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Faculty in Education, Geek, Working to Close Digital and Social Divides

 

Evernote

2 min read

Evernote is a cross-platform, freemium app designed for note-taking, organizing, and archiving.. The app allows users to create a "note" which can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can also have file attachments.

Evernote Clipper - Is an accessory to Evernote that you can use to clip articles from any source which you can save and clip to your notes. The one I used in the class is Pinterest where hundreds of interesting articles are available for clipping, from recipes to trips - whichever topic that interests the user.

As for the SAMR model, Evernote falls in the modification ladder.  Modification is defined as a "tech that allows for significant redesign." This app is used as to substitute for a paper-bound notebooks with sheets of paper. But it has the technology and ability to be saved, shared, archived. It not only takes notes but videos and pictures as well.

My review:

The Evernote app is at the transformative level of the SAMR model. Evernote falls in the "M" as in "modification" level as it is a tool for young students, teachers, and ordinary people alike to create organization of notes, save information, allow the users to share the information which can be helpful for a collaborative work, and brainstorm ideas.

It was fun to use it with the Evernote Clipper and slowly, I'm building my notebook with some noteworthy ideas and class notes that I can always open to review and maybe share with my classmates. The art of writing cursive will never be developed among the students of today due to all the apps available to make it easy and convenient for them to take down notes. But if technology allows for easy collaboration, then cursive writing will just be an archaic art that will eventually be archived.

 

 

 

Twine

2 min read

Twine is a framework for building digital stories along the lines of those old choose your own adventure books.  It has a lot of power and customizability.  You can incorporate HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as well as use the built in coding language in order to make it much more than just a word based story.  

On the SAMR Model Twine lies somewhere between Redefination and Modification.  The tool greatly modifies the writing experience.  Adding branching storylines, gamification elements, and RPG elements.  The tool would be great for secondary school age students to show their writing skills along side other skills such as: coding, art, and storytelling.  

Twine 2 is the newest iteration of the site, utilizing a browser based system which removes the need to download twine.  

Twine 2 Visual Representation of the story.

A playlist of 28 videos that goes deeper into the possibilities of Twine and teaches some of the more technical pieces very well.  

Twine 2 also has a Wiki that covers a lot of the functionality of the tool.  However as of right now I have found some parts of the wiki are still incomplete, so the videos might be a better place to look

Alternatively if you are having problems with the coding portions of the tool, there is a much better Coding Language Manual that covers the ins and outs of the language.

 

There are many examples of projects made in twine and other similar projects on the Interactive Fiction Database.  

One of my favorites from the database is this RPG like story.  It has a lot of game elements and basic RPG elements as well. 

 

Screencast-o-matic

8 min read

Screencast-o-matic is a free screen recording option that allows for the recording of on screen tutorials or videos.  You can upgrade to a pro option for $15 per year.  

How can learners get to her higher levels of the SAMR model with this tool? In other words, what are the advantages over paper?

 

Screencast-O-Matic allows for redefinition for the creation of new tasks that are student driven.    It can also work as modification, augmentation, or substitution if utilized by the teacher.

 

I also like that the teacher could use the tool to create a data base of class tutorials, as often used in flipped classrooms.  This can be helpful for students to have access to different tutorials based on where they are in their learning or application of a concept.

 

Here is an additional explanation of how Screencast-O-matic fits into the SAMR model.

 

https://tackk.com/cegvmw

 

 

How would this tool enable diverse learners to better access information or demonstrate what they know and can do?

 

It allows diverse learners opportunities to show what they know in alternative format.  It also allows for students with diverse skill sets to teach or share their knowledge others.

Tutorials

Videos

http://help.screencast-o-matic.com/

PDF

https://www.pacifica.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/RecordingwithScreencastomatic.pdf

Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDrnKJl4R8M

What do you know about privacy/ data collection/safety?

Screencast-O-Matic Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy is a part of our Terms of Service ("TOS"), and describes how we collect, use and handle your information when you use our Services ("TOS" and other capitalized terms are used as defined in the TOS). We respect your right to privacy and feel it is important for you to know how we handle the information we receive from you via our Services.
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Timeline

2 min read

Timeline JS is an open source tool which allows you to create visual timelines. It is pretty simple to use, and basically requires entering data into a Google spreadsheet which is then published online. You can also input pictures, videos, audio clips, Tweets, and Google maps to enhance the timeline. Material can be pulled from Wikipedia, YouTube, Google Maps, Twitter, Flickr, and other sources. It is a nice visual tool to enhance a PowerPoint lecture, or to serve as a piece in a student project. Below is a screen shot from a timeline I created using this program.

 

 

While it is easy to see how Timeline serves as a simple substitution, standing in for a written timeline on a chalkboard, there could concievably be more advanced purposes for it as well. Alluding to the SAMR model, students could augment their timeline with more rich media, including audio clips, videos, and maps. They could also modify it by creating a larger, multimedia presentation, integrating it into a slideshow with narration. Finally, students could redefine it by sharing their respective timelines with each other online, where they could take notes and leave comments. Timeline could be a useful tool for visual learners, as well as students who are afraid of speaking up in front of the class.

A brief introduction to using Timeline:

 

 

Here is a video  of a more detailed walk-through tutorial.

 

Here is a review  of Timeline JS:

 

Here is a link  with more detailed ways to use Timeline JS along with some other timeline programs:

 

                                                          

 

Organizing Information

2 min read

These are two related ways to organize the fast amount of information available to us on the internet.

RSS 

RSS feeds bring content that we subscribe to directly to us without us having to to sites to see if there is new content.  I can subscribe to blogs, hashtags on Twitter, key word searches in newspapers, other content where the owner has ensured that the site will have a "feed" that pushes content to readers.

 

This is a somewhat dated but still good explanation.

  

I use Feedly for my personal /professional RSS feed reader. 

I use Inoreader (with a paid upgrade) to create the aggregated feed for our blogs on our course website.  

 

Social Bookmarking

Rather than book mark interesting sites to my computer or browser, I use a "social bookmarking site.  The two best known are Diigo and Del.icio.us.   With each, I have a tool installed in my browswers and on my mobile devices.  if I want to save something, I click on that tool, save the site, and -- importantly -- tag it.

 

Here's an example:  On twitter, someone posted a link to a new video site.  I opened it, wanted to save it, so opened the diigo toolbar tool and tagged it.  It looked like this:

 

screen shot of diigo toolbar tool

My bookmarks are all then "in the cloud", where I can access them on any device.

 

I can also search by my tags.

 

I can also create a RSS feed for any tag.  Our Class Resources page is filled with RSS feeds for tags in my Diigo.

 

And :  You notice that I also tagged this site 566 (as well as "video").  When I want something to appear in the optional reading part of our syllabus home page, I tag it 566, and it goes to the rss feed I have set up on the syllabus.

 

Both these tools work well to help manage the firehose of information on the web. 

 

 

 

Easel.ly and Infographics

2 min read

Infographics are a popular way to present information in the digital age. Think of creating a poster without the paper and markers. Pulling graphic images, shapes, graphs, maps and fonts from the internet and using them all to create digitally presenting various information. I speed geeked about Easel.ly. Easel.ly is one app that can be used by students online or an iPad. I found it relatively easy to use. You can find a pre-existing template to modify and edit or simply start from a blank slate.

Here are a few examples of templates that I found and may be intersting to other educators working with grades 7-12.

Below is a typical venn diagram. Students are being taught to analyze information, data, etc. and present it in an accurate way but create the venn diagram on Easel.ly or another infographic website. The shapes change size depending on the number. Its aesthetically pleasing and students use technical and creativity skills.

Since I am a World History teacher for sophomores, I found the infographic of the number of slaves leaving Africa interesting and applicable to a previous unit on European Colonialism. We could change the arrow sizes to match the correct percentage numbers of people take from Africa. There are definitely way that one could improve the infographic below but I found this template to be an interesting example for Social Studies teachers.

Again, an infographic that could be very interesting. Instead of presenting a Power Point or writing a paper, students could take information that they have researched on another country as I am showing below for the Kurdish people.

Infographics are more difficult to create than I originally expected. I found Easel.ly easy to use, its free and students can upload or share their infographics with teachers, instructors or save to a Google Classroom drive.

Here's a great how to article about creating infographics.

If you are interested in trying infographics in the classroom, here are some links to infographic websites:

Easel.ly

Venngage

Canva

Thanks to our class member Kevin Vizme

#566

 

Padlet

3 min read

Padlet is app/website that can be used for personal use, businesses or educational settings. It allows you to open new pads (what I like to think of as note pads) and add notes to it. You may attach things to these notes such as documents, videos, pictures, audio and any other type of links. It is a great way for sharing and storing ideas, or becoming organized in the classroom to have a common place for admin, teachers, students and parents to see lesson plans, student work, classroom resources and anything else one would decide to post.

 

Pictured above is an example of how I could use Padlet in class when having students work in groups to identify main characters of To Kill a Mockingbird, while describing who they are. Potentially, these students could be working with another classroom that is working on the same material, and they could be collaborating in some way. By using Padlet, students can create, collaborate, analyze and evaluate. These are all higher order thinking skills from the SAMR model, as they are also 21st century skills for the Common Core Standards. Depending on how a teacher decides to use this app/website in their classroom, it can be used for such higher order thinking skills rather than just acting like a substitute. For example, it would be a great idea for students to film themselves and upload it as a video to teach other students about a specific character, element on a plot chart or any literary element. 

This video can help you get started with creating a Padlet, how to use it in the classroom and why it is useful.

This website explains Padlet and tells us 20 different ways we could use it in the classroom.

This website is a teachers guide to using Padlet in class, along with a tutorial to create one.

This website tells us another 5 ways to use Padlet, including how to formatively assess students.

Padlet is also great for students that struggle with speaking out during class discussion. Students can share each others work instead of their own, they could share from their seat without having to get up or they could just put down the information while I share what they came up with to begin getting them comfortable with sharing in class. However, it is great for students that struggle in a classroom setting for various reasons: it is great for visual learners, potentially keeping them engaged due to the different backgrounds and photos/videos added, links to audiobooks could be available for students that struggle with reading and students that struggle with getting work done on time (or remembering to do it) could have a place to see the assignments ahead of time to get a head start.

 

Doceri

2 min read

Doceri is an interactive whiteboard for the iPad. The tool can also be used for screencasting lessons. You have two choices for creation. When using your iPad alone you are doing what is called screencasting. You are creating something on the screen and then recording your voice over the top of it. This is a great way to go about teaching especially if you are using the flipped classroom model (only works with the iPad version), where lessons are recorded and watched by students at home. By no means though is this transforming our education. Using it this way you are at best substituting.

Where I believe that it starts to move up the SAMR model is when you use it with a computer. I have to be perfectly honest and upfront with you at this point though. The highest level that  I believe this tech allows us to reach is augmentation. The reason for this is that while it allows you to be mobile in your classroom while presenting, I see no higher level of transformation taking place. 

Essentially it does allow you to move freely around the classroom which is a huge positive. I also think it allows students to present in front of the class without being in front of the class. Howeverm, my students can do that now with their own non-technological whiteboard. 

As it should Doceri costs money, but it looks like it is just a one time charge of $30 for a desktop liscense. It comes with a 30 day free trial so that you can try it out prior to buying it. 

 

From the Doceri blog an example of Minecraft math.

Penn State article about Doceri being used in a cemistry class.

A review of the app can be found here.

 

This tech is similar to Reflector 2, which is an mac based desktop application that allows you to project your iPad screen onto your white board. Doceri is a little bit more fluid in my opinion, and allows for you to use your desktop as your primary base. It also allows you to do more with lesson development as seen above.

 

 

Social Bookmarking and RSS Feeds

2 min read

These are two related ways to organize the fast amount of information available to us on the internet.

RSS 

RSS feeds bring content that we subscribe to directly to us without us having to to sites to see if there is new content.  I can subscribe to blogs, hashtags on Twitter, key word searches in newspapers, other content where the owner has ensured that the site will have a "feed" that pushes content to readers.

 

This is a somewhat dated but still good explanation.

  

I use Feedly for my personal /professional RSS feed reader. 

I use Inoreader (with a paid upgrade) to create the aggregated feed for our blogs on our course website.  

 

Social Bookmarking

Rather than book mark interesting sites to my computer or browser, I use a "social bookmarking site.  The two best known are Diigo and Del.icio.us.   With each, I have a tool installed in my browswers and on my mobile devices.  if I want to save something, I click on that tool, save the site, and -- importantly -- tag it.

 

Here's an example:  On twitter, someone posted a link to a new video site.  I opened it, wanted to save it, so opened the diigo toolbar tool and tagged it.  It looked like this:

 

screen shot of diigo toolbar tool

My bookmarks are all then "in the cloud", where I can access them on any device.

 

I can also search by my tags.

 

I can also create a RSS feed for any tag.  Our Class Resources page is filled with RSS feeds for tags in my Diigo.

 

And :  You notice that I also tagged this site 566 (as well as "video").  When I want something to appear in the optional reading part of our syllabus home page, I tag it 566, and it goes to the rss feed I have set up on the syllabus.

 

Both these tools work well to help manage the firehose of information on the web. 

 

 

 

Welcome to our Curation Site

1 min read

On this site, we'll share our critical reviews of tools and resources for supporting learning with digital integration.  

 

See directions on the Projects page on our syllabus.

 

You can add links.

 

And formatting.

 

And upload images.

keyboard with a serious play key 

 

and if we tag our posts, we can easily find common threads through the site.  Unlike Instagram, the point in tagging here is to use common, not creative tags.