Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Tech BFFs~Scrible

BFF is an acronym for “Best Friend Forever.” These websites and tips are so good that they will become your technology BFFs!

Scrible is web-based app which allows you to save and archive any web page while being able to richly annotate it in multiple colors & styles. Scrible indexes all of the web content you save and it allows you to search through it easily. With the basic, free version you can save web research online & access it from anywhere.

Simple keywords to search full text of saved research. Tags give quick and easy access to organize research by topic. Easily share annotated web research with others via email. Annotate, comment and highlight text in a variety of ways. Capture citations and create bibliographies in a snap. Compile notes from multiple articles into summaries & reports. Collaborate with others by inviting them to Sharable Libraries.

One educator used Scrible and wrote this review: “An excellent tool for researchers, journalists and teachers who need to permanently save, organize, annotate and highlight different content coming from the web.”

For more info visit Scribble: http://www.scrible.com 

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Tech B.F.F.~OhLife Letter Writing for the Future

BFF is an acronym for “Best Friend Forever.” These websites and tips are so good that they will become your technology BFFs!
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The other day I asked some college students to keep a journal in the form of letters to themselves. One of the students timidly asked, “you, mean, with paper and everything?”

Enter OhLife

OhLife has two easy steps:

1.) OhLife sends an email asking “How did your day go?”

2.) Account holders write as much or as little as they would like.

After awhile a nice collection of letters forms a primary source time capsule.

ohlife email text sample

What I like is that there are no “share” buttons enticing students and/or participants to share (and perhaps embellish) the details of their daily life. There is also a nifty feature to set the date in the future for delivery of your letter. OhLife’s privacy makes it an intriguing choice for classroom writing projects, virtual diaries, MeMuseums, etc…

OhLife has a 15 day free trial and $10.00 yearly price tag.

Not bad for a memoir in the making!

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See previous Tech BFFs

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Tech B.F.F.~Soo Meta

oopsladyA BFF is an acronym for “Best Friend Forever.” These websites and tips are so good that they will become your technology BFFs!

Been a while since a Tech B.F.F. was featured. Today’s Tech B.F.F. is Soo Meta, an innovative and easy-to-use digital storytelling mashup site.

Here is a sample video, (made in about five minutes) on The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.
NOTE: Best viewed with Firefox browser.

Use SooMeta for whole group and independent class movies. SooMeta is a graphically appealing alternative to powerpoint. Consider using SooMeta for:

Reading: book/character/author summaries
Math: computational processes/mathematician biographies
History: timeline explanations/major battles/key dates in history/historical figures
Science: scientific method/scientist biographies/virtual experiments

Each create story renders with a link and an embed code for you to play from your free account or embed into your website/wiki/blog.

…or perhaps to email to the next great film star competition!

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To visit the main OOPS page, click here

To view more Tech B.F.F.’s click here

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Tech BFF: Ten Marks Math

tenmarksmath logo BFF is an acronym for “Best Friend Forever.” These websites and tips are so good that they will become your technology BFFs!

On first glance, Ten Marks Math displays the four words needed for success in all classroom mathematics:

 Practice  Instruction   Assessment   Intervention

For many years, mathematics was thought of and taught as a series of isolated topics. Students in elementary and middle grades learned number concepts and skills, geometry concepts, and measurement skills. A growing sense of “I’m not good in math” accompanied these isolated content forays. There was little discussion of the relationship among these topics, and little, if any, discussion of connections to the world outside the classroom. Ten Marks Math provides connection points for students and ease of lesson planning for teachers.

Teachers may sign-up for a free account through the end of the school year. Ten Marks Math has two exceptionally appealing time-saving features that I like:

1. Save Time — Assigning Work: The entire assignment process  is condensed to 30 seconds. Pick a chapter and topic(s). Each student gets a slightly different assignment.

2. Save Time — Re-Explaining to Students: Hints and video lessons help students refresh what they know, and learn what they don’t at their own pace. Results display for teachers.

Ten Marks Math layered concept approach adheres seamlessly to the Common Core Standards. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics represent a connected set of expectations for student knowledge and skills that will lead to successful placement in college and careers.

Teague Note: I received no compensation or incentive to name Ten Marks Math a Tech BFF.

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Click here for Additional Tech BFFs

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Tech BFFs: Naiku

techbff_thumbnail  BFF is an acronym for “Best Friend Forever.” These websites and tips are so good that they will become
your technology 
BFFs!

How do you know if your students, your audience,  (your family) is “getting it”?

How do you check for understanding quickly, efficiently, and without spending more effort checking than your learning
group has spent learning?

Use Quick Question from Naiku.

Naiku (referring to the Lao word for teacher)  is a utility web program available online for eLearning or MLearning.  Teachers and older students can create assessment tests and quick questions which can be answered using mobile devices in the classroom or from home.

Now that school is “in session” this is the perfect time to beta test Naiku.
Using Naiku’s Quick Question is easy. Simply go to www.naiku.net, and sign-up for a free account. When you are read, click on Login at the top of the page, and enter your username and password to start a session. Press one of the question types to ask your students a question. That’s it.

Quick Question Tips:
1. Remind your students to go to q.naiku.net and enter your Quick Question session number (as shown in the middle of your teacher account window)
2. Click on Show Results to display the results on your screen and send to the student devices
3. Click on one of the bars in the chart if you wish to designate that as the correct answer
4. Click on a question type any time you wish to start a new question

naiku

If your students are not connected in a 1:1 ratio, you can employ Naiku in a learning center, a webpage as a follow-up, and/or project to the whole class to answer with pencil and paper as an exit ticket or close activity.
More tips and help are available at www.naiku.net/quickquestion. We love to hear from you. Comments welcome. Email us at support@naiku.net .

For additional ideas see this post.

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Tech BFFs: PodOMatic

techbff_thumbnail BFF is an acronym for “Best Friend Forever.” These websites and tips are so good that they will become your technology BFFs!

Usually, I avoid big dinner parties like the plague. But a friend invited me to a fundraiser for an organization doing great work so I reluctantly attended. A dinner conversation with Tremain Jackson, Library Director at one of our city libraries introduced me to the instructive potential of Podcasts. He posts frequently to a Podcast channel he created for our library.

Podcasts are a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audio, video, PDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. Source

Podcasts are great for use in your classroom learning centers, as a differentiation option for auditory learners and a great Web 2.0 inclusion tool.

The most intuitive (and free!)  application for creating your own podcasts is PodOMatic. With PodOMatic you can create, record, and publish an audio or video podcast without having to install any software on your computer. Most of the time, PodOMatic is allowed by school filters. Here is a great tutorial pdf document from the USF College of Education Laptop Initiative that will walk you through the easy steps to create your first Podcast.

Here is a podcast I created for my online class, “Children’s Authors on the Web: Online Sites that Motivate Students to Write”. This podcast discusses the importance of reading amid so many distractions and the possibility that reading engenders empathy.


Take yourself out to dinner and script your first Podcast tonight…over dessert!!!
Sources used to create the Podcast:
The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, by David Ulin
13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, by Jane Smiley
Powells Books website: http://www.powells.com/
Background Music: “The Swan” by Claude Debussy

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