Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Educreations: Enhancing creativity

Want to be creativity and use technology into the classroom? Educreations is your site. Educreations is another webiste/app that can be very useful in the classroom to promote technology and creativity in student projects.
Photo: https://www.educreations.com/lesson/studio/

How does Educreations work?
If you have Adobe Flash player on your computer or download the app, you can use Educreations. Educreations allows your to record your voice and writings or drawings at the same time. This could be used from a teacher perspective by creating an interactive video showing how to do a math problem to the class to watch at home, or you can have your students use it to create videos. There are different color pencils you can use, can insert pictures, and even have multiple pages. When you push the "Record" button, it will record both your voice if you talk and drawings. That is one way to use Educreations: to draw what you are explaining as you explain it. Another way to use Educreations is to have something already drawn or written on the screen, then record your voice. During this you can add to the picture, take a way, or just explain what is on the screen.

Why Educreations?
Educreations is a good tool to use if you want students to explain what they have learned without making a video or poster. This in a way is an interactive whiteboard. Educreations is very beneficial for students who are creative, but also students who don't like to make videos of themselves. You can create a video with just drawings if you want or just your voice. Educreations provides a different way to explain information as it forces kids to draw pictures, timelines, or explain words of what they have learned. It makes them really explain the content which is a great way to assess to see if they really understand the material. I made an example video that part of my final project for this class. Click here to watch it.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Want to incorporate Facebook into the classroom?

Picture: My Fakebook for an author
Facebook is not one of the hottest trends in social media right now, but it can be a very useful tool to use in the classroom. Now, I am not suggesting that you encourage all of your students to get a Facebook, especially in the younger grades, but instead use the tool Fakebook. Fakebook is part of a website called classtools.net In this website, students can create a fake Facebook account for a different people. It could be a scientist, historian,  author or mathematician. On this website, students create a profile, can include friends and can even make post with comments on them. This provides a fun way to share information on certain people without doing a powerpoint. You can also take this time to talk to your students about being safe on social media and posting only appropriate things.
Classtools has a variety of different resources you can use in the classroom as well, like games, activities and diagrams. If you are into social media, Fakebook is for you!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Socrative- Great for quizzes, Exit Questions and Review games

Socrative is a great resource to use especially in a 1:1 classroom. Socrative can be installed as an app, or used with the website. The uses of this tool includes: making quizzes, having an exit question, or even having a game that could be used for many reasons. Socrative is very easy to use but here is a step by step guide how to set up an account.
Exit questions/Questions in Class:
 Socrative makes it very easy to make questions multiple choice, true false, or short answer. With Socrative, you don't have to enter the question and answers in every time. You can ask question out loud or have them projected. This option is nice, because now you don't have to rewrite all your questions and answers. The students just have the letter choices or true false button on their screen.
 Another feature you can use is the quiz feature. This will allow you to enter in all the questions and answers so the students can take a quiz individually.
Picture: Socrative.com
Once the questions are made, your students enter in the code on the top to join the classroom. They can select their answers and the results show up on the screen if you want, or can just be reported to the teacher.

Socrative can be used for fun, as review games, or more serious for individual quizzes. This is a great way to incorporate technology into the classroom, and students really enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

How to Incorporate Pinterest into the Classroom

Image Source: Flickr:Esther Vargas

Pinterest is a wonderful tool to use as a teacher to get ideas about lessons, classroom set ups or even quotes. Pinterest can also be utilized in the classroom with students as well. A few suggestions on incorporating Pinterest into the classroom would include: using it for your students to introduce themselves, signing up for a project or even doing research.
1. Using it to introduce themselves- Have your students create a board with 10 pins that describe them, their interest, hobbies, family ect. Then in class, they present them. This is a fun way at the beginning of the school year for you to get to know your students and them to get to know each other. I did this in high school, and everyone, including myself, enjoyed it a lot. Below is a picture of some of the post on my board, Who I Am.
2. Signing up for a project- Students can post a picture of something with their name on the caption to a class board to sign up for a certain project. For example, if each person was going to research a different muscle, you can have each student post a picture of the muscle they want to research with their name attached to it.
3. Research project- This can be a good place to start for a research project, to get your thoughts flowing. They can post pins to a board with links, pictures, or ideas on where to take their research.

Of course, as when using any information from the internet, you want to make sure your students are only looking at appropriate and reliable sources, and citing the information they found.  For more ideas on how to use Pinterest in the classroom, click here. Sometimes the tools that we are familiar with, are the ones that can be the most useful. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Image source: My Pinterest

Personal Learning Network Pt. 2


I decided to spilt my Personal Learning Network into 2 blogs so it wasn't so overwhelming. Here are the last 5 things I discovered to help expand my network.

illustrative math.PNG Illustrative Mathematics is a website that takes the Common Core standards for Math in each grade and gives different tasks and activities that teachers have done. Each task is peer evaluated before it is put on the website, so only the good task get on there. This website will be very useful to get ideas on how to teach math from other teachers. You can find ideas on Pinterest, but not all of those have been evaluated, so they may not be the best tasks to use. My math professor introduced me to this website and I found it to be very helpful.

7. Following a Teacher’s Blog- The Class Teacher Blog
Screen Shot 2016-11-05 at 11.03.43 AM.png I found this blog and really loved it. Mrs. Weaver is a middle school teacher that blog about classroom management, technology, math and science. Her blogs are filled with great ideas how to incorporate technology into the classroom. She also blogs about activities she does in the classroom and is very upbeat. Before this class, I had never blogged or followed any blogs. I was impressed with how many teachers blog about their classroom, their lesson plans and even inspiration. I will definitely use this in the future to get new ideas, and to connect with teachers who teach the same grade and subject that I do. Using a blog in the classroom would be something I would be interested in incorporating. Blog could be a great way that kids can write short little reflections on what we are learning or even connect with other students.

8. Webinar
I watched a webinar on how the different sides of our political system looks at Education. It was very informative, especially during the election season. As a future teacher, I believe it is very important to be up to date on politics and be well informed on where each side stands so that I can make the best decision based on what is best for my students. Webinars can be very informative, interesting and useful. You can include them in the classroom as part of a lesson plan. I probably would watch more webinars, to stay informed on different topics.

9. Instagram
I use Instagram a lot, but I have never used it for a professional way to find ideas and collaborate with other teachers. On Instagram, you can follow certain teachers, classrooms or even search for different hashtags. I looked up multiple things and found a 6th grade science classroom, #6thgrademath and #teacherspayteachers.  I like Instagram because it gives you good pictures, especially how someclass rooms are set up or how to set up some worksheets. Most everyone uses instagram now a days, I think it would be really cool to have the kids post about what we are doing on our class account. If they don’t post, it would be cool if I posted things as well, that way other teachers, or parents can see what  we are doing in class.

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Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 6.41.06 PM.png Storyboard that is a great tool to use in the classroom if you are making stories, videos or a comic strip. I found this site when we were working on our videos. This site is super easy to use. It allows you to create a storyboard using a variety of characters, animals, backgrounds, and even text boxes. You can also buy a subscription to it so that you can have the storyboard come alive. This would be a fantastic tool to help students in writing a story or planning for a video. You could even have elementary students make a storyboard of a class book you are reading to see what they can comprehend. If they are not as good at drawing, this is a great alternative. I could definitely see myself use this in my classroom. It can used for all ages, but I think it would be especially helpful for elementary students.

After doing this assignment, I have realized how easy it is to connect with other educators, find ideas for activities and different sites to incorporate into my classroom. My network has definitely grown a lot after doing this assignment. Here is a picture of my Personal Learning Network now. 
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Personal Learning Network

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Picture: My own, made on Mindono
Your network is all the areas that help you connect with others in your profession. Through the personal learning network assignment we were challenged to find 10 ways to connect with educators or educational tools that we can use in the future. Some examples of this would be connecting with teachers or education organizations on twitter or Pinterest. You could also connect with your favorite author on Facebook, participate in a Tweet Chat and many more. This assignment allowed us to expand our network in any way that was relevant to us so that in the future, we have these resources and tools to help us, and way to share our ideas. At first my PLN was very small, as can be seen in the picture above. Below are the 5 things I discovered and a little narrative of each. 
1. Twitter 
Twitter I had never really been a fan of Twitter before this class. I thought it was just a place for people to post their feelings and random thoughts. After this class, I have learned how to use Twitter for professional purposes. I realized how many different educational Tweets there are, and how you can use this to get inspiration for your classroom, chat with other professionals, even get feedback on lessons.

I have always loved Pinterest. You can find about anything on there. Sometimes I would look up things about education or science experiments, but usually only used it for enjoy purposes. Now, I have a full board of different educational lessons, classroom inspiration and even ideas how to include technology better in the classroom. This resource will be very beneficial in the future, as I can get some ideas on lesson plans and how different teachers teach different things. It also is a great way to get inspiration for bulletin boards, decorating the classroom or even holiday crafts.

3. Symabloo
I discovered Symabloo from the requirements. I have never heard of it before so I thought I should check it out. I found the UNIEDT symabloo and found it to be very interesting. I saw how you can have all the sites in one spot. You can also search the web and find more resources. I learned that I could create a site and have all my resources on it that I will use throughout the year. In the future, this can be used for my resources, but I can also create one for my classroom. That way students have access to it and can access the different resources we use in class if they need to.

4. Tweet Chat
Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 6.53.25 PM.png The other night I listened to a webinar sponsored from Kappa Delta Pi about how different political parties view education. It was very interesting as pre-service teacher, as I didn’t realize how some of my views on education went with one part. After the webinar, there was a tweetchat that you could join. I joined, and tweeted on the chat. Most of the people tweeting were associated with Kappa Delta Pi, but it was still beneficial to see their views on the webinar. Since Kappa Delta Pi is a education fraternity, I assume most of the people tweet were preservice teachers as well. I know now I have a network of educators that want to make a difference in the education system. Going forward, I know now the Tweetchats can be a place to get ideas, talk with other people in the same boat as me, and even learn new things.
Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 7.38.39 PM.png5. Lynda Certificate
Lynda is  a website I had never heard of. When I went on there, I realized on how many different certifications and videos there were to help future teachers. The video I watched was on how to make powerpoint more interactive in the classroom. It was very interesting. I hope to incorporate that into my classroom one day. I will definitely use this site as a teacher. It provides opportunities to learn about so many things, like how to make Imovie, how to have better classroom management skills, improve your powerpoint skills ect.