So, this is a post about one of my new, all time favorite, ed tech tool. Flipgrid is amazing for many reasons, but let me start by explaining how I use it. Teaching band, I have run across students who do not want to play in front of their peers. Stage fright is real! Unfortunately, with one of me and many students, it makes it impossible to do private playing tests in class. Then Flipgrid enters my life. Let me just say, it has been changed for the better. My students are able to submit their playing test via a video taken on their school provided Macbooks, or their phones, or whatever device that they choose. Oh... and they can do it at home. They can even take as many tries as it takes to get it right. Now, my students get excited because they think this stupid teacher does not realize that they can do it as many times as it takes to get a perfect score. The joke is on the students, because that means that they actually practice and improve their playing in the process. Not only does it help their grade, but it improves the band as a whole. I can sit down after class and give individualized feedback to every student. I can plan for the strengths and weaknesses of each student and I can listen to it more than once. It greatly helps in individualized learning.
The second part of why Flipgrid is amazing is the people who work there! I did my Flipgrid Educator Certification and somehow through the craziness of email, my application got lost. It happens. I was not mad. I get it. Technology sometimes has a glitch and we move on. I tried for a little while, but something in the email was not working. It may have been my email, maybe theirs, but the world will never know. I reached out to Flipgrid's Head of Engagement when I saw him on Twitter. Now, like most people, I did not expect a response. You never know what you will get with Ed Tech Companies. Let me just say, I am impressed! Not only did Joey Tarlason respond, he went above and beyond to get my account straightened out. He did not act like I was an inconvenience like many companies out there and he seemed genuinely happy to help. That is amazing customer service! Flipgrid is an amazing platform and it has amazing people! Go check it out!
This is a free template that I created so that students can create something like trading cards in Keynote! Students can fill in the information on the cards and can even drag and drop their picture into the placeholder!
As we continue to fight attention spans in the classroom, you may notice that students respond better to professional looking, colorful content. Images often help. Even on social media, studies show that you are more likely to stop and read a post that includes a picture verses a post that is just text. This is the mindset of our students. Adobe Spark makes content creation a breeze with an easy to use interface. You can have professional looking content without any graphic design training. Plus, your students can also use parts of Spark for portfolios and other projects. Oh, and the best part... Adobe Spark is free!
Tuesday nights on Twitter used to be time for #ADEChat, but now we are opening it up to everyone! All educators are encouraged to join us for #AppleEDUChat on Tuesday nights at 8:00 PM CST!
Do you get bored by the traditional stagnant presentations that many teachers have recycled for years? Or even worse, how about the predesigned slides that many textbook companies provide with their teacher edition? Check out Nearpod! It allows you to create truly interactive presentations that can gather student responses and allow student engagement throughout the entire presentation. It's an awesome tool and it is priced just right at FREE!
Today's post is about Air Server. It is an amazing program that gives your laptop and mobile devices even more connectivity. Air Server operates like a ChromeCast or Apple TV without the high cost of the hardware. It runs on your current computer. It even functions well on school networks, because it has additional connection methods that do not get blocked by the network. They have a free trial, but you will quickly decide that you want to buy the full version. It is definitely worth it!
Looking for an easy way to create animated videos for use in your classroom? Check out Plotagon. It is pretty simple and for a limited time, teachers can get a free one-year license. Click here to get your free license today!
Click the button to watch an interesting video about the use of "different" fonts to aid student learning.
Skype is commonly known for its video chat capabilities similar to Apple's Facetime and Google Hangouts, but did you know that it can be used in the classroom? Go on over to The Microsoft Educator Community and sign up for tons of resources including Skype for Education. Skype has several options allowing many options for your classroom from virtual field trips to games.
Skype has experts in many fields across the globe who are available for you to sign up for a virtual field trip. The expert will talk to your students and show them things out in the field where they are working. These give similar experiences to a field trip, without the long bus ride or the limitations. Skype has opportunities for students around the world.
Another option from Skype is to have guest speakers in your classroom. Similar to the virtual field trips this allows speakers from around the world to present for your classroom. This can be an extremely enriching opportunity for your students.
The last option that Skype has is Mystery Skype. Now it is not truly a mystery. You, as the teacher, actually select and schedule the game with the other class. After you set up your Mystery Skype game you can choose what you and the other class are trying to figure out. The most common option is to play 20 questions to figure out the location of the other class. There are other variations of the game, but no matter which version you play, your students will have fun working with a class in another school.
Just about every teacher uses Microsoft Office in their classroom. It is a necessity! There are many alternatives and they all have their place, but Microsoft Office is the standard in its product category. Most schools provide it on teachers' school computers, but not for their personal computers for use at home. Let's be honest: Most teachers take work home with them to work outside of regular school hours. Microsoft office can be a little pricey, but never fear! There is another free, yet legal option. Click the button below to see if you qualify for a free copy of Microsoft Office as a teacher. No catch. No gimmicks. Just use your school email address. Mine is downloading as I write this.