Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

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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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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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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Create Powerful Learning Experiences with Visuals

May25

Did you know that the human brain can process visuals way faster than text? Yep, not only are they more interesting and eye-catching, it’s a proven fact that we’re actually wired to respond more favorably to visuals. Furthermore, according to a recent study, 65% of the population now consists of visuals learners which would explain why our society is so hooked on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram—all technologies that are essentially image-based.

Obviously, we are living in the age of visual information. So, if that’s the case, then shouldn’t we be teaching and learning in that same age of age of visual information as well? As educators, shouldn’t we be leveraging the power of visuals in all types of instruction?

Of course, these are rhetorical questions because it’s apparent that images are clearly the key to engaging students. They quickly transmit messages, improve comprehension, strengthen retention of knowledge and motivate learning. That said, check out the infographic shown below that illustrates the types of visuals that ignite our brains.

types of visuals

A shout out to SH!FT eLearning for sharing this useful graphic! Learn more about how each visual shown on the infographic can impact learning here.

Classroom Connection:

This “visual about visuals” focuses on the type of content that should be used to create a more engaging online course, but this info can be applied to all types of learning situations.

If you would like to read more information about the power of visuals in learning, check out an interesting article here.

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The Electoral College Infographic

October7

election-2016Believe it or not, sometimes the most confusing part of a presidential election is the process our country uses to determine who this person is going to be. That said, if you’re in need of a concise way to explain to your students how Americans elect the President of the United States, then check out this infographic that provides users with a visual path to White House.

electoral-college-kids-discover

Need a document containing this info for your classroom? Download a pdf here.

Classroom Connection:

Use this step-by-step breakdown of how the Electoral College works to teach students how this process is used to determine who going to be the next President of the United States. As an added bonus, students could generate their own product to show their understanding of this concept. Any tool or app that allows them to generate an infographic, video, slideshow, presentation, etc. would work!

Thanks to Kids Discover for creating and sharing this useful infographic.

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10 Things Every Teacher Should Be Able to Do on Google Classroom

June18

Google-Classroom-Logo1For the past few years Google has provided educators with a killer blended learning platform that allows them to create, distribute, grade assignments and share feedback all in one place. Essentially, it is a teacher’s mission control! Instant. Paperless. Awesome! If you have not yet experienced this simplistic yet extremely powerful tool known as Google Classroom, you have no idea what you’ve been missing! It’s by far one of my most favorite and efficient resources to utilize in the classroom—and for professional development purposes.

To help you become a Google Classroom rock star, the folks at Educational Technology & Mobile Learning have generated a checklist of skills all teachers should master in the form of the infographic shown below. Be sure to check it out!

google-classroom-skills-for-teachers

Classroom Connection:

Use the tips listed on the infographic to effectively integrate this fantastic blending learning platform in your educational space!

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The How to Find Openly Licensed Educational Resources Infographic

June9

open educational resourcesIf you need some equitable access to education for all learners, then this edu-good info is actually for you! It focuses on some tech-knowledge-y that all educators who create multimedia projects and/or who conduct research with their students could surely use.

So here it is: When you need the answers to life’s burning questions or more along the educational lines, such as information for a presentation or report, you and your students most likely default to one of the most robust resources that currently exists: The Internet, or more specifically, Google. Because of the continuous evolution of mobile technology, it’s simple to use, fast and in most cases, accurate.

And here’s the part where the infamous “but” word enters the equation…

Yep, there’s no doubt that we have a wealth resources at our fingertips; however, the real question becomes: Is snagging this stuff for our own purposes legal? What constitutes fair usage of various form of media?

Open Educational Resources (OER) to the rescue. By taking a look at the infographic shown below, teachers and students can become more aware of how to locate images, documents and videos that can be edited, remixed and shared without copyright restrictions. Check. It. Out!

HowtoSearchforOpenlyLicensedEducationalResources

Props to the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning for creating and sharing this helpful visual.

Classroom Connection:

Use the infographic as a how-to guide to search for openly licensed educational resources that can be used in conjunction with digital projects and presentations. Having this knowledge should help to avoid having the copyright police banging at your door!

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The Interactive Whiteboards in Education Infographic

April29

IWBEven in their heyday interactive whiteboards often got a bad rap—even in my district. Many opponents of this technology argued that it was a very expensive way for administrators to show that their schools arrived on the edtech scene.

Additionally, critics cited that this tool was just a glorified chalk or dry erase board, resulting in a not so cost effective way to improve learning. Even the geeky gadget people like me, who were more than excited to have an interactive whiteboard installed in their classrooms, have found that over time, these devices have lost their appeal—not to mention the necessary drivers and software to keep up with new and emerging technologies.

But if your an interactive whiteboard fan, here’s some good news: It appears as though one of your favorite tools may be on the verge of a comeback. By incorporating apps, student response systems and various mobile technologies, districts are now seeking ways to make whiteboards a more flexible and engaging part of a classroom environment.

Check out some ways you and your colleagues can revive your IWB by viewing the infographic shown below.

interactive whiteboard infographic

Click here to view a larger version of this image.

Classroom Connection:

Use the recommendations on the infographic to give your interactive whiteboard a new lease on life.

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The Popular Educational Twitter Hashtags Infographic

April14

twitter-hashtags1#edtech, #edchat, #elearning and #techcoach top the list of my most favorite Twitter hashtags. But these trending topics are not the only social media hotspots in which educators with common interests can share ideas, best practices and resources to power up the teaching and learning in their classrooms.

If you really want to be in the know and/or get involved in the cyber conversation, then you’ll definitely want to check out the infographic shown below. This nifty visual provides a super cool color-coded word cloud showing the most popular educational hashtags, topics and chats on Twitter as well as a key to help you decide how and when to use each topic to connect with other like-minded peeps.

twitter hashtags

A shout out to OnlineCollegeCourses.com for creating and sharing this useful info!

Classroom Connection:

Use the hastags on the infographic to make meaningful connections with other educators who hang out on the edtech scene. Not only will you benefit from creating a PLN on Twitter, but your students will as well!

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Tech It Up Tuesday: The Copyright Guidelines for Images Infographic

April12

tech it up tuedayIt’s Tuesday again and time for me to unveil another tech-isode in my “Tech It Up Tuesday” series in which I will share an edtech tool, app, site or other resource that can be utilized in the educational setting.

This week’s geeky goodness is about to get started right here, right now with some very important info…

Since an educator can never share enough copyright guidelines with students, here’s another easy to read and understand infographic regarding the use of images.

Although not comprehensive, it does include the basics regarding copyright, fair use, creative commons and public domain so it’s an excellent place to begin the discussion—especially if you haven’t already done so. Check it out!

YouCanUseAPictureIf

Click here to view a larger version of this image.

A high five to The Visual Communication Guy (a.k.a. Curtis Newbold) for creating and sharing this very useful infographic!

Classroom Connection:

Use the Copyright Guidelines for Images infographic as a conversation starter and/or reminder when students are developing multimedia activities, presentations and projects.

The visual is also a great resource for teaching students to be responsible digital citizens!

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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.

Be sure to add this awesome tool to your tech-box!

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