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Showing posts with label Technology tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology tips. Show all posts
20 Chrome Extensions to Use for Language Arts

20 Chrome Extensions to Use for Language Arts


Chrome extensions can be a teacher's best friend! They save a ton of time and can also add features we need to make our teaching lives easier. Take a look at these Chrome extensions and apps that are geared towards language arts.

Chrome extensions can be a teacher's best friend! They save a ton of time and can also add features we need to make our teaching lives easier. Take a look at these Chrome extensions and apps that are geared towards language arts.


Note-Taking & Organization

Google Keep

Save URLs, text, and images.  Take notes on saved content, add labels to your notes, and automatically save everything to Google Keep.  Collaborate with study groups by sharing notes.

Kami

PDF and document annotation tool that works with Google Drive and Google Classroom, as well as Canvas and Schoology.

Diigo

Bookmark, archive, screenshot & markup with highlight and add sticky note features.

Extensity

If you have a bunch of extensions installed but don't need all of them all the time, this allows you to quickly enable/disable them as needed.


Reading Aids

Night Shift

Night Shift shifts the colors of your browser content to the warmer end of the color spectrum to reduce eye strain.

Visor

A screen dimmer and line reader that tracks your mouse to create a horizontal focal point, giving focus to the content being read whilst reducing the visual noise of the surrounding page.

Selection Reader

High quality text-to-speech reader capable of seamlessly reading large amounts of text.

AlphaText

Customize and change the appearance of online articles to enhance text readability.  Quickly adjust font size, font style, and line spacing on websites, color adjustment to optimize text and background color to your liking, and clutter-clearing tools to remove distracting multimedia.  Save favorite style sets to apply them with a single click.


Study Aids

Super Simple Highlighter

Highlight text on a web page, in a variety of styles. The extension remembers the location & content of each highlight, and attempts to highlight the same passages of text the next time the page is loaded (it does not sync across devices, however).

Google Dictionary

View definitions easily as you browse the web.  Double-click any word to view its definition in a small pop-up bubble, view the complete definition of any word or phrase using the toolbar dictionary, and store a history of words you've looked up, so you can practice them later.

Power Thesaurus

View synonyms and antonyms by button in toolbar, right-click or by word selection on any page.

Auto Highlight

This extension automatically highlights the important content on article pages.


Assignment Completion Aids

Grammarly

From grammar and spelling to style and tone, Grammarly helps you eliminate writing errors and find the perfect words to express yourself.

MyBib

Automatically create APA style, MLA format, and Harvard referencing style citations with this citation generator.

Plagiarism Checker

Help determine if your writing is done correctly by scanning any content for plagiarism with just a couple of clicks. 


Teacher Tools

Dualless

Dualless is a poor man's dual monitor solution. It splits your browser windows into two by just 2 clicks. The ratio can be adjusted according to your needs.

Small PDF

Easy-to-use PDF tools to edit, convert, merge, split and compress PDF files. Integrated with Gmail.

Mote

Easily add voice comments and feedback to shared documents and assignments, integrated into Google Docs, Slides and Sheets, as well as Google Classroom, for easy recording and playback.

Insert Learning

Teachers can insert questions, discussions, and insight directly into any website.  When students go to that website, they can respond to those questions and discussions, see that insight, and take their own notes.

CraftyLevel

Highlight some text, then click the icon in the extension bar to see the Flesch-Kincaid grade level of any web page.


Chrome extensions can be a teacher's best friend! They save a ton of time and can also add features we need to make our teaching lives easier. Take a look at these Chrome extensions and apps that are geared towards language arts.


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Brittany Washburn
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23 Things You May Not Know About Google Suite

23 Things You May Not Know About Google Suite


23 Things You May Not Know About Google Suite

Here are a few tips or features that you may not know are available for Google Suite (Drive, Docs, Forms, Sheets, Slides, etc.). 

Drive

  • You can download a Google Drive sync tool that will add a folder on your computer called Google Drive that will look like any other folder (My Documents for example). This means that when you make a document on your computer, you can save it straight into your Google Drive just like you would in your documents. This is a good tool to utilize if you are struggling to get colleagues swapped to Google Suite.


Docs

  • When collaborating on a doc things can get messy.  Rather than sifting through a myriad of edits of a doc to find the original draft, teach everyone to stay organized by naming specific versions of a doc. Go to version history and click on the three dots on the right of the version you want to name. From here, you can also make a copy of that version, which is helpful for sharing the "before" and "after" of work. You can even create notifications to be alerted when changes are made.

  • You can use the collaborative features of G Suite to edit, comment, and collaborate on Microsoft Office files using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides without converting file types.

  • With Research Pane (Select Tools > Explore from the top menu), you can open up Google Search directly from a Google Doc. You can even drag and drop to add a link or embed an image directly from the pane.  For those still learning about citations, Research Pane lets you simply highlight the appropriate text, and it will automatically link to the results shown in the pane.

Slides

  • Trying to design a worksheet, handout or infographic?  In Slides you can change the page size from a presentation to a regular 8.5x11 page by clicking File > Page Setup and then choosing “Custom.”  You’ll find it a very flexible and competent workspace, not to mention cloud-based and ideal for collaboration!


Forms

  • Flubaroo quickly grades multiple-choice or fill-in-blank assignments created in Forms.


Sheets

  • Heatmaps are a great way to draw attention to important data in your sheet. You can highlight particular values or outliers using conditional formatting to apply a color scale, quickly pointing out lower and higher values in your student data.

  • If lots of people are working on a sheet, you can lock down some of the data to prevent mistakes. Lock sheets and even individual cells, or if you don’t want to completely lock down cells just use the option to show a warning before they’re edited.

  • You can easily add sparklines to your sheets in order to quickly see trends in your student data.  Check out this guide.

  • Make QR Codes to create quick links to relevant websites, or showcase student work hosted online.  This example will pull in the data from the A1 cell to create a QR code: =IMAGE("https://chart.googleapis.com/chart?chs=200x200&cht=qr&chl="&A1&"")


Classroom

  • Schedule posts (assignments, announcements, questions) to be released at specific times. To schedule ahead, set up your post the way you want it, then click the drop down menu next to the Assign button and choose Schedule. You can select the date and time you want your post to appear in the stream.

  • When creating a post, click the Add Topic button. You can create topics of your choice. Once created, they can be reused. Now you can organize posts by Chapter, Units, Themes, Topics, or Assignment Type.

  • Do you have an aid, or work in a cohort? Add a Co-Teacher to your course. Just go to the About menu, and click Invite Teachers.  The recipient will see an invitation the next time they login to Google Classroom.  Co-Teachers can do anything the teacher can do, except delete a class. If you need to remove a Co-Teacher, just click the menu in their profile box and click Remove.

  • Reuse any post from any class – current or archived – at any time.  Open the class you want to post in.  Click on the + in the bottom right corner of the screen.  Choose "reuse post."  


Calendar

  • For quick, abbreviated lesson planning simply create calendar events that begin at each of your class times, then have Calendar email an event reminder to you.  In the event notes include any links or files you’ll need for the lesson, page numbers students will need in the text or workbook, your lesson objective, a resource for early finishers, etc.  Everything you need to know for each class appears in your inbox right when you want it.

  • G Suite has added improved scheduling to Calendar that automatically suggests meeting times and available rooms based on your preferences to help you save time. Learn more in this Google blog post


Mail

  • With keyboard shortcuts you can search through, view, read and reply to an email without having to touch the mouse.  Although this may not sound like much, you would be surprised how much time it will save when you are having to look through and reply to lots of emails.  To enable the shortcuts, you have to go to the Advanced tab within Settings in google mail, then click on the new Keyboard Shortcuts option within the Addons tab to customize it.

  • Set up filters to organize your incoming mail before you’ve even viewed it. For example, if you have worksheet subscription emails coming in, you can set it up so that rather than going into your inbox along with emails that need immediate attention from parents and admin, they go straight into their own label called “subscriptions”. It still shows the red “1” like when a new email comes in beside the label so you can see when you have something, but it makes your Gmail much tidier without having to manually organize it. 

  • The G Suite offers several ways to email groups of people other than typing email addresses individually.  You can enter a saved list of recipients with Contact Groups, or send an email to a Google Group email address that forwards the email to all group members.


Hangouts

  • Hangouts offers an instant messenger service when you just need to send a quick message where you are looking for a quick reply. You can also integrate this within google mail, so that it pops up at the bottom of your mailbox.


Add-Ons & Features

  • Google Add-Ons can be installed from the G Suite Marketplace to expand the functionality of Google Suite and access apps like Pear Deck, Flubaroo, Doctopus, ClassReporter, Edulastic, and CoRubrics directly from Gmail, Docs, Slides, Forms or Sheets.

  • The Explore feature found in the Tools menu of Docs, Sheets and Slides not only helps you research, it can also assist as you analyze data and design graphics.

  • Google Tasks integrates with Gmail and Calendar.  You can have a to-do list that allows functionality such as Tasks created from an email displaying a "related email" link below the task.

23 Things You May Not Know About Google Suite


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Brittany Washburn
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10 Classroom Management Apps for Tech-Savvy Teachers

10 Classroom Management Apps for Tech-Savvy Teachers


 

10 Classroom Management Apps for Tech-Savvy Teachers

Here are some classroom management apps teachers can use to make running their class easier!

Behavioral Management Apps:

Classcraft (Apple, Android, Web)

Pros

  • This is a fantastic, gamified behavioral and learning management system designed for use in the classroom.  The system lets you award student-created avatars for desirable behavior and provide discouragement for undesirable behavior using a rich game-inspired interface that allows the avatars to maintain health, gold, experience and magical power.  
  • The platform comes with detailed presets so you can hit the ground running, but is also highly customizable if you want to make it just right for your classroom.
  • The Quest feature allows you to turn your lessons into gamified journeys to further engage and reward your students through their avatars.

Cons

  • It is a complex system with multiple layers, for both teachers and students, and therefore requires tackling a steep learning curve on everybody's part to be utilized to its full potential.  

Class Dojo (Apple, Android, Web)


Pros

·         This system also lets you award student-created avatars with points for desirable behavior and take away points for undesirable behavior, but with more of a silly and cutsie feel geared towards lower and mid elementary.  

·         Also comes with presets that can later be customized.

Cons

·         There is significantly less functionality compared to its robust counterpart Classcraft, but the simpler platform is better suited for use by both younger students and less technologically inclined teachers. 


Note: Both Classcraft and Class Dojo also let you connect parent accounts so they can see exactly how their students are acting when in school and allow for private messaging between the teacher and individual parents.  You can also use class-wide parent announcements to keep parents in the loop and upload attachments with your messages, such as handouts, worksheets, or permission slips.


Too Noisy (Apple)

Noise Detector (Android)

Bouncy Balls (Web)

Pros

·         Helps both you and the class objectively ascertain and visualize whether or not they are working quietly.  


Cons

  • High noise levels aren’t necessarily a symptom of inattention, so overuse of this method can be frustrating for everyone.


Stop Go (Apple)

Traffic Light (Android)

Pros

·         If you like the traffic light behavioral management system for your classroom, these provide ways to implement it digitally.  This system lets you clearly show your students if the class is meeting your behavioral expectations.

·         If you are 1:1, these apps can also be used by students to quietly indicate if they need further guidance (red/yellow) or are already comfortable (green) working on their current project.

Cons

·         Neither app is specifically designed for classroom management, so the functionality is a bit limited.

Engagement Tools:

Engaged students are usually well-behaved students! 

Nearpod (Apple, Android, Web)

Plickers (Apple, Android, Web)

Kahoot (Apple, Android, Web)

Socrative (Apple, Android, Web)

Pros

  • These apps provide engaging ways to review with and assess your students in real time.  

  • They also record and store assessment data to help inform your teaching.

Cons

  • Your students have to be 1:1 to use these apps.

  • Students who don’t respond well to timed assessments may struggle.

  • The more casual nature of these types of assessments may produce less accurate results.

Here are some classroom management apps teachers can use to make running their class easier!


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Brittany Washburn
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8 Ways Non-Techie Teachers Can Incorporate Technology in the Classroom

8 Ways Non-Techie Teachers Can Incorporate Technology in the Classroom


 8 Ways Non-Techie Teachers Can Incorporate Technology in the Classroom



Here are some user-friendly, innovative ways that even non-techie teachers can integrate technology in the classroom. These things that don't have a big learning curve, and that can be implemented without adding stress.

But first, survival tips when trying any new technology:
  • Don’t worry about mastering everything. Pick one or two things to focus on getting better at this year.
  • Don’t compare yourself to the teacher down the hall. There will always be someone who is doing more with technology, or doing it “better”. So what?
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If there isn’t someone at school, get connected with an online community like my Facebook Group.
  • Expect to work some bugs out. I don’t know about you, but most new things I try need some polishing.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop using something that doesn’t work for your classroom (just be sure you’ve given it a fair chance).

Some easy-to-use tech you can try:

Canva



An amazing tool packed with templates for non-designers to create graphics, presentations, flyers and more. Both you and your students can find a myriad of uses for this eye-catching technology. It is free to use, though they do also have a paid option with additional features.

Google Slides



A little more updated than PowerPoint, cloud-based and ideal for collaboration. Convert a lesson or two per week that you would normally present in a less visually appealing way to Slides, or have your students use them to create their next report.

Prezi



Another presentation platform, but non-linear and with some serious pizzazz. If your kids aren’t paying attention during the presentation of creation of one of these, no visual technology is going to engage them.

Animoto



A way for you or your students to make video slideshows. The advantage of this type of “presentation” is that you set the timing and then it plays automatically, without the need to click through each slide as you go.

Google Classroom



An online learning management system may seem like a big step, but Classroom is a great place to get started even if you just want to begin posting announcements, assignments, grade-able quizzes, etc.

Kahoot



Host live events where students answer timed questions or give student-paced challenges. You can create a quiz from scratch, use their question bank to mix and match questions, edit a template, or reuse existing games. Visual reports help you assess how the class performed, and identify difficult questions. This is the most fun your kids can possibly have reviewing for a quiz.

ClassDojo



This online behavioral management system lets you award student-created avatars with points for desirable behavior and take away points for undesirable behavior. It also lets you connect parent accounts which allow for private messaging between the teacher and individual parents, or class-wide parent announcements that can include uploaded attachments such as handouts, worksheets, or permission slips. If the platform seems too cutsie for your students, there is Classcraft for older students but it has a lot more features so it may be a bit overwhelming when you first get started.

Learning Games (such as Arcademics or Sheppard Software)

Flash cards, but in a game format that students will want to practice with.  What’s not to like?  Set aside ten minutes at the beginning or end of class, or let early finishers put their time to good use.




One final thought…


You don’t have to be the master of a technology to have your students benefit from it. Introduce something and let your kids do the integrating. Seeing you trying to figure it out alongside them can be a great opportunity to model learning as an adult.

Here are some user-friendly, innovative ways that even non-techie teachers can integrate technology in the classroom. These things that don't have a big learning curve, and that can be implemented without adding stress.    But first, survival tips when trying any new technology:  Don’t worry about mastering everything.  Pick one or two things to focus on getting better at this year.  Don’t compare yourself to the teacher down the hall.  There will always be someone who is doing more with technology, or doing it “better”.  So what?  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If there isn’t someone at school, get connected with an online community like my Facebook Group.  Expect to work some bugs out.  I don’t know about you, but most new things I try need some polishing.  Don’t be afraid to stop using something that doesn’t work for your classroom (just be sure you’ve given it a fair chance).



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Brittany Washburn
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