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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:

 

                                                          

 

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.