OK , so I’ve already written about Padlet once, and this is only my seventh post, but I have to write about Padlet again already.  Because they just brought a whole lot of FRESH to Padlet.  I noticed last week when I was introducing Padlet to some teachers that they added some new formatting, but apparently that was just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re not already familiar with this incredibly versatile, free online tool, check out my post from May 10, 2017.  This “update” increases the choices of basic formats from 3 to 5, and also adds 9 templates to choose from.  (ThinkRead More →

The other tool that teachers in our district have traditionally used to move entire PowerPoint-based lessons to, is SMART Notebook.  This is deliberately near the end of this series because it is an installed software that goes with the SMART brand interactive whiteboards (although there is a lot you can do with the software without the board.)  Moving a PowerPoint to SMART Notebook is a lot like moving it to Nearpod, except that you have a whole different set of interactive elements to add to it.  My co-teachers tended to create entire lesson presentations in SMART Notebook to present whole group.  I tended to focusRead More →

A tool similar to Symbaloo Lesson Plans is TES Blendspace, which was, as the name implies, originally created for blended learning environments, but is totally applicable to any classroom with access to web-enabled devices.  I recently took a PowerPoint that contained all of the content for a 3 ½ hour session of a grad course I teach and moved it into Blendspace.  Essentially, I chunked the PowerPoint. As students progressed through the Blendspace, they would see a few slides from the PowerPoint in the first box, then a video in another box, some more slides, then a weblink, then a document, then a Padlet toRead More →

There was a time when a teacher who was on the cutting edge of technology was creating all of their lessons on Powerpoint.  While those days are long gone, they may also be returning.  But more about that later.  There are a number of tools available to teachers today that can incorporate an entire lesson.  Some even have the flexibility to allow for either the teacher or the student to determine the pacing of the delivery.  All of the tools in this series have various interactive features to take the static, teacher-centered Powerpoint and turn it into an engaging, student-centered learning experience. Both Microsoft PowerpointRead More →

This is an overview of the features and tools available to teachers and students from these two rich resources.  I recorded this back in January. Google Cultural Institute and the Smithsonian Learning Lab Both sites include an incredible variety of millions of curated images from museums around the world (in GCI) and all of the Smithsonian’s member institutes (including the National Zoo!)  Read More →

Microsoft is admittedly playing catch-up to Google in K-12 education, but they are creating some dramatic offerings for leveling the playing field, particularly for students with reading difficulties and ELLs.  Microsoft Learning Tools, originally a part of MS One Note, and now largely available within MS Word (Office 365) as the “Immersive Reader” view, has some terrific features for readers.  As you can see in the video, you have choices for text and background colors, and can adjust not only font but also spacing between words.  The text-to-speech engine works well, and offers decent voices, and adjustable reading rates, all while highlighting each word asRead More →

I suppose I should give a little more thought to what will be my inaugural post, however, I just recorded this little video, Introduction to Padlet, this afternoon, and that’s what’s on my mind, so that’s what I’m sharing first.  Padlet, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, is a website that allows you to create a semi-disposable website in about 2 minutes, that your students (or colleagues) can post to.  It’s an interactive site, ideal for group brainstorming.  Or sharing ideas.  Or posting collections.  Or creating a backchannel.  (Click here for a great Edutopia article explaining Backchannels in the classroom).  One coolRead More →