Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Bullpen of Tech – Pitch a Winner this School Year!




The Starter

Stretch and wind up for the pitch with Remind 101!  Remind 101 is a text messaging service that can ‘push’ text and e-mail notifications.  Build an account for your class (or classes) and remind students (and/or parents) of important upcoming events, tests/quizzes and things to remember.  This terrific tool will put it in the wheelhouse for both parents and students alike!  

The Crowd Pleaser

Everyone loves the challenge of a treasure hunt, and that’s exactly what Geocaching delivers!  Armed with Smart Devices, Geocaching allows users to ‘seek’ hidden treasures worldwide.  But Geocaching isn’t only about seeking, send a trackable on a journey and log the journey throughout the year!  I just released one for our class!  Dedicate a ‘bug’ to your class and plant it into a local cache in your area.(There are over 2,000,000 caches worldwide).  Throughout the year, log/record the journey of the bug.  Deliver some chin music and really make ‘em think with Geocaching!   Read this previous post for more ideas!

The Knuckleballer

Where’s George? This lesser known site has long been a two seam fastball in my class for a couple of years.  (See blog entry) Where’s George is a currency tracking project.  Students can launch a dollar bill and track it’s movement through this site.  As the bill is spent, Where’s George fans record the Serial Number allowing users to see various stats related to the bill (location, distance traveled, time, etc.)  This intriguing site will enhance your curriculum, integrate tech and like a knuckleball, they’ll never see it coming! 

The Closer

Looking for that ONE piece of tech that can be a game changer?  QR Codes are truly deliver a brush back pitch that’ll get their attention!!  This great tech innovation is rapidly gaining momentum in the field of education (as well as in industry).  These 3 dimensional codes can adorn bulletin boards, class notes, worksheets and allow for interactive scavenger hunts. 
Learn more with this Livebinder
See previous posts featuring QR Codes

The Ace

Pick up your rosin bag and deliver this Ace:  Flip your classroom!  Pick a piece of content that can be delivered via video instruction and send that instruction home!  Students can then complete supplemental materials via Sophia, Collaborize Classroom or Edmodo.  The beauty of flipped instruction is that once the at home video instruction is complete, within the class students can play games, practice or demonstrate understanding through interactive projects.  A sure winner!  To explore more:  The Flipped Classroom


The Middle Reliever

The seventh inning stretch can’t come soon enough, but ClassDojo can ease the way as you’re standing on the mound.  Class Dojo is a digital behavior management system available via a website AND an app.  This tool allows the teacher to create avatars and customize positive as well as negative behaviors to monitor.  This tool has anticipated the needs of elementary and middle school teachers alike and allows for multiple students, multiple classes, groupings, a student selection tool and reporting capabilities.  Class Dojo even allows your pinch hitter (substitute teachers) to monitor class behavior!!  Explore more in this Livebinder  


The South Paw

These free customizable websites allow you to create your own on-line lessons in an easy to access format.  Use Weebly or Wix as a host for a gamified lesson or unit or simply use it to curate content in an appealing way for students to access.  Not familiar with web editing or .html?  That’s okay!  These websites provide drag and drop interface and templates that allow the user to quickly create vibrant webpages.  You’re in the wheelhouse with this one!


Coach's Choice


Socrative.   Looking to take care of that clean up hitter?  Try Socrative.  It’s GUARANTEED to make ‘em swing!  Think of Socrative as a replacement for interactive clickers…it is like putting a remote control into the hands of all of your students.  Socrative pushes out interactive content into your students devices and allows them to respond.  It provides immediate feedback and reporting capabilities.  Here's a great list of free Socrative quizzes including a getting to know you quiz! A plug and play way to get that BIG K!

The Rookie

Newer on the scene, Thinglink has great potential for integration into any content area.  Thinglink allows you to create OR upload an image and then hyperlink content within that image (in multiple locations)  See here  Whether using it to deliver interactive content or for student creation of content, scout Thinglink for a new unique way for students to use technology within the classroom.

Don’t get caught waiting for the bus.  Join the bigs with any of these tech strategies, and I guarantee you’ll pitch a winner this year!

Now That's Using Your Smarticles!!