MuseForJews

muse: n. a source of inspiration

Links You’ll Love

Looking for just the right font? Head over to Wordmark, type a word or phrase and hit “enter.” Wordmark will display the word in every font you have on your computer so you can pick just the right one.

Holy smokes! This is awesome. If you’re a Google Classroom user (and if you’re not, why aren’t you?), you will love this. Install the Chrome extension Share to Classroom to your Chrome account and you can push any website to your students’ computers. So cool! Sadly, it’s only for Chromebooks and computers right now.

Let’s talk about Chrome tabs. There are two distinct groups of people when it comes to Chrome: those who limit their tabs and those who, well, don’t (you know who you are). The problem with having oodles of Chrome tabs open is that this can significantly impact your computer’s performance, as Chrome is a nefarious memory hog. There are ways to control this, including tab managers that put certain tabs “to sleep” by suspending their activity, but I’d like to suggest a management tool that’s way more fun. Install Tabagotchi and make tab management fun again! Okay, maybe it was never fun, but you get my drift. Remember Tomagotchi, the kids’ toy of the 90’s? It was a digital pet that you had to take care of, or it would meet an early demise. Well, Tabagotchi works the same way with tabs. Each time you open a new tab, your little Tabagotchi’s health is diminished in some way. Ease up on the tabs and keep Tabagotchi spry! The tech team definitely recommends limiting your tab usage – multiple open tabs is often the reason for poor computer performance.

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September 15, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , , , | Leave a comment

ComicLife

Comic Life is an iOS app that you can use to create your own digital comic book as well as many other types of projects including certificates, newsletters, how-to pages, and yearbook pages.

You can start your project from scratch, or, you can use one of the app’s pre-designed templates.

You can easily:
1) add images to your project  from your own camera roll or from Flickr
2) add text in a wide variety of styles (and languages-You can even type in Hebrew!)
3) add speech or thought bubbles to characters, and
4) add fun comic book sound effect graphics like “Pow!” and “Crunch!”

Once you’ve imported your text and graphic elements, you can easily design and customize how they all come together by resizing, rotating and styling each element. You’ll also want to experiment with all those great comic-looking fonts.

Once your comic book (or other type of project) is finished, you can print it or export as a pdf or jpg, and/ or open it in certain other apps, including Google Drive, Dropbox or Explain Everything.

Download the app from the iTunes store for $4.99.

In Your Classroom

  • This is my go-to whenever I need to create a how-to page. It’s easy to include screenshots for my readers to refer to as they follow along.
  • Students can easily use Comic Life to create comics about any topic they’ve studied. For example, if you are teaching the story of B’reishit in time for Simchat Torah, ask your students to create a comic depicting the six days of creation.
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

September 12, 2017 Posted by | Technology Tuesdays | , , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Tes is a teaching community out of the UK with some great resources. Check it out for lesson plans and articles as well as “Tes Teach,” which allows you to create interactive activities for your students.

Stockio is a great source for copyright free images, photos and even fonts.

This is so fun – Fake Ticket Generator is, well, a website that makes fake tickets. It’s a clever way to create a “ticket to learning” or similar graphic for your class.

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , | Leave a comment

littleBits storage

IMG_3152Our innovation studio boasts several littleBits kits for building and coding. We’re even featuring the code kit in our innovation special this year. For right now, we’re sticking with the boxes for storage and my partner-in-crime came up with this great idea to take a photo of the box before we used it and taping it to the inside of the box lid so kids know where to put everything at the end of class. Genius!!

August 30, 2017 Posted by | LittleBits, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Cricut in the Classroom

IMG_57E13BCB9905-1

A student-drawn image

We are fortunate enough to have several electronic cutters in our innovation studio. It’s been really fun to help teachers – and students – figure out how to use our #Silhouette Cameo and @Cricut Explore 2 in an educational setting.

One of the best activities was our To Kill a Mockingbird locker gallery that we created with the 8th grade last year. It was creative, a cool app smash, and showed deep thinking – all at the same time.

IMG_2573The students began in the innovation studio by using SketchClub on iPad Pros to sketch images that the novel evoked for them. We saw a lot of gavels, birds and

justice scales! Students used a variety of apps for this. We showed them how to import a graphic and use layering to trace over it. This is where having iPad Pros and Apple Pencils is a real advantage, but it’s doable with other tech as well.

Once the students had their images, we exported them as .jpgs and then imported them into Cricut Design Space. We made sure the students didn’t use color (since we were ultimately cutting these out of vinyl), so it was super simple to import the images and then prepare them for cutting.

IMG_2574When the images were cut, the students applied these to their lockers and added their artist statements. What deep thinking these showed!

This was a profoundly moving activity on a number of levels. It’s not easy to create a tangible symbol of a novel, but the tools we had enabled the students to do so. By 8th grade, kids are quick to say that they’re not artists, but the combination of the iPad Pros and the Cricut made everybody feel good about their artwork.

August 27, 2017 Posted by | Cricut in the Classroom, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Interested in making short “how to” videos, or having your students record videos without a lot of fuss? Useloom is a cool Google extension that enables you to make short videos right in Google. Videos are stored in the cloud and easily shareable.

Boomerang is a lovely Google extension that enables you to schedule emails for later distribution. Let’s say you want to send a reminder about a field trip Thursday night, but you’re working on it Sunday and don’t want to forget. If you’ve installed Boomerang, you can set it up in advance and Boomerang will do the rest.

BouncyBalls is a fun website that displays classroom noise through the visual of bouncy balls, emojis, bubbles or (gulp) eyeballs. The louder the classroom, the bouncier the display.

Google is making some strides in terms of adding features to Google Sheets, their spreadsheet software. For instance, you can use Google Sheets to help visualize data now, simply by asking a question in real language. This blog post addresses that feature and more.

I am fascinated by tunnel books and would love for someone to collaborate with me in our innovation studio to use the Silhouette and Cricut paper cutters in their creation. See this article for inspiration.

Here’s a nice video with some tips for new Google Calendar users.

Competency-based learning – a focus on highly personalized experiential learning for students which allows them to learn at their own pace – is tantalizing but hard to assess. This article offers some valuable insights.

We like to think that we’re preparing kids for the future, but the reality is that we have no clue what that looks like. This post, by Little Bits founder Ayah Bdeir, discusses that dilemma and how Little Bits can provide some help with “unleashing kids’ inner inventor.” We have a student set of these little electronics kids in the innovation studio, and kids have been using them during recess and specials. 

Wizard School is a very cool free app (with no in-app purchases) that features videos, maps and other content on a variety of topics. Students can explore content, create stickers, videos and drawings and then share their creations.

June 9, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

I am a huge fan of Google Drawing. Interested in learning more about this little-used Google feature. Here’s a good start.

Nobelprize.org is a very cool website – and, yes, it’s the official site of the coveted Nobel Prize. On this site, you can find inspirational videos, facts about the Nobel Prize and prize winners, and a bunch of fun educational games, too. If you’re interested in right brain/left brain stuff, check out The Split Brain Experiments. Unfortunately, much of the site relies on Flash, so I’m not sure about Chrome or  iOS support.

The Open Education Resources Commons is a searchable, browsable, customizable collection of open education resources. Let’s say you’re looking for a unit on bridges for your 4th graders… put in your search parameters and poof! 14 results show up.

May 17, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Vizia

The Technology: Vizia

Vizia is website that allows you to add questions, quizzes and polls right into existing videos.

To begin, you first choose a source video that has already been posted to YouTube or Wistia. Then, click on “new video,” and enter the URL of the source video. Finally, choose the interactive elements that you’d like to add into the video. You can add open-answer questions, polls, multiple-choice questions or a call to action in the form of exclamatory text or a link to a website. 

Once you have completed your additions, the finished video will appear on the Vizia website, and you can share it with others via link. Vizia videos can also be embedded onto other websites. 

As your viewers answer the embedded questions, their answers will populate a spreadsheet that you can open in Google drive or download as a .csv file. Note that students can opt to skip questions as they’re viewing the video, so you may not get answers to all your questions. 

To use Vizia, sign up for a free Vizia account, or use your Google credentials.

In Your Classroom

  • Invite students to view videos and suggest their own polls and questions about them. Then create a Vizia video that incorporates them into it, and share it back with them. 
  • Viza is a great tool to use as part of a flipped classroom lesson.
  • Consider making a class video and embedding questions for parents to answer. This could be particularly useful for social justice or “what would you do?” type issues.
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

May 16, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

TouchCast Studio

TouchCast Studio is an ipad app that functions as a whole TV crew and studio! It allows you to create and share detailed multimedia presentations that incorporate many different types of content, including links, webpages, files, images, videos and more. You can annotate videos, diagram with a whiteboard, add green screen effects, and make a professional looking interactive video experience for your students to engage with and enjoy.

Once you complete a TouchCast presentation, it can be viewed on their website and also shared via email or via social media. 

TouchCast Studio is complicated and not for beginners. But, if you have some tech-adept high school students who are looking to create more complex videos, this might be the right match for them.

Visit the website to create a free account, then head to the iTunes store to download the free iPad app.  Your TouchCast account also automatically gives you a channel, which you can use to share your videos with others. 

For more information and tutorials, check out the teachers training area on TouchCast’s website.

In Your Classroom

  • You’ll need to think differently about video production to use TouchCast successfully. Be sure to plan and use a script and storyboards to help you decide where interactive elements like responses, polls and hotlinks will be placed within the presentation.
  • TouchCast is a great app to use for a collaborative project, since it allows several students to work on various elements at the same time.
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

May 9, 2017 Posted by | Links, Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

My daughter was an intern at DisneyWorld for a semester and learned a tremendous amount about good customer service. She often talks about what it taught her and how she utilizes it in her current position as a camping director. In this article, a principal reflects on lessons learned from Disney and how they apply to education.

Is it technology integration or just digitizing traditional education? This article explores that very question.
Think you know everything Google? Check out this post with hidden tips and tricks.

April 28, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

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