It’s always important to remember that our students listening skills are in need of constant development. I’m a huge fan of Listenwise and Flocabulary, but I recently came across the app, Leela Kids. The app is full of podcasts organized by age group. These podcasts are organized by age group and by category.
Emojis are ubiquitous. Even Duolingo has a emoji course. They are a modern take on hieroglyphics that give learners the ability to communicate their feelings and understandings VISUALLY.
Here are three ways to utilize EMOJIS in your classroom:
- Telling stories- Including stories during writing is magical especially if students blog regularly. Emojis can be accessed through the keyboards on mobile devices and with hotkeys on computers. Using apps like TextingStory, will allow students to write including emojis in a very fluid way.
- Health Checks- Emojis are great to display quickly how one is feeling. Using them to determine how students feel at different points of a lesson or a day can be both impactful and fun. Apps like Assembly, Emoji Me , and Emojify=You + Emoji , allow students to customize their emojis to insane levels.
- Exit Tickets- As aforementioned, emojis are visual. They are so concise. Leveraging these allows one the ability to create exit tickets that can be created quickly, delivered quickly, and assessed quickly. Emojis are versatile enough to be used in any program or app that allows access to the keyboard. In addition, tools like Emoji Pics Composer, gives one the ability to create a visual timeline of learning that can be turned in at the end of the lesson.
Kung-Fu Kenny inspires us so we had to drop some heat. Channelling our inner K.Dot, this project is an explanation of design thinking in our view. You can take a look at the project by visiting here or download it by visiting our Gumdrop shop.
Finish Him!: Closing Lessons like a Boss
Closing your lessons is important even in video games. Here are some iOS applications that can help you to a flawless victory.
Follow up: Follow up
Last episode, I talked about inboxing.
Once you have the list of all the things rattling around in your brain, you have to sort through it. Set aside an hour or so the first time you do it so that you’re not rushed.
The #1 rule is NOTHING GOES BACK IN THE INBOX.
This isn’t like going through Grandma’s attic where you can just put something back once you’ve touched it. If you look at an item, it gets dealt with in one of four ways.
If it can be done in less than 2 minutes, do it right now.
Can you or should you assign the task to someone else? Then, compose an email, make a call, send a text and let that person know. Record who was delegated the task and make a clear deadline with deliverables.
Example: Janine, Will you please contact Moore’s Ice Cream Parlor about providing ice cream for the Harvest Festival by Wednesday morning’s committee meeting? We will need to know how they charge and a ball park figure based on their rates for the 3 hours of the Harvest Festival. You’ll be sharing with the committee on Wednesday. Contact me if you have any further questions.
Don’t need to do it right now? Set the due date to one week from now and check in on it again then.
Things have changed or the deadline passed, delete the item so it’s not taking up valuable list real estate.
There you have it. How to deal with the inbox list. The first time it might take a while. However, you should spend 5-10 minutes at the end of the day reviewing your inbox and you’ll find it will go faster and faster.
Increased Apptitude: VixT
Video Mashups are fun. You see them ubiquitously strewn throughout social media spaces. They make us laugh. They make us think. They make us want to create one. Why not use them in your classroom for instructional purposes? VixT allows you to do just that easily on your iOS or Android device.
Having students create video mash up poems, exit tickets, or answers to questions could add a little extra spice to lessons with minimal investment.
Need help getting started? Check out their Youtube Channel!
You came back!
I’m excited you’re here.
Let’s talk anchor charts.
Why are they good practice?
They reference processes, procedures, and concepts.
They are easily accessible.
How would going digital extend their effectiveness?
They would be accessible when kids (and you) are not in the classroom.
They won’t get damaged or lost.
They can be remixed.
What tools would you use to build them?
Try one of those. Tomorrow.
Build one chart. Take something you already made and make it digital. Don’t feel like it has to be brand new.
Oh and good job today. You nailed it.
Get Ghost: A New Browser’s Possible Impact on Classrooms
The internet is a fount of knowledge that is important to tap during school. In order to access its vast amount of information, there are number of different options. Firefox. Safari. Chrome. But there’s a new browser that I’ve begun using that might be a game changer for students and teachers alike.
The Ghost Browser bills itself as a tool for tech professionals, but it has a few applications that educators might want to take advantage of.
Having limited computers
Say you’re a teacher at a GAFE school and you have less computers than students. One of the complications that could arise could be multiple students sharing the same computer. While you could have every student create profiles in Chrome, it still wouldn’t give students the ability to all have their information available immediately.
Groups (File > New Group) is a function of Ghost that allows one to have multiple log ins in one window. This would allow multiple students to be logged into different gmail accounts in the same window. While one wouldn’t attempt this without some digital citizenship lessons, it would be a feasible way to make computer usage in a classroom a little more efficient.
Each group tab is given it’s own distinguishing color which makes it great for very quickly viewing information. When links are accessed from a group or tabs are opened from them, they remain associated with the group.
The other great thing about groups is the research possibilities. One could have multiple streams of information from multiple projects or ideas all color coded in a single window. For tab hoarders like myself, this is a wonderful way to stay organized…and sane.
If you’re teacher that is managing multiple social media accounts, Ghost is a godsend. Using the groups tool, you can be logged into multiple Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts for example. This is a great functionality as I have my own social media presence and manage social media for my day job as well. Ghost gives me the ability to very easily divide separate business from pleasure.
I love Google Chrome and it’s currently my default browser. It’s fast and it’s simple. I instruct my students using Google Chrome. That’s another reason love Ghost. One of the best things is that Ghost is built on Chromium. If you’re a Chrome user, the interface will be familiar. It’ll allow you add Google Chrome extensions meaning you’ll not lose the functionality that Chrome gives, while acquiring some cool new abilities.
Here at Hoodlum Central, we believe in Design Thinking. We integrate it into most things we do and it’s been pretty fruitful both in our day jobs and in our business practices.
No matter which flavor of Design Thinking one subscribes to, ideation is essential. You can’t prototype anything if you don’t have a smorgasbord of ideas to play with. While Webs and I generally do this with the Googles, I recently came across a tool I hope to use during my 9-5 hustle. Pitchcard seems like a promising tool to use in a classroom looking to encourage designing.
Pitchcard allows you to ideate publicly if you wish. You title your idea, choose a color, and then write a brief (200 word) description, which I think is awesome. Being forced into being concise allows one to hone the “spirit” of the idea more authentically in my opinion.
Once your idea is placed on the card, you can distribute it publicly on social media or privately via email.
The feedback that your idea garners is sent to the email that was entered which hopefully allows one to refine the idea into a better concept.
If you are at a GAFE school, one could utilize this tool pretty easily. Everyone of your students would have an email address, giving them the ability to send ideas to classmates efficiently and to archive the feedback so that it could be referred to when needed. Generating feedback on ideas for projects and writing assignments just got #mosexy.
Looking for thoughts about what students learned during class? Don’t want to create a Google Form or use Exittix? This is a pretty streamlined way to gather information from your students about what they learned or struggled with during the school day.
So you want to know if your lesson was the bomb or just bombed? Send a Pitchcard to your students and allow for feedback.
Lesson Plan ideas
Send a Pitchcard to colleagues about an idea for your have for that quantum physics lesson and see what they say.
A Open Ear to the World
Say you’re a teacher with very little technology at her disposal and you’d like to use the tool. If you had a classroom email or social media setup, you could have students generate ideas that could be posted for feedback and then disseminate that feedback to students. Class project could be #mosexy if you sent a Pitchcard rather than used snail mail or limited contributions to conversations in the room.
In short, Pitchcard is a tool I hope to roll out next week during my day job. Students will be pitching video game ideas and Pitch could be a very slick way of making students feel even more empowered.
There in a Gif-fy…
I love making gifs. LOVE it. I just recently became aware of the a new site called Gifs which is pretty “baller” as Webs would say. It makes making gifs insanely easy from media that is already uploaded on Youtube or to upload gifs you’ve made on your device. It’s free.99. It’s ease of use definitely has implications for your classroom especially if you’re a GAFE school. ***As always, set your students up for success and model proper digital citizenship. **
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? A gif is worth a million views. Have students stretch their creativity in order to describe what they learned in class and how they feel about it.
Instead of having students write responses to questions, have them answer in gifs. The created gifs have links that can be placed in Google Forms, Wizer, GoFormative , etc. Talk about taking the mundane and making it the magical.
So one of the things one can do with gifs is have students use them to present research. They embed nicely in websites, blog posts, and learning management systems.
Teaching with gifs is pretty slick as well. Embed them into your Smart Notebook files and ClassFlowsto help students visualize information. The entertainment value is priceless and it’ll make your lessons far more unforgettable. Just ask Drake…