Thanks to some technology tools for educators, snow cancellation days don’t have to be a complete loss of teaching time with your students.
Teachers have been integrating fantastic sites like Schoology and Edmodo to give students voices and allow them to interact with lessons in new and meaningful ways. Now teachers are using many free tools like these and more to keep the learning going even on a snow day.
I use the following tools weekly when we have school and they have been incredibly helpful recently when school has been cancelled to help the learning continue:
Edmodo: Edmodo is a learning management system that creates a walled environment for your students to share their work, add to the discussion, check and complete assignments, take quizzes, and so much more. I love it. I was able to have a book discussion with many of my students during our recent vacation and school cancellations. I even had some students turning in work over the break. Students can access it via a web browser or through an iOS app. Edmodo is free. It looks a little like Facebook which the students love.
iTunes University: Create your own virtual classroom with iTunes University. I can’t get over the power of iTunes U. Every teacher should work on posting a unit just for snow days. Students can complete work while school is gone. I love iTunes U. Free.
As educators we set high standards for our students and we motivate them to become their best. We share and encourage resources to improve the lives of our students. We care passionately about their current and future success.
I encourage my students to create resolutions for themselves each year, and I always set resolutions for myself. (This is a slightly revised post from last year.) This year I want to encourage you to try on these ten professional resolutions:
1) Blog: I want you to create your own blog. It could be a personal blog, one for your students, or maybe one for you colleagues. Share the accomplishments you and your students are experiencing. Share with us what you have learned. Perhaps you can help us solve a problem. Archive your best work. I wrote an article awhile back on specifically why I want teachers to blog.
Boinx has added updates to two key applications, just in time for the holidays.
Wired Educator recommends you adding these to your virtual shopping cart for Christmas.
iStopMotion 3.5: iStopMotion is a great stop-motion application that includes an onion-skin image layer that allows you to see and plan for your next shot. It now allows for Canon DSLR optics. This is a free update. iStopMotion is one of Wired Educator’s all-time favorite applications for the MacBook and iOS devices. Simply a pleasure to use and include in digital story telling projects with students and personal use. Any educator or student on break for the holiday should be working on a iStopMotion and short animation and send Wired Educator what you made. We will post the best on our site and try to get you some attention with the creatives at Boinx.
Amazing deals and bargains are popping up everywhere, and most of them are already driving me crazy.
I do however enjoy a good deal on some software that I can download easily and avoid the craziness at the malls.
If you like that too, here you go:
The time of year where we start looking for the best deals out there. The time of year where we want to get the most bang for our buck wherever we can.
Here is a great Mac Bundle of Software! You’ll get 11 amazingMac apps for the low price of $49.99 – a savings of 88%!
Here’s what you get: (regular price is listed in parentheses):
MotionComposer ($149): Wired Educator reviewed this powerful software earlier in the year and love it. MotionComposer offer a clear user interface that lets you create beautiful animations effortlessly. Seamlessly publish content to any computer, smartphone, and/or tablet. In addition, optimized HTML5 code ensures the best performance of your content on iOS devices.
CrazyTalk7 Standard ($30): The world’s most popular facial animation tool – and Macworld’s Best of Show 2013! Simply turn any image into a talking 3D character. I’m excited to use this with my students.
Keep Reading to see the other software…
The Common Core has arrived and ELA teachers are scrambling to find the resources they need.
Quite often teachers and schools are being required to meet the requirements of the Common Core with a limited budget and a limited library. Many current libraries are heavy in literature but are lacking the essential common core focused readings in nonfiction. Other problems arise like sharing and distributing the limited number of books amongst the students arise.
Snap is an incredible resource for teachers in need of access to a leveled library to meet the differentiated instruction of students at various reading levels, and address the requirements of the Common Core. Snap! is affordable and provides an solution of for the teacher to distribute and monitor readings easily to students and differentiate instruction.
Wired Educator was able to take Snap! on a test drive and we loved it.
With Snap! teachers are able to offer their students additional access to reading materials and interactive books to help them with their reading while providing the teacher with valuable data to better assist and add value to each student’s learning.
The Snap! Digital Reading Program is a set of interactive books that have been leveled to help teachers meet the requirements in the Common Core Standards. The Snap! Digital Reading program can be viewed on the iPad, Kindle Fire, Android tablets, computers, interactive white boards, and teachers even have the option to print PDF copies.
The books in the program assist teachers and their students
When Apple unveiled Mavericks, the newest version of its desktop and laptop operating system, my attention was riveted on one icon in the dashboard, iBooks. Having a 1:1 classroom with MacBooks, the ability to read iBooks has been noticeably missing. My students and I couldn’t even read the iBooks we created with iBooks author without an iOS device. Well, no longer; Mavericks has arrived.
The addition of iBooks to the Mac OS is enough to warrant a download and the fact that Mavericks is free… well, that makes it a no-brainer.
Students will obviously be able to carry around more books than they ever possibly could before on their Mac with iBooks, but there are some other great features not found in traditional books that will benefit you and your students.
Sure double-clicking a word and seeing its definition is awesome, but did you know you can have iBooks on your Mac speak the text? Did you know that you can search the book for what you are looking for? Check your bookmark history.
TouchTilt Games Inc. announced today the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for the family-friendly Tiny Diggers series of games. Tiny Diggers brings exciting, creative-learning play with trucks and tools in an open-world, construction theme for kids. Players can operate popular trucks and tools and perform jobs such as: digging, demolishing and building everywhere in a brightly coloured cartoon world.
Comic Life 3 is now out for Mac and this Wired Educator is excited. I have been using Comic Life in my classroom for years! It’s a great way to make comic books, panel comics, and also just a creative text editor for posters and so much more.
I am an ELA 7 teacher and I use Comic Life as a great way to get my students to get excited about writing and editing. I use to have to go through a process of several apps to brainstorm, storyboard, script, edit, and publish. Now you no longer need to switch between apps in preparation to make a comic. Everything you need from storyboarding, scripting, to the finished product is built in to Comic Life 3 making it perfect for your classroom. This is an awesome tool for digital storytelling. Comic Life 3 should be in the hands of every educator and student.
When my students are finished we created our own eBooks and iBooks. Now Comic Life 3 allows you to export as ePub or CBZ. (CBZ is an actual comic book file. Kinda cool.) I would love to see an option to send it directly to iBooks Author.