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Posts tagged ‘technology integration’

Clearly & Announcify: My latest Chrome extension favs

I think I just might have the best job in the world.

Seriously.

Where else could I spend the entire day chatting with and learning from some very smart people? Playing with apps? Installing cool software? Sharing ideas about best practices? Asking questions and solving problems? Eating BBQ and warm from the oven chocolate chip cookies? And get paid for it? (Thanks Dr. Mike.)

Exactly. Hard to beat.

Today was the second day of a year long PLC / study group / conversation on the best ways to integrate Chromebook and Google Apps into the classroom. It’s always a great time and today wasn’t different. I always walk out the door smarter than when I walked in.

We did several things today including our traditional Google tool throwdown. I picked up some new ideas including a clearer understanding of how Flubaroo works. My contribution to the discussion? Read more

Top 100 Tools for 2014

Not really sure how we’ve come up with the Top 100 Tools of 2014 when we’ve still got three months to go. Don’t these sorts of things usually come out in December?

But I have to admit, the title did suck me in and it should you too. There’s some great stuff on the list. I learned about a few new tools such as Moolvy and Mahara. And was a bit surprised that certain tools are still on the list. (I’m looking at you Voki. And what’s the deal with Delicious? I thought that was dead and gone. Weirder still – my account was active and there were additions from just yesterday. It’s like black helicopters are following my computer around adding things to my Delicious account. Mmm . . . )

The problem?

We can get so sucked into the shiny aspects of a specific tool, of the gadgety coolness of things that we end up designing lessons just so we can use the tool. Instead of planning for the end in mind – specific content or historical thinking skill or whatever – we use a tool like Wordle or some iPad app or Kahoot just because it’s a lot of fun.

So use the list. It’s pretty handy. But Read more

You’re bringing whiteboard markers to a gun fight

I’ve talked about this in the past. Both the positive impact of technology on learning and the ability of tech to create distracted students who have difficulty thinking deeply.

I admit I’m still torn. I get it from both sides – many of my colleagues are strong supporters of tech in the classroom, of back channels, of hashtags during instruction.  And I would probably fall on that side of the argument. I do multiple tech integration workshops every semester. I’m planning a Chromebook / GAFE mini-conference. I worked with a group of folks this morning learning how to best use the Adobe Voice iPad app. I’m writing a blog post on a site titled History Tech for heaven’s sake.

But I’m running into more and more classroom teachers who are starting to be wary of the tech. There has been some interesting research about how the misuse of technology can screw with deep thinking skills and how the use of social media can be addictive. And a recent article by Clay Shirkey lays out a pretty persuasive argument for a tech naked learning environment.

So I’m torn. Read more

Tip of the Week: Tumblr in your classroom? Maybe. Just maybe.

I’ll be honest. I’m still on the fence here. Tumblr in the classroom. Yes or no? I haven’t decided but I’m wavering towards yes. If you’re not familiar with Tumblr, you need to be. Tumblr is microblogging and social networking website that many of your students are using. As of last week, there were over 200 million Tumblr blogs out there.

Think of a cross between Twitter and Facebook and you start to get a sense of what it looks like. It’s not really a tweet. It’s not really a blog. It’s not really a website. The question is

Can teachers take advantage of Tumblr to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom?

Several months ago, Terry Heick of TeachThought shared his thoughts on the question of Tumblr as a blogging tool for kids. His opinion? Yes. Read more

2 Google Chrome extensions I’m falling in love with

I’ve been on a bit of a Chrome browser / Chromebook / Google Apps for Education kick lately. There’s always been a strong connection between me and Google but we’ve been hanging out a lot more the last month or so.

Firefox has been ticking me off since last spring and so I migrated over to Chrome during the summer. I got my first Chromebook in July. Had the chance to do some training on using Google Drive mobile apps. And we’re hosting an awesome GAFE/Chromebook mini-conference in October. So it’s past the tipping my toe in the water stage. I’m at least waist deep and then some.

As a result of all the Google love, I’ve been spending hours in the Google Web Store.  Trust me . . . it’s a quick way to lose all sense of time. But I have found some useful stuff in there. Today? Two of my latest finds that I think you might like too.

Read more

Tip of the Week: Zaption and interactive videos

I’ll be honest. I heard from a teacher in Medicine Lodge a few weeks ago about a tool called Zaption, promised myself that I’d check it out later, and then completely forgot all about. Then this morning, I get a promo email from the company detailing the tool’s “high-quality, ready-made content, intuitive interface, and rich analytics” and urging me to go to their site to learn more.

So.

Am feeling a bit unsettled. I get a lot of emails and offers of free stuff from people who are pushing their products and web sites. And I usually blow them off. Unless, of course, the price is right. I had planned to share Zaption with you anyway but doing it on the same day that I get the official sales pitch seems a bit like a sellout to the Man.

But I do really like the tool and believe there’s some nice potential for social studies teachers, especially those who are already flipping or are thinking about flipping their classrooms. I’m gonna let you decide for yourself if and when you might use Zaption. If you have an opinion one way or the other, let us know in the comments. I’d love to hear what others think of the tool.

At its most basic level, Zaption is Read more

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