Monday, June 23, 2014

Teacher Tech "Know" Tuesday

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful summer! Here's this week's Tech "Know" Tuesday tip! I work at a project based learning school, and we have a bunch of projects integrated throughout the curriculum. I am very fortunate to teach at a school with technology tools easily available for my students. The upper grades (fourth and fifth) at my school have a 1:1 iPad ratio, and the lowers grades share laptop and iPad carts. I teach third grade, so we can check out iPads or laptops while we are working on various projects.

I love using iPads with my students while they are working on their projects. There are so many great creation apps they can use to showcase their work! The only problem with sharing iPads is that once my students create their projects, they can't turn them into me. So, I would have my students share their projects on the Promethean Board, I'd grade their projects, and then we'd have to delete their work before turning the iPads back into the library. My students would be upset because they would lose all of their work, and I felt bad deleting their projects. Craziness!

Well, while I was at the Upstate Technology Conference I learned about the Showbie app that will easily solve this problem for me. And the best part is that the app is FREE! Showbie is an amazing app! With Showbie you can create a paperless classroom. You can easily assign student work, and they can turn it into you digitally from an iPad. You can then grade, and provide feedback on their work from your iPad. Setting up an account for Showbie is really easy. First you need to download the app and create a class. Once you have created your class, Showbie will give you a class code that your students will use while they set up their own account. Once students have their own account, they can login from any device that has the Showbie app. Showbie lets them keep their work so they can easily share it with you, their family, or just keep it for themselves. I am so excited about this app and can't wait to use it next year!

I will see you next Tuesday!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Teacher Tech "Know" Tuesday

Summer, Summer,  Summertime
Time to sit back and unwind.

That’s right, I’m starting this post off with some lyrics from Will Smith. Teachers everywhere are currently rejoicing and energizing for the next school year. I don’t know who looks forward to this time of year more, the students or the teachers. 

The summer is great because you get to do things you couldn’t do during the school year like spend more time with your family and friends, travel, or read books that have nothing to do with education. However, if you are like me, you also have time to reflect on the previous school year. What worked? What didn’t work? What do you need to change for next year? Summer is refreshing and it refreshes your creativity.

Over the summer, I like to do some kind of professional development to keep my ideas fresh. So this past week I got my nerd on while I attended the Upstate Technology Conference. It was refreshing and so much fun! I left that conference energized and full of ideas for the next school year. It’s a good thing that I have all summer to work on the millions of ideas running through my head!  I learned about so many awesome projects, apps, and technology tools.  It was just great to share ideas with fellow educators. Then I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a place where teachers could share their ideas and technology tricks? So, I have decided to set up my very first linky party. If you love technology, join me every Tuesday for Teacher Tech “Know” Tuesday. Just grab the button below and link up using the InLinkz Link-up at the bottom of this post. I can’t wait to read about all of your great technology ideas, tips, and tricks!

That being said, here is my first Tech “Know “ Tuesday Tip! One of the sessions I attended at the conference was on using Live Binders in the classroom with I left that session with a bunch of great ideas for the upcoming school year. If you haven't heard of Live Binders before, they are digital notebooks you can create for free! I don't know about you, but I hate wasting my limited number of copies on forms, and this website is my solution in saving those precious copies! 

Setting up an account is quick and easy. Once you have an account set up, you can begin creating your own digital notebooks. I found a great tutorial on YouTube that explains Live Binders in more detail and can guide you in creating your own Live Binders. I really like this concept because you can upload PDF's, websites, and any of your teacher files to these notebooks. You can use tabs and sub-tabs to organize your work. Just think of all of the binders you can create to make your life easier!
-You can use Live Binders to organize your files
-Share lesson plans or unit plans with fellow teachers
-Create subfolders with ALL of the files and directions they will need for the day
-Communicate to your students' parents by sending home field trip packets, beginning of the year packets, project packets, etc.

Sharing these binders is really easy. Once you create a binder the Live Binder site will give you a link, and has you choose an access code for sharing your work If you use Edmodo in your classroom, you can easily post this link to your class page for the students and parents to access it quickly. There are just some many ways to use this site in the classroom!

Have any of you used Live Binders in the classroom before? What worked, what didn't?