Tech Tools Inventory

As you go into planning a lesson, do you always go back to the same strategies? Are you getting tired of using the same programs every week?  Or do you ever get stuck just wishing you had a new way to engage students? Whether you are stuck in a rut or just needing a refresher, check out our new Tech Tools Inventory to get some new ideas!

Various Tech Tools are organized into categories by how they might be used in class. Looking for a new way to do an Exit Ticket? Try Poll Everywhere, Mentimeter, or Go Formative! Looking for a new way for students to process information? Try Mindmeister or Padlet! Wondering how you can have students present information in a new way? Try using CoSpaces or FlipaClip. Your NCPA Tech Ambassadors are always adding new ideas to the Tech Tools Inventory, so check back later for some new ideas.

We want to hear from you! Do you have a Tech Tool you want to share? You can also add to the Padlet with your ideas! Also, contact a Tech Ambassador if it is something you would like to share on the EdTech Blog or in a Breakfast Slam.

 

About Padlet Permissions

(Who is using Padlet? Chris R and Liza F, for starters.)

If you’re using Padlet in class, make sure you’re using NCPA’s subscription so you aren’t limited in the number of boards you can make. You’ll want to change the permissions of your padlet, though. By default, boards are private and no one else can see them. To change that, click the “Share” button in the top right:

Then, click on “Change Privacy”

The best option is to choose “Secret.” This will let you share a link with students and they won’t need to log in.

If you choose “Org wide,” students WILL have to log in to see the board, AND everyone at NCPA will see the padlet show up in their feed. You don’t want that.

If there is a situation where you want the students to have to log in, then contact the Tech Ambassadors (learninginnovation at ncpachina dot org) to learn about how students access their accounts.

 

Introduction to Nearpod

What are your “Catchphrases”?

One of my 7th Graders does a fantastic impression of me. Apparently, my three catch phrases are, “Class, class!” “Right now, we are going to…” and “Nearpod”.

So today, in the EduTech blog I want to share with you one of my favorite tech tools: Nearpod!

 

This week I will introduce you to what it is, key features, and how to sign up. Next week I will go into more detail on how to use it to collect and analyze data.

 

What is it?

Nearpod is a presentation tool like Powerpoint, but so much more. You can upload or create slides on Nearpod.com. Then you can add interactive elements, like polls, quizzes, short-answer questions, drawings, or even review games. Students go to Nearpod.com and enter in a code. This allows them to see the information on their own screen.  It allows you to share information and embed formative assessment. It also collects and stores data from all activities, so you can look back at it at any time.

 

Try it out! Go to Nearpod.com

Enter in the Code WZYMH to see a sample I made for MS teachers last year and try out some of the features.

Benefits of Nearpod:

Engagement-

Nearpod allows you to quickly and easily assess student understanding. If you just presented a few slides of information, put in a quiz to see how much they understood. Add a “Draw It” to ask them to draw their take-away from the information.  Use the “Time to Climb” game to engage students in a review of material. Students become involved in their learning, and you get immediate feedback on what they understand.

 

Proximity-

Since the information is on their own computer, iPad, or cell phone screen it allows everyone to see it clearly. When using a projector or tv screen, some students may have trouble seeing from around the room. With Nearpod, every student has easy access to the information. I have seen students take screenshots of key information or diagrams to save it for later as well.

If we are taking notes in class to introduce new vocabulary, I will put it on Nearpod. This allows all students to see the words more clearly.

 

Features in Nearpod:

With a free account:

Slides- Upload a PPT or make slides in Nearpod

Draw It- Students can draw pictures or annotate photographs to respond to a question

Quiz- Give questions with immediate feedback of score

Poll – Give questions to see overall class answers (great for pre- and post- assessment!)

Open-Ended Questions – Students type longer answers to respond to a question

Collaboration Board– Students can post ideas to brainstorm, just like a Padlet

3D Simulations- Explore 3D models, can take a screenshot and label in Draw It

 

With Gold Account:

Matching – Match words to picture or definition

Embed Web Links – Take students directly to a website, as if it were a slide in presentation

PhET Simulations – Embedded simulations in the lesson

Student Paced Lessons- Give students a code, and let them go through the Nearpod at their own pace. This works as homework, notes, review, or just in class to let students go through as they need to.

How to Sign Up:

Go to Nearpod.com and click on create an account.

 

Teach with Real-time Captions in Powerpoint!

If you use Microsoft Powerpoint Online to teach, you NEED to try this feature. What you say in class will be automatically captured and shown on the screen. A good tool to use if you know some students are struggling to understand English instructions.

To use this function,  you have to save your Powerpoint slides in your OneDrive or Sharepoint.

You will then need to change the settings for the slide show:

 

Choose English for both the Spoken language and the Subtitle Language.

You can choose Chinese as well! Just remember to select Chinese for both Spoken and Subtitle language.

Then choose where you want the subtitle to be – below slides works perfectly.

 

 

 

When you present the slides, click the subtitle button down in the left corner:

A confirmation page will show up the first time you use this function. Now anything you say will be transcribed on the screen!

 

Pros:

Scaffold Listening

If you have students who may shut-down for verbal instructions but do just fine with readings, this function may help them to process and decode spoken English.

Student Engagement

The time when Palacios and I accidentally switched it on, the students were amazed by being able to “see” what they hear. They paid close attention to what we said and were definitely cross-referencing that with the captions on the screen.

Easy Set-up

Since every teacher at NCPA has an Office 365 account, this function is ready to use. No need of registering /authorizing/linking your account with another website!

Go Wherever You Need

You may think you will have to stand right next to the computer so that it can pick up your words. However, real-use in the classroom has shown that the computer is able to detect utterance from the other side of the classroom (AQ1). Depending on your own setting, the situation may be slightly different – be flexible.

Cons:

Possible Longer Processing Time

Bilingual students process language in different ways – seeing English words may trigger Chinese translation on their minds. It is possible to cause some students a longer time to fully understand the whole situation because of the bi-sensory circumstance.

Only on Office 365

If you are not a fan of Microsoft Office, or if you prefer to use the app version of Powerpoint, you can’t use this function.

One Mic

You need to make sure you are the only person talking otherwise the subtitle will not make sense. Your computer is very sensitive to noise. It also means that if a student answers a question in English, Powerpoint can help to transcribe it.

 

Give it a try to see if it works for your class!

 

Acknowledge:

Thanks to @Palacios to notice this Powerpoint feature!

Resources:

Present with real-time, automatic captions or subtitles in PowerPoint

 

Seeing your Parent-Teacher Schedule

Until recently we haven’t had teachers log into SchoolsBuddy, the platform we use for ASA registration. However, we’re using SchoolsBuddy now to facilitate parent-teacher conference signups in the high school. HS Teachers, see the information below:

  1. How to see your parent-teacher schedule in SchoolsBuddy
  2. Make your parent-teacher conference schedule show in your Outlook calendar (note: the instructions use the URL “outlook.com” for your email in step 6, but you should use “mail.office365.com” as the URL.

Teacher apps for classrooms with 1 iPad

If you only have one iPad in the classroom don’t worry here are a few apps that you can use with all of your students.

Ibrainstorm
Use this app to create an interactive whiteboard, suited for brainstorming.


Wheeldecide
Sometimes it’s very quiet in the classroom when you ask a question. Try
using wheel decide to randomly pick out students. Change the words on the wheel into names, questions, calculation, terms or translations. Spin the wheel and let students solve the question or calculation.This one can be used on your computer as well as the iPad.

Pick teams
If you would like an app to randomly select teams, groups, or presenters this is the app for you. As a teacher it can be hard to evenly distributed groups of students for classroom exercises this app will help randomly select students and pair them up. With the pick teams app you can categorize your students on a scale of 1 to 8 and then quickly divide those students into any number of balanced groups or teams with the push of a button.

Optimize Your Use of the Whiteboard Tables Now!

At NCPA, we are facilitated with the wonderful whiteboard tables but – how can students use it meaningfully? You must have noticed that students are generally engaged when you tell them they can write things down on the tables. Use their excitement as the starting point to create some different learning experiences!

  • Input Stage – Notetaking and Question-answering 
    • Whenever there is a 10 minutes-ish input time – either it’s you talking or a video – ask your students to grab a marker and take notes. You can easily differentiate the notes depending on students’ language proficiency:
      • only copy words from subtitle (video)
      • write in phrases
      • write down content-specific words only
      • allow drawing as notes
      • allow writing in Chinese

 

(Students writing down what they see and what they notice from summative samples)

    • A tabletop is a perfect place for students to write down answers quickly:
      • Do Now – questions to review the previous lesson
      • 10-2 – a perfect follow up of input activity: ask students to use the notes to answer a question about the information they just hear
      • Preparation for discussion – having a few words written helps ELLs to have oral output

(Students writing down what they can say to practice persuasive strategies)

 

  • Intake Stage – Information Organizing
    • Mindmaps

Whenever you want students to summarize or synthesizing a piece of information, mindmap is always a good tool. Allowing students to create mindmaps on their tables gives them a third-space to storage their ideas; it also allows them to quickly share their design or generate conversation around it.

(Students creating mindmap with a list of translate content vocabulary)

  • Sorting and Matching

Consider the table to be a giant piece of blank paper – many of the charts you have to print before may not be needed now. If you want students to put words or any information into different categories, they can simply draw the charts, lines, and write the words on their tables.

(Students sorting examples of living in the Neolithic and Paleolithic Age into different categories)

  • Comparing and Contrasting

Drawing and filling a T-chart is much easier to be done on a bigger surface. You can also ask students to draw the chart over on two tables. Even more exciting!

(Example chart to compare different water problems)

  • Output Stage – Presenting 
    • If you think gallery walk is too much preparation, the tables can be easily turned into the materials you need. Ask students to draw, write and design on their tables; then, you write down the numbers of the stations on the tables; when they are ready to present, everything is clear and in order.

 

  • Grouping/Classroom management 
    • You can number off students by writing it down on their desks. No student has the excuse that they forget the number!
    • When you need to introduce a new seating arrangement, write down their names on the desk.

 

BONUS: Office Lens

A drawback of using the whiteboard table is that students may not be able to save the work they produced. Of course, you can allow them to take a picture of any needed information. To further organize it, using Office Lens can be helpful. The mobile app is free to download and use. Basically, Lens can scan to create documents or pictures. As part of the Office family, Lens is connected with OneDrive, Outlook and many other apps – which allows you to easily export and save your scanned image at a specific online location, or share with another person.

There are three modes: 1. Whiteboard 2. Document 3. Business Card

Whiteboard mode works the best with our tables or any other white/light color background surface.

Document mode is good to use to scan any print materials.

Business Card mode is good for business cards, I suppose.

 

 

 

 

A picture is generated after taking a picture of the material. If you are in the Whiteboard mode, the background of the material will be altered to be white. The scanning area will also be larger than in the Document mode.

You can edit, add notes or add another page at this step.

 

 

 

 

 

When you press the Done button, Lens will ask you what you want to do with the material. You will need to connect your Microsoft 365 account when it’s the first time you come to this screen. After setting it up, you can choose to either just add it as a picture, or export as a PDF file, or simply send it out with an email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the files you created can be found on the welcome screen – tap on the three-dot button and then “My Files.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgment: 

Special thanks to my co-teaching team @Palacios and @Elsen for always being so creative and flexible to allow the best content + language learning experience to happen in social studies classroom!

Another thank you to @Kelsey for bringing up the useful Office Lens.