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25 Ways t o Become a Tech-Savvy Teacher

25 Ways t o Become a Tech-Savvy Teacher

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25 Ways t o Become a Tech-Savvy Teacher

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  1. 25 Ways to Become a Tech-Savvy Teacher CLASS TECH TIPS

  2. CLASS TECH TIPS Thank you for downloading my eBook, 25 Ways to Become a Tech-Savvy Teacher. I hope you’ll enjoy this selection of posts from my blog, ClassTechTips.com. How does this book work? Follow the links on each page to find apps in the iTunes Store, to read similar posts, to view my Common Core aligned lesson plans, or see the original post. On my site you’ll find pictures from each app too!

  3. iPad Safety Apps • The American Red Cross has three apps designed to support victims of natural disasters. Whether you're studying a region of the United States or just looking to spark a discussion, these apps will come in handy. Show your students how to prepare and stay safe with the tips they share: • Hurricane • Tornado • Earthquake • Wildfires • Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plans on hurricanes! • Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plans on tornadoes! • Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  4. Endless Alphabet A fantastic free app for learning letters (and new words!) is Endless Alphabet. This app lets students manipulate letters on the screen, tapping on each letter to hear its name. Students spell out words too, adding to their vocabulary as they learn the names of letters. Great for the primary classroom or English Language Learners. Check out my Common Core aligned iPad lesson plan bundle for teaching ELA in the classroom! (Here’s bundle #2 and bundle #3!) Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  5. Tellagami for Storytelling There are so many great screencasting appsthat I use in my classroom. Tellagamiis a fantastic free iPad app takes it to another level by allowing users to create their own avatars and place themselves anywhere they’d like (I’m “standing” in my classroom now.) If you’re flipping your classroom, leaving a message for students to play when you’re pulled out for a meeting, or just looking to start off a lesson in a new way, you have to try Tellagami. Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app in the classroom! Use this app with my Common Core aligned lesson plan for the iPad camera! Watch my post! Read my post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  6. iPad Project: Resume Builder My students aren’t quite ready to write their own resumes but there is still a place for this app in my classroom. A great way to replace or extend a biography project is to create a resume of the person you are studying. Have students use the Pocket Mobile Resume app to demonstrate their knowledge of a historical figure’s personal information, experience and education, while choosing contemporaries to act as references and identify the skills and strengths of this person. Try it out in your classroom! Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app in the classroom! Here’s another Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app in the classroom! Read my post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  7. Toontastic for Story Telling Toontasticis a fantastic app you can use in your classroom. Don’t be fooled by the cartoon graphics, this app can be used with all ages. Students create their own short stories or retell a story that they’ve read. Each scene in the story arc requires that students draw their own setting and characters or use one of the templates included in the app. Music can be added to change the tone of the story and all cartoons can be shared with families and peers through Toontastic’s own website. Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app! Here’s another Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app! Read this post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  8. What’s Trending? Try a Wordle Lots of websites display images of popular search terms, tags, or keywords to show what’s trending on their site. I love using Wordle, an online tool that takes the most popular words from a text and displays them according to how frequently they appear. You can copy and past text from an article your class is reading or an encyclopedia entry. After students in my class emailed their essays on deforestation in South America, I copy and pasted the text into Wordle. Now I can display what’s trending next to a bulletin board of student work! Wordsaladis an app that let’s you do the same thing straight from your iPad! Try Wordle using speeches! Try Wordle using current events! Read this post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  9. Film Your Own Persuasive PSAs Public service announcements are a great way to turn a traditional persuasive essay writing piece into a multimedia presentation. There are lots of ways I like to use the iPad camera in my classroom and this is one of them! Check out my lesson plan on creating public service announcements in your classroom! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  10. iPad QR Scavenger Hunt • I’ve said it before – I love using QR codes in my classroom! • There are a lot of reasons: • Takes students directly to a website you have chosen • Eliminates frustration of typing in long web addresses (perfect for students in an inclusion class, occupational therapy, etc.) • Saves time! • I make QR codes using free QR code generators like Qurifyand distribute them to my students as a scavenger hunt. I’ll have questions ready for each website so students are focused as they conduct Internet research. You can post these QR codes around the classroom, create QR stations, or simply give them to your students with their scavenger hunt activity sheet. • Check out my lesson plan on using QR Scavenger Hunts in the classroom! • Here’s another lesson plan using QR Scavenger Hunts in the classroom! • Here’s a bundle of QR code scavenger hunt lesson plans! • Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  11. Summer Reading Log Scholastic is offering a Summer Challenge for students! Students can use the Scholastic Summer Challenge website or their Reading Timer app to keep track of their reading all summer. The app allows students to set a timer for their reading and log their minutes each day. For parents, the app includes tips, book lists, and articles. I’m encouraging my students with access to the Internet this summer (even at the public library) to set up an account and keep track of their summer reading! Check out my Common Core aligned iPad lesson plan bundle for teaching ELA in the classroom! (Here’s bundle #2and bundle #3!) Read this post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  12. Internet Browsing My students conduct Internet research on a variety of topics throughout the year. Many sites give the option of a “Reader View” that eliminates sidebars, advertisements and focuses only on the text of the website. This is a feature that works on iPads and Laptops – try it out! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  13. TED Talks TED Talks are wonderful for adults and high school students, but I use them with my fifth graders – most often in small groups to extend guided reading or book club discussions. If you’re not familiar with TED Talks they are worth checking out! Speakers are given 5 to 20 minutes to wow an audience with their knowledge, perspective and discoveries on their area of expertise. Topics range greatly and can be applied as extension lessons for all sorts of activities. There are even TED talks where the speakers are children. These talks can be shown to the whole class or played for small groups who are studying a particular topic. After spending a week practicing nonfiction strategies using a text on the oceans, I loved ending my small group session by playing a TED talk on bioluminescence! Here is a link to the TED talks iPad app, and some of my favorite talks. (Make sure to preview each talk before showing the class – I haven’t found anything inappropriate, but a few included some jokes that wouldn’t suit my class of fifth graders.) The iPad app allows you to save these talks for offline viewing. If you’ve found TED talks that you love leave suggestions in the comments below. Check out my common core aligned lesson plan using TED Talks in the classroom! Read this post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  14. Interactive Maps Interactive maps can bring geography and community studies to life! Whether you are working on a screen projection to zoom in, or searching for monuments or specific regions, instructional possibilities are endless. Students can use Google street view to zoom in on the street outside their school, or look at the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic to see deforestation right from their desks. Using Apple’s map app – standard with the iPad operating system – you can plug different locations to find distances between two places in math class or check out a satellite or hybrid view during social studies. The free Google Earth app takes this perspective from space. Great for whole class, small group or independent work! Check out my common core aligned lesson plan using maps on iPads in the classroom! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  15. Read Alouds and Short Text Recorder There are some teacher tools that have changed my instruction immensely and this is one of them! QuickVoiceallows you to record your voice and I use it for read alouds and test prep throughout the school year. You can record your own voice reading a short text or picture book and play it back to your students. I usually use this with my iPhone and then plug it in to speakers to play back for students. I work with a CTT group of students whose IEPs mandate that test passages are read and reread and quick voice is a great way to record and replay short texts. From a management perspective it’s been extremely helpful to monitor students who might get distracted, especially when practicing note taking. As your voice reads the story over speakers in the front of the room you can be at the back making sure that everyone is on task. This app (there are many that perform the same function) allows you to label and save each recording for later use. You can pause as you’re recording if there is an interruption and pause as you play it back if you want to ask questions to the class about the story. QuickVoice not only keeps my students engaged at the use of technology (if they know I’m recording for the first read through they are silent and still at the seats) it makes the often boring task of reading test passages aloud easier on everyone. *this app is also available for the iPad but may be a bit more cumbersome for recording than the more portable iPhone or iPod touch Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  16. SMARTBoard Simulator for the iPad Educreations is a fantastic iPad app that simulates the SMARTBoard touch screen experience. You will use a regular projector and projector screen – I’m often projecting onto my SMARTBoard even though my iPad isn’t connected to it. This app allows you to use your iPad screen as a blank canvas to write on while recording your entire session. For example I might import a picture of a Scholastic News article and identify text features for my students. As I write on the screen I can record what is happening and these short videos can be played back for the whole class. It’s wonderful to be able to play these “mini-lessons” a second time for students who need repetition, or for students who might enter the class late or have been pulled out to work with a service provider. Sometimes I’ll stop the children when they are working independently and replay the short clip from the introduction of the lesson to review our skill. Educreations also allows you to take pictures while using the app and then write all over it – eliminating extra steps. This feature is fantastic for test prep. Additionally, you can share these lessons through a unique link that can be emailed to anyone right off of your iPad. Although I’ve gotten pretty good at writing with my finger on the screen a stylus (Amazon has them for around $10) definitely comes in handy for using this app. Check out my guide -> Screencasting Teacher Tools: Tasks, Procedures, Checklists and Rubric Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  17. MyScript Calculator There are lots of apps that can “wow” a crowd and MyScript Calculator is definitely one of them. Write an equation (simple or complex) onto your screen and the app will transfer it to type and solve the problem. This fantastic free app can be used by students to check their work, especially order of operations. You’ll need to try it to believe it! Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan using another math app I love! Here’s another Common Core aligned lesson plan using another fantastic math app! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  18. Rock and Mineral Identifier I love hands-on science activities, especially when I can integrate technology into my lesson. Two fantastic free apps for Earth Science are Mineral Identifier and Common Rocks Reference. These apps are full of information for students who are identifying rocks and minerals. If you’re school doesn’t have access to hands-on materials this app can work as a substitution. Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app! Read this post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  19. The Answer Pad: iPad Bubble Sheet There are so many free assessment tools that I love and if you are in a 1:1 classroom you have to try The Answer Pad! The Answer Pad allows you to set up an electronic answer sheet to a test you’ve already created. Students can then “fill in” their multiple-choice answers by using the TAPit app or The Answer Pad website. The best part of this assessment tool might be the ability to assign a Common Core Standard to each question. That way when a student answers a question I know if they’ve mastered each skill. Students can also show their work using a scratch pad on the app before submitting their answer. Watch their tutorial for a complete breakdown – this is a must have for a 1:1 classroom! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  20. Pic Collage to Make iPadPosters You might have used a app like this to create a scrapbook page of family pictures but it can be easily used in the classroom. Pic Collage is a free app that allows users to take multiple images and place them on a blank canvas or within borders and add text and captions. Students in my class use pictures that they’ve taken themselves or gathered from Google Image search. They can save their “posters” to their Camera Roll and email their work. These make great bulletin board items! Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan for using this app in your classroom! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  21. SnapGuide for How-Tos I love learning new things and SnapGuideis a fantastic free app that you must explore! Pinterestis a great place for gathering new ideas, and SnapGuide takes this concept to a whole new level. SnapGuide is full of how-to guides that show step-by-step instructions on how to complete a variety of tasks. You and your students can even create your own how-to guides using this free service! Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan for using this app! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  22. More QR Scavenger Hunts! I love using QR code scavenger hunts to introduce new topics to my students! Whether we’re getting ready to compost, about to start a unit on deforestation, or need a quick overview of topics like Lewis and Clark, the Dust Bowl, the Trail of Tears, the Gold Rush, the Great Plains, the Bill of Rights, Amazon Rainforest, Inuit or the Mayan, Inca and Aztec Civilizations, QR scavenger hunts are a great way to get students excited and engaged. Click on the links above for QR code scavenger hunts with Common Core aligned lesson plans on each topic! Here’s a bundle of QR code scavenger hunt lesson plans! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  23. Ready to Research: Recording Citations The iPad is a fantastic tool for completing research, publishing, and sharing your work. There are two free apps from PERRLA that make it easy to record citations whether you’re using MLA or APA style references. This app is perfect for elementary students completing a biography project or high schoolers writing a term paper. Check out my Common Core aligned iPad lesson plan using this app in the classroom! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  24. Synonym Practice on iPads There are lots of great apps for teaching literacy to your students and here’s another to try out in your classroom. In Find Synonym the user unscrambles letters to spell out a synonym for the word presented. It includes definitions for each word and you can even unlock the antonym level if you answer enough questions. Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app in the classroom! Here’s a Common Core aligned lesson plan for teaching literacy using iPads in your classroom! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  25. WWF Animal App The World Wildlife Fund has a beautiful free app that contains high quality pictures and lots of information about different animals. Whether you’re looking for information on pandas, whales, turtles or tigers, this should be a go-to app to gather facts and find inspiration. Check out my Common Core aligned iPad lesson plan using this app in the classroom! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  26. Draw Symmetrical Figures on iPads There are great free math apps for fractions, math facts, graphs, math terms, and geometry. An app I love for drawing symmetry is Grid Drawing for Kids Lite. Full of puzzles for students to solve, this fantastic free app is perfect for practicing symmetry! Check out my Common Core aligned lesson plan using this app in the classroom! Here’s a bundle of math iPad lesson plans aligned to the Common Core! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  27. MindSnacks: Kids Vocab I’m always looking for ways to improve my students’ domain specific vocabulary. Kids’ Vocab by MindSnacksis a new app that is engaging and rigorous. It provides a pronunciation guide, practice games, and lots of colorful graphics. Kids’ Vocab includes free levels and the option to upgrade – check it out! Check out my Common Core aligned iPad lesson plan for using this app in your classroom! Here’s a bundle of Common Core aligned iPad lessons in case you’re teaching different skills this week! Read the post and see the pictures! CLASS TECH TIPS

  28. CLASS TECH TIPS Monica Burns is a New York City educator, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator with a passion for using technology with her students. Check out her website ClassTechTips.com for lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards and more ways to become a tech-savvy teacher! This is Monica’s first collection of blog posts. Download her first picture book Swim, Dive, Splash from the iBookstore. Follow me on Twitter Like my Facebook Page Follow my Pinterest Page Visit my TeachersPayTeachers Store