MuseForJews

muse: n. a source of inspiration

Wizer

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.

Sign up for a free account, and watch an introductory video about Wizer here.

In Your Classroom

  • Wizer can be used anywhere a traditional worksheet would be used. Fill-in-the-blanks, matching and multiple choice questions are all familiar ways to check for mastery.
  • Wizer is a great way to present a video or website to your students for feedback.
  • Think beyond the classroom. Wizer worksheets can be used to collect responses from anyone in your community.
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

March 26, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Getting Feedback in Real Time

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

  • Anonymous polling is a good way to get feedback from your students, including those that might be shy about participating.
  • Keep your polls simple. They can be a powerful way to solicit feedback, but only if they are simple and easy to understand.
  • Be sure to understand the limitations of free accounts. There’s nothing more frustrating than users trying to weigh in and finding out that the limit has been exceeded.
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

March 16, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Screencasting

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

  1. Have students screencast to demonstrate reading mastery of Hebrew texts or liturgy.
  2. Planning for a substitute teacher? Record a screencast to leave directions for your students.
  3. Be sure to plan your screencast just like you would a play or any other video. Write a script or create a storyboard to ensure proper flow.

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

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

Hyperdocs

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.

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

February 14, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, G Suite (GAFE), Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

TodaysMeet

TodaysMeet is a private, digital chatroom that teachers can use to encourage student participation. It allows students to share their ideas to the entire class by typing in their comments that are then projected onto a board where everyone can see them. This allows for a back and forth discussion in which  even the quietest of students are able to easily contribute their thoughts.

To set up a chatroom, simply go to TodaysMeet and pick a name for your room. You don’t need to create an account, but it’s free to do so, and creating one will give you the ability to moderate content. 

Once your room is set up, you can give your students the TodaysMeet URL and they’ll be able to type their comments or questions right into the message box. Comments are limited to 140 characters, so brevity is a must! You can keep a room open for up to a year, and close your room at any time.

In Your Classroom

  • While watching a documentary or other non-fiction video, check for understanding by asking your students to comment and answer questions about what they are watching.
  • Take a poll. Ask your students a question such as, “What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?” and watch their answers appear. 
  • TodaysMeet can also be a helpful tool in faculty or committee meetings.

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

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

Podcasting

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

The Technology: audioBoom

AudioBoom is a free iOS app that enables you to record, publish and share podcasts. It’s very easy to use, and while it lacks GarageBand-type editing tools, it’s great for simple recording and hosting online. 

Once you install audioBoom on your iPad, you can use the iPad’s built in microphone to record. After you have completed the recording, upload it to the aurdiBoom website, and add a title, category, description and photo to it. Once it is posted to the site, you can share the podcast via social media, and generate a QR code that links to it.

Sign up for a free account at the website, and your iPad recordings will be uploaded to your account. A free account enables you to record podcasts of up to ten minutes in duration.(If you’d like to create longer podcasts, you’ll need to purchase a premium account at $90/year.)

 In Your Classroom

  • There is no limit to the kinds of classroom activities an app like this supports. Think about using this to promote Hebrew reading fluency, reporting school news and sharing original songs and stories.
  • If you have centers in your classroom, audioBoom is a great way for you to record instructions for independent learners to listen to.
  • The easily generated QR codes can be posted throughout the school to allow visitors to hear recordings in various locations.
  • Have students record and upload book talks and place their QR codes on book jackets
  • Teachers should be aware that there are a lot of podcasts that are available via audioBoom, and it’s difficult to monitor the content. Student use must be closely supervised.
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

December 6, 2016 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Updates to Adobe iOS Apps

The Technology: Adobe

Adobe has updated several of their iOS apps and given them a new look and some new features:

  • Spark Page (formerly known as Slate) helps you create beautiful web pages
  • Spark Video (formerly known as Voice) lets you create animated videos  
  • Premiere Clip allows you to easily create videos from your photos

The apps haven’t changed much. They work on the same simple premise: you choose a template, and add words, music, text and images to it. The app then takes that content, and uses it to create a final product. There are not many options for customization, and you are mostly locked in based on the template you choose. That may seem like it’s limiting (and, well, it is), but if you only have forty-five minutes for your students to create a product, it can also feel really liberating! 

To check out Adobe’s iPad apps, visit the iTunes App store. All are free to download and use. The only premium feature that you may want to purchase is a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud storage plan, which provides additional storage.

Additionally, it’s notable (and a welcome change!) that you can now sign up for a free Adobe ID in order to use many of the apps or you can use your Facebook or Google account. This is very convenient for those of us who already use Google and don’t wish to have another account.

In Your Classroom

  • Consider creating a single Google account or Adobe ID for all your students to use. That way, projects are synced across all your devices. It also allows for a project to be worked on by multiple users at once.
  • These apps are a wonderful way to have your students create end-of-year or field trip videos.
  • Apps that support voice like Spark Video are a great way for students to share their Hebrew skills.

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

November 1, 2016 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday | , , | Leave a comment

Technology Tuesday: Booktrack

The Technology: Booktrack

The Booktrack website gives users the ability to add soundtracks and sound effects to written text, creating a unique reading, listening and immersive experience.

Creating a new booktrack is simple. Just click on, “Create new booktrack” and choose:

  • If you have your own story you’d like to add music to, or
  • If you want to use one from the Booktrack library.

Then, enter your text. It can even be a Hebrew text! (When I tried, I was successful copying a Hebrew text from an existing file and pasting it into Booktrack).

Once your text is in, choose music clips and sound effects from the Booktrack library and connect them to different pieces of the text, so that when readers come to that portion of your story, they will hear that music. 

Once your booktrack is complete, select a title, category and rating and publish it. You can choose to have your story available publicly in the Booktrack library or you can choose to keep it private. 

To read a booktrack, simply click on the book and read it in the browser window. (If you are having several students read booktracks in your classroom, I highly recommend you ask that they use headphones!)

To start making your own booktracks, visit the website and create a free account. Teachers can create a class, and add students manually or by class code to it. Students can create an account and then join the class to view or submit books to the class’s bookshelf.

In Your Classroom

  • Assign your students to create a booktrack using a Bible or holiday story. Invite students to think about what kind of background music and sound effects will provide the appropriate atmosphere for the content of the story.
  • Older students can create booktracks for younger students.
  • Use a Hebrew prayer as your text, and add sound effects to it that help add meaning.

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

October 11, 2016 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday | , , | Leave a comment

ClassTag

The Technology: ClassTag

ClassTag is a free website that allows you to easily email all your student’s parents at one time. You can use it to send announcements, event information (along with an RSVP link), requests for volunteers, or parent/teacher conference details. ClassTag also makes it possible for you to quickly email photos and weekly updates.

You can also use ClassTag to organize volunteers. Simply send parents an invitation to volunteer. Then, once they receive it, they can choose to click to sign up, and their commitment will appear on both their dashboard and yours. 

Begin by signing up for a free ClassTag account. Then, create a class and populate it with your students’ names and their parents’ email addresses.

In Your Classroom

  • ClassTag is a relatively new product, and it will be interesting to see what features get added over time. Right now, it’s a great way to keep in touch with parents and easily share photos, newsletters and announcements.
  • Don’t worry about sending unwanted emails to your parents– they can opt out of any of the categories so that they will only get the emails they prefer.
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday | , , | Leave a comment

Meme Generators

What is a meme? A meme is any symbol or concept that is copied, imitated and easily shared via social media. Often, it is a photo with a unique quote laid on top of it. A classic example would be a photo of a “grumpy” cat, with a quote complaining about well, anything, such as Mondays, annoying co-workers or lack of coffee. Memes can be a terrific tool to engage students and help them think about a subject in a new way. 

For a more complete explanation of memes, and how they work, check out this video. 

Three websites that can help you create your own memes are:

All three provide multiple, free-use photographs, and will place any quote that you type in along the top and bottom of it. (If you use social media, you’ll recognize many of the images offered).

To make your own meme, just click on “create” at the top of these sites, enter your text, and click on “generate.” The sites will then offer you the options of sharing it on various social media sites, or, downloading it to your own computer.

Be aware that if you choose to generate memes in your classroom, that memes created by other users are visible on these site. (Some are not the most appropriate.)

There are also many iOS apps out that will generate memes, including Mematic, Make a Meme and Meme Producer.

In Your Classroom

  • Generate a meme, and use it as a tool to introduce a new subject.
  • Encourage critical thinking by creating and presenting a “half-meme,” providing only the top line of the quote, and leaving the bottom line empty for your students to fill in.
  • Create your own “classroom rules” memes.
  • For an ice-breaker activity at the beginning of year, have each student create a personal meme.
  • As your students to imagine:  What kind of memes would Moses have created? How about Joseph?
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

September 20, 2016 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

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