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Thursday, December 29, 2016

15 Tools for Teaching History With Technology - Best of 2016

As I usually do during this week, I'm taking some time off to relax, ski, and work on some long-term projects for the next year. This week I will be re-publishing the most popular posts of 2016. 

One of the things that teachers often ask me for is a set of tools to get them started on using technology in their classrooms. This is a common request because it can be overwhelming to look at a website or a read a stream of emails with tips and try to figure out where to start. For that reason, I have started to put together short PDFs that contain a few options for a three or four common activities in a subject area. These are not meant to be comprehensive guides, they're meant to be starter kits. The first starter kit is for social studies teachers.

In the handout embedded below you will find my recommendations for tools to create timelines, tools to create videos, tools to create digital maps, and tools to help students conduct better web research. You can download the document from Box or grab the Google Docs copy.

Learn more about how to use these tools in Teaching History With Technology starting in January.


Learn more about how to use these tools in my online course Teaching History With Technology

Two Ways to Visually Show Classroom Noise - Best of 2016

As I usually do during this week, I'm taking some time off to relax, ski, and work on some long-term projects for the next year. This week I will be re-publishing the most popular posts of 2016. 

Bouncy Balls is a free online noise meter that shows students the volume of the noise in your classroom. Bouncy Balls does this by displaying a set of colorful bouncing balls on your screen. The louder your students are, the higher and more frequently the balls on the screen bounce. To use Bouncy Balls simply go to the website, click "begin bouncing," and then click the microphone icon to allow the site to access your computer's microphone.

Calmness Counter is similar to Bouncy Balls. The difference is that Calmness Counter displays a dial meter to display the decibel level in your classroom. You can adjust the microphone input sensitivity directly on the Calmness Counter screen.

Applications for Education
Projecting either of these meters for all of your students to see could be a good way to help them understand the appropriate volume for conversations while working on group activities in your classroom.

Google Cast for Education - Best of 2016

As I usually do during this week, I'm taking some time off to relax, ski, and work on some long-term projects for the next year. This week I will be re-publishing the most popular posts of 2016. 

This morning at the ISTE 2016 conference Google announced some great new features for teachers. One feature that immediately jumped out at me is the new Google Cast for Education Chrome app. The Google Cast for Education Chrome app enables teachers and students share their screens over wireless networks. The app integrates with Google Classroom to make it easy for you to quickly share your screen to your students' Chromebooks or laptops and for them to share with you. See the Google Cast for Education Chrome app in action in the video embedded below.



Applications for Education
The Google Cast for Education Chrome app will solve a problem that has plagued teachers for years. That problem is getting all of your students to look at the same webpage or app at the same time without having to rely on them to accurately enter a web address or click the correct link.

The Best Ways to Use Padlet - Best of 2016

As I usually do during this week, I'm taking some time off to relax, ski, and work on some long-term projects for the next year. This week I will be re-publishing the most popular posts of 2016. 

This afternoon at the ISTE 2016 conference I had a nice meeting with Melanie Broder from Padlet. She told me about some of the things that Padlet is working on developing during the rest of the year. One of things is a community for educators. That community should help teachers find creative uses of Padlet as well as sharing lesson activities in general. Until that community gets going, take a look at Padlet's Best of Education wall.

Padlet's Best of Education wall features twenty-seven Padlet walls created by teachers. One of my favorites in that collection is 100 Picture Books to Read and Share. All of the books in that Padlet wall are linked to Goodreads pages. Another good wall in Padlet's Best of Education is a collection of student blogging prompts.

Watch my video embedded below to learn how to use the latest version of Padlet's website.