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Web Tools

Summer Online Learning Questions We’ve Gotten

In response to extensive interest from readers, Ask a Tech Teacher will be offering four Summer Learning Certificate classes with 18-24 CEUs:

June 19th through August 6th

3-4 weeks, lots of resources and hands-on help

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To help you make your decision, I want to share the most common questions I’ve gotten regarding sign ups:

Q: What is the cost to register?

The full program is $229. If you sign up by April 30th, you can enroll a friend for free. If you sign up with a group of 5, it’s $750 ($150 for each person). You can enroll through the PayPal button on the website or with a school PO.

Q: I don’t know which class to take.

Here’s a quick checklist:

  • If you want a broad overview of integrating technology into your classroom, start with The Tech-infused Teacher. Follow that with the sequel, The Tech-infused Classroom (offered sequentially) if you have time.
  • If you took The Tech-infused Teacher last year and loved it, take The Tech-infused Classroom. It’s the sequel and lets you dig deeper into what you learned last year.
  • If you’re looking for specific help on tech tools, take 20 Webtools in 20 Days. This covers webtools teachers use most often in their classes, or want to use.
  • If you’re looking for help specifically with using technology to add creativity and zing to your writing lessons, take Teach Writing with Tech.

Q: What if I can’t figure out how to use some of the tools during the classes? I’m not very techie.

Email the instructor at askatechteacher at gmail dot com throughout the week and/or bring up your question at the weekend Google Hangout.  That’s what this class is for–to get you comfortable with tech tools you want to use in your class. We’ll even set up a separate GHO with you to walk you through it. Plus, you can chat with classmates through the Discussion Forum. They’ll be able to share personal experiences they’ve had with the tools.

Q: Who are the teachers for this PD? And what are their qualifications?

The Master Teacher is Jacqui Murray. She’s been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years and K-16 for 35 years. She’s an adjunct professor as well as a Master Teacher. She’s the author/editor of over a hundred tech-in-ed resources including a K-8 tech curriculum that’s used throughout the world. She will be joined as needed by other teachers from the Ask a Tech Teacher crew.

Q: I want to sign up with several other teachers from my school. Is there a group discount available?

Absolutely! Use the group button on the sign-up page ($750). That will give you five enrollments for $150 each. Great discount!

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Categories: Teacher resources, Web Tools | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

3 Things You Could Learn This Summer to Infuse Your Teaching with Tech

This summer, Ask a Tech Teacher is holding five Summer Learning classes:

  1. Tech-infused Teacher (Certificate edition for CEUs or grad class for college credit)
  2. Tech-infused Class
  3. Teach Writing with Tech
  4. 20 Webtools in 20 Days (and the Structured Learning curriculum edition)
  5. the Differentiated Teacher

Most award Certificates at completion, for CEUs. The Differentiated Teacher and Tech-infused Teacher can be taken for college credit.  Here are three videos on concepts you’ll cover in the Tech-infused Teacher:Things

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3 Writing Webtools You Can Learn This Summer in the AATT Summer Learning Series

This summer, Ask a Tech Teacher is holding five Summer Learning classes:

  1. Tech-infused Teacher (Certificate edition for CEUs or grad class for college credit)
  2. Tech-infused Class
  3. Teach Writing with Tech
  4. 20 Webtools in 20 Days (and the Structured Learning curriculum edition)
  5. the Differentiated Teacher

Most award Certificates at completion, for CEUs. The Differentiated Teacher and Tech-infused Teacher can be taken for college credit. The following three tools are part of what you learn in Teach Writing with Tech:

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Categories: Web Tools, Writing | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Beneylu School: A Clever LMS for your School

Beneylu is a K-8 online learning platform that puts critical classroom applications, resources, activities, and games in a secure online universe that is accessible to parents, teachers, and students. The goal is to make learning not only smoothly-delivered but adaptable and intriguing for everything. The brightly-colored friendly Beneylu platform provides a web-based classroom with intuitive learning resources and student-friendly apps. Most important: It’s private, open only to students and invited adults.

What is Beneylu School?

If you haven’t heard of Beneylu before, you will. Though fairly new to the United States, over 27,000 classes in 34 countries use Beneylu to organize learning activities. That’s over 1 billion clicks a year! Classrooms are personalized to student needs with apps teachers download and install via a lightning-fast, secure connection. Here are the most common selections:

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Edit and Share Videos Like a Rock Star

video in the classroomThe engine of learning is not always fueled by reading. In fact, knowledge is often acquired via audio, video, role-playing, and other approaches that address the varied learning styles of today’s students.

One communication method that has seriously grown up from even a generation ago is video. Where movies used to be considered babysitting — the activity of last resort for tired or unprepared teachers — that’s no longer true. Today, done well, they become real teaching tools that use optics to communicate ideas, unpack granular concepts,  and connect students to information.

For many teachers, though, there’s the rub: How do they use this tool to agilely and effectively deliver content? Let’s start with five clever video edit/format tools:

EdPuzzle

Edit, quizzify, and add your voice to any video. Pick a video, personalize it for your group, add your voice, and then track student understanding. You can even include quizzes.

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Categories: Multimedia, Videos, Web Tools | Leave a comment

How to Use Google Apps

Here’s a collection of Ask a Tech Teacher articles addressing individual Google Apps:

Google Docs

Google Drawings

Google Forms

Google Hangouts

Google Keep

Google Voice

This isn’t meant to be comprehensive. Yet. If your favorite Google App isn’t listed and you’d like me to review it, fill out the form below:

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Categories: Web Tools | Tags: | 2 Comments

What is Google Keep and Why Use it in Your Classroom?

Google Keep logo

My daughter just bought her first house (though it went on hold several times as the Navy threatened/offered to move her). We wanted a simple way to share a ToDo list that would be available on phones, iPads, and computers, and would auto-update with our ideas. I looked at a variety of options, but found something wrong with each of them.

Until I found Google Keep. It is marketed as a note-taking app — which it is — but trades sophisticated note-taking tools (like formatting) for simplicity. It is similar to iPhone Notes, but with more options, more visual, syncs across all devices, and allows collaboration. You can add thoughts by typing or speaking (mobile devices only), as a narrative note or a bullet list, and include images from your collection, your camera roll, or by taking one with the native camera (mobile devices only). The title is auto-formatted to stand out from the rest of the note. You can organize notes by category or color, search for a particular note, pin the most important to the top, and re-arrange the collection by dragging-dropping. As in Google Reminders, you can set a location-based reminder to pull up your grocery list when you get to the store or a time-based reminder to make sure you never miss a parent conference.

It requires a Google account and — as with other Google Apps — the amount of space you get for saved notes depends upon your Google Drive size. It works on iOS, the web, Chrome (with an add-on), and Android.

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Categories: Teacher resources, Web Tools | Tags: | Leave a comment

How to Teach With Videos

mysimpleshowA topic I get a lot of questions on lately is videos. I reviewed mysimpleshow, a new tool that is getting a lot of buzz, and then asked them to share how their digital tool addresses this burgeoning interest in video. Here are some ideas:

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Educators – as you know, we’re in a digital world, and using technology in the classroom such as video as a means of communicating messages is taking over. The days of checking books out of the library, traditional style lecturing, and writing papers with a pen are continuously becoming pastimes.  Academia is transforming in a way that responds to most of its younger inhabitants: digital natives who have a knack for technology.

Using technology in and outside of the classroom as a means of teaching and learning is valuable to both educators and students. Teachers can impact and engage their students while learning about new technology tools at the same time. Students can relate to media and technology, whether it be through watching or making videos with mysimpleshow, using apps on smartphones, or logging in to LMS systems to access their online textbook.

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Categories: Multimedia, Videos, Web Tools | 1 Comment

8 Reasons Why Students Should Create Videos and 15 Webtools to Do That

student-directed videoFor decades, teachers have used videos in the classroom to share information. They communicate a message with audio, visual, motion, color, and spatial details, making videos much more effective than traditional approaches like reading from a text, lecturing, or showing a slideshow. As a result, students retain more information, understand concepts more rapidly, are more enthusiastic about what they are learning, and make new connections between curriculum topics and the world outside the classroom.

So why shouldn’t students create videos when constructing knowledge for formative or summative assessments? Why insist they write a report, participate in a play, or create a poster instead? Here are eight reasons why students should always be offered the option of using flexible learning paths such as videos to leverage their ideas:

Practice writing skills

To tape a video, students must first prepare a storyboard that follows class writing conventions. Before they can turn the camera on, they must draft the script, edit, and rewrite–sound familiar? That’s right out of Common Core writing standards. When preparing for a video, students won’t mind because they’re excited about the goal.

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Categories: Multimedia, Videos, Web Tools | 1 Comment

15 Good Replacements for ScreenChomp

whiteboardFor years, TechSmith’s ScreenChomp app has been my go-to resource for whiteboard drawings, screencasts, and for an uncluttered online art platform for students using iPads. ScreenChomp did a masterful job of making everything needed for each of these activities intuitive even for young users.   For older students, ScreenChomp made it easy to provide personalized feedback by writing or recording comments directly onto their digital work and then sharing it back to them.

There are more uses, but none of them matter right now because ScreenChomp has been retired. According to TechSmith, it no longer fits their larger business goals. I’m not here to judge those; what matters for teachers is that we must now fill the hole left by the loss of ScreenChomp. Like Kerpoof, thousands of educators are scrambling to replace a fundamental tool that was to be an integral part of their 2016-17 lesson plans.

Let me help you with that. Here are options for the most common four activities (art, picture annotation, screencast, and whiteboard) you probably used ScreenChomp for. Since it was an iPad app, I’ve limited the replacement options to that platform:

Art

DoodleBuddy

Create a drawing by fingerpainting, adding stamps, and inserting text. You can even connect with a friend to draw together over the Internet. Price: Free

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Categories: Classroom management, Web Tools | 1 Comment