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Showing posts from June, 2014

#1iPadClassroom: Assessing Students with Plickers (clicker alternative)

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Although Apps are very powerful, not every school can afford to supply tablets in every classroom for every student. How can you use the power of Apps, while staying true to your budget? Welcome to the creatively simple and effective #1iPadclassroom. Over the next few posts, I will talk about Apps and strategies you can use if you only have one iPad.  Let's say that you want to quickly assess your students, but do not have access to laptops, iPads, and your school prohibits using cell phones. What do you do? Download Plickers to your teacher iPad or Android device.  Plickers is a free assessment App that requires very little effort on your part and your students’ part. Due to the nature of Plickers , your questions are limited to multiple-choice; however, this can be an effective way to check for understanding. How can students answer questions? This is where things get interesting and “old school.” When you sign up for a teacher account, you print out answer cards for

Need Self Control? There's an App for That!

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   A few days ago, I was able to hear CAST co-founder, Dr. David Rose, speak at Towson University. In his speech about Universal Design for Learning, Dr. Rose was talking about developing executive function in the brain and mentioned an App called SelfControl . With so many distractions on the web, many of us feel that we have ADHD while browsing. This has to be one of the coolest Mac Apps that I have seen. It literally locks you out of distracting websites, so that you can concentrate on doing work for a set amount of time. You literally can block yourself from accessing webmail, social media, or anything else on the Internet. Once the program starts running, you cannot override it (even if you restart your computer) until the timer stops. This is perfect for when you need 20 solid minutes or 4 hours to work on a project, rather than browse through your news feed. If you do need to use the Internet, you can customize which websites are ok and not ok. This open source program

#UDLTowson: LiveBinders and IPad Recipes

I have had an incredible time in Towson, MD working with teachers from the Baltimore County School District. The past three days have been jam-packed with so many valuable resources about Universal Design for Learning. Just this afternoon, I was privileged to hear co-founder of CAST, Dr. David Rose, speak about his experiences with the UDL framework. I've worked with amazing leaders like Liz Berquist, George Van Horn, and Katie Novak, Nikki Norris, Fran Smith, and Bill Jensen. As many of you requested, here are the copies of the presentations: Recipes for LiveBinders Using LiveBinders To Help ALL Students Learn (June 2014) from Matt Bergman Recipes for Don't Be a One and Done Don't Be a One and Done: Creative Ways to Use Multiple Apps from Matt Bergman

#Brainly and Homework Help: The Value of Crowdsourcing in Education

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Most educators are unaware of the term crowdsourcing; however, its contribution to the world of education is becoming a valuable commodity. To understand why, you must first understand what the term means. In its simplest sense, crowdsourcing can be defined as the ability to get a “crowd” of people (online) to work together (outsourcing) to complete a task or generate funding. Many teachers still cringe at the name Wikipedia; however, it is an excellent example of crowdsourcing, which annually generates millions of user-generated articles and edits on a variety of topics. You may cringe when you hear the word crowdsourcing paired with the classroom, but its potential impact on students is substantial. For example, think about one of the biggest challenges in most classrooms today - homework. Why are students NOT doing homework? Homework has been a frustrating cat and mouse game for decades. It seems like no matter what we do, there is always that one student who fails to com

How #Edmodo Snapshot Reports are a Game Changer

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A few weeks ago, I had created a blog post and video describing how you could use the Edmodo Snapshot feature to assess student performance on ELA and Mathematics Common Core Standards. Today I would like to take it a step further and show you how to use Snapshot to make data-driven decisions in your classroom. Once students have taken a Snapshot assessment, Edmodo provides you with instantaneous group and individual feedback. There are three reports within the Snapshot feature that I would like to make you aware of. To access the data, click on the Reports tab in the top right corner of your screen. Want to see it in action?  Check out my video: Understanding Each Report: To help you understand how each report works, I would like to use the analogy of an airplane ride. Report # 1: Focus Report (aka 30,000 foot view) When I think of the Focus Report, I like to think of it as the 30,000 foot view of your classroom. This report compiles an overview of how many studen

My Student's Take Over as Guest Bloggers - App Creation Changes Everything

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When I wrote about how my students created their App for a project creation last week, I had no idea of how much interest it would generate. My students were so excited at the positive comments and interest that were generated that I wanted to give them an opportunity to serve as "guest bloggers." Without further adieu, here is Brett, Kayvon, and Lindell: About the Class and App: Why did we choose Como? We created an app because we wanted to stay up to date with modern technology. Our project's focus was on social media, so creating an app was relevant to our objective. We used Como to create our app because it was easy, convenient, and free. It also guided us through the process of creating an app. Como also provides a QR code which allowed our project to be interactive. Click on the picture below to see a sample of our App: 3 Ways to Start App Creation Today:  Como  (formerly Conduit Mobile) lets you have up to 50 free mobile visits and up to 5

Student App Creation is Easier Than You Think

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One of the best parts of being a teacher at the Milton Hershey School is the kids I get to work with. Recently, a group of my honors business students and I traveled to the Hershey Company to give presentations to employees and executives. It was part of our Hershey's Honors Authentic Business Management program, a 34 week course where students learn about every aspect of the Hershey Company. From manufacturing to social media, a new Subject Matter Expert from the company helps me co-teach the class each week. At the end of the 34 weeks, my students create a presentation from one of the topics covered in class; however, there is a twist. They have to offer a new idea (related to their topic) to the company. Many of my students chose to present new product ideas, order management systems, and social media strategies. One of my groups went above and beyond the standard PowerPoint Presentations that we normally give. They invented their own App to share with the company! The pur