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Reform Symposium: George Curous

The Reform Symposium is in full swing, George Curous is our first session!  His presentation is titled: Identity Day-Revealing the Passions of Our Students. I hope that you were able to join us, here are the notes I took during the session: Identity day- near the end of the year School philosophy-...

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Adobe Spark: Easily create and share videos, images, and newsletters

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Create, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Maker Space, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, video, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 02-01-2017

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Adobe Spark: Create videos, images, and newsletters in a snap!

 

Adobe Spark: Easily create videos, images, and newsletters in a snap!

What it is: Adobe Spark is a collection of fantastic (free!) creative tools available online or as an app download.

  • Create social graphics that are stunning and easy to share (you know the kind: flyers, memes, posters, ads). The example above took under 2min to create and share! ūüôā
  • Make beautiful web stories for event recaps, newsletters, photo journals, portfolios, etc.
  • Produce and share impressive videos for storytelling, projects, or to share to social media.

If you (or your students) are feeling a lack of creativity, there is even a bank of inspiration that will get you started! This is particularly helpful for your students who struggle with a place to start but are brilliant with a little nudge. Whether you begin with inspiration or not, you’ll be feeling an extra burst of creativity in no time.

How to integrate Adobe Spark in the classroom: The collection of tools in Adobe Spark are perfect for students and teachers alike. Students can use these tools to create book reviews, to document science experiments, for storytelling, to explain their inquiry process, as an eportfolio, to illustrate math concepts, and so much more! These tools will help your students take their learning and present it in a way that is both visually powerful, and easy to share.

Teachers, you can use Adobe Spark to create a weekly newsletter (SO easy to share home with parents!), create photo journals of class events or field trips, to create writing and thinking prompts to share with students, quotes, presentations, and announcements. The photo journal would be a great way to give families a glimpse into your classroom, if you’re like me, your phone is FULL of pictures at the end of each week! If you have a class social media channel on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube- Adobe Spark is about to take it to the next level of awesomeness!

I love the way that Adobe Spark has made digital storytelling that much easier to create and share. This is a site that you’ll want to bookmark for easy access, and put on all of your students devices if you have a one-to-one environment.

Tips: If you have laptops, the web version of Adobe Spark is best, otherwise download the app!

Book Writer: create books on the iPad

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Create, Foreign Language, Geography, Government, History, Inquiry, Interactive book, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Spelling, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain) | Posted on 21-10-2013

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Book Writer app- iLearn TechnologyBook Writer

 

 

 

What it is:  Book Writer is a great app for the iPad (and iPhone or iPod Touch).  This app makes it a snap for kids to create books that can be read directly in iBooks.  With Book Writer, students can create their own ebooks with photos, video, audio and links.  Images and video can be annotated over in the book.  Finished books can be shared using iTunes and E-mail.  One of the best features of Book Writer is the huge number of applications that books can be shared through including: iBooks, Nook, Instashare, Bump, Evernote, Dropbox, and Send Anywhere.  This makes Book Writer wonderfully flexible no matter what apps your school uses regularly.

Book Writer- iLearn Technology

How to integrate Book Writer into the classroom: Book Writer is a great app for students to “publish” their writing in. ¬†Students can compile research, notes, images and videos to create their own textbooks. ¬†Why passively read through a text when students can be a part of creating their own? ¬†This makes the learning so much more valuable and gives students the opportunity to “own” their learning. ¬†Each student’s finished book will be just a little different. ¬†Students can compile class notes, images of work and examples from class, and videos (either their own or other videos they’ve downloaded), reflections on learning, etc. into a book that can be shared. ¬†This would be a fantastic way for students to share what they’ve learned at the end of a unit. ¬†Because of the variety of content that can be included in Book Writer, it would make for a great science journal. ¬†Students can take photos ¬†of a scientific experiment or process, label the images, and reflect on observations, hypothesis, etc.

Students could also use Book Writer as a place to keep all of their creative writing based on visual writing prompts. ¬†Students can include the picture prompt on one page and their writing on the facing page. ¬†Students can add to this book throughout the year and share their “published” writings at the end of the year.

Younger students will find Book Writer easy to use.  These students could create their own word bank picture dictionary.  Ask students to create a new page for each letter.  Every time a word gets added to the class word wall, students can add it to their dictionary.  Students can also add pictures to accompany the words, or audio of themselves saying the word.

Book Writer can be used for a class yearbook and then shared with all students digitally.  The extra fun part are the videos that can be included!

Tips: Book Writer has a clean, easy to use interface.  If you are using with young students, you may want to walk them through where to find tools for the first time.

Compatibility: Requires iOS5.0 or later

Devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

Price: $3.99 (iTunes link)

Current.im: a private daily journal 140 characters at a time

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Character Education, Create, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Websites | Posted on 14-06-2011

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What it is: Current.im is a site I learned about from @MZimmer557 on his excellent blog, The Weekly Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness.¬† Current.im let’s students keep a private online journal 140 characters each day.¬† The journal couldn’t be easier to use, students login with a username and password that they create, and type their 140 characters for the day.¬† Current.im keeps a daily record of these bits of writing along with a time stamp.¬† The Current.im is truly private, this isn’t a social sharing site where students (or teachers) are writing for an audience.¬† It is a wonderfully simple tool created for one thing: recording daily thoughts.

How to integrate Current.im into the classroom: Current.im is an easy way to record writing daily.¬† The limit is 140 characters making it easy to keep up with and add to everyday without being overwhelmed by the blank sheet of paper.¬† Current.im can be used as a journal where students reflect on daily learning, a year-long creative writing project that students add to 140 characters at a time each day or a personal journal.¬† Because students are only responsible for 140 characters a day, this is a fast activity that could be completed as a center on classroom computers.¬† If your students don’t have access to computers where they can keep their own Current.im accounts, keep a class journal/story/reflection by compiling thoughts together using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.

One of my favorite year-long projects in the computer lab was having students take a picture of themselves using PhotoBooth every computer class.  At the end of the year, students took all of their pictures and created a stop-motion type video combining all of the pictures into a movie.  The result was a short movie where they could see themselves grow up that school year.  Current.im would be a fantastic addition to this project.  Students could start each class period with a picture of themselves and a quick 140 character update to go with the picture.  At the end of the year not only will they be able to see their growth, they will be able to read reflections and thoughts they had throughout the year.  This is great for one school year but can you imagine doing this EVERY year of school from k-12 as part of a digital portfolio?  How neat would that be?!  This is truly a 2 min. time commitment each day.  Easy.

As a teacher, Current.im can be used to reflect on teaching practice, to record daily classroom (or student) observations or to record daily success (we all need to record those!).  I always joked that I should write a book about funny student antics.  Of course I never wrote all of these funny stories down so alas, I have no book.  Had I known about Current.im, I could have recorded these stories everyday and had the book written for me by the end of the year!

Tips: Current.im doesn’t include any terms of service so I assume it is okay for all students to use.¬† Registration for an account does require an email address.¬† The email address doesn’t need to be confirmed so if you have students without email addresses, they can use an @tempinbox or @mailinator account (just add tempinbox or mailiator to the end of any word to instantly create an account).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Current.im in your classroom!

Scholastic Story Starters

Posted by admin | Posted in inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 08-04-2009

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What it is:¬† Story Starters is a fun site for students in kindergarten through sixth grade to use each day as a quick writing activity.¬† Students type in their name and select a grade to begin.¬† Students are taken to a special Story Starter machine that generates writing ideas for newspaper articles, letters, notebooks, or postcards.¬† They can get a new idea by keeping some elements of the idea and spinning again to change elements.¬†¬† The site also features Scholastic’s Word Wizard which always floats on the webpage.¬† Students can type in a word or double click any word on the webpage and get a definition of the word.

How to integrate Scholastic Story Starters into the classroom:¬† Scholastic Story Starters is a fun website to use with the whole class or as a writing learning center.¬† This is a great site to use with an interactive whiteboard or projector to generate ideas for free creative writing time.¬† Let students take turns being the ‘spinner’ that generates writing ideas.¬† Encourage students to share their writing, it is neat to hear all the different ideas that kids come up with from the same story starter.¬† This would be a great website to bookmark on classroom computers for students to visit as a writing center that they can visit when they are stumped for writing ideas.

 

Tips:  You may have to spin a category a few times to get a story starter that makes sense.  This is very quick and easy!

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Scholastic Story Starters in your classroom.

Pocket Manila

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, History, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 01-12-2008

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What it is: Pocket Manila is a site that provides online notebooks that can be used as a journal, blog, idea bank, photo album, portfolio, group blog, ezine, story book, and more.  Pocket Manila is unique because it feels like a canvas-bound, manila paper journal.  Pocket Manila makes it feel like you are writing in a real notebook.  The pages turn, writing and pictures automatically flow to the next page and are sized correctly for the page.  Students can easily change the look of their notebooks with colors and themes.  The control panel is simple, streamlined and easy to use.  

 

How to integrate Pocket Manila into the classroom:¬†¬†¬† Use Pocket Manila in a creative writing classroom as a creative writing journal.¬† Students can work on their writing wherever they have an Internet connection without having to remember to tote their journals everywhere they go.¬† Pocket Manila’s sharing ability makes it wonderful for collaboration in writing classes.¬† Students can read and comment on each others writing, leaving constructive criticism right in their journals.¬† Pocket Manila is also great used in the science classroom as a place to take lab notes, record observations and the scientific method.¬† Teachers can use Pocket Manila as a place to collect and organize lesson plans, class notes, etc.¬† Younger students can use Pocket Manila to record thoughts about books they are reading, practice their writing.¬† Teachers can comment right in the student notebook.

 

Tips:¬†¬† I love Pocket Manila because there is something special about having a notebook or writing journal of your own to record thoughts.¬† Those of us who didn’t grow up with the Internet appreciate simple pleasures like notebooks that feel like notebooks and day runners full of sticky notes and scribbled reminders!¬† Pocket Manila provides the nostalgia of a notebook and the convenience and cool factor of digital.¬†

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