The Sea of Digital Creation
Wow! It is the first five day work week of the new year and boy am I energized!! So much good stuff happening everywhere! This week I’d like to feature a few awesome teachers, and also a few awesome tools, that all center around digital creation. When I see students creating, I see engagement! Students are working, sometimes together and sometimes alone, on a common objective. They may all be using the same tool, or have a choice of different tools, but they are problem-solving and synthesizing information to present a product that demonstrates mastery of a concept. When I’ve been in rooms where students are creating, I notice not a single student is off task. Every student, even if talking, is concentrated on creating the product. Now, this may be because the tool or the content is engaging. AS we know, the first step is engagment…that hook! Once we combine the tech tool, with engagement and content….BOOM! It’s where the magic happens and it’s amazing to see! Let’s take a look at these engaging tools, and teachers, below!
This is an AMAZING tool for student and/or teacher creation! It was suggested to me by my good friend Colleen Terrill, Instructional Technology director of Mashpee after her students had such success with it! Take a look at the video below to see how to use Brush Ninja, an animated GIF creator. It is so much FUN to play with. This is also a great article by Richard Byrne on ideas of how you can use this tool for presentations. Amy Schleinkofer, 5th grade teacher, used it this week and had students post their GIFs to a Padlet. Check out some of the amazing examples of the water cycle by clicking here…Ally’s is pretty AMAZING!
Google JamBoard is both an actual board and also a Google App located in the waffle, just like Docs or Slides. It’s intended to be used on Google interactive boards (Jamboards), but can be used by any Google user. This really cool app works best on a tablet, or the app version in the Google Play store, but also has a web-based version. Think Smart Notebook Software (kind of) but in the Drive! On the app version, you can Drive content, images, links, and also write on the blank canvas. As you write, the jam appears to anyone you share it with in live time. Just think – you can walk around the classroom with a tablet and whatever your write appears on your mainboard and also student screens. Pretty cool right? The possibilities for this tool are endless! Take a look at the video below for a brief overview. Click here to try Google Jamboard!
As I learn more about this tool, I grow to love it even more. Wakelet, as I mentioned last week is a curation tool. You can add various types of content and keep it in one organized place, called a Wake. Recently, Wakelet paired up with both Flipgrid and Screencastify to offer integrations with both of these great tools! Take a look here at this article on Screencastify + Wakelet. Below, I included a brief video which mentions the Flipgrid integration. Simply post the family link in your Wake, and BOOM your videos appear! You can then add additional content with your Flipgrid videos, like Slidedecks, links, text, and video!
Shout outs to some awesome teachers this week!! Check out the Choice Boards below created by Amy Ronayne, Jamie Hulke, Stacy Linnehan and Beth Barra (in that order). These boards provide engagement for students as they choose how they want to approach a concept. The end product allows for creativity and a bit of student personality as well. These teachers are always willing to share, be sure to reach out to them and/or follow them on Twitter! They will gladly send you a copy of the board to modify for your own needs!
Just to give you an idea of the power of Choice Boards and/or Learning Menus, take a look at this tweet from Stacy Linnehan regarding her choice board she tried. Check out how many views it received. WHOA! This board was originally inspired by another teacher she saw on Twitter. Sharing is caring and together we are better!
Tip of the week: BIG Google Classroom Updates (again) 💡
So, if you haven’t already noticed Google Classroom had another huge update this week! It looks quite different and a few new features have been added like drag and drop in the classwork page and assigning form quizzes directly from Classroom. Take a look at the article from Google here.
Twitter Chat 🐦
Don’t forget, if you’re looking to discuss great things you’ve tried, or you’re looking for new ideas, join our Twitter Chat THIS TUESDAY! It is going to be an AMAZING chat that will leave you feeling excited! I will release the questions ahead, so look for them THIS weekend! Haven’t done a Twitter Chat before, but want too? Reach out and I will gladly walk you through it! They are super easy and SO MUCH FUN!
I hope you’re finding this time of year as ENGAGING as I am! If not, reach out and let me help you feel engaged!
Take care everyone and be well ♥️