Great Site for Tech Resources

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 11.02.52 AM

If you haven’t been to Richard Byrne‘s site, Free Technology for Teachers, go check it out right away! He’s got a wide variety of tips, tricks, apps, ideas, etc. to support your use of technology.

He recently shared an updated version of his “11 Backchannel & Informal Assessment Tools Compared in One Chart” that’s worth a peek.  Check it out here.




25 Tips for Dealing with Digital Distractions

flickr photo by Kris Krug shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

In truth, it can be hard to focus among the delights presented by a never-ending machine of distraction available on the Internet.

TeachThought has a great post with 25 tips, ideas, and tools to assist us with this endeavour.

  1. Use Apps Like StayFocused

    “You don’t necessarily have to be prone to being distracted to sit down to work only to find yourself shopping for pearl snap shirts on eBay and wondering how you got there. StayFocused is a Google Chrome plug-in that lets you decide up front how much time to allow yourself to burn on those time-wasting sites before it cuts you off cold.


  1. Track Yourself With Resources Like RescueTime

    If you’re not quite ready to let StayFocused dictate your web browsing, try RescueTime. It records where you click and how much time you spend there so that you can see the depressing results in all their graphed glory. If and when you decide to make some changes, it also includes the option to start blocking sites altogether.”

Read the entire post and the other 23 tips here.

Using Tech to Showcase Student Work

flickr photo by tobiastoft shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

InformEd recently ran a piece by Saga Briggs on 24 ways to showcase student work using technology.  It’s got some great ideas for why to use tech as well as different platforms and ways to use them.  Take a peek and you’ll discover at least one new, intriguing tech tool.

Read it here.

If you haven’t tried Padlet yet, it’s time

In this week’s Free Tech for Teachers blog, author Richard Byrne reminds us of why Padlet can be a great tool for the classroom.

Padlet is one of my all-time favorite tech tools for the classroom. Over the years I’ve used Padlet (formerly known as Wall Wisher) for everything from hosting online brainstorming sessions to organizing bookmarks to creating simple blogs for students. This week Padlet improved again by launching an iPhone app.

The new Padlet iPhone app works like the iPad app that they launched a few months ago. Through the app students can take pictures and record videos that will appear directly on their chosen Padlet walls. Of course, students can also double-tap on their chosen Padlet walls to type notes and add links to notes on Padlet walls.” 

Read the rest of the post here.

How Turning Math Into a Maker Workshop Can Bring Calculations to Life

Sometimes something unexpected — such as a banana keyboard — can provide a hook for students who may need it the most.  In this Mindshift piece a teacher finds ways to inspire her students and turn them into learners who love math.

By Author :

“It might have been the banana piano. Or perhaps the bongos, made from lemons that students had plucked from the citrus tree at school. Elizabeth Little, who teaches middle school math and science, doesn’t know exactly which of the hands-on projects she introduced to her remedial math class turned the class around. But by the end of the school year, all her math students, not just those needing extra support, were clamoring for more math.

How did this happen?

Little teaches at Martin Luther King Jr Middle School in Berkeley, California, where classes like sewing, woodshop, and metal shop — what she calls “practical ways of learning math” — are no longer offered; tight budgets and renewed emphasis on academic learning have eliminated them. But Little couldn’t bear to subject already disengaged students to yet another ho-hum class of multiplication tables and long division.

Instead, she took a gamble and brought some materials to school for her students to play with: a sewing kit, the 3-D doodler she’d just been given, her son’s marble-run set and a MaKey MaKey device she knew nothing about, donated by a friend.” 

Read the rest of the article here.

Keeping Up-To-Date With Digital Citizenship

Photo Credit: ToGa Wanderings via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: ToGa Wanderings via Compfight cc

TeachThought recently published a great reflection about not assuming that students (or adults) really have a deep understanding of digital citizenship.

Digital Citizenship is huge.

Or so it seems by the countless articles we read on the topic each week. As plugged-in educators who are putting together the first annual Digital Citizenship Summit, we are swimming in a sea of amazing advice concerning cyberbullying, empathy online, public shaming, tech balance, digital tattoos, and more. To us, it often seems like everyone is well-versed in digital citizenship and everything it entails. They’re not.

Planning the Digital Citizenship Summit has provided us with a great deal of insight into how the digital citizenship community, and education world at large, can better promote the concept of digital citizenship. We have been able to see firsthand the major gap in understanding between digital citizenship evangelists and the general masses, and have discovered some potential ways to decrease the gap.” Read the entire article here.

If you are looking for resources and ways to teach about digital citizenship, some of the best resources for students, teachers and families can be found here at Common Sense Media.