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Tech Curriculum

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12 Ways to Integrate Art and Technology

12 Ways to Integrate Art and Technology


Art and technology...it's a beautiful combo. Check out some ways you can use technology to create art in your classroom. Here are tips, tools, and resources for creating art with technology.
Art and technology...it's a beautiful combo. Check out some ways you can use technology to create art in your classroom. Here are tips, tools, and resources for creating art with technology.


  • Smithsonian Open Access lets students can view art, history, culture and science pieces as well as participate in themed activities and games.  They also provide educator resources and digital tools through the Smithsonian Learning Lab and  Smithsonian's History Explorer.


  • Google Arts and Culture lets your students explore and interact with art and architecture around the world, with new picks featured every day.  You can also take virtual tours at such prestigious museums as the Louvre and The National Gallery in London.


  • Teachers can even lead their students into the realm of virtual reality with digital drawing (see Virtual Reality in the Classroom). VR programs let students draw a 360-degree world around themselves in real time using headsets and motion control hand sensors.


  • Digital portfolios are an effective way for art teachers to see what their students are working on, and a place for students to organize their work without taking up any space. Teachers can even host virtual art galleries of their students’ work.


  • Technology in the art studio is a great way to let your students experiment with different mediums. There are several apps which students can use to either create their art digitally or manipulate their traditionally made art.  A few favorites include Aviary, Paper 53, Doodle Art, Green Screen, KaleidaCam, PicsArt, and Procreate.



  • Pear Deck or Kahoot help you make both learning and review into fast-paced fun.

Art and technology...it's a beautiful combo. Check out some ways you can use technology to create art in your classroom. Here are tips, tools, and resources for creating art with technology.

  • Khan Academy has educational videos on a variety of art history subjects.  Your students can study independently, you can use content for your lessons or you can create playlists for your students to review.  Students can equip themselves with learning tools and flashcards to help them study for almost any topic with Quizlet


  • You can try video conferencing with an artist or expert using a website like Nepris or the Digital Human Library.  Or if you already have a subject matter expert in your contacts, you can just use any video conferencing platform you like from Skype to Zoom or Google Meet.


  • Classroom blogs are a great and versatile way to have students post their writing, or showcase pictures of their work.  Many blogging platforms are designed to be very easy to use, like Blogger and Live JournalEdublogs was even made just for classroom and school library blogs. 


  • Turn your next classroom discussion into a podcast.  You can post your podcast on your class website (or blog).  If you use Macintosh, you can just use the included GarageBand software for recording and postproduction.  If you use Windows, you might use the free software Audacity.  You can also do podcasts as weekly classroom news broadcasts, to document a field trip, share book reviews or review curricular content.


  • The internet is also just a great place to find inspiration for lesson planning.  Get new ideas and resources to teach anything from pointillism in elementary school  to basic Photoshop by simply asking Google “how to teach [subject]”. 


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Art and technology...it's a beautiful combo. Check out some ways you can use technology to create art in your classroom. Here are tips, tools, and resources for creating art with technology.


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Brittany Washburn
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End of Year Digital Activities for Elementary Students

End of Year Digital Activities for Elementary Students



What digital activities should I use with students at the end of the school year? I've seen this question so many times the past few weeks, so I decided to put a list together of great digital activities for elementary students for the end of the year.

Use these any time in May or June to end the year on a high note. Each idea has a list of grade levels and skills addressed, plus the type of technology it uses. 

Digital Memory Book

Grade level: 3-5
Skills: Typing, navigating presentation program, writing
Type: Google Slides or PowerPoint

Summer Timely Tech

Grade Level: K-5
Skills: K/1: Words that start with letter, number words, spelling cvc words, analog time, comparing numbers, making patterns, typing summer words
2/3: Make new words, sort new words 2 ways, School year memories, practice with shape tool, typing summer traditions
4/5: Decoding, fix spelling mistakes, word search puzzle, persuasive essay typing, ABCs of summer typing, practice coding 2 ways, make a poster, make a comic
Type: Google Slides or PowerPoint


Summer Themed Text Formatting

Grade Level: 3-5
Skills: Typing and formatting in a word processor
Type: Google Docs or MS Word


June Digital STEM Challenges

Grade Level: 3-5
Skills: Problem solving, technology literacy, typing, navigating presentation program
Type: Google Slides or PowerPoint, websites


Summer Digital Glyph

Grade Level: 3-5
Skills: Copy and paste, working with shapes, working across slides in presentation program
Type: Google Slides or PowerPoint


Summer Digital Pixel Art

Grade Level: K-5
Skills: Copy and paste, drag and drop, navigating slides, digital design
Type: Google Slides or PowerPoint


Summer Digital Animation

Grade Level: 3-6
Skills: Copy and paste, fill tool, resizing shapes, layered shapes, duplicate slides, work with arrows, follow directions
Type: Google Slides or PowerPoint, optional website to turn it into a GIF


Summer CVC Words Digital Secret Picture Tile Puzzles

Grade level: Kindergarten
Skills: Drag and drop and basic keyboard letter recognition
Type: Google Slides or PowerPoint


Technology Class Awards Freebie
Grade Level: K-8
Give your students awards at the end of the year!

Here are a few ideas that technology teachers can use during the last month or so of school to challenge and engage students as they culminate their year of tech learning.  Tech needs and interests differ as students grow, so there’s a little something for every age level. 


Primary

Computer Science Skills: 

Typing Games

  • Students can choose typing games for a variety of themes and ability levels to set them up for success as they become increasingly literate.


Coding: 

ScratchJr Challenges

  • Scratch Jr is an ideal coding platform for pre-readers, with symbols instead of written words on snap-together code blocks.  Provide a couple of challenge choices (make up your own or search the internet for inspiration) for your kiddos to see how much they are able to figure out on their own!


Interdisciplinary:

Wixie Projects

  • Wixie helps students share their ideas and learning through a combination of writing, voice, and digital art.  It has several meaningful lesson plans pre-made for you to choose from.  Though it is a paid service, you can sign up for a 30 or 90 day free trial to perform this end of the year flourish.


Middle Elementary

Computer Science Skills:

Excel Mystery Pictures

  • Master the toolbar in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. The activity has them filling 100 cells in the table per design!


Coding:

Tynker's Dragon Dash

  • Students design their own dragon and then use coding to lead it through a series of complex puzzles.


Interdisciplinary:

My Storybook or Storyboard That.

  • Use one of several creative platforms made for contributing to online communities that create storybooks and illustrations   


Upper Elementary

Computer Science Skills:

Build a Website

  • Your students can go through this step by step tutorial to create their own website using HTML and CSS to create a website about people who inspire them.


Coding:

Code Your Own Arcade Game

  • Have students invent and create their very own arcade games with this Microsoft coding platform.


Interdisciplinary:

magicplan  Floor Plans 

  • Use augmented reality to have your students practice their math skills to create detailed floor plans.


Middle School

Computer Science Skills:

Instructables Tech Projects 

  • .Have your students choose a design, electronics or fabrication project from Instructables to complete.


Coding:

Codesters

  • Let your students begin building interactive projects in Python.


Interdisciplinary:

Canva Infographics

  • Let students make their own infographic about any topic they’ve learned about this year.


Early High School

Computer Science Skills:

Alice Challenge 

  • The Alice Challenge is an opportunity for students to showcase their skills at creating 3D animations, engaging games, or immersive experiences using the Alice programming environment.


Coding:

Mobile CS Principles

  • In this Hour of Code activity, engage students in building a musical Android or iOS mobile app.


Interdisciplinary:

Every Dollar Budgeting

  • Work on budgeting in this app to hit some social studies standards.  Excel or Google Sheets are also a great place to practice these skills!


Late High School

Computer Science Skills:

Cyber Security Research

  • Help your students conduct a research study investigating how secure people think security questions are, and compare that to the reality of how easily you can find answers to these questions online.


Coding: 

Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Technology with CodeHS 

  • Students learn about the foundations of cryptocurrencies by exploring cryptography, hashing, and blockchain technology.


Interdisciplinary:

AR Human Anatomy 

  • Help students take their understanding of Biology to the next level with this augmented reality look at the human body.


Need help finding something else? Let me know!

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Brittany Washburn
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25 Tools to Integrate Math and Technology

25 Tools to Integrate Math and Technology


Math teachers rejoice! Here are tips, tools, and resources for teaching math with technology.

 
Math teachers rejoice! Here are tips, tools, and resources for teaching math with technology.


  • Virtual whiteboards such as Explain Everything and video response tools like Flipgrid allow students to reflect, show their thinking, share and collaborate.


  • Pear Deck or Kahoot help you make both learning and review into fast-paced fun.


  • VmathLive is a paid product that features online mathematics competitions for students in grades K-8. 


  • Khan Academy and HippoCampus have educational videos on a variety of subjects.  Your students can study independently, you can use content for your lessons or you can create playlists for your students to review.  Students can equip themselves with learning tools and flashcards to help them study for almost any topic with Quizlet.  Struggling students can turn to Purplemath lessons to help with algebra and beginning trigonometry courses, as well as test prep.


  • Playing educational games using websites, apps or Chrome extensions is an extremely effective way to get in skills practice and reinforce learning in an engaging way.  Even if you’re not quite ready to build them into your lesson plans, early finishers can be assigned a game on the topic you are studying as a meaningful reward while you help the stragglers complete their work.  Open up Google and type in “[subject] game for [grade level]“ to find something aligned to your unit (or you can check out our articles on some of the best free math games out there). 


  • Chrome extensions can really upgrade your math teaching too!  The Math Learning Center has a fantastic collection of math tool extensions for early grades such as number lines, fraction pieces, money pieces, clocks, pattern shapes and more.  For upper grades there are a variety of rulers and graphing calculators, in addition to more powerful and versatile tools like GeoGebra, Plotly and Equatio.

Math teachers rejoice! Here are tips, tools, and resources for teaching math with technology.


  • You can try video conferencing with an expert using a website like Nepris or the Digital Human Library.  Or if you already have a subject matter expert in your contacts, you can just use any video conferencing platform you like from Skype to Zoom or Google Meet.


  • Classroom blogs are a great and versatile way to have students post their proofs, or showcase pictures of class projects.  Many blogging platforms are designed to be very easy to use, like Blogger and Live JournalEdublogs was even made just for classroom and school library blogs. 


  • Turn your next classroom discussion into a podcast.  You can post your podcast on your class website (or blog).  If you use Macintosh, you can just use the included GarageBand software for recording and postproduction.  If you use Windows, you might use the free software Audacity.  You can also do podcasts as weekly classroom news broadcasts, to document a field trip, share book reviews or review curricular content.


  • The internet is also just a great place to find inspiration for lesson planning.  Get new ideas and resources to teach anything from subtraction to calculus by simply asking Google “how to teach [subject]”. 

Pin this post to get back to later:
Math teachers rejoice! Here are tips, tools, and resources for teaching math with technology.


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Brittany Washburn
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9 Apps to Check Out for Your Special Education Classroom

9 Apps to Check Out for Your Special Education Classroom


I am always on the lookout for tech tools to make teacher's lives easier. Here some apps that would be especially beneficial in special education classrooms.

I am always on the lookout for tech tools to make teacher's lives easier. Here some apps that would be especially beneficial in special education classrooms.


Free Apps:

First things first.  The biggest and best add-ons you can utilize in your special education classrooms (as well as encourage your gen ed teachers to let your kiddos use when in their classrooms) to support learning are two sides of the same coin - speech to text and text to speech.  There are many options for this, just search in your favorite app store.  If you use Google Suite, “voice typing” is already present in the Tools menu (or use multi-language options like SpeechTexter) while Google Text-to-Speech or Read Aloud will take care of the other side.  For your less verbal students, there are also AAC options like Sounding Board for Apple or LetMeTalk for Android to get them communicating more effectively.

I am always on the lookout for tech tools to make teacher's lives easier. Here some apps that would be especially beneficial in special education classrooms.



Montessori Numbers (Apple)

  • This app lets students touch buttons and move things around on the screen to count numbers, move blocks and solve problems and equations.  This app is helpful for visual and kinesthetic or movement-based learners, and through the use of repetitive elements helps students more easily retain knowledge of how numbers and equations work.


Clicker Docs (Apple, Windows/Mac, Chrome Extension)

  • Clicker Docs helps children with all kinds of disabilities to advance in writing and vocabulary skills. A variety of features are included, such as text prediction, automatic grammar and spelling correction, and vocabulary customization.  You can also customize the app to include longer or harder words for more advanced students.


Time Timer (Apple, Android, Windows/Mac)

  • This app is helpful for kids who struggle with telling or measuring time. Utilizing a visual representation of time rather than numbers, it quickly and easily helps kids understand how much time they have to complete a task. It is especially useful to children with dyscalculia or other number-related disabilities.


Otismo (Apple, Android)

  • Otismo uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as the main approach used throughout 13 areas with over 80 activities or stories, allowing for fast feedback and motivating tasks in each game.  The reporting section allows you to track the progress of your students, which makes it useful to share between home and school so everybody knows what has been worked on.


Paid Apps:

The Social Express (Apple, Windows/Mac)

  • The Social Express is a great resource for children on the autism spectrum as well as other kids who have difficulty developing social skills and responding to social cues. It shows children animated images of people in different situations and scenarios to help kids learn what to do in similar situations with many different kinds of people, from parents and teachers to classmates and playmates.


Choiceworks (Apple

  • This app helps children complete daily routines, as well as understand and control their feelings and improve skills such as taking turns and not interrupting. Created with the support of leading hospitals and child development specialists, it is designed for caregivers or teachers to provide clear and consistent support to foster independence, positive behavior, and emotional regulation at school, at home and in the community.


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I am always on the lookout for tech tools to make teacher's lives easier. Here some apps that would be especially beneficial in special education classrooms.


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Brittany Washburn
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