Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Technology I love

My classroom is 1:1... in the sense that there is one device per teacher.  We're moving on implementing an actual 1:1 program, but we're not there yet.  However, I still use a lot of technology!  I do have access to a smart board (which I use occasionally), an iPad, and now a Surface.  I have so much to learn, but I want to let you know about some tools that I use often.

Plickers - This is a 'classroom response system' that does not require each student have a device of any sort.  It's sort of magical and my students love it.  As an overview: You need an Android or Apple smartphone or tablet (just one!).  Download the Plickers app.  Then you can add multiple choice questions to poll your class.

You assign your students a paper code.  Then students hold the code a certain way to indicate their answer.  The app uses the devices camera to 'scan' the classroom and record student responses.

Really, the concept is so unlike anything I've seen that you'll probably just want to check out their website.  Just know that it comes highly recommended!! And it's totally free!

Explain Everything - I use this app on a daily basis.  It costs a few dollars, but it is so worth it.  It's actually, amazingly, the only app I've ever paid for.

I use this app as a whiteboard, taking notes on it in class and uploading a PDF to my class website for future reference.  I know I have a smart board, but I love the ability to scale and move around the page.  I love that I can move away from the board.  The main reason I use Explain Everything is the ability to make tutorial videos easily, in my classroom or at home.  The best part is the videos are fully downloadable and entirely my property, so I don't have to rely on an app in the future.

Educreations - This app is similar to Explain Everything, except lacking some functionality that I needed.  I do still use Educreations with my students.  It is a free app which I had loaded onto our iPad cart.  Updated to add:  here's a link to a post about the project my students do with this app

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