MuseForJews

muse: n. a source of inspiration

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. 

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

Jewish Interactive

Jewish Interactive is a not-for-profit organization that makes ios apps and Macintosh and Windows software that your students will love.

Here are just two of their offerings:

Ji Tap: With JI Tap, you can build your own Jewish themed games. (It’s very similar to the ios app, Tiny Tap, which we covered in Technology Tuesdays here.)  And here’s a plus: the JI website also features lots of pre-designed, JI Tap games that you can download and play right away.

JI Studio: Using JI Studio, students can create interactive books and posters featuring images, imported photos, audio clips, and Hebrew text. The vast selection of graphics, sounds (shofar blast, anyone?) and Hebrew texts is incredibly impressive!

Student creations can be shared via email or posted to the web. Visit Jewish Interactive’s  website to sign up for a free account, and check out their various tools, all of which are free at this posting. Educators can opt to upgrade to a premium account, which gives access to data and other features.

In Your Classroom

  • Use JI Studio to create an interactive Rosh Hashana card complete with audio greetings. What a great way to start out the New Year!
  • Import photos from your camera roll into JI Studio to create an interactive tour of your synagogue.
  • JI Studio includes prayers and Torah texts, which makes it a great tool for recording a student’s oral Hebrew progress. Start the new year out with each student making a recording, and then continue as the year progresses. Students will have an audio portfolio of their progress by the end of the year.
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

September 19, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Mobile devices and apps | , , | Leave a comment

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

Links You’ll Love

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.

March 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Here are some more creative ways teachers are using to teach about fake news.

Love this making mensches periodic table graphic! It would be great as a poster (hint, hint)…

I taught sketchnoting (visual note-taking) to a number of 7th and 8th graders this week. It was so interesting to hear their thoughts about handwriting. I found this terrific blog post about the value of taking notes in longhand and effective note-taking.

February 24, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, 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

Links You’ll Love

Need a coloring book? Here are some awesome links to online resources you can download for free.

I’m a fan of the Talmud – how about you? This is HUGE news: Sefaria has announced the release of The William Davidson Talmud, a free digital edition of the Babylonian Talmud with parallel translations, interlinked to major commentaries, biblical citations, Midrash, Kabbalah, Halakhah, and an ever-growing library of Jewish texts. There’s a Sefaria app, too, which you can download here.

The Global Digital Citizen Foundation has another really nice guide on Nurturing Student Creativity Fluency. You can download the guide and watch the accompanying video here.

You can now insert videos from your Google Drive into Google Slides (you used to only be able to insert from YouTube). This is a great improvement! Here’s more info.

February 10, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Technology Tuesday: Tagul Word clouds

 What is a word cloud? A word cloud is an image that is formed from typed words, in which the size of each word indicates its frequency or importance. Here is an example of one:

Tagul is a free site that can help you create your own word clouds. You simply import your words, either one at a time, or by pasting a body of text.  And, you don’t have to limit yourself to English: Tagul will also work with Hebrew type, as long as you import a Hebrew font by going to “fonts” and then uploading your Hebrew font to it.

(Note: I had greater success with Tagul when I used Hebrew that had no vowels or cantellation marks.) 

You can also customize your word cloud by choosing from a menu of possible shapes, colors, fonts and layouts.  After you’re happy with the graphic, you can print it, download it, and share it with others.

To  use Tagul, create a new account, or use your Google or social media account. There is no charge to sign up and it is free for personal use.

In Your Classroom

  • Tagul can be used as visual tool to  to analyze ranked choices. For instance, you can do a values clarification exercise with your class, and then type in the results by rank (be sure to use higher numbers for more-frequently chosen values). The resulting word cloud will illustrate your class’s choices.  Try this with questions such as “what do you want to learn?” or statements like “the most important mitzvah is…”
  • Paste in any block of text for visual analysis of the frequency of words.
  • Do an “all about me” activity with your students. Ask each student to choose ten adjectives and rank them accordingly. The resulting word cloud will be a personalized set of visual illustrations that describe your students personalities.

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

October 26, 2016 Posted by | Technology Tuesdays | , , | 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

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