Tag Archives: Ed Tech

Effective Ways for Educators to Use Twitter

I am a big fan of using Twitter to share, collaborate, and learn. This infographic highlights many ways that educators can use Twitter in their practice.

infographic26 Effective Ways to use Twitter for Teachers and Educators Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

KidzType: Free & Fun Online Typing Tutorial

This post is sponsored by KidzType

Even as technology has become ubiquitous in schools, keyboarding classes are quickly disappearing. As a result, parents, students, and teachers are often looking for resources to help students learn touch typing. KidzType is a free online resource to help kids learn how to type using different types of activities and games.

Typing Lessons

Students are presented a variety of typing lessons to help familiarize them with the fundamentals of keyboarding. These are organized into groups that gradually increase in complexity. For example, the first series of lessons focus on learning the home-row of keys. Students then move on to upper and lower rows. Students gradually work through each of the groups of lessons as they master the entire keyboard. During the lesson, students are shown a series of keystrokes on a screen and are prompted to enter the directed keys without looking down at the keyboard. While they do this, the program measures accuracy and speed.

Typing Practice

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-2-36-49-pmStudents can practice current and past lessons using a series of typing practices. Similar to the typing lessons, students are prompted to enter a series of keystrokes that are displayed on the screen. The program then records their speed and error rates. Practices are more complex than lessons; they combine previous exercises and become more complicated. Higher level practice exercises include typing paragraphs and incorporating various key rows, numbers, and special characters.

Typing Games

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-2-44-22-pmKidzType isn’t a standard typing tutor; it uses a variety of Typing Games to keep students engaged with the material. For example, the Typeroids Home Mission is an alien shooting game. By typing the designated letters or words, students shoot the alien invaders to ward off the invasion. There are several other games that students can play to help them hone and build their typing skills.

Whatever your student’s skill level or aspirations, KidzType is great way for them to become skilled, touch typists.

Interactive Presidential Debate Resource

Our amazing librarian informed me of  a great tool launched by PBS and Microsoft watchingthedebates.org. It allows you to “watch and interact with every debate since 1960.” This is a great resource to help students (and adults) learn how Presidential debates are structured and impact the electorate during an election year.

You can filter debates based on theme, year, or other interests. You can watch the videos sand give feedback! This is a fantastic tool for analyzing political discourse.

How to email a Google Doc (Without Leaving Google Docs)

The best feature of Google Docs is the ability to collaborate with others. Sometimes, you need to send a copy of a Google Doc to someone who doesscreen-shot-2016-09-15-at-8-08-10-am not work in the Google atmosphere. You can easily email a Google Doc as an attachment to someone right within the document! To do this, click on File –> email as an attachment.

Next, in the pop up window, select the form you would like (PDF, MS Word, Rich Text Format, HTML, Plain Text, Open Document, or just paste it into the email itself! Enter the email address, include a message, and your email is sent! This is a feature that works even if your domain does not have gmail enabled (although you should tick “send a copy to myself” if you would like a confirmation of the email).

This is a great way to send off finished drafts or to share material with individuals who do not work within the Google platform.

Coding in the Classroom with Swift Playgrounds

I was so excited to see Apple announced Swift! This is a game changer for coding in the classroom… or just in the home. Check out Jonathan’s wonderful overview of this new tool.

Jonathan Wylie: Instructional Technology Consultant

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The recent release of iOS 10 unlocked a creative coding opportunity for iPad classrooms called Swift Playgrounds. It’s an iPad app that lets you solve interactive puzzles that are designed to help you learn the basics of how to code in a programming language called Swift. It is aimed at students aged 12 and over and is part of Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative. So, if you are looking for new ways to start coding with students, this could be a great new platform for you to explore. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Swift?

Swift is an open source programming language that was developed by Apple engineers and released in 2014. It was created to help developers build apps for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. Swift has its origins firmly rooted in another programming language called Objective-C, but Swift is generally considered to be more concise. The…

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Apple Introduces Apple Teacher Learning Center

In case you weren’t paying attention, yesterday Apple held an event and launched the iPhone 7. However, September 7th also saw the launch of a great new resource for educators: the Apple Teacher Learning Center.

business-925900_1280This free new program allows educators to access training resources for using Mac, iPad, and their built in apps to build creative and engaging lessons. The resources in the Apple Teacher Learning Center can help you to build personal learning environments, harness accessibility tools to empower students who learn differently, redefine assessment, and enhance the tools in your classroom.

The Apple Teacher Learning Center awards badges after you have mastered various tools and stages. Once you have completed all of them, you earn the ultimate Apple Teacher logo badge to proudly display on your blog or print out and post it in your office! Sign up today!

5 ways Agora can make collaboration in your classroom easier

This is a sponsored blog post by Agora (and advertiser on this site)

Collaborative work usually means more paperwork and more things to keep track of for teachers. Let’s be honest, sometimes we just don’t have time to add one more thing to our plates. So instead of worrying about where you’re going to find the time to go over project submissions and feedback, let technology do what it does best – automatically track work submitted, interactions and organise the data beautifully.

New platforms like Agora are focused on being the background support that allow teachers to run meaningful collaborative activities without the hassle.

Tracks all student progress automatically

Agora makes it easy for students to submit progress on their work, think individual and group projects, and then keeps track of where everybody is at. No extra input needed on your part. You create the project or set of tasks that students will be working on, add due dates if you want and then let them work on it at their own pace. Technology does the rest.

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Students will see a progress bar showing how much of a project they’ve completed and you get an overview chart showing progress for each individual student that you can click on to see details.

Allows students to give each other feedback.

With Agora students can comment on each other’s work, share resources and provide specific notes on how work can be improved.

Think about how beneficial seeing what other teachers are doing is for you. You pick up many great ideas and get a tangible sense of how you can do things differently from teacher blogs and sites like teacherspayteachers. The same concept applies for students learning.  By allowing everyone in the classroom to see each other’s work at different stages learning goes through the roof. Work that can seem daunting suddenly seems within reach and questions that might have remained buried, surface out of curiosity for how someone else did it.

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Generates beautiful custom reports

Being able to measure and communicate progress is key to a successful collaborative classroom.

With Agora you can create custom reports for what each student has been working on given specific time dates.This allows you to keep everyone in the loop of what’s happening.  You can also see big picture charts of where every student is at and what work is missing.  (Goodbye weekends of fighting with excel or blackboard!)

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Integrates with what you’re already using

Agora integrates with Google so that students can login with gmail accounts (no need to create extra credentials). You can also easily link to google documents, embed youtube videos if they’re doing something like practicing speeches, or creative media work and drag and drop images to upload them.  

It’s simple

Agora’s interface is clean and straightforward. It has what you need and nothing more. No extra bells and whistles that can be confusing. Think about it like air. It’s there to serve you and allows you to do the things you need, but you don’t notice it most of the time. Learning and helping you achieve your goals are front and center.

You can sign-up now for early access to Agora and get a free month of their premium version if your refer another teacher.

www.useagora.com