Tech Tool of Week – Notability

I would like to recommend an app that our middle school students use that improves productivity. The app that stands out for our students is Notability. Here are some reasons why they like using Notability:

“It is a good note taking app. You can draw diagrams, doodle, insert pictures.” -Kyla

“You can put worksheets into it and you can do your homework without printing.” -Kyla

“You can move information back and forth between Google Drive very easily, and then you can turn in work using Google Classroom.” -Cassandra and Cameron

“You can write on (annotate) worksheets and pictures that you insert.” -Cameron

“It has a left handed mode for writing.” -Cameron

“It’s really awesome. You have a lot of options, and it’s really simple. It has a bar at the top that has all of the things you can do and it’s really simple to navigate.”  -Middy

“You can control how you want to organize the information that you put into it.” -Cameron 

image1

Cameron’s organized Notability files

What are some other productivity and note taking apps that you like?

Advertisements

Tech Tool of The Week – Class Dojo

Last year, Allendale Columbia School art teacher Amy Oliveri introduced me to Class Dojo. It has been a staple in my classes ever since. Here is how I use it:

Attendance – We don’t have a centralized method for taking attendance at our school. I love the simple, fun interface. It’s quick and easy to mark everyone present. It also lets me view the data a variety of ways, both as a visual chart or a downloadable file.

Attendance

Tracking in-class behavior for effort grades – I use an effort scale (see previous post) with my classes. I set up Class Dojo to help me evaluate components of the students’ effort grades during class. It’s hard to keep track of class participation and disruptions while you are teaching. This simple tool lets me give students points based on criteria that I preset. So, if students contribute to the discussion or ask great questions, I can give them participation points or other kinds of points. It’s very customizable. I can also check the data for each week, each day or go back as far as I want.AssessmentReports

Class Dojo has some great easy-to-use features for teachers. Best of all, it’s completely free!

Do you use Class Dojo? If yes, how do you use it with your students? Do you use any other tools to keep track of classroom behaviors?

Tech Tool of The Week – New iOS 8 Camera features

Ok, sorry Android users, but I have been so happy with the updates iOS 8 has made to the camera on the iPhone that I have to share. (For a more comprehensive review of the iOS 8 Camera App update click here.)

First of all, I have an iPhone 6, so I have some features that older phones and iPads will not have. That being said, here are my favorites…

Time Lapse This will take a long video and shorten it up by taking out frames. So, if you shoot a 1 minute video, it will condense down to about 6 seconds. I used Time Lapse during our annual Blue/White Day (field day) to record students as they progressed across the field during an event, and it worked great.

Slo-Mo – This is a really cool way to capture students in action. Again, I experimented at Blue/White Day (see below) to capture a few events. I am super impressed with the video quality (240 frames per second).

Burst Mode – So, this has been the favorite of my favorites, although this feature doesn’t work on my iPad mini (1st Gen). You just hold down the button that takes pictures and you get 10 pictures in 1 second. The longer you hold your finger down, the more pictures you take. Seems simple. The reason this works so well is it groups the images into a set. You get to go into the set and decide which images are the best. So, think about how hard it is to capture someone jumping off a diving board. If you have any lag or you just don’t click at the right time, you will miss the picture. Instead, with Burst Mode, just click and hold. Then go and find the best images out of that burst. It works great!

Do you have any camera favorites or tips? Maybe a different camera app that you like better?

Tech Tool of The Week – Socrative

Socrative is an awesome formative (and summative) assessment tool for teachers. And, most importantly, it’s free and usable on any web-enabled device.

I have used Socrative in class with students and with parents at an open house. In a previous post I wrote about how great Socrative was, but recent updates have made it even better!  I really like the preset “Exit Ticket.” Socrative also gives you several ways to get the data out of the app.

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.38.41 AM

It’s an app that is well worth your time to explore.

Let me know what you think. Do you use any other web based tools with your students for formative assessement?