Finite Resources and Infinite Tools: Tensions with Edtech Innovation

13 Apr

If you haven’t done it yet, watch Dan Meyer’s opening keynote from CUE14. Like most of Dan’s presentations, it was full of great models of innovative instruction.  I was particularly caught by the first ten minutes, when he talked about his frustrations as a teacher at edtech conferences. Here’s a tubechop of the specific portion:

Tubechop of 2014 CUE Keynote: Dan Meyer

Anyone who stands up at an edtech conference keynote speaking of his frustrations with educational technology is my hero!

It’s important to recognize those frustrations; particularly as they echo a lot of the feelings I often hear from teachers during technology PDs. It’s so easy for edtech evangelists (myself included) to get involved in groupthink, emphasizing the cool aspect of new tools over the practical application of those tools.

For my part, I use the word “innovation” way too much.  It’s hard to remember that not all teachers can automatically see how innovative edtech tools can redefine learning in exciting ways. For most teachers, the “substitution” phase of the SAMR model is a large leap. By pushing teachers to be “innovative,” I can see how to some it is emphasizing newness over sound pedagogy.

Screen capture from Dan Meyer's 2014 CUE keynote

Screen capture from Dan Meyer’s 2014 CUE keynote

Dan uses this image to represent the tension he often feels at edtech conferences, trying to reconcile the infinite tech tools available with the finite amount of resources available to teachers. Those resources include time instructing students and time for planning. There are only so many hours in the day, with so many things to do. Teachers can only jump on a particular edtech bandwagon if the cost of learning a new tool will be worth the effort.

So, while acknowledging this concern, what can we do? I ask this while I am in the midst of planning for technology instruction and implementation for the next year. I always try to respect and honor my teachers’ finite resources, and the demands put upon them, but I don’t want those limitations to inhibit our ability to prepare students for success in the 21st century.

Dan recommends creating your own edtech mission statement, and offers his own as an example. (Watch the full video of his keynote to learn more about how he looks for tools to capture, share, and resolve “perplexity.”)

I agree that having a personal edtech mission statement is key, but what about for those teachers who don’t have an inkling of how they would or should be using technology? How can we provide teachers guidance with technology if they don’t have the drive in themselves to attempt any innovations?

I’m thinking of tweaking upcoming PDs to focus on teachers creating their own edtech mission statements. To do this, I plan to start with our schoolwide technology vision, which is definitely worth refreshing.

I wonder if we should remove the word “innovation” altogether and instead focus on improving instructional practices through technology?

Dan Meyer’s Resources

2014 CUE Sessions: http://cue14.mrmeyer.com/

 

dy/dan blog: “My Opening Keynote for CUE 2014”

Reflections on edcampHOME

6 Jan

On Saturday I attended edcampHOME, an amazing online conference coordinated by some truly innovative tech wizards. They managed to retain the core principles of an edcamp (free, non-commercial, self-directed professional development), but they took it to a whole new level.  There were 47 different sessions, all chosen on the day of the event, but it was all conducted live over Google Hangouts.  The logistics are mind-boggling! Google scripts, volunteers to monitor the discussions, broadcasting over Youtube, videos embedded for non-attendees to watch along… Edcamps are an incredible experience, but an edcamp where you can relive each session through videos? Very awesome! I’ve left every edcamp with a wealth of resources, but I’m excited by all the videos that are still available for me on the website.

The schedule for the day included two sessions and one Slam, where participants shared great online tools. Videos of all the sessions and the Slam are available on the edcamp home website:

On the Friday before edcamp HOME, participants shared out potential topics they would like to discuss, and vote on topics that they felt should become sessions. I offered the topic “Technology Integration in Non 1-to-1 schools,” a subject that has been very much on my mind after digging deep into longterm planning over the Winter break. It’s always nerve-wracking to submit a topic, but each time someone voted for my topic, I got excited! 24 people voted for the session. In the end, six of us ended up having a great conversation.

First session: Technology Integration in Non 1-to-1 Schools

First session: Technology Integration in Non 1-to-1 Schools

For the second session, I attended the session: “Is Edtech Effective?” Even though there were only two of us, we shared a great discussion on ways that Technology Specialists and administrators can ensure that the technology they have is being effectively used. I learned about BrightBytes, and look forward to looking at their sit more.

From the slam I was particularly interested in looking more into Liveslide and Lucid Press.

After the edcamp ended, I spent much of the afternoon watching the threads about Standards Based Grading and Genius Hour. I still look forward to watching the post on Show Your Work (I’ve already preordered the book!) Repair Squad, the Blogging Journey, Literacy and Technology, Creating a Makerspace, and Helping Teachers Build a PLN.

It was an incredible day of learning, planned to precision by some incredible coordinators. And best of all, I didn’t have to leave my home!

Making every minute matter: a new year’s resolution

4 Jan

If there’s one thing my new Simpons Tapped Out addiction has taught me, it is that every minute matters. When it’s time to go to bed, you don’t send characters on 45 second tasks; you send them on 8 hour tasks so in the morning you can collect more money and XP. And if you set all your characters on an hour-long task, you better keep track of your internal clock, or unmute your phone so you can hear the notifications. Every minute matters!

Tapped Out: Look at all those thumbs up!

Tapped Out: Look at all those thumbs up!

I know it’s ridiculous, stemming from a mindless videogame, but this mindset has really increased my productivity in the past few weeks. When every minute truly matters, it makes it easier to shake myself out of my usual mode of procrastination.

This is a long winded way of saying, I need to rethink my blog.

“Make edtech happen,” it says up there, but my last post was from December 6, and not from 2013! December 6, 2012! Come on! There hasn’t been much happening here besides crickets and comment spam!

It’s not that I haven’t been doing anything with the blog. Believe me, every time I open my Omnifocus, there’s a neglected series of “blog post” tasks way way down at the bottom of the list. Occasionally they show up in red in my upcoming tasks view, but instead of making every minute matter by completing the task, I just change the due date (it was arbitrarily set to begin with.)

Part of the problem is that my scope for this blog has been unrealistic. I wanted it to be my deeply academic musings, with footnotes, and correctly cited sources. I wanted to focus solely on “edtech trends,” developing a series of well-researched pieces that cover a topic every angle, giving novice readers a complete understanding. It was a lofty goal, but because of it, each blog post I have written has been a huge burden, making me more and more anxious. And when it comes to sharing my thoughts with the world at large, my inherent nature as an introvert is hard enough to deal with.

So I’m done making this blog a big deal.

I’m hoping to write what I’m going to write about and that will be that. I’m not going to even make any more promises about posting. I do want to post more, I’m just not going to make any promises. I hope to show my work, posting about my new genius hour class, or maybe our planning for edcamp MetroDC, or maybe our attempt to implement a mobile makerspace. But I’m not going to make it a big deal. I’m going to remove all of my blogging tasks from Omnifocus, and just stop making it a big deal. A minute spent worrying is a waste of a minute that matters!

Ahh…a weight has been lifted.

EdTech Practices for 2012 – Online Instructional Resources

6 Dec

In order to kick off your use of technology in the classroom this year, consider using these resources to enhance your lessons!

This series of posts expands upon the list of resources collected for Mr. Chase’s AIMS presentation: “Easy Innovations: Web Tech Tools in the Classroom” from last year:

Previous Posts:

  1. EdTech Practices for 2012 – Tools for the Process of Learning
  2. EdTech Practices for 2012 – Tools for Unique Learning Products

Instructional Resources

These tools ideal for teachers in planning for their instruction, and providing additional support to students.

Social Media:

  • Professional Learning Networks – These professional learning networks are a great, low-cost way for teachers to expand their personal and professional development. Communicate with other teachers, search for best practices, find and adapt free lesson plans. Join some of these robust educator’s networks to jumpstart your instruction
    • Classroom 2.0 – Classroom 2.0 is a free, community-supported network focusing on issues surrounding Web 2.0 and social media.
    • Educator’s PLN – Join this teacher-based Ning to collaborate with educators from across the country. Ask questions about strategies and resources, share links and videos on a variety of subjects, and be a part of a greater educational conversation.
    • Claco (beta) – Request an invite to this community in order to “find, build and share resources with teachers across the hall or across the world — aligned with Common Core.”

Learning Objects and Resources:

  • Online Lesson Plans & Learning Objects – Search these websites for quality lesson plans and learning objects to use in your classroom.
    • The NYT Learning Network Blog – Find relevant and up-to-date lesson plans based on articles and stories from the New York Times.
    • Shmoop – This subscription-based service gives you access to high-quality literature guides, teachers resources, and more. Pay individually for specific lesson plans, or access free resources.
    • Edufy – “Find, share and edit high quality learning activities shared by other teachers with a focus on STEM education. Edufy makes great teaching easier by providing a broad range of activities that can be mixed and matched to build a learning experience to meet every student’s learning needs on every topic.”
    • Edutopia -Join the conversation or just search for quality lesson plans and instructional strategies on this site.
    • Teaching Central Pinterest – Search this Pinterest of recommended websites surrounding a variety of educational topics.
    • PBS Teachers – Find classroom resources and strategies sorted by age and subject level.
  • Online Courses – Use these sites to encourage students to take online courses in addition to, or as part of your course. Consider using lessons from these courses to augment your own classroom instruction.
    • No Excuse List – A helpful list of educational sites sorted by topic
  • Instructional Games – Consider using specially designed games to emphasize course concepts. More and more designers are creating free online instructional games, or platforms for teachers to create their own game specifically for their lessons.
    • Jeopardy Labs – Create your own online “Jeopardy” game, or choose from already created games.
    • Class Tools.net – This free site lets teachers create free games, quizzes, activities and diagrams and host them on their own sites.
    • Games for Change – This organization aims to “leverage entertainment and engagement for social good” by creating and distributing “social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts.”
    • ABC YA – Use this site to find free instructional games modeled from primary grade lessons that are enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn.
    • A + Click – Math games for all ages and grades
    • Cookie – This site of educational games for elementary-age students are designed by child experts and educators.
  • Online Textbooks – Consider “remixing” your textbook, choosing free, online resources compiled together for your students. These sites help you collocate resources to make your own textbook, or contribute to free, open-source textbooks created by similar subject-teachers
    • Boundless (new) – Boundless markets itself as a free textbook replacement, using open educational content to create their materials.
    • CK-12 – CK12 is an open content, web-based collaborative model of customizable, standards-aligned K-12 textbooks. Available online, or for Kindle or iPad.
  • Creating Online Quizzes –
    • Quizlet – Create flashcards with your own terms and definitions, or search from a database of flashcards. Share your flashcards with classmates, or assign them to students.
    • Google Forms + Flubaroo – With Flubaroo, you can create a grading key for online forms.

Video-based Learning Objects and Resources:

Consider using videos in the classroom to augment your instruction. Teachers across the country are using videos to flip their classroom, assigning lectures for homework in order to free up more time for projects and hands-on learning.

  • Instructional Videos
    • Learnzillion – Watch videos created by teachers using Common Core lessons.
    • Teacher Tube – Share and access instructional videos and other resources, curated by a community of teachers
    • Teacher Domain –  Find thousands of media resources, support materials, and tools for classroom lessons, individualized learning programs, and teacher professional learning communities.
    • Khan Academy – This site has a host of instructional videos and learning resources.
    • HippoCampus (new) – The goal of HippoCampus is to provide high-quality, multimedia content on general education subjects to high school and college students free of charge.
  • Resources to Enhance How you Use Online Videos
    • Quiettube – Watch Youtube videos without all the clutter of comments and recommended videos.
    • Tubechop – Easily “chop” one section of a Youtube video. This tool is great for longer videos.
    • Study Egg – Formerly Zen.do, this site lets teachers add assessment questions to real-time videos. Notice, changes are taking place with the developers of this site.
    • Keepvid – Use this service to download versions of Youtube videos. This service helps when you know that your network will be heavily used.
  • Resources to Create Your Own Online Videos – Use these screencasting, and editing programs to create online folders.
    • Screenflow $99 – This software, the favorite of many bloggers and podcasters, allows you to “record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, microphone and your computer audio.”
    • Jing free (limited)/$14.95 per year – TechSmith, the makers of Camtasia, created this lightweight, easy-to-use screen capture software with both free and paid accounts.
    • Screenr free (limited)/variety of paid options- This web-based video recording system allows you to make webcasts without downloading any software.
    • iShowU $29.95 – This Mac-only screen-casting allows you to easily record your screen, as well as your video camera and microphone.
    • Camtasia $99 – One of the first screen-capturing tools, TechSmith’s Camtasia offers versions for both Mac and PC and is ideally suited for your screen-capturing and editing needs.
    • ScreenChomp (for iPads) – This app by TechSmith allows you to turn your iPad into a screen-capturing tool.

Resources from EdCamp Baltimore 2012

15 Nov

On November 10, I attended Edcamp Baltimore and had a great time! I came back with a host of new resources to check out and strategies to share with other teachers at my school.

Below are links to online resources that I wanted to check out, as well as my notes of all the sessions I attended. To access other resources shared during Edcamp Baltimore, check out the Edcamp Baltimore website and Storify. To learn more about Edcamps, visit http://edcampfoundation.org/vision/.

Links and Resources:

Tools for Flipping the classroom/Blended Learning

Tools for Collaborative Learning

Social Media sites for teachers

  • Tioki – Teachers connect with other teachers based on mutual interests.
  • Teachercast  – A place for teachers to help other teachers
  • Portfoliyo – free program to communicate with parents through text messaging
  • Kickboard – a social media site to develop classroom culture, academics, and build strong relationships with students and parents.

Smackdown – Teachers shared their favorite Web 2.0 tools

  • Mural.ly – Creative collaboration to map content in one space, collaborate in groups, and show your ideas
  • Wunderlist – a free task manager accessible on multiple platforms
  • Themeefy – grab links, photo and videos to allow students to tell a story
  • No Red Ink – Practice grammar and writing skills
  • Conceptboard – Instant whiteboards for teams and projects
  • Ten Marks – Interactive math website focusing on practice, instruction, assessment, and intervention

Twitter in the Classroom & Infographics

  • Hootsuite – Social media management dashboard
  • Twiducate – Social networking for schools. Free for teachers.
  • Visual.ly – Create or search for visual infographics
  • Easel.ly – Create and share visual ideas online
  • Infogr.am – Create interactive infographics

Blogging Resources

  • Clustrmaps – Know who is accessing your blog from across the world with this visual.
  • Quadblogging – read and comment on other blogs – share with other classrooms

EdTech Practices for 2012 – Tools for Unique Learning Products

25 Sep

In order to kick off your use of technology in the classroom this year, consider incorporating one of these educational best practices into your classroom!

This series of posts expands upon the list of resources collected for Mr. Chase’s AIMS presentation: “Easy Innovations: Web Tech Tools in the Classroom” from last year:

Previous Post:

  1. EdTech Practices for 2012 – Tools for the Process of Learning
'the view from the upstairs room' photo (c) 2010, waferboard - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Tools to create unique learning Products

These online resources are ideal for students and teachers to create unique digital products.

Presentation Tools:

  • Online presentation tools– Break out of the PowerPoint mold and consider using alternative presentation tools in the classroom. Either implement them yourself as part of your instruction, or have students create presentations online.
    • Prezi – This unique presentation tool allows you to zoom in and out around a large canvas, creating meaning through spatial relation.
    • Projeqt (new) – This presentation tool pulls from various social media streams to create unique presentations with strong visual impact.
    • ThingLink (new) – Create rich images with music, video, sound, text and more. Share and discover deeper stories through images updated with your content and metadata.
  • Online PPT Hosting– Share your PowerPoints online to gain a wider audience and encourage collaboration. Instead of forcing users to download files, online services allow you to upload PowerPoint files and add other features.
    • Present.me – With this service you can upload your PowerPoint and then record a video presentation to accompany the slides. The service offers a new educational pricing plan.
    • Slideshare – After uploading PowerPoints onto Slideshare, you can embed them on your Learning Management Systems, just like you would with a Youtube video.
  • Website Tours– More than just a collection of links, create a guided tour of web content to provide greater contexts for your students.
    • Jog the Web – Create a virtual tour of websites, walking users from one site to another with your notes.
    • Sqworl – Collect, annotate and organize your online resources in this clean, visual bookmarking site.
    • Weblist (new) – A simple repository of visual based links and resources.

Writing:

  • Online Documents – Have students write online to easily work on assignments; no more worries about lost USB drives or problems emailing documents.  Also, with online documents, students can easily collaborate on the same project, or contribute to a large classroom assignment.
    • Titan Pad – This web-based word processor that allows for simultaneous collaboration including a section devoted to instant messaging with other users.
    • Quietwrite – Use this simple online writer for easily capturing text with minimal distractions through a browser.
    • Entri – Entri is a collaborative tool that lets you share articles before you post them on your blog. Invite others to collaborate, or just keep everything to yourself.
  • Making Websites – Let your students share their learning with a wider, authentic audience outside of school by creating a website. Many of these sites now let you easily create a website without extensive coding experience.
    • Jux.com (new) – Easily create websites, online slideshows, video, streetviews, all linked from a central account. These sites create a high impact emphasizing images and multimedia in pre-formatted templates.
    • Simplebooklet (new) – Use this website to create “slider”-based websites with a unique visual look. The program comes with a free account option, as well as other pricing options.
  • Blogs – Blogs are ideal for continually updating content for your audience, meaning they are great for keeping your students up to date with important dates and assignments.
    • Kidblog (new) – Kidblog is designed for K-12 teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog. Students publish posts and participate in academic discussions within a secure classroom blogging community.
    • Edublogs – This community contains blogs written by educators. Create your own edublog for use in the classroom, or just search for interesting blogs to follow.
    • Instablogg – Create instant, one post only blogs without an account for quick projects.
  • Wikis – Wikis allow you to create websites and then invite students to add content to the pages. Wikis can have various levels of control, but the idea is that students can collaborate together on one document, available on the web for a wider, authentic audience.
    • Wikispaces – Create a wiki for your students to allow them to collaborate on research assignments.
    • Hackpad (new) – This service lets you easily create a wiki that looks virtually like a collaborative document.
  • Digital Publishing Services (new)– If you want your students to create unique digital text-based products, consider having them publish online with these resources.
    • Lulu (new) – Use this service to have your students create their own print and ebooks
    • Flipsnack (new) – Create an online “Flipbook” from a PDF.

Multimedia Presentation Tools and Resources:

  • Podcasting/Audio– Have students create podcasts or audio projects in order to easily work with audio. Audio projects are great for auditory learners.
    • Voicethread – Create an account to use this great collaborative tool that lets students upload pictures and PowerPoint slides, personal commentary to each slide, and invite others to comment through voice, text, or video chat.
    • Audioboo – This tool and mobile app allows you to record and share audio with an authentic audience online.
  • Image Editing(new) – Let your students express their creativity with these photo and image editing services.
    • GIMP (new) – This free downloadable software is ideal for “such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.”
    • Be Funky (new) – Use this online editor to edit, add effects, frames and text to images.
    • Aviary (new) – This editing program lets you edit online, or through various downloadable apps.
  • Video and Animation– Students can create video or animation projects as unique final products. Video projects require students manage their time well, and be creative.
    • Goanimate – Create animation from animated templates, uploading your own voice or soundtrack.
    • Vialogues (new)- Private video-sharing service for discussions
    • My Storymaker from Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (new) – This interactive format allows younger students to create their own stories using animated characters and objects.
    • Zimmer Twins (new) – Create an animated movie using Saturday-Morning Cartoon-style animated templates.
  • Screen Capture (and sharing)– Screen sharing services are ideal for emphasizing key concepts and using specific technology applications. With these incredibly easy-to-use screen casting tools, you can record and upload video in minutes.
    • Screenflow $99 – This software, the favorite of many bloggers and podcasters, allows you to “record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, microphone and your computer audio.”
    • Jing free (limited)/$14.95 per year – TechSmith, the makers of Camtasia, created this lightweight, easy-to-use screen capture software with both free and paid accounts.
    • Screenr free (limited)/variety of paid options- This web-based video recording system allows you to make webcasts without downloading any software.
    • Screencast-O-Matic free – Create screencasts of your desktop and access them online.
    • iShowU $29.95 – This Mac-only screen-casting allows you to easily record your screen, as well as your video camera and microphone.
    • Camtasia $99 – One of the first screen-capturing tools, TechSmith’s Camtasia offers versions for both Mac and PC and is ideally suited for your screen-capturing and editing needs.
    • ScreenChomp (for iPads) – This app by TechSmith allows you to turn your iPad into a screen-capturing tool.
  • Finding Free Multimedia Resources– Use these resources to find copyright-free images, audio and video for use in multimedia projects and presentations.
    • Creative Commons Search – Search various sites for copyright-free material.
    • Find Sounds – Search for sounds throughout the web
    • FreeSound.org – Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds. Browse, download and share sounds.
    • MorgueFile – Public image archive for creative images taken by photographers.
    • Office.com Images – Free images available from Microsoft.

Visualizing Information:

  • Infographics– Infographics are modern equivalents of charts, graphs, and maps in which large data sets are visually represented. It is important for 21st Century students to interact with visual information
    • visual.ly (new) – With Visually’s free tools you can easily create beautiful infographics in minutes, and share them with others through the social interface.
    • Chartle – Easily create complex online visualizations with this website.
    • Wordle – Upload text to create word clouds that make it easy to see the most common words used.
  • Mind-Mapping– Mind-mapping tools allow you to easily create flow-charts, word maps and more. These collaborative resources have interesting features.
    • Popplet – Create online mind-maps by easily dragging and dropping. Invite others to create accounts and contribute to your map.
    • Bubbl.us – Use this free website to easily create mindmaps
    • Northwest Missouri State University Mindmap – This free website lets you create a mindmap, with the option to save or print your work.

EdTech Practices for 2012 – Tools for the Process of Learning

21 Sep

In order to kick off your use of technology in the classroom this year, consider incorporating one of these online tools into your classroom!

This series of posts reiterates and expands upon the list of resources collected for Mr. Chase’s AIMS presentation: “Easy Innovations: Web Tech Tools in the Classroom” from last year. (Resources that did not appear in that presentation are marked here as “new.”)

'Day14-geared-up' photo (c) 2008, Lotus72 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/


Tools to enhance the Process of learning

These online resources are ideal for students and teachers to enhance the learning process.


Research Tools
:

  • Content Curation: Use online bookmarking systems and reader sites that allow you to subscribe to the Internet.
    • Pinterest – Share websites and images you find online on a virtual board. Invite others to share similar images on your board.
    • Pocket (Read it Later) (new) – Create an account with this service to easily bookmark articles and read them later. This service also formats articles with a clean background, removing flash ads for easy reading. Read it Later also offers robust mobile integration.
    • Google Reader – This Google service allows you to subscribe to “feeds” of information across the web. Keep track of new blog posts, comment threads, and more, all in one place.
  • Landing Pages: Instead of using Yahoo or Google as your homepage, make your own website with easy-to-access links. Consider creating pages for your students in order to easily drive them towards appropriate content.
    • Symbaloo – Use Symbaloo to create a web presence filled with bookmarks of your own choosing. You can organize the bookmarks within the intuitive interface in any way you choose.
    • Only 2 Clicks – Use this site to create an account and quickly access your favorite bookmarks in under 2 Clicks. Organize links in clickable folders.
  • Task Management / To Do Lists:  These sites allow users to manage tasks efficiently, with robust notifications and mobile apps to accompany the online experience. Use these websites to keep yourself on track. These sites would also greatly help students who struggle with organization and deadlines.
    • Any.do – (new) This Chrome extension is based on the popular Android and iPhone app to have quick and instant access to your to do lists.
    • Remember the Milk – This simple, free website helps you manage your tasks with a variety of services and apps, including iPhone Siri as well as Gmail integration.
  • Note-taking: Never lose your notes again! With these online tools you can access your notes from anywhere and collaborate with others by sharing with a larger group.
    • Evernote – With a variety of ways to create and store notes, Evernote is an ideal system for note-taking.
    • EasyBib / Noodle Tools (subscription-based) – Each of these services combines note-taking with citation manaagement.
  • File Management: If you forget to frequently backup files, and are sick of saving to email, consider creating an account to one of these services so you can access your files from anywhere.
    • Dropbox – With Dropbox, you can seamlessly create backups of all your important documents so you will never lose important files again!
    • Google Drive (new) – Google’s updated Google Docs system comes with a great downloadable application to sync your online docs with your desktop.
  • Citation: Make the research process easier for your students by using these citation resources
    • EasyBib / Noodle Tools (subscription-based) – Each of these services combines note-taking with citation manaagement.
    • Bib Me – This easy-to-use bibliography site focuses on one thing, and does it well: creating free bibliographies.

Communication Tools & the Social Web:

  • Learning Management Systems – An LMS is a website or web-app that helps teachers organize classroom content and learning through the use of online learning objects, discussion forums, and even interactive assessments. For more information, read Mr. Chase’s article “Blending Learning: Learning Management Systems
    • Moodle – Free and open-sourced, Moodle is an extensible course management system, currently used by Capital City PCS.
    • Edmodo – This social based learning management system is easy to set up, and is sure to engage students.
    • Canvas (new) – This robust course management system provides multiple features with a clean interface.
  • Online Study Groups: Encourage your students to use the power of social media for good!
    • eNotes (new) – This site offers homework help in addition to study guides and other educational resources.
    • Hoot.me – Turn Facebook into a study center to encourage students to connect with classmates and tutors.
  • Online flashcards: These online tools digitally recreate the act of quizzing with flashcards and are ideal as study aids.
    • Quizlet – Create flashcards with your own terms and definitions, or search from a database of flashcards. Share your flashcards with classmates, or assign them to students.
    • Easy Notecards – Search from an extensive library of user-created notecards, or create and share your own.
  • Backchannel – Consider creating a “parking lot” on the fly by having students use instant messaging services to pose questions and take collaborative notes
    • Today’s Meet – Easily create and share a chat room without the need to create registered accounts.
    • Chatzy (new) – Free, private chat rooms without registration
  • Video Conference:  Go beyond the walls of your classroom by letting your students interact with others across the country or world.
    • Skype – The industry-standard of web-based communication, Skype allows for audio-only, or video chat.
    • Facetime (new) – This Mac-app for OSX and iOS allows you to easily connect with other Mac users.
  • Polling: Like clicker systems, online polling sites give you instantaneous feedback from students. Easily create and conduct formative or summative assessments online.
    • Poll Everywhere / Mentimeter (new) – These polling systems allow teachers to easily create polls, but require students answer with their own mobile devices, or through a link online.
    • Google Form – Use your google apps account to easily create a form, sharing it with students in your classes.
  • Petitions/Real World Audiences: Allow your students to work on more meaningful projects by engaging in real world audiences. These sites are ideal ways for students to make a real, significant impact on their world.
    • Care 2: The Petition Site – Start a free petition and share it with your friends and the world.
    • Change.org – Start a petition, mobilize support and advocate for change.
    • See Click Fix – Use this site to report neighborhood issues and see them get fixed. Great for fixing local issues.

Note: This blog post is cross-posted with my other blog: Cap City Technology Tips

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