I consider myself decently connected. I tweet, chat, attend conferences and read blogs as well as news postings. It is my job to do so now. However, I did this proudly before it was my job. Every now and then I get to learn about some new amazing tool which is awesome. However, most of my time these days is about sharing “the obvious” and I couldn’t be happier to do so. Below are a few of the “obvious to me” tools that I share. I’ve learned to see their “amazingness” through the new eyes of our teachers.
Obvious Tool 1: QR Codes
There was a time when the thought of a QR code resulted in the ubiquitous eye roll. I mean they are “old technology”, right? For many teachers and students, QR codes are still exciting. The idea of placing a video or another resource behind a scannable object is new especially for those who have barely touched devices. I need to help them utilize this resource before throwing them into the fire of augmented reality which is starting to gain some traction in my thoughts for selected ideas.
QR for Chromebook
I personally like the Quickmark QR code extension because I can quickly create a QR from any webpage as well as read codes on pages.
Obvious Tool 2: Whiteboard Apps
I remember being at ipadpalooza in a session last year hearing a teacher ask how to write on the ipad that was sitting in front of her. That day, I learned to never make assumptions that people would just “figure it out”. They do not. This week, I introduced teachers to the idea of placing their lessons online. Almost all of them had ipads but had never even considered that it was possible to do. The key here is to not focus on what teachers do not know. Instead focus on teaching them positively and excitedly. We explored several apps and at the end of the day, as with most apps, teachers were able to choose their “poison” in terms of whiteboarding! (showme, educreations, doceri, screenchomp, explain everything)
Obvious Tool 3: Tellagami
I went through a period of time last year when I was so tired of hearing about tellagami until I wanted to scream at the thought. However, I have gained a new appreciation for this app through the eyes of the teachers that I serve. Today, I sat in awe as a group of kindergarten teachers spoke about having kids do inferencing as well as book reviews using tellagami. I could not have been more excited about a human avatar at that moment!
Obvious Tool 4: Digital Creativity
Every time that I mentioned that kids could create digital posters or books, the excitement from teachers was beautifully contagious. They had NEVER heard of kids being able to do such things before. Prior to our meetings, if the ipads were used they were for consumption…ONLY. Unlocking the door to creativity was actually quite cool to experience from a new set of eyes.
Obvious, like innovative, is in the eyes of the beholder. Below is my absolute favorite video on this entire idea!