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Showing posts from November, 2014

From Your Camera Roll to Your Facebook Post: Cooliris One Place to See Your World

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Photo source iTunes Store I just came a very unique app called Cooliris and had to share it with you all! If you are a visual learner, you will especially love it. This could be a great visual brainstorming tool for students, who want to see pictures they have stored on their camera roll. Cooliris is a free iOS and Android App that combines all of your pictures from various sources and places them in one place. All of your pictures from your camera roll, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Dropbox, Google Drive, Picassa, and Google+ into a stunning 3D board! It has a very simplistic interface, which makes it easy to share photos with your favorite person or social network. Check it out and let me know what you think! November is Clicks for a Cause Month! Last November, I started a new tradition called  "Clicks for a Cause."  The concept was easy. You visit my blog, I donate! I would like to continue again this year! For each visit to my blog during Novemb

Easy as 1, 2, 3: Math iPad Apps

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My five year-old son Trey is in Kindergarten and loves math. He is constantly counting, writing down his numbers, and adding up his animal crackers. He is my inspiration for today's post about iPad Apps to help with Math. 1. Number Pieces Learning place value is one of foundations of learning in the mathematics classroom. Many teachers utilize base ten blocks in their classroom; however, how can you help students learn this valuable concept through the power of technology? Number Pieces is a free app to help students understand this very important concept. Students can this app to perform basic functions like counting or perform more complex functions like adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.  I also like the fact that there are annotation features to quickly let students to write down their answers. 2. Long Division Touch  My daughter will be starting division very soon. What tools can I provide her to practice the important, yet challenging, concept of long

Using Class Dojo with Common Sense: Why it is NOT an Invasion of Privacy

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I recently read an article in the New York Times by Natasha Singer that criticized Class Dojo and called it an invasion of privacy. In the article, the teacher posts the dashboard on his SmartBoard in the front of the room, where he deducts and adds participation points.  Every student is able to see their classmate's performance on the board. While I agree that we don't post academic grades on walls anymore, there are ways of solving this dilemma that do not involve writing a degrading article in the New York Times. A simple look at the features of Class Dojo would reveal the solution.  Article Concern # 1: Showing student performance in front of the class At bare minimum, if teachers are concerned about other students seeing the performance of other classmates, they can use the Android or IOS Apps. Secondly, the article did not state that teachers can customize the display of the dashboard in their settings. Simply open the class that you are working with and choos

Take the Guess Out of Research: Create Your Own Custom #Google Search Engine

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One of the biggest challenges of having students research information is finding appropriate resources. In a previous post, I had suggested Five Google Search Tips to Make Your Life Easie r; however, how do you support students who have difficulty finding resources? How do you provide relevant resources for your students with learning disabilities to use? A great solution could be to create your own Google Custom Search engine. What is it?  Google Custom Search engines allow you to create your own search engine (powered by Google of course). You determine which sites students can use and cannot use. For example, I recently had my students do a project on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs; however, I did not want them to use Wikipedia. I copied and pasted the URL of several relevant articles into my search engine, which I shared with students. When students typed in "Hierarchy of Needs," my custom search engine filtered information from my suggested articles and NOT Wikipe

No Field Trips? Take a Tour with #Google Through Tour Builder

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Just think for a moment about the value of field trips. Our students can see and experience things that they may never have the opportunity to outside of the classroom ( Multiple Means of Representation ). Field trips engage and excite students because they make learning real and fun ( Multiple Means of Engagement) . Field trips are becoming a rare opportunity in many of our schools, due to budget, time, and safety concerns. It may not be practical for students to take a field trip each week, but now you can for free with Tour Builder . What is it?  Tour Builder is a free web application that uses the power of Google Earth to create custom made field trips. Share where you have been in the world, add pictures, video or text. Because this site uses the power of Google Earth, you will have to download the free Google Earth plugin available on Windows computers and Macs.  It was originally developed for military service members to share their experiences with their families; h

Cool #Chrome Extensions: Too Long Didn't Read #GoogleEDU

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I am always on the lookout for inspiration for stories on my blog. On Saturday, I spent the day with a group of passionate educators at the Buck's County IU in Doylestown, PA to learn about Google. This opportunity inspired me to write about some of the great tools and extensions I learned about, which will enhance your Google experience. Enjoy! Did you ever give students a reading assignment that they didn't read? Have you ever wanted to read a particular article, but it was way too long? If there is not enough time in the day, you hate reading, or you just want a more efficient way of browsing the web, the Too Long Didn't Read (TLDR) may be for you.  What is it?  TLDR is a free plugin you can install on your browser to condense long articles into a brief synopsis. Once the plugin is installed, you can visit any webpage you would like. Click on the TLDR icon and you will receive several different options to view your selected article.  Summary - provides a

Enjoy Typing on Your iPad with Swype (FREE APP for a Limited Time!)

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Typing is one of the biggest challenges of using a tablet. It has been made easier with some of the new updates mobile operating systems; however, it still can be challenging. This can frustrate yourself and students with dexterity challenges. The Swype Keyboard App (available in the Android and iTunes store) can be a great alternative to the traditional keyboards available on most devices. It is a third party keyboard, which means you will have to install it; however, it is well worth it because it makes it easier to type on a tablet or mobile device. How does it work? Once installed, you can literally swipe your fingers across the keyboard to select the letters you want without worrying about hitting the wrong keys. How is this possible? Swype's accuracy is based on how quickly it learns your typing and word selection patterns. The best part is that it is free on the iPad for a short time! It is well worth the download. November is Clicks for a Cause Month! La

Edmodo Snapshot, Are You Using It?

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Addressing the needs of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is everyone's responsibility. How are you helping prepare kids for the future? If you are already using Edmodo, then it is as easy as using Edmodo's Snapshot feature. This is a free feature on Edmodo, which allows you to assess students on specific ELA or Math CCSS. Want to see how easy it is? Check out my video tutorial: Now what? Edmodo provides excellent data tools to help you address the needs of students. Want to see how it works? Check out my video tutorial: With most educational technology tools, you have to do a ton of work to prepare and manage in advance. What I like most about the Snapshot feature is that there is very little work you have to do on your part. November is Clicks for a Cause Month! Last November, I started a new tradition called  "Clicks for a Cause."  The concept was easy. You visit my blog, I donate! I would like to continue again this year! For each visit

RISE Up and Provide Meaningful Feedback to Students: Kaizena Audio Comments in Google Docs (Part 2)

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Feedback is an essential element to learning, but why do many of us struggle with providing valuable feedback to improve student performance? My last post described Emily Wray's RISE Model for meaningful feedback and self evaluation. What does RISE stand for? Reflect through   making connections, agreements, or disagreements with the student work. Inquire by  using our understanding and analyzing skills to develop meaningful dialog. Suggest by  analyzing and evaluate student by providing suggestions to develop a deeper understanding and higher quality product. Elevate or transforming the student product into   higher levels of creativity and problem-solving. The Problem with Feedback: Brain research tells us that each student interprets instructions and feedback differently. Why do we expect ALL students to understand red marks, x's, check marks, smiley faces, and good jobs?? This type of feedback may not be helpful. Many of us know this and want to give bette

Clicks for a Cause 2014!

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Last November, I started a new tradition called "Clicks for a Cause." The concept was easy. You visit my blog, I donate! I would like to continue again this year! For each visit to my blog during November, I would donate a penny to help baby Adam Maldonado and his family. See his story here .  At the end of November, I will be making a contribution to the family's GoFundMe page .  How can you get involved? Visit and share my blog with others. I have others who are matching my contribution. The more clicks, the more money we raise!  Like Adam's Facebook page  and keep updated on his condition. Pray for Adam and his family! Make a contribution to the family's   GoFundMe page .  Please contact me if you have any questions or if you have a  HEART to help a child in need!