Teaching & Learning Tools: The Google Chromebook

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Chromebooks are fast, intuitive, and easy-to-manage computers that connect students and teachers with the power of the web.

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Teaching & Learning Tools: 3Doodler Video – The World’s First 3D Printing Pen

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We wanted to design a 3D printing device that could be used within minutes, without needing any technical knowledge, software or computers.

We also wanted it to be affordable as well as fun, so that anyone could 3Doodle! Compact and easy to use, the 3Doodler allows you to literally draw in the air – whether freestyle 3D sketching or tracing shapes from templates to make larger structures and objects.

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Teaching & Learning Tools: Words With Friends EDU

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Introduction

I recently discovered there was an education version of Words with Friends.

Words With Friends EDU brings the fun of Words With Friends into your classroom. Students learn new words as they play in a safe environment with their classmates, and teachers and parents track students’ progress using custom teacher dashboards.

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Parent and Teacher Tools

  • Teacher Dashboard – Teachers and parents can track students’ gameplay and learning through a dashboard displaying three types of reports – Shout Out reports that call out students’ learning and engagement milestones, Watch Out reports that draw teachers’ attention to signals that students aren’t learning or engaged, and Standards Reports that show students’ progress against Common Core Standards.
  • Classroom Management Tool – Teachers and parents can set up and manage membership in private “classrooms”. Players can only play against other players in their classroom.
  • Lesson Plans – Developed in partnership with WestEd, a suite of lesson plans supplement the game and drive deeper learning and Common Core Standards alignment.
  • Safety and Privacy – Words With Friends EDU is fully COPPA compliant, and students can only play with other players in their classroom.

Words With Friends EDU Official Trailer from Zynga.org on Vimeo.

Teaching & Learning Tools: Integrating ‘Google Drive & Classroom’ into your teaching and learning

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After using One Drive and SharePoint for a couple years during my teacher training and my previous school, I am now faced with a new tool that I haven’t used extensively on a day to day basis before – Google Drive and Google Classroom.

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I discovered how super awesome it is because it contained several different online tools and apps which are linked together and all content are saved in the cloud (Google Drive). Everything is linked to your school’s email address and password which is used to access everything. The good thing about it is that your email can be accessed anywhere in the world on a computer with an internet browser connected to the internet on the Gmail website.

Google Classroom ties Google’s many products together to help educational institutions go to a paperless system. Assignment creation and distribution is accomplished through Google Drive while Gmail is used to provide classroom communication. Students can be invited to classrooms through the institution’s database, through a private code that can then be added in the student interface or automatically imported from a School Information Management System.

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Google Classroom integrates with students and teachers Google Calendar. Each class created with Google Classroom creates a separate folder in the respective Google product where the student can submit work to be graded by a teacher. Communication through Gmail allows teachers to make announcements and ask questions to their students in each of their classes.

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Google Classroom will not show any ads in its interface for students, faculty, and teachers. Teachers can add students directly from the Google Apps directory or can provide a code that can be entered for access to the class by students.

Teaching & Learning Tools: Spice Time Credits -Working with and engaging parents

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I recently attended a ‘working with and engaging parents’ workshop at a Teacher Seminar. I discovered what I considered to be an awesome platform to work with and engage parents with student’s learning and school life. Spice Time Credits encourages parents and guardians to be involved with various activities within the school. In turn parents and guardians would earn time credits which could go towards leisure activities such as theme parks.

 

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Teaching and Learning Tools: Gojimo – The free app to help your students pass their exams.

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Gojimo’s Website

Gojimo is the free revision app that gives you GCSE and A-Level revision content, as well as SAT, 13+ Common Entrance and 11+ Common exam help.

  • Gojimo is free to download on iPhone and Android and all the quizzes are free
  • Over 150,000 questions, all with detailed explanations – that’s more quizzes than you’ll ever need!
  • Every major GCSE and A Level covered – and we now cover Scottish Highers as well
  • You can even select your quiz by exam board
  • See results instantly, and track progress over time.

So if you are looking for an effective way to engage your students in their revision, why not try Gojimo?

Teaching and Learning Tools: Microsoft One Drive

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A few years ago I discovered cloud storage and its benefits. Back in those days of early 2009, I was using Google Drive and its online suite of office apps. From those early days of using Google Drive, I quickly realised the advantages of using online storage and how it allowed me to have seamless workflow from one device to another.

I could start an essay using Google Docs and saving it on Google Drive on one device then continue my work on move on my mobile device.

About two years or so ago when Microsoft released Windows 8, it came with One Drive embedded into the operating system itself. Having seen the benefits of Google Drive, I began using a free plan of One Drive.

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Microsoft One Drive was awesome as it connects with Microsoft Office suite that I already use and it allowed me to save my work from any device I was working on directly onto One Drive.

Benefits of using online storage (One Drive)

  1. Files and documents are available on all devices with an internet connection
  2. Work can be started on one device and completed on another device
  3. No need for USB sticks or other forms of removable storage.
  4. Your device doesn’t need a large storage as all your files and documents are kept online and retrieved when needed.
  5. Several people can collaborate and work on one file at the same time.

Disadvantages of online storage (One Drive)

  1. You need an internet access to retrieve files from online storage
  2. To get more storage you have to pay a monthly fee.

OneDrive vs. Google Drive

Teaching & Learning Tools: Kahoot! – Making Learning Awesome!

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I first discovered Kahoot! last year during my PGCE course at University. One of the other students did a presentation about it, demonstrating the power and awesomeness of what it could do in the classroom.

I was so impressed by Kahoot!, that I immediately introduced it into my lessons. I often use it as a starter or a plenary, creating a sense of competition among my students. I found that creating a sense of competition allowed my students to try harder to learn the topic before they take part in the quiz on Kahoot!.

 

 

What is Kahoot!?

Kahoot! is a free game-based learning platform that makes it fun to learn – any subject, in any language, on any device, for all ages!

How it works?

  1. Create a fun learning game in minutes, made from a series of multiple choice questions. Add videos, images and diagrams to your questions to amplify engagement!
  2. Kahoots are best played in a group setting, like a classroom. Players answer on their own devices, while games are displayed on a shared screen to unite the lesson – creating a ‘campfire moment’ – encouraging players to look up.
  3. Social learning promotes discussion and pedagogical impact… whether players are in the same room or on the other side of the globe! After a game, encourage players to create and share their own kahoots to deepen understanding, mastery and purpose.