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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Newsela Adds Leveled Speeches #newsela #ipaded #wsdtech

Newsela is a great service that provides current events and news stories at different Lexile levels so students in one classroom can read the same story at their reading level. It's great, especially for kids that might be self-conscious about others knowing that they are not reading at the same level.

Today Newsela added 18 famous speeches, six of those translated into Spanish.

ScribEasy iOS App - Write with Pictures #ipaded #wsdtech #writing

I played with an app this morning that was pretty fun and could be very useful for students in K-3 to use pictures to help as story starters. ScribEasy gives you the option for a background when you open it up and then allows you to add characters such as the hulk and a mermaid. Based on what students choose for their characters and setting they then write a story that is based on their choices. The app lets them choose to do a short, medium or long story and gives them a timer countdown to encourage them to write in a time frame.

This app could be useful for older students if you were focusing on story structure.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Digital Challenge #18 Winners - Best Nature Photo #ipaded #wsdtech #nature #photocontest

Digital Challenge #18 - Best Nature Photo

We live in a beautiful place. North Central Washington has amazing scenery and geography and we challenged our students to take the best nature photo and upload their three best. Congratulations to Digital Challenge #18's winner Ellen from Orchard Middle School whose photo of a yellow flower with the unfocused background captivated us and made us smile (a lot). We appreciated the line of rocks and beauty bark that centered the frame and the flower seemed to be like a sunshine in an elementary school drawing, warming everything up.

Honorable Mention goes to Holly, also from Orchard Middle School for her shot of the lilacs. Judges appreciated the contrast between the green and purple.

It was an all-Orchard podium as Jacob also wowed us with his shot of the tree and roots.

This week's challenge is to write the best newspaper article following the template provided in Google Classroom.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Google Keep Chrome Extension #googlekeep #wsdtech

Google Keep has come to be my go-to note and list taking tool. Not only because it's easy to use but especially because it's available on all devices and syncs seamlessly.  One example of how I use it in my family is lists for shopping and packing for trips. I appreciate how I can use my phone or computer to quickly make a bulleted or check-list and it gets shared with whomever I want.

In the classroom it's easy to share to-do lists with students or other colleagues. Yesterday Google added Google Chrome Extension that allows you to easily save a web page or something you find online that in turn syncs across all of your devices.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Recap: See How Students Learn #recap #ipaded #edtech #wsdtech

I saw on Twitter today a few teachers talking about a new site/app called Recap (here is the iOS app) that allows teachers to pose a question to students who are then required to reply back with a video.  After playing with it for ten minutes I think it has a good place in the 1:1 classroom.  Basically, the teacher posts a question online and the students get a prompt in the app to respond to it via video.  All of the videos are collected and organized for the teacher who can then watch them individually or all in a row in a nice recap.

This is a great app because it forces students to explain their thinking using their voice and brain and possibly other manipulatives they can film themselves using.  It would be ideal for entry and exit tickets as well and I think it has appeal all the way from K-12.

Teachers can create their own classes and then students just have to enter a code to join the class. From there it's a few easy taps for students to find the prompt, record their work and submit.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Change AirDrop Download Location #airdrop #wsdtech

Since I use Google Drive for almost everything these days I'm either uploading documents, folder, images, videos, etc there constantly or moving stuff from my hard drive into the cloud.  Plus I usually manage all of my files from my Desktop so I don't like them landing in other spots, like my Downloads folder.  So today I went looking for a way to automatically move any files to my Desktop that found their way to my Downloads folder, more specifically images that I AirDrop from my phone.

I found the directions on this site (Note: I also had to follow Karen's steps in the comments to 'Show Enclosing Folder'). Do NOT be afraid of using Automator.  It's a great program that's easy to use and not intimidating once you play with it for just a bit.

I chose a specific file type, just a .jpg, so all of my AirDropped images go directly where I want them to go. If you have Google Drive installed on your computer you could point Automator to a file on your Google Drive and automatically have those images backed up.