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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Writer's Workshop - A Selection of TED-Ed Lessons

TED-Ed is one of my favorite YouTube channels. I'm subscribed to it and I receive an alert on my phone whenever a new video is added to the channel (click here to learn how to do the same). Within the TED-Ed YouTube channel you will find a number of curated playlists. One of the playlists that I recently noticed is called The Writer's Workshop. The playlist is embedded below.


Applications for Education
TED-Ed's The Writer's Workshop is a good place for students to find some quick lessons on punctuation and grammar. Students who are ready to take their writing to a new level could benefit from the TED-Ed videos on irony, introductions, and building fictional worlds.

SeeSaw Offers Three Ways for Students to Sign In and Create Digital Portfolios

Disclosure: SeeSaw is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

SeeSaw is one of the most popular new ed tech tools of 2015. I've been using it and showing it in my presentations since February and everywhere I've gone, it has been a hit. SeeSaw is a free tool for teachers and students to use to create digital portfolios. SeeSaw can be used on iPads, Android tablets, Chromebooks, and laptops. Through the service students and teachers can build digital portfolios that feature students' digital work as well as images of physical work.

Initially, SeeSaw only offered one way for students to join and that was through scanning an individual QR code or entering an individual student code. There are now two other ways for students to join SeeSaw. There is a class code option that is designed for younger students that are sharing devices. These students can scan a QR code or enter a class code then choose their names from a list (you have to enter their names in advance). Students who have email addresses and or Google Accounts can use those credentials to join SeeSaw and create a digital portfolio. Click here for complete details on all of SeeSaw's sign-in options.

Share Your Haiku Deck Presentations to Google Classroom

Haiku Deck is an excellent alternative to using Power Point or Google Slides to create presentations. Haiku Deck's themes, templates, and integrated Creative Commons image search tool have made it a popular tool in schools. Haiku Deck recently added a "share to Google Classroom" option that should make it easier for you and your students to share presentations with each other. Watch the video below to see how it works.


And if you're curious about how Haiku Deck works, check out the tutorial here.

7 Tools for Adding Questions and Notes to Videos

Short videos from YouTube and other sources can be quite helpful in introducing topics to students and or reinforcing concepts that you have taught. Watching the video can be enough for some students, it's better if we can call students' attention to specific sections of videos while they are watching them. The following tools allow you to add comments and questions to videos that you share with your students.

Vibby is a service for breaking YouTube videos into segments and inserting comments into those segments. To segment a YouTube video on Vibby simply grab the URL for the video and paste into the Vibby editor. Once inserted into Vibby you can highlight a segment on the video timeline. Vibby then play only the sections you've highlighted. Click on a highlighted section to add a comment to it. Videos edited through Vibby can be shared via email, social media, or embedded into a blog or website. Click here for a Vibby tutorial.

YouTube has a built-in tool for adding annotations to videos that you own. Open the video editor in your YouTube account and you can add notes, including notes with hyperlinks to other videos, to your videos. Directions for that process are available here.

On VideoANT anyone can add annotations to any publicly accessible YouTube video. To do this copy the URL of a video and paste it into the VideoANT annotation tool. Then as the video plays click the "add annotation" button when you want to add an annotation. To have others annotate the video with you, send them the VideoANT link. You are the only person that has to have a VideoANT account. Your collaborators do not need to have a VideoANT account to participate in the annotation process with you.

eduCanon is an excellent service for creating, assigning, and tracking your students' progress on flipped lessons. eduCanon allows you to build flipped lessons using YouTube and Vimeo videos, create questions about the videos, then assign lessons to their students. Once you have found a video through eduCanon you can add questions to it at any point along its timeline. Students need to answer your questions before they move on to the next portion of your chosen video. You can track your students' progress within eduCanon.

VideoNotes is a neat tool for taking notes while watching videos. VideoNotes allows you to load any YouTube video on the left side of your screen and on the right side of the screen VideoNotes gives you a notepad to type on. VideoNotes integrates with your Google Drive account. By integrating with Google Drive VideoNotes allows you to share your notes and collaborate on your notes just as you can do with a Google Document. You can use VideoNotes to have students submit questions to you and each other while watching videos. Of course, you can insert questions into the conversation for your students to answer too.

MoocNote is a free tool for adding timestamped comments, questions, and links to videos. To do this on MoocNote you simply paste a link to a YouTube video into the MoocNote editor. Once the video is imported you can start to add your comments, questions, and links. The link features is particularly useful for providing students with additional resources for learning about the topics covered in your shared videos. MoocNote allows you to organize playlists (MoocNote calls them courses) of videos according to topics that you identify.

Blubbr is a neat quiz creation service that I have raved about since I tried it for the first time nearly three years ago. Through Blubbr you can create interactive quizzes that are based on YouTube clips. Your quizzes can be about anything of your choosing. The structure of the quizzes has a viewer watch a short clip then answer a multiple choice question about the clip. Viewers know right away if they chose the correct answer or not.

Marketing Your Teaching Materials - Webinar Recording & Slides

Last night Steve Hargadon and I hosted a webinar titled Marketing Your Teaching Materials. The webinar was sponsored by TES. In the webinar we looked at the TES Marketplace and strategies for using blogs, email, and social media to promote your TES Marketplace offerings. If you missed the webinar, you can now view it here or as embedded below.



The slides seen in the webinar can be viewed below.