Tech Tools News

At this stage the TeachinGeneratioNow team are currently working on a range of exciting ICT projects. As a result Tech Tools for Teachers is currently on hold for the coming months and will return in due time.

We are sorry for any inconvenience as we know our readers find Tech Tools a useful resource.

In the meantime, take a look at Kathleen’s blog, Primary Tech, for articles and resources on blogging, global collaboration, internet safety and using technology in the classroom http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/

You may also want to check out the archives of the 66 Tech Tools for Teachers reviews we have written since early 2010.

We look forward to working with you all again soon.

Technify Your Teaching in 2013 a Success!

Around 60 educators travelled to Leopold Primary School for Technify Your Teaching in 2013 on Thursday 24th January.

Many participants woke well before dawn and travelled for hours to attend our day of learning.

This map shows how far our participants travelled to attend Technify Your Teaching in 2013. What dedicated teachers, with some even travelling from Wagga Wagga in New South Wales and northern Victoria!

Everyone approached the day with such fabulous enthusiasm and excitement.

During Session One, the teachers participated in either:

  • Setting Up Your Class Blog for 2013 with Kathleen, Kelly and Aine
  • Google Tools with Matt
  • Web 2.0 Tools for Communication and Assessment with Simon

 Session Two was a choice of either:

  • Online Tools to Enhance Your Class Blog with Kathleen and Kelly
  • Evernote with Simon
  • iDevices Used to Their Optimum with Matt and Aine

Session Three was a consolidation session where participants had the chance to continue exploring and working on the things they had learnt during the day.

Some delicious catering from Noble Foods kept the teachers’ energy levels up and Leopold’s Melaluka building proved to be an ideal learning environment for the day.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make Technify Your Teaching in 2013 a success. If you missed out on coming to the January event, stay tuned to this website for news of future professional development days.

In other exciting news, congratulations to Simon and his wife, Jade, who welcomed their second child, Lachie, into the world last week!

TYT 2013 – Sign ups Closed

Congratulations and thank you to all those who have signed up for TYT 2013. It will be an exciting day later this month. For those of you who have signed up, please stay tuned to your email for more information leading up to the event.
Enjoy your holiday break. It is essential. For those of you in the Sydney area mid January, there is another exciting PD opportunity. Matt will be presenting with many others at the First annual Google Apps for Education Sydney Summit.
Check it out! It is to be held at the MLC School in Burwood, Sydney, Australia on January 17 & 18, 2013. This high intensity two day event focuses on deploying, integrating and using Google Apps for Education to promote student learning in K-12 and higher education. The program features Google Certified Teachers, Google Apps for Education Certified Trainers, practicing administrators, solution providers, Google engineers, and representatives from the Google Apps for Education team. 

Register now to send teachers, administrators, tech directors, library media specialists, tech support staff, CTOs, and anyone who is interested in finding out more about leveraging Google Apps for Education to support student learning.

For group registrations please contact Chris Bell at chris@edtechteam.com.
All the best and Happy Holidays.
Regards,
Teach Gen Now Team

Tech Tools of 2012 – A revision

Wow! Where has 2012 gone? Over the year we provided 16 different Tech Tools for Teachers, including a special for the 2012 Olympic Games held in London. This week we revisit the Tech Tools, giving you a catch up list, if you have a chance  to have a play in your holiday break. Click on the headings to see the posts directly.

Don’t forget that TECHNIFY YOUR TEACHING is coming on Jan 24th 2013! The blogging session run by our award winning team is filling up fast! There is still a great chance to secure yourself a place in the Google and Web 2.0 sessions. Both are sessions that will Technify your Teaching in the next coming year.

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#51 – Prezi  -  prezi.com

A great alternative to PowerPoint – Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software with a zoomable canvas that leads your audience down a path of discovery.

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#52 – SpiderScribe -  www.spiderscribe.net

SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping tool with the ability to include images, links, files, text and calendar events.

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#53 – Apps for Education -

 1. Dictionary.com (Free with Ads)

 2. Diigo (Free)

 3. Dropbox (Free 2GB account)

 4. Evernote (Free Account)

 5. Splashtop HD

Top 5 tablet apps for teachers in the classroom. These apps are available on all devices, they are web based apps.

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#54 – Flubaroo - www.flubaroo.com/

Flubaroo is a free tool that helps you quickly grade multiple choice and fill in the blank online quizzes. This tool is a script that is used in used in conjunction with Google docs forms.

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#55 – Free Guide – Google Documents for Teachers

Free eBook – Google Documents for Teachers

Google Documents for Teachers is a free guide created by Richard Byrne to help assist teachers with the functions of Google Docs.

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#56 – Visuwords – Online Graphical Dictionary -  www.visuwords.com

Visuwords.com is a free tool that helps you creatively build vocabulary for all your visual thinkers.

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 #57 – Screenr - www.screenr.com/

Screenr is a tool to make free, web-based screencasts. A screencast is a video of something that is happening on a computer screen, often containing an audio narration. Screencasts are commonly used for tutorials but can have other uses.

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#58 – Smore - www.smore.com/

Smore is a free tool that helps you create online flyers and event pages quickly and easily. The impressive pages are then published online instantly for you to share and promote.

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#59 – London Olympics 2012

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#60 – Scribd - www.scribd.com

Scribd is a document sharing website where you can post documents of various formats and embed them into blogs and websites. It is a place where you can read, publish, and share documents and written works.

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#61 – TED-Ed -   ed.ted.com 

TED-Ed is an innovative educational project created by TED, which is a non for profit organisation devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’.

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#62 – Easel.ly - easel.ly

Infographics represent data in a clear and creative way. Infographics can be stills or moving pictures with voiceovers.

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#63 – Make Beliefs Comix http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/

Make Beliefs Comix, which is created by Bill Zimmerman, is a simple tool to create your own comic strips.

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#64 – Gooru - www.goorulearning.org

Gooru is a great tool to assist you when searching for educational resources online.

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#65 – Explain Everything - www.explaineverything.com


Explain Everything
 helps you to do just that. It is a paid app, currently available on the iPad only. There are other free options such as Show Me, Skitch.

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#66 – Tackk - http://tackk.com/

Tackk is a free tool that helps you create online webpages quickly and easily. The impressive pages are then published online instantly for you to share and promote.

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Thanks for joining us in exploring the relationship between technology and education. Don’t forget for hands on and in depth PD, join the crew attending the Technify your Teaching day in January.

Tech Tools for Teachers will be back in February 2013.

Happy holidays!

#66 Tackk

This week we review the tool Tackk

http://tackk.com/

Tackk is a free tool that helps you create online webpages quickly and easily. The impressive pages are then published online instantly for you to share and promote.  Tackk can be used as a learning platform, provide an overview of a unit of work, links to assessment tasks and/or promote events.  It is also a great way for students to present their work in digital form.  It can’t get any easier!

Why we like Tackk:

  • It is free
  • It is very easy to use
  • It can help to promote school events
  • Students can create websites easily
  • It can be used in any subject areas and with students of all ages
  • You can monitor the number of views and web analytics
  • It can easily be linked and shared to classroom blogs, school websites, Twitter and Facebook
  • Tackk ‘pages’ also work on smartphones and tablets
  • There are a range of themes and an easy to use design

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How to use Tackk:

1. Sign up or just start: You don’t need to sign up to tackk, but if you wish to keep track of your tackk pages and manage, edit and customise, it would be wise to sign up.  The process is very simple and only requires an email and password.

2. Create: When you land on the tackk site you will be greeted with a sample tackk to start editing.

3. Edit: The interface is designed to allow easy editing and uploading of content.  The edit panel allows you to change the colours, fonts, backgrounds, features and tags.

4. Add content:You have a number of customisable content options to choose from.  Add a headline, body of text, list, button (to link to another webpage), photos and media to create an individualised webpage.

5. Add media: Tackk semlessly allows you to add a variety of media from online sources.

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Using Tackk in the Classroom:

Tackk can be used in all learning areas and for a range of activities.  It is a perfect tool to create a simple and easy to follow website.  I have used it recently as a presentation tool to inform our staff about a unit of work developed in our year 8 program. The whole tackk can be found at this link.

Tackk is also a great way for students to present their work online.  My year 8 students currently completed a text response and students were given a range of ways to present their understanding of the text. Below are a few links to examples of the students work using tackk.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

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How else could you use tackk in the classroom? Have you tried it? Leave a comment and let us know!

Tip: click on the title of this post and scroll down to find the comment box.

Good luck using tackk and look out for the next edition of Tech Tools for Teachers in two weeks.

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TECHNIFY YOUR TEACHING 2013 PD

Limited places available, so get on board with the early bird offer and SIGN UP NOW!

Simon, Kathleen and Matt
http://www.teachgennow.com.au

Technify Your Teaching in 2013 – PD opportunity

Find out more about Technify Your Teaching in 2013 here.

Teaching Generation Now presents Technify Your Teaching in 2013. This day of professional learning is designed to help you explore some of the fabulous resources highlighted in Tech Tools for Teachers. You will leave feeling empowered to revamp your classroom in 2013, as we continually strive to meet the needs of this generation.

Morning tea, lunch, instructional handouts, computer and internet access provided.

Take advantage of the early bird offer and SIGN UP NOW!

Details of each of the sessions:

To print, forward a document or display the full flyer please click on the following : TGN Technify 2013

Limited places available, so get on board with the early bird offer and SIGN UP NOW!

* when you sign up, you will receive a PayPal invoice from us.

Spread the word, it will be a great revamp for 2013.

A Maths Dictionary for Kids

This week we review A Maths Dictionary for Kids and Maths Charts by Jenny Eather

http://www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com/

A Maths Dictionary for Kids is an animated, interactive online maths dictionary for students which explains over 600 common mathematical terms and maths words in simple language.

The site also includes over 200 printable Maths Charts.

Jenny Eather has created a number of useful tools such as Writing Fun and Rainforest Maths. These used to be free but are now a part of Mathletics and Spellodrome paid subscriptions. We hope A Maths Dictionary for Kids remains free!

Why we like A Maths Dictionary for Kids:

  • It is free
  • No login is required
  • It is web based and can be used on Mac/PC etc.
  • You can print content from the dictionary and print posters for your classroom
  • The dictionary use can be teacher or student led
  • It is very easy to use and has a clear layout in alphabetical order
  • The information is very clear and easy to understand
  • It can be used by students starting from lower-middle primary right up to high school

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How to use A Maths Dictionary for Kids:

1. Go to http://www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com/ and click on enter here to get started.

2. Find the maths term you’re looking for by first choosing the letter it starts with on the left hand side and then looking through the alphabetical list of terms.

3. Click on the term you’re looking for and view the definition and example on the right hand side.

For example, if you click on Aa and then click on area, you will be shown a definition and an interactive activity. You will be prompted to drag the shapes over the grid and count the square units. All definitions are accompanied by an interactive activity, example or quiz.

4. If you’d like to print the information on the screen, simply click on print down the bottom of the page.

5. To access the maths charts, simply visit http://www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com/ and click on maths charts. 

6. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen.

7. Here is an example printable chart on odd and even numbers.

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Using A Maths Dictionary for Kids in the Classroom:

At my school, two of our numeracy focusses are

  • developing our students’ mathematical language
  • maintaining a dynamic and resourceful numeracy wall in the classroom

I have found A Maths Dictionary for Kids to assist with both of these areas in my grade four classroom.

I use the dictionary regularly in the introduction to my maths lessons to define new vocabulary. I also sometimes use it in my lesson closure to review the language covered in the lesson.

I regularly use the printable maths charts as part of a topical display on my classroom numeracy wall.

A Maths Dictionary for Kids could be used in the following ways:

  • Students could use it as a reference to create their own personal dictionary of maths language covered in their classes.
  • The class could create a collaborative dictionary of maths language covered throughout the year, using A Maths Dictionary for Kids to assist with definitions.
  • Students could independently refer to A Maths Dictionary for Kids during maths lessons or while completing homework if they are unsure of any terms.
  • A Maths Dictionary for Kids could be used as part of the introduction or closure of a maths lesson.
  • For revision, students could write their own definitions for a set of maths terms and then compare them to the definitions on A Maths Dictionary for Kids. 
  • The printable maths charts could be used as a classroom display, sent home as a study reference for students or used as a teaching tool in lesson introductions.

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How else could you use A Maths Dictionary for Kids in the classroom? Have you tried it? Leave a comment and let us know!

Tip: click on the title of this post and scroll down to find the comment box.

Good luck using A Maths Dictionary for Kids and look out for the next edition of Tech Tools for Teachers soon!

Simon, Kathleen and Matt

http://www.teachgennow.com.au

Technify Your Teaching in 2013: Survey

In January 2012, just before the new school year began, we held a fabulous day of learning called Technify Your Teaching in 2012. This was repeated with a smaller winter session: Technify Your Teaching in July 2012.

Teachers travelled from near and far to Geelong and learnt about blogging, iDevices, web 2.0 tools, Google tools and more.

We are looking at running another professional development day in late January 2013 and we need your feedback. The day would be held in Geelong, shortly before the new school term begins.

We want to know what day suits you best and what you’d like to learn! This will help us with our planning and we’ll be able to advertise our event soon.

This survey is now closed. Look out for your chance to sign up for Technify Your Teaching in 2013 soon!

#65 Explain Everything

This week we review the tool Explain Everything


Explain Everything
helps you to do just that. It is a paid app, currently available on the iPad only. There are other free options such as Show Me, Skitch. The later is associated with Evernote and has a great map draw function. Screen Chomp is another option offered by the desktop screencast masters, Techsmith. However I have found Explain Everything to be the most versatile app in the whiteboard/ screencast category.
20121020-190930.jpg

Why we like Explain Everything:

  • It is easy to use
  • Students and teachers can create screencasts
  • Students and teachers can annotate websites, pdfs, texts and pictures
  • It is smooth to write
  • It works directly with YouTube, Evernote and Dropbox
  • Students and teachers can narrate, zoom in and out of pictures, draw, move images, flip between pages, pause and record whilst capturing the screen
  • It records audio as you capture the screen

Begin:

1. Download the app from iTunes

20121020-190550.jpg

2. The Home Screen

3. Choose your project.
20121020-222148.jpg

I usually start with a blank project and then add everything that I need as I go. If you need to add a number of pictures, it is better to do it in the open project area.

4. Select you Preferences


20121020-222208.jpg

As you select your chosen accounts to link it will ask for your username and password. I have linked with Dropbox, Evernote and YouTube. Once linked you don’t need to re-enter your details to save, export or upload. I have not got a pen yet, although I could see massive benefits if you have access to one.

5. Export and Create your Movies


20121020-222140.jpg

6. Annotate with shapes

20121020-222233.jpg

You can choose solid or transparent squares, circles, lines and arrows. You can change the colour and the thickness of the border. Bright colours can really enhance an explanation.

7. Annotate by drawing or typing


20121020-222216.jpg

The drawing tool is fun to play whilst quick and smooth to annotate live. For a cleaner finisher use the text to annotate your pages as you record.

8. Annotate live websites.

20121021-090639.jpg

If you refresh the site or go to a link it resets your annotations. Take snap shots as you go if you would like to keep the screen. Or record the screen as you go.

9. Check out the website to see any updates


20121020-222225.jpg

Set it as a project the next time you are studying explanation as a genre!

How else could you use Explain Everything in the classroom? Have you tried it? Leave a comment and let us know!

Tip: click on the title of this post and scroll down to find the comment box.

Good luck using Explain Everything and look out for the next edition of Tech Tools for Teachers in two weeks.

Simon, Kathleen and Matt
http://www.teachgennow.com.au

#64 Gooru

This week we review the tool Gooru:

Gooru is a great tool to assist you when searching for educational resources online.

It can be a timely and stressful process when trying to find the websites, videos, and interactive activities online that relate to the subject and content you are teaching in your classroom.  Google is a great search engine but can take hours to find that useful educational resource when you don’t know what you are looking for.

Gooru aims to help to eleviate that stress and make it quick and easy to find a range of resources related to the subject topic you are researching.

Gooru aims at making high-quality education free and accessible to the world’s students.

Why we like Gooru:

  • It is free
  • No sign in required
  • You can create your own library of resources
  • It is web based and can be used on Mac/PC
  • It contains a range of subject specific content
  • Each search contains videos, interactives, websites, exams, textbooks, handouts, lessons and slideshows
  • It is very easy to use
  • New content is sourced regularly

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How to :

1.  Go to www.goorulearning.org

 

2. From here you can search the topic / subject content you are teaching in your classroom.

3. You can also create an account which allows you to store resources in a personalised library.

4. Once you place in a key word and click search you will be given a screen similar to the one pictured below.  You now have a range of online resources to explore and research for use in your classroom.

 

5. Search results - Videos and Interactive links related to your search:

6. Search Results - Websites and Exam links related to your search:

7. Search Results - Textbooks and Handouts related to your search:

8. Search Results - Lessons and Slide shows related to your search:

9. You can also explore the Collections that have been pre created by Gooru or other educators using Gooru.

10. Collections give you a range of resources grouped into specific topics and catagorised into sub topics.  The example below shows a search for the key word of poverty.  Once a collection (How we starve) is then chosen a range of resources are provided.  The resources are also catogarised into sub topics that identify specific areas of study (1. Undernourishment and malnourishment, 2. Solutions and 3. Quiz Time).

 

Using Gooru in the Classroom:

Gooru is a great starting point when searching for online resources and information to assist and enhance your teaching and learning in the classroom.

The examples used above are a realistic way I have used this in my classroom when we started our unit of study on poverty last term.  The resources were used to help engage and demonstrate the various aspects of poverty around the world.

The great benefit of having an online resources as a teaching/reference tool is that students can always refer back to them in their own time and continue to build that knowledge and understanding.

Another possibility is to create a class login and have students access the range of links you have saved in your Gooru library for study links and useful resources to enhance their studies.

Below is another addition to the Gooru resources that can be used in the classroom.  In the pre created library, subjects are catergorised and sorted into visual lessons that you can view, use or study at any time

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How else could you use Gooru in the classroom? Have you tried it? Leave a comment and let us know!

Tip: click on the title of this post and scroll down to find the comment box.

Good luck using Gooru and look out for the next edition of Tech Tools for Teachers in two weeks.

Simon, Kathleen and Matt

http://www.teachgennow.com.au