Friday, June 26, 2015

Edutecher: How I find my tools

As many of you know, I am quite a researcher and I spend a lot of my time searching out tech tools to benefit my colleagues and my students.  Sometimes, I get overwhelmed and can’t remember what I have looked at and evaluated. Sometimes, I find a cool tool and forget about it a few months later and don’t remember what it is.  I have shared, several times,  my process for finding and blogging about tools and I want to share a little more today about what I use to find my information.
I stumbled upon  EduTecher in a webinar a few years back. The speaker talked about it as a way to find tech tools for the classroom.  I had created an account a year or so back but hadn’t spent a lot of time using the site.  I decided to spend a little time investigating it and learning about it and sharing with my readers.
EduTecher is a virtual backpack were you can visually store sites you use.  There is a small icon called an educlipper that can be added to your browser and you can use it to add pages to your backpack.   Think of it like Pinterest but solely for education. There is also an app for Android and Apple.

You can also add contacts to your account and share your backpack with others. There are tons and tons of tools there to sift through and add to your backpack to try as well.  I love the enormous amount of tools to look through. There is definitely something for everyone.

Friday, June 19, 2015

TTL Back to the grind

Finally, I am on summer vacation, and as many of you in the education setting knows, that means we have a few days on and off to refresh and then... back to the grind.  Planning, learning, designing, etc. I have decided that even though I don't have a lot of planning and things to do this summer, I am going to spend a great bit of my time researching things for the library and for my staff.  I tried in 2013-14 school year to do Tech Tuesdays.  I had very few visitors and felt let's do it again in 14-15.  Then, we decided to migrate to PowerSchool and I got to be the migrator/data manager.  That took so much of my time on a daily and weekly basis that there was no way I would be able to spend time evaluating and researching tech tools for my staff.  On top of that, I was asked to coach a swim team and that took my evenings. That whole scenario made my blog almost non-existent.   I have decided to spend a lot of the summer working on things for blog posts so I can get back to the grind and again do my blog on a weekly basis.

Starting June 26th, I will be posting a blog a week regarding something libraryish or technology.   I hope some of my readers will return and check things out again. I am going to work ahead so I have a nice collection of posts to refer to.   I will also be maintaining my school library blog with weekly updates about new releases and things going on in the learning commons.   I invite you all to visit there as well. You can visit through this link: HHS Library

I also established a blog for my teachers with tips and things that are relevant to our school.  While some of it isn't going to help everyone, maybe someone can benefit from it.  You can visit it here: TTL Tech Help

Again, I thank all of you for your patience as I work on rebuilding my PLN and my blog.  I miss my twitter friends and my Google + things and I hope the school year to come opens up more doors for me so I can enjoy them all a little bit.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Using Kahoot in the classroom

One of my staff members has been very busy using an app to keep her students engaged.   I had the chance to use it myself, at a conference over the summer, and I can see why kids enjoy using it as a review tool.

It's called Kahoot and it is a free website taking place of that old school powerpoint we had back in the day, but it is very interactive.   Have you ever gone into a restaurant and played the question and answer game with the people around you?  You get a question and it times down adding more info as you wait until you ultimately see the final answer?  That, my friends is Kahoot!

Kahoot allows for question/ answer creation in the form of multiple choice.  Teachers can input questions that relate to the specific topic and it generates an online quiz.   The audience chimes in via their phones, computers, tablets, whatever.  They simply get a code for the kahoot you are using and join in.   The game launches and it runs through.  Teachers get instant feedback from student responses.   The timer ticks down once the question starts and the first to answer wins the most points and it goes down to the last respondent.  The final results determine the winner.

A few of our teachers have been using this with a great deal of positive results.  The kids love it and the teacher is getting very quick feedback about what needs re-covered and what is mastered.  It is a quick and easy tool to use.