This was my second year to attend the technology convention known as TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) here in my home city of Austin. I took away so many wonderful tools last year, and posted about it here. I really didn’t think that this year could possibly be any better, but I was wrong on so many levels. I felt that each of the sessions I went to this year either taught me something new or took something I thought I knew a good amount about and went further with it.
Here are my top takeaways!
Where to find it: https://www.freshgrade.com
What is it: FreshGrade is without a doubt, my top takeaway form TCEA. It is an assessment tool that is
changing revolutionizing the way teachers, students, and families look at how learning is happening. What I love most about it, is that it allows the students to create learning goals and then self reflect on meeting those goals. It also allows uploads of pictures, video, audio, and notes to the student’s portfolio by the student or the teacher – which allows me to give more specific and timely feedback between school and home. This video describes all of the amazing features:
Where to find it: spark.adobe.com
What is it: All the fun visual things. Create a social post or graphic, a video, tell a story in a visually engaging way. Music, plenty of layout options. Students can think of it as a more professional powerpoint. Lots of options, templates, themes.
This video nails it:
Where to find it: nearpod.com
What is it: Interactive presentation and assessment tool that includes Quiz’s, Polls, Videos, Images, Drawing-Boards, Web Content, and more. And if you aren’t using Nearpod in your classroom – you really should. I love Nearpod. I will admit that I don’t use it as frequently as would probably be effective and more engaging for my students because in my opinion it is a little cumbersome to put together. But the sessions I went to at TCEA this year showed me some new features of Nearpod that I am really looking forward to!
- Simple content distribution. I use Google Classroom for this – but I’ve noticed that students are still pulling multiple resources to complete assignments. This was a good reminder that Nearpod can be an all in one assignment stop that might reduce the amount of time it takes students to find resources, worksheets, lesson, quiz, turn in, etc.
- Modeling with the draw it feature. Grammar just got way more interactive. Taking pictures of student work, and then being able to turn around and share with the class is brilliant.
- COLLABORATE! This is probably my newest favorite feature.
From the Nearpod blog:
Collaborate is an interactive brainstorming tool for teachers and students to share text and images in real time during Live sessions. Collaborate provides teachers with a new way to easily engage students and foster meaningful discussion in the classroom.
Where to find it: https://dotstorming.com/
What is it: Think of this as a padlet on steroids – a virtual “room” where students can post text or images… a virtual bulletin board. What makes it different is that there is a voting option. You can assign students up to 10 “votes” which can be used in a number of creative ways. I was introduced to this at a session at TCEA and changed my presentation I was giving on Friday to include it! Here’s the screenshot of that:
Where to find it: https://sway.com/
What is it: Pretty much a PowerPoint alternative. According to Microsoft, you can “create and share interactive reports, presentations, personal stories, and more.”
Although this is a Microsoft product, and I am inherently a Mac girl, this appears to be really easy for students to use with it’s drag and drop features.
Touch Cast Studio app:
Where to find it: iTunes store
What is it: This screen-casting app really is amazing. Use it to make lessons to flip your classroom, and the hand white-board feature will make it super easy to explain things. And it’s FREE!
Where to find her: alicekeeler.com
Who is she: Google expert extraordinaire. She’s written a new book about taking Google Classroom further. So many good ideas here. Here’s the link: http://alicekeeler.com/2016/06/20/go-further-google-classroom/
Where to find it: iTunes store
What is it: Apple’s version of a Power Point. I’ll cut to the chase here, because there is really one cool thing that I learned that is a HUGE time saver in using Keynote. You can click and drag pictures and .gifs and videos straight from the web onto your slide. No saving it to your computer and then uploading it. HUGE time saver for me. Here I am in action getting ready for presentation on Friday:
Project Based Learning:
Where to find it: http://bit.do/tcea2017
What is it: “PBL is the act of learning through identifying a real-world problem and developing its solution. Kids show what they learn as they journey through the unit, not just at the end.” ~ Edutopia We are doing a campus wide PBL soon, and this presentation was extremely helpful.
Cool Google Stuff:
Where to find it: keep.google.com
What is it: A Google Chrome Extension that will allow you to “easily save the things you care about to Keep and have them synced across all of the platforms that you use — including web, Android, iOS, and Wear. Take notes for additional detail and add labels to quickly categorize your note for later retrieval.”
Momentum Chrome Extension:
Where to find it: momentumdash.com
What is it: Chrome extension for productivity – pretty backgrounds, quotes, to-do lists, easy access to chrome features.
Google story builder:
Where to find it: https://docsstorybuilder.appspot.com/
What is it: ” A fun google tool that will get your students developing their basic writing skills. … Once the students have finished writing their story, they can add music and watch the animated video of their writing experience.
Here’s mine I made:
Were you at TCEA? I’d love to hear what your favorite moments were! Let’s connect!