STORY TIME FOR ME

WHAT IS STORY TIME FOR ME? 

Storytime for me is a multimedia publisher of online children’s books. It offers free entertaining and a fun online experience for students.

WHAT DOES THE TOOL DO

  • Online Free Storybooks
  • Free personalized songs
  • Multimedia Personalized book
  • Word highlighting
  • Practice Makes perfect
  • Customized reading experience
  • Building vocabulary for toodlers
  • Parents/teachers discussion questions (Coming soon)
  • Polling (Coming soon)
  • Creative Art Activity (Coming Soon)
  • Share your stories with the community
  • Monitoring

HOW CAN YOU USE IT IN YOUR ESL CLASSROOM? 

  • Have your students read free books online

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  • Have your students create a free video song

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  • Have your students read free stories online

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  • Have your students listen to audiobooks.

 

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After reading students can have tests, exams, projects, orals about the subjects presented in the stories. It’s a great reading center for students.

DO I LIKE THE TOOL? 

I love the tool and I find it really cute. Students can have the option to read with narration or independently. This is good because it helps them develop their reading skills. The stories reinforces positive character education values. The stories are a great way to start up class discussion about basic values such as friendship and empathy. We can also have them work with the whiteboard and make all students listen to the story and then do activities on the smart board. For example, have them brainstorm with different words related to friendship and have those words written on the whiteboard. Thus, you can use two technologies at once: StoryTimeForMe and the WhiteBoard.

WHAT DO PEOPLE SAY ABOUT IT? 

The tool is more specialized for younger kids. Thus, the comments I found on the tool online were mostly from parents of kids that were is pre-school. I found it very interesting to have parents point of view on the tool. Most of the time we see articles and teachers comment tools. To have parents say few words about it was just great. The tool clearly helps their kids improve their English language skills.

*More opinions on the tool:

1. Smart Tutor

2. Book reviews 

WHAT DO I SAY ABOUT THE TOOL? 

What I like about the tool is that it’s completely free. Sometimes reading could be difficult for something to write. They will like to do other activities. To make them read on a computer and to have time invent small stories can make them enjoy more reading. They can also explore their creativity by inventing stories. The aspect I liked the most about the tool is the audiobooks. Students can listen to the words of the story while having the writing in front of them. Thus, they can create mental links to what is said and what is written. The stories are also accompanied by images. This is a very interactive and fun way for elementary school students to learn how to read. After, with the story to make sure they understood the vocabulary you can have them answer small questionnaires or have them do a project about the story.

As a future parent, I would definitely use this tool to prepare my kid to English as a second language. As a future teacher if I have the chance to work with young elementary school students I would definitely integrate the tool in one of my classes to make a different activity than always reading in paper books.

TO UNDERSTAND THE TOOL MORE: 

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ClassDojo for Teachers

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What is ClassDojo? 

ClassDojo is  an easy classroom tool to help teachers improve and manage their students behaviour. With ClassDojo you can every class note your students on your behaviours and everything is tracked in your account. Thus, you can have all the data that you saved and see follow ups of your students. 

How does ClassDojo works? 

First, you create an account with an email address and your name and you select the school you work at. 

Second, click on demo class to familiarize yourself with the tool.

Third, you create your own classroom(by creating each and every student in it). 

Fourth, you use the tool each classes and when your class is done you click on end the class to get the summary of everything. 

Fifth, you look at the reports it gives you and you take a look at them with your students or with their parents. (You can even create points with awards for them in order to motivate them to good behaviour)

 

How can you use it in your classroom? 

  • Take attendances 

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  • Play videos for your students
  • Timer (Doing  cooperative learning activities, you time manager can take a look at the ClassDojo timer)
  • Instantly reinforce good behaviour (You can track it down and see the evolution of each of them, this is great for whenever parent’s night come you can actually show the tracking of the student’s to their parents)
  • Award your students (Individually or all at the same time-This could be a good point system to earn points for in class prizes) 
  • Communicate with parents or with other teachers
  • Have a full view of your class behaviours 

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To note you can customize all the options the way you like it. 

What do people have to say about it? 

Being a great tool I found a lot of great comments on it. One that I liked particularly is from a teacher that ClassDojo made her teaching easier. What was more important about what she said was the kids reaction to the application. She used the tool in order for kids to earn points for in class rewards. She used to deal with those paper coupons, but now with ClassDojo she as a system that she doesn’t need those anything. Also, the kids can use it so it’s less work for teachers. Kids love technology, thus they are use to working with tools and applications. ClassDojo is just one for a school environment they get the chance to work with. 

 

Another article I read said the same thing. What is amazing about the tool is the students reaction. Finding new tools and applications are for the student’s benefit. Thus, to have them enjoy it is just awesome. 

Want some for opinions on the tool? Click here.

What do I have to say about it? 

Teachers love ClassDojo and after creating an account and playing around the tool I have to say I love it too. These little characters are so cute and so easy to use. It’s a a great way to do positive reinforcement in a classroom. 

I like the fact that an easy tool like that can be use to reinforce student’s good behaviour. I also like the attendance page. It’s a fun way to take the attendances. What I liked about the tool is when you register they give you a demo class that you can play around with to familiarize yourself with. 

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Another interesting thing about ClassDojo is the fact you can use it from any intelligent device, computer or tablet.

& the most important point it’s FREE, it won’t ask you to pay for all the data storage and everything. 

 

You can even follow them on twitter to always have updates and comments about the tool. 

The only downside of the tool is that for us English teachers who have a lot of groups it could be time-consuming to create all the classe for the groups that we have. But, maybe it’s just all worth it if our student’s love it and benefit from it. 

 

Since I have a positive opinion about the tool, I found information for more downsides of it for people who are septic about the tool. Just click here for more info. 

TELLAGAMI

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First, what is Tellagami? 

Tellegami is an application available for free in the APP store(You can also find it for Android’s). Tellegami allows you to create customized animated scenes in a matter of minutes.

What does the tool do? 

It allows you to create small animated videos. It is a fun way to tell a story. In education it is a fun way to have student’s create something using technology.

Why do I agree it’s a great tool for education? 

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I created myself in Tellegami

I downloaded the application and I was really amazed by how easy it works. It is perfect for young student’s in elementary school. First, they can create their character (hair, eyes, clothes, skin color). Second, you can create the background. You have the possibility to take a picture (like I did in the example), you can take a picture in your gallery or some of the background pictures offered in the application. After, you can record or type what your characters are going to say. When your product is down you can choose the voice and preview your recording. Final step you share it! The only thing I found unfortunate with the application is that you can only record for 30 seconds and that makes it very short. Thus, you have to make sure that what you’re asking your student’s is short to resume in a Tellagami.

Another important point is the fact that we always have to keep our student’s motivated. With a project like that incorporating a technology and animation is something they will relate to. With that animation you have unlimited possibility to create multiple projects or multiple subjects.

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Create your character

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Create what they will say and choose the voice of your character

What you can do with Tellagami with your students? 

The tool gives you the opportunity to create characters and have them narrate. You can re-create scenes of a play, a book or even a movie. Thus, student’s will have to notice important information about places, characters and events and have to reinvest it in the Tellagami. It’s a fun way to resume something seen in class or assigned in a homework.

  • ASSIGNMENTS
  • PRESENTATIONS
  • TUTORIALS
  • LESSONS
  • BOOK REPORTS

More ideas for Tellagami in your classroom: Click here

How students can share them? 

  • FACEBOOK
  • EMAIL
  • TWITTER
  • YOUTUBE
  • SMS
  • SAVE ON THEIR ANDROI/IPHONE AND IPAD’S

What other teachers say about Tellagami? 

While browsing online I agreed with other people who tried the information. It is a way for shy student’s to express themselves with the writing competency. It was said online : ”the opportunity to separate themselves from the physical world, removing concerns about appearance and general physics”. I agree with this. The student’s in your groups that are usually introverted will shine with animations like that. We can all think of the gamers in our groups. This kind of activity gives them a real chance in expressing themselves on a chosen subject. Also, this is something they can work on at home. Therefore, if they don’t like their initial product they can always modify it for them to be proud of sharing it with their classmates. What I found the most on the internet about that application is that it’s easy! This is what makes it a great tool!

More opinions on Tellagami: Click here 

Other great links to find Tellagami for English teaching: 

Examples of Tellagami

Step by step tutorial

 

Podcasting

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First, what are Podcasts

A podcast is a radio show but instead of being broadcast live, a podcast is recorded and then distributed over the internet. This enables people to listen to it whenever you want. There are a lot of podcasts available, ranging from general interest entertainment shows to those which focus on specific topics. For example, on idioms, stories, vocabulary lists and a lot more things related to education.

What does the tool do? 

The tool allows you to create videos that you will be able to post on the internet. This tool is also a great way to have videos that you could show during class to your students. For example, if you make a lesson on Types of humour you can have your students listen to the video to understand the different types of humour. Then, you can have a discussion and a little assignment on it.

This tool will allow the students to build their hears to English. Videos are also a great tool to make a pre-activity for something you want to do in class. As a future teacher, in my practicum I started my activities most of the time with videos and it really got the students to listen to what I was explaining after because they enjoyed those short videos.

Why do I agree it’s a great tool for education? 

– It gives an audience to your student’s (Motivates them to do it when they now it will be posted on the internet)

– It allows student’s to practise their speaking and listening skills.

– It helps student’s work with technology (ICT)

– You can make your Podcasts interactive (Have student’s comment on them, have student’s give feedback and etc)

– It’s a great way to work collaboratively (student’s can work in teams making their videos)

– Different for students (This is different than the regular projects you may have in magistral English classes)

What you can do with Podcasts in your Classroom? 

When reading about Podcasts on the internet I automatically thought about all the great projects I could do with my students with this tool. The idea that came to my mind is a video students would have to do and work on it every week. Each week they would have a small task to do for this video. At the end of the session the video and task would be completed and students would be able to post it online.  on it and at the end of the session it would be a complete project.

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How students can share them? 

– Save or copy the post cast on a CD or on a USB stick

– Send the podcast by email (depending on the size of the podcast)

– Share the podcast on a blog or on a website

What other teachers say about Podcasts? 

While reading online I mostly saw good comments on this tool. And I agree with them. I personally find it is a very orignal and easy way to have student’s be motivated to learn new things in English or to have them work on projects throughout this tool. While browsing, I found different ways of explaining how to the works. This tool is indeed very effective especially for second language teachers that have to find great ways to motivate their student’s. As it was said on multiple website, this tool a way to teach what could be reached in a magistral way in a more fun way for our new generations. It is no secret to no one that technology is taken in a big part in today’s society. Thus, in today’s education system. To have something like that helping you to teach is just great. I recommended to all. As I said before, I didn’t really find any downsides to this fun tool, but if anyone found something you can always throw your comments in the comment box.

A short Youtube video on how to make your first Podcasts: Click here if you want to watch it!

Other great links to find Podcasts for English teaching: 

The best teacher Podcasts 

40 Podcasts for teachers 

ESL teachers talk Podcasts 

Learning English as a Second Language

50 Educational Podcasts You Should Check Out

 

A simple technology for the terrified teacher

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There are a few options for educational videos these days. As teachers we can also refer ourselves to YouTube  and TEDed, which launched recently. TEDed is a tool and a ressource that offers visual videos made by teachers and animators.

As teachers the importance of information on the news and the actuality is mandatory. As we know the best way to introduce cultural information in our ESL classes generation is videos. It is important, as a teacher, to find the right videos. Sharing content with students can be something tricky at times. You have to go on Google or on Youtube and filter videos that you could maybe use in class. Thus, a website that provides you educational videos like TEDed is a great resource for teachers.

WHAT DOES THE TOOL DO: 

LESSONS  

Something very interesting about the website is it’s section for lessons. Teachers can browse throughout the hundred of lessons offered.

Multiple categories are available for all types of activities. Here are the categories available to you teachers:

WAYS TO INTEGRATE IT IN THE CLASSROOM: 

  • To  introduce plural with a short video: Click here.
  • Who invented writing: Click here.
  • How to build a fictional world: Click here.
  • A video for Halloween week about Vampires and Folklore: Click Here.
  • Literature vocabulary: What makes a hero?: Click here.
  • BASICALLY: Use it to introduce subjects, use it for an extra activity, use it for the last 5 minutes of your friday afternoon for the general culture of the kids!!! Think & Share 🙂 You don’t have to use it as you would use a student book in your classroom, but use it for diversity and change in your classroom. Kids will love it!

HOW TO USE IT IN MY CLASSROOM?

And more…You can actually browse and watch so many videos that are interactive for students to.  This is a good use of technology in a classroom and enables you tu introduce a subject that isn’t always appealing to kids like literature, writing and plural. By introducing the lesson with a video it is easy to start a little activity and a discussion afterwards.

Those are the lessons available to you. But know that TEDed is a tool that can help you build lesson plans. You can start with any subject based on the videos you have seen.

Can’t make up your mind on if you should use this ressource or not? Here is more helpful info that could help you! This is a supplement ressource to our teaching. If you don’t want to watch the videos during classes. You can give assignments or even homework on one of the videos. This can practice students listening and reading. As a teacher you could build small questionnaires based on videos and pass them to your group as assignment.

Those are few of the ideas you can use this ressource for. There are much more possibilities. To know all of them I would strongly invite you to watch this little video which gives you a website tour of the website and of it’s many possibilities.

While browsing online I also found a very interesting article on a teacher that created a lesson on TEded which generated 169,000 views. This is just incredible.

WHAT DO PEOPLE THINK ABOUT IT? 

Something that I hadn’t think of is that Teded is only good for watching or listening. In this article, the person is saying that ”And much of what we have called “lessons” over the decades really aren’t lessons at all — they are consumables. They are short narratives consumed by students who are then asked to fill in bubbles that demonstrate that the student either was paying a modicum of attention or that the student has good natural deductive skills in parsing the quiz-maker’s craft.”

Therefore, what they are saying mostly about the tool is that lessons are worth sharing, but they cannot be the only way to teach because it isn’t complete.

WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT THIS REFLEXION? 

I totally agree with this article and I am happy I came across it. Again, we are looking at tools. Thus, they cannot be the only way to teach in our classrooms, but they are a fun way to come and complement a lesson or get ideas for projects and etc. The way I see it is that tools are there to help you in your teacher. You take the good and you let the negative sides aside. Therefore, having a small and short video every once in a while to introduce a subject or give links to students in order to help them with extra information for a project could be a good use of this tool. We never have enough complementary help. Let’s make the best out of it.

Using the Ipad in the Classroom

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In the 1980’s computers  revolutionized radically the way we teach today. Teachers now carry on their classes in a different way than before. In the 2000’s it was now iPads that are taking over in classrooms. Ipads not only improve teaching, but it has potential to change the learning in school. Teachers need to be ready to adjust their teaching for this new revolution because it will be a great tool to help them though out the years. I have myself pus ached an iPad for the purpose of teaching. Realizing last summer that most of the teachers I knew were using this tool. I decided to purchase one and it has already help me in my stage.

Here are few options I found that can help future or current teachers carry on their activity in and outside of the class 🙂 :

AirDrop

There are many thing you can do with an Ipad in class. One useful tool that I have been able to use in my stage is the  AirDrop option. With AirDrop, you can share photos, videos, websites, locations, and more with other nearby iOS 7 devices.

Teacher’s notes

Teacher’s notes is an application available on the Ipad in which teacher’s can take notes, photos, videos and music. What is wonderful about this application is that you can easily take notes without limits. You have the possibility to sort those notes per student. This helps organize ourselves with the many notes and comment we need to take throughout the school year. Taking notes is something important for a teacher. To take notes regular helps you communicate clearly with parents during parents night or even during special cases that you will have in certain groups. The difference between this application and papers is that you can’t loose it. Papers are easily displaceable, whereas you can’t really loose an application.

Lesson Sharing

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Sharing lessons can be done easily with an iPad. Even for unexperienced technology teachers, sharing lessons can be done with few clicks. You have the possibility to share lessons online. To get lesson ideas to do with an iPad you can always browse tools has Pinterest. Sometimes we don’t have ideas on lessons to carry on with certain themes. Thus, this link is a great help to brainstorm and get new ideas on lessons. Kids will simply love it!

Smart Notebook App for the Ipad

The reality of these days confronts us to Smart Boards. This is something I spoke about in a past blog. If you scroll down you’ll be able to see my opinion and comments on it. Smart Board is a great tool that we use a lot during all of our classes as future teachers. To have an application for the iPad is very good. It helps us synchronie our Smart Board lessons with the iPad to show it to all students in the classroom. An iPad being less heavy then most computer, this helps teachers carry around something lightweight with them having the same possibilities then their computers.  This Smart Board and iPad collaboration helps teachers personalize their lessons and gives the possibility to students to collaborate asynchronously and show the content of their iPad on the Smart Board. For example, you can have students work on an oral presentation and in few clicks they can share the document in front of the group. This makes the orals and the lessons much more interactive and most students will be glad to learn a second language in this interactive way. The application isn’t expensive at all. For a little 6,99$ you could be working with a great application that will make your lessons much more fun!

iPads & Education 

Teachers around the world are using iPad to transform their classrooms.  I found online on the Apple website a section to learn about different teachers experiences and practical tips on how iPad. They let us know on how we can help our students reach lessons goals and teaching lessons in entirely new ways. Those articles written by teachers all the United-States. Sharing their thoughts on specific information on the iPad helps us see the variety of things we can do with it.

In this section you will find help on how to:

  • Customized iPad for different learners.
  • Create multimedia
  • Organize and deliver your course with the iPad
  • Create your own interactive book.

If you haven’t already tried this great tool I suggest you go to your nearest Apple location and go try out this golden tool.

Google Docs: A technology every teacher should know about

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“Search without Google is like social networking without Facebook: unimaginable.”

– Evgeny Morozov

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Google a great tool for the classroom?

Sometimes when looking at tools we can use for teaching we pass over the most obvious. After a couple of weeks discovering new tools I noticed that I was always passing by the Google tool bar to do my researches. The first and obvious benefit of this tool is definitely the Google search bar. This web search engine can do more for education. You can share documents with Google Docs, Google books, Google earth, Google Scholar, Google calendar and much more. All those tools inside of the Google technology can provide help to your students in their second language learning. This can also give you a hand in order to organize your classes and helps you intergrade technology inside your classroom.

Most of what will be helpful as a teacher will be the publishing feature available once you’ve created yourself a GMAIL account.

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options for using Google in your classroom 

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What’s Google Docs?

Google Docs allows your students to create and edit documents collaboratively. As an example, you could ask them to write a short story with the vocabulary and seen in class using Google Docs. Each of them can work on their parts and then share it with their peers via this technology. Thus rather than using the conventional way of collaborative work you use technology in order for them to collaborate and have them later on share it to you and the class.

Google docs can be accessed through a mobile phone, a tablet or a computer. These are all tools available at all time in most school environment. This interactive software can store up to 15GB.

This user-friendly interface enables you to apply the formatting of your choice. You can easily modify the color, the words and the text at any time all most of all it can be done by all your students cooperatively from their own homes.

How to create a Google Docs? 

  • Create a free Gmail account
  • Make your text easily

Or

  • Import your own document
  • Share it with your peers using their Gmail accounts

What can you do with Google in your classroom? 

  • You can use Google Docs to improve your students writing process by having students work collaboratively from everywhere, by giving your students ongoing and simultaneous feedback on their work and by publishing students work.
  • Have them write a journal but instead of bringing home multiple notebooks you only need Google Docs since they’ll have shared their work with you.
  • It’s easy to track students homework since you can use interactive spreadsheets with anonymous numbers.
  • To create flashcards (One of my favorite option since it’s fun and good for students to learn and memorize)
  • Create forms for your students
  • Have a class calendar accessible for everyone from google
  • Invite a googled into your classroom via google to share information with students (A presenter that you usually wouldn’t have access because of the distance for example.

And more !!! You just have to take a look at the tool and discover it’s many options!!!

Want more ideas? Click here

 

What’s Google Drive?

Google Drive is an upgraded version of Google Docs. Essentially students or teachers can store documents, photos, videos and etc. The students just have to drag and drop in the drop box and all the files are ready to be opened. All the students and the teacher have the same file that they can all edit together from everything.

Something interesting as well is that it allows you to look back at all the revisions made on the documents from the past 30 days. This allows the teacher to track the steps the students are using throughout the project. It helps us give them advise step by step and see how they are advancing in the project.

Having a tool that is easy to find and easy share makes projects easier for students to produce. It is less conventional then putting them around their desks and have them write on sheets of papers. Diversity is a richness we need to use as future teachers and Google as definitely multiple tools and apps to help us in the process.

Want to know everything Google can offer you? Click here.

Everything to know about google drive in order to go paperless.

What people think about Google and it’s many options?

Google being a very easy tool to use and being implicated for years now it was harder to find negative opinions on it. On my hand I was more on the positive effects of the tool on students. But, an article caught my eye. This article is about how google Docs is revolutionizing the classroom.

”Ever since I made my students aware that I could easily spot cursory revisions, I’ve noticed substantial improvement in the quality of their writing.”

Important points from the article: 

  • Google Docs helps teacher be there for their students at anytime while they’re writing essays.
  • Brainstorming (For example, she asks her students what their opinion on ‘The Great Gatsby’ and they have five minutes to write something and then she projects it using Google Docs and they can talk about their opinion)

”To illustrate, I’ll use my experience helping students write essays about the most beloved and/or despised staple of high school American literature courses, “The Great Gatsby.” Let’s start with a brainstorming session. At the beginning of a class, I ask my students to enter a response to the following prompt into a shared Google Doc: “When I think of ‘The Great Gatsby,’ one word that comes to mind is….” Five minutes later, the Google Doc projected on a large screen at the front of the room is filled with origins of essay topics:  ”disillusionment,” “American Dream,” “obsession,” and “self-deception,” to name a consistent few. Especially for weaker students, the collaborative nature of this exercise exposes them to ideas in a manner that the old practice of independent journaling cannot. This method also gives a voice to the introverted students in class whose often brilliant ideas now receive the attention they deserve.”

  • Easy communication between teacher and student
  • Easy for correction and revision

My opinion about what they think:

I find it’s true. Were living in a technological era and we have to adapt. Google is revolutionary and why not use it to our advantage? Multiple points that were writing in the article were about how easy it is to correct, share and work with the tool and I have to agree on it. I started using Google, Google Docs and Google Drive mostly in Cegep and University and it changed and helped the way I work. It’s just great for group projects. It’s easy to share with our teachers and because we share it virtually we are helping the environment at the same time and this is just great. What I liked the most about what she did is the brainstorming that she did with her students. I find as she said it’s a good way for weaker students to collaborate with the rest of the class. It actually does give a voice to each and everyone in the classroom.

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Other fun Google tools:

Google Earth

Google as a countdown timer

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If you need help on how to use Google Docs click here you’ll find great theory and practice.

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Website Resources To Technology for Teachers & Pinterest

Technology being all around us we don’t have to go very far to find resources to help us in our everyday job. As future teachers multiple websites are available to us. While browsing online I found a website with multiple useful links to education and teaching related websites, where full of tools are available for teachers to improve their teaching, their classroom environment and their everyday activities. In this vast list there was one that got my attention: Edudemic. This website connects education and technology for teachers. This site is particularly interesting for his guide section. In this section a selection of guides to technology is available for teachers. The most popular resources are available summarized for all. These guides are easy to read, easy to use and easy to share.

Here are the guides currently available for all of you teachers and future teachers: 

 This website always posts more guide, therefore stay updated for more guides!

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The quick Teacher’s guide to Pinterest is the one I enjoyed the most. Pinterest being one of my favourite applications I liked seeing how I could coordinate my love for this application to incorporate it in my teaching lessons. Pinterest is a very popular application and from March 2011 to March 2012, Pinterest unique visitors grew by 4,377%.

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How to pin?

 

1.    Sign up (for free)

2.    Create your profile (Username, password, profile picture)

3.    Install a Pin button (To be able to pin things you see on the internet)

4.    Add a Pin (Click on Pin it button on your on your bookmark bar)

5.    Create a new board (Click on ‘’Add +’’ in the upper right-hand corner of your main Pinterest page)

6.    Repin from feed (If you see something relevant for your students you can click on repin and it will save to one of your board)

7.    Like and comment (Click on like under the Pin and comment in the comment section)

8.    Upload a pin (Use the upload feature at the same place to create a new board on ‘’Add +’’)

For more information you can always refer to the Pinterest help center. 

 

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Why Pin? 

 

There are a large amount of options available for teachers on this application. On this great tool you can share quotes of inspiration that you can share with students to relate to what is seen in class or the news of the moment. You can share or read on reading materials. Visual boards are available to accompany specific reading lists. You can create boards and share them with your students with specific pins that you want them to see. Pinterest is also a great place to show student work. Boards are available for teachers to show their students work. This is a great source of motivation for a student. Knowing that others will see your work gives values to their work and students enjoy it a lot. They can go home and show their friends and family what they have done and shared online. It is important to not that according to Pinterest Terms of Service, parental involvement is a must for students under 13. Keep that in mind if you are teaching to younger kids.

 

Education-related fun facts about Pinterest 

There are over 350 boards titled ‘’lesson plans’

There are over 400 boards with the keyword ‘’classroom’’

There are over 450 boards with the keyword ‘’teacher’’

 

Those numbers clearly shows us that Pinterest is a tool with multiple resources that can inspire us in our teaching. 

 

Pinterest is just great a great tool to use in a classroom to promote the use of technology. As we’ve seen in class, the use of the same technology all the time will not motivate students. This is why it is important to have variety in the tools we’re using as teachers. Therefore, if you want to experience change and have your students experience something new you can you this free application available to the public. You’ll be able to show students work, rather than talk about it. You’ll reach a wider audience with this tool and you’ll be able to connect with other educators and students. If you don’t want to use this tool in your classroom you can always refer to it outside of class to inspire yourself for new activities ideas to make your teaching always more interesting. The multiple resources available on Pinterest will encourage student’s participation. It is important to always have diversity in our classes and Pinterest is definetly a resource that will inspire diversity in your teaching. 

 

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Smart Classrooms: Because with the right tool every student can be amazing

“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” – David Warlick

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What is a smart Classroom? 

Technologies advanced in all areas; therefore it is no surprise that we have new tools in the educational programs. Computers and cellphones have revolutionised our world. The use of interactive whiteboards in classrooms around the country has increased significantly in the recent years. This white board is now replacing the green board that I knew as a child. My kids will probably not even see green boards in their classrooms because, as our computer teacher Mr. Miller said, in few years there will be a white board in every classroom in Quebec.

This technology is perfect for a teacher because it is easy to use. There are many elements you can do and manage on it and it is perfect for interactive classes. For me, the Smart board is a powerful tool to cultivate the great minds of tomorrow.

Easy to use

The white board is a touch sensitive display that you can write on with digital markers or your fingers. If you know how to use a chalk, you’ll know how to use this technology. This massive window enables you to stop printing many papers. You can easily send your interactive lessons by emails or even via Facebook.

What you can do with  Smartboards? 

The SMART Board has many options and resources you can work with. You can manage applications like Word, Power Point and more. You also have the possibility to manage special applications such as Note Book and the Active Board itself. Through the past few years there are multiples websites on which you can find activities to do in the classroom with your students.

I found online all kinds of activities to do with every level in school. For example, for grade 1 students to learn the alphabet on the white board you have the letter ‘A’ and a picture of an Ant. A square is designed right under for the student to come in front of the class and write the word ant. Rather then printing an ant picture, the teacher only has to open the SMART Board application before class and one after the other the kids can come to write on it. Another important point is that few weeks after this activity we have the possibility to go back to the exact page and image. Thus, the kids can have image links of what was studied weeks before. You don’t have to reprint a picture or re-draw on the board an ant. You just have to open the application and do your lesson. This is one of the many activities possible of a white board. You can use this tool daily with other activities or other ways. An option that I liked was the microphone and video available in the software. The teacher can record your class lesson and put it on the portal for absent students or students that would need a reminder on the lesson. Isn’t that wonderful?  This wide variety of software’s available are a great help to our teaching.

Available with Smartboards and what they are for:

  • PowerPoint, Publisher, and Excel: To display information.
  • Word templates: For students to do oral presentations.
  • Active Board software: For shapes and graph work.
  • Scan text that you can see on the screen: Make it large and clear for the students to see. This is a great improvement from the projector.
  • Video: Providing study material.

Want ideas for activities : CLICK HERE

Why it’s good for a classroom environment? 

With this massive board, you have the attention of all the kids. There is more place for whole class teaching and interactivity. Everyone can look at you and interact during the teaching, which makes the lessons much more stimulating for the students and for the teacher. The interaction in class improves the lessons structure and this makes teaching more enjoyable. Another important point of this interaction is better for questioning by the students. This emphasis on whole class teaching complements the cooperative teaching and learning usually done in groups. A white board helps the students that didn’t interact in their small groups have the chance to work cooperatively with the teacher in front of the class. This gives the chance for better cooperation in classrooms.

What can you do with a Smart Board in your classroom? 

  • Note taking and brainstorming (And have the notes posted on the internet for students who were absent as an example)
  • Games
  • Taking attendances (Having each student check their name when they come in, a way to make attendances fun for them)
  • Show videos
  • Activities that need dragging (For example, if students are learning clothing you can have the clothes as drawings on the board and when students say the name of the clothe you can drag out the clothe and they can see the name of the item)
  • Interactive worksheet
  • Answers to a cooperative learning activity (For example, doing a cooperative jigsaw puzzle, you can have the jigsaw puzzle on the board and when you are saying the answers you can write the answers with the magic pen on the board)
  • Graphic organizers
  • Powerpoint presentations

& more 🙂

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example of attendances with the Smart Board 

What teachers think of Smartboards? 

As seen on the internet some may disagree on the fact that Smartboards are a great tool.  Some people think it’s a bad investment and some other who were septic in the beginning learned to love, enjoy and see the benefits of such a tool. The best description of opinion I found was this one: ”My initial thoughts about SMART boards were that they weren’t necessarily the best use of scarce funding in schools.  But as I worked through the year with this group and then subsequently visited classrooms this year in other schools, I’m convinced otherwise”

What I think of Smartboards? 

I am on the side of the people who were first septic about the tool. Before I started the BEALS program I had never worked with Smartboards. I didn’t see the necessity of having such a tool in a classroom. But when I started to work with the tool in my Pedagogy class I discovered that there were so much to do with the tool. This tool helps students learn and makes you save time as a teacher. This tool is full of options to discover. It can go from taking attendances to creating projects. I find the tool is awesome and that each teacher who has one in his classroom is very lucky. It’s true as some may say that it is a big investment, but I think we can benefit from an investment like that.

THERE IS SO MUCH YOU CAN DO WITH A SMART BOARD. BE CREATIVE !!!

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If you want more information on how White Boards work and what you can do with this wonderful technology, I invite you to visit:

Facebook & Education

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Description of the tool 

It was, for me, very interesting to think about how Facebook could be used to support learning in my future classes because I recently joined this social network. I like most people registered to it when it came out a couple of years ago, but quickly closed it because I didn’t see the purpose of it. Last fall, I decided to re-open an account after all those years. Why, you’ll ask. Because of our first year BEALS study group on which students share information and ask relevant question about the program to help each other. Therefore, Facebook is for me a great tool in my University program. However, as a future teacher and future mother, I do understand how people judge it rather than the noticing plus sides of this social software.

Reflection pedagogical way 

Something important to take in consideration is that social medias are now part of our societies. It is a reality these days that most people have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many accounts in social networks. Those social medias are used on a daily basis and even a couple times a day. Students use them on their phones, computer and intelligent tablets. As M. Miller said in class, posting things on a group portal, such as Moodle, where students have the obligation to go on, as a teacher you won’t get as much motivation from your students then on a website they visit a couple of times a day. As a teacher, if you have a Facebook group, you can post information and send messages to your students and it is convenient because people will get notifications when they log in. Also, because people go on Facebook often, you know the information will get to them quickly. A Few options on Facebook also shows you know who has seen the post you’ve posted. For example, the instructions for a group project are posted on the wall of the group, on the right of your comment you can see who has seen the comment. You can then validate which student went and see your information. This is one of the many options Facebook gives you to share and validate who saw what you posted. For students and teachers, this social media is very easy to use. Hence, for it’s accessibility, for it’s friendly interface and it’s common usage, Facebook gives the education system a great opportunity to use a social media to motivate and inspire students to learn and share using technology in a supervised and transparent manner.

Those are few of the advantages I found and by looking online I found over 100 ways Facebook can be used in classrooms. I invite you to take a look to all the options you have as a teacher: Click Here

What I can do with Facebook in a classroom? 

  1. Create a Facebook classroom page (Click here to create one)
  2. Share book reviews with your students (This could be an awesome project. You could have your student read a book and then make a review of time and after every student in class could share their review on Facebook)
  3. Practice English (write to each other in English in your group)
  4. To open their eyes to the world have them follow specific things on Facebook like: journals, politicians, sources and more.
  5. Schedule events with them
  6. Post class notes
  7. Post class videos (for students who might have missed the class OR for students or are slower learners)
  8. Make announcements
  9. Get their opinion
  10. Have them brainstorm

And I could go on and on…I really found a lot of ideas of things that are possible to do with out ESL students using Facebook.

These were few of them, but if you want more I invite to browse on that website: 100 ways you should be using Facebook in your classroom 

What do people say about using Facebook in school?

These were for me all valid reasons why a teacher would want to use Facebook in their classrooms, but I wanted to get the opinion of someone who was in the Educational system to see what they really though about it. Thus, yesterday in my stage 1, I asked my associated professor what she though of working with Facebook in her English classes. She told me that in the past years there were a lot of debates on the subject, but that she personally found that there weren’t really many use of Facebook in her English classes. She said the computer teacher used it with his students and that being the soccer coach of the school she did have a group to share information and messages about practices. However, she did not see the value of it in her classroom. For her using emails and the school portal were enough to share information and she didn’t find she needed Facebook.

I found online a pretty cool article called A Guidebook for Social Media in the Classroom. In this article I found a very positive point of view on the use of social medias in classrooms. As we all know there are good ways and there are bad ways to use social medias. This lady showed us the good ways and showed that Facebook can be used to: ”to get feedback for your students’ online science fair projects. Teacher Jamie Ewing is doing this now, as he shared recently”. She addressed the point of social medias in a fun way. She talked about it being a myth. She said: ”The myth about social media in the classroom is that if you use it, kids will be Tweeting, Facebooking and Snapchatting while you’re trying to teach. We still have to focus on the task at hand. Don’t mistake social media for socializing. They’re different — just as kids talking as they work in groups or talking while hanging out are different.”

What I think about what they think? 

I find it’s true. I find it’s a great way to promote communication and to have feedback from your students. It’s something they use everyday. Why not bring it to our advantage?  As it was said in the article there is a difference on socializing and having a focus on a task. As we all know learning a second language can be tricky. Thus, I think we could use something students are comfortable with and use it to our advantage.

But in the end, it’s all a question of personal opinion and school policies. As future teachers, we should always try to do everything in our power to catch our student’s motivation, especially in second language teaching where it’s sometimes harder to get the students motivated. If I see that a social media such as Facebook will help my students in an educational setting, why not use it? This is a way of working with the new generations in modern classes.  This kind of social media provides students comfort and connection to what is being thought in the classroom. Who knows what will exist in few years. What I do know is that rather than working against it, I will find secure ways to work with it.

If you need more information on the advantages of Facebook, on ways teacher can use Facebook or if you need some tips or even educational applications here are two websites that helped me build my opinion on Facebook in the educational system and I would like to share it with all of you:

First Link 🙂 

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Second Link 🙂 

Also, if you are thinking on using a a social media in your classroom such as Facebook you might want a take a look at standards for students.