The video below is a very quick overview of Pixiclip, a free, online whiteboard that is a potentially very useful tool for teachers looking to create online tutorials, particularly for flipped classroom applications. The site allows text, drawing, images, audio, and even webcams to be included in presentations, and it has a very user-friendly interface.
In this short episode, I had the privilege of interviewing my friend, Todd Nesloney, better known as @TechNinjaTodd of Twitter fame. Todd is a 5th grade math teacher here in Texas who was named one of “20 to Watch” by the National School Board Association this year. Todd and I chatted briefly about what it means to flip a classroom, the challenges, and the benefits.
At the risk of having the entire group focus on their food and ignore me (ahem) the following are some useful resources I’ll be sharing with Highland Park ISD teachers during lunch on Thursday.
Learni.st –create & share online “boards” around any topic or area of expertise.
Gooru –powerful new search tool for education that returns results that can be filtered by type (e.g. notes, handouts, quizzes, interactives, etc.). Can also create collections, virtual playlists for students to use.
Aurasma –partly a Web 2.0 tool, Aurasma’s key component is an app that uses a phone’s camera to access images, videos, etc. that have been linked to an image of a particular object.
Tynker –online tool that lets students learn the basics of programming and lets teachers manage students, create programming assignments, assess, etc.
Videonot.es –watch videos and take notes as you go. Notes are saved to Google Drive account.
Checkthis –great, free tool for quickly creating sharp-looking websites, including text and many types of embeddable tools (maps, videos, web apps, etc.).
TubeChop –very practical tool that allows users to select and share specific snippets of YouTube videos.
Knovio –share your PowerPoint presentations online PLUS add video clips of yourself providing narration.
Comicmaster –really cool tool for creating graphic novels online using click-and-drag interface. Products can be saved and printed.
Marqueed –collaboratively share and discuss images, website screen captures, more. Includes a useful history tool to keep track of conversations and works nicely with Google Drive.
Thinglink –create and share interactive images, maps, etc. Add an image, add a trigger, and link it to content (video, podcast, website, Wikipedia, etc.).
GroupMap –create and share very collaborative mindmaps. Simple interface, let’s users have easy control over privacy.
Infogr.am –free, collaborative tool for creating infographics. Uses handy click-and-drag format and includes numerous templates and graphics to get you started.
Easel.ly –another tool for creating infographics online, Easel.ly also has an easy interface, great graphics, and ability to create collaboratively.
Phrase.it –simple tool lets users add speech bubbles to upload images and save or share in a variety of ways.
BiblioNasium –create a safe social network for students that is centered on reading. Teacher can create recommended book lists and monitor student progress, students can engage in book discussions, parents can monitor children, much, much more.
DoSketch –very simple, free drawing tool. Unlike many similar sites, drawings can be downloaded and saved!
GeoGuessr/GeoSettr –fun and engaging geography guessing game using Google Street View. GeoSettr lets users create and share their own games.
Remind101 –create text-message class contact lists without ever seeing student numbers.
Presenter –online presentation tool still in beta. Good tool selection and interface, but has been a little buggy (That’s why it’s in beta.). Still, it has a lot of potential, the development team is very responsive to questions or suggestions, AND it creates presentations that are mobile-device friendly!
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Thank you to every teacher who gave the first 2-Minute Tech Challenge a shot. If you did not complete that one yet, have no fear–you are welcome to complete it at any time between now and the end of the challenge, March 31st.
This challenge focuses on TED Ed. Many folks are familiar with TED (technology, entertainment, and design), the series of talks that have brought some of the world best innovators and creators into the spotlight. TED Ed is spinoff of the original, and it adds some great features that make it useful as a teaching and learning tool. Watch the video for a (very) quick introduction and to learn about the challenge.
That’s it. When you’ve completed the challenge, be sure and post the link in the comments below. You’re comments or questions regarding the TED Ed resource and your thoughts on it as a teaching tool are very welcome, too.
Unless one has managed to somehow avoid all professional conferences, publications, and conversations for the past year or so, we all have heard the buzz around the hot, new trend in classroom practice: flipped instruction. The concept first caught my eye in 2007, when I saw a news stories about Colorado educators Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, the “godfathers” of flipped classrooms. I was truly intrigued at the time and curious about what the long-term potential was for their innovative approach. Fast forward to the present, and the concept is the hottest movement afoot in the field. Several initial studies seem to validate proponents’ support of flipped learning. The current issue of Tech & Learning includes a Classroomwindow survey in which an astounding 99% of teachers who used flipped learning this year say they will use it again next year, and 88% report increased job satisfaction. 67% report higher student test scores, and 80% have seen improved student motivation. Obviously, there is enough substance here to warrant further exploration.
To this end, we offered our first courses in flipped classrooms this summer as part of our technology training offerings. These were designed as exploratory courses for our teachers, many of whom had no knowledge of the flipped classroom concept prior to attending. We employed something of a flipped professional development model at the outset–having them work in groups to look at articles, videos, and examples online, then create presentations explaining what they had learned. Their understanding of the concept was truly exciting, and there was a real, palpable buzz about the possibilities for our schools. The graphic below shows a summary of their products. Click to enlarge.
Note that they perceptively understood that flipped classrooms are about more than videos or switching classwork and homework. They are about putting greater responsibility for learning in the hands of students and equipping them with the tools to succeed. The teacher becomes the coach/mentor/guide, and students research, collaborate, create, and share what they have learned.
We spent the remainder of the class learning about technology tools to facilitate flipped classrooms, including online videos, podcasts, screencasts, etc. They were truly some of the most exciting professional development sessions I have been privileged to help facilitate.
Thanks to those brave risk-takers who participated this summer. I look forward to seeing how this benefits the kids in your classrooms this year!