Kahoot

Kahoot is a Norwegian based interactive learning application which is designed to engage students through the use of IWB and a device. It works as easily on a phone as it does on any other device. People create Kahoot learning games and can share them. You do not have to . You can set your profile to private . It is important to check the settings since they are there to protect young students and for people who want some time to get to know the site and what it does before they go public. Wise choice on the developers’ part. I have chosen this clip because it gives a good overview of Kahoot and how to do it but the site is also very helpful with tutorials. In addition you will find plenty of good videos about Kahoot on YouTube so that you can familarise yourself with what Kahoot can do and how others use it. There is a review here on edshelf and another one here on tool review with some sound review questions for you to ask yourself. What a good idea that is. By now we should have standard checklist questions which we ask ourselves before we buy or try apps,tools and devices.

MathMagic for Captivate

I just discovered MathMagic for Captivate on my MacBook. Why? I am a French teacher. I have found a video so that someone who actually knows what they are talking about can explain this to you. I have no need for an equation editor but you may well need one. The images you create in Captivate are extremely clear and so would replicate well on an interactive board or in a video lesson. Captivate is an Adobe product which obviously the school has kindly loaded on my MacBook. The least I can do is share this with you because it seems to be the very thing if you like creating equations. From my non Maths point of view , it is actually interesting to me to see all the maths symbols so well organised and aggregated. My way of tackling it would be to find out what each of those symbols meant and what I could do with them. Probably not a lot. Have fun. You’re welcome.

Fix technology with technology

cat Image: Pinterest

A lesson for wearing my #notperfecthat and just walking through the issues in a calm, considered way. I could have done without it, but technology is very much there to teach you how to be a good problem solver. I wanted to show my class a couple of their blogs so we could clear up some misunderstandings. The students had actually provided the materials on their own blogs so I could easily explain. One of the benefits of getting students to blog is you quickly find out what the learning gaps and misconceptions are and you can use their blogs and your own resources to set them straight very easily. It creates an authentic learning continuum. My interactive whiteboard decided to be difficult. First the projected screen size on the board was too small. I fixed that with the remote as I was explaining. I was just about to get going with the student blogs I wanted to show and the board lost the connection altogether and 3 resets, as I talked, did nothing to resolve that. Deep breath. My students have laptops. We put the addresses of the blogs I wanted them to visit on the whiteboard . I told them to read and look for themselves at what I was talking about and to leave a like and/or comment on the blogs they were visiting. In the meantime I was trying to get my connection back. The students enjoyed being able to independently look at the blogs. The students who were being visited were very proud and pleased to be able to help. It was all very positive , genuine learning and sharing. I got back to my board and the lesson carried on except for 5 minutes my laptop just would go into screensaver mode ( it is not set for that) and half way through a practice sentence the whiteboard image would shutdown. I just logged into my laptop again and after a few minutes it just stopped misbehaving. Had I not been able to get back onto my whiteboard/laptop interface I would have chosen the whiteboard only option or connected my iPad and used that. It  is important in a technology driven classroom there are technology options for when things play up. As it turned out we had a good lesson where we shared a lot of information and learning and the students did not add to the problem. They were seeing ways of helping resolve the issue and keep us all on track. We did not get side tracked or off task. We problem solved as a team because I was clear about what we were learning and doing. Wearing our #notsoperfecthat meant we had a real sense of achievement in the end.

New kid on the browser block – Vivaldi

VivaldiVivaldi is so new as a browser it still has its training wheels and dreams of a great life to come. It plans to be across device and it will be supporting onboard Mail. I have only tried it since yesterday and have just joined the community so I am less than 24 hours into this and I am using it as my preferred browser. The only issue I have had is it would not type text on the login page for one site I needed for school this morning when I was on my MacBook. Everything else has been fine on Windows and Mac. It also runs on Linux so it’s completely cross-platform and that is how things should be these days. It is a stripped down browser and designed to be efficient. No argument there. It is amazingly fast and very uncluttered. I am used to a tool bar so I have had to retrain myself and have caught myself out a couple of times looking for my toolbar links. Old habits die hard! I like having the bookmarks at the side. I like what it offers as preloaded site bookmarks in different categories both when I run it in French and English. It simplifies everything without compromising on speed. Pages load ultra quickly. Mostly it operates from a slim sidebar but there are settings bottom left and ,bottom right ,you can stop the browser from loading images and become even faster. The thing which I appreciated the most at school on my whiteboard was the fact I could increase the size of the web page text by using the slider bottom right. It made one lesson so easy because we were working from a French website and to be able to enlarge it just by sliding and then work from that image on the board made for a really good teaching option. If you go to the Vivaldi site you can download the tech preview and then be a part of the community if you want to . It also explains just how much of an open source collaborative effort this new browser is. 2015 at last. You can find them on Twitter @vivaldibrowser.

Epson Easy Interactive Tools

Epson Easy Interactive Tools look a bit classier and give you some good options than the regular whiteboard tools which come with the Epson.These tools will work on any whiteboard, not just an Epson. It’s actually a good idea to do it this way. The tools which come with the board are straightforward , do not confuse people and do the job. When you are ready to move on, you can download the Easy Interactive Tools and watch this video which explains everything slowly and well. You can actually see what you can do and you can play the video and practise using the tools at the same time. That is a great way to learn because you are under no pressure to suddenly be good at something which might take a little bit of time for you to master. I use the option of showing things on the board and annotating it as I teach. It really means I can focus the learning and add to what I have selected as a visual part of my lesson. It means I can do things which are more complicated. I can erase it all in two clicks and then see how far we have come as a class. My capacity to use more and better resources is increased because of the options supplied with the Easy Interactive Tools. I have mentioned them in passing before because downloading them was the first thing I did when my new board was installed. The regular tools do a lot of the work for me but to have choices means I can change delivery modes easily and make better use of my board.

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