Category Archives: Twitter

Some interesting ways to incorporate technology

Sometimes the technology can get the better than us.  Whether it be an updated system, or the latest installment of an app, or maybe there is a new program that is better than the one you just started using.  It is OK.  You are not alone. So many teachers, parents, and even students experience the same feeling.  It is just too hard to keep up, especially when the school systems are requiring that we (as teachers) use more and more technology in the classroom.  Well here are a few easy tricks to get the technology in there, without having a learn a whole new way to teaching.

1) PowerPoint game/quiz review shows.   Face it, reviewing a lesson before a test can be boring, here is a chance to make it fun.  Teachers have been creating reviews lessons using PowerPoint to mimic popular game shows like Jeopardy, Who Want to Be a Millionaire and Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader? There are free templates online for you to download and make it your own.  This is a great way for those who are not too tech-savy to use an already established program.  I have done this many times, and have even used Prezi to create a few review games.

2) Just Tweet It! Students mission, to summarize a lesson in 160 characters or less.  Not only does this avoid having students repeat themselves over and over and over again, but it forces them to get at the real core of the lesson and what is being taught. This is good for end of the unit/lesson discussions, but also for a quick book review.  You have came them break up the main points of the standard book review to individual tweets (ex. main character, plot, etc)

3) Blogging from a characters perspective.  This is a fun one.  If you have ever had students write letters from the viewpoint of a character you have multiple options now to incorporate technology.  The most popular choice being Blogging.  Instead of letters, the students will post, and can add images and videos as well to enhance the post.  There are blog sites that can be used specficially for the classroom that protects the students from unwanted attention.

4) Surf the Web. This is an oldie but a goodie.  Webquests have been around for a while, and ultimately what it does is guides students to search the internet for specific information.  An idea is have students become curators for their own museum on a particular topic.  But since it is for a museum the students must determine what artifacts belong in their museum.  This hits many common core areas of study but also touches on technology and digital literacy since they must evaluate the sites for validity.

Again these are just a few options for you to ponder while you try to find ways to get that technology in the classroom.

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Filed under education, Language Arts, Math, Presentation, Science, Technology, Twitter

Animated Presentations

Face it, some times the delivery of lessons can be boring.  I know I have seen students drift off from time to time.  And besides from me jumping up and down or dancing around like a lunatic, some lessons just fall flat.   Now if we feel this way, imagine how the students feel.  We know that the more vibrate a presentation is, the more positive reaction you will get from the viewers.  And what is more vibrate than a cartoon?

You heard me right. Cartoon presentations.  PowToon is an online presentation site that allows you to create animated videos and presentations to help you engage your audience in a dynamic way.  The site requires no prior knowledge of animation, and they provide the user with all of the tips and tricks needed to create an expressive, one-of-a -kind presentation.  Once a presentation is created you can export the video to Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. This is a free site, however, you are limited to how much you are capable of creating.  There are options for a monthly payment or a yearly one, that provides you with longer recording time,  more options for character and accessories. I recommend this site to anyone looking to beef up their presentations.

http://www.powtoon.com/

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Filed under Cartoons, Presentation, Technology, Twitter

How Schools can use 140 Characters

Over the summer I read a blog post from Claude Lord (http://claudelord.org) where spoke about Twitter being embraced by the school systems. Here are some of the highlights, I suggest you visit her site she has some great stuff.

1) Twitter’s frivolous motto: “What are you doing?” would gain full potential and extend to “What are you thinking, learning, discovering, visioning, designing, listening to, reading, blogging about?”

2) Teacher’s meetings would turn into an ongoing stream of resources, professional development, bouncing-off ideas and experiences on what works and does not, with instant targeted feedback.

3) Sharing collaborating and attributing each other’s work would be the new norm.

4) Competition would give way to collaboration with growing understanding that the more your share the more you gain

5) Locked cabinets would open-up their resources to be used, mixed, remixed and attributed.

6) Barriers between admin, faculty, staff, students, parents and community would dissolve in a cloud of connections and opportunities irrespective of age, role, status, and class – grade or socio-economic.

7) The 140 characters limit would become the art of minimizing thought in a nutshell – Good or bad is debatable.

8) Upcoming conferences would be public knowledge, repeatedly announced, retweeted, and back-channeled, so great ideas can spread to those who can’t attend – and supplement the experience for those attending.

9) Minority voices would no longer be silenced.

Ms. Lord gives a lot of food for thought on how Twitter can maximize the learning experience but also build upon the community of learners, teachers, and parents in a way that was never available before.

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Filed under apps, Social Networking, Technology, Twitter