Google in the Classroom

Google in the Classroom
Ahead of becoming a Google Certified Educator, I would like to share some of the google apps for education (GAFE) I have used, and how you might use them in your classroom.

I am passionate about ICT and Technology in classrooms, but only when it is used for a definite purpose and is not just a gimmick.  Technology must have an impact and must make a difference to the teaching and learning process.

The results must be visible!

Google in the Classroom

YouTube
  • Start your lessons with a movie trailer, a music video or a pre-recorded introduction! 
  • Something visual and engaging - hook students from the outset of the lesson! 
  • Create playlists - students record a video clip to demonstrate their learning, this is then added to a playlist for others to view and make comments (in line with school policy) or integrated as a comment on Google Classroom. 
  • Record a class lesson and use it as part of a summative or formative assessment. Flipped Classroom!
Blogger
  • Post lesson resources and follow up with homework tasks 
  • Use as a communication tool to keep parents informed of what's happening in the classroom 
  • Reflect on own practices and share ideas with other educators (for me this is the best form of professional development!) 

Have a read of this article by Hanna Shekhter - Why Teachers and Students Should Blog.

Google Classroom


Gmail
  • Students can communicate with staff and peers and with the added feature of instant chat, Gmail becomes more than email
  • Students can submit assignments
  • Students can connect their learning tools
  • Staff members can use Gmail & Google Groups to hold virtual discussions
  • Staff members can collect student data and produce graphs and distribute class surveys
Google Docs
  • Collaborative Writing with Docs - with comment and share features, students can receive and give immediate feedback to documents as well as reply to comments and edit their work
  • Collaborative mind-map with Drawing - with this features students can contribute as a group to mind-maps! Gone are the days of fighting for the pen and space to write!
  • Google Forms - this has to be one of the best tools I have used in recent times as a practitioner.  With Google Forms, I have created an app review and book review for staff and students to share good practice.  For students, it can be used to create their very own quiz or contribute to a survey!
I am looking for Google Certified Educators to leave guest posts.  If you are interested, I look forward to hearing from you.  

Google in the Classroom

Google in the Classroom
Ahead of becoming a Google Certified Educator, I would like to share some of the google apps for education (GAFE) I have used, and how you might use them in your classroom.

I am passionate about ICT and Technology in classrooms, but only when it is used with a clear purpose and is not just a gimmick.  Technology must have an impact and must make a difference to the teaching and learning process.

The results must be visible!

Google in the Classroom

YouTube
  • Start your lessons with a movie trailer, a music video or a pre-recorded introduction! 
  • Something visual and engaging - hook students from the outset of the lesson! 
  • Create playlists - students record a video clip to demonstrate their learning, this is then added to a playlist for other to view and make comments (in line with school policy) or integrated as a comment on Google Classroom. 
  • Record a class lesson and use it as part of a summative or formative assessment. Flipped Classroom!
Blogger
  • Post lesson resources and follow up with homework tasks 
  • Use as a communication tool to keep parents informed of what's happening in the classroom 
  • Reflect on own practices and share ideas with other educators (for me this is the best form of professional development!) 

Have a read of this article by Hanna Shekhter - Why Teachers and Students Should Blog.

Google Classroom



Gmail
  • Students can communicate with staff and peers and with the added feature of instant chat, Gmail becomes more than email
  • Students can submit assignments
  • Students can connect their learning tools
  • Staff members are able to use Gmail & Google Groups to hold virtual discussions
  • Staff members can collect student date and produce graphs and distribute class surveys

Google Docs
  • Collaborative Writing with Docs - with comment and share features, students can receive and give immediate feedback to documents as well as reply to comments and edit their work
  • Collaborative mind-map with Drawing - with this features students can contribute as a group to mind-maps! Gone are the days of fighting for the pen and space to write!
  • Google Forms - this has to be one of the best tools I have used in recent times as a practitioner.  With Google Forms, I have created an app review and book review for staff and students to share good practice.  For students, it can be used to create their very own quiz or contribute in a survey!
I am looking for Google Certified Educators to leave guest posts.  If you are interested, I look forward to hearing from you.  

An Epic decision!

The Netflix of books!

...and the best part, Epic is free for teachers!

Epic is an online reading library, with a wealth of fiction and non-fiction texts.  The app allows teachers to add their students and track their reading progress.  Students can earn medals for their reading success and progress through the levels.  A feature of Epic that I particularly like is the 'read to me' option; this allows children to 'sit back and relax' while enjoying a quality text.

The range of books available is Epic! (Sorry, I couldn't resist)  What are you waiting for, try Epic today!













The process to sign up is simple:
  • log in and explore what Epic has to offer!
I would love to see how this app is being used in homerooms.

Leave a comment below or tweet me!

Chinese New Year Questions

Why do people give PoPo oranges at Chinese New Year?

You will find the answers in stories, available on Epic!

  1. Why do we see dragons a lot during Chinese New Year Celebrations?
  2. What is the reason many people go to the temple during New Year?
  3. What is the name of the sweet sticky cake eaten during Chinese New Year?
  4. At New Year, many children are given a red envelope.  What does it contain? And Why?
  5. Why is Chinese New Year not celebrated on 1st January?
  6. What is the significance of orange and red clothing?
  7. Why did people take baths with mint leaves?
  8. What do Fish and the word 'Plenty' have in common?
  9. In what ways do children show respect to their elders during Chinese New Year?

Thank you to Grade 2 & 3 for their questions!



Updates
  • Celebrate Chinese New Year with Epic.  New books added.
  • Find hidden clues and solve mysteries with newly added mystery books
  • Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. learn about his legacy as well as The Civil Rights Movement and social justice.

Peace and Conflict

After arriving at school this morning, my entire plan for Grade 5 changed!

I was uploading a video to my Roald Dahl blog post and via Save the Children Channel, I found this video.



After thinking about how I could use this video in today's lesson with Grade 5 and a quick Google search I discovered Mr P had it on his blog, with a guest post from John Murray!

Thanks John, for some starter questions!

We created a Padlet, where we have been responding to the video. Check out our thoughts!

http://padlet.com/dtowse/peace

5A



Doodlecast Pro with EAL

DoodleCast
Thanks to Ms. Kathi for her guest post.   

Ms. Kathi has been using the iPad with her EAL group, and has booked iPads for the rest of the academic year!

Below are some videos that her team has produced.  Also, you may want to visit Ms. Kathi's website, for further insight to EAL here at Seisen International School.  Ms. Kathi is also posting on grade level blogs; you can access individual blogs from the pages bar at the top.  





Roald Dahl Day


Celebrate Roald Dhal with this collection of free resources for teachers contributed by teachers.

Monday 14th September

How will you celebrate the works' of Roald Dahl in class today?


"if my books can help children become readers, then I feel I have accomplished something important."

Roald Dahl


After searching for resources to celebrate Roald Dahl Day '15, I came across Save the Children Channel on YouTube.  Their channel had this very powerful video and should be shared far and wide.  
Ten Minutes a Day! That's all it takes.



QR Code Treasure Hunt

QR Reader

QR Codes

(Quick Response) Code similar to that of a barcode, in the way that information is stored and is retrieved using a scanner.  Mobile Applications make the retrieval of data much more accessible. Using the website http://www.qrstuff.com/ you are able to embed a Website URL, Twitter Account, iTunes Link or App Download to name but a few into a QR Code!

There are many online tools for creating QR Codes, which you can then use in your classroom. I tend to use QR Stuff.

http://www.qrstuff.com/

I have recently started using ClassTools for generating QR Treasure Hunts:
http://www.classtools.net/QR/create.php

QR Codes @ Seisen!

Blogging @ Seisen

Morfo

Morfo

I have been using Morfo for some time, and  I am featuring this app again.

I have previously used the app as part of World Book Day Activities!  The app is a great way of bringing historical characters to life - how about the next time you teach the Victorians', you could have Queen Victoria introduce the unit.  Create an interview with Henry VIII.  Relive some of those most famous speeches through the use of Morfo!

Next time you are looking for a quest speaker - try out Morfo!


Morfo Role Models'


Thanks to Emilie from Grade 6 for her Martin Luther King Speech!





Quiver in Kindergarten

Quiver formerly colAR

Quiver (formerly colAR), is one of the better AR apps I have used in recent times.  I decided to use this app with a Pre-First Grade Group (5-6 year-olds), but it wasn't before long, the three-year-olds were fascinated by what was going on and joined in!

What was going on?
Our 2D drawing was coming alive!

#Fireworks! #Fire Engines! #Birds!

Used in Kindergarten, to show how colouring within the lines can impact on the visual effects of their creation.  The possibilities are endless! I am already planning to use this app with grades 5 and 6, to show how Augmented Reality enhances the written quality of students' work.

Check out the official trailer and a video collection of Seisen's experience with Quiver!







Quiver in Kindergarten made using Flipagram!

5 Ways to use Pic Collage

Pic Collage

With Pic Collage, a poster becomes more than just a 'poster' and best of all it's free! It has to be one of my favourite apps!  I have used this app with students from Kindergarten to Grade 6.

Successful ways, in which I have used Pic Collage in the classroom:
  1. I have used with students in Grade 4 to create the front cover of a book.  We read a short story, without seeing the cover (covered with brown paper). Afterward, the students designed their version based on what they had read
  2. Visual introductions, with Kindergarten; we used Pic Collage to introduce ourselves at the start of the academic year
  3. For those who are still developing writing and typing skills - students can recall their memorable moments in a Pic Collage
  4. Grades 3-6 enjoyed creating festive cards.  Students were able to send a digital card across the world in minutes! Far quicker than the Christmas Postal Service
  5. Kindergarten  to Grade 6 can use Pic Collage to create varying levels of a storyboard
This is my top five - I would love to read through y our suggestions - Tweet me or leave me a comment below!

~Mr Towse


Book Creator

As the great Roald Dahl said, “I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn't be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”

Book Creator
I had been using the free version of Book Creator.  Maybe I should rephrase that: the free version of Book Creator was an App I had on my iPad.  Let me explain myself.  Last year, I downloaded the app and was going to use it with a grade six student.  The student wanted to turn her information text into an interactive text, complete with sound and annotations.  After completing a quick Internet search, I was inundated with ideas and suggestions.  One thing was clear: Book Creator was the first choice of many and, therefore, I needed to download it!

During a grade two unit of inquiry (Storytelling) planning meeting, myself, Mr. Hughes and the grade 2 teachers discussed the following lines of inquiry: 


  1. What stories can convey
  2. Feelings and emotions connected to stories (characters and audience)
  3. Creating and sharing effective stories
Students would inquire into how stories can engage their audience, communicate meaning and express values. 


What teacher questions/provocations will drive these inquiries?

  • What makes a good story? (Form, Perspective)
  • Why do people tell stories? (Perspective)
  • What different ways can you tell a story? (Form, Perspective) 
  • What can people learn from stories? (Connection, Perspective) 
  • What common themes or lessons do stories have? (Connection) 

Creating and sharing effective stories

Enter Book Creator

After students had drafted and edited their stories and had been through the writing process, creating an ebook would be 'a walk in the park.'

Each student was given an iPad, complete with the free version of Book Creator.  I then gave the students some time to explore the app. I told them to use their ICT skills for inquiry and go investigate!  The learning intention for the students was to create a front cover page for their story.  Another great feature about this app is that it is quite intuitive and works well for student-led learning engagements.  With the students now familiar with the app Book Creator, they quickly and independently went about creating an ebook.

On reflection...

I will definitely use this app again and would recommend this to any teacher of educational professional with an iPad!  An app where students can import pictures or video from the camera roll, add audio and annotate is always a winner in my book!

Through the use of ICT, learners develop and apply strategies for critical and creative thinking, engage in inquiry, make connections, and apply new understandings and skills in different contexts. (IBO, 2011)

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