Monday, March 26, 2018

News for Kids: Taking the Guess-Work Out of Finding Current Events




News coverage has been a hot button issue in our world. Educators are challenged to find credible and non-biased sources to integrate into their classrooms - often with not much success. With an emphasis on integrating non-fiction text into the curriculum, NewsforKids may be a good tool to use.

NewsforKids is a free news site for kids that features a mix of age-appropriate, relevant, and timely articles for kids to enjoy. 


The site is a safe site for students to navigate because the majority of articles are self-contained and do not require external resources to understand the article and its relevant background. It is a great tool for any classroom because it provides students with a variety of articles on World News, US News, Technology, Sports, and a News Bag.

 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Timeline.ly Video Tutorial

I am so appreciative of feedback. Many of you have been requesting a tutorial on how to use Timeline.ly. Here you go!



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Make YouTube Exciting Again with Timeline.ly!

Video is quickly becoming a popular instructional tool in today's technology rich classrooms. Many platforms do not have many interactive features and tools; however, a new tool that I found - called Timeline.ly - provides teachers with a way of creating dynamic learning experiences through the power of video and interaction. Timeline.ly is a free tool to annotate YouTube videos with text, links, and photos.

How does it work? 

First, copy and paste the URL of your into Timelinely



Next, make sure that you create a Timelinely account, so that you can add annotations. You can add annotations containing text, animated GIF's, maps, hyperlinks, and photos. Place as many as you would like in your video.



Finally, when you are finished, publish your annotated video and share the link with students! Students do not need an account to view your videos.



How could I use this?

If you were flipping your classroom, you could add interactive components to capture your student's attentions. For example, why not add a Google Form to collect the observations of students after watching a portion of a clip? Add a link to a website for further investigation or the link to a Google Earth location, for a tour of an area.

There are infinite possibilities with this tool. You just have to think it up, annotate, and make it happen!




Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Witeboard Makes Collaboration Easy!

I am always on the look for tools that are simplistic and device agnostic, meaning they can be used across multiple devices. Witeboard is a web-based collaboration tool used to draw and brainstorm without the need for an account.


Witeboard - A Simplistic Tool for Collaboration

Simply visit Witeboard's website and begin using the drawing tools (i.e. pen, text box, eraser, and undo tool) to construct a drawing, mind map, etc.


Want to collaborate? Click on the "Share" button in the top-right corner of your screen, then share the URL copied to your clipboard.


Conclusion: 

I like several things about this tool. First, it is very simplistic to use, which can be used across various grade levels. This is perfect if you are working with younger students. Next, there is no need for a user account, which can be good and bad. It's good because you can use it right away; however, you may have students who like to use the anonymity of no user account to their advantage. Finally, you can use this tool on an iPad, laptop, MacBook, or Chromebook. 




Monday, March 12, 2018

Insert Icons for Slides: A Simplistic Tool to Create Dynamic Presentations

Our students are visual creatures. It is why visual social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are thriving, while tools like Facebook and Twitter are not as popular with today's younger generation.

The same lesson can be learned in the classroom today. Instead of giving boring PowerPoint presentations or creating screencasts of a basic computer screen, why not create dynamic visual presentations with a few tools? Google Slides is an excellent way to bring content to life. There are many great Google Slide Add-Ons that you can use to enhance your presentations.

How do you install Add-Ons for Slides?

  • Click on the Add-Ons Menu
  • Choose Get Add-Ons...
  • Find the Add-On that you would like and install


Insert Icons for Slides

Simple is sometimes more powerful than complex. This is why I love Insert Icons for Slides, which has over 1,800 icons to choose from. It provides you with simplistic icons that you can turn into powerful visuals. Here is an example of a presentation that I recently made.



Instead of putting statistical information on a slide, I used Insert Icons to create an infographic slide. Insert Icons gives you the ability to insert and edit simplistic looking icons. In the graphic above, I used the same icon three different times; however, I was able to use the editing tools to change the color and resize.

How Can I Use This Tool? 

There are a variety of ways that you could use this tool. Here are a few things that you could create:

  • Dynamic presentations
  • Infographics
  • Use the symbol to hyperlink to external websites or slides
  • Diagram processes
  • Place symbols next to new vocabulary terms to solidify meaning