Tech Tip #6: Slidely – Congratulations Graduates!

Congratulations to all of the May graduates from the Literacy Specialist program! Below is a collection of pictures from graduation. Click the video to watch.

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Do you want to make a quick and easy video slideshow of pictures? Slidely is a very simple video creation tool. Here are the steps!

1) Create an account on Slidely.

2) On the top left corner of the window, press the +CREATE button.

3) Choose photos. You can connect Slidely with your Facebook, Instagram, Google Account, Picasa, Dropbox, Flickr, or, you can simply upload photos you have from your computer. Once all your pictures are uploaded, click on them in the order you’d like to see them play in your video. As you select photos, they will have a blue check over them.

4) Press the Next button on the top left side of the window.

5) Select music. You can search for songs through YouTube, SoundCloud, Dropbox, POP, TV, HITS or by uploading a song from your computer. When you choose a song, Slidely will let you listen to it. If you like it, click Use this Song.

6) Lastly, preview your slideshow, write the title and description and then press Save my Slidely to publish it.

Tech Tip #5: Google for Education

Looking for more opportunities to learn? For FREE? On the Google for Education website, you can learn about the following tools for teaching and learning. The lessons that Google offers introduce what they are and then also how to apply them in the classroom. Google offers lessons for the following applications:

Each lesson includes a Getting Started in the Classroom section, a Training Video, and a Module with lessons, self-check questions, and much more.

If you are especially interested in Google for Education, you can even become a Google Certified Teacher, not only can doing so help you expand your knowledge of educational technology, but it is super marketable! For more information, see this site.

Google for Education also offers this site for more training resources.

Tech Tip #4 : Google Voice

The way that people communicate with one another – both personally and professionally– has changed dramatically in the last few years. The way that teachers are communicating with parents and families is also changing very quickly. Many teachers give out their cell phone number to remain in a more direct line of communication with parents and families. Some feel it is great, and others feel it is overwhelming or too much! Do you ever wish that there were a way you could communicate with parents in a very direct way without giving out your personal cell phone number? What about if you could turn off messages and calls from parents on the weekend? Do you ever think to yourself after hanging up with a parent, “I really wish I had a transcript of that conversation…”?

Good news! Continue reading

Tech Tip #3 : This Will Change Your Life

Do you confer with readers and writers? Do you write reminders on post-its for your students after conferring with them? Do you ever use post-its on charts?  What about for vocabulary, student responses, or brainstorming ideas?  Do you ever wish you could print onto a post-it?

Good news! Printing on post-its is way easier than you might think.

Download this template: Click Here.

Here are the steps:

1) Find the template page that matches the size of your post-it and print it out.

2) On the printed template, place the post-its you would like to print on over each square.

3) Type the information you would like printed on the post-it in each box on the page you are using.

4) Place the template page with the post-its into your printer and print!  *Be sure that the sticky part of the post-it goes in to your print first to avoid paper jams!

Tuesday Tech Tip #2 — Digital Storytelling 3-8

Stefanie’s helpful series continues — look for it every other week.

Just like storytelling is important for our K-2 friends, it is equally as important for older students, just for slightly different purposes and in slightly different ways. It’s important to consider engagement in upper grades, and finding ways to get students excited about writing. As Kylene Beers discussed at the Saturday Reunion, it’s crucial that we as teachers begin to think about helping our students develop their digital footprints.

Story Jumper is a wonderful way to start storytelling digitally and build a record of work online. Story Jumper is a web-based tool, meaning you access it on the Internet! The good news is: Story Jumper allows you to create as many books as you’d like online for FREE! Then, later down the road, if you so choose, there are publishing options to receive a copy of the books you and your students generate in print. Story Jumper allows you to add a cover, title page, text, and images. It has a lot of customization features to change colors, sizes, and to add pictures from your personal library.

In a college elementary methods course, an assignment of mine was to create a presentation about Rosa Parks after reading, Rosa Parks: My Story. The group I was working with wanted to write a poem, and I suggested we turn our poem into a storybook. Here is an example showing just a few features Story Jumper has to offer.

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To access Story Jumper visit this site!

Tuesday Tech Tip – Digital Oral Storytelling K-2

Thanks to Stefanie, we are beginning a new series, Tuesday Tech Tip!  Look for these suggestions for using technology in your classroom every other Tuesday.

Storytelling is very important for students of all grade levels, especially our friends in K-2! Sometimes, though, kids struggle to tell stories to their fullest potential when writing them down. They have so many ideas, but writing takes a lot of time for them. Sometimes student say, “I don’t know what else to add…” and teachers say, “Well talk to me about it!” and then students tell such detailed elaborate stories. It’s important to think about and ask ourselves as teachers, “How can my students orally story tell in a way that is recorded like writing is?”

Well, one way that students can tell stories orally is by using an iPad application. There are LOTS of different iPad apps and web-based programs that allow students to orally story tell, but after exploring and trying things out in my teaching, Storybook Maker is my favorite one. It is $2.99, and there are many free ones out there, but this application in particular has features other free apps don’t. If oral storytelling is something you want to prioritize and practice, this one is worth the investment!

Click this icon for a link to Storybook Maker in the App store!

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Here are 3 of many ways that K-2 teachers can use Storybook Maker in the classroom tomorrow!

1) Book Creation: This app allows for many pages, fonts, stickers, colors, photos, drawing tools, and voice recording. Students can write their own stories, draw pictures, upload pictures, and then record themselves telling the story.

2) Supporting ELLs: Students who are learning English can tell stories with images and just a few words and then they can record either in their own language, or if they are more confident in speaking English than writing it, they can do so here.

3) Anxiety-Free Shares: Many students are absolutely terrified to go up in front of the class and share their writing. Writing on Storybook Maker can allow students to share their stories in a less intimidating way. They can pass around the iPad to share, or share to a small group without having to read their work live.

Lastly, here’s a TIP:

For this app, let the students explore how to use it on their own. It’s really interesting to see what they figure out and come up with themselves.