Website Wednesday: Wizer.me

wizerby Khristina Hunt, Downingtown West High School Instructional Coach

Many of you have inquired about new ed tech resources to utilize in your classrooms. So I thought I’d share a really neat one called Wizer.me. Wizer.me is a site to build beautiful engaging online worksheets. But don’t be fooled – these are worksheets in name only. They truly are awesome! I’ve outlined a few key details below:

  • You can add video, audio, images and a variety of question types to the sheet
  • 1-click will let you share with students and/or upload to a Schoology assignment.
  • You’ll save time with automatic checking and grading or you can review one-by-one to give more personal feedback.
  • It’s easy to share your Wizer collection with other teachers.
  • Browse the Wizer collection of FREE digital learning resources.  Just pick one you like, customize and share out with the class
  • Students can access the worksheets with any device.

If you want to know more, don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructional coaches!

 

Food for Thought Friday: How Artists See Their Dyslexia

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” ~ Degas

When we do not have a particular disability, it is sometimes difficult to imagine what it must feel like for a person who does. For example, one of my sisters has dyslexia. Although it hasn’t stopped her from earning her PhD in Nursing and becoming a professor, I know that it has been a constant struggle. She tries to explain what it’s like, but I have a hard time imagining.

That is why I’ve been fascinated by this article from NPR called “Finding Words in Paint: How Artists See Dyslexia.”  To see how these artists express their own struggles with Dyslexia through their art is eye-opening. It’s worth checking out this weekend and maybe even sharing with someone you know.

Website Wednesday: VideoNot.es

logoby Kristie Burk, Coordinator of Blended and Cyber Learning

VideoNot.es is a great website that addresses the increased use of videos to deliver instruction. Students use VideoNot.es to watch videos and take notes simultaneously.

Students can login to the site using their DASD Google accounts.  (This will allow their notes to save automatically to their Google Drive.)

Half of the screen contains the video that the students are watching. The other half of the screen is a blank area where students can take notes while the video plays.  What is unique about this method of note taking is that the students’ notes are synchronized with the video. If they see something that they’d like to write down at 1:40 in the video, the note will be tied to 1:40.  If the student clicks on that note later, the video will auto-magically jump to that spot.

Because the video notes are saved to a student’s Google Drive, it will be easy for him or her to share the video with you or with other students later.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Tech Tip Tuesday: Using Common Apps and Websites for New Uses

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Blended and Cyber Learning

Last week I attended the Future of Education Technology Conference.  I learned so much from this conference that it will take me weeks just to go through all my notes!

One of the things I quickly noticed at the conference was how educators are using common technology tools in new and innovative ways. For example, I met Mike Meechin at the conference, principal of Poinciana High School in Kissimmee, FL.  In his school of 1200+ students, 71% are eligible for free and reduced lunch and he has struggled with a high absentee rate.

Meechin decided to use the Remind app in a new and innovative way.  Any student with significant absences was enrolled in a special Remind account.  Starting at 5:30 am, the students would start receiving Remind text messages to get them out of bed.  (Meechin says that he usually sneaks in an inspirational message in the wake-up texts as well.) He says they would usually send 2-3 message for the next 90 minutes.

Amazingly, this innovative use of Remind increased the attendance of these students by 60%!

Do you have an innovative use of an app or website? Let us know at dtowntechchat.wordpress.com!

 

 

Website Wednesday: Protect kids with Google Safe Search

by Michelle Curcio, DASD K-5 Instructional Coach

Are your students protected when they search the Internet?  This is a great site to share with parents!

Google Safe Search can be used as a parental control to help protect children from inappropriate search results on a  phone, tablet, or computer.  Although it isn’t completely accurate, it does a good job of helping ensure a safe  search experience for children. Safe Search can be locked and password protected, adding another layer of reassurance for parents.   To enable Safe Search follow the directions below:

safesearch.png

Website Wednesday: Dotstorming

lrvgncofby Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

Dotstorming is a great online “brainstorming” tool that you can use with your students to generate ideas.  Like Padlet, Dotstorming allows students to post a digital sticky note with text or images.  Dotstorming takes it one step further, however, by also giving students dots that they can use to vote for the ideas they like best.

There are some things that I really like about dotstorming. Teachers can rank the ideas based on how many votes they received. I also like that your participants do not need a login to join the room. Finally, I like that you can limit the number of votes (dots) that you assign.

I used dotstorming during a recent professional development session.  Teachers researched different implementations of blended learning around the country and posted their findings within the dotstorming room.  Then, they used their dots to “vote” for the ideas they wanted to explore further as a group.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Food For Thought Friday: Forget Resolutions, All You Need is #OneWord

Nicole Stulak, K-5 Instructional Coach

At a time when many of us are neglecting our New Year’s Resolutions and goals for the year ahead, maybe all we really need is one word.

The inspiring #OneWord concept is based on the book One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page. You can check out the One Word That Will Change Your Life Video here.

This powerful, yet simple idea has you select one word to focus on, a word that says who you want to be and how you want to live your life. One word that you invest your energy in and acts as a guide as you make decisions and go about your every day. One word that drives your goals and aspirations instead of lists of resolutions that often are time-sensitive, forgotten or never kept.

 

The #OneWord movement has the power to positively influence classroom culture and has gained momentum on social media as teachers and students return to school this month, ready to tackle the year ahead. Check out these hashtags #oneword2017 #OneWord #oneword365 and the links below to see how one word can make a BIG impact.

The One Word Project by Mr. C SharesEase

One Word Can build a Mindful Class Culture via Middle Web: All About the Middle Grades

The STEMtastic Classroom

My #OneWord for 2017 is BALANCE… reflect on your life, what word would you choose to guide YOU through 2017?

                      

                    Hidden Lakes Elementary #OneWord    Norfolk Senior High #OneWord