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Showing posts with label Technology tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Technology tips. Show all posts
Technology Tutorials and PD Presentations for Teachers

Technology Tutorials and PD Presentations for Teachers


Technology changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with all of the newest educational technology tools and even harder to learn how to use them in the classroom. The goal of the Technology Toolbox for Teachers is to take all of that pressure off of you! Technology changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with all of the newest educational technology tools and even harder to learn how to use them in the classroom. The goal of the Technology Toolbox for Teachers is to take all of that pressure off of you! 

This premium member's library has over 80 tech tool tutorials with more being added every week. In addition to the tutorial, each tech tool page includes a downloadable (in Google Slides or PowerPoint) PD presentation that walks you through the tech tool and gives ideas for using it in the classroom. 

Technology changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with all of the newest educational technology tools and even harder to learn how to use them in the classroom. The goal of the Technology Toolbox for Teachers is to take all of that pressure off of you!
This is a peek at what the library looks like. You can view more by clicking on the image. 

FAQ for the Technology Toolbox for Teachers

Wondering what you’ll use this for? Here are some ideas:

  1. Teach yourself the latest and greatest tech tools as your own pace. Feel like a pro when it is time to use them with your students. 
  2. Use the tutorials and ideas to guide a PD presentation for the staff at your school. They will really appreciate learning from you. *Reach out to me if you want to use this information for a bigger-scale presentation. 
  3. Get inspiration for lessons to try with your students. These ideas are just the beginning! 

How are the tech tools chosen?

I pride myself in staying up to date on technology tools. I read publications, blogs, and Facebook groups daily and keep a running list of new edtech tools to check out. The vetting process includes making sure the tool is useful for elementary age students. If I can come up with at least 2 ideas for use at the elementary level then the tech tool makes the list. 

How many tutorials are included?

As of June 2020, when this blog post was written, there are over 80 tech tools. I have 100 more tech tools planned as of now, and the list keeps growing. As new tech tools come out I research them and add them to the list. Since I started the Tech Toolbox for Teachers I've added dozens of new tools to the list and only 6 tools have been discontinued. 
Technology changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with all of the newest educational technology tools and even harder to learn how to use them in the classroom. The goal of the Technology Toolbox for Teachers is to take all of that pressure off of you!

Why is the tech toolbox a subscription?

In total it takes me about an hour for each tech tool to research it, create the tutorial steps, create the PD presentation, and make the page for it in the library. As I continue adding new tech tools ( I have about 100 more planned) I want subscribers to have access to them. A monthly subscription means you can access the library at any time, find what you need, and know it is the most up to date information. 

Can I use the PD Presentations to give training to staff at my school?

Yes you can! This membership is perfect for technology facilitators and instructional resource teachers because all of the work is done for you. Just download the PD presentation, read it over, consider adding your own presenter notes, and you're ready to go. I just ask that you don't share the presentation file with anyone else. 

Where do I sign up for the Technology Toolbox for Teachers?

You can find all of the details and sign up by clicking here. There are 10 sample tutorials and PD presentations that you can check out to make sure it will be a good fit for you. 
Still have questions? Email me any time! 
Technology changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with all of the newest educational technology tools and even harder to learn how to use them in the classroom. The goal of the Technology Toolbox for Teachers is to take all of that pressure off of you!

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Brittany Washburn
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Tips for Using Google Forms in the Classroom

Tips for Using Google Forms in the Classroom


Google has so many amazing ways that teachers and students can use it, and Google Forms is one of the best ways to collect research, survey the students, or have them submit assignments. It is so simple to use, it saves you time, and you can get all the data in a spreadsheet when you’re done.

Google has so many amazing ways that teachers and students can use it, and Google Forms is one of the best ways to collect research, survey the students, or have them submit assignments. It is so simple to use, it saves you time, and you can get all the data in a spreadsheet when you’re done.

If you’re not familiar with Google Drive, this is where you can begin to build your Google Forms. When you go to create a new file, click on Forms, and you are on your way!

Quick Tips For Google Forms

1. Make the instructions clear.
When you set up your form remember to give instructions for the form. If the form is not an anonymous survey or research project, then make sure to have a section for the student’s name at the beginning. 

2. Make sure to ask for the student’s name at the beginning of the survey.
I’ve made the mistake before where I didn’t have the name of the students who submitted forms. Unless you ask for a name, it might be difficult to know who completed the assignment or survey.

3. Explore the different question options.
What’s this research project all about? Should the answers be long or short answer. Should they be check boxes, a Likert Scale, multiple choice. Think through the best ways to organize and simplify the research.

4. Use Section Headings When Necessary
Depending on the intensity of your research, you might need to have multiple sections. If your using forms for assignments, you might have multiple choice questions first, and then loger paragraph or short answers sections next. If only Google Forms could do all the grading for you too. 

5. Connect your forms to Google Classroom!
If you need your class to do a form or a survey or a quiz or a short story, just add it to an assignment and post it in the stream of your Google Classroom. You can even put a due date, and return assignments, just like paper--but no paper!


Ways To Use Google Forms:

Now that you have fully explored how incredible Google Forms is, and all the different ways you can set it up, here’s ways you can use it! 

1. Quick polling, surveys, or voting.
What is your favorite ice cream? How tall are you? Dogs or cats? Instagram or TikTok? Who will represent our classroom in the Student Council? With Google Forms you can quickly set up a survey and see a live pie chart of what people choose. 

2. Research for a project.
Whether you are doing research as a teacher, or your students are doing research for an assignment, Google Forms are a great way to collect raw data anonymously. You can collect data in the classroom, from teachers, parents, administrators, or anyone in the community. 

3. Social Emotional Check-ins
How are you feeling today? What is one tough thing that happened this week? What is one good thing that happened this week? Is there anything that you want your teacher to know? Google Forms is a GREAT way to check in with students who might not always be open to tell you exactly how they are feeling. It also gives you a chance to encourage and compliment students that are having a tough time at home.

4. Assignments or Quizzes
If you create a Google Form in your Drive, you can actually connect that to an assignment in Google classroom. Students may even be able to submit questions for an upcoming test or quiz.


How have you used Google Forms in your classroom? It’s so amazing how easy and useful it is!

Google has so many amazing ways that teachers and students can use it, and Google Forms is one of the best ways to collect research, survey the students, or have them submit assignments. It is so simple to use, it saves you time, and you can get all the data in a spreadsheet when you’re done.

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Brittany Washburn
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Web Based Digital Activities for Any Device and How To Make Your Own

Web Based Digital Activities for Any Device and How To Make Your Own


Are you so sick of hearing students or parents say that an activity you sent them won't work on their device? The struggle is real when we are asking them to download apps, log in to platforms, and open browsers across different device types. The only thing that currently works on any type of device and in any browser is HTML5.
Are you so sick of hearing students or parents say that an activity you sent them won't work on their device? The struggle is real when we are asking them to download apps, log in to platforms, and open browsers across different device types. The only thing that currently works on any type of device and in any browser is HTML5.

We spend so much time looking for and testing out digital activities for our students. There is almost nothing worse than finding the perfect activity for a standard and then finding out half of your students don't have the right program, app, or device to be able to use it!

Even worse, students needing accounts to be able to use a platform means that we have to get their information to them and hope they keep track of it or remember it.

Wouldn't it be so much easier to find (or create) activities that you know will work on any device and just need to share the URL with students? I'd love to teach you how! Fair warning - my tutorials aren't free. Keep reading if you're still interested.

For the tools I'm about to share, the official tutorials are in my Premium Member's Library - The Technology Toolbox for Teachers. If you're a teacher or a homeschooling parent wanting to learn about edtech tools, the Tech Toolbox membership is for you!

Do you want to be able to make activities like:
  • Drag and Drop
  • Find the Hotspot
  • Memory Match
  • Flashcards
  • Image Sequencing
  • Image Pairing (matching)
  • Word Search
  • Drag the Words
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • And more!
Are you so sick of hearing students or parents say that an activity you sent them won't work on their device? The struggle is real when we are asking them to download apps, log in to platforms, and open browsers across different device types. The only thing that currently works on any type of device and in any browser is HTML5.

Drum-roll please! The 2 digital tools I use to make HTML5 activities are:
Educaplay and H5P

Educaplay is great for beginners because everything is hosted right on their site with a free account.
Are you so sick of hearing students or parents say that an activity you sent them won't work on their device? The struggle is real when we are asking them to download apps, log in to platforms, and open browsers across different device types. The only thing that currently works on any type of device and in any browser is HTML5.
Click here to try an Educaplay activity I made.

H5P is for more experienced users and is great because having the activities on your own platform gives you full control over site speed and student access. You can practice building activities on the H5P site, but there are limited plays if you share the link with students. You'll need a website to host these activities on if you want to get serious about making your own. I go over this in detail in the tutorial.

Click here to try some H5P activities that I built for my elementary technology curriculum.

To learn how to use each of these tools, register for the Technology Toolbox for Teachers.

Help me spread the word about HTML5 activities!

Instead of spending your weekends making these digital activities for your students, why not ask your favorite TpT sellers to start making them? You can send them to this blog post or give them the information below ( I have a course for sellers on making these digital activities to sell).

I've been making activities in HTML5 for years and it is time consuming. I have added over 100 H5P activities into my elementary technology curriculum and I also have a few separate units available with smaller sets of skills. I realized that I can't make them fast enough to keep up with the ideas that teachers are sharing with me. There is a real need for HTML5 activities for all subject areas!

If you're a teacher then the Tech Toolbox membership is how to learn about these tools.
If you're interested in making these activities to sell, I have a separate course for that. Click to learn more about my Digital Resources Course.
Are you so sick of hearing students or parents say that an activity you sent them won't work on their device? The struggle is real when we are asking them to download apps, log in to platforms, and open browsers across different device types. The only thing that currently works on any type of device and in any browser is HTML5.

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Brittany Washburn
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Starting a Classroom Newsletter Students Get Excited About

Starting a Classroom Newsletter Students Get Excited About


Classroom newsletters don't have to be dry and boring. Classroom newsletters can be super fun and enjoyable. The Newsletter is the most classic way to engage and keep engaging your audience. The same goes for the Classroom Newsletter. It is a great way to give updates, remind of upcoming events, and have fun with kids and parents.
Classroom newsletters don't have to be dry and boring. Classroom newsletters can be super fun and enjoyable. The Newsletter is the most classic way to engage and keep engaging your audience. The same goes for the Classroom Newsletter. It is a great way to give updates, remind of upcoming events, and have fun with kids and parents.

Here, I’ll show you how to get started with your newsletter and make it something students look forward to as much as they look forward to recess! The first thing you’ll need to do is choose a template to build your newsletter and a way to send your newsletter. .

Choosing Your Template Or Newsletter Platform

There are a few different options to make your template. Mailchimp and TinyLetter are a good place to start. The basic price plans are free, and they are super easy to use. You can put in links, videos, and pictures to keep your audience engaged. These platforms are also mobile friendly, meaning that when your students and parents check their email on their phone, they are easier to read.

Smore.com is another awesome Newsletter Building platform that gives all the templates away for free for educators! There you can choose from tons of possible templates to keep things beautiful in the letter you send.

Getting to choose the template of the newsletter for the week could even be a reward for students, or it could be picked on a rotation in the class.

If you’re not interested in another platform or application, you can also use whatever mail client you normally use to make a template. Most mail platforms have the basic word processing and allow you to add in pictures, embed videos, and change colors and size of font.

Next, What Goes In Your Newsletter?

The key to a good Newsletter is eye catching simplicity. Too much to read, or difficulty navigating, is quickly going to end up in the trash. Those long, repetitive, too much emails are why Newsletters of all kinds get such a terrible reputation. But you know what your students want, you know what keeps their attention, keep it fun and interesting and they will look forward to your amazing email!

Here are some ideas on how to organize and sections of your newsletter.

Welcome Section.

This is a short and sweet hello, what has class been up to, and what is in this newsletter that matters to YOU. It might be quick update of upcoming events and links to what the students/parents need to do to prepare.

The Welcome Section could even be a quick video that you or a student puts together like quick announcements. Each week a different student could make the welcome video for the newsletter.

The Meat In The Middle

There are so many ways you can build the meat in the middle of your newsletter. Ask the students to vote on what goes into it. Here is a list of ideas where students can submit work and creative media:
-       Jokes
-       Memes
-       Riddles
-       Student of the week
-       Sports section
-       Comic section
-       Special featuring student work--writing, poetry, art, music.
-       A short story that is “to be continued” each week
-       Pictures from past presentations, field trips, or events.
-       Recommended reading, videos, or math extras

Closing

Since you made a rockin’ newsletter, I’m sure the kids have made it all the way to the bottom. Which leads to another idea: have a riddle or joke at the beginning and then answer it at the end!

Anyway, at the end of the newsletter, it’s important to reiterate important upcoming deadlines or events. The newsletter may be fun, but it is also business.


While the possibilities are truly endless with what you can do, still try and keep it short and sweet. Give your students something to show off and new ways to connect with each other creatively. 
Classroom newsletters don't have to be dry and boring. Classroom newsletters can be super fun and enjoyable. The Newsletter is the most classic way to engage and keep engaging your audience. The same goes for the Classroom Newsletter. It is a great way to give updates, remind of upcoming events, and have fun with kids and parents.

Read more »
Brittany Washburn
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