Showing posts from August, 2014

PowerPoint is Dead, Use Canva Instead?

A few weeks ago, I observed a very interesting conversation transpire. A local university was offering a three graduate course in PowerPoint. It began an interesting conversation about the whether this course was needed or not. Don't get me wrong, I still use PowerPoint for the majority of my presentations; however, our students view this technology as "old school" and "out of date." It's the equivalent to watching a movie on VHS or listening to your favorite album on cassette. It made me think about ways that we can represent content differently without turning to PowerPoint. Is PowerPoint finally dead? Well...probably not, but this series will investigate a few "cool" alternatives. Canva Canva is a free tool that you can use to develop posters, presentations, graphics, flyers, and even Facebook covers! It's drag and drop functionality makes it easy to learn and use. In fact, when you sign up for a free account, you are taken through a t

Goodbye Jeopardy Review Games. Hello FlipQuiz!

Remember the days of using Jeopardy as a review game? Did you use a dusty old chalkboard or try to find some trendy PowerPoint template? Was it time consuming and difficult to form? Why not try an easy and free alternative? What can I do instead?  Perhaps you could add FlipQuiz to your review / flashcard repertoire to create interactive quiz boards that look and function much like flashcards with a game show twist! How do I use it?  Step 1: Create a free account at FlipQuiz Step 2: Create your board. When you create your first board, you will be prompted to give it a name. Step 3: Add category names . Just like Jeopardy has category names, you will need to create up to six category names for your questions. You can leave category names blank or use less than six if you would like! Step 4: Add your questions. Next, you will want to add your questions and answers! Want a UDL way of reviewing material? This tool provides students with multiple ways of representing mat

Awesome #EdmodoApps: Helping Students Write with No Red Ink

I am continuing with my series devoted to sharing cool Edmodo Apps that can transform your classroom. The Common Core emphasizes the need for students to develop strong writing and communication skills. While this is an important skill, many of our students struggle with grammar development. This barrier can cause our students to lack the communication skills necessary to achieve this goal. Solution: No Red Ink NoRedInk  is a free website and Edmodo App for teachers to provide students with practice assignments and quizzes to help them develop grammar and writing skills. Go to the Edmodo Store to download and assign to specific classes. How to Use It When you launch No Red Ink, you can assign can create an assignment or quiz for students to take. Assignments are formative assessments, where students can learn from their mistakes and fix them immediately. Quizzes are summative assessments where students can fix mistakes at the end of the quiz. You can create assignments or qui

Awesome #EdmodoApps: CK-12 Math Practice

I have been using Edmodo for the past five years; however, I am just now beginning to explore the awesome world of Edmodo Apps! This series is devoted to sharing some of the cool Edmodo Apps that can transform your classroom. Edmodo for Math?  When I work with teachers and tell them about Edmodo, I often get resistance from Math teachers. I don't blame them. Many feel that it does not have a place in their subject area; however, the free CK-12 Math Practice App may change their minds!  CK-12 Math Practice I love the simplicity of CK-12 Math Practice because it easily integrates into your Edmodo grade book. How does it work? To get the most out the App, teachers must go to the Edmodo store and purchase it for free. Once you purchase it, you will need to agree to the App's terms to activate it. After you have activated it, you can assign it to specific classes. Step 1: Pick Your Subject  It starts with choosing a middle school or high school math subject: A

3 Ways to Use QR Codes to Make Word Walls Accessible to ALL Students #UDL

Word Walls are a great instructional tool for having students see and potentially use vocabulary terms for a chapter, unit, or school year. They are used across both elementary and secondary classrooms across the globe. Unfortunately this helpful tool can become more of a barrier than a point of access because of its design. If students just see a word on a note card or poster, then how can they understand it or use it? What if the student is unfamiliar with the language, pronunciation, or definition? What if students cannot see or read the term? Today I want to focus on ways to make Word Walls more assessable for students of ALL ability levels. What is a QR Code?  If you are not familiar with a QR code, it is an electronic symbol when scanned (with a QR reader) will visit a specific URL. Anything with a URL can be accessed. This means video clips, audio clips, websites, etc. are all available. To get started, all you need is a web address (aka URL) and a free URL generator like