Instructional Tech-bytes

News & ideas from Instructional Technology

Westwood U and Student Showcase

There will be some very special guest trainers at Westwood University this summer. We will be featuring the best things to come out of Westwood ISD: our students!! Student Showcase sessions will be held on one day during Westwood U with one AM session and one PM session. During each 3-hour session, teachers will rotate between six different student trainers from all over our district! Make sure you sign up for the Student Showcase session at Westwood University 2019!

Speaking of Westwood U...

Click here for a sneak peek at Mrs. Gail's & Mrs. Wright's "Technology in the Primary Classroom" session.

ISTE Connect Geometry Scavenger Hunt

Doug Joubert of New Orleans, LA, posted a fantastic idea in ISTE Connect to get students moving, thinking, discovering, and identifying geometric shapes around their campus. With instructions in a shared Google doc, students work in groups to find and document examples of the geometry vocabulary with notations and explanations. This assignment can be shared via Google classroom, and allows students to be creative. Students can use iPads to take the pictures and mark up the photos with details and then add to the doc to turn in. Can you think of another way to modify this assignment to suit your topic? Click here to see an example.

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Digital Literacy

Two amazing ladies from Greenville, SC, Shalonda Blakeney and Stephanie Williams, presented a great Digital Literacy session at TCEA in February. Here I will share some of their sites and ideas.

Wonderopolis is a site that offers short articles students can read that have "Wonder Words" highlighted with roll-over definitions. Other words are linked to related stories in the Wonderopolis site, similar to Wikipedia in its cross-referencing abilities. There is a short quiz at the end of each article to test the reader's comprehension, and the student can share the results with the teacher. DOGOnews is another site with articles for readers, focusing on Science and Social Studies. The articles can be assigned within the site, or via Google Classroom, and have a read aloud feature once accessed. Unite for Literacy and Epic! have hundreds of books for students to read online, both with the option to have the books read aloud. The pair shared a super idea called #EpicPals where the teacher assigns a book in Epic for the students to read and makes a Padlet of that book. Students use a QR code to the Padlet to post what they learned or anything they want to share about the book. Students are encouraged to share thoughts, ideas, facts, likes and dislikes about the book. What a great way to give students a voice!

I have only shared ONE SLIDE of their presentation with you! If you want to know more, here is a link to their TCEA 2019 presentation titled ELA Workshop + DIgital Literacy = GOOSEBUMPS. I hope you will check it out for more ideas!

From TCEA App Smackdown

Novel Effect is an app you can use as you read a story. It provides music and sounds while you are reading a story to enhance the experience as it stays in sync with your reading using Smart voice recognition. There are books available in the app, such as Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Lorax. Children will love the soundtrack that enhances the book reading experience! UPDATE!! Just in from TCEA from Dr. Bruce Ellis - more information on this fabulous app with an example excerpt for you!

WriteReader is a site where students can write their own digital books and share with the teacher and the class on a class bookshelf. It is easy to sign up and make a class then share the class code with the students. Students log in and begin their book using text, pictures, speech balloons, and voice recording. Super fun, super creative! Students can also download their books from the site on to their device or into their Drive.

Do you know what SAMR is?

Click the picture for an article from EdTech Insider about Elevating Student Learning with SAMR.
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