Saturday, February 6, 2016

Read Report Beginning of February 2016

Going through the voluminous blog and article posts filling up my neglected Feedly, these are the ed tech ones that I felt were worth sharing.

Jennifer Gonzales over at Cult of Pedagogy blogged about 6 Ed Tech Tools to Try in 2016.

She mentioned some that were unsurprising, like Formative.  I really want to look more into this one, but with everything on my plate the thought is a little too daunting for this school year.

One I'm going to try for sure, in fact right now, is Noisli.  Noisli is a white noise app.  Currently, I've just added a crackling fire to listen to since I have the sounds of rain from an actual storm outside.  It's making me feel just a bit more toasty.  I can see playing this is class to help students focus, or allowing students to listen to it instead of music they spend too much time picking in order to help them focus and be productive.

Another that sparked my interest was Write About.  Jennifer writes that Write about "provid[es] students with an online space to write on high-interest topics and get feedback from their peers".  The other things she mentions, like a collection of writing ideas and voice recordings, intrigue me.  But --yup, I have a but--the free version only allows for 40 students.  This is something that as a teacher in a secondary (junior high and high school) classroom frustrates me with many programs out there for teacher-to-student use.  Why do only elementary school teachers get to try things for free?  Or, why do secondary teachers only get to choose one class?

Over at Ask a Tech Teacher, Jacqui Murray talked about a service called Storyboard That.  I was intrigued by it because it appeared to allow students to create comic book style storyboards, which would be a great tool for sequencing the plot of a story we've read in class, instead of doing a flow map.  It seems to have multiple visual uses and some work already created, like for Romeo and Juliet.  But, it's only free for a two-week trial.  The pricing isn't outrageous.  Elementary school teachers, you could get away with $60/year, and I would spend $75.  They do have department and school pricing, but there always needs to be someone who tries it first.

Jacqui also supplied me with a tip for my Chromebook I didn't know about.

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