Thursday, January 12, 2017

Swivl- A robot recording device!

Swivl is a great tool for recording group discussions or lectures. the recordings can be used for reflective teaching, filming student discussions, or student video productions. it works great for creating video clips meant to be used in professional development.

Swivl uses an ipad or any other phone, tablet etc...
It can be mounted to a tripod or stand alone.
the speech recording is actually done with a little wand that only picks up the voices of the people it is closest to.  it can also track the speakers as they move.

love using this!
Anybody have tips on the best way to join Silicon Valley CUE?  Are you all members yet?

Monday, December 5, 2016

New EdTech programs featured at Imagine K12

Imagine K12 is an Accelerator for EdTech programs.  They invite those with interesting ideas in the Educational Technology field to come and get support for their new companies.  Part of that is "Educators Day" when teachers and others are invited to come and hear brief presentations and visit with the founders.  The latest group presented on Nov 17, 2016.

Here are the ones that look interesting this year.  Most of them are giving free trials for some period of time right now, and others are free all the time.

RocketLit  -- Lots of reading passages for Social Studies and Science tied to many Common Core Standards for grades 3-8.  But, the best part is, you can assign every student in your class to read the same passage, and the student or you can pick the reading level for that passage.  Each passage can be as low as 3rd grade or as high as 12th grade.  They have quizes that go with them, tied to the reading level also.  Each article adapts individually to all these levels.  As I was talking to the founder, I asked him to connect with Study Sync and see if he can apply his method to their reading passages.  I've heard from several of you that this is a problem.  He had never heard   of Study Sync, but thought it was a great idea.  I'm going to try to connect them.

Kaizena -- Fancy ways to give feedback on student written work.  Ties to Google Classroom and other Google Docs.  You highlight any word or words and can give oral feedback for students to listen.  Or type the first few letters of a common critique, like "comma splice" and it inserts a short video to explain the concept to the student.  Free to teachers.

Sown to Grow -- I look at this as next level up past Class Dojo.  It's all about increasing growth mindset. Students each set their own goals.  They record their own scores on those goals, and then program and teachers give suggestions for reflection and evaluation.  Students feel like they earn their own scores, not something the teacher gives them.  Free 3 month trial, then price/student.

Plickers  -- I've seen this one before and it's very slick.  It's "paper clickers."  If you've always wanted a set of the clickers where students can do answers to questions and you automatically see the answers, then this is what you need.  Those sets cost hundreds of dollars.  Plickers are free.  You print out a page for each student.  Pages are on their website. It has a funny-looking pattern and the small letters A, B, C, D on each corner.  You can ask a multiple choice or true-false question, and the students hold up their papers with their choice of answer at the top.  You scan the room with your phone's Plickers App, and get immediate scores on your phone for the classroom as a whole and each individual student.  It's a great way to check for understanding.  Students keep their paper in their desk or binder and you can use them on a moment's notice. 

Kickup  They do analysis of District PD and follow up to see how teachers are using it in the future.  It's being used in some other districts around here, and they seem to like it.  It's more thorough than just our surveys.  It does analysis and suggestions for large groups or individual teachers.   (yes, it really is .co, not .com)

Try any of these that look interesting to you and let me know what you think.

Sue Allen

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Teachers and RCSD community members are invited to the first Makerspace "Make and Take" Hour

Thursday 12/1 at 3:30 pm at McNair (rm 11). 

The activity will be paper circuits with LEDs to design cards/ornament/art with a winter theme!

We will supply materials, and you get to keep your masterpiece.  If you really like the project, you can also bring it to your classroom or collaborate with your makerspace to do it with your students.  Or you can just make a really cool project that will be yours to keep!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Note Anywhere

Note Anywhere is a Chrome extension that  is very simple and self-explanatory. It really just lets you add virtual Post-it notes anywhere in Chrome. You can even close the tabs and the notes will be there when you navigate to the same page again, although I wouldn’t use it to store important information, of course. You can customize the color and font of your notes. 

Note Anywhere 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Coding in the Classroom!

If you're looking for a great way to teach problem solving and growth mindset with technology look no further than! This site is a great, teacher-friendly way to introduce computer science in your classroom. You can create classes and assign a 20 hour coding "class" to each student individually. They have their own log in and password and they can access this at any time. They work through the lessons independently, watching videos and working on lessons at their own pace. I use it as a station activity during math centers as well. The collaboration between students as they use write their very own code is awesome!

Also, I recently learned how to color code folders in Google Drive and it is life changing!!!

Great Website

Great website to use in the classroom. is a free website that differentiates based on our students learning. It is common core aligned. It hits both language arts and math. Here is a sample skill list.