A little less than a year ago, I reviewed a site called Class Dojo, a free website that teachers can use as a tool for behavior management. You can see my original review here. Now, Class Dojo is offering an app for iDevices (with an Android app on its way). Since my original review, Class Dojo has now added features for parents and students to access the accounts as well. When students access it, they can create their own avatar, which will easily keep them occupied for awhile! (Please be aware that, for the students to register, they must enter their birthdate and an e-mail address. If the birthdate reflects that the student is younger than 13, than the prompt asks for a parent’s e-mail address, so permission can be given for the child to have an account.) As far as I can tell, Class Dojo is planning a portal for parents to view their children’s progress, as well, but it does not seem to be up and running yet. Class Dojo is a fun and useful tool for teachers that seems to be getting more robust. Hopefully, it will continue to be free!
For the summer, I have decided to use my Tuesday and Thursday posts to reblog some of my favorite posts that some of my readers may have missed the first time around.
This particular video could lead to great conversation in the classroom, despite the fact that many of us do not understand the language in it. Some possible topics for discussion: apathy, being the change we wish to see in the world, working together. Every time I watch this video, I am motivated to make a difference. Here is the YouTube link in case the embedded video below does not show: http://youtu.be/pFs5vWxW-vc
These Bloom’s Taxonomy Quicksheets, created by Andrew Churches at Edorigami, are a great teacher tool for quick reference on how to integrate technology and higher order thinking skills effectively. Each Bloom’s level has its own sheet, and recommends technology activities and websites that address the needs for that level. This is a great companion to Bloom’s Taxonomy Tech Pyramid.
Respondo is a new tool brought to you by the creator of The Differentiator, Ian at www.byrdseed.com. As Ian describes on the Respondo page, he is still working on this tool, and welcomes any suggestions. However, from what I can see, it is a great way to incorporate creative thinking into responses to literature. It is based on the S.C.A.M.P.E.R. technique I posted about a few weeks ago, and which Ian describes in his post called “Do More with Story Structure.” Give Respondo a try the next time you want to “jazz up” your literature discussions!
You are probably familiar with the “Talking” apps. There are a variety that are available for free, and work on iPhone, iTouch, and iPad. This particular one is only compatible with the iPad at the moment, and is free (though there is an offer for an in-app purchase). My Multimedia club students had fun playing around with the app to deliver some Thanksgiving Jokes on our school news, which is a video broadcast. They recorded the jokes, then sent them to the computer, where, once the MOV file was converted to WMV (with a little help from Zamzar), we were able to add music and subtitles. If you are not crazy about all of those complicated steps, don’t worry. You can just record and e-mail it. We have not had a chance to use one of the coolest features of this app, which allows you to insert a video from your iPad on which Tom and Ben can comment. This offers a lot of learning opportunities in which students can explain some of their own homemade videos. (Example: Imagine, “This just in – Allison figured out how to solve 13 times 14!”)
Here is a sample of our jokes from our video club:
Triptico is one of the most user-friendly teacher tools I’ve come across in a long time. Designed by a teacher named David Riley to use with interactive whiteboards, this is free software that you download to your computer. Don’t despair if you don’t have an IWB, however. If you can project your computer to a screen in the classroom, the activities (over 20, and the teacher plans to add more) can still be utilized. Included in the package are random name generators, timers, text and photo spinners, word magnets with graphic organizers, and several games. One intriguing game is “What’s in the Box?”, and eerily reminds me of the game show “Deal or No Deal”. The interface is very simple, and the download takes less than a minute. I guarantee you will capture your students’attention – or your money back!