8 (or more) Tech Tools to Blend into Your Classroom

Presenter: Todd Williamson

Session Description: 21st Century Classroom (Convention Center – Exhibit Hall)
This session will focus on web-based tools that allow your students to
collaborate, communicate, and create. Join us for a fast-paced (possibly
lightning fast) look at eight (or more) tech tools that you can use to
enhance your teaching and student learning. Oh, and they’re free too!

Prezi Presentation
MY NOTES…Wait, these are all my notes…

8 (or more) Tech Tools to Blend into Your Classroom

http://www.sharetabs.com/?8techtools

The focus of my session is to present 8 tools that can easily be integrated into your classroom that help students do one of the following three things:

-Create
-Connect
-Collaborate/Communicate

As we get a more firm grasp on the skills necessary for success in the 21st Century, these are three things that we should look for in a tool for student use.  All the tools presented in this session are designed to be used by students to facilitate one of the above goals. Students should be using the Web as a platform for the creation of content in various modes that will engage their multiple intelligences. The ease of connection due to the Web means we should be serving as connection guides, or “network sherpas” as it was so wonderfully put in a video about Connectivism. And finally we should be looking at tools that allow our students to easily collaborate and connect around the content we are sharing in our classrooms.  These three things help make sure that tools are meaningful, and not just a way for students to get more “screen time”…many are getting tons of screen time as it is, we need to channel the purposes of that screen time.

Though this session focuses on Tools, we need to recognize that the real importance is shifting our pedagogy in a way that allows us to use these tools to effectively do the 3Cs above. If certain tools are blocked in your district, find ways to use them in your own life, and then help build a case for their unblocking within your district.

The Tools
*ShareTabs
*WallWisher
*Chatzy
*Edmodo
*Animoto
*XtraNormal
*MakeBeliefsComix
*Netvibes

APOLOGIES TO FOLKS THAT ATTENDED THE SESSION FOR THE NEARLY INSANE PACE…THE TOOLS I TRIED TO CRAM INTO A 55 MINUTE SESSION WOULD HAVE BEEN TOUGH ENOUGH, BUT WHEN THE SESSION STARTED LATE DUE TO LIMITED TIME BETWEEN SESSIONS THE PACE BECAME EVEN MORE INCREDIBLE

ShareTabs

  • http://www.sharetabs.com
  • Take multiple webpages and “package” them into a single URL
  • The ShareTabs site gives you thumbnail images of the sites, allows you to open them all at once, and gives you individual tabs despite the browser you are using.
  • It is unfortunately not possible to add sites after the ShareTab has been created
  • Classroom uses?
  • Teacher has multiple sites for students to visit…give them one URL that makes all sites available to them
  • Students doing a research project…If there are multiple web resources that need to be checked, students can create a ShareTab to submit to the teacher for checking sources

OVERALL A RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE TOOL THAT SOLVES THE PROBLEM OF STUDENTS HAVING TO ENTER/WRITE DOWN NUMEROUS URLs

WallWisher

  • http://www.wallwisher.com
  • Allows you to create an online “wall” where virtual “sticky notes” can be placed
  • Notes can include links to images, files, or websites
  • Notes can have up to 140 characters of text
  • Notes can be moved around by each student, but the teacher has final control of the placement of the notes
  • Great as a Graphic Organizer…could be used for cross-curricular vocabulary (create notes for terms in all classes, students organize terms together for each class)…great for collecting questions from multiple students (in our room we used a wall to collect about 80 weather related questions prior to our weather unit)
  • http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/8techtools

The above link is for a Wall that was created for this session. Participants were allowed to post any of their favorite web-based tools for classroom use. This is where the (or more) part of the presentation comes in.

Chatzy

  • http://www.chatzy.com
  • Private, disposable chat rooms
  • No account creation necessary
  • Great for a backchannel chat about some curricular topics
  • I have used Chatzy for a chat during videos, allowing students to ask and respond to questions they have about the video in real time
  • This type of web usage for real-time chat, does require you to set up a climate within your classroom where students understand that inappropriate use will lead to their loss of priviledge to use the tools in future discussions. This is a management issue, not an issue particular to the tools.

Edmodo

  • http://www.edmodo.com
  • Private, Twitter-style network
  • Allows for group creation
  • No email addresses necessary for students
  • Teachers and students can send messages directly to each other
  • Students cannot send individual messages to other students…only to the entire group
  • Student can receive Assignments and Alerts from teacher as a text message
  • Assignments can be posted, completed, and graded within Edmodo.
  • Good, basic, FREE, course management system.

Animoto

  • http://www.animoto.com
  • http://www.animoto.com/education
  • Animoto lets students create videos from a set of still images
  • Creative Commons licensed music
  • Free education accounts give access to full length videos instead of 30 second videos with a standard free account
  • Great for vocabulary or anything where a large selection of images are available or easily created

XtraNormal

  • http://www.xtranormal.com
  • If you can type, you can make movies
  • Free accounts allow you to create 1 or 2 character animated movies
  • Type in the script and select expressions and camera angles to make a short movie clip
  • Great for teaching punctuation, as dialogue doesn’t sound natural without proper punctuation.
  • A download is now available called State, which I have not yet tried out.

Make Beliefs Comix

  • http://www.makebeliefscomix.com
  • No account required
  • No email required
  • Free online comic strip generator
  • 15 characters, 4 expressions each
  • Thought bubbles or Talk bubbles
  • Comics can be printed or emailed
  • My students began printing the comics and drawing in their own background images

Netvibes

  • http://www.netvibes.com
  • Netvibes is an RSS feed aggregator
  • It allows you to make a public page of RSS feeds
  • I have set up one for my students that includes Science and Social Studies feeds culled from national and international sources
  • I also have pages for the feeds of each our student blogs organized by classes
  • This way students can have one place to go and get information with international perspectives on the topics we are covering in class
  • http://www.netvibes.com/sunfishscience

I DID ATTEMPT TO RECORD THIS SESSION VIA JUSTIN.TV…HOWEVER IT DOES NOT APPEAR TO HAVE RECORDED PROPERLY…I WILL CONTACT THE ADMINS AT JUSTIN.TV AND SEE IF I’M JUST MISSING THE ARCHIVE SOMEWHERE.  IF IT CAN BE LOCATED/RECOVERED I WILL POST THE VIDEOS OF THE SESSION HERE, ASSUMING IT’S ALSO POSSIBLE TO HEAR OVER THE NOISE OF THE EXHIBIT HALL IN THE BACKGROUND.

THANKS TO ALL THOSE WHO CAME OUT SATURDAY MORNING FOR MY SESSION, FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU HAVE SUGGESTIONS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT ANY OF THE TOOLS!

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks, Todd, for being thorough as always. You showed me new tools and new uses for tools I had already tried. You packed a lot into the 55 minutes!

  2. Todd~

    Thanks for the session and the notes above. I am passing this great stuff off to my faculty in my Weekly Update…Good stuff that makes me glad to have gone to NMSA.

  3. Todd,

    This was a great presentation! I’ve been curious about Edmodo for a while and the opportunity to play with it was very valuable. All the tools I saw were well presented and exemplified. Thanks for a great session!

  4. […] (My notes incomplete due to session scheduling.  Complete notes (and a Prezi!) can be found at Todd Williamson’s blog.) Chatzy Private Chats. Edmodo Private micro-blogging service Animoto http://animoto.com/education […]

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