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 

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Cameron’s organized Notability files

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

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 – 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?

Tech Tuesday 4.8.14 – What Do You Want Kids to Do With Technology?

I stumbled upon the following image on Twitter the other day and I was impressed with its simplicity. Too often, technology use is viewed as a learning outcome, when it is really just a means to an end, a tool. Technology can be transformative for learning and engagement, but don’t lose sight of your curricular objectives.

So, ask yourself… what do you want kids to do with technology? If your ideas are only on the left hand side of the image below, you need to rethink how you are utilizing technology in your curriculum.

This image was created and shared by William Ferriter.

12 Days of App-mas Review

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with ways you have used these apps.

Here is a review of all the Apps presented during the 12 Days of App-mas.

Reflector

Notability

Baiboard

Google Drive

Duolingo

CK-12 Study Now

Padlet

Raising Modern Learners

Explain Everything

TeacherKit

Tech Tuesday – 10.08.13 Connected Educators Month (CEM)

Edutopia is one of the best resources for educators. They have put together a great page of Connected Educators Resources.

Resources for Connected Educator Month 2013 | Edutopia.

I hope you find it as useful as I did. Check out Connected Educators.org. The have a great tool for helping you connect to other educators called edConnectr.

Still not sure what it means to be “Connected”. Watch the video below.

Tech Tuesday – 10.01.13 – Connected Educators Month (CEM)

Sorry, I am publishing this a day early.

October 2013 is Connected Educators Month. It’s a chance for us to start connecting with other educators around the world!

Below are some great places to start if you haven’t already. If you already consider yourself “connected”, make sure you spread the word about how being connected has helped you as an educator!

If you aren’t sure what it means to be a “Connected Educator”, watch this short video for an overview.

CEM – Connected Educators Month – Resources

Tech Tuesday 3.12.13

Allendale Columbia School, Librarian, Judy Van Alstyne (@bibliopheme) presented a Tech Tuesday faculty workshop today on NoodleTools.

Faculty were encouraged to attend if they…

  • teach students in grades 5 – 12
  • ever require a works cited page
  • ever require a research project
  • ever require a project using photographs or other images (other than what the students take themselves)

We experimented with a slightly “flipped” workshop. Faculty were asked to follow two screencasts so that all would be ready to jump into NoodleTools at 3:30:

Flipped Classroom overview video:

“How to log in to NoodleTools for the first time – for Faculty” –  http://www.screenr.com/hdG7
You’ll need to know your ID and default password (sent in a separate e-mail)

“How to create a ‘drop box’ for students to share their work with you” –  http://www.screenr.com/0dG7

NoodleTools provides scaffolding for creating thorough and accurate works cited pages. The structure promotes good research habits and the many “Show Me” tutorials and various prompts encourage smart resource analysis and the ethical use of information. There is also the option to use virtual notecards, outlines, and sync it with Google Drive.

Many classes and their teachers had already been introduced to NoodleTools this year as the kick-off to various research assignments. This workshop focused on more than the navigation of NoodleTools, however, with emphasis on the instructional support provided by NoodleTools. Especially wonderful are the “Show Me” slideshows on types of resources which NoodleTools offers free for anyone to use.

Tutorials on types of resources (NoodleTools “Show Me”)


Attendees represented all three divisions (from grades 2 – 12!), several departments, and even administration. Everyone seemed to agree that NoodleTools is robust and accessible enough that you almost want to write a research paper again!