Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Nimbus for Screenshots and Screencasts #CoolChromeExtensions

Getting feedback and ideas from others is one of the biggest reasons why I love writing blog posts. I recently shared a blog post about Share and Send Screenshots. After making the post, I received a comment from Kevin, who suggested that I take a look at Nimbus.

Nimbus is an awesome tool to annotate screenshots or create your own screencast! Just like Share and Send Screenshots, this tool is very simple to use; however, it offers more features like:

  • Recording Video
  • Blank Screen
  • Capturing a Fragment 
From an annotation standpoint, I love some of the tools it offers. One of my favorites is the Draw a Note tool. It combines the power of a post-it note with an arrow attached to point to your object. 


After you have created your annotated screenshot or screencast (video), you can easily save and share. You can save to:
  • Nimbus by creating an account
  • Your computer
  • Google Drive
Nimbus also gives you the option to print too! Do you have any other ideas? I would love to feature them in my blog!


Monday, December 28, 2015

#CoolChromeExtensions: Share and Send Screenshots

Sharing directions can be challenging, especially if you are not an auditory learner. Tools to annotate and share are especially helpful inside and outside of the classroom.

Explain and Share Screenshots is a simple and effective tool to use to annotate and share screenshots of your favorite webpages on your Chrome browser.

The simplicity of this tool is one of its strengths. You can use it to take a screenshot of a selected area, visible part of the screen, or the entire screen.

Once your picture is downloaded, there are many different options and tools to annotate your screenshot.


How Does It Work? 

Prior to using the extension, make sure that you have downloaded it from the Chrome Store. Watch this helpful video on how to use:


How Can I Use It? 


Annotation tools are a great way to give directions, demonstrate understanding, or explain a concept. You could easily use this tool to:

  1. Put together directions for student's to follow
  2. Annotate a website
  3. Find and label objects in photos
  4. Create directions on a Google Map 
  5. Annotate and label an article

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Learn a New Language with HelloTalk

In an increasingly global world, it is more important than ever to communicate across languages. A good tool to do so is the HelloTalk iOS and Android App.

While our schools are often limited to teaching languages like Spanish, French, and German, choose over 100 languages to learn instantly on the HelloTalk App.

Once you register, you will be able to quickly meet native-speaking language partners from around the world. Users can connect and communicate via the App in numerous ways:
  • You can make and receive free calls to and from your learning partners over the Internet
  • Send and receive text messaging
  • Create a library of favorites in the place of foreign language words, sentences, audio files, grammar corrections, pictures, etc. 
Want to learn more? Check out HelloTalk's website

Grade It Now App

Teachers are always looking for different ways to assess students. Here is another assessment App available on the iOS, Android, and Chrome Stores called Grade It Now.

What is Grade It Now?
Essentially Grade It Now is the equivalent of an electronic Scantron sheet. Teachers create an assessment and develop an answer key filled with multiple choice questions. 

What Do I Like? 
  1. Once teachers have purchased the App, they can make an unlimited number of assessments. 
  2. Multiple choice questions can be anywhere between 2 to 6 choices with one or more answers.
  3. You can set a time limit for students to complete
  4. Assessment instantly and provide scores to both student and teacher. 
What I Don't Like

I have to admit, when I first saw this App, I was excited at the possibility of another App like Socrative, Kahoot, or Quizziz; however, I was very disappointed that it is the equivalent of a scantron sheet.
  • Obviously, this is not a UDL-friendly App because it provides students with only one type of question (multiple choice / true false). Unfortunately filling in bubbles does not demonstrate whether students have mastered content. 
  • The App states that students and teachers get instantanoues feedback. Essentially they find out which bubble they missed, which would be no different than handing someone a marked up Scantron sheet. I'm not sure a bubble can help students understand "why" they got a particular question wrong - if they cannot even see the question.
  • You have to pay for the App and get very little in return. $1.99 in the iOS store and $9.99 in the Chrome Store. 
  • Apps like Socrative, Quizziz, NearPod actually put the question on the student's screen, provide feedback, and help students go beyond "what" the answer is to "why" the answer is what it is. They even provide students with visuals to understand the question better. 
  • If you read the user agreement, the company is NOT responsible for any of your data. In other words, if you don't back up your answer keys, you are out of luck. It seems very difficult - if impossible - to easily backup data. 
  • It is hard to believe that teachers still use Scantrons, but in many districts where technology is not as prevelent, this is the case. It would be nice to see if this App were able to integrate with scantron technology. Could this App scan and grade actual scantron sheets, much like other Apps do?


Saturday, December 19, 2015

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat has become a popular messaging application that our kids are using to send and share self-destructing pictures.

Who is using it?

The majority of Snapchat's users are between the ages of 13 - 34 years old. There are over 100,000 users of Snapchat are called "snapchatters," who use the service to send pictures, videos, and stories with other snapchatters. Businesses are even turning to Snapchat as a way to connect with potential customers

What is it? 

Snapchat gained popularity as a messaging application that allows someone to send and receive "snaps" (pictures, drawings, and video) that self-destruct from 1 to 10 seconds. It is very similar to sending and receiving text messages; however, the biggest advantage is that messages self-destruct.

When was it created? Where is it available? 

Snapchat was created in 2011 as a free application available on the iTunes and Android store.

How does it work? 

After you have downloaded the application from the iTunes or Google Play store, you will need to create an account. Once the application is open, it will ask for access to your camera, so that you can begin taking "snaps" or pictures or video. After you have taken a "snap," you have the ability to customize the message, annotate, set the time length (between 1 - 10 seconds), and decide who you are sending it to.

There is also a feed with all of your sent "snaps,"  and "snap" replies known as "snapbacks." There is also a "story" feature, which is a way of sending and grouping multiple "snaps" to a mass group of your friends. It only lasts 24 hours long and disappears after this time.

Items for Parents to Consider:
  • Although not all kids are using it inappropriately, it has been known as a platform for sexting. Make sure that your child realizes what types of pictures should and should not be sent. 
  •  Even though pictures "self-destruct" after a certain amount of time, users could still take screenshots of the picture to save on their phone. 
  • Snapchat has made it easy to add contacts, which can be added from their contact lists and users who are nearby. 
  • A one-to-one chatting feature was recently developed. Once users leave the chat, the chat will disappear unless users decide to save the chat. 
  • Know the privacy settings. By default, anyone who knows your username or phone number can send you a message. A Snapchat account can be customized to accept messages from users on your “My Friends” list in the settings menu.


Good Resources for Parents:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

What is the AfterSchool App?

There has been a lot posted recently about the AfterSchool App after several incidents have emerged.

Who is using this App? 

The AfterSchool App is currently being used as a way for high school students to annonymously express their thoughts and feelings. It is very similar to another App called Yik Yak that is used primarily on college campuses. The App is currently available on over 22,000 high school campuses across the United States.

What is it? 

The AfterSchool App is an anonymous message board app available on iOS and Android devices for high school students. Students can make anonymous posts for everyone at their school to see.

When was it created? 

This App has actually been around since November of 2014, but was pulled from the Apple after several concerns about safety appeared. It reappeared with several safety improvements in April of 2015.

Where is it available ?

As of December 2015, the AfterSchool App is an iOS and Android App available to high school students across the country.

Why was it created? 

The App was created to be a "safe" place where they can express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions without adult supervision on anonymous message boards.

How does it work? 

Students select their school from the list and the App uses their Facebook account to verify that they actually attend the school. The App then verifies friends, education, and location information from their Facebook accounts.

Many adults have tried signing up for the App; however, the App uses algorithms to determine whether the person is an "imposter." The algorithm searches Facebook friends and profile information and even the language that you use in posts.

Safety Features:

As mentioned earlier, there have been several safety features since its relaunch in April 2015. Here are a few:

  • Text and image filters to catch inappropriate posts
  • Every piece of content is reviewed by human moderators to moderate content
  • Improved reporting features. Posts that are reported get removed from the feed. Those who abuse content can now be banned from using the app.
  • 24/7 support.Whenever anyone writes a distressed post, they are contacted to see if they would like to talk with someone. 
  • A service named First was created to detect and alert schools of possible threats. School administration and local police departments are notified by the service. 

What can parents do?
  • Learn more about the App on its website
  • Talk with your child to see if they are using the App. Reiterate appropriate and inappropriate behavior online. 
  • Realize that kids are going to make mistakes. Try to avoid condemning your child's mistakes and create an open environment where they can be honest.
  • Be open to helping them navigate through the waters of the digital age. 
  • Check out Common Sense Media. It is filled with great resources to help you and your child navigate through the digital age.  



Good Resources for Parents:


Friday, December 11, 2015

Tweeter Board Google Form

Want to get your student's tweeting without Twitter? Use this amazing Google Form resource is called Tweeter Board, which was developed by Tammy Worcester Tang. This amazing resource is a Google Form that collects data into a Google Spreadsheet. It is a great resource to use the power and engagement of social media without needing to use social media!

How does it work? 

You will want to visit: http://tammyworcester.com/class-tweeter-template/ to make a copy of the Google Form Template. Once you have made a copy, you will want to begin setting up your form by following the step-by-step instructions found in the Spreadsheet.

Need help? Check out my helpful video:


Once you have the sheet up and running, you will want to share the Google Form with your students. Tammy's Spreadsheet actually generates a shortened URL and QR code to make sharing easy.

The form can be set up so that you can approve and moderate comments or have comments appear on the Tweeter Board tab (tab number 4) at the bottom of your screen.


How can I use it? 

Use this as a tool to collect valuable information from your students. Have students summarize today's lesson (in 140 characters or less of course!). Have students give back feedback, make predictions, share what they have learned.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Create Your Own Google Dropbox with The Work Collector

Work flow is always a discussion in 1:1 and BYOD environments. Tools like Google Classroom, Edmodo, Schoology, and Dropbox are great ways to collect student work, but I want to introduce you to another excellent tool that combines the power of a dropbox and Google Drive.

The Work Collector lets you collect student work on a computer or tablet, then place it automatically in your Google Drive. I first learned about this tool from The Techie Teacher, who introduced it in this blog post. Thank you!

How does it work? 

First you need to create your own work collect by following the instructions to install this script. It is very easy to do!



Next, you will need to share the link to The Work Collector with your students. The Techie Teacher recommends bookmarking the URL or developing a QR Code for student's to access. Need more info on QR Codes? Check out my post.

Finally, have your students add their name, choose the image or file from their device, and upload. Student work will be placed into a Google Drive folder, much like Google Classroom does.

Conclusion:

What are your favorite ways to collect student work? The Work Collector may need to be added to your arsenal. Not only is this a great way for students to turn in work, but it can be a great way to collect files and images during professional development.  student work

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Create Amazing Picture Collages with Loupe Collage

I know it may sound cliche to say a picture speaks a thousand words, but Loupe Collage actually makes this expression true! This web-based application and Google App literally turns your pictures into a shape (or word) collage.

You choose the pictures, then you choose the shape, image, or word you would like to make a collage. Loupe Collage can access photos from your computer, Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Instagram, and even more!

Here are some ideas that you could use Loupe Collage for!

  • Music Classroom - let's say that you are talking about famous composers. Why not have your students locate the pictures of famous composers and put them together in the shape of a musical note? 
  • History / Language Arts - are you talking about biographies on famous historical figures? Why not gather pictures about that person's life and place pictures to form the letters of their last name? 
  • At the beginning of the school year, have students put together a collage in the form of their name. This is a great way to learn names and learn more about your students! Check out the example I posted above. I used pictures from Facebook to compose it! 
You can easily save your photo without an account - if you don't mind a little watermark! 

Have you ever used Loupe Collage? Have you ever used other programs like it? I'd love to hear more!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Improve Student Writing Skills one Quill at a Time

Writing is an essential skill for ALL students to develop to effectively communicate inside the classroom, outside the classroom, and in future careers. In the era of electronic communication, it is important for students to learn important communication skills. Modern academic standards also emphasize the importance of developing student writing skills. Quill.org is a free tool, which can be used with students to pinpoint areas of strength and weakness in the writing process.

What is Quill? 

Quill.org engages students in the writing process through web-based learning activities that teach valuable grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills. It is very similar to NoRedInk and Edmodo's Snapshot feature because you can each activity addresses, measures, and provides feedback on how students met or did not meet specific Common Core State Standards.


Why Quill? 

Quill is a non-profit organization, which has designed over 150 activities for elementary, middle, high school, and college students. Each activity takes approximately 10 - 15 minutes and is the perfect tool for warm-up exercises in 1:1 classroom environments or whole class activities. The best part is that students receive instant feedback, which is extremely helpful!


A teacher dashboard provides specific data used to pinpoint areas of strength and weakness. Want to see it in action? Check out the demo teacher dashboard to see it in action!

Need Help Getting Started? 

Quill provides numerous tools for teachers to effectively set-up and use Quill in the classroom. Check out the Teacher Resources section filled with how-to-videos, instruction manuals, and tips.

There is even a Getting Started handout for students, which is perfect because there is very little that you have to do as a teacher!



November is Click's for a Cause Month!

For the past three years, November has been "Clicks for a Cause" month. Every time that you visit my blog during the month of November, I will contribute a penny towards the medical fund of a child in need. Here are past beneficiaries of this project. 

Addison Mae Jacobs was born on January 13, 2015, 4 weeks premature. She was born at only 6 lbs 5 oz and 17.5 inches long.  On October 27, 2015, she was diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS), a devastating disease impacting only one in a million children. SDS is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia predisposition, and skeletal abnormalities.

Addison is currently being seen by nine different medical specialists and her family is coordinating her care between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There are many expensive surgeries, tests, and medical costs in her future.  Due to the costly nature of her care, travel expenditures and having to take significant amounts of time off work, her family has setup a GoFundMe account for Addison, as well as a support page to show updates and her progress.

How Can I Help?

I will be donating a penny for every visit to this blog during the month of November. Are you willing to help too?
  • Visit this blog, pray, or spread the word about Addison! 
  •  Become a Coffee Partner and spare $5 to contribute to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 
  • Become a Dinner Partner and spare $25 to contribute to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 
  •  Become a Courageous giver and make a flat donation or match my donation  at the end of the month to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fabulous Photos with Fotor

We all know that pictures are a powerful medium to tell a story or communicate a message. It's what has made sites like Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter flourish. After you take the picture, how can you increase your picture's impact? Why not try a photo editor?

Some of my favorites are:


I recently was made aware of another amazing and free editing program called Fotor, which recently underwent a major redesign. This redesign has made the user interface and experience much easier! I love it's basic editing features like, 1-tap enhance along with your basic rotate, crop, and resize. Fotor also has many cool photo effects such as Cool Effects, Lomo Effects, and Funky Effects!

Really want to impress your audience? Check out its graphic design features, where you can make Facebook covers, YouTube channel art, Twitter Covers, and even a photo montage!


Fotor can create impressive HDR photos from its impressive HDR algorithm. Upload 3 photos and watch magic begin to occur. Visit Fotor's website for more details!

November is Click's for a Cause Month!

For the past three years, November has been "Clicks for a Cause" month. Every time that you visit my blog during the month of November, I will contribute a penny towards the medical fund of a child in need. Here are past beneficiaries of this project. 

Addison Mae Jacobs was born on January 13, 2015, 4 weeks premature. She was born at only 6 lbs 5 oz and 17.5 inches long.  On October 27, 2015, she was diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS), a devastating disease impacting only one in a million children. SDS is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia predisposition, and skeletal abnormalities.

Addison is currently being seen by nine different medical specialists and her family is coordinating her care between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There are many expensive surgeries, tests, and medical costs in her future.  Due to the costly nature of her care, travel expenditures and having to take significant amounts of time off work, her family has setup a GoFundMe account for Addison, as well as a support page to show updates and her progress.

How Can I Help?

I will be donating a penny for every visit to this blog during the month of November. Are you willing to help too?
  • Visit this blog, pray, or spread the word about Addison! 
  •  Become a Coffee Partner and spare $5 to contribute to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 
  • Become a Dinner Partner and spare $25 to contribute to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 
  •  Become a Courageous giver and make a flat donation or match my donation  at the end of the month to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

3 Ways to Make Maps Come Alive in Your Classroom


Have you ever thought about the power of a map and the story it tells? Instead of having your students write a five paragraph essay, why not have them add their paragraph to the description of points on a map? Planning a field trip? Why not have your students locate the best route?

Here are three ways to make your maps come alive!

# 1: Google My Maps

I am a big fan of Google My Maps, which works with your Google account and even saves on Google Drive! This is perfect if you are a Google Apps for Education School and for students under the age of 13.

Students can collaborate, share, add pictures, videos, and text descriptions to illustrate the significance of a location. Need to see if Greenland is bigger than Africa? My Map's polygon tools will help you determine the square mileage.

# 2: Map Me

I was recently made aware of another free website called MapMe, which has a high school and college age feel. This useful tool for older students requires linking to a Facebook or Linked In account.

What I do like about this App is the ability to create categories of locations. By default, you have three categories: Stores, Organizations, and Media. You can add other categories as you see fit!

Map Me has several very interesting features, such as:
  • Crowdsourcing – Lets your visitors add info to the map and lets you moderate all new info and updates
  • Events -Add Events to your map and make it easy for map users to discover events based on date, time and location
  • Feed – The Feed provides real-time updates of the latest information added to the map
  • Embed map – Allow others to embed your map
# 3: NearPod Virtual Field Trips

Although not officially a map, NearPod has changed the way that information is presented and how students are engaged with a new feature called Virtual Field Trips.

In a partnership with 360 Cities, NearPod now gives teachers and students the opportunity to view pristine locations like the Taj Mahal, the Golden Gate Bridge, and The Great Wall of China. You can view famous architecture, famous artifacts, and even different planets! Virtual Field Trips are a great addition to any classroom.

November is Click's for a Cause Month!

For the past three years, November has been "Clicks for a Cause" month. Every time that you visit my blog during the month of November, I will contribute a penny towards the medical fund of a child in need. Here are past beneficiaries of this project. 

Addison Mae Jacobs was born on January 13, 2015, 4 weeks premature. She was born at only 6 lbs 5 oz and 17.5 inches long.  On October 27, 2015, she was diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS), a devastating disease impacting only one in a million children. SDS is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia predisposition, and skeletal abnormalities.

Addison is currently being seen by nine different medical specialists and her family is coordinating her care between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There are many expensive surgeries, tests, and medical costs in her future.  Due to the costly nature of her care, travel expenditures and having to take significant amounts of time off work, her family has setup a GoFundMe account for Addison, as well as a support page to show updates and her progress.

How Can I Help?

I will be donating a penny for every visit to this blog during the month of November. Are you willing to help too?
  • Visit this blog, pray, or spread the word about Addison! 
  •  Become a Coffee Partner and spare $5 to contribute to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 
  • Become a Dinner Partner and spare $25 to contribute to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 
  •  Become a Courageous giver and make a flat donation or match my donation  at the end of the month to Addison’s GoFundMe page. Use the #clicks4acause in your message to the family! 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Macbook Problem: Can't See Pictures Sent to You in Messages?

I have noticed that I cannot send or receive pictures in Messages on my Macbook Air since I upgraded to the Yosemite OS several months ago. I was seeing this instead:

I thought that upgrading to El Capitan would potentially take care of the problem. Unfortunately it did not. After doing a little research, I was able to find a solution on Apple's website!

Here's how to fix your problem:

1. Find and open your Library Folder

2. Open your Messages folder.

3. You will see a file named Attachments with 0 bytes. Delete this folder.

4. Create a new folder called Attachments (make sure that this is in your Messages folder)



This will take care of your problem! Now you are able to see pictures in Messages.

November is Click's for a Cause Month!

For the past three years, November has been "Clicks for a Cause" month. Every time that you visit my blog during the month of November, I will contribute a penny towards the medical fund of a child in need. Here are past beneficiaries of this project. 

Addison Mae Jacobs was born on January 13, 2015, 4 weeks premature. She was born at only 6 lbs 5 oz and 17.5 inches long.  On October 27, 2015, she was diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS), a devastating disease impacting only one in a million children. SDS is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia predisposition, and skeletal abnormalities.

Addison is currently being seen by nine different medical specialists and her family is coordinating her care between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There are many expensive surgeries, tests, and medical costs in her future.  Due to the costly nature of her care, travel expenditures and having to take significant amounts of time off work, her family has setup a GoFundMe account for Addison, as well as a support page to show updates and her progress.

How Can I Help?

I will be donating a penny for every visit to this blog during the month of November. Are you willing to help too?
  • Visit this blog, pray, or spread the word about Addison! 
  •  Become a Courageous giver and make a flat donation or match my donation  at the end of the month to Addison’s GoFundMe page

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

First Graders Explain Everything with Explain Everything

I never realized how much of an art of summarizing a story. Today I had the privilege of working with a group of first graders on this important skill. Their teacher and I used iPads and the Explain Everything App to do it. If you are not familiar with this App, it is an interactive whiteboard app that can be used to teach concepts, retell stories and even flip your classroom.

Step 1: Template

Retelling a story can be a difficult concept for any student; therefore, it is important to have a structured way of having students practice. First, we used a template from Tech with Jen to help students gather their ideas and use the proper terms (first, next, then, finally). Students took a picture of this template, so that it would appear in their Camera Roll.

Step 2: Story Pics

Then students used their iPads to take pictures of the illustrations in their book. We made sure that we took 4 pictures to help tell the story in terms of first, then, next, and finally. We made sure that the pictures did not contain text, which would defeat the purpose of retelling a story!

Step 3: Import Pictures

Next, we opened up the Explain Everything App on the iPad. We imported the picture of the template first, so that it would cover the entire screen. Then we imported the illustrations and resized them so that they would appear in each box.

Step 4: Tell the Story

Finally, we had students use the recording feature on Explain Everything to tell their story. We made sure that the students listened to their recording before they published it because we wanted to ensure sound quality (as best as we could with first graders!).

How did they turn it in? 

Students exported the video to their camera roll and turned their video in using See Saw. You could use a variety of other tools like Edmodo, Schoology, Google Classroom, and Dropbox to do the same thing.

Do you have a cool way to retell stories? I'd love to hear it! Perhaps I can feature it on my blog.

November is Click's for a Cause Month!

For the past three years, November has been "Clicks for a Cause" month. Every time that you visit my blog during the month of November, I will contribute a penny towards the medical fund of a child in need. Here are past beneficiaries of this project. 

Addison Mae Jacobs was born on January 13, 2015, 4 weeks premature. She was born at only 6 lbs 5 oz and 17.5 inches long.  On October 27, 2015, she was diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS), a devastating disease impacting only one in a million children. SDS is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia predisposition, and skeletal abnormalities.

Addison is currently being seen by nine different medical specialists and her family is coordinating her care between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There are many expensive surgeries, tests, and medical costs in her future.  Due to the costly nature of her care, travel expenditures and having to take significant amounts of time off work, her family has setup a GoFundMe account for Addison, as well as a support page to show updates and her progress.

How Can I Help?

I will be donating a penny for every visit to this blog during the month of November. Are you willing to help too?
  • Visit this blog, pray, or spread the word about Addison! 
  •  Become a Courageous giver and make a flat donation or match my donation  at the end of the month to Addison’s GoFundMe page

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Gamify Assessment with Quizizz

Recently I posted about Quizalize, which has the entertainment factor of Kahoot with the student paced questioning methods of Socrative. Just like Kahoot, it can be accessed on any device via your browser.

 +Kevin O'Donnell recommended that I take a look at Quizizz, which I instantly liked! This is another assessment tool that can be added into your arsenal of assessment tools. 


Quizizz is an awesome way to help enhance learning, while gamifying your classroom. Why do I like it?

  • Although there is a timer function built in, students can still answer questions at their own pace. 
  • You can play live or as a homework session! 
  • You can jumble up the question order, so that students can't cheat! 
  • You can turn a leader board on or off. One of the biggest disadvantages of Kahoot, is that students care more about how quickly they answer questions (and get points). With Quizizz, you can turn this feature off!
  • It is device agnostic and can be used in any environment. 
  • Fun avatars and memes! When users enter the game, they enter their name and have an avatar is pre-assigned to them. Once you answer a question, a fun meme is there to encourage or congratulate you!
  • Data is saved! You can save data, so that you can make decisions and enter it into your grade book. 

Want to learn more about it? Here are some helpful resources. Do you have other assessment tools that you like? I'd love to hear about them! Please send a comment. 

November is Click's for a Cause Month!

For the past three years, November has been "Clicks for a Cause" month. Every time that you visit my blog during the month of November, I will contribute a penny towards the medical fund of a child in need. Here are past beneficiaries of this project. 

Addison Mae Jacobs was born on January 13, 2015, 4 weeks premature. She was born at only 6 lbs 5 oz and 17.5 inches long.  On October 27, 2015, she was diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS), a devastating disease impacting only one in a million children. SDS is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia predisposition, and skeletal abnormalities.

Addison is currently being seen by nine different medical specialists and her family is coordinating her care between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There are many expensive surgeries, tests, and medical costs in her future.  Due to the costly nature of her care, travel expenditures and having to take significant amounts of time off work, her family has setup a GoFundMe account for Addison, as well as a support page to show updates and her progress.

How Can I Help?

I will be donating a penny for every visit to this blog during the month of November. Are you willing to help too?
  • Visit this blog, pray, or spread the word about Addison! 
  •  Become a Courageous giver and make a flat donation or match my donation  at the end of the month to Addison’s GoFundMe page

Saturday, November 7, 2015

You've Heard of Kahoot and Socrative, But Do You Quizalize?

There are so many options when it comes to assessing students with technology in the classroom. Some of my favorites are a part of the fabric of almost every classroom I visit:

I have to ask, do you Quizalize? If you aren't, you may want to consider using great way to assess students. It has the entertainment factor of Kahoot with the student paced questioning methods of Socrative. Just like Kahoot, it can be accessed on any device via your browser. 

What I Like:
  • Students can work at their own pace. When they answer a question, they get immediate feedback to help them understand whether they got the answer right or wrong.
  • Want to give a homework assignment? As long as students have the access code, they can take the quiz when it works for them. 
  • Tools like Socrative and Nearpod provide spreadsheets to analyze individual and group performance, but Quizalize analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of students in realtime. A realtime dashboard lets you know who needs a little help and who has mastered the content. 

Do you have other assessment tools that you like? I'd love to hear about them! Please send a comment. 


November is Click's for a Cause Month!

For the past three years, November has been "Clicks for a Cause" month. Every time that you visit my blog during the month of November, I will contribute a penny towards the medical fund of a child in need. Here are past beneficiaries of this project. 

Addison Mae Jacobs was born on January 13, 2015, 4 weeks premature. She was born at only 6 lbs 5 oz and 17.5 inches long.  On October 27, 2015, she was diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS), a devastating disease impacting only one in a million children. SDS is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia predisposition, and skeletal abnormalities.

Addison is currently being seen by nine different medical specialists and her family is coordinating her care between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There are many expensive surgeries, tests, and medical costs in her future.  Due to the costly nature of her care, travel expenditures and having to take significant amounts of time off work, her family has setup a GoFundMe account for Addison, as well as a support page to show updates and her progress.

How Can I Help?

I will be donating a penny for every visit to this blog during the month of November. Are you willing to help too?
  • Visit this blog, pray, or spread the word about Addison! 
  •  Become a Courageous giver and make a flat donation or match my donation  at the end of the month to Addison’s GoFundMe page

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

7 Reasons Why SeeSaw is The Perfect Tool for All Learners

Are you using See Saw in the classroom? This is an excellent way to have students create a portfolio of learning experience artifacts. It is available as an App or as a web-based program. I have to admit, I had very little experience with it until my teachers introduced it to me.  Why do we like it so much?

#1 - Clear Goal and Flexible Means 

SeeSaw provides the perfect blend of tools to allow students express their knowledge and demonstrate their understanding. Students can show what they know in the way that works best for them through writing, drawing, recording, and importing projects from other applications. Students can actually see their growth through their contributions over time.

# 2 - A Great Way to Virtually Connect with Parents 

I am learning that my teacher's are masters of connecting parents and kids. They have found that SeeSaw is a great way to connect home and learning because parents can see what their child is creating and even comment on it!

# 3 - Device Agnostic 

SeeSaw is the perfect tool to use in any learning environment. Whether you have an iPad initiative, BYOD, laptops, or desktops, this tool is the perfect tool to use in your classroom.

# 4 - Control

Teachers have the ability to approve comments and posts, which is a great way to limit distractions and provide rich documentation on what occurred in class that day.

# 5 - No Logins! 

Think about how many usernames and passwords adults have to remember. It is just as bad for kids. If you are working with children under the age of 13, it becomes a COPPA issue. What I like about SeeSaw is that students can access their portfolio by scanning a QR Code or entering a web address. No login is needed!

# 6 - Interaction Galore! 

Chances are that our students will need to learn how to interact in an online learning environment. SeeSaw gives students tools to comment and "like" posts, which is the perfect way to teach valuable digital citizenship skills.

# 7 - It Can Be Used in Any Subject Area

Regardless of the subject you are teaching, students can use SeeSaw to solve math problems, make book reports, learn about historical events, and even document science experiments! What creative ways do you have to use SeeSaw? I'd love to hear them!


November is Click's for a Cause Month!

For the past three years, November has been "Clicks for a Cause" month. Every time that you visit my blog during the month of November, I will contribute a penny towards the medical fund of a child in need. Here are past beneficiaries of this project. 

Addison Mae Jacobs was born on January 13, 2015, 4 weeks premature. She was born at only 6 lbs 5 oz and 17.5 inches long.  On October 27, 2015, she was diagnosed with Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome (SDS), a devastating disease impacting only one in a million children. SDS is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia predisposition, and skeletal abnormalities.

Addison is currently being seen by nine different medical specialists and her family is coordinating her care between Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There are many expensive surgeries, tests, and medical costs in her future.  Due to the costly nature of her care, travel expenditures and having to take significant amounts of time off work, her family has setup a GoFundMe account for Addison, as well as a support page to show updates and her progress.

How Can I Help?

I will be donating a penny for every visit to this blog during the month of November. Are you willing to help too?
  • Visit this blog, pray, or spread the word about Addison! 
  •  Become a Courageous giver and make a flat donation or match my donation  at the end of the month to Addison’s GoFundMe page