Magical Middle School Musings
Web 2.0 Blog
Link to this example: Not Applicable
Description: Quizlet Live is a collaborative game that students play in teams. The teams must work together to correctly answer questions. The first team to answer all of the questions correctly in a row wins the game. Quizlet Live is extremely easy to set up. It also looks simple for students to access. One of the features that I like the most about Quizlet Live is that it randomly groups students into teams, which can eliminate some stress in the classroom. In order to play Quizlet Live, students are given a code to login. Once there are enough players, students are grouped into teams and encouraged to sit together. Each team is presented with the same question and different answer choices. Only one student has the correct answer choice. As teams answer questions, the teacher projects team progress. If a team gets a question correct, their progress bar moves. If they answer incorrectly, they go back to the beginning. The first team to get to the end by answering all questions correctly (in a row) wins the game. Once the game is over, the teacher can review the questions with students or allow them to play again.
Quizlet Live seems like an extremely engaging tool to use with students. It's also quite simple for teachers. The database of study sets already created within Quizlet makes it extremely easy to set up. In the example shown here, I was able to search for integers and immediately find a study set that matched our unit of study. From there, I just had to make a few clicks to begin the game. If I couldn't find a pre-created study set, I could easily create my own. Quizlet Live looks like it would bring out the competitive side in even the quietest of students. Since students have to work together to see who has the correct answer on the team, it encourages collaboration and helps build teamwork in the classroom. It also reinforces accuracy and forces students to slow down, since an incorrect response will take the team back to the start. Overall, I think it's great tool to help reinforce concepts, especially vocabulary, and promote teamwork and collaboration.
Link to this example: https://flipgrid.com/d4503b (Password: MsIsacco)
Description: Flipgrid is a video discussion platform. It works similar to a traditional discussion board, except responses are generated via video rather than in written form. Flipgrid promotes themselves as a "social learning network." It is designed to be extremely engaging to today's learner (it looks a lot like many of the social media platforms that are popular today). Flipgrid's interface is rather simple and intuitive. Teachers can create a classroom. Within that classroom, the teacher posts a question and students respond via video. In the free version, students can only post video; they can't respond to other student videos. It is moderated by a teacher. I set up the classroom with a password, so anyone visiting my Flipgrid classroom would need the password to respond to prompts and view other posted videos. I was also able to set it up so that I can moderate, which means I have to approve student videos before they are posted to the classroom wall. When students create videos, they can personalize them with emojis, stickers, and other similar tools.
Flipgrid can serve a variety of purposes. The example I posted is a simple class introduction video. Flipgrid allows teachers to set a time limit for each video response, so it can be adjusted to meet the needs of specific assignments. It can be used in for any topic that would require discussion. I think it would work really well in a blended learning environment in place of more traditional discussion posts. The video response allows access for learners of varied abilities. The format of Flipgrid allows students to be creative; I think many students would find it engaging and fun to use. I'm always searching for tools that allow students to use in such a way that they don't feel like they don't even necessarily know they are learning. Flipgrid fits that description quite nicely.
Link to this example: https://app.wizer.me/preview/MKFJNP
Description: Wizer is a platform that teachers can create engaging, interactive, online worksheets for students to complete. Wizer stands out from other worksheet generating platforms because it contains a wide variety of options for presenting material and varying types of questions. It also allows you to create worksheets that are visually appealing for students, which makes the worksheets extremely engaging.
Wizer contains a bank of worksheets created by other teachers. You can use one of those and edit it to your liking or start from scratch and create your own. There is option to add images, audio, video, and link websites. One thing I really like about Wizer is it gives you the option of creating directions for each set of questions in written or audio form. You can create questions that are open ended, multiple choice, fill in the blank, matching, and drag and drop (into tables). When you are creating the worksheet, you also upload the answers. You have the option of Wizer grading it or you can review answers and provide feedback. The premium version offers the option to differentiate your questions as well, but I only worked with the free version, which offered everything I needed.
The example linked here is a 6th grade math lesson. It provides students with opportunity to review strategies and practice independently. It contains questions in a variety of formats to address multiple learning styles. Because Wizer so customizable, it can be used for any content or grade level. It really seems like a great, interactive tool.
Link to this example: Not Applicable
Description: Wordle is a tool that's been around for awhile. I've seen it used but never attempted to create one before. At first, it seemed quite simple to use. You enter text into a box, press go, and it creates a word cloud that displays the words in the text. Words are emphasized (with large, bold font) depending on how often they appear in the text. Unfortunately, the experience of creating the Wordle was not as easy as I had hoped. Because it's an older program, it requires Java to run, which is only available on Internet Explorer. I only found this out after I attempted to create a Wordle in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. It took some time to configure Internet Explorer correctly, but I was eventually able to get it to create a word cloud. Once the Wordle was created, I could customize the layout, font, color, and language.
The text I used in the example shown here is the text of the Common Core Standards for Grade 6 Math, The Number System. I think using the text of the standards in a word cloud provides an excellent visual for terminology emphasized within them. It's a great way to show students some of the key terms that will be highlighted in a particular unit. It could be used to introduce a topic and talk about vocabulary.
Because of the issues I had with creating the Wordle, I would not recommend it for student use. Now that I know how to use it, I think it would still be appropriate for teachers to use. It's a tool I can see myself using during certain topics and units. Once a Wordle is created, it can be downloaded for future use. Wordle does not provide a link or a way to embed the image, so the only way to view it again later is to download the image.
Link to this example: Not Applicable
Description: Grammarly is an editing website that checks documents for grammar, spelling, and content. You can either upload an already created document or type directly into the Grammarly platform. You then select the intent, audience, style, and emotion of your work. Grammarly scans your document and offers suggestions to fix both common and complex errors. It provides an explanation for each suggestion so you understand why it is calling attention to an item. For each suggestion, you have the option of accepting the suggestion of Grammarly or ignoring it and keeping your original work. Once you are finished, you can download the corrected document to your computer.
Grammarly is completely free and I found it to be extremely simple to use. It is available as both a website and a Google Chrome Extension. I used the website version and was able to quickly upload and scan a discussion post I created for class. There is a premium version but the free version had all of the tools I needed.
Grammarly would be a great tool to use in the writing process. We do a lot of peer editing. When students are finished peer editing, they could use Grammarly to see if there are additional mistakes they did not catch. If used over time, I think students would learn to make better use of peer editing time. The visual support that Grammarly provides, along with the explanation of errors, can help improve student writing mechanics. Students can use this tool for any writing, both formal and informal. I believe using this repeatedly will help them become better writers.
Link to this example: http://blabberize.com/view/id/1762768
Description: Blabberize is a tool that I could see students really enjoying. It allows users to upload a still image and bring that image to life by outline the mouth and recording voice over, allowing the image to talk. Blabberize allows you to select any image and then either record voice over or upload an existing audio file. In order to make the image "talk," Blabberize has a tool that allows you to outline the mouth. Working with the outlining tool was a bit tricky at first, but once I got the hang of it, I was able to create a Blabber in just a few minutes. Once you create your Blabber, the website provides you with a link, an embed code, and the option to download it to your computer as a video file.
The example Blabber I created can be used in a Language Arts unit. Students will research courageous acts of a person, write a research paper detailing the acts, and then give a presentation. Blabberize could be used in place of a traditional presentation, and would be especially helpful for students who struggle with public speaking. It would allow them to create their Blabber ahead of time, thus eliminating the nerves that go along with more traditional presentations.
I found Blabberize to be extremely engaging and fun to work with. There are many possibilities for educational use. You can outline more than one mouth in an image, allowing people to talk to or with each other in a Blabber. I could see this being used across content, in Language Arts, History, Science, even Music. I really like that it provides a presentation option that is outside the box of PowerPoint and Google Slides. It definitely promotes creativity and I think students would have a lot of fun with it.
Link to this example: https://padlet.com/misacco104/5cukad6o340m
Description: Padlet is web-based productivity software that resembles a bulletin board. It can be used to display information on the topic of your choosing. It is completely customizable, allowing users to use images, videos, links, music, spreadsheets, and many other file types. Once you create a board, it can be shared and used as a collaboration tool, allowing others to post and comment. It also allows you to control who has access to your Padlet, with settings ranging from completely private to open, public access. Unfortunately, the free account limits the number of Padlets you can create so you would need to delete old Padlets as you create new ones.
Padlet has a variety of classroom uses. The bulletin board like format lends itself to a quick warm up question or exit ticket. There's also a K-W-L padlet available in the premade templates that could be used throughout the lesson. The example attached to this post contains key plot elements of a text we read yearly, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. By the end of the text, students are expected to analyze the text in two different timelines (chronological and sequential order from the text). The Padlet could be used by the class during reading to record notes about the text. It would allow students to collaborate and develop a deeper understanding of a complex text in both timeline formats.
Link to this example: http://prezi.com/pxbmq1jjb7qk/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
Description: Prezi is a website that allows users to create multimedia presentations that begin with a big picture and then zoom in to focus on smaller details. It contains an archive of templates that can be customized for a variety of purposes. Presentations can include text, images, audio, and video files. You can embed content from other websites as well. The end result are presentations that are rich and engaging for viewers and creators alike.
The possibilities for classroom use are endless. Students could create a Prezi to introduce themselves at the beginning of the school year. The example introduction Prezi is one than can be used in a math class. Prezi can be used anywhere PowerPoint or Google Slides are used. Some students may prefer it because the presentation is not traditional start to finish. Presentations are housed online, so this is a great tool for students that used devices with cloud-based storage, such as Chromebooks.