Monday, November 26, 2018

252 iPad Apps for your Classroom

Ipads are great to have in the classroom.  When I got my first set (even though it was only 4), I was so excited to use them with my students.  Then reality sets in and you need to figure out how to use them.  What apps are you going to use?  Where do you even look for apps? has created a list of her favorite iPad apps and placed them into categories.  Even if you think you have enough apps for your classroom iPads, I suggest that you take a look at her list and see if you can find anything new.

What are some of your favorite iPad apps that you use in the classroom? 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Making a Screen Recording using PowerPoint

Screen recordings can be so helpful.  I find myself making them at least once a month to show a colleague how something is done.  It is also helpful to record directions for students especially when teaching a new skill.  It's much easier to have students refer back to a video of me instead of repeating myself over and over during the same period.  The easiest way to open the screen recording tool is to locate the box that says "Tell me what you want to do" and type in screen recording.

Once you click on Insert Screen Recording, PowerPoint will minimize that the following box will appear. 

You will want to click on select area and highlight the area you want to record.  You can choose to record part or all of the screen.  You can then select or deselect Audio depending on if you want audio also recorded.  If the box is gray, then it is selected.  You can do the same for Record Pointer.  Once you are ready click on the red Record button.  You will get a 3-2-1 countdown and then your recording will start.  The box will disappear and your screen will be recorded.  When you are done with your recording you can either move your mouse up to the top of the screen and the box will appear again for you to stop the recording.  You can also press the windows button, shift and Q at the same time to stop the recording.  

The recording will now appear on a side of your PowerPoint presentation.  You can right click on it to save the video, but you also have the option to do some editing. 

The editing that you can do is pretty basic, but the most useful feature is the ability to trim the video.  To access this, click on Playback in the Video Tools ribbon and then you will see Trim Video.  You can only trim to beginning or ending, but it's helpful to get rid of the extra stuff that you accidentally record.

I hope this helps you in your screen recording endeavors.  Leave a comment if there is something else that you would like to learn about.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Survey your class - beyond Socrative and Kahoot

Many of you already know about Socrative and Kahoot and, if you are like me, you love them. 
Sometimes I wonder if I'm using Kahoot too much that it's going to lose it's impact.  I found some other websites that you might be interested in using in your classroom.

The first one I am loving is called Acquainted.  Each poll is called a conversation.  The student interface looks like a text message and it's very easy for the teacher to set.  You choose a welcome message, ask the questions and write a goodbye message.  All of the questions are multiple choice and you can choose to put in a response for each answer choice.  So if you are asking students questions about the lesson you can give them feedback as to if they choose the right answer or why their answer is wrong.  You can see the results as a bar graph, but won't be able to identify which student choose which answer.  I still think it's a valuable tool particularly with the feedback that you are able to provide.

Swift is a polling platform that can be used via web and/or text.  It also allowed open ended responses.  You are limited with the free plan and can only have 50 responses per 30 days.  What is nice about it is that you can embed a poll (like I did below) on a website or in a PowerPoint.  The option to send students to a new page after submitting a text response could help you keep your students on task. The option to instantly show poll results could be helpful in starting discussions in your classroom.

Can't see this? Click here

Last up is Poll Everywhere.  This was one of the first surveying/polling website I remember.  What I liked about it was the your students could respond via text messaging.  This was great when students had phone that could only text and not get online.  You can still have student respond via text, but there is also a website that students can use which is ideal if you have laptops or ipads that your students are using.
Poll Everywhere has a lot of different choices and I'm sure you will find one that suits you.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Make the most of your data

Using Conditional Formatting with your classroom data

You probably collect so much data in your classroom and you don't even realize it.  It could simply be assignments grades or surveys that you have students fill out or something more complex.  If you do any of this electronically you will most likely have an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet.  When you have data in this file type there is so much you can do with it!  I think that Excel is one of the least understood program out there and it can really do so much (I'm trying to convince my students of this now!).

One of the great things you can do with a spreadsheet is to use conditional formatting.  This allows you to change the look (formatting) of a cell based on its content.  One easy way to use this is to color code your gradebook.  I set up conditional formatting in my gradebook so that all kids who were failing would show up in red, those one the boarder line (which I determined to be 65-75) show up in yellow and those doing fine (over 75) to show up in green.  There are so many different ways to use conditional formatting.  What's one way you think you can use it in your classroom?

If you want see more details on how to do this, check out this blog post by Alice Keeler.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Opportunities for NYS Teachers

I often get opportunities for technology pilots for New York State teachers.  If you are a teacher in NYS and would like to be notified of these pilots, please click this link to join an e-mail list I am forming to share these opportunities.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an e-mail.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Quickly Summarize a Passage of Text

SummarizeThis is a website that will summarize the main point(s) of articles and passages.  All you need to do is to paste in a block of text and a summary will be generated.  This can be helpful when students are doing a research paper and want to know if a specific article will be relevant.  It can be a great time saver so that you don't have to read a long passage only to find that it's not relevant to what you need.