The Technology: Visme
Everybody knows that old quote about how many words a picture is worth. It’s true! And with the website Visme, you can create your own infographics and other visually based content easily.
You can build your infographic using the images that Visme provides, including layouts, shapes, text, graphs and backgrounds. Or, you can choose to upload your own images. It also allows you to insert video or music into your infographics.
When you’re finished designing your image, you can download a watermarked low-resolution .jpg and embed your infographic on a website or share it on social media for free. (Higher resolution images without Visme’s branding are available with a premium account).
Sign up for a free account at Visme.
In Your Classroom
The Technology: Wizer
Wizer is a free website that can help you create beautifully designed digital worksheets and share them easily with your students. They can be created and completed using any device that has web access.
You can customize your worksheets by choosing its design and giving it a title. Then simply add your own content, such as open questions, or matching, multiple choice, and fill in the blank questions. You can also add audio clips, videos or web links to your questions. Hebrew is supported, too.
Once you have designed your worksheet, you can easily share it with your students via any learning management system, such as Google classroom. They can complete it on their devices, and send it back to you digitally as well. Finally, Wizer will also quickly assess student’s responses for understanding. Alternatively, you can choose to check each sheet one by one and provide individualized feedback to your students.
In Your Classroom
Soliciting audience feedback while giving a lecture can help teachers better understand their audience and help them tweak their presentations to fit..
These free, technology based tools can help you easily poll your audience for their thoughts:
Poll Everywhere: Poll Everywhere is one of the oldest audience participation tools and it remains a favorite of presenters and teachers. Using the app, you simply ask your audience a question. Audience members then answer using the app or by navigating to a specific URL on their own devices. Poll Everywhere will then assemble their responses and display them visually in a custom bar chart.
Poll Everywhere is available via a browser or iOS app, and you can embed polls in Keynote, PowerPoint or Google Slide presentations. Sign up for free for a K-12 account. You can display up to 40 responses per poll. If you’d like to be able to display more responses, you can do so with a paid account.
Google Slides offers your audience members the ability to submit questions, and then vote on which questions they are most interested in learning the answers to. To launch it, enter presenter view from your slideshow, and click “new” under Audience Tools. A URL will appear where your audience members can submit their questions. For a more detailed explanation of this feature, visit EdSurge here.
In Your Classroom
I just taught a workshop on sketchnoting at the ICE conference. Here’s the link to a folder containing my presentation and supporting materials, if you’re interested. Let me know, also, if you’d be interested in coming to “sketchnote camp” this summer – I’m thinking one morning a week for a couple of hours.
Tumble Science podcast for kids tells the stories of science discoveries. You can listen in your browser, or subscribe via iTunes.
The Jewish Education Project has a new website – and it’s packed! While some of their programs are specifically for the New York area, there’s much here that is of interest to other communities.
The Technology: Screencasting
Screencasting software allows you to create videos that your students can watch anywhere. It also makes student-created videos a possibility without having to use any equipment other than a computer. Screencasting software is available for all operating systems and much of it is free.
Here are some of the most popular options:
-Screencast-o-matic: One of the oldest screencasting websites, Screencast-o-matic is free for a basic account. If you would like to make longer videos or have access to some of the more advanced editing tools, the premium account costs $15/year. Note: You may need to download and install a screencast launcher in order to use the website.
–Quicktime: If you have a Macintosh computer, you probably already have Quicktime, it often is included upon purchase. To create a new screen recording, just locate the application on your computer and go to File > New Screen Recording. The application will ask if you want to record just part or all of your screen. Choose, and then hit the record button and go!
-Screencastify or SnagIt extensions: If you use the Google Chrome browser on a laptop or Chromebook, you can install Screencastify or SnagIt extensions. You will need to give the extensions permission to access your computer’s camera and microphone, and you may have to designate where you will want screen recordings saved.
In Your Classroom
The Technology: Hyperdocs
If you’ve made a commitment to use more technology in your classroom this year, Hyperdocs is a good way to begin. While encouraging and supporting technology use, it still puts educational goals front and center.
What is a Hyperdoc?
A Hyperdoc is a Google Doc that allows teachers to use the structure provided by a Google Doc to create lessons with engaging media, visual appeal, inquiry learning and opportunities for collaboration. Basically, it’s like an old-time worksheet, but with superior, 21st century tools. With one simple link, students can access a Hyperdoc that contains instructions, links, tasks, multi-media and many more innovative features that can help get kids engaged and thinking.
How can I learn more about Hyperdocs?
The Hyperdocs website has great information and resources, including sample Hyperdocs, templates, a how-to tutorial, and links to Pinterest board collections of Hyperdocs. You can also check out the Hyperdocs YouTube playlist for some great explanatory videos.
How do I make my own Hyperdoc?
The easiest way to make your first Hyperdoc is to use one of the sample lesson plans on their website, and customize it for your own content. This basic lesson-plan template, for instance, details each part of a lesson (exploration, application, and sharing, for example), and gives suggestions for each step.