MuseForJews

muse: n. a source of inspiration

Popplet

Popplet is a free website and mobile app that allows you to create concept maps. A concept map is a graphic that shows a “main idea” in the middle, while related information is displayed radiating from the center and connected with spokes- like a wheel. Collaborating alongside your students to create a concept map can be a great  exercise for visual learners.

Creating a popplet is simple. Begin by creating a  main idea in the center and then click anywhere on the screen to create “popples”: your supporting ideas. You can then move and  connect your ideas  to other “popples” and add images or media to them from web sources such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once you have completed your Popplet, you can share it on social media or via a link.

To use Popplet, sign up for free account. A free account will give you the opportunity to create ten popplets. If you would like to design more, you can pay $30/year for unlimited access. Students can access Popplet via the web on a computer or by using a free iOS app.

In Your Classroom

  • Popplet’s simplicity can be very appealing younger students. Use it to begin a parsha unit. You can put Moses in the center, and ask students for suggestions for the “popples” such as events and people.
  • Use Popplet to teach about the complexity of Israel. Show an image of Israel in the center, and  add details about the different types of people, sites, geography, religions, and history of the country to the “popples”.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

 

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January 5, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Fake news! Here’s a great article about the future of fake news (spoiler alert: it isn’t going away!) and how to encourage your students to develop the skills they need to ferret it out.

Chrome extension of the week: I know there are a lot of you (you know who you are!) who keep waaaaaaay too many tabs open because you just haven’t had time to get to read all those articles you’re saving. Check out OneTab, which takes all those open tabs and pops them into a list of links. Very handy!

The concept of “extreme learners” is quite fascinating and author Milton Chen does a nice job of summing up what an extreme learner looks like and how to grow them in your classroom.

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Check out this acapella rendition of “Rise Up” (no, not the one from Hamilton). Very nice!

Wait! You wanted Hamilton? Ok – check out this one.

Do this now: go to Google and search for סביבון סוב סוב סוב

You know you want a Hanukkah word search! This is very cool. I might have, um, tested it on both a laptop and an iPad.

I know a lot of you are using YouTube in class and wanted to remind you about ViewPure. This website allows you to show YouTube videos without distractions, comments and suggested videos.

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Free Images and Fonts

Check out these free resources for images and fonts:

Stockio

Stockio is a free website featuring photos, fonts and videos that you can use for personal or commercial use with no citation necessary. Just sign up for a free account and search by keyword.

OpenClipArt

OpenClipArt offers free clip art that can be used for personal or commercial projects.

Dafont and 1001 Free Fonts 

Dafont has one of the largest selections (over 33,000!) of free fonts that I’ve every seen. You can search for fonts by category or by name, alphabetically. All are free for personal use. Some charge nominal fees for commercial use. 1001FreeFonts offers a similar service.

In Your Classroom

  • Teach students about using  copyright-free images rather than images without permission straight from Google. You might use it as an opportunity to discuss what Jewish values  says about using intellectual property.
  • It can be a lot of fun to download new fonts to your computer, but be aware that they can often take up a lot of hard drive space.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

December 19, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Google “Add-ons”

If you’re a Google apps user, you may have noticed “Add-ons” in the menu to the left of “Help.” Add-ons are third-party (which means they’ve been developed by people outside of Google) products that are often free and are designed to take Google apps just a little bit further.

Add-ons are developed for specific Google products, so there are different ones for Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc. It’s worth taking some time to check out the Add-ons store to see what timesavers you might find. For instance, some add-ons include:

  • EasyBib: Easy bib helps users create automatic bibliography and citations entries in Google docs.
  • Avery Label Merge: Allows you to take data from a google spread sheet, and print Avery labels from it.
  • Word Cloud: will take the text you’ve entered into a Google doc and generate make a word cloud out of it.
  • Template Gallery: Gives you access to many templates others have created for Google Sheets.
  • Group Maker: Will help you make random groups out of a list of students you have in Google sheets.

For more information about  add-ons, here are some additional resources you might want to check out:

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Escape!

Breakout or escape rooms provide an engaging way to integrate problem solving into your classroom. Basically, it’s a game where players use hints and clues to solve puzzles, which lead them to more hints to solve more puzzles. The payoff is “escaping” the room or breaking into a locked box.

There are commercial escape rooms popping up all over, and this has not gone unnoticed by educators who seek to leverage the craze and use it as an engaging activity for their students.

If you’re interested in purchasing a breakout box to use in your classroom, check out BreakoutEDU. You can buy their ready-to-go lock box with programmable locks, a lockout hasp, and  hundreds of ready-to-use puzzles and downloadables. It will also share with you cool ways that other educators are using the product.
BreakoutEDU’s product comes at a steep price, though. If you’re interested in creating your own Breakout box, this post has some great tips and list of the supplies you’ll need to purchase (hint: if you search for “breakout game” on Amazon, you’ll get a bunch of results that include locks, a lockout hasp, and locking storage boxes). You may even have some of these products already.

Any breakout game has the same premise: start with a story of some kind that poses a challenge. A typical breakout narrative includes a dilemma (someone or something is missing, or has been captured) and the directive that the students will need to solve clues to open the box and save the day. BreakoutEDU has resources for organizing your story on their site, including an organizer template.

Technology can be easily integrated in a breakout game, including QR codes (solve a clue, get a QR code to scan and get another clue) and Google forms.

For more information about creating your own breakout, you can view these videos:
Introducing Breakout EDU, Elementary Breakout; and read this  article.

In Your Classroom

  • Hanukkah is coming, and an Escape room can fit the Hanukkah story perfectly. Create a room where students have to find the pure oil, so that they can light the menorah!
  • This is a sure-fire way to engage your students in an end-of-unit activity that is going to be way more fun than anything else.
  • Breakout games can be a terrific ice breaker– and not just for kids! How about a breakout faculty meeting? Or a way to introduce new families to one another?
  • Ask older students to creating a breakout game for younger students. It can be a terrific way for everyone involved to review content that they’ve already mastered.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

November 21, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Here’s a terrific article about a young woman who came up with an app to address social isolation. Check out her TED Talk!

This is so fun – now you can play 20 questions with Google! This would be a great class activity.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Hour of Code is coming! Okay, it’s not coming until the week of December 4th, but we need to get ready! How awesome would it be if every student spend some time learning about coding that week? Check out these resources about Hour of Code.

If you use your phone or iPad as a scanner – the app CamScanner is invaluable. Try it out!
If you want to step up your presentations or classroom graphics, check out Piktochart. You can start with a snazzy template or create your own.

October 27, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

GooseChase

GooseChase is a free app and website that makes electronic scavenger hunts easy to create and even easier to play.

To create your own game, or “GooseChase”, first give your game a fun, catchy name. Then, create a list of missions that players need to complete as they go through your chase. For each mission, you can ask your players to submit:

  • A  photo of something they find
  • A video of their team completing a silly task
  • A reply to a question via text, or
  • A pin of their location via GPS.

To play, each team only needs one person with the GooseChase iPhone or Android app on their device.

If you’d prefer to run a GooseChase without prepping a whole new game, you can also choose to use one of the many existing games that have already been created by other teachers in GooseChaseEDU’s game library.

To use GooseChase, signup for a free account on their website. A premium subscription is available if you think you’ll be creating more games for more teams, but I would suggest starting with the free account to see if this is a good platform for you.

In Your Classroom

  • Break out of the boring staff professional development rut and create a GooseChase for your faculty.
  • Going on a field trip? Create your own GooseChase to help your students explore and enjoy your destination on a deeper lever.
  • After your GooseChase is complete, create a slide show of the photos the players submitted to complete their missions, and present it to the school for a fun recap.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

My friend Peter Eckstein has created a website with digital resources for the Jewish educator. Check it out here.

If you’re teaching about citations, this is a great video.

Are you teaching your students to write for a digital audience? Here are some great tips. Let me know if you want to explore more.

Lots of my colleagues are raving about Mystery Doug. Doug posts short videos about things about which students are asking. 

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , , | Leave a comment

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