MuseForJews

muse: n. a source of inspiration

Classtrak

Classtrak is a free website for teachers who don’t need a whole LMS (learning management system), but would like an online resource to post home-based projects. It’s a useful tool that can help students and parents keep up.

With Classtrak, you can list home-based projects by name alongside a description of it and its due date. You can also add downloadable resources that students can use to help them complete the project, such as notes, games, etc.  No more, “I forgot” or “I lost the sheet”—students can find everything they need right inside the site, and check it whenever they need to.

To use Classtrak, sign up for a free account. Once you’re signed up, you can create a class and invite your students and their parents to join by code.
If you are interested in acquiring the resource for your whole school, you can request a demo and quote here.

In Your Classroom

  • Working on a project in class that needs extra supplies? Post a reminder in Classtrak so that students will remember to bring in what they’ll need. For example, if you are planning on creating Seder plates in class, ask each student to bring in their own sturdy plastic plate for decorating.
  • Continue the learning at home. Build on in-class lessons by creating family based activities that enhance your student’s understanding. For example, if you are learning about the Haggadah, invite students to ask each of their parents and siblings for their favorite Passover memory, and bring them in to share. Remind them about the project using Classtrak.

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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April 15, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Classtools

Classtools is a free website that offers some useful tools you can use to add pizazz to your lessons.

Here are some of my favorites features on the site:

  • The SMS text generator page lets you easily create an image of a phone displaying bubbles with SMS texts of your choice. Once you save it, you can print it as a single image onto paper, or you can share a unique URL with your students for them to see your pretend text dialogue appear line by line.
  • The Fakebook page allows you to create a fake Facebook profile page.
  • The Movietext page takes the text you enter, and uses it to create a StarWars-like movie intro.
  • Fruit Machine is a random name or word generator. You enter a list of words and then click  to start a slot machine type animation that spins around and then randomly stops on a word.

In Your Classroom

  • Ask students to use the SMS text gernerator to create an imagined text conversation between two biblical characters.
  • Students can use the fakebook page to design a profile page for a historical figure or hero.
  • Use Movitext to introduce a new topic, provide writing prompts or even display students’ names at the beginning of the school year.
  • Try out Fruit Machine the next time you need to randomly select a student for a task, or organize teams.

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

April 14, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

This article has some great tips for using Google extensions in the classroom.

The Chrome music lab has all sorts of fun music experiments. You can explore rhythm, melodies, soundwaves and more.

We do a lot of prototyping in the innovation studio: creating, critiquing and revising are a natural part of what happens when you’re creating for the 3D printer or Silhouette cutter. For more on design thinking in the classroom, see this article.

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , , , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Tizmos is a site that’s similar to Symbaloo, where you can create a visual landing page for your students with easy-to-use links to often-used websites.

Jewish Learning Matters is a website with tons of resources for educators. It’s a project from the Miami School of Education and Social Work. Check it out!

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Google Keep

Google Keep gives Google users an online space for note keeping, image saving, and more. You can make lists (complete with checkboxes), save images or even draw. The interface is intuitive and looks like a bulletin board with color-coded notes that you can move around with your mouse.  Google Keep also gives users the ability to:

  • add collaborators
  • set a timer to receive reminders about a note
  • send notes to Google Docs
  • read a photo of a printed document and extract the text

If you have a Google account, you have access to Google Keep.

In Your Classroom

  • Google Keep is a great way to organize research. It’s highly visual, and it makes it simple to arrange and rearrange text.
  • Want to transfer your Google Keep notes into a Google document? Just go to Tools > Keep to access your notepad and drag applicable items to the Google document..
  • Collaborating on a big project? Use Google Keep to make lists, assign tasks and set reminders.
  • Since Google Keep is on the web, it’s synced across devices, and is  accessible at school and at home.
  • Like using Google Keep? Consider installing the Chrome extension. It will making it easier to save web content such as images or text within Google Keep.

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

March 20, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Google Sites

Google Sites is an application that you can use to build your own website. It has intuitive tools and options that allow you to customize your site and design it in exactly the way you want.

If you’re familiar with Google Forms, you’ll note the similarity in the tools and options right away. There’s a menu that pops up on the right, and allows you to click and easily add text, images, Google docs and forms, YouTube videos, calendars and map locations to your site. You can also select from several design themes which will assign a specific look and set of font choices to your website.

Like all other Google products, options for collaboration are built into Google Sites, and you can easily share your site with others and work together to build it.

When you’re done designing your website, click on “Publish” to get your site on the web and to see the URL. You can even preview how your site will look on phones, tablets and laptops.

In Your Classroom

  • Google Sites makes it easy for students to collaboratively create websites. It even supports multiple editors working at the same time.
  • If you have a number of Google docs to share with colleagues, consider creating a website with them posted on it. Having your materials on a website will make them easily accessible and all in one place. Just share the URL with those you would like to see the documents. Also, when you click “Publish,” be sure to check “Request public search engines to not display my site” so that your site will not appear in search engine results.
  • Create a website about your class. Post images of projects, student work, and schedules of upcoming events, and share the URL with parents.

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

March 13, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Booksnap

Booksnaps can be a fun way for students to share their thoughts about books or texts.

Students can  create a booksnap by taking a photo of the text that they are reading, and then adding their own thoughts, drawings and comments to the image. They can underline text, circle text, and add emojis and other doodles to the image to illustrate their thoughts and questions about the text.

Educator Tara Martin, who created the idea of book snaps, had her students use Snapchat to create their book snaps, but you can use other tools as well. (get it?  booksnap = book + snap). For example, PicCollage Kids is a safe, kid-friendly photo editor that can be downloaded for $1.99, and Google Draw is another good choice.

Booksnaps are meant to be shared among classmates to facilitate discussion, and students should be aware when creating them that they will be shared. Booksnaps can be shared using many different tools such as Padlet or Seesaw.

In Your Classroom

  • Booksnaps can be  a great way to have students reflect on the siddur. Ask each student to create a booknap about the sh’ma, and share them with one another.
  • Learning about Purim? Invite students to make a booksnap from a piece of the Megillah.
  • You can learn more about techniques for using Booksnaps in the classroom here:

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

February 27, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Green Screen

Green Screen is an easy-to-use, ios app that enables users to make their own videos with simple “green screen” effects. Green screen effects are used in the movies to make it look like the actors are in an exotic location (when they are really in a Hollywood studio) or to make it look like a weather announcers are standing in front of a weather map (when they are really standing in front a blank, green screen).

All you need is the app and a green screen and you can create images that show your students anywhere you choose! And that green screen doesn’t need to be expensive; I’ve had terrific results using a green plastic tablecloth from the dollar store taped to the wall.

The app creates the effect by combining images from multiple sources into a single video. Just shoot your video (or take a photo) from within the app. Then, add your desired background, and the app will insert it in place of the green screen.  The result will be an image of your students standing inside ancient Israel, the shuk, or even on the moon!

The app costs $2.99. For more information on using the app, head over to Do Ink’s support site.

In Your Classroom

  • Feature a green screen booth at your Purim carnival! Pick a series of fun backgrounds and invite participants put on character costumes, and appear in a scene with their friends.
  • The app looks for green, so it’s a good idea to caution your students to avoid wearing green when recording (or they could disappear altogether!).
  • Think beyond the background – if your background photo is a person,  then your image can look like you are meeting  with that person. Try  having your students pose standing next to Mordecai or Esther.

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

February 20, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

What do you want to discover today? Check out the Smithsonian Learning Lab where you can search from over 1,000,000 resources from among the Smithsonian museums, research center and the national zoo. You can also create collections of your own and share your work.

Want to create educational games? Blended Play lets you create fun games from your own content. There are also some existing games you can use. This is a nice change from Kahoot!

January 12, 2018 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

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.

 

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

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