Tech Tips #8

April 27, 2015

1. Simple Mind

Simple Mind is a program that works on desktops and is also an app for the iPad. This is a great tool for creating mind maps and can be used for cluster maps in writing, brainstorming or organizing ideas, and categorizing words or ideas. It is a simple way for students to visually see their ideas and easily maneuver the text to make it connect with other ideas. It is also an easy tool for students to use in small groups for science, writing, and even word study in the primary grades (working on word sorts). This app is under the Create folder on the iPads.

2. Nearpod

Nearpod is a tool that works on all devices and is available in the chrome webstore (the app is not currently on the iPads). This tool allows teachers to "project" presentations and interactive learning through student devices. Using this, you can upload videos, texts, quizzes, and images for students to see at their own pace. They can also view these materials at home to prepare for the next day's lesson. Here are two links to look at for learning more about Nearpod:

Introduction to Nearpod

10 Ways to Use Nearpod in the Classroom

3. Kidblog

Kidblog is a website that I just learned about at EdCampSpokane this weekend. There are many wonderful blog sites for students, but I like this one because you can choose a privacy level for the blog. Students can write and share with the teacher, classmates, or with the public. This is a fantastic way for students to practice their writing skills, interact with others, or document their learning over time.

4. Snipping Tool

I know many of you know about this tool, but it is awesome to teach students how to use this for their presentations. Snipping Tool allows you to take screen shots and pictures of images on your computer. You can edit these images by adding text, annotations, and different graphics such as smart shapes. This is a great tool for creating directions with pictures for students to follow on their own so they can go at their own pace on a project. It can also be used by the students on presentations to show others how to do a skill or to show their thinking by layering in different tools. Visit the following link for more ideas:

Snipping Tool