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UDL series: the Sciences

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This post is the third of a six-part series dedicated to the educational technology resources available for teachers and students to use to offer the best universally designed learning environment possible. There will be resources to provide multiple means of engagement, representation, action & expression.

For more information on universally designed learning environments (UDL) please check out the UDL guidelines site.

ENGAGEMENT – the goal is to have purposeful learning and motivated students.

  • Chrome extensions 
    • 1-click-timer – quick and easy to use.
    • GIF creation with Animated GIF capture or GIFit!. Here’s where making a 3 – 10-second rotating clip from a video or screen can capture a student’s attention.
    • Bitmoji – create your own avatar! Drag those images into GDocs as part of your comments on student work. Use them on top of other images/text in a Google Slide. Make a visual story, spruce up an email or grab attention in a newsletter.
    • RW4GC – Read&Write for Google Chrome has a variety of tools – text to speech, talk&type, dictionaries, highlighters, PDF reader, website reader, vocabulary list builder, etc. A subscription is required.
  • YouTube Playlists

REPRESENTATION – resourceful and knowledgeable students.

  • BioInteractive – multimedia resources, including apps, animations, videos, interactives, and virtual labs, to bring the excitement of scientific discovery into your classroom.
  • Book Creator – this infamous book creation tool for iOS is available in Chrome. Free teacher account has 40 books in the library that can be used. Students can add text, images, audio, and video. A fantastic way to showcase student learning.
  • NASA Live stream of Earth seen from space powered by NASA HDEV cameras aboard the International Space Station.
  • Online Reference Centre (Alberta access only)
  • Periodic Videos – Tables charting the chemical elements have been around since the 19th century – but this modern version has a short video about each one.
  • PhET Simulations – interactive simulations available for any device.
  • Sciencium 
  • The Concord ConsortiumSTEM repository for K-12+.
  • The Physics Classroom – includes a large collection of HTML5 interactive physics applications.

ACTION & EXPRESSION – strategic and goal-oriented students.

  • Big Huge Labscreate motivational posters, magazine covers, pop art, etc.
  • Google Science Fair
  • GSuite – opportunities to use a Science template for experiments, writing prompts, collaborations, data collection via Google Docs, Sheets, Slides.
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UDL Series: Mathematics

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This post is the second of a six-part series dedicated to the educational technology resources available for teachers and students to use to offer the best universally designed learning environment possible. There will be resources to provide multiple means of engagement, representation, action & expression.

For more information on universally designed learning environments (UDL) please check out the UDL guidelines site.

ENGAGEMENT – the goal is to have purposeful learning and motivated students.

  • Battlesheets – take the traditional Battleship game into the 21st century with this template.
  • Cathy Yenca – tutorials from Cathy that share how she uses different edtech tools in the math classroom.
  • Chrome extensions:
    • 1-click-timer – for the timing of work time, lessons, etc.
    • Bitmoji – to add to math explanations, math comments or just for fun.
    • Equatio – free for teachers (students need a subscription) and takes digital math to a whole new level.
    • Google Keep – the mobile version allows for audio > transcription plus images that can have students explain their process.
  • Dan Meyer has phenomenal engaging lessons for students to sink their mathematical teeth found at Three-Act Math
  • Desmos Lesson: How Long Does it Take to Charge a Cell Phone? Lesson, Desmos
  • Estimation 180 – a variety of challenges
  • Jim Wilson – has many resources, take time to scroll down to Problems section
  • Ozobots – these little tiny robots can be used in K-12 math classes easily. Check out the lessons, ideas.
  • Robert Kaplinsky – always has engaging and authentic lessons.

REPRESENTATION – resourceful and knowledgeable students.

  • Chrome Extension – Equatio – as mentioned above, it is a digital math area. What I really like is that students can speak out their equations or expressions and Equatio will transcribe it which can then be inputted into a Google Document. The mathspace is also an amazing area. I highly recommend you watch an intro video or attend a webinar.
  • Google Graph Paper
  • Put Music and Math together with Incredibox and talk about patterns, sequencing, and even algorithms. Oh, and make some pretty funky music tunes too!
  • Online Reference Centre (Alberta access only) 
  • Interested in collaborative and omnipresent slide shows that allow student input? Check out Pear Deck and its TemplatesResource Link
  • The UofWaterloo Problem of the Week is designed to provide students with an ongoing opportunity to solve mathematical problems. Each week, problems from various areas of mathematics will be posted on the website and e-mailed to teachers for use with their students from grades 3 and up.
  • Youcubed‘s main goal is to inspire, educate and empower teachers of mathematics, transforming the latest research on math into accessible and practical forms. Create by Jo Boaler and team. There are many resources and ideas for all grade levels.

ACTION & EXPRESSION – strategic and goal-oriented students.

Use whichever tool that would fit your needs at the time and then tuck away a few more for future uses.

 

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UDL series: English Language Arts

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This post is the first of a six-part series dedicated to the educational technology resources available for teachers and students to use to offer the best universally designed learning environment possible. There will be resources to provide multiple means of engagement, representation, action & expression.

For more information on universally designed learning environments (UDL) please check out the UDL guidelines site.

ENGAGEMENT – the goal is to have purposeful learning and motivated students.

  • BreakoutEDU – an immersive learning experience like an Escape Room experience but set up for the classroom. The experience can be hands-on or digitally interactive whereby groups of students must solve various riddles and find clues to complete or “breakout” of the experience. Teachers can buy Breakout EDU kits and the platform of lessons. There is also a great template for teachers to create their own learning experiences (and students can even create ones too!) Great for any age, any subject area and even for staff. If you really like this type of learning I highly recommend joining the BreakoutEDU Facebook communities as well.
  • Chrome extensions such as
    • Bitmoji – create your own avatar! Drag those images into GDocs as part of your comments on student work. Use them on top of other images/text in a Google Slide. Make a visual story, spruce up an email or grab attention in a newsletter.
    • Grammarly for Chrome – the free version auto-checks for spelling and punctuation.
    • Power Thesaurus – a nice option when building vocabulary skills and searching for different words to use in writing.
    • RW4GC – Read&Write for Google Chrome has a variety of tools – text to speech, talk&type, dictionaries, highlighters, PDF reader, website reader, vocabulary list builder, etc. A subscription is required.
  • Rubrics – a great rubric allows students the opportunity to strive for a target. Co-creation with students helps them take ownership of their work as well.
  • YouTube Playlists such as TED-Ed. Creating Playlists and sharing them on a classroom blog/website/GClassroom gives students the opportunity to rewatch key concepts whenever they like. TED-Ed has a fantastic set of video clips that teachers can utilize and also embed questions for student responses.

REPRESENTATION – resourceful and knowledgeable students.

  • Book Creator for Chrome – this infamous book creation tool for iOS is available in Chrome. Free teacher account has 40 books in the library that can be used. Students can add text, images, audio, and video. A fantastic way to showcase student learning.
  • Differentiated Reading Sources such as
    • Newsela – differentiated reading articles in a variety of subject areas. Ability to change the reading level automatically (5 different levels). A great way to have ALL students reading the same information but at their level. Grades 3-12. Teachers create a free account and students sign up with a code.
    • Tweentribune is much like Newsela, however, its interface is a little busier and does have a few more articles in Grades K-2 (not many but it does have some).
  • Summarizers like
    • Litcharts – online literature guides with a summary, themes, chapter reviews, character information. A solid backgrounder for students. Mainly for middle and high school years.
    • Sparknotes is similar to litcharts. Advertising is a little annoying but the information is good.
    • 60 Second recap is the brainchild of a quirky librarian that recaps middle and high school years books in video clip format. Teachers can use this to introduce, to recap, to review.
    • Thug Notes YouTube Playlist – a raw version of how novels could be reviewed. Does contain inappropriate language yet the explanations are brilliant at the high school level. Highly recommend teacher preview.
  • Online Reference Centre (Alberta access only)
  • ReadWriteThink.org – supported by the National Council of the Teachers of English this site has a wealth of lessons, resources, student interactives, etc.

ACTION & EXPRESSION – strategic and goal-oriented students.

  • Booksnaps with Google Slides, images, Bitmoji chrome extension. Take a text and showcase important information, facts and/or gems.
  • Google Suite apps for education allow school divisions to provide a safe, collaborative, engaging and personalized environment.
  • Hemingway Editor is a desktop app that allows students to see how their writing can be analyzed in order to improve. The free version gives an overview.
  • National Novel Writing Month
    • In the month of November, students can work on their writing via nanowrimo.org. The goal is to write 50,000 words (or a novel) in 30 days.
  • New York Times Learning Network has an amazing array of resources from writing and image prompts to discussions to graphs to comments and even contests.
  • Screencastify chrome extension provides the opportunity for videoing content on display. Easy to use and it save directly into GDrive (and even YouTube).

Just try ONE of these resources in your next ELA class. It WILL make a difference to your students engagement.

 

 

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Get Techy w/Images

Using images in the classroom allows for all students to either dig into a topic via discussion and observation yet also through inferencing. As well images can convey a lot more emotion and ‘realness’ on a specific topic than just plain text.

Check out the various resources that can be used to obtain images for whatever content that is being studied, discussed, blogged about or presented on.

Machu Picchu, Peru by Abraham Osorio

  • Work within the chrome environment, specifically your Google Document by using the add-on Full Deck for GDocs.
  • As well, the chrome tool Explore found in Google Docs, Slides and Spreadsheet also provide images and the links are brought over automatically.

Explore

creative commons

  • If you have a subscription to Discovery Education, the site has some amazing photo resources for both teachers and students.

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  • Many blog sites have their own built-in image generator or links, check out the dashboard to see if there is access.
  • Haiku Deck is a presentation tool that has access to many fonts, layouts and images filters. It is available via a website or iOS device.
  • Compfight is an image search engine. It is very easy to use.

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If you’d like some more ideas on how to use visuals in the learning environment, please check out some of my other posts:

Above all, have fun with your images, use them to make meaning of the subject areas, and cite when necessary.

 

Behind the Music: Science and Math

As a math specialist and math teacher, I often have played music in the background as students were working on various math problems, challenges, tasks or stations. I also have an appreciation for all kinds of music. (Who doesn’t like to enlighten, relax, or energize oneself with music?) I’m also a former accordion player and studied music in my younger years (sorry no video of me playing – that was before YouTube was invented). So, combining both math and music has been an ongoing discussion among educators, neuroscientists, etc. With access to more music with online exposure from YouTube, Spotify and the like, I thought I would share a post with some of the latest resources.

Scientific American asks:

Is There a Link Between Music and Math?

while Live Science shares:

Does Music Give You Math Skills?

For me, having students experience the three different types of music that I have posted below would be an interesting experience and experiment. Asking students beforehand to not only work on their math but also to be critical of how the particular music affects their concentration and/or work habits would be an interesting EXIT TICKET.

The three music types I have chosen are: 

  • STUDY MUSIC – more of a concentration type of music

  • MOZART’s music. The term “Mozart Effect” was first coined in 1991 by Alfred Tomatis, who used Mozart’s music as the listening stimulus in his work attempting to cure a variety of disorders. The approach has since then been popularized in Don Campbell’s book, “The Mozart Effect”, which is based on an experiment suggesting that listening to Mozart temporarily boosted scores on one portion of the IQ test. Hence the idea that “listening to Mozart makes you smarter” and that if children or even babies listen to Mozart they will become more intelligent.

  • Middle Eastern influenced music

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Get Techy w/Visuals

Visuals can be used to introduce or remember a concept. They can also be unique through student creation.

  • BitDraw is an iOS app that allows you drawing great pixel by pixel images and share them.

  • Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. (Speak with IT for an install to Windows platform.)

  • Infogr.am is a web-based software for making infographics and data visualizations. 

infographics editor

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Get Techy w/quotes, storyboards and radio stations

These three tools will give your students “super-powers” when they are demonstrating what they know.

  • Have you heard of Recite? It’s a great way to inspire with shareable quote images you make yourself. It’s a simple and fun tool that’s as easy as pasting in your quote and picking a template. Students can add quotes from a book character, a news event or a summary of a learned concetp.

  • StoryboardThat is a free tool for creating cool comics and storyboards. Choose from about a dozen different settings including home, school, country, historical, and many more. You can then add customizable characters, text, and symbols. 

  • RadioGarden brings distant voices close since radio connects people and places. It allows listeners to explore processes of broadcasting and hearing identities across the entire globe.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2018 in Uncategorized