Friday, February 17, 2017

Hexagon Learning Template

Earlier this week I Tweeted Terri Eichholz's blog posts about hexagonal learning. In those posts she outlined how hexagonal learning worked in her classroom. It's notable that Terri also shared the mistakes she made when trying to use visual hexagonal learning lessons with her students. Terri works with elementary school students. Hexagonal learning can also be used at the high school level as Russel Tarr outlines in his blog post about using it in his history classes. Russel offers a hexagonal learning template on his Class Tools website.

The Class Tools Hexagons Generator lets you create an online hexagonal learning activity to share with your students. To use the template just enter a topic then a minimum of five terms related to that topic. For example, I entered the topic of "American Revolution" then entered the terms "Stamp Act," "Sugar Act," "Boston Tea Party," "Intolerable Acts," and "Olive Branch Petition." The generator then created five hexagons that my students can arrange online to show the connections between the topics. Students can also edit the hexagons to add explanations to the connections.

If you're in a classroom that isn't 1:1 you can print the hexagons created by the Class Tools Hexagons Generator.

Applications for Education
As Terri and Russel explain in their respective blog posts, hexagonal learning can be a great way to help students see how multiple topics within a subject are connected to each other. This can be an excellent activity for students to do when they are preparing to write a long research or editorial piece.

Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp FAQ

We've had three snowstorms in less than a week here in Maine. In other words, it is the perfect time to think about summer. This summer I'm hosting the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp in Portland, Maine. In the video below my assistant Isla and I answer one of the most frequently asked questions about the BYOD Camp.

The Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp on July 27th and 28th will be a hands-on exploration of how to use free technology tools in your classroom. This two day workshop is based on my framework for using technology to help students discover new information, discuss their ideas, and demonstrate their knowledge. Registration is limited to 25 participants to ensure that every participant gets the attention he or she deserves.

Who should come to the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp?
K-12 teachers and curriculum directors who want to discover the best tools and strategies for teaching with technology in the new school year. You do not have to have any prior technology skills in order to learn a lot during the Practical Ed Tech Summer BYOD Camp. Just bring your laptop, iPad, or Android tablet and you’re ready to go. If you are a more experienced user of educational technology, there will be plenty of new tools and ideas for you too.

What’s included in registration?
Breakfast, snacks, and lunches are included for both days. Hotel accommodations and dinners are not included in registration. Mention “Practical Ed Tech” or "Byrne Instructional Media" when making reservations at Holiday Inn By the Bay to receive discounted rates.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Three Ways for Students to Create Digital Flashcards

Take a look down the hallways of your school before the next big test that you're giving to your students and you will see students flipping through flashcards. Those might be paper flashcards or, increasingly, those flashcards are digital. If you or your students are looking for ways to create digital flashcards, take a look at the following options.

Vocabulist, developed by a high school student in Florida, enables students to upload a list of words and terms that they need to learn. When the list is uploaded each word in it is matched to a definition. If the definition rendered isn't exactly right, students can modify it within Vocabulist. Once the list of words and definitions is set students can download the list as a PDF or export the list to Quizlet where it will then be turned into a set of digital flashcards. (Students must have a Quizlet account).

Quizlet is probably the most well-known digital flashcard tool. Quizlet lets students create flashcards from scratch, import lists to create flashcards, or browse for sets of flashcards created and shared by others. Flashcards created from scratch can include pictures and audio (audio is available only with a paid upgrade). The flashcards students create can be viewed online and on their mobile devices even if they lose their data connections.

If you want to create flashcards that include audio for free, Flippity's flashcard creator is the way to go. Through you can quickly create a set of flashcards that include pictures, videos, and text. You can even turn your flashcards into a printable quiz. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how easy it is to use Flippity to create flashcards from a spreadsheet.

Quickly Create Bingo Boards In Google Sheets

Flippity provides teachers with easy-to-use Google Sheets templates. A bingo board generator is the latest template added to Flippity's catalog of offerings. The bingo board generator lets you quickly create sets of unique bingo boards that you can print or have your students use online during a game of bingo in your classroom.

You can access Flippity's bingo template from the Flippity homepage or you can access it from within Flippity's Google Sheets Add-on. The Google Sheets Add-on is easy to use. My video embedded below teaches you how to use Flippity's Google Sheets Add-on.

Applications for Education
Flippity's bingo template could be handy when you want to create a set of unique boards for a review game. Or you could use the generator to create boards for a scavenger hunt activity on a field trip.

The Art of Storytelling - Pixar in a Box

The Art of Storytelling is part of the Pixar in a Box a project from Pixar and Khan Academy through which students can learn how the stories they see in Pixar movies come to life.

The Art of Storytelling is a section of Pixar in a Box that teaches students about four elements universal to good storytelling. The Art of Storytelling is comprised of six instructional videos and four lesson activities for students. The videos and activities can be shared through Google Classroom.

Applications for Education
Part of the fun of making a video is in sharing your stories with others. Telling a story is an art and comes in many styles. Regardless of the style used to tell a story, there are elements universal to all well-told stories. The Art of Storytelling could be a good lesson for your students to work through before embarking on their next video creation projects.

H/T to Lifehacker