Microsoft Sway is now in preview and open to anyone to try. Microsoft Sway is an online presentation tool that makes embedding and searching for online content much easier and then makes your presentation available on any device in the cloud. Sway is not fully functional as yet and has a few features labelled as coming soon, but playing with ‘Sway’ in it’s current form you get to see the potential of this application. You can choose from different layouts and themes to quickly give your presentation a good consistent look. You can share the content you create with Facebook, Twitter, share a direct link or embed your ‘Sway’ into your website or blog. There is currently an IOS app available and hopefully an android version will be coming soon. Below is a promotional video of what is possible with Microsoft Sway.Pin It
Splash is ABC Australia’s new Educational Website that is linked to the National Curriculum. The site is for Teachers, Students and Parents. It contains articles, video, audio and games. The content is separated into three areas Early Primary (Foundation – Year 3), Upper Primary (Years 4 -6) and Secondary (Years 7 – 10). There are four subject areas to choose from English, Maths, Science and History. You can filter your searches by year level, subject and media type. There is a Parent’s area with articles from how to support your child with reading to transitioning from primary to high school. The Teacher’s area contains articles to support teachers with the Digital Age to developing your personal learning network and many more. This website is well set out and easy to use and hopes to be even better as more and more content is added over time. The YouTube clip below explains a bit more about Splash.
Murally as their slogan says, is a whiteboard on steroids. This web 2.0 tool is still in beta, but is free to use. Murally is like a giant pinboard that grows with the digital content you add to it. Yo can drag and drop files, photos and video and collaborate with others. A really cool feature is the ability to create a presentation of your content by marquee selecting the content you want on each page. Please find below a video demonstration.Pin It
Dartboard Student Selector is a fun way to select teams using your interactive whiteboard. You can enter your class list and then start throwing the darts to select names. Names can be removed after selection. A fun and different way to do something that can be a bit of a chore.Pin It
Simon is a retro game that can be used on your IWB, when you have a few minutes to have some fun with your class. Simon is a simple game where you simply have to do what Simon says. You do this by following the pattern of lights and sounds for as long as you can. It keeps a record of the highest score, so challenge your class. See who has a good memory!Pin It
Wonderopolis gives you explanations to a daily question you might of wondered about or questions you haven’t imagined yet. Each question is explored with pictures and video if possible. The information is clearly set out and easy to follow with appropriate web links to further explore the topic. An example of some of the recent questions are:
There is a widget available that you can incorporate in your blog or website (see below). Wonderopolis can be used in the classroom to inspire discussion or further exploration of a topic. It can be used for shared reading, reading comprehension or your next Science lesson. A great resource to help students to broaden their interests and knowledge.
Popplet is basically an online mind mapping tool. It is a way to present your ideas or work with others to share ideas. You create boxes, which are called ‘popples’, where you can add text, photos from flickr, facebook or from your computer. You can add YouTube clips as well. Then you can go about creating new ‘popples’ and linking them. Popplet is still in beta and is free to use. There is an iPad app available as well. There is a lite version for free and a full version available for $5.49 Aus. The lite version only allows you to create one popplet. The full version allows you to work with unlimited popplets and includes features such as online integration, realtime collaboration, PDF export, VGA support and more.
Below is a video preview of Popplet:
Popplet Website: http://popplet.com/
Popplet iTunes app store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/popplet/id374151636?mt=8
Popplet lite iTunes app store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/popplet-lite/id364738549?mt=8
Study Ladder is an Australian online Mathematics and Literacy program for R-7. It provides year level resources that instructs students on skills via videos and gives them opportunities to reinforce those skills via online activities, games and printable worksheets.
Teachers are able to setup a class group, giving each student a username and password. Teachers are then able to set specific tasks for the whole class or individual students. Students are rewarded for their efforts via certificates and use of a rewards room (pictured below).
The site also provides resources for Music, Art, Language and Culture, Science, Health Safety and Citizenship. Many of the instructional activities have been designed to be used on your IWBs. There is a Naplan section with printable resources to assist with preparing students for Naplan.
The site is free for teachers, giving students unlimited access during school hours. It gives students limited access to the activities during after school hours. If students want unlimited access at home then there are paid options for parents.
I have used this site for three years now and found it to be very supportive of my curriculum in the classroom. The video explanations in particular, can be very supportive for parents trying to assist their child with homework or explaining a concepts.
It is yet another tool to make learning literacy and mathematics fun and motivates students to succeed.
SMART Notebook Express is the web version of the Notebook software you use with your Interactive SMARTBoard. The web version is a lightweight version that enables anyone to use Notebook on any device that has a browser. This a fantastic web app for teachers to share with students, so that you can then make available resources you have developed for use by students at home.
Below is a description of SMART Notebook Express from their website and a video explaining the benefits of the web app.
One click on express.smarttech.com and anyone, anywhere can open, edit and share lessons and other content created using SMART Notebook collaborative learning software. This lightweight version of SMART Notebook software is accessible online anytime at no charge. With the SMART Notebook Express™ web application, you don’t need to log in and there’s no software to download – all you need is Internet access. http://smarttech.com/notebookExpress
Class Dojo is a new way of doing classroom point systems. Class Dojo lets you easily reward students for positive behaviours in real time to be shown on your Interactive Whiteboard. You can do this via your PC or Mac and it even allows you to control it via your smartphone or iPad.
Each student is a assigned an avatar (there is the ability to customise this) and the teacher has the ability to customise the reward behaviours to match what your particular focus could be. When you notice a behaviour from a student that can be rewarded you click on that student’s avatar and choose the appropriate behaviour displayed. It then flashes up on screen with a sound to display the child’s name and the positive behaviour they were displaying. The system keeps a record of the behaviours each student displays. This could be a very important tool in reflecting on what behaviours as a teacher we are seeing or rewarding and what behaviours we need to highlight more often.
It can focus on negative behaviours as well, but you will be pleased to know that the system gives you the ability to only focus on positive behaviours. Class Dojo is still being developed and new things will be added down the track, but the good thing is that they encourage you to give them feedback about what options you would like into the future.
I have personally used Class Dojo with my class last term and they loved it. I started to customise the behaviours to include particular skills that I would like the students to focus on during a lesson. Being explicit with expectations and the fun way of rewarding students proved to be a great motivating factor for the students in my class.
If you are like many classes that use a table point or team point system then you can still use Class Dojo, by just entering the table or team name instead of student’s individual names.
Please find below a video demonstration by Nigel Lane.
How do you use Class Dojo in your classroom? Leave a comment with your response.