New – web based learning tool on creating new learning environments with the Microsoft Surface Pro

Feel like ALL the tablet guides on the internet are about the iPad ONLY. Me too! The iPad is great as a learning tool but definitely does have some limitations. Hello Flash! Exploring this web based learning tool encourages educators explore the benefits of a Windows-based tablet (I use the Microsoft Surface Pro 2.)  as a full laptop replacement.
http://surfaceandbeyond.wordpress.com

This tool explores…

1. Using the Microsoft Surface.
2. Why Tablets? What Surface?
3. Creating a vision for use
4. Resources for communicating that vision  
5. New pedagogies and approaches to learning.
5. Implementation resources (i.e. carts, 1:1, posters, handouts, lesson ideas.)
6. Next steps with tablets.

Thanks in advance for your ideas. Join the conversation!
Click below to begin.

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My top 3 online curation tools for teachers and students

Traditionally as teachers, before we start a new topic or theme with our students, we collect a variety of educational resources (activities, worksheets, games, posters, models, songs etc.) to share in lessons or provide as resources for students in the classroom. Using technology, we can also provide multimedia and other interactive materials like graphics, slideshows, videos, files, websites, social media  accounts, hashtags etc. to enhance learning in our classroom and perhaps beyond. It would seem then that collecting a variety of traditional and digital materials would be an effective strategy to differentiate learning for students and appeal to our classes full of “screenagers” but not quite teenagers.

Here are three sites to help teachers curate educational digital content for discussion, resources and sharing with students. In online courses or blended environments, variety is important to help the visuals interesting while creating vibrant, diverse and educational rich experiences remain vital. All are useful in flipped classrooms too! All these sites are perfect for sharing by a link but work best when “embedded” directly into an online course/LMS like Blackboard or Moodle.

1. Symbaloo 
One online tool allows you to create a web page of links (as symbols) to sites on specific  theme or topic. (I find that the more specific, the better; (Grade 2 Time rather than Math.) Your symbaloo can be shared to students (or parents) as a link through email, Blackboard, Twitter etc. Your symbaloo page might be filled with links to websites but could also include links to graphics (from Google images), videos (from YouTube), even files (I used a link to a file in Google Drive) or any material with a specific URL.

Below is a link to a symbaloo I created for Grade 4-6 students to practice their keyboarding skills using a variety of tools.

keyboarding symbaloo
http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/keyboardingresources1

2. Edcanvas

Edcanvas is a website for collecting and assembling a variety of media (images, Word docs, Power Point, videos etc.) as a single presentation/webquest for students. Your “edcanvas” can be shared by email or posted on an LMS like Blackboard. Older students (Gr.4 and up) might create their own “edcanvas” to research and presentation their learning on a particular topic.

Here is one I made for a Social Studies/ICT project in Grade 5.

http://edcvs.co/XJuKkl

3.  Live Binders is one of three excellent websites (Symbaloo, Edcanvas being the others)  to help you collect, curate and present a variety of digital resources for students. Teachers have used Live Binders to build up a collection of images, resources and links on a specific topic. Students (perhaps Gr.5 and up) might also create an account and have their own Live Binder(s) for individual or collaborative research and presentation. Finally, the final product is easily shared with students (and parents) through our LMS (Learning Management System) AKA Blackboard, or email, Twitter etc.

Live Binders for Teachers


Featured Live Binders
(check out the ‘Binders by Grade (scroll down on right of the screen)

http://www.livebinders.com/shelf/featured

Honourable Mention: to MentorMob for the ability to create learning playlists. Next on my list to investigate. Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
~Anthony

My Top 3 Social Bookmarking Sites

Surfing the web for resources for your students is great but is pretty time consuming! How do you keep track and remember that awesome site you found for your students 2 weeks ago?! And which computer/device did I use?!

Thankfully, there are a number of web-based tools that can help you select, collect and share great sites on topics important to you and your students. All these below tools are accessible on a number of browsers (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari…) and devices (like smartphones or tablets like IPads).

delicious

1. Delicious – An oldie but a goodie that was sorely neglected but recently acquired by the YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen so it is more actively support and updated. You can save (and tag) websites so you can visit and access later. I have been using this site for a quite a while and use it often when reading online on the web or (more likely on the IPad with hot beverage at the ready.) Here is a link to my delicious account. Feel free to search through the tags for useful sites. I collect links on this site after browsing through Apps like Zite, HuffPost, TrapIt and the ever popular Flipboard. While reading on IPad, I collect links on my topics of interest for everyday teaching practice or sites to share with colleagues. As for browser support there are a number on Chrome extensions or add-ons for Firefox and Internet Explorer.

diigo

2. Diigo – is similar to Delicious for saving sites with the additional options to highlight and add notes to specific pages.  See this video for more information on getting started.

pinterest

3.  Pinterest – It is impossible to ignore the fastest growing  (and 3rd most popular now) social media site behind Facebook and Twitter. Finding resources is as easy as visiting the site and searching under Education. Many of our kindergarten and primary teachers have accounts (One told me she was the “queen of Pinterest” but I am not saying who) and have been collecting excellent ideas and “Pin” ideas regularly for their classrooms and beyond.

Thanks to everyone for their ideas and advice for this tip and others too. Honourable mention should definitely go to Instapaper too as an excellent app that I use to collect and read articles for specific offline use. Personally, I use Instapaper for a quick and easy and not “internet reliant” way to access articles on detailed instructions on how to do something with a quite a few steps  i.e. A teacher’s guide to using Evernote for portfolios etc.

Two min. tech. tip #8 – Welcome to the Class Dojo!

We are all familiar with the practice of rewarding students and classes with points for specific behaviours and good practices.

Class Dojo is a free website to aid teachers to record and manage specific learning goals and behaviours to extend this practice further. Students can create their own avatars, check their points at home and their progress is easily displayed on a laptop or SMARTboard or tablet with the app.

Below is a video of a teacher using Class Dojo to start his class. At my school, I am using the same model to start my class in the computer lab and it works really well. (I created my own “tribute” video that I shared internally to help staff see this app in action.)Here is a screen capture of the video.
cd transition pic
I chose Independence (1 of 6 my skills) for the class as an area of development. When each student enters the class they immediately login to the computer and open their project. Then, they reward themselves by going up to the SMARTboard without asking and giving themselves +1 for independence and then returning to their project.

Overall, Class Dojo is an excellent tool to manage transitions especially when students are arriving at different times. It is student-friendly and a measurable record of progress and success in the classroom. I welcome your feedback and let me know if I can help get you started.

More visuals – http://www.digitalplay.info/blog/2011/11/04/reward-or-punishment-gamification-with-class-dojo/

Introduction to class dojo video for students

Two min. tech. tip # 5 – Organizing all those emails in MS Outlook!

What to do with all those tech tip messages… Here is a short video on how to take get a handle on all those messages in Outlook. Dragging completed or read emails in folders allows me to feel like I am staying on top of things(!) However, limiting this system to only 3- 5 general folders (i.e. school, coaching, PD, personal etc.) seems the quickest way to drag and find messages easily. This folder system is a quick tip that helps me (feel like I’m) getting things done.
Thanks. I hope that helps.

2 min. tech tip # 1 – screen capturing

 
Purpose: The snipping tool allows you to capture the whole or part of your screen to copy or save as a picture file. (.jpg, .gif .png)

 Ideas for use

  • Snip part of a website for use in a handout, worksheet or other document
  • Take snapshots from a video
  • Export to other software (web to SMARTnotebook, web to Word, One Note, Power Point etc.)
  • Save a student`s work from a website without them having to create an account
  • Create screenshots for your students or parents in CMS or emails

 

Two min. tech. tips

According to Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” The same could be said for technology these days.

This year I am hoping you will take 2 min. to try a few new  ideas and tips from the ever-changing educational technology world. Some you might know, but hopefully you will pick up a few new tricks to improve your tech. skills.

Goal: Training should be quick, relevant and helpful for teachers.

Delivery: weekly to your inbox by email OR by Twitter. Feel free to follow me at @anthonychuter

Follow up: Up to you! Depending on feedback and interest, I can schedule follow-up sessions if a topic, resource or idea needs more attention.  Thanks for reading and I look forward to your feedback!

Anthony

Presenting at the Ontario SMART Conference 2011

http://www.clker.com/clipart-smart-board-blank.html

Thanks to all those who attended the SMART Ontario conference at the new Crossroads Public School on Saturday October 15th in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake.  In my first experience as a SMART Exemplary Educator, I led a class full of dedicated and keen professionals through an “Introduction to SMARTboards” session. We explored a number of resources and best practices with the SMARTboard to aid student learning and provide educationally rich resources for the teachers in attendance.

In a 21st century classroom, a SMARTboard is one excellent tool to aid teachers design interactive lessons and activities to target a variety of learning styles and promote rich learning. Thanks also to the Crossroads P.S. team, Giancarlo and the SMART team for the countless hours of planning and preparation necessary to make such an important, collaborative and successful conference run so smoothly.
Here are the files from the session. All are in .notebook format.

Module One
Module Two
Module Three
Module Four

Also here  is a file with instructions on the the famous Magic Magnifier.

For more tips and tricks, please feel to browse my web bookmarks at:
http://www.delicious.com/anthchuter/smartboard

Follow me or feel free to contact me with questions or ideas on twitter at http://twitter.com/anthonychuter

The 30 day Teacher Challenge

This 30 day teacher tech challenge is a pretty good list of free and useful educational apps for teachers and their students.
http://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org

So far I am already using #1 – Wallwisher, #3 – Bitstrips for Schools, #7 – Kerpoof, #11 – Skype, #12 – Animoto,
#13 – VoiceThreads (although not free for students), #17 – DropBox, #18 – Jing, #19 – Audacity and #22 Little Bird Tales,

Want to investigate: #4 – Classtools.net, #5 – Edmodo, #6 – DoInk, #15 – Livebinders