In a box

Inboxing. 
Dumping all those thoughts that bang around in your head out into a place. 
It could be an analog place like a dedicated notebook (bujo anyone?) or a collection of sticky notes affixed to your desk or monitor. 
It could be a digital dumping ground like Omnifocus, Habitica, or Todoist. Maybe even the good old reminders or notes app or a cloud solution like Google tasks or keep
What matters is that you do it consistently. 

To the same place anytime you think of something. Then, you revisit that list. That is for another post though. 

Choose your weapon right now. 

Paper and pen will do. 

Write down everything rattling around in your head no matter how big or small. 

Great job. 

Now grab some hot chocolate and watch some Hulu. 

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! 

Anchor Yourself

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?

Powerpoint/Keynote/Slides

Canva

Piktochart

Paper by 53 (iOS)

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.

Where do I start?

Where do I start?

I’m not a technology person.

I’m not tech savvy.

Where do I start?

My answer? Anywhere. It’s not about replacing what you already know. It’s about extending it. Making less work for you. Giving you back time and making documentation a silent process.

Evaluate what you DO know. Make a list. What CAN you do that involves technology?

Check email? Pay your bills? Use a calculator?

All great places to start. Be your own teacher. Scaffold your learning.

You’ve never used a Smartboard? Pick up the pen. See what happens.

You’re a scientist. You do something and observe what happens. Try to replicate it. Now, change a variable. Just one. Don’t get too carried away.

Now stop. You’ve done enough for today. Come back tomorrow. We’ll do another lesson.

Dynamic Duo(Book)

Though the selection of text is a bit scant at the moment, this app has some serious potential.  Duobook allows you to alternate between reading a story and having it read to you.
The only real impediment to use in a classroom is that one must create an account via a phone number.  This could potentially complicate the use of the app in a K-8 classroom as I’m unsure at this point the maximum number of devices one (the teacher) can be logged into at once.  In addition, the stories have to be downloaded which could present issues for 16gb devices.
Overall, it’s a solid product that would only get better with more offerings, especially those geared toward early readers.

It’s a Setup!

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If you’re a Mac user, this is one you have to have.  The Setapp is in beta until March (read: it’s free). If you’ve ever wanted Mac apps at your fingertips at their premium versions, then it might be a worthwhile.  iMazing (a personal favorite) and Hype (another favorite) are included as well as a ton of other apps.

The concept is brilliant.  They find/pick the apps so that you don’t have to and you get the premium versions of every app picked.  You can get acquainted with a bunch of apps you probably never knew you needed without having to scour the App store.

To sign up for the Beta, click here.