Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Panning For Technology Gold

Recently I went panning for technology gold in preparation for a conference presentation.  I was specifically looking for device agnostic math and language arts technologies for grades K-12.  I searched all my usual haunts, Twitter, Free Technology for Teachers, Kathy Schrock's Guide To Everything, Cybraryman's Educational Websites, & Common Sense Media.  I found many great resources but a feeling kept gnawing away at me that I was missing something more.  Then late, late, late one night I had one of those face palm moments.

SmackDowns!  Why had it never occurred to me to search EdCamp SmackDown documents?! For those of you who have never had the pleasure of attending an EdCamp event (something you MUST rectify ASAP), the SmackDown portion is my favorite part!  During an EdCamp SmackDown all attendees are invited to share one website, app, lesson, etc with the group in two minutes or less.  SmackDowns typically last for 30-45 minutes, thus, ensuring a plethora of great information to explore after EdCamp ends.  I started by going to the EdCamp Atlanta website because I remembered mathematics was well represented there this year.  I then moved on to trolling other EdCamp events for their SmackDown shares.

Here are my top five finds:

MobyMax-Math & Language Arts for grades K-8

MobyMax is for all students K-8. Moby's adaptive curriculum creates a unique, individualized education plan for each student, allowing gifted students to progress as quickly as they like while simultaneously ensuring that remedial students get the extra instruction they need. You've never experienced differentiation like this in the classroom.

Some parts of MobyMax are free, however, the price for additional features is extremely reasonable and worth the investment.

Newslea- Language Arts & Current Events for grades 3-12

Newsela is an innovative way to build reading comprehension with nonfiction that's always relevant: daily news. One of the best features is the Lexile scale that students or teachers can slide to the needed level for maximum comprehension, a must with differentiated learning.

Newslea has a free & pro version.

ActivelyLearn- Reading Comprehension for grades 3-12

ActivelyLearn allows teachers to discover already added reading materials or add their own reading materials from the web. Teachers can then embed questions, notes, or videos directly into the text. This gets students thinking, writing and collaborating while reading. This allows teachers to measure student effort and see where comprehension breaks down.

ActivelyLearn has a free & pro version.

Get The Math- Math for grades 6-12

Get the Math combines video and web interactivity to help middle and high school students develop algebraic thinking skills for solving real-world problems. Drawing on conventions of popular reality TV shows, video segments begin with profiles of young professionals, who then pose challenges connected to their jobs to two teams of teens. Viewers are encouraged to try the challenges themselves using interactive tools provided on the Get the Math website before returning to the video to see the teams’ solutions. Students can further explore the same, as well as extended, algebraic concepts through additional interactive challenges on the website.

Get The Math helps students understand how math applies to real world situations, not just an upcoming test.

Get the Math is FREE.

Geddit- Classroom Management Tool for grades K-12

Geddit allows you to know exactly what all of your students understand about the lessons at any given point in time.  As your lesson progresses, students can “check-in” at any time on their own device by selecting their comfort levels on a series of ascending bars. The feedback is private and updates in real time on the teacher’s screen. You can send your pre-made questions directly to student devices whenever you are ready for them to answer them, or pause on key objectives to get students to indicate their current comfort levels with the materials. You can also ask questions on the fly if your lesson takes a new direction or you just want to create a quick poll to vote on student ideas.

Geddit is FREE.


The Peanut Gallery- Creative Writing for grades K-12

The Peanut Gallery is a Chrome Experiment that lets you add intertitles to old film clips using your voice, then share those clips with your friends. It uses your computer's microphone and the Web Speech API in Google Chrome to turn speech into text.

Students could write scripts before recording to match the videos with concepts learned in science, social studies, language arts & math lessons.  The possibilities are endless.  

I discovered this when my librarian friend, Shannon Miller shared it on Facebook.  She is brilliant!

No comments:

Post a Comment