Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

All Roads Lead to Code

October1

keep-calm-and-try-codingSo, why just use technology, when you can build it, right? But first—students need the programming know-how in order to do so… And that begins with you!

Whether you choose to embrace the concept or not, it’s becoming more and more important to equip students with coding skills. It’s the new literacy for a generation of students growing up in a digitally-connected world. Having this knowledge not only strengthens general skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, but it will become invaluable in their future as a wide range of industries are eager to hire individuals with programming abilities.

That said—here’s super cool sketch note highlighting ten reasons coding should be taught.

10 reasons to teach coding

A shout out to Brian Aspinall for giving me the green light to share his work on my space. And to the sketch note guru Sylvia Duckworth for bringing some many important edtech concepts to life for all of us.

Classroom Connection:

The founders of Google, Microsoft and Facebook all started their journeys with just one line of code. Like these successful entrepreneurs, our students should have the opportunity to create the technology of the future, not just use it! I realize that teaching coding sounds intimidating to some, but if your students can type, they can code!

And guess what what? Computer science isn’t just for kids! Everyone—especially teachers—can lead by example and learn a few lines of code. Fortunatley, due to a wealth of apps, online resources and improving technologies, learning to code has become less daunting. Don’t believe me? Just Google it!

In the meantime, click here to check out a recent post in which I listed a few web-based games that can assist you with getting started on your very first—or next—coding adventure.

So, what are you waiting for? Make a plan to give your students a superpower that will enable them to thrive in our tech-based society!

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Chalk It Up to an Amazing Year!

September30

sidewalk-chalk And the sidewalk says… Laugh, learn and love! You are the reason we are here! Be happy, be bright, be you! You are loved! Looking forward to learning with you! You are important!

These are just a few of the positive messages teachers at Myers Elementary wrote on the sidewalks outside of the school with colored chalk prior to the arrival of students on the first day of the 2016-17 school year.

Check out a video a group of my Tech Club students produced to highlight this super cool activity.

When the school year begins with an act of kindness such as this one, how can it be anything but successful! Our elementary teachers rock! ♥

A high five to Aubree, Quintin and Tina for creating a pretty awesome video! ♥

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks

November22

diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for two really cool and useful online video tools that students can utilize to demonstrate knowledge and creativity in your classroom!

» Animoto

A cloud-based video creation service that produces professional quality videos from photos, video clips, and music.Compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android devices. An excellent classroom tool for visually conveying ideas and concepts!

» WeVideo

A simple yet powerful web-based video editing tool that allows users to upload content, save it in the cloud and/or link to other storage spaces such as Google Drive. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Great for generating student-centered projects!

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

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks

November8

diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some of the latest and greatest “Cool Tools” and/or web resources that can be integrated into your classroom!

» National Museum of Flight: 360 Cockpit Views

Ever dreamed of piloting a fighter bomber? Getting behind the controls of a Comet? Or chilling out on board Concorde? Now you can step into the cockpits and cabins of our famous planes and view them in stunning 360° panoramas via this interactive site hosted by the National Museum of Flight!

» Cookie

A web site containing fun and educational games and activities that build skills in math, language, social studies, science and much more! Best suited for Pre-K to Grade 2 learners.

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

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks

May17

diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some of the latest and greatest web tools and resources that can be utilized to store and share all kinds of files with your colleagues and students!

» Dropbox

Install this application on your tablet, smart phone or laptop, and you will be able to access your files 24/7. An excellent tool for students who are working on different devices at school and at home! Flash drives no longer necessary!

» Send to Dropbox

Ever wish you could email files to your Dropbox? Well, now you can! It’s free, fast, secure and super simple too. All you have to do is connect with Dropbox, get your unique email address, and start sending files!

» Senduit

A quick and simple way to upload and share large files with others. Links remain active for up to one week.

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

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks

May3

diigo iconWhat’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some of the latest and greatest web tools and resources that can be utilized to engage students in your classroom!

An online collection of over 3,400 instructional video courses (and counting) in subjects ranging from photography to web graphics to 3D animation. Teachers and students can learn what they want when they want!

Focus on what matters with a formative assessment web tool that allows educators to document learning, plan based on student need and communicate progress to families. All in one place!

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

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Infographic of the Week: Formative Assessment Strategies

September18

Formative assessments—the ongoing checks for understanding that [should] occur during learning in every classroom. Yep, from signaling to sticky notes and everything in between, educators have developed an amazing range of strategies to informally evaluate student progress.

If you’re looking for a few new suggestions to add to your teacher toolbox, then be sure to check out the infographic shown below that includes ideas with and without technology.

formative assessment infographic

Thanks to Pam Jimison, author of the WJU EdTech blog, for creating this useful visual and to Edudemic for sharing it!

Infographic of the Week is a series designed to promote the use of infographics and visual literacy in the classroom.

Classroom Connection:

The formative assessment process provides information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are still happening. Use the strategies and/or tools on the infographic to collect evidence of student learning so you can make informed decisions about future instruction.

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Common Core = Crankiness?

February19

OK, so it’s not necessarily an article focusing on technology integration…  However, seeing as regardless of the content area, technology is embedded throughout the Common Core State Standards that are being adopted across the country, I thought I would share it anyway.  Check out the perspective of a third grade teacher in West Deptford, NJ, regarding this topic.  Geez, do I sometimes feel this guy’s pain!

Read it here on Edutopia:  Plumbing the Dark Mysteries of National Standards.

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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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