There are only 12 days of school before our first winter break. In celebration, I am creating a small blog called Twelve Days of Technology Tools. Each school day, I will post a different technology tool that could be used in your classroom. I will try to describe and embed video about the tools as well as provide links to the tools and possibly an example or two.  I hope you enjoy looking at each one.  If you would like some assistance with using any of these tools, please let me know and I would be happy to assist you.

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Since today is the final day of my Twelve Days of Technology Tools, I thought I would give you one tool that is professional in nature and one that is fun for this time of year. For a couple years now, (not constantly, only when I find myself with a rare unscheduled chunk of time) I have been working on a Google Site that would list each of the Marzano's Learning Map that identifies the 41 elements that happen in the classroom.  I named it: "Enhancing Teaching with Technology". On the site, I would have each element be a link to its own page. On the element page, I would include:   Focus Statement Desired Effect Scale: (displays what each level looks like) Suggested Technology Strategies Technology Resources  Examples Needless to say, each element takes a bit of time because I tend to get caught up in making examples or samples for some of the technology resources. You will notice that I am not finished. While it is my intent to complete those elements that are found in many Growth Plans at MTA first, some day I hope to complete all 41 elements and eventually move on to the other domains.  My hope is that you will bookmark and use this site as a resource to explore how technology tools can help you to get to the "Applying" level of those elements that you have made a part of your professional growth plan. So, as Rocky (from Rocky and Bullwinkle) would say, "Now here is something we hope your really like..." Below is a link to a fun app that can help you get into the holiday season.  I have been installing Mac Lamps X on to my laptop during December for about the last five years or so.  This fun little app will display lights and holly around the edges of your laptop screen.  There is also a screen saver option that will play music if you like.  This is what it looks like: Click HERE to download MacLamps X.
Posted by ryan.palmer  On Dec 21, 2017 at 8:42 AM
Whether their child is a sixth grader who is new to the middle school, or a senior at the high school, many parents want to remain connected to the school and what is going on in the classroom.  Remind is an excellent free tool that can help teachers to improve the school-to-home connection by allowing you to text messages to groups of students or parents.  One feature that makes Remind  so great is that students and parents never see your cell number, nor do you see theirs.  Students and parents merely need to "opt-in" if they wish to be added to your text messaging list. They must enter a confirmation code to state that they want to be contacted through the Remind  service. If they don't have a cell phone, or if they must pay an additional fee for each text they receive, students and teachers have the option to have your messages emailed instead of sent to their phones as text. For those who do not wish to join your Remind  messaging list, Remind can be embedded into your web page, blog, or wiki so they can view your messages.  As a member of the Communications sub-committee for the new MTAHS building project, I use Remind  as a tool to push out notifications about what is going on with the project.  Each time there is a new News post on the project website, I send out a notification to all of the community members who opted-in to receive texts with a blurb about the post and a link to it. I embedded the MTA Construction messages at the bottom of this post so that you can see an example of how they would appear if you embedded your messages into your web page, blog, or wiki. HERE is how community members joined. Teachers can also schedule messages to be sent. Do you have a field trip on Monday? You can write a reminder for students and parents on Friday afternoon and then have it sent on Sunday evening.   Learn more about how Remind  works by viewing the video below by Technology or Teachers and Students:  
Posted by ryan.palmer  On Dec 20, 2017 at 10:45 AM
We all know how difficult it can be to find text resources that all of the students in our classes will be able to read and comprehend because within our classes our student often have a very wide range of reading abilities. Wouldn't it be nice if you could hand out an article to all of your students, they read it, and then you can lead a discussion about it with the assurance that all students understood what they read?   With Newsela, that scenario can truly happen.  Newsela has made itself an online resource of news and current events articles from (Real News) sites like the Washington Post and the Associated Press that have been adapted by the Newsela staff into five different reading levels.  Newsela allows readers to pick the level they want and read the content that is the best fit for them. Check out this video by "Cult of Pedagogy"
Posted by ryan.palmer  On Dec 19, 2017 at 8:08 AM
While Socrative is not a new web tool, it is still a great one for finding out what your students understand.  Socrative  is a FREE online student response system that allows students to answer using any web-enabled device (laptop, tablet, cell phone, Chromebook, etc.). There are two different logins, a  teacher login and a student login. Teachers start by creating their free account. They can create questions, quizzes and polls.  Once you have created your quiz or poll, students use the student login url and enter a virtual room number that is assigned to the teacher.  The teacher has control as to whether students answer the questions at their own pace, or by teacher-lead pace. Answers can also be given anonymously so that they can be displayed to the entire class.   Socrative  is a great tool that can be used by a wide range of grade levels and content areas. It can be used at the beginning of the lesson as a warm-up activity, in the middle of a lesson to check for understanding of new material, or as an exit ticket at the end of class. Results can also be emailed to teachers, or they can be downloaded as an excel spreadsheet. Quizzes can also be shared among teachers. HERE is a link to a Google Spreadsheet that lists over 1000 different shared quizzes made by teachers. The best feature of Socrative, next to its cost, is its ease of use for both teachers and students. Socrative Teacher Login: https://b.socrative.com/login/teacher/ Socrative  Student Login: https://b.socrative.com/login/student/ Here is a video tutorial by "Technology for Teachers and Students":
Posted by ryan.palmer  On Dec 18, 2017 at 8:51 AM
LinoIt is a free online service that allows users to create and share digital bulletin boards containing multimedia sticky notes.  Since these bulletin boards or canvases can be shared, they become terrific collaboration tools for any group project students or teachers are working on.  This is a great tool for project management because users can put "due dates" by using the built-in calendar tool within the sticky notes.  Users can also alter the color and size of the text. For those of you who were disappointed when Glogster was no longer free, LinoIt might be a possible replacement (although it may be missing some of the flashy things that Glogster provided.) In fact, my oldest son used Glogster for just such a project about ten years ago. When I saw LinoIt, I immediately thought of that project. So I made my own that is embedded at the bottom of this post. Check out the video below to see how to use LinoIt. Below is an example of how LinoIt can be used as a digital poster, similar to Glogster.
Posted by ryan.palmer  On Dec 15, 2017 at 7:53 AM
VideoNot.es is a tool that allows students to take notes as they watch a video.  Unlike some video tools that only work with YouTube, VideoNot.es works with multiple video sites such as Vimeo, Khan Academy, edX, Udacity, Coursera, and of course, YouTube.  Because VideoNot.es is synchronized with Google Drive, all notes are saved automatically as Google Docs.  So naturally, these notes can be shared with a student's teacher or their peers.  VideoNot.es is another tool that teachers can use to make videos more of an interactive experience rather than a passive one. It can also be used for formative assessment or to check students' understanding. VideoNot.es is a Chrome extension that can be found in the Chrome Web Store and added to your Chrome Web Browser.  Check out this video on how to use VideoNot.es in Google Drive made by Richard Byrne of FreeTech4Teachers. I took some VideoNot.es on the infamous video "Charlie Bit Me".  You can see them here once you have VideoNot.es extension installed in your Chrome browser.
Posted by ryan.palmer  On Dec 14, 2017 at 9:00 AM
Wizer.Me is a free, simple and quick tools for teachers to create their own interactive worksheets, easily find relevant materials and customize them to their needs. Read on to find out what some are calling "the best thing since sliced bread." Teachers create an account at Wizer.Me, create an assignment, and assign to their class.  Teachers can assign via Google Classroom or through a direct link.  If not using Google Classroom, students will need accounts as well.  Each assignment is given a unique pin number and teachers also have the option to share the assignment globally.  After completing an assignment, students can receive immediate feedback if the teacher has set it up.  Otherwise, Wizer.Me will grade some items for the teacher automatically, then when the teacher finishes the assessment, they have the option to send student feedback. Teachers can use Wizer.Me as an opening/closing class activity, or as homework.  When creating an account, the system does not ask if the user is a student or a teacher, so the students are able to create these digital worksheets as well.  This is great for students to show mastery of content.
Posted by ryan.palmer  On Dec 13, 2017 at 10:06 AM
Recap is a FREE online tool that allows teachers to collect responses to questions from their students in video, audio-only, or typed text.  By using Recap, teachers can quickly check a student's level of understanding of instruction.  Recap isn't only a great tool for starting a dialogue, collecting formative assessment data, finding out what students are curious about, but is is also great for students to use to reflect on their learning. By facilitating regular video self-reflection through Recap, teachers can support more authentic learning and self-assessment among their students. Lesson & Activity Ideas Use as an exit ticket or lesson activator Use as a KWL Have student reflect on what they learned that day Use to monitor the use of an element you are focusing on in your PGP Check for comprehension on text read, video watched or classroom instruction Use as a group work check-in or summary add a poll at the end of an assignment that asks students how well they think they understood the material< view individual student information or the entire class's responses as a whole grab the link to an individual video to share with others (e.g. parents, admin, your co-teacher, and/or social media)<b< li=""> </b<> leave written feedback/commentary on student videos World Language teachers could have students respond in foreign language Science students could summarize finding from labs Social Students could share their opinions of historic events or current event topics Below are a couple of videos that show the use of Recap:
Posted by ryan.palmer  On Dec 13, 2017 at 9:26 AM
We all know through our work with Marzano that providing feedback to students on their work is one of the most high yielding instructional strategies that will improve student achievement. Sometimes providing feedback that is timely, specific, and actionable can be a challenge.There are technology tools that can support this best-practice in the classroom. Kaizena is a web-based tool allows teachers to "talk" with students about their work by providing a medium for them to give students written and/or vocal feedback.   Teachers can also attach helpful documents for students to use to improve their writing. Kaizena is a tool that can be used throughout any content area where students are using Google Docs. Teachers can use Kaizena through their browser, or they can install the add-on through the Chrome Web Store. Talk to your students about their work. Track progress by viewing and comparing your feedback history with a student, over multiple assignments. Get notified when students respond to your comments, and keep the feedback loop going. HERE is a link to a playlist of videos that will help you get started with Kaizena. Below is a video by Paula Dillon showing Kaizena in action. 
Posted by ryan.palmer  On Dec 11, 2017 at 8:31 AM
Video is a wonderful medium to use when presenting new material to students. It contains both visual and audio stimulation to students. But all too often watching a video is a passive event. EDpuzzle makes the experience interactive an more engaging. EDpuzzle is a terrific tool that allows teachers to add text or audio questions to educational videos so that you can check for understanding.  On EDpuzzle you can search for educational videos and/or upload your own. Then by adding questions, you can make the videos interactive.  Edpuzzle is also integrated with Google Classroom so that you can efficiently assign your EDpuzzle lessons through Google Classroom. EDpuzzle also offers a Chrome extension. EDpuzzle's Chrome extension enables you to save YouTube videos directly to your EDpuzzle account. This means that instead of having to search within EDpuzzle for videos you can simply browse YouTube like you normally do then just click the EDpuzzle extension to save the video. Once a video is saved you build your questions around it. Below is an example of an EdPuzzle video that I made.
Posted by ryan.palmer  On Dec 08, 2017 at 8:12 AM
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