The Techie Teacher®

Augmented Reality in the Elementary Classroom

Sunday, April 15, 2018 / Leave a Comment

Augmented Reality in the Elementary Classroom

Effective ways educators can use Augmented Reality in the Elementary Classroom

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Make Scheduling Quick and Easy with Doodle

Thursday, April 12, 2018 / Leave a Comment

Make Scheduling Quick and Easy with Doodle

Come learn how you can make scheduling events and meetings quick and easy using the digital tool, Doodle.

Doodle is a digital tool that will allow you to create and send polls when scheduling meetings, get togethers, events, etc.. It simplifies the scheduling process by aggregating common dates that users submit through their poll responses. For instance, here are the results from a poll I sent to some friends when trying to schedule a get-together. I love the visual graphic that allows me to quickly see that April 26th works best for everyone.


Pricing

☝There is a free plan (what I use). However, if you are interested in a more robust scheduler they do have paid plans with many incredible features:

How does it work?

  • Go to doodle.com and create a free account
  • Click the blue +Create Doodle button
  • Enter your poll title, the location of your event and any details
  • Click on all of the options for possible dates (you can even add different times)

  • Click Finish
  • A link will then be available that you can copy and send out via text, email or post in your school's LMS. There is even an option to email it out straight from the website.




Disclaimer: My husband was the one who told ME about this tool a few months ago. Since then I have started using it for all kinds of events. I promised I would give him credit for introducing me to Doodle. 😂Meet Tim Smith...
Sorry ladies, this hunk is taken😉

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Digital Tool for Increasing Focus and Boosting Productivity

Sunday, April 8, 2018 / Leave a Comment

Digital Tool for Increasing Focus and Boosting Productivity

Digital Tool for Increasing Focus and Boosting Productivity: Works on Chromebooks, laptops, computers, iPads, Android devices and also comes as a Chrome extension. Educators are using this for independent working time and testing in the classroom.

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Using The Fabulous Friend Machine to Help Teach Characterization

Friday, April 6, 2018 / 5 comments

Using The Fabulous Friend Machine to Help Teach Characterization

I have once again teamed up with the fabulous Reading Crew Bloggers to kick off spring with a mentor text blog hop and giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the end of this post for a chance to win a mini iPad or one of several gift cards! We will be choosing 8 different winners.

Using the book The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland to teach characterization. This story is a great lesson for the digital citizenship topics of online safety.

The Book

The book I chose to feature in our springtime book hop is one from my technology-themed picture books list: The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland (Amazon affiliate link).


Not only do I love using this book to help reinforce digital citizenship concepts like online safety and stranger danger but it can also be used to introduce the reading skill of characterization.

It is about a friendly chicken named Popcorn who finds a digital device (which she refers to as the Fabulous Friend Machine) in the barn and attempts to make some new friends online. Unfortunately her "new friends" don't turn out to be friendly at all...

UPDATE! Since I wrote this post The Fabulous Friend Machine has become unavailable on Amazon (go figure!). Hopefully it will make a come back. I was able to find it on Book Depository with free delivery world wide

The Skill

Characterization refers to the way the author conveys information about a character. Sometimes authors are direct when describing a character by telling a reader exactly what a character is like: Ex. "Popcorn was, quite simply, the friendliest chicken at Fiddlesticks Farm." Other times authors are indirect when showing what a character is like which leaves the reader needing to look for clues: Ex. "The wolves didn't want to eat double-fudge chocolate cake. They wanted to eat chicken!" 

The Activity

Click HERE to download my freebie of printables and jpeg images to go along with this story. You will find the three posters displayed above in this download as well. This UNPLUGGED activity makes a great, educational lesson for technology teachers when computers are being used for testing or when the wifi is down. However, I have also included jpeg images of the printables for teachers who would rather use them in Google Slides, PowerPoint, Seesaw, Classkick, PicCollage, etc. (Directions for how to do this are not included)

PRE-READING

Hand out the characterization sheet that comes in the free download:


Introduce (or review with) students the concept of characterization. Have them look at the sheet and  identify the characters they will encounter when reading the story (the pictures should help). As a class, make predictions about the characters' personalities. 

DURING READING

Using the same sheet mentioned above, have students jot down anything they notice about the characters as you read the story.

  • physical characteristics
  • facial expressions
  • body language
  • things they say
  • things they do
  • adjectives used to describe them

AFTER READING

If you would like students to take a deeper dive into characterization, have them fill out the chart for each character. They could do this in small groups or partners to get a conversation going. If you upload these to Google Slides, students could work collaboratively.

Enter to WIN an iPad Mini & Gift Cards:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out the other posts and grab more FREEBIES!


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Classroom Cribs: Episode 1

Thursday, March 29, 2018 / 2 comments

Did you ever watch the MTV Cribs television show that featured tours of celebrities' homes? Well, here is our version of MTV Cribs that we are calling CLASSROOM CRIBS in which second grade teacher, Mary Ledford, takes me on a tour of some AMAZING elementary classrooms to check out their various setups. Everything from flexible seating options, technology storage and adorable displays are highlighted. I was blown away!

Did you ever watch the MTV Cribs television show that featured tours of celebrities' homes? Well, here is our version of MTV Cribs that we are calling CLASSROOM CRIBS in which second grade teacher, Mary Ledford, takes me on a tour of some AMAZING elementary classrooms to check out their various setups. Everything from flexible seating options, technology storage and adorable displays are highlighted. I was blown away!

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Using DIGITAL Directed Drawings in the Classroom

Saturday, March 24, 2018 / 4 comments

What are Directed Drawings?

Do you use directed drawings in your classroom?  I first heard about directed drawings when I was a classroom teacher; however, I never made it a part of our academic day--when would I ever find the time to teach students how to draw? After reading Proud in Primary's blog post, 5 Reasons to Use Directed Drawings in the Classroom, my mindset changed. I had been asking students to draw pictures to support their notes and creative projects but so many would get frustrated with not knowing how to draw certain images. By breaking down the steps to successfully draw pictures, kids can quickly become more confident and empowered designers and creators.

Have you tried DIGITAL directed drawings? These directed drawings all contain an academic element. Students will learn how to successfully design images on a digital canvas.

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Easy Wireless Streaming for the Classroom with Airtame

Thursday, March 22, 2018 / Leave a Comment

Easy Wireless Streaming for the Classroom with Airtame

Easy Wireless Streaming for the Classroom with Airtame: Great for student collaboration, sharing and mirroring screens from any device!

Airtame is a company that has created one of the easiest solutions for wirelessly displaying on bigger screens. Simply plug an Airtame into the back of a television screen or projector, connect it to your network, download the Airtame app to your computer or tablet and start streaming!

Easy Wireless Streaming for the Classroom with Airtame: Great for student collaboration, sharing and mirroring screens from any device!


☝You can enter to WIN an Airtame for your classroom at the end of this post.

Airtames plug into any HDMI port. If you have older equipment in your classroom then you could always purchase a VGA/Ethernet adapter.

Using Airtame in the Classroom

Both teachers and students can quickly mirror their device to any screen (even multiple screens if you have them!) so easy sharing and collaboration can take place. Airtame is device agnostic so it will work with Chromebooks, laptops, computers, iPads and other tablets. Note: Must have Windows 7 or above/Supports Mac 10.9 (Mavericks) and above. AirPlay iOS mirroring is also available. 

Quickly connect to any Airtame in your building by searching for the name. Remember, you can stream to more than one Airtame at once. 💕



Check out this video about Desert Sands Unified School District's experience:


Activating the Pin Code

Some teachers might be interested in activating the 4-digit pin code connection.  This allows only one person to stream so others from another room can't interrupt and won't stream to the wrong screen by accident.

Customize Your Screens

Each Airtame has the ability to customize the main screen. So when you are not streaming you can have a customized wallboard displayed. Images can be uploaded or you can set the background to be a website url. This is nice for school offices, hallways, conference rooms, etc. to display an information screen with the school's logo, Google calendar, lunch menu, website, slideshow (made with Google Slides) and more. Classrooms could upload a class picture, class calendar, class blog, school logo, you name it!

Free Cloud Management

All Airtames come with free cloud management. It is truly an IT administrator's DREAM. The easy remote access allows admins to monitor all of the Airtames from anywhere! The lifetime support from REAL people is also a huge perk.

Comparison to Similar Products

What makes Airtame stand out from the rest is how it is optimized for large organization and school district deployment. Also, the ability to stream to multiple screens/projectors at once is really nice. Above all, I found this streaming tool to be incredibly easy to install and work consistently. To read more about all of the other comparisons with similar products click HERE.

My Experience

Easy Wireless Streaming for the Classroom with Airtame: Great for student collaboration, sharing and mirroring screens from any device!
Using Airtame to demonstrate how to use this Vocabulary Choice Board in Google Slides™

I was pleasantly surprised how seamless the Airtame was to install and it took me less than 3 minutes to set it up. 

I took it to a school to try out with a small group of students who were using iPads and once again it was seamless. I was able to stream my iPad to the big screen for students to easily follow along the steps I was taking to complete an activity. I even allowed the kids to stream their device to the big screen. Students love sharing their own work on the board right from their seat!

Money Back Guarantee

Airtames come with a 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee so if for some reason it doesn't work with your setup, you can return it! Bulk orders qualify for a discount. For more information, click HERE.

Enter to WIN!

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to WIN an Airtame ($299 value) for your classroom:

The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I did receive an Airtame in exchange for this post.
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PhET Simulations and Nearpod

Sunday, March 18, 2018 / 2 comments

WHAT ARE PHET SIMULATIONS?

PhET Simulations and Nearpod make a great way to learn and review different math and science concepts!
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Rug-Ed Protective Cases for the Classroom

Thursday, March 15, 2018 / Leave a Comment
If you, your school or district are looking for protective cases for your technology devices, I highly recommend looking into Rug-Ed cases. The company has sent me two different iPad cases and I have been very impressed with both. Providing solid protection is essential for maintaining the lifespan of any device.

Be sure to enter to WIN one of their iPad cases at the bottom of this post!

Looking for protective iPad, iPhone, Macbook Air and Chromebook cases? Rug-Ed creates amazing cases that are great for any school or district.

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How to Find Free Images and Stock Videos for Classroom Projects

Friday, March 9, 2018 / 4 comments

How to Find Free Images and Stock Videos for Classroom Projects

How to find FREE images and stock videos for classroom projects. Use these in presentations, green screen videos, and so much more!

Since I published my Getting Started with Green Screen in the Classroom blog post, I have received several questions from educators asking where they can find free images and stock videos to use for their green screen and classroom projects. There are many different websites available! Here are some of my favorites.

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Digital Activities for St. Patrick's Day

Thursday, March 1, 2018 / 2 comments

Digital Activities for St. Patrick's Day


Digital Activities for St. Patrick's Day: Ideas for iPads, Chromebooks, Computers, Seesaw, Google Slides, Google Drawing, Coding and Ozobots

Are you looking for some FUN and academic activities for the month of March? Here are a few St. Patrick's Day inspired activities:

Three years ago I wrote the post, Leprechaun Yourself iPad Project for St. Patrick's Day. The app I used for that project has not be updated for the latest iOS so I had to track down a new one. Leprechaun Me is a similar and FREE app that will do the trick! Note: It is rated 4+. However, there is a folder of images that contains adult beverages.


Students can change the background, add provided images, upload their own images, add speech bubbles, type text, and draw!


Once students turn themselves into a leprechaun, have them write a story about what life would be like if they were a leprechaun.


Seesaw users can assign students THIS free template:


Students can draw their face and the things they consider make them lucky. They can add labels or sentences too. Afterwards, have them record their voice telling about their creation.





Decorating a clover in Google Drawing is fun. Click HERE  or the image below for this free template I made. You will be prompted to make a copy.

Decorate a clover in Google Drawing

Students can decorate the clover with their picture and find images or draw images of things that make them feel lucky/fortunate. You could print them to hang up in your classroom or as a bulletin board. Students could also save their shamrocks as png images (File>Download As>png) and import into a collaborative Google Slides presentation. Or students could upload to Seesaw, Google Classroom or a Padlet wall to share with others!

Example:



Digital St. Patrick's Day Activities in Google Slides™ is one of my newest resources that is available in my TeachersPayTeachers store.

Activities include:

💚Highlighting the important information in a paragraph about the history of St. Patrick's Day
💚View an embedded YouTube video about St. Patrick's Day and answer 4 comprehension questions
💚Shamrock Facts: 4 links to outside kid-friendly websites are embedded for students to click on to research facts about shamrocks. They will type their 3 favorite facts on the leaflets of the shamrock.
💚Summarize It! Students will type a summary of what they learned from slides 3-5
💚If I Were A Leprechaun: Students will take a selfie and crop to shape (directions included) to add under the leprechaun hat. They will then type a paragraph describing what life would be like if they were a leprechaun. This activity is similar to the ones in my Seasonal Collaborative Digital Books Resource.
💚ROY G. BIV: Students will create a rainbow in the correct color order by using the fill tool to fill in the provided rectangles.
💚Acrostic Poem: Students will type an acrostic poem using the word LUCKY.
💚Making Words: Students will type 3 letter, 4 letter and 5+ letter words they can make from the letters in ST. PATRICK'S DAY.
💚Find It! Word Search


I also have a St. Patrick's Day Collaborative Digital Book your students can work on together!


Jamie from Edutech for Teachers has a FREE St. Patrick's Day Magnetic Poetry activity you can download HERE. Students could use this independently or collaboratively!



Tynker Coding for Kids has a St. Patrick's Day activity for students in which they build a "Clover Chaser". Students program four-leaf clovers to drop from the sky when the screen is clicked and then the leprechaun chases them down. A tutorial is provided to walk through the steps and then they can create their own version. They could code their own activity in which the leprechaun only chases compound words, polygons, long vowel words, you name it!




Do you have access to Ozobots? Their resource library has a Who Can Find the Pot of Gold? activity that is perfect for March that uses the Ozobot Bit that you can find in the Amazon affiliate link below:



If you are just beginning to use Ozobots in the classroom, want to know more or looking for more ideas, I highly suggest checking out Stephanie's posts from The Learning Chambers about how she uses them in her math classroom.

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How to Transfer Files from Your Phone to Your Computer

Sunday, February 25, 2018 / Leave a Comment

How to Transfer Files from Your Phone to Your Computer Using Google Drive™

How to transfer files from your phone, iPad, iPod or tablet to the desktop of your computer using Google Drive™

Last week I had three different people reach out to ask how they could easily transfer files/photos from their phone to the desktop on their computer. This is a question I get often, especially from friends and family members😁Therefore, I created this video tutorial below that walks you through the steps using Google Drive. This process can used on any devices, not just phones!

All you need is a google account (you can create a free account HERE) and the Google Drive app if you are transferring files from a phone, iPad, iPod, or tablet. Click for the iOS app and Android app. If you use gmail for your email platform then you already have a Google account. You get 15GB of free space with your Google Drive account. If you have a Google for Education account through your school district, then you have an unlimited amount of space.



If you are interested in the animated emojis I showed in this video, check out my Turn Yourself into an Animated Emoji post.

There are a lot of different ways you can transfer files, this is just one of them!

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