Tuesday, July 30, 2013

10 Edtech Tips if You Only Have 10 Minutes

A lot of times people come from conferences or webinars and they are overloaded with information. One of the biggest complaints that I hear from my colleagues, is "When am I going to have time to do this or that?" With that spirit in mind, here are  10 tech integration activities that take about 10 minutes to implement.

10.  Get started with Evernote. You've all heard me talk about Evernote and I've done my best to make it easy for folks to get started with it. I've created these two videos that walk you through getting set up with Evernote and the webclipper. Then it's easy to keep all your files and things that you find on the web. With tags you can keep track of everything.

9. Start using Wunderlist. Wunderlist is another one of those amazing free apps that lets you keep track of things. It also lets you collaborate on projects with your colleagues. This would also be a great tool for your students when working on group projects. It becomes an easy way for everyone to keep track of what needs done. And it works on every platform.

8. Create a word cloud using Tagxedo or Wordle. Word clouds are a nice way to get your students attention when starting a new unit or subject. It is also a great way to incorporate literature and other texts into a variety of curricula. Simply copy/paste the text into the site, or enter the url of the website where you want the information to come from. This is a great way to start discussions.

7. Use interactive tools. Even if you do not have an interactive whiteboard, you can still use interactive tools, many of them are free. If you have a computer with a projector in your classroom, either you or your students can manipulate the software from the computer itself. This allows for the interactivity needed to help increase student engagement. Many interactive tools are free.

6. Start asking questions. We ask questions everyday in our classrooms and sometimes students may be apprehensive or uncertain of their answers, but it important for us as educators to ask those questions and that we give the students an opportunity to do so in a safe and comfortable environment. If you do not have a class set of clickers, students can use their smartphones (or computers or class iPads if you have them) to answer the questions and give you instant feedback. Checkout Poll Everywhere or Socrative.

5. Make a One-Shot video. Using screencapture software like Camtastic or Smart Capture allows you to record what is on your screen as well as audio. Instead of assigning homework, you can create an introduction video for students to watch at home/before class. This is a way to do some pre-teaching before you get into the meat of things.

4. Make a Voki. Voki is a free website that allows you to create a simple animation that speaks with either your voice or computerized voice. This can be a way to introduce a topic, expand on something that students are learning, or an activity for students to create their own to demonstrate learning.

3. Liven up your PowerPoints with embedded websites. Many times people who use PowerPoint know how to link to a website, so that during the PowerPoint, they can click on the link and the website will open. This will "pause" your PowerPoint and then you'll have to alt+tab or click on the icon on the dock to get back to your PowerPoint. However, if you install the LiveWeb plugin, you'll never have to close out of your PowerPoint because the website will be right there on the slide.

2. Create an interactive image using Thinglink. Use these in your classroom on an interactive board of as a way to start a webquest.

1. Make a plan. It's easy to suggest these things and all the other resources that we have here out there, but sometimes, time just gets away from us. Making a technology integration plan is an excellent way to keep yourself accountable. Whether it's in your planbook or with your team. You can also keep a log of the technology that you use and how you use it, this way you can reflect on how successful it has been, or things that you would change in the future.

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