Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Classkick Introduces Viewer Mode - Parents Can View Students' Work on Any Device

Classkick is a free service for creating, distributing, and assessing students' work. Originally, the service was only available on iPads. It is now available to use on any device that has an updated web browser. The latest update to Classkick brings a feature called Classkick Viewer.

Classkick Viewer allows parents, teachers, and students to view assignments through any device connected to the web. The neat thing about Classkick Viewer is that parents and teachers can view their students' work in real-time and or when it is completed. Learn more about Classkick Viewer in the video embedded below.


Through Classkick you can create an online classroom through which you distribute assignments to students. Students join your class by enter the class code into the Classkick app on their iPads or on the Classkick Viewer site. Once they've joined your classroom you can start distributing assignments.

The assignments that you create in Classkick can be based on screenshots, imported images, drawings, text, or voice recordings. Classkick lets you see what your students are working on within the app or in Classkick Viewr. Students can ask you for help while working in the app. You can also give feedback to students directly through Classkick.

Three Fun Phonics Games from Teach Your Monster to Read

For the last few years I've been a fan of the online learning game called Teach Your Monster to Read. The game is designed to help students improve the speed and accuracy with which they recognize letters and sounds. The game gets its name from the friendly monster avatars that students use in the game. Today, I learned that Teach Your Monster to Read now offers three fun phonics games to be played offline.

The Teach Your Monster to Read phonics games are designed to help students increase the speed with which they recognize sounds and letters while at the same time getting them moving about your classroom, gymnasium, or playground. Currently, three phonics games are available through the Teach Your Monster to Read website. In all three games students use large grapheme flashcards that students have to properly identify and place in proper sequences.

In Pirates and Sailors students have to match the grapheme cards to objects whose name begins with the grapheme on their cards. In the Pass the Sound game students participate in a relay race of sharing corresponding grapheme cards. And in the Find My Family Sound game students have to find classmates who have drawn the same grapheme card without showing anyone what is written on their cards.

Applications for Education
Playing the Teach Your Monster to Read phonics games could be a fun way to review what your students may have learned while playing the online version of Teach Your Monster to Read.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

PBS World Explorers - The Lives & Journeys of Famous Explorers

PBS World Explorers is a new collection of videos from PBS Learning Media. The PBS World Explorers collection includes sixteen short videos about famous explorers throughout history. Some of the explorers featured in PBS World Explorers include Leif Ericson, John Cabot, and Zheng He. You'll also find the usual suspects in the collection including Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, and Juan Ponce de León. It's also interesting to note that PBS World Explorers includes 20th Century explorers Alan Shepard and Neil Armstrong.

Applications for Education
Each of the videos in the PBS World Explorers collection is intended for audiences in grades four through eight. The videos can be downloaded from PBS Learning Media and or shared via Google Classroom.

After watching a few of the videos in the PBS World Explorers collection ask your students how some of the explorers' travels might have been different if they had access to 21st Century technology. You might also ask them to find examples of people who are explorers in the 21st Century.

How to Create & Run Review Games on Triventy

Triventy is a free quiz game platform that I wrote about at the end of December. The concept behind Triventy will feel familiar to anyone who has tried Kahoot or Quizizz. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create and run review activities through Triventy.


Applications for Education
One of the best features of Triventy is the option to invite collaborators to create quizzes with you. As I mentioned in the video, you could have students work together to develop review games or you could use the collaboration option to develop review games with your colleagues.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Ten Good Video Sources for Science Teachers and Students

On Sunday evening I shared a list of ten good sources of social studies videos. To keep the video source series going I've created a list of sources for educational science videos. Here are ten good sources of science videos for students and teachers.

On his website and YouTube channel Montana's 2011 Teacher of the Year Paul Anderson has uploaded more than 300 quality instructional videos like the ones about biology that are embedded below.



TED-Ed offers dozens of videos on a variety of topics in science. I created a playlist of TED-Ed videos about how the human body works. That playlist is embedded below.


Gooru is a service that aims to provide teachers and students with an extensive collection of videos, interactive displays, documents, diagrams, and quizzes for learning about topics in math and science. As a Gooru member you have access to hundreds of resources according to subject areas such as chemistry, biology, ecology, algebra, calculus, and more. Within each subject area you can look for resources according to media type such as video, interactive display, slides, text, and lesson plans. When you find resources that you want to use, drag them to the resources folder within your account. Gooru also offers you the option to add resources to your folders even if you did not find them within Gooru.

Learners TV has organized hundreds of academic videos. They've also organized more than one hundred science animations. The science animations on Learners TV are organized into three categories; biology, physics, and chemistry.

ScienceFix is the blog and YouTube channel of middle school science teacher Darren Fix. On both the blog and the YouTube channel you will find more than 100 videos demonstrating various science experiments, demonstrations, and middle school science lessons.

Bright Storm's YouTube channel offers video lessons for biology, chemistry, and physics. The videos are nothing more than an instructor lecturing with a whiteboard for a few minutes which could be adequate if a student just needs a refresher on a science topic.

NASA has a few different YouTube channels, but the one that has the most universal utility for teachers and students is NASA eClips. NASA eClips is organized according to grade level with playlists intended for elementary school, middle school, and high school.

Reactions: Everyday Science is a YouTube channel that was formerly known as Bytesize Science. I have featured a few Bytesize Science videos in the past. Reactions: Everyday Science produces short explanatory videos about the science in common elements of our lives. In the past I've featured Reactions videos about the science of snowflakes and the science of grilled cheese.

John and Hank Green's Crash Course channel on YouTube includes courses in chemistry, ecology, and biology. They're good videos, but they do go quickly so your students might have to rewind them a couple of times to catch everything.

The Spangler Effect is a YouTube channel from Steve Spangler Science. Unlike his popular Sick Science videos which are no more than short demonstrations of science experiments students and parents can do at home, The Spangler Effect videos offer longer (15 minutes or so) explanations of science experiments. The Spangler Effect videos explain the science of do-it-yourself experiments and how you can recreate those experiments at home or in your classroom.

A note about Khan Academy: I left Khan Academy off the list because it's the best known source of educational videos. Sal Khan doesn't need my help promoting his stuff.