentation.  The finished product is engaging and impressive looking.  The tools in Prezi are different from other online presentation builders but are easy to use and figure out.  The tutorial will have you and your students creating in minutes.  

 

How to integrate Prezi into the classroom:   Because of Prezi’s unique zooming feature, it would be a good tool for students to use for vocabulary.  Students can type in the word to be defined and then zoom in on the definition.  Building vocabulary presentations would be good for review and study.  Prezi would also be a neat way to explore and display information from history (display a date, place, or person in history and then zoom into facts and details that are related), timeline information (create paths from different dates in Prezi), literature (create a sort of interactive character map of any literary character), science projects (use Prezi’s path to lead through the scientific method), foreign language (type a word in another language and zoom to translate), geography (zoom into details around a map), math, and much more. 

 

Tips: Be sure to check out the tutorial on Prezi, it will have you up and creating in no time!  Check out the inspiration to see the amazing things that others have used Prezi to create.

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Prezi in your classroom.

Custom Guide

Posted by admin | Posted in Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 08-01-2009

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2

 

What it is:  Custom Guide is a website that offers free quick reference cheat sheets for using technology (operating systems and applications).  The guides are two sided and remind me of Cliff Notes.  Custom Guide allows you unlimited distribution rights and they make great support handouts. References include: Microsoft Access, Excel, FrontPage, Internet Explorer, InfoPath, Office, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, SharePoint, Visio, Windows, Appleworks, Mac OS, Entourage, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Photoshop, Elements, and Firefox.   My one problem with Custom Guide is that it is REALLY outdated for Mac guides.  I suppose that for some schools this would be okay since it can take a while to adopt newer technology and some of us are working with dinosaur computers and software, but for me it is no good.  Custom Guide also offers free online learning with interactive tutorials and you can even create your own custom courses.

 

How to integrate Custom Guide into the classroom:  Custom Guide would be very useful for the computer lab setting.  Print out and laminate the most used applications and operating system sheets.  Bind with a single ring and keep next to each computer.  As students have questions or issues, they can consult their cheat sheets for the answers first.  This is also nice for non-computer teachers who are using the computer labs or classroom computers with students.  The cheat sheets give them an added level knowledge quickly and easily.  If you are a computer teacher or a teacher who is known for using technology in your classroom, you undoubtedly get frequent questions about how to use applications from your colleagues.  I don’t always have time to sit down and give mini lessons, having these cheat sheets on hand could be a big help for those times.  

 

Tips: Even though the Mac Custom Guides are a bit outdated, the guides they do have are very handy.  When you sign up for a free account, you can ask for updates to be sent to you when they add a new guide.  In the mean time, Apple has some great support guides for their products.

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Custom Guide in your classroom.

VoiceThread

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Character Education, Geography, History, Interactive book, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-11-2007

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

0

What it is: VoiceThread brings Web 2.0 communication to presentations. Slide show presentations are no longer static, VoiceThread makes them interactive collaborative learning experiences. Features include: the ability to create voice comments, voice recording within a browser allows for recording of multiple voices, doodling which captures drawing as an animation synced to voice or text commentary…listeners can watch the process, voice threads can be embedded in other sites, one account can have many identities so a classroom can switch identities on the fly without having to sign out, media importing so slide show presentations and pictures become collaborative conversations, comment moderation abilities, and the ability to zoom in and pan images.

How to integrate VoiceThread into the classroom: VoiceThread has hundreds of uses, the following are a few that I came up with. Use VoiceThread to create a time line of the students day. Students can record themselves describing different events of the day. Parents and out of town family can see what happens on a typical day in your classroom. Debates can be hosted and conducted using Voice Thread. VoiceThread can make history interactive, for example, host an art history artist critique and discussion. Create a book group using VoiceThread where students interact and discuss their reading together. Students can read their stories and record as a VoiceThread (this also makes a special keepsake!). Teachers can use VoiceThread for math problem demonstrations, step by step science “experiments”, staff training, or to teach a second language. Computer teachers, what about creating Voice Threads to teach your students when you can’t be there? This would make life easy for a substitute and ensure that your students are on track when you return.

Tips: Go to the “help” section of VoiceThread for some great interactive tutorials.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using VoiceThread in your
classroom.

Prezent It

Posted by admin | Posted in History, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Software, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 06-11-2007

Tags: , , , , , , ,

0

What it is: Prezent It is a free online resource for creating and sharing presentations online PowerPoint style. No special software is needed, Prezent It is an online application that allows teachers or students to create and present from a web browser. Presentations can be public or private and each has its own web address. Presentations can be downloaded and shown without any internet connection. There is no file size limit with Prezent It so create away!

How to integrate Prezent It into the classroom: Prezent It can be used in place of PowerPoint type applications. Because it is web-based, students could start a project at school and finish it at home without the necessity for expensive programs and saving to flash drives. Students can use Prezent It for any school presentation. I like starting out the year with a getting to know you presentation. Each of my students creates a presentation all about their favorite things (in fact we call it “A Few of My Favorite Things”). We have a special presentation day where we watch everyone’s Prezent It. Students can choose to narrate during the presentation or just sit and watch (this will save your shy students). You won’t believe how this project will bond your class, students will find out they have many similar interests and learn things about their fellow students they may not otherwise have known. This program is very intuative and easy for students to learn. Prezent It is a great tool for teachers as well…bring your lessons to life with Prezent It and a projector!

Tips: Prezent It requires a valid email address to activate your account. If you teach students who do not have an email address, you could use a teacher email for activation purposes.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Prezent It in your
classroom.