Term 3 begins

Hope you all enjoyed your holiday break. As you might have realised, I headed to Denver, Colorado where I presented about the student blogging challenge I run twice a year. I am hoping your classes will take part in term 4 when the next challenge begins in October.

Have you written a post to begin your new term?

Maybe you have been brave and tried a new tool for the blog. Here is one I can suggest: Padlet

What is a padlet?

It is a blank page where you can easily drag and drop video, text, images, sound, documents. Check out this tour of padlet.

What else is great is that it is free and you have total control over the amount of privacy of your padlet. According to their terms of service, children under 13 cannot create their own free padlets.

To get around this, they have also created a teacher monthly, annual or school plan. You can opt for $5 per month or $45 per year for an individual teacher and then each child can create their own padlets connected via you.

Here is an example of a padlet and I would like you and your students to add your ideas to it.

Just click on the plus sign, add your name as the title and then add your idea on the next line.

Ideas for coding in classrooms

Coding is one of those areas in which many teachers have very few ideas of using it in the classroom. So while I was at ISTE I tried to go to some sessions or gather notes from coding activities. Here are some of them. I haven’t looked through them yet but you might find some things of interest to you.

Using robots to create empathy in the classroom – a padlet presentation
Coding for educators
Helping kids code from Scratch – a Google slide presentation
Kids can code – links to website with lots of ideas
Tickle me robot – beyond the hour of code program
Even K-2 students can code – lots of ideas on this page

Just received an email from one of the exhibitor booths for a coding program called Bitsbox. This did look interesting when I saw it in use in the expo hall.

I’ll add more as I go through more resources from ISTE2016. But here are a couple of photos of bee bots and blue bots which allows more difficult coding to be used.

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I’m at ISTE2016

I am at ISTE2016 in Denver, Colorado as I write this post.

I am writing the post at 9.45am Denver time but I don’t expect any of the students or teachers in Tasmania to be up at this time. Why?

You might like to look at time zones sometime in class and work out how many kilometres away I am from Tasmania and how many hours ahead or behind I am. Is it the same day in Denver as it is in Tasmania?

What is ISTE2016?

ISTE stands for International Society for Technology in Education. I have been to four ISTE conferences over the last few years. Each time I put on a display about the student blogging challenge which I run twice a year. Some of the students in Mrs Coe’s class took part in it last year.

The conference runs for about 4 days and I will be writing some posts about things I learn at the sessions I attend.

The first big session was called HackEd – this was an unconference in that it was those who attended who decided on what was happening on the day.

Today I will be heading to Global Education Day – will get lots of ideas about how to connect globally.

Tonight I will be presenting the poster display about the Student Blogging Challenge along with my friend Mrs Watanabe from California. The posters on the display were designed by three students who took part in the challenge this March. The students were from New Zealand, Canada and Portugal so it will definitely be a global presentation.

Tomorrow on I will be attending many small sessions but also looking at lots of other poster displays and also going to the exhibition hall where all the sponsors put up their displays and show you how their technology is better than someone else’s. It can take days to wander around the hall.

 

Why use a Voki?

What is a Voki you might ask?

A Voki is a talking avatar or widget you can add to your sidebar or in a post.  Here is an example I created earlier today.

There are many ways in which Voki can be used in your classroom.

  • You can have students create the free version and then send you the code or permalink to add it to your class blog. Students can either type in their message or use a microphone and speak it directly into the Voki.
  • You can create a Voki Classroom where you have total control over the vokis students create – this costs money every year.

Here are some links regarding pricing and FAQs about Voki.

Visit  Mrs Moore’s blog – Easter around the world to see Voki in action on both sidebar and in post.

I will be writing a step by step guide for creating a free Voki and it will be in the Students as Bloggers blog within the next week.

Remember to leave a comment here saying where you could use a Voki in class.

 

Introducing you to …

Our new magazine showing off the posts of our blogging students around Tasmania.

View my Flipboard Magazine.

This is a Flipboard magazine which is open to the world but I don’t advertise it on Twitter or anywhere so probably will only be seen by classes here in Tasmania.

I began this magazine when we had out previous blogging setup but I have deleted the posts from those students and decided to start fresh from this year.

To add posts to this magazine, I look at the posts created by students on class blogs and students who have their own blog – if they are a great example of writing for the age of the students involved, then I flip the post.

Hope you enjoy reading the stories and information from this magazine. You can add the code to your own blog and have it on the sidebar in a text box.

eLearning with blogs

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