Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Diigo Weekly Bookmarks

July16

What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below to access some super cool digital resources that can be utilized to engage students in your classroom!

» A.nnotate.com

An online annotation and collaboration tool for reviewing documents and images. Compatible with all common web browsers, with no software or plugins to install.

» Podcast Garden

A web tool that allows users to upload content to the internet making it available to various downstream distribution outlets. Each podcast is assigned a unique RSS feed URL that is compatible with the iTunes Store and Google Play.
A Windows OS download that allows users to convert files to different formats so they can be easily shared with others. Free to use!

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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Escape the ’70s: A BASD Time Travel Adventure

July15

Since learning about escape rooms last January, I have been completely fascinated with the concept. In fact, one could say I’m a junkie as I’m always looking for a new room that will allow me to put my problem solving skills to the test. To date, I’ve experienced about ten different rooms, including one in Austin, Texas, but my all-time favorite thus far was definitely the Bootlegger’s Live Escape Room at Bube’s Brewery in Mount Joy, PA. This totally cool adventure is located in the catacombs of a historic 19th century brewery and museum complex. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to put this place on your must-see list!

Escape the Classroom

Of course, as I visited each escape room, the educator in me thought wouldn’t this be an awesome strategy to incorporate into a classroom setting?

And then I found out about Breakout EDU, an immersive learning platform containing various games which are designed specifically for students of all ages and content areas. Coupled with my interest in escape rooms, I’ve been using this site as inspiration to develop a number of activities for my district. These activities include but are not limited to…

» A training session for middle school teachers. Check ’em out below participating in a digital breakout activity. And then click here for info about the benefits of integrating this concept into the classroom.

» A Media Center Madness game, a scavenger hunt style activity in which students had to work together using QR codes, hidden messages and puzzles to unlock six boxes within a 45 minute time frame. Click here to read an entire post about this breakout game.

» A series of challenges for our annual district-wide STEM Night. Check out some of our students trying to solve puzzles based on the types of energy.

» A breakout game for our sixth grade environmental field trip. Dubbed Operation Recycle, this activity involved solving a number of puzzles that taught students about the role they can play in protecting the planet via recycling everyday items. Click here for additional info about my most favorite creation to date.

The Real Deal

My experiences with escape rooms and Breakout EDU games have led to my next super cool adventure—the opportunity to build an actual escape room in our middle school. Yep, thanks to BAMS principal Dr. Don Wagner, I am in the process of converting an ISS room into a ’70s style escape room that will be utilized with teachers, staff and students throughout our district—and eventually our community. How amazing is that!

As you’ve probably suspected, I’ve spent the last few weeks wandering through flea markets and antique stores in search of retro furniture, accessories, games and gadgets from this groovy decade. With the help of my Tech Club students, family, friends and colleagues, check out the progress I’ve made…

The ISS Room before removing all of the old stuff.

Some of the furniture, games and accessories we moved into the room. The boys had a fun time playing albums from the ’70s. Yes, the stereo actually works!

The boys and I visited the IQ Escape Room in State College, PA. We got busted in our attempt to steal the Mona Lisa, but we had a great time trying! These students now have a better understanding of the concept and therefore, will be invaluable when assisting me with the design of our new room.

My dad picked up some of the larger pieces of furniture I purchased as well as the TV and lamps that were donated by our Spanish teacher Senora Smith. With the help of my nephews Kyle and Haden, it was delivered it to school for me.

I’m currently working on developing various clues and puzzles using items that were popular during this decade—games, music, TV shows and more!

Stay tuned for updates as well as a sneak peek of our new logo…

#escapethe70s #basdescaperoom #superexcited #somuchfun

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Tech It Up Tuesday: 50 Tools & Apps for Showcasing Student Knowledge

July11

tech it up tueday

Are you ready for the first summer edition of “Tech It Up Tuesday”, a weekly series in which I share an edtech tool, app, site or other resource that can be utilized in the educational setting?

If so, you’re going to love this week’s resource—a super cool and extremely useful infographic created by Tony Vincent, edtech guru and author of the Learning in Hand web site. Read on…

With a myriad of web tools and apps available to teachers, it’s sometimes mind-boggling trying to identify which are the most effective for the classroom. But if you’re looking for some innovative ways to showcase student learning using tech tools, here’s an awesome collection of resources spanning 11 categories—audio recordings, collages, comics, posters, slides, digital books, narrated slideshows, movies, animations, screen casts and study aids—to help get you started!

showcaseideas

Click here for a larger version of this infographic as well as access to a pdf that can be printed. A link to view the info on Scribd is also available.

Classroom Connection:

Use the visual to discover resources that will provide your students with the opportunity to show, explain and retell their knowledge.

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks

July9

What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Five super cool resources that can be used to locate and/or enhance images for educational purposes. Check ’em out below!

» PicJumbo

Totally free stock photos for educational, commercial and/or personal use. No attribution needed!

» Pixabay

A treasure trove of royalty-free images for use in all types of multimedia projects and classroom activities.

» Openclipart.org

High quality free clip art for use on all types of educational projects.

» PicResize

Resize, shrink, and crop pictures online for free before posting them to a blog, web page or social media site.

» Clipping Magic

Easily remove image backgrounds and/or create masks, cutouts and clipping paths with this quick and simple online tool.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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26 Effective Ways to Use Twitter in Education

July6

A few days ago I admitted that I have an app-diction. Yep, I’m a tweet-a-holic—and wear that label proudly! In fact, I even stated that Twitter is my professional BFF, my go-to place for continual learning of invaluable information highlighting best practices, innovative thinking, instructional strategies and the integration of technology is this super popular social media platform.

As a follow up to last week’s admission of guilt, I’m sharing a very useful infographic highlighting 26 ways educators can incorporate Twitter into their craft.

So, if you haven’t already adopted this social media platform as one of your must-have places to go for professional development and/or sharing pertinent info with coworkers, students and parents, no worries! There’s no time like summer vacation to add a new set of skills to your tech-box!

Despite the 140 character minimum, tweets—articles, thoughts, opinions, inspiration, quotes, images and more—allow like-minded individuals to connect, collaborate, discuss, exchange and even debate all sorts of ideas with virtual colleagues. Whether it’s best practices, instructional strategies, the latest and greatest tech tools or an innovative project, invaluable information is just a hashtag away!

Check out the visual below for an A-Z list of ways educators can utilize one of the most popular tools on the edtech scene to make meaningful connections with others.

effective ways to use twitter

Click here for a larger version of this infographic.

A shout out to eLearning Infographics for creating and sharing this useful info for educators!

#haveatit

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks

July2

What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks?

Check out the links shown below to access two super cool and very useful resources that can be utilized to engage students in the classroom with maker projects and vocabulary activities.

» Instructables

From science experiments to merit badges, this web site offers instructions for 100,000+ DIY projects in the areas of woodworking, paper, puzzles, laser cutting, 3D printing, sewing, kitchen hacks and more! Looking for a classroom maker project? You’ll find it here!

» VocApp Flashcards

Learn vocabulary faster and remember it forever with multisensory flashcards. Import, type, dictate or upload a photo and let the tool do the rest! Study anywhere, anytime with the Android & iOS apps.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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Twitter: This Geeky Girl’s Professional Development BFF

June30

Have you completely lost your mind? That’s the look I received when I recently told a group of colleagues that one of the best forms of professional development is—drum roll, please—Twitter. Yes, I’m so totally serious! And here’s why…

I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend some of the best edtech conferences, workshops and training session on the planet with some of the biggest names in the edtech world—all of which have been extremely beneficial. Yet, my go-to place for continual learning of invaluable information highlighting best practices, innovative thinking, instructional strategies and the integration of technology is this super popular social media platform.

Call me crazy, but I honestly learn more and more every day about how to improve my craft by reading tweets the members of my professional learning network, or PLN, share across this network—resources, tools, articles, thoughts, opinions, inspiration, quotes, images, and more!

And the best part? It’s quick (with a 140 character max per tweet), free, available 24/7 and you can connect, collaborate, discuss, exchange and even debate all sorts of ideas with your virtual colleagues—all in your PJs (or bikini) if you want!

Chances are that if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already aware of my stance regarding the value of Twitter and the importance of finding your tribe within this global network of educators. So that means you’re either already an addict like me (Hey, it could be worse, right?) or a wannabe tweeter who’s not quite sure how to enter the dark side. Regardless, the following super cool resources will certainly either reinforce what you already know to be true, teach you a new trick, or kickstart that urge to become a hashtag fanatic!

That said, be sure to check out The A-Z of Twitter for Educators infographic shown below as well as Kathy Shrock’s Guide to Twitter for Teachers, a site jam-packed with all things Twitter including classroom examples, tips, tricks, videos, cheat sheets, fun stuff and more!

Educators-A-Z-of-Twitter-1

Props to  UKEdChat for developing and sharing this useful resource!

Classroom Connection:

Educators need to be consumers of information—constant seekers of current and relevant content in order to avoid becoming stagnant or complacent in our profession. Most importantly, we need to become the best we can be for our students. That said, use the info provided in this post to build an awesome PLN using Twitter, one that will definitely take your teaching to a new level.

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The Pittsburgh Fab Institute: Get Your Maker On!

June28

Last week or new TechEd Teacher and I had the awesome opportunity to step up our making game while attending the 3rd annual Pittsburgh Fab Institute hosted by the Elizabeth Forward School District. This four day hands-on event allowed us to become more familiar with some of the latest and greatest digital fabrication tools and techniques that are currently being utilized in the maker movement—vinyl and laser cutters, 3D and sublimation printers and CNC routers. We also had the chance to experiment with various types of design software, electronics and robotics while learning more in-depth information about the design process by participating in all kinds of super cool challenges.

In addition, Kyley and I were able to connect with Elyse, Michael and Audrey from Real World Scholars to discuss ways we can provide our students with entrepreneurial project-based learning experiences during the upcoming school year. Stay tuned for more info regarding this amazing opportunity coming to B-A!

In the meantime, check out some highlights from our fab-ulous week of making…

Listening to one of the keynotes speakers in the EF High School Media Center, scenes from the EF FabLabs, sublimation equipment & a literature-based design challenge.

The EF Escape Room, Sphero Challenges, Real World Scholars, laser cutters & food trucks.

More design challenges, vinyl printers & graphic design.

Laser cutting in the mobile FabLab, sublimation activities & getting groovy with it.

Purchasing supplies to create wooden lettering for our media center.

More laser cutter projects, connecting with colleagues in the “Unicorn Stable” & Tinker Takeaways.

Major props to Dr. Todd Keruskin and the staff of Elizabeth Forward for giving 140+ educators from 12 states a platform to learn, experiment, connect and… make! I’m looking forward to implementing the knowledge and skills I acquired throughout this awe-inspiring event in our makerspaces throughout the upcoming school year!

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks

June27

What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks?

Check out the links shown below to access two super cool and very useful apps that can be utilized to engage students in a classroom and/or makerspace setting!

» Zotebook

An iPad app that recognizes rough sketches and transforms them into precise drawings for laser cutters or 3D printers. A simple alternative to CAD programs!

» Blokify

An iOS app that allows builders to create blok based models, either free-form or through a guided building experience. Once complete, the model can be transformed from virtual to physical play via a 3D printer.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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The Weekly Edtech Smackdown: Vol. X

June25

Welcome to the weekly edition of The Edtech Smackdown—a collection of digital resources containing a few of my most favorite activities, tools and articles curated from various social media spaces throughout the past week.

Check out some super cool edtech gems right here, right now and get ready to use these ideas to support learning and to engage students in your classroom!

As usual, this week kicks off with more Google goodness you won’t want to miss…

» Video Mash-Ups with Google Slides—By Eric Curts, Control Alt Achieve

» Google Keep: An Overview—By Meagan Kelly, I ❤ EDU

» How to Create a GoogleClassroom Custom Header with GoogleDrawings—By Kasey Bell, Shake Up Learning

» Our Favorite Google Docs Tips & Tricks—From the Google Teacher Tribe Podcast with Matt Miller & Kasey Bell

» Creating a Yohaku Puzzle with Google Sheets—By Alice Keeler, Teacher Tech

» Creating a Duplicate Tab in Chrome—By Alice Keeler, Teacher Tech

» 16 G Suite Challenges for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Users—By Alice Keeler, Teacher Tech

» Worksheet Trapped in a Notebook—By Alice Keeler, Teacher Tech

For the Apple Gurus…

» 2000+ iPad Lessons—By Lisa Johnson, Techchef4u

» 8 Must-Have Websites and Apps for Science Reading Passages—By Monica Burns, Class Tech Tips

» 4 Ways to Use QR Codes with Students in 2017—By Monica Burns, Class Tech Tips

» QR Codes: Pushing the Narrative on Scannables—By Monica Burns, Class Tech Tips

» 3 Reasons to Try the Paperscorer App This Year—By Monica Burns, Class Tech Tips

» Level the Playing Field with these iPad Accessibility Apps—By Nick LaFave, EdTechPicks

» Update: iOS 11 allows users to record their iPhone or iPad’s screen—By cnet.com

The #MakerEd Movement…

» Tinkering Forward: The Maker Movement Continues at B-A—By Jamie Forshey, Edutech for Teachers

» 7 Tips for Planning a Makerspace—By Leila Meyer via THE Journal

Other #EdTech Faves…

» Thinking of starting a student-led technology helpdesk? Check out a student-made iTunes U Course here!

» HyperDoc Lessons for When You’re Out of the Classroom—By Meagan Kelly, I ❤ EDU

» Favorite Sites for Free Clipart and Photos—By Tony Vincent, Learning in Hand

» Creative Book Trailer Ideas—By Brenham Tech Daily

» Green Screen Editing in GsuiteEdu (with a PicForward Template)—By Larissa Aradj, mrsgeekchic.com

» 6 Reasons to Lead Your Next Faculty Meeting with Nearpod—By Monica Burns, Class Tech Tips

» Creating Visual Six Word Stories—By Adam Shoenbart, The Shoenblog

» 10 Apps to Help Students With Their Social Studies Homework—By Matthew Lynch, The Tech Edvocate

» Geometry: More Resources for Flipping—By Meagan Kelly, I ❤ EDU

» Edtech Quality, Not Quantity—The EdTech Vlog by Matt Harris, Ed.D.

Good Reads…

» Strategies for Seamlessly Integrating Technology into Class—By Matthew Lynch, The Tech Edvocate

» Duh! You Don’t Need Technology to Gamify Your Classroom—By Matthew Lynch, The Tech Edvocate

» The A-Z of EdTech Literacy—By Matthew Lynch, The Tech Edvocate

» Creating a Site-Based EdTech Bootcamp—By Meagan Kelly, I ❤ EDU

» Micro-Credentials for Micro-Students: Kindergarteners Swap Grades for Badges—By Brad Simala, Jennifer Meliton and Mary Carole Perry, Elementary Principals in the Elizabeth Forward School District via EdSurge

» Sometimes It Is Just About the Technology—Chris Aviles, The Teched Up Teacher

» Easy-to-Use Guide: The K-16 Instruction and Technology Integration Model—By Getting Smart

» Fair Haven: School Startup Spins a Profit—Via the redbankgreen.com web site

 Geeky Gadgets Worth Checking Out…

» Scribbler DUO: The World’s First Dual-Nozzle 3D Printing Pen—By Scribbler 3D Pen

Other Super Cool Stuff…

» Another awesome idea from Tony Vincent, Learning in Hand

So there you have it—this week’s smackdown! Stay tuned for additional resources coming your way in the next round…

In the meantime—if you’ve missed any of my previous edtech collections, check ’em out within the interactive image embedded below… Be sure to hover over the image to reveal the hotspots!

Click here to view a full screen version of this image.

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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