Monday, November 6, 2017

Kanbanchi Project Management Tool

Kanbanchi is a free education app that allows teachers and students to visually monitor projects. There are templates for lesson plans, newsletters, and classroom work that help users get started. Kanbanchi was designed to help teachers and students manage project-based learning.

Once you set up a dashboard you can populate it with cards to help track different aspects of a project. The cards can be different colors, assigned to specific people, given a start date, due date, and have an estimate for how long it will take to complete that specific task, and be given a priority from low to high. 

Here are just some of the things you can do with Kanbanchi:
  • Create an unlimited number of dashboards and cards
  • Share with an unlimited number of collaborators
  • Push due dates to Google Calendar
  • Attach files from Google Drive
  • Sort and filter cards as needed
  • Import your Trello boards

Science Journal App from Google

The Google Science Journal is a digital science notebook that provides users with one location to store notes, photos, and observations. It works with Android devices, iPhones, iPads, and Chromebooks.

The Google Science Journal allows users to conduct experiments involving light, motion, sound, and air pressure using sensors that are already built into the phone. External sensors can be used to connect to several Bluetooth-enabled devices from Arduino and Vernier. All of the data  collected collected using this app is turned into graphs and charts which are easy to interpret.

Applications for Education
This app is a mobile science lab which students can take anywhere in order to conduct experiments. Students can collect data, take photos, and record observations while in the field. This is an exciting and practical way to incorporate cell phones into the learning process.

Crafty Text to Easily Share Links

Crafty Text is a Chrome extension that allows you to display text in a large font over a web page. To get started, click the extension to open a box where you will enter some text. You will have the option to display the text exactly as is. If you have entered a URL, you will have the option to display a shortened version of the link or display a QR Code that also shows a shortened link. Simply click the extension again to make the overlay disappear.

This extension is super handy when you need to get your audience to the same website quickly and painlessly. 

Display text

Show shortened URL

Create QR Code

Sunday, November 5, 2017

4 Ways to Use Flipgrid in 4th Grade

This is a guest post from Caroline Schaab.

As a 4th grade teacher, I’m always looking for creative ways spark curiosity, promote student voice, and keeps students engaged and to want to continue learning outside of school. Last year, with a few weeks left in the school year, I was introduced to Flipgrid. Fligrid is an easy to use video discussion platform, that allows students and teachers to record video responses anywhere from fifteen to 90 seconds. My students can record videos on their Chromebooks or if they have another device at home they can do this as well. At first, I was a bit hesitant about using Flipgrid, however, I stepped outside my comfort zone and watched the magic happen with these assignments:

  • Math Songs - We learn a song to reinforce the concept being taught in class. Students would then go home and record themselves singing the song, and learning the concept.
  • Math in My World - This is a favorite of mine. Students will find math in their life that illustrates the standard/skills we are working on in class. They will then take a video on the topic, explaining how this concept applies to THEIR real world example.
  • Reading Logs - As alternative of writing down their reading life for the evening, sometimes we mix it up with LIVE reading logs! Students record their video talking about the skill we are learning in class, and how it helps them understand their books better. When studying character, students have even pretended to be their character and shared why they made certain decisions.
  • Monthly Book Reviews - students can post their review of what novels they are reading. This is great practice for students writing summaries as well as keeps an easy to access library of our favorite books.
One of the reasons I really love this product is that it has a lot of safety measures built into it to keep students work private. It’s easy to use, because students do not need accounts, however, unless they have the code for your grid, they are not able to access the material. I’m able to share this easily on Google Classroom for students to access as well as can email the link to parents if they’d like to see what we are working on. I am able to monitor the videos as they are posted, and intervene if necessary if someone is using this tool inappropriately. This has been a great tool for my students to practice being a good online citizens as well as let their voice and creativity shine through in the magic of video. I am also able to provide individualized feedback right to their video, which they have access to immediately. Some students will choose to submit another video to ensure they are meeting all standards that are being addressed.

The Flipgrid site itself has some amazing resources for getting started with Flipgrid, including a quick video to get started. One that I tackled this summer was becoming Flipgrid certified. This meant learning how to use the tool using their resources. In three easy steps I was able to earn a badge that let the world know, I have #flipgridfever! My students love this resource and are always begging for homework using Flipgrid. I hope you find this tool helpful and I’d love to hear how you choose to use Flipgrid in your classroom. Leave me a video response by clicking here so I can see if I sparked your interest!

Quick Walkthrough Video from Flipgrid on Vimeo.

About the author:
My goal as an educator is to empower all of my students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, enthusiastic readers, and skillful researchers. I embrace the whole child valuing intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being. I want to inspire all students that enter my classroom to be life-long learners and create a safe environment for students to takes risks with their learning. Currently, I teach 4th grade at Field Elementary School in Park Ridge, IL, where I’ve spent my fourteen year career teaching 4th grade, 5th grade, and having been an instructional technology coach at a another school in District 64.

Silk Says Goodbye

A few years ago was one of the best tools for creating robust data visualizations. I used it in a number of social studies lessons. Unfortunately, the service is shutting down. As announced in email sent to users, the Silk team was acquired by another firm. The Silk site will be online until December 15th to give current users the opportunity to download any data that they have stored in the service.

Current Silk users who are looking for another way to create data visualizations may want to try some of the features of the Explore function in Google Spreadsheets. Google's Public Data Explorer is an option for some data visualization purposes. And Silk is recommending

Google's Ngram Viewer is a neat data visualization tool for a specific type of data visualization.