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ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November


ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom Integrating technology into your English Language Arts curriculum has never been easier with all the digital tools available for low or no cost. Go beyond substitution (just typing text or reading ebooks) with these highly interactive tools that will redefine learning in your ELA classroom this fall!

Primary Grades

Write About This 

 Write About This is a platform that generates visual writing prompts and allows students to create their own prompts or respond to generated prompts on the site or app. There are 375 prompts, and students can create even more to inspire creative writers in their class. Photographs are used as a way to inspire writing, and students will love to take their own pictures to create custom photo prompts for the class. Use as a full assignment or as a quick write bellringer to start the class or inspire discussion. The app is perfect for primary grades and beginning writers. Available on GooglePlay and the App Store for $2.99-$3.99, there is also a free version that works well and allows students to use most features.

 Try some Thanksgiving writing prompts for November to write about gratitude or acts of kindness. These are perfect to share with parents and the school community.

ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

Reading Rainbow Skybrary 

 Share the magic of Reading Rainbow with your students that we had as children. Video field trips with Levar Burton, hundreds of digital books to read (which students can hear read by fluent readers or read on their own), games, animations, lesson plans, and parent or teacher dashboards to track student reading make this app an A+ for students in grades K-3. Subscriptions are $4.99 a month or $39.99 per year, but Skybrary does offer a Title One program. Schools that qualify can receive a free classroom subscription. Check out a title like Thank You, Miss Doover where Jack’s teacher instructs the children on how to write thank you notes.

Incorporate into a Thanksgiving or gratitude lesson this month.
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

Storybird 

 Art inspires writing with this amazing digital platform. Students view gorgeous illustrations and can pull them into their own digital books as they write their own powerful stories filled with voice. Created books are also housed online to allow students to read and explore beautifully illustrated writing. Students are encouraged to share their own stories on this safe, unique platform. Storybird is also free, so you can view, create, and assign online. In addition, Storybird also uses its platform to allow users to create bound books, journals, and even phone cases of their creations (for a cost).

 November 4th is Book Lovers’ Day! Although this little known National holiday falls on a Saturday, your students can create and share their love of reading and books all month long.
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

Seesaw 

 Seesaw can be used in all content areas, but in this student-driven portfolio is particularly powerful in Language Arts. Students (and teachers) can upload student video to show reading fluency and even story creation. Parents gain access and can see what’s happening in class via videos and pictures. Teachers will love the conversations Seesaw will facilitate with parents. Knowing what their child is learning and watching their growth via video in an easy, safe format (parents must have codes to view their child’s class) is the next best thing to being there.

 Try this: Have your students write gratitude poems for their parents or loved ones and record videos of their presentations before Thanksgiving break.
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November


Intermediate Grades

Kahoot 

 Kahoot is an online quiz platform where students reply in real-time in a competitive environment. Responses are coded by hitting the correct answer (colored shape that corresponds to the answer on a large screen) on the device. Faster, correct responses earn more points. Create your own Kahoot quizzes or use some of the thousands already created and shared by other educators. It’s all free! Check out quizzes to review grammar, common core or state tests, figurative language, root words, and more. Perhaps you’ve used Kahoot to review with students in the classroom, but have you tried letting students create their own quizzes with Kahoot? Creation is such a powerful part of this platform. Allowing students to review by asking questions and presenting them in groups or to the entire class can help facilitate deeper learning.

 Read some articles about Veterans and patriotism during the month of November for Veteran’s Day. Have the students create their own Kahoots to review the concepts and vocabulary in their reading.
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

 EasyBib 

 Teaching our students to avoid plagiarism and cite all sources becomes even more imperative in intermediate grades. Gone are the days, however, of memorizing punctuation marks and spaces for various types of citations. EasyBib makes it simple to generate bibliography or works cited pages for any format. Traditionally, most intermediate grades use MLA citation. Type in a website, book, or database (among dozens of other options), and the citation is generated automatically. Make sure to let your students know how difficult this was 15 years ago!

 Celebrate November 15, National Philanthropy Day, by having students research charitable causes, and practice citing their resources using EasyBib for a short, mini research project.
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

 DebateGraph 

 Collaboration, speaking, and sharing viewpoints are standards in ELA. DebateGraph is an online tool that helps students contribute to and create maps on virtually any topic imaginable. Pose a question for your students from literature or have them dissect articles involving current events. Maps can be embedded into websites, and many organizations such as CNN, the White House, and the UK Prime Minister’s Office use and create DebateGraphs to collect resources and opinions. This unique tool can be used in English or Debate classes to formulate arguments.

Check out current events this November and incorporate the tools into debate lessons. 
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November


There are so many ELA digital tools to use in the classroom from writing to reading and collaboration. Many sites and applications also give a parental component to bridge the gap from the classroom to the home. Try some of these ELA digital tools to enhance your curriculum this month and challenge your students to redefine their learning.

ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

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Brittany Washburn
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12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom

12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom



12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom

12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom

Are your students as obsessed with coding as mine? I absolutely love that they are all jumping on this trend. Coding can be used to teach virtually any topic. As a teacher you don't even have to be an expert on coding to be able to use it in the classroom! 

I highly recommend checking out these 12 books and adding them to your classroom library. 
*If you click on an image, it will bring you to the page on Amazon. If you purchase a book from clicking through this post I will receive compensation.

1. Coding Games in Scratch- "Written for children ages 8–12 with little to no coding experience, this straightforward visual guide uses fun graphics and easy-to-follow instructions to show young learners how to build their own computer projects using Scratch, a popular free programming language.
With Coding Games in Scratch, kids can build single and multiplayer platform games, create puzzles and memory games, race through mazes, add animation, and more."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
2. Coding for Kids for Dummies- "An easy-to-grasp introduction to coding concepts for kids
Coding For Kids For Dummies breaks coding into a series of small projects, each designed to teach elementary-to-middle-school-aged students a core concept to build a game, application, or other tool. In this his hands-on, friendly guide readers will get access to a leading coding tool that has been designed specifically for kids, showing them how to create the projects provided in the book as well as how to implement them into their own creative work."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
3. DK Workbooks: Coding with Scratch Workbook- "Perfect for beginner coders ages 6–9, this highly visual workbook builds basic programming skills using Scratch, a free computer coding programming language, and will take kids from browsing to building."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
4. Code Your Own Games! "Become a super-coder and create your very own computer games using Scratch—a free software developed by MIT.
Calling all creative young gamers! With its easy-to-follow, illustrated step-by-step instructions, this book will teach you key concepts—like drawing shapes—so you can code your own games. By the end, any kid will be able to make 20 popular games, from Snake to Brick Bouncer."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
5. My First Coding Book- "Teach kids as young as 5 years old the basic programming skills necessary to code, including sequencing and loops, without a computer.
It's never too early to learn computer coding. With interactive paper engineering, My First Coding Book is a playful, hands-on introduction to offline coding and programming that will give young children a head start. Filled with puzzles, mazes, and games to teach the basic concepts of sequences, algorithms, and debugging, this book will help children develop critical thinking, logic, and other skills to cement lifelong computer literacy, which is extremely valuable and sought-after in today's world."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
6. So, You want to Be a Coder?- "Love coding? Make your passion your profession with this comprehensive guide that reveals a whole host of careers working with code.
Behind the screen of your phone, tablet, computer, or game console lies a secret language that allows it all to work. Computer code has become as integral to our daily lives as reading and writing, even if you didn’t know it! Now it’s time to plug in and start creating the same technology you’re using every day."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
7. How to Code- "Become a master coder, with these step-by-step instructions and robot helpers too! How to Code teaches you all the basic concepts, including Loops, Variables, and Selection, and then develops your skills further until you can create your own website . . . and more! Learn how to use Logo, build games in Scratch, program projects in Python, experiment with HTML, and make interactive web pages with JavaScript."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
8. Python for Kids: "Python is a powerful, expressive programming language that’s easy to learn and fun to use! But books about learning to program in Python can be kind of dull, gray, and boring, and that’s no fun for anyone."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
9. Coding in Scratch: Games Workbook- "Perfect for children ages 6–9 who are new to coding, this highly visual workbook is a fun introduction to Scratch, a free computer coding programming language, that will take kids from playing games to creating them."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
10. Coding iPhone Apps for Kids- "Apple’s Swift is a powerful, beginner-friendly programming language that anyone can use to make cool apps for the iPhone or iPad. In Coding iPhone Apps for Kids, you’ll learn how to use Swift to write programs, even if you’ve never programmed before."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
11. Story of Coding- "Discover the history of computers and coding, from Ada Lovelace's initial idea of computer programming to today's coding languages like Scratch, Python, Javascript, and more, in this Level 2 nonfiction reader featuring photographs, diagrams, fun facts, and strong visual clues."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
12. Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World- "No matter your interest—sports, the arts, baking, student government, social justice—coding can help you do what you love and make your dreams come true. Whether you’re a girl who’s never coded before, a girl who codes, or a parent raising one, this entertaining book, printed in bold two-color and featuring art on every page, will have you itching to create your own apps, games, and robots to make the world a better place."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom

Phew! I think your students will really enjoy having these books available to read when they finish early. They all also make great mini lessons and/or read alouds to the class. Have you come across any other great computer science books for kids? Let me know in the comments. 

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12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
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Brittany Washburn
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Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom

Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom


Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom

Using technology in the math classroom can be incredibly powerful, especially if we’re using digital tools to redefine how we’re teaching and presenting concepts. These math digital tools to use in the classroom do just that. Here are a few applications and websites you can start using right away in your classroom.


Primary Grades 


BrainPOP Jr. With subscription options available for classroom, school, and district use, BrainPOP Jr. gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of math topics with learning games, videos, and other activities. BrainPOP Jr. is appropriate for grades K-3. (BrainPOP is available for upper elementary grades.) Each topic includes several activities for students to demonstrate their learning.


  • Games Kids can play a game to show what they know about number sense, addition and subtraction, measurement, geometry, time, money, data, fractions, multiplication and division, and math strategies. All of these topics are also covered in the other activities. 
  • Quizzes Choose hard or easy quizzes to differentiate instruction and assessment for your students.
  • Make a Map Students create mind maps on the program to show what they learned about the math concept studied. 
  • Word Play Reviewing vocabulary is so much fun with Brain Pop Jr. when students draw, write, or create skits about the words. 
  • Activity Each topic contains an online activity for students to work through. 
  • Write About It/Talk About It When the emphasis on not just getting the correct answers but sharing your process, these two features allow students to write and talk about the concepts that they learned. 
  • Other Features Math movies, jokes, lesson ideas, and quiz creation are all great parts of BrainPOP Jr. Check out the freebie about tally charts and bar graphs before you subscribe. 


Math Playground The best learning happens when kids are engaged and having fun. They won’t even realize they’re working on their math skills with these invigorating video game style games. With more than 425 games for Grades 1-6, Math Playground is a web based favorite for teacher and students in elementary classrooms. Here are a few of our tried and tested favorites!

  • Addition Snake Reminiscent of the old Atari centipede game, users guide the snake by clicking on the screen to move him to chomp the solutions to given addition equations. Kids love learning to add while playing this fun, nostalgic game! 
  • Puzzle Pics Your students will enjoy dragging missing numbers from different equations (different operations are available) to reveal a mystery picture. 
  • Swimming Otters For third graders who are learning their times tables, swimming otters gives them a chance to get those multiplication facts down! Click the missing number in the multiplication equation to race to the finish line. 

Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom

Intermediate Grades 

Khan Academy Although Khan Academy has learning videos for grades starting at Kindergarten, it is a favorite for intermediate grade students and teachers because of the self-paced instruction.
In upper elementary and middle school when some students are starting to zoom ahead in Math skills, Khan Academy gives students the opportunity to study advanced concepts on their own with a classroom teacher still available as a guide. Teachers also love to use Khan as a way to reteach and provide remediation for tricky concepts.
Thought about trying a Flipped Classroom but don’t have the time to dive into video creation yet? Use some Khan videos to have students explore and learn about the concepts before practicing in class the next day. Khan offers teaching and learning tools from arithmetic to advanced calculus. There’s something for every learner at every level.

PhET Interactive Simulations A free online resource from the University of Colorado at Boulder, PhET Interactive Simulations contains research-based math and science simulations to help students in your classroom understand certain concepts. Use them as a teaching tool in your own lessons or let students explore and learn on their own! Here are a few that intermediate grades will love to explore!

  •  Estimation Estimate length, area, and volume in a 3D simulation with varying levels. 
  •  Fractions Intro This beginning Fractions simulation allows students to explore what happens when they manipulate denominators and numerators. Compare different numbers and learn about equivalent fractions. 
  •  Arithmetic This simulation provides a nice review of multiplication, division, and factoring. It can also be used for remediation for intermediate or upper elementary students. 


These incredible math digital tools to use in the classroom are perfect as support for lessons, flipped classrooms, remediation, or to provide enrichment opportunities for early finishers. Try some of these tools in your math classroom.
Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom
Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom


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Brittany Washburn
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5 Tips for Staying Current with Technology Instructional Practices

5 Tips for Staying Current with Technology Instructional Practices


There is always more information out there than there is time to read, am I right? Technology changes so quickly these days! I try to stay on top of the newest websites and apps that might be relevant to teaching technology, but it isn't always easy.
This post is the beginning of a series on professional learning for Technology Teachers. My goal is to discuss how technology education is changing and how teachers can stay informed about the changes. I'm using the ISTE Educator Standards to guide the conversation.

Teachers as Lifelong Learners

There is always more information out there than there is time to read, am I right? Technology changes so quickly these days! I try to stay on top of the newest websites and apps that might be relevant to teaching technology, but it isn't always easy. One of my favorite resources for this is other technology teachers. I started a community on Facebook in January of 2016 and it has grown into the best professional learning communities out there. Want to join us? Request access at technologyteachertribe.com and learn from over 20,000 other educators!

One of the questions that comes up when thinking about being lifelong learners is how to take the knowledge from theory to practice. I have 5 tips to help with the transition. 

1. Set clear and specific goals for applying new learning to your teaching practice. Would it be too much to ask yourself to find and try one new technology teaching tool each month? This might happen by reading instructional technology magazines or blogs to gather resources, choosing one tech tool you want to try, and then creating a lesson plan and activity to implement with your students. 

2. Find a reliable online resource to search for new ideas for teaching with technology. I mentioned finding online magazines and blogs. Here are a few of my go-to resources. 
a. www.brittanywashburn.com (yes that is this blog). I have several blog posts with curated digital resources that you could try with your students with very little prep. It is a good place to start. 
b. http://www.techlearning.com/  has a great website with access to their current and archived digital magazines. They test and review new products that come into the technology teaching field and write about current instructional practices. Best of all is that it is free!
c. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/ gives you the ability to search for digital resources that are already reviewed for their educational value, positive messaging, and consumerism (ads). You can filter by websites and/or apps to find great teaching resources. 

3. Engage in action research and reflect on how the outcomes apply to and reflect continuous improvement cycles related to learning and technology implementation. Whether you decide to do your own classroom research, or do something more formal, the important part of this tip is that you're reflective. 
  • Did the activity enhance student learning via the use of technology, or was technology just a paperless replacement for a standard educational activity? 
  • Would you do the activity differently in the future? 
  • Are you going to share the digital tool and your results with others?
  • Were your students engaged?

4. Think of a topic you struggle teaching and explore using new pedagogical strategies that use technology. This is where being part of a professional learning community is really valuable. You can post your topic to the group and get dozens of different perspectives and tips. If multiple people have tried the same tool and it was effective, you can feel confident enough to try it with your students and expect similar results. A great example of this is classroom management. There are so many tools out there now that incorporate digital components like class dojo and classcraft. Gather information on the tools and choose one to try out in the classroom. 

5. Play with something with your students and don't be afraid to fail; turn it into a learning opportunity. This is my favorite tip. I'm going to tell a personal story for this one. My 2nd year teaching in the tech lab we had a schedule change that meant that I would see 4th and 5th grade students twice a week for one quarter. I had to think of a special project for this second day because I didn't want it to mess up my regular tech lesson schedule. This was a few years ago before coding was the cool thing to teach in the classroom. I found a great workbook for teaching Scratch and decided to use it for these classes. I had no idea about coding, let alone using a visual programming tool like Scratch. I had to learn how to code right along with my students. We learned quickly what did NOT work, but that lead us in the direction to figure out what did work. It was such a great learning opportunity for both my students and myself when I wasn't really able to troubleshoot their problems any better than they could do themselves. You could hear a pin drop in my lab on the days we did Scratch. They were so into it! So the moral of the story is to play and learn right along with your students. 

It might be time to also start thinking about how you can help the other educators at your school or in your district to embrace these ideas. Could you share classroom research you've completed? Show them new tech tools? Encourage your students to show their classroom teachers what they have learned in the lab? Share this blog post with them to get the conversation started.

Love tech tutorials and want more of them? Subscribe to the Technology Toolbox for Teachers. A one-stop library of technology tools tutorials for teachers. Click the image for more information and to see sample tutorials. 


There is always more information out there than there is time to read, am I right? Technology changes so quickly these days! I try to stay on top of the newest websites and apps that might be relevant to teaching technology, but it isn't always easy.

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Brittany Washburn
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What is Virtual Reality?

What is Virtual Reality?


More VR goggles are becoming affordable, making it possible to bring them to more classrooms. Are you using virtual reality in your classroom?

Virtual Reality Technology

Whаt іѕ real? How do уоu define real? If уоu'rе talking аbоut whаt уоu саn hear, whаt уоu саn smell, taste аnd feel, thеn real іѕ simply electrical signals interpreted bу уоur brain. ~ Laurence Fishburne (аѕ Morpheus frоm thе movie Thе Matrix)

Sо, whаt іѕ аll thіѕ hype аnd hoopla оvеr thе likes оf virtual аnd augmented reality technology аll аbоut? Iѕ іt rеаllу possible tо experience а Matrix-like phenomenon іn thе real world? Tо continue wіth thе Matrix theme, іѕ thе world, аѕ wе know іt, thе REAL world? Well, thаt wаѕ а rhetorical question meant tо tease thе technologically curious nerve inside уоu! Or wаѕ іt? Okay, еnоugh playing! It'ѕ time tо get down tо thе brass tacks now! Sо whаt іѕ thіѕ technology аll аbоut? Lеt's find out.

A Layman's Take оn Virtual Reality

A computer simulated environment thаt еіthеr resembles оr substitutes thе physical reality ѕо wеll thаt thе viewer іѕ left wondering whеthеr whаt hе sees оr feels іѕ thе real thing оr іf іt's аll іn hіѕ mind іѕ known аѕ virtual reality. 
Thе concept оf virtual reality technology includes аll ѕuсh computer аnd IT based technologies thаt саn perfectly simulate аnd project аnу place оr situation оf еіthеr thе real оr imaginary plane tо thе eyes оr аnу оthеr sensory organ. Hоwеvеr, presently, thе major chunk оf virtual reality experiences fall under thе category оf visual virtual reality wіth auditory effects coming frоm additional appendages like speakers, headphones, еtс. Research аnd product development іѕ being carried оut fоr new varieties оf virtual reality techniques аnd technology whісh wоuld bе capable оf extending stimuli tо оthеr sensory organs like touch, taste, smell, еtс. Thе most common аnd commercial examples оf virtual reality technology саn bе seen іn thе forms оf virtual reality games (ѕuсh аѕ Dactyl Nightmare, Hero, Legend Quest, Grid Busters, Mage, еtс.) аnd virtual reality glasses, gloves аnd оthеr gear used fоr playing ѕuсh games. Yоu саn  thе movie How tо Make а Monster bу Stan Winston tо get аn idea аbоut how physical reality аnd virtual reality саn, аt times, get confusingly inter-tangled!

How Virtual Reality Works

In order tо grasp thе mechanics оf virtual reality, wе first need tо understand whаt virtual reality space іѕ. A virtual reality space іѕ created using sensory output generated bу а computer thаt іѕ 3D enabled. Suсh а virtual space enables thе users tо carry оn interactions wіth thе virtual environment whіlе still being іn thе physical environment. Tо create аn experience оf virtual reality, thе effect оf telepresence muѕt bе present. Thе term telepresence refers tо thе feeling оf thе user thаt hе/she іѕ present аt а location different frоm hіѕ true, physical location. Thіѕ different location, оthеr thаn thе actual physical location, іѕ whаt wе call thе virtual reality environment. Thе essence оf complete telepresence іѕ very important аѕ wіthоut telepresence, thе virtual reality experience wоuld bе flawed аnd incomplete.

Thеrе аrе two technological aspects whісh sum uр thе concept оf telepresence - immersion аnd interaction. Immersion іѕ thе phenomenon bу whісh thе user gets thе feeling оf being one wіth thе virtual environment. Hе/ she feels аѕ іf hе exists іn thе virtual world аnd іѕ sensorily immersed іn hіѕ/hеr virtual surroundings. Immersion consists оf thе virtual eyes аnd ears оf thе user аnd employs thе mechanics оf sight аnd sound. Interaction іѕ thе phenomenon bу whісh thе user іѕ аblе tо interact wіth thе virtual world аѕ wеll аѕ wіth оthеr users іn іt. Thіѕ aspect consists оf thе communication parameters аnd thе modus operandi оf interaction mау bе via speech оr text.

Virtual Reality Tools

Thе tools аnd technology used tо create virtual reality environments include (but mау nоt bе limited tо) virtual graphics library, programming languages thаt аrе commonly used fоr games, scripting аnd web applications (ѕuсh аѕ Java, C++, Perl, Python, еtс.), multi threading technology (fоr better cluster computing аnd enhanced multi-user interactions), еtс. Telepresence саn bе induced bу using standard computer interaction devices ѕuсh аѕ thе mouse, keyboard, еtс. оr bу employing multi modal interaction devices including wired gloves, motion trackers, digitizers, 3D scanners, eye-trackers, ODT, еtс.

Thе technology оf virtual reality employs аll thеѕе аnd many more tools аnd techniques tо impart а virtual environment аnd interaction thаt very closely resembles аnd іѕ аѕ good аѕ physical environment аnd interactions! Nowadays, bеѕіdеѕ games аnd 3D movies, wе саn see virtual reality technology аrоund uѕ іn thе form оf virtual babies, virtual pets, virtual partners/spouses (yes, even thаt!  thе site V-girl; іt features virtual girlfriends!), virtual makeover, еtс. Wе саn оnlу keep оur fingers crossed оvеr whаt оthеr virtual wonders thіѕ neo-space-age technology has іn store fоr thіѕ аnd future generations!

Virtual Reality in Schools

So far we are seeing the trend spread slowly in schools. Many technology teachers and media specialists have embraced Augmented Reality, which is a step toward a true virtual reality experience. More VR goggles are becoming affordable, making it possible to bring them to more classrooms. Are you using virtual reality in your classroom? I'd love to hear how you are using it. 


More VR goggles are becoming affordable, making it possible to bring them to more classrooms. Are you using virtual reality in your classroom?

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Brittany Washburn
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The Tools you Need to Flip Your Classroom

The Tools you Need to Flip Your Classroom


My teaching life before I figured out how to flip my classroom was exhausting! I was giving the same demonstration all week, having to manage classroom behaviors while trying to teach, and running around answering the same questions over and over. Within just one week of starting to use screencasts, I was leaving school with energy to burn and my students were WAY more productive. I felt like I stumbled upon magic.
My teaching life before I figured out how to flip my classroom was exhausting! I was giving the same demonstration all week, having to manage classroom behaviors while trying to teach, and running around answering the same questions over and over. Within just one week of starting to use screencasts, I was leaving school with energy to burn and my students were WAY more productive. I felt like I stumbled upon magic.

I recently did a tutorial for my Facebook Group, the Technology Teacher Tribe, showing the tools that I use to create and host my flipped videos. Grab a drink and snack because this video is about 45 minutes long! Take notes but remember you can watch the video as many times as needed.


Tools mentioned in the video

1. Screencast-o-matic. This is the tool I use to record screencast videos. They have a free version, but the Pro version has way more fun stuff, and is only $4 per month! You can't beat it. Here is my affiliate link to the Pro Recorder: https://screencast-o-matic.com/refer/cIjQqFV2uA.


2. Weebly. They make it so easy to create a teaching website. Everything is click and drag, so you don't need to know anything about coding, hosting, domain names, etc. If you don't have access to a learning management system like Google Classroom, One Drive, Edmodo, etc. then I think Weebly is the next best thing. The free website option really does have everything you could need if you don't mind getting a little creative. I do pay $60 per year for an education account so that I can upload HD video and a bit more storage, but there are work arounds for both of these. Here is the link to learn more about Weebly Education Accounts: https://education.weebly.com/
I teamed up with Weebly to create tutorials specifically for teachers to make a class website.

3. Examples. Check out this page for an example of how I use screencasts to give students instructions: https://www.k5technologycurriculum.com/typing-olympics-4-weeks/.

4. Join my Facebook Group today!

Pin this blog post to get back to later:

My teaching life before I figured out how to flip my classroom was exhausting! I was giving the same demonstration all week, having to manage classroom behaviors while trying to teach, and running around answering the same questions over and over. Within just one week of starting to use screencasts, I was leaving school with energy to burn and my students were WAY more productive. I felt like I stumbled upon magic.

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Brittany Washburn
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My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab

My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab


My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab

Sometimes we (and the students) need a break from the constant academic work we do. Sometimes the students earn some free time. Either way, I like to have some websites on hand for moments like this where students can work independently and I can be hands-off. Introducing my favorite free sites to use in the computer lab.

Sites that need an account

Tips for the teacher: if you're a computer lab teacher and you have hundreds of students, making them all accounts on these sites can be time consuming. My advice is to bribe the school data manager with chocolate or something nice so she will format the data in the way that you need it and give it to you on a flash drive. You can bulk import the class lists into the programs. Then, all you have to do is add new students as they join the school. 
sumdog.com
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab

abcmouse.com
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab

teachyourmonstertoread.com
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab

mobymax.com
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab

typing.com
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab


Sites that don't need an account

Tips for the teacher: Give your students some guidance when they access these sites. An example of this would be to ask them to do 10 minutes of ELA, 10 of Math, and then 10 of their choice, etc. Set a timer in the room and let them know when it is time to switch. This cuts down on classroom management issues when it is a free day.
interactivesites.weebly.com
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab

turtlediary.com
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab

cookie.com
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab

abcya.com
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab



Do you have any sites you would like to add to the list? Leave them in the comments. 
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab
My Favorite Free Websites for the Computer Lab

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Brittany Washburn
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Types of Technology in the Classroom

Types of Technology in the Classroom


Whenever wе think оf а classroom, аll wе саn imagine іѕ а teacher аnd students, whеrе а teacher іѕ lecturing students аnd students аrе taking down thе notes. It comes tо оur mind naturally bесаuѕе wе аll studied іn thаt manner. But thе scenario has changed today аѕ many schools аrе incorporating technology іn thе classroom thаt іѕ making thе learning process more effective аnd more entertaining.

We're going back to the basics today!

Whenever wе think оf а classroom, аll wе саn imagine іѕ а teacher аnd students, whеrе а teacher іѕ lecturing students аnd students аrе taking down thе notes. It comes tо оur mind naturally bесаuѕе wе аll studied іn thаt manner. But thе scenario has changed today аѕ many schools аrе incorporating technology іn thе classroom thаt іѕ making thе learning process more effective аnd more entertaining. Thе different аnd easy types оf technology makes education аnd learning а fun experience fоr children.

Technology Used іn Classrooms

Given bеlоw аrе ѕоmе оf thе most basic types оf technology tо uѕе іn thе classroom thаt wоuld help уоu understand thе importance оf technology іn thе classroom thаt іѕ appreciated bу many teachers. In my opinion, these are the bare minimum for a technology teacher's classroom. 
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Brittany Washburn
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iTECH Model Lessons for Innovative Project Based Technology Lessons

iTECH Model Lessons for Innovative Project Based Technology Lessons


Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.

Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom. 


What is iTECH and why should I be interested?


iTECH is an acornym for a 5 part model (much like the design process for STEM teachers or the 5E method for science) that walks through learning and using any new technology tool in a way that enhances learning for students and takes the responsibility off of the teacher to explicitly teach.
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.

This model is research-based and classroom-tested by media specialists, technology teachers, technology facilitators, and classroom teachers at the elementary level. We all saw remarkable results and came to the same conclusions- students using the iTECH model are engaged and creating amazing final products with little to no formal technology instruction. You won't find this information anywhere else because it is brand new. 
To learn more about the WHY of iTECH, including the research study that I completed with this model, click here. 

Overview of an iTECH Model Lesson

In the following 12 pictures, I'm going to show you a peek into an iTECH lesson for science. 
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
I Can Statements, Standards, and the Rubric
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.

Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
The end goal

Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
The first introduction to the tool
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
Make a plan
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
Now it is time to work
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
Share and get feedback
Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.
Make another something with the tool
As you can see, the lesson walks students through the steps in iTECH while learning both content area and technology skills. It is engaging and real to them because they are exploring and learning at the same time. This will change the way you teach!

I have 2 full units prepared for you to try with your students. The best part is, these lessons are totally editable, so with the templates provided in these units, you could make more of your own!




Thanks for reading. Do you have any units you'd like to request? Let me know in the comments.

Are you interested in teaching in innovative ways? Do you have the right mindset to revolutionize the way technology tools are used in the classroom? Then you are the perfect fit to learn and use the iTECH Model in your classroom.

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Brittany Washburn
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