#iplza15 and #ISTE2015 Brain Dump

I had the opportunity to attend and present sessions at both iPadpalooza 2015 in Austin as well as ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia the past two weeks.  What a thrill to be able to meet and connect with so many passionate people!  I loved hanging out with educators from around the world, as well as developers of so many of the digital tools that have become essential to the learning experiences in my corner of Hill Country Middle School.  The ThingLink below includes links for you to explore.

At our annual iPadpalooza “learning festival” (thanks to the hard work of @mrhooker and his ed-tech team of iVengers) we paid homage to the “Keep Austin Weird” message.  Think of folks dressed up in tie dye… or as unicorns… eating at food trucks… live music… elements that make Austin the fun-filled city that it is.  But please, don’t stop there.  This event, which I’m proud to say is held in the district where I have the privilege to teach, is anything but fluff.  A simple glance at our list of speakers is evidence that this “festival” features respected educators whose work impacts classrooms globally on dare-I-say a daily basis. Keynotes from Adam Bellow, Guy Kawasaki, and (THE) Eric Whitacre, as well as a stellar line-up during a “Mini Keynote-a-Thon” included common threads about equipping our students to share their learning by creating content.  I thoroughly enjoyed sessions presented by math buddy and fellow ADE Kyle Pearce.  Tim Yenca (@mryenca) and I co-presented our first session together!  I also presented a session on my students’ experiences as math authors using the Book Creator app.  

My ISTE 2015 Session Schedule

My ISTE 2015 Session Schedule

On to Philaldephia!  This was my first ISTE conference and it did not disappoint!  Tim and I presented our iPads Out-of-the-Box session, and I also had the honor of presenting a Twitter session with fellow ADEs Sue Gorman and Jenny Grabiec.  I got to meet #MTBoS friends Bob Lochel, Justin Aion, and Jedidiah Butler in person!  I was thrilled to meet author of the “iPads in Education for Dummies” series, Sam Gliksman, and seeing him feature the Book Creator work of my own students in his session on student-created media was an honor!

Author Sam Gliksman features Book Creator projects done by our students in Eanes ISD!

Author Sam Gliksman features Book Creator projects done by our students in Eanes ISD!

Other highlights for me, personally, included meeting up with almost all of the Nearpod Content team members, meeting Sheela from CueThink, talking to the ladies at Tackk during my week as reigning “Top Tackker”, playing Kahoot with the kind Kahoot folks, meeting Daniel Tu-Hoa immediately after Mathspace won TWO ISTE start-up awards, meeting Susan Oxnevad of ThingLink EDU… and being a finalist in the Ed Tech Karaoke Voice of the Year competition!  Finally, I never tire of spending time reconnecting with my amazing Apple Distinguished Educator friends, so many of whom attended either iPadpalooza, ISTE, or both conferences.

Feel like I haven’t done these conferences justice?  Me too.  Next year, you have to go! See you there…?

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Check out a great problem-solving app – CueThink!

Teaching folks how to use Twitter for PD and in the classroom - with @techgirljenny and @sjgorman

Teaching folks how to use Twitter for PD and in the classroom – with @techgirljenny and @sjgorman

Posted in Algebra 1, Pre-Algebra | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Celebrating the 2014-15 School Year With Animoto

UnknownI shared this video with students and parents, with shout-outs on Twitter to many featured digital tools and resources that have become a regular part of my practice.  Thanks to every one of these tools, and the folks that keep improving them, for enhancing teaching and learning for my students, and for students around the world!

In New York, I knocked on Animoto's door, but alas, no one was home that day.

In New York, I knocked on Animoto’s door, but alas, no one was home that day.

 

In other news, I was so proud to learn this week that the Nearpod office in Miami now sports a feature wall with the faces of Nearpod-loving educators globally.  Honored to be included in this “Wall of Fame” among many respected educators!  Woot!      

As your school year comes to a close, I wish you much rest and relaxation, and I hope to connect with you in person at iPadpalooza here in Austin, or ISTE in Philadelphia!

Posted in Algebra 1, Pre-Algebra | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kahoot! GHOST MODE

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 7.14.11 AMSo, your students are a little squirrelly lately too? ;-)

For many of my students, all of the high-stakes testing has passed, and sadly that fact brings daily comments like the following:

“Can we just not do anything today?”

“Are we going to, like, actually LEARN something new today?”

“Is this the last homework assignment we’re going to have this year?”

“So what ARE we going to do in class the last week of school?”

“I have an idea!  Let’s just watch Kid Snippets the rest of the year!”  (This suggestion was actually quite tempting…)

My answer is always the same, delivered with a grin.

“Learning never stops.”

There’s still plenty of learning to do, and holding students accountable for this learning is key to having successful last-few-weeks of school.  “Accountable” can mean traditional assignments like quizzes, tests, and homework, but a healthy competition with Kahoot is also quite effective… especially with the GHOST MODE feature.

Before I share specifically about GHOST MODE, I like to add a disclaimer: In math class, use Kahoot carefully.  Not all math should be speedy.  We don’t want to make kids feel unnecessary anxiety or reinforce that fast math = you’re good at math. However let’s not throw out a tool that KIDS LOVE.  As with all tools, using Kahoot when appropriate can be very effective, and kids don’t always realize they’re learning because it’s just SO MUCH FUN. (P.S.  There are well over TWO MILLION Kahoots available in the Public Kahoots section – have a look!  I’ve shared a few at the end of this post as well.) Content assessed, in my opinion, should be mostly at-a-glance stuff, like:

What is the solution to this linear system? (provide a graph or a pair of tables of values and four sets of ordered pairs as answer choices)

or

Simplify: -24  (provide choices that force misconceptions to the surface)   

If you’ve Kahooted before, you know the drill.  Students join the game on their devices using a PIN that’s generated on the spot, they ring in their answer choices for each question, a bar graph shows students’ responses, and then… the coveted LEADER BOARD showing the top 5 scores fills the screen, bringing mass chaos to the classroom.  Love it.

The game ends, and a winner is established – yay!  “Would we improve if we played the same game… again?  What if I told you we’re going to play the same game… against our virtual selves?  GHOSTS, if you will?”  Select “Feedback & results” and then “Final results”.

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Select “Play again”. :-)  Seriously, no one will complain about whether or not we’re “actually going to LEARN something”…

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Now, the class will appear to have twice as many bodies in it.

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That’s because all of the students are playing in real time against their virtual selves who played the previous game.  It’s true!  Their virtual selves each ring in at the precise moment of Game 1, while in real time, students are desperately trying to improve their score in Game 2.  No one wants to lose to a GHOST, especially their OWN GHOST!

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At this point, I can attempt to describe the energy in the room.  I can even post photos, or share this Storify with you.  But nothing I share here will do the experience justice.  You seriously have to give this a go.

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Insights:

Don’t tell students ahead of time that you’re going to activate GHOST MODE.  And once students know GHOST MODE may be a possibility, you’ll probably want to collect all scrap paper and provide some new work space to avoid the “clever ones”.  They’re the kids who write down absolutely NO MATH during Game 1, but have a sheet of scrap paper full of shapes.  Nice try, buddy. #CheatersSometimesWin

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Here are several Kahoots I’ve used recently – some I create, while others are Public Kahoots shared by educators around the globe!

Classifying Numbers in the Real Number System

Linear Systems Review

Exponent Practice

Factoring Review

For some additional (and REALLY clever) ideas for using #ghostmode, click here.

 

Posted in Algebra 1, Pre-Algebra | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Using Desmos on iPads… for the STAAR Test… Really!

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 9.34.33 AMDear Desmos,

(with the help of Casper Focus)…

You made a liar out of me.

Isn’t it amazing that a task that was thought to be impossible was accomplished so quickly with gusto?  It’s true – my Math 8 students were among the first… in the world perhaps… to use their iPads on a state assessment.  Not only does this year mark the first opportunity for Texas Math 8 students to use a graphing calculator on state tests, but our students had the option to use a TI graphing calculator… or Desmos on their iPads… or both tools!  The process leading up to STAAR testing day was paved with preparation and practice, and it paid off.

Our Director of Innovation, Carl Hooker, shares details in this post of all the technology preparation that had to happen both behind the scenes as well as with students through several “test runs”.  Using Casper Focus, student iPads had to be “locked down” in a version of Desmos that was standardized-test-friendly.

This meant that the Desmos we all know and love had to be stripped down a bit.  I was honored to be part of the process of helping advise ways to tweak Desmos to be a test-friendly tool, resulting in the FREE Desmos Test Mode app.  The folks at Desmos are such a pleasure to work with, even responding to a passionate student of mine who contacted them in hopes of employment with Desmos some day!  Yes, one of my 7th graders loves Desmos SO MUCH that he’s looking for ways to connect with them already.  Thank you, Desmos, for responding to him and acknowledging and encouraging his excitement!

If you’ve read Carl’s post, you know the background process.  Now that testing day has passed with success, I decided to follow up with my students to ask a few questions about having access to both TI calculators and Desmos Test Mode on iPads.  In terms of instruction, and knowing that students would have the opportunity to use both graphing tools on the STAAR test, I did my best to encourage the use of both tools throughout the year.  Together, my students and I aimed to learn to use each tool effectively, as well as make wise decisions about which tool was best/most efficient to use for each mathematics topic we studied.

Using Socrative to gather quick feedback, I first asked students which tool they prefer to use.  The results surprised me!  With both tools in hand all year, I was sure most students would say they liked the tools equally… well, that didn’t happen!Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 9.26.05 AM

I also asked students to provide me with a list of lesson topics for which they preferred the TI calculator over Desmos, and vice versa.  Here’s a spreadsheet of their (anonymous) responses.

Desmos Versus TI Graphing Calculator Yenca

Perhaps these iPad STAAR Test trailblazers’ feedback will help Desmos continue to improve.  For now, at least with my tiny sample of 49 students, it appears TI still has a strong role… even in the 1:1 iPad classroom.

Thank you, Ed Surge, for chatting about Desmos Test Mode and featuring our excitement here. :-)

 

Posted in Pre-Algebra | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Desmos, Nearpod, ThingLink, and the Kitchen Sink

Often, after folks use versatile digital tools in isolation, the natural progression is to smash them together to create new, unique learning experiences for kids.  This post features several multi-apping resources and ideas that you’re sure to extend and improve…  and when you do, please share back! :-)

A recent Nearpod update enables the seamless integration of prepared Desmos links within Nearpod lessons using the URL content tool (SWEET).  This equips students with an interactive graphing experience that only Desmos can provide, while enabling a silky smooth workflow for students to share their graphs.  Within a Nearpod lesson, students are taken directly to the specific Desmos link.  They do their thing, and take a screenshot.  Next, providing students with an empty “Draw” slide in the Nearpod lesson gives them a place to submit their screenshots.  Finally, screenshots can be shared anonymously to students’ screens, or the teacher can showcase them at the front of the room for comparisons and discussions.

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 10.01.57 PMWant to experience the Desmos/Nearpod workflow?  Here’s a recent lesson on solving quadratic equations by graphing with Desmos, with a  TI graphing calculator, and graphing by hand using common characteristics of quadratics.

On another note, Michael Fenton’s “Match My Graph” resources housed in ThingLinks have inspired folks to create and organize new, prepared Desmos “mini-challenges”.  Teachers-in-training have begun creating and sharing these on Twitter.  Love that.

To add another layer to this experience, I designed a Nearpod that enables students to submit their screenshots from such Desmos graphing challenges.  The NPP is simply made up of empty “Draw” slides so students can send the screenshots of their graphs to me.  I recently used this presentation with students by giving them a Nearpod Homework PIN.  This way, they could work on the graphing challenges at their own pace, and submit the screenshots to me asynchronously. While the “A-Ha!” of these Desmos mini-challenges is great to witness, giving students a means of digitally capturing and submitting the screenshots has been a plus – now they have proof of conquering the challenges, and more importantly, they get bragging rights. ;-)

P.S.  The power of Twitter never ceases – a kindred spirit! 

Posted in Algebra 1, Pre-Algebra | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

CueThink: First Experiences with a Math Problem-Solving App

imagesYesterday, my students came back, bleary-eyed, from spring break.  It seemed like a good time to give them a gentle push to try something brand new.  So, with a new furniture arrangement in our classroom, new seating charts for the 4th quarter (I can’t BELIEVE it’s already the 4th quarter!) and a new math app, we were off and running.  No time to have trouble adjusting back to the grind!  Time to get going!

Students downloaded the free CueThink iOS app.  I had already created class names for my algebra groups from CueThink’s teacher dashboard, and had “invitation codes” handy for each class.  I appreciate that creating classes is very simple.  Once students register and enter the invitation code, poof, they’re in your class.  Not much up-front teacher work.  Thumbs up.

Before break, we’d just begun various ways of solving quadratic equations.  Rather than talk about those methods (or any of the other math they may have suppressed during 9 days off) I gave students this problem in CueThink:Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 10.42.43 PM

I encouraged students to “play” within the platform, referencing Polya’s poster on my wall and the tabs in CueThink (UNDERSTAND, PLAN, SOLVE, REVIEW).  I explained that, not only would they each solve the problem at hand, but they’d be finding a quiet space in the hallway to record their voices explaining their work… and that “Thinklet” would be seen by peers, and possibly commented on later.  The room was quiet, and heavy with… accountability, I’d say. :-)

It wasn’t an awkward silence, though.  Students needed some time to process the CueThink platform and its many parts.  I think they did very well (better than I expected) navigating through the tabs.  Then, it happened in every class.

Student:  “So, do we *have* to record ourselves explaining the problem?  Or can we just submit our written work?”

Me:  “You have to record yourself explaining your work.”

Student:  *GULP*

Students have enjoyed using apps like Explain Everything and Book Creator in the past to record their work and explanations, but those activities were generally done in pairs or small groups.  The notion that *each* student would be submitting her/his own Thinklet made some students a little squeamish.

Nonetheless, they did it!  I’m reminded of the quieter students when we do tasks like this.  I truly enjoy hearing them explain their thinking in this potentially safer, I-can-do-this-again-if-I-need-to environment.  I’m also reminded that it’s tough to watch explanations that aren’t *there* yet… but that is such a necessary part of learning!  Here are a few images/strategies from students’ Thinklets:

Listing factor pairs (Well, the problem was simple enough to solve that way… maybe next time I need to kick it up a few notches if I hope to see something resembling a quadratic equation…)

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A little pseudo-algebra:

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Guess-and-check… with strategy:

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Equation-morphs-to-an-expression, and forgot to relate the final solutions to the problem at hand:

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Rockin’ algebra, but ended by saying… “…so the length is negative 22 inches…” :-)

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I hope these static images encourage you to try something like this with your students!  Letting them talk and show you (and each other!) what they know is so different than just looking at their work on a page without the “narrator”.  It’s eye-opening for all parties involved!  I *LOVE* how all of the Thinklet videos live in their own space, making workflow a relaxing and seamless process.  No need to multi-app to gain access to student videos!

Since this was our first go-round, students didn’t really “make math social” just yet.  I gave them a brief survey this morning to see what they thought of their first CueThink experience.  Their comments indicated a general approval of the idea of an organized, step-by-step tool that helped them solve problems.  Their frustration with CueThink was rooted in glitchy details, like the lack of a prominent eraser when creating “Thinklets” and the “spinning wheel” that could only be remedied by closing the app and losing some of the work they’d just done.  All in all, my students and I agree that this tool is worth another go-round!  Perhaps next time we’ll be able to move in the direction of “making math social”.

#MakeMathSocial

Survey Results:

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 7.03.00 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 7.03.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 7.07.15 PMDirect student quotes from today’s survey (some of my faves… P.S.  These are 8th graders!  They impress me!)

“I like the fact that the app really pushes you to work the problem out fully, instead of skipping a bunch of steps.”

“I like it a lot, but I think that they could fix a few bugs that would make the user interface smoother and easier to work. Keep trying CueThink.”

“It makes the problem much easier to solve, but I think there are some uneccesary questions while going through the questions.”

“The voice part because it took a while to do and I don’t like hearing my voice! Another thing was the drawing tool was very finikey(?) and just other technical problems we talked about as a class.” 

“It’s a little glitchy still and tends to shut me out of the app frequently as it’s compressing audio or as I’m recording, and the pen is hard to use. However I think this tech is revolutionary and if it were improved it would be an amazing app used across school districts everywhere.

 

Posted in Algebra 1 | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Ripple Effect of Having the #MTBoS PLN

PLNThough I’m on spring break, I’m still scouring Twitter for ideas for upcoming curriculum topics.  I’m spoiled rotten.  There are so many kindred spirits doing amazing things, and I get to learn from them and add their work to my classroom, which benefits all the learners in my classroom… including me!

Take Mrs. Steph Reilly – her recent quadratics transformations post was *exactly* the type of investigation I was looking for.  I plan to use the PDF below as an exploration for my students to complete in my absence with a sub after break (a textbook adoption committee meeting calls!)  Students will open the PDF in an annotation app, answer the questions, include required Desmos screenshots, and file it away as “notes” for the day.

Quadratic Transformations

To hold students accountable, they’ll also explore Michael Fenton’s “Match My Parabola” mini-challenges (thanks for that suggestion Mr. Vaudrey!) taking screenshots of successfully matched graphs (no bragging rights that you matched the graphs if you can’t produce a screenshot as proof!)

Finally, students will take this ThatQuiz assessment, which I wrote by combining Steph’s questions with a few of my own.  (To snag this quiz, create a free ThatQuiz account, choose Browse to explore quizzes others have written, and search for the words Quadratic Transformations.)

Upon my return after having a sub, students will submit their screenshots via this Nearpod so we can have a classroom follow-up discussion about quadratic transformations and the “Match My Parabola” tasks.

Not related to quadratics is a genius idea shared by Andrew Stadel.  Using the Post-It Plus app to create simple sorting and ordering activities about blew my mind today.  Between this awesome strategy from Andrew and Mr. Orr’s novel use of Explain Everything for digital hands-on puzzles, there’s a whole new level of digital content-creation at our fingertips.

Speaking of puzzles, who among us isn’t getting sucked in to Justin Aion‘s hexagonal hysteria?  As I type, 18 bags of Target hexagons are in transit to my home.  Yes, I commissioned my parents in Pittsburgh to visit their Target store dollar bins (since Austin doesn’t seem to carry these novelties) and they managed to find 18 bags before Justin got to them.  Can’t wait to “play”.

Thanks to all who share – your work is changing classrooms and benefitting kids globally!

 

Posted in Algebra 1 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy ULTIMATE Pi Day! 3/14/15 9:26

My students celebrated Pi Day on Pi Day Eve.  Every year, I give students a Pi Day greeting card summarizing a brief history of pi.  When I ask them, “Why is pi slightly larger than 3? Why isn’t it a little bigger than 7? Or 20? Why pi?” the trend continues – I get lots of answers and most of them are completely wrong.  It’s worth it to talk about pi, even to students who should already know why pi is pi.

This year, I created “The Ultimate Pi Day” ThingLink, and included both conceptual and novel pi resources.  To me, the most powerful resources of “why pi is pi” are the simple Vine video by Nat Banting, and the Approximating Pi Desmos link.  Playing the Vine, then the YouTube video about Pi (in 3 minutes and 14 seconds) and ending with the Desmos approximation provided a powerful conceptual combo for students.  These links are labeled 3, 1 and 4 below.

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 9.43.28 AMWe also had some fun finding our birthdays in pi, listening to pi music, and ending with a memorizing digits of pi contest.  I know, I know… this is impractical and some may poo-poo this kind of contest, but let’s loosen up a bit about it all.  I don’t think we’re imparting some deep-seated theme that math = memorization here if we balance the activities.  Have a little classroom fun, folks.  They’re middle school kids, and they eat this stuff up.

Take Nick.  He memorized the first 100 digits of pi, determined to win an autographed Pi print graciously sent to our class by artist Michael Albert.  THANK YOU MICHAEL!!! Like many kids these days, he took the task to heart and did the natural thing… he googled “How to Memorize Pi” and found this video on Youtube:

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 9.29.26 AM

Nick learned the phonetic alphabet and applied this very (complex!) strategy to his pi memorization.  He didn’t simply memorize digits – he learned a brand new language, and used it to recite 100 digits of pi.  I was absolutely floored.  This kid!!!!

IMG_9523And then there was Skye.  She and her mother have been working on the digits of pi all week.  When Skye mastered the first 80 digits by mentally breaking them into smaller chunks, mom encouraged her to keep going.  Together, they also worked on the first 100 digits.  To be sure to take the win, Skye learned 103 digits and walked away, proudly, with Michael’s pi print.  For the record, Michael sent an entire collection of his autographed prints to us, so the top pi memorizer in each of my classes received a different piece of art.

His generosity was the icing on a Pi Day (Eve) we won’t soon forget.

A Very Happy Pi Day to you!

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P.S.  Welcome to my inbox! :-)Screen_Shot_2015-03-14_at_10_36_37_AMScreen_Shot_2015-03-14_at_9_31_09_PM

 

Posted in Algebra 1, Pre-Algebra | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

ThingLink Guest Post – Thank You, Susan Oxnevad!

There are some exciting updates for those of us who use ThingLink in the classroom!  Thanks to Susan Oxnevad, all the details are right here in her guest post.  I'm thrilled that the mobile app is now rated 9+ so that my students can create more ThingLinks!  Check out my ThingLink Channel here!

Today ThingLink is pleased to announce verified accounts for school districts along with the release of an updated iOS app that is well suited for educational use, making ThingLink EDU better than ever for teaching and learning!


Benefits of Verified District Accounts

A verified organization on ThingLink EDU serves three goals. First, verification is used to establish authenticity of an organization. Once this is done, the organization gets an invitation code that can be used to easily invite staff and students to ThingLink EDU. A verified organization account will be equipped with a dashboard to easily manage teachers, students, and groups. Third, a verified organization account gives schools and districts easy access to all of the ThingLink resources created by teachers and students across the district. These features make it easier than ever for teachers and students to create, share and curate multimedia rich content with ThingLink.

 

ThingLink iOS app Updated for Educational Use

More great news! The ThingLink iOS app has been updated with education in mind. When browsing for existing ThingLink content, students can only see images created by other teachers and students. Safe-search has been enabled to provide students with age appropriate content when searching for media to annotate images. The updated version of the app now includes student and teacher signup options with invitation codes, making it easy to manage students and engage them on mobile devices like never before. 

Explore this slideshow channel of interactive image to learn how ThingLink can be used on a fieldtrip on a mobile device without wireless. Be sure to click the arrow to advance to the next image to see how students can extend the learning at school and at home, using whatever device is handy at the moment.




About ThingLink for Education

Over the course of this past year, ThingLink has become one of the the most popular free web tools for educators. The ThingLink app has become the most popular mobile app for creating interactive images in school or on field trips with or without wireless access. There are truly endless possibilities for using ThingLink in education.

Teachers can create media rich visual resources packed with content to engage students in deep learning experiences. Students can create a ThingLink to present knowledge and ideas or to document learning. A shared “Steam” enables students and teachers to collaborate on images beyond the classroom walls. Interactive images can be embedded on websites or shared with the class and accessed by inquisitive students at any time.

Explore this guided, student driven learning project ,powered by ThingLink and Google Apps, to view the possibilities that exist for teaching and learning with ThingLink EDU.


ThingLink Keeps Getting Better

As an early adopter of ThingLink I immediately fell in love with the tool because of the flexible options for creating rich media images for teaching and learning. I recognized the potential for using ThingLink to create differentiated resources to support all learners and I loved the fact that I could pack a lot of content into one image. At that time, the only icon available for adding tags was one black circle, the only embeddable media I knew of was YouTube, and there were no special features for education. Since then, ThingLink has come a long way.


Over the course of the past year, ThingLink has introduced a full-featured education platform with a designated classroom workspace for teachers and their students. Here are just some of the features:
  • Signup has become simpler with the addition of the Google Appls for Education login
  • Teachers have the ability to create accounts for students without email. 
  • District and teacher level management provide teachers with the tools to efficiently manage the ThingLink Classroom.
  • Students and teachers can now create slideshow channels of related interactive images to share work, curate content or maintain interactive learning portfolios. 
  • The original black icon is now one of many colorful icons that include several icons designed for education. 
  • Teachers with premium accounts have the ability to create their own custom icon sets!
  • The app for iOS and Androidmakes it easier than ever to use ThingLink on a mobile device, with or without wireless.
  • ThingLink for Video provides teachers and students with the ability to annotate a video and turn it into a personalized, interactive learning tool.

Learn More About the ThingLink Classroom

HEREEEE

Request a Verified Status for Your Organization?

ThingLink has the ability to transform teaching and learning, so grab your verified district account, add the updated iOS app and embrace this amazing EDU tool! 

Send an email to support@thinglink.com
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About the Author

Susan Oxnevad is the ThingLink Education Community Manager, as well as an instructional technology coach in an elementary school district outside of Chicago who is passionate about using technology as a tool for learning. Susan provides professional development for busy teachers via a variety of online and in-person opportunities. Susan blogs about thoughtful ways to incorporate technology as an efficient and effective tool for learning on her own blog, Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners, and on the ThingLink Blog. Email Susan@thinglink.com for resources, ideas and inspiring ways to use ThingLink across all content areas. Follow her on Twitter @soxnevad



 

Posted in Algebra 1, Pre-Algebra | Tagged | Leave a comment

Using Explain Everything for Hands-On Digital Puzzles

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 9.35.23 AMYou know, I really like the way that guy Jon Orr thinks.  Using non-mathy apps for potentially unintended purposes to engage learners is something I like to do, and I think Mr. Orr has a knack for similar app twists.  I don’t know how I missed it the first time around, but his post on using Explain Everything for more than screen recordings was inspiring to me.  As soon as I saw his projects, I knew I wanted to convert a few of my own puzzles from paper to an Explain Everything digital format.

As we revisit factoring to solve quadratic equations later this week, I want students to give this puzzle a try.  I’d love to give credit where it’s due for the original PDF file, but I’m not sure where I got it.  So whoever you are, thanks for making this! :-)

To make the EE puzzle, I took a screenshot of each of the 16 puzzle pieces.  I added each of these images to an EE slide, uploaded the EE project to Google Drive as Mr. Orr suggests, and made the project file editable in Google’s share settings so you and your students can manipulate it.  Here’s what the screen looks like at first:

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…and here’s a sample key:

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Additionally, when our unit on exponents and radicals rolls around, I plan to use this puzzle as a warm-up.  I created this originally as a “BIG HUGE PUZZLE” printed on paper so student groups could assemble it together (which I may still like better than this digital format, simply for the student discourse the big paper puzzle pieces encourage) but I want to give it a go in digital format this time as a time-saver.  This is a review topic with a sprinkling of expressions in simplest radical form (which will be a new idea for kiddos).  Original screen:

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…and sample answer key:

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Quite a versatile strategy!

Want to share these files with your students?  Grab ‘em here:

Explain Everything Factoring Puzzle

Explain Everything Radical Puzzle

 

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Posted in Algebra 1, Pre-Algebra | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments