Thing #7 – Productivity

Zamzar!

Zamzar

This is a tool that I used VERY briefly at a time when our school was still filtering out YouTube.  There were so many great educational videos out there, and I just had to share them with my students.  Therefore, I never went much beyond converting the YouTube videos at home to formats that I could show at school.  Converting any word processing document into an mp3 file??  That will certainly help any student that is visually impaired.  They can actually hear what is on the page.  The example converted was a letter that was sent home to parents regarding our new school safety procedures that were adopted after recent school violence issues.  If this mp3 version was posted on my Weebly page, even parents that have difficulty seeing or reading would be able to hear what the letter had to say.  Phenomenal!

Google Calendars!

My instructor partner in the Blended Learning class showed me how to use Google Calendars, and I even got my husband hooked on them!  Now, I can make a dentist appointment for him without worrying if it will fit into his schedule because he’s shared his Google Calendar with me.  In the classroom, this would be a tool that could be embedded into the Weebly page as a friendly reminder to students and parents of upcoming assignments and assessments.  At the bottom of this blog page, you will see that I have embedded my 21 Things calendar.  I have set some deadline goals for myself to complete this class before Blended Learning begins, and I see that I am a little behind.  Still catching up!

TinyURL!

Way back in Thing #5, I put a Shapes of Algebra lesson into my Google Drive account.  If anyone wanted to access that document, they would have to type in https://docs.google.com/document/d/1OnViC7NaA8CcLQBsaE-fk4AecvPAmjpYgYZfCfnhqXM/edit if the link did not work.  That’s 84 characters, and who has time for that??  The TinyURL site was able to considerably shorten my document to 26 characters, http://tinyurl.com/nzzeylbwhich is much easier for students and parents to see.  The longer links may tend to overwhelm and frustrate anyone involved.

Evernote!

That’s it!  I suppose I will never forget anything ever again, right??  Evernote is an extremely useful tool that students could use to help them remember their homework, what the assignment was, details of an upcoming big project, and so on.  As mentioned before, this could also be helpful for my Student Council members.  When they are putting together the 8th Grade Dinner Dance (a graduation of sorts), they could take pictures of ideas for decorations, thoughts on themes, suggestions from their classmates for guest speakers, and so on.  Anyway, you can see an example of an Evernote that pertains to the first three parts of this post at the links below.  Of course, I felt the need to shorten it a bit as well.  Either will work.

 https://www.evernote.com/shard/s433/sh/71ffae9c-3eea-4c7a-b815-f5a1ff57e7cc/a42b2af465621839489b6128cdc610f9

http://tinyurl.com/nh5yzjn

LiveBinders!

I feel as though yet another mystery has been solved.  There is an excellent Algebra I teacher online that has created a comprehensive Algebra 1 course, beautifully aligned to the Common Core, and all of her resources are stored in LiveBinders.  I used to pick and choose which activities to share with students, but now I can share the entire binder with them on my Weebly page, and I will be able to use even more of them.  Under the Algebra tab, you’ll find links to her LiveBinders under Units 1 and 2.  I’ll keep adding them in as time permits.

http://bgeorgeteacher.weebly.com

ISTE Standards

Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity – With Evernote and LiveBinders, the teacher can put more responsibility of education on students, becoming more of a guide through the school year rather than the dictator.

Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments – Converting Word documents to mp3 files will certainly open up an entirely new learning environment for students of all capabilities.  Through the use of Evernote and LiveBinders, the teacher will be able to address individual learning styles and abilities.

Model digital age work and learning – If a student sees a teacher using such tools as Evernote to help organize details or TinyURL to help make those cumbersome links more manageable, that teacher is paving the way for students to try the tools as well.

Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility – The Evernote and LiveBinder tools will provide students with a strong model from their instructor of how to use technology through proper social interactions as they communicate and collaborate with each other.

CITW

Cues/questions/advance organizers – The Evernote resource will allow students a venue for their limitless amounts of questions and thoughts.  If I asked my students to keep track of their questions, I would never have to worry about another student being too afraid to ask a question.

2 Summarizing and note taking – Obviously, Evernote is the prime example.  Rather than writing everything down in a notebook, and then subsequently losing that notebook or leaving at home, students will have Evernote with them wherever they go.  They can practice summarizing ideas and taking note right within the program.

Assigning homework and practice – Zamzar can be used to put ANY type of file into something that fits every situation in the classroom.  Furthermore, using LiveBinders for students to access various resources and activities, even homework assignments, would be an excellent use of this technology tool.

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