Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Using Videonot.es

Videonot.es is a cool app (free!) from the chromestore that lets your students take notes while watching a video. This is great for blended learning environments like my classroom because when students watch the tutorial videos that I create, they can take notes that synchronize directly with time stamps from the tutorial video!

If you notice in the picture below, you can have the students watch the video on one side, and then type their notes on the other side. Each new line they begin typing will cause the timestamp to appear in yellow. If you want to go back to a specific note from the video, you can click on the note, and it will take you back into the place where it appears in the video.

If you notice in the top right in the picture, you'll see that all changes are also automatically saved in drive. You can also export them to evernote if you wanted. You can have the students share their notes with you so that you can keep track of if they are taking notes or not in the class.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Creating Lesson videos on Ipad using "Playback" App

There are some lessons where it might be better to use a pen and actually write on your slides (ie: combining like terms, adding and subtracting). In my youtube video here you can see that I used a pen and wrote all oer my slides on my ipad.

If you have a pen for your ipad, the app called playback will allow you to write on slides that you already created. There are a lot of other apps that will let you record videos using a blank canvas, but this was the only app that I was able to find that allowed me to record videos using slides that I already created. 

I created the slides on google slides in drive and then I downloaded the presentation to a pdf. From there, I was able to export the pdf file into the app and then I created my video.

The app lets you change pen colors, change the size of the ink, erase etc. Best of all, it's free!!!!

If you're looking for videos that you can create by physically writing on you ipad using your own stylus, then playback is the app for you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Google Classroom

I use Google Classroom as one of my main platforms for communication with my students on the chromebooks. It's great when it comes to posting assignments, having the students submit the assignments and returning the assignments to students. It tells the students when due dates are and honestly, it keeps things very organized. It eliminates the dreaded question of "What did I miss yesterday?" when students come back after being absent (one, two, or worse three days at a time). Also students can check the classroom page at anytime. There is also a google classroom app for students, which is great so that students can check it on their phones. They can always easily refer back to my lesson videos or the homework.

I mainly use it to list the daily activities students are to work on when they are in my class. Below is an example of the way I use Google Classroom in my class. I usually use it to list assignments that I want the students to do. They work and submit the assignments in order and are allowed to talk with their groups when doing them.

My one biggest gripe with Google Classroom is that unless you are a part of google apps for education, you cannot join the classroom page. This is a major downfall because I cannot invite the parents to view the assignments. Parents can't keep track of exactly what they are doing in the classroom or at home unless I post that on another website (like my teacher page) which at that point, now I'm posting the same thing twice for all of my classes.

On the plus side, it is very user friendly and easy to post and keep track of assignments! Students can also comment and have a discussion on classroom if you choose to ask a question. Plus, its all monitored because it is all posted and YOU have control over what you want and don't want posted.

Google Classroom is a great tool to use.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Assessment using Socrative

I first heard about Socrative at a PD at the teacher's convention in Atlantic City and have since helped many teachers use it successfully in their classrooms. If you sign up for socrative, you can create free assessments. You can create tests that have different kinds of questions, like multiple choice questions, true/false questions and short answer questions.

Something that I really like about it is that you can add an explanation to appear after students answer each question. When students answer one question at a time, after they answer it, an explanation that you write will pop up. This is great for math classes because you can explain the right and answer and the reason why, this way students don't ask why they got it wrong. And then what's better is that they will move onto the next question using that explanation in their knowledge base.

You can have students take the assessment one question at a time on their own, or they can take it where they can answer the questions in what every order they choose (They could skip around questions and such). You can also have the assessment be teacher paced, where you can go through with the class question by question. This is great for guided practice.

Finally, you can have students play "Space Race." I like having Socrative randomly place my students into teams. Then, you put the race on the board so students can see their progress. Every time someone from the blue team gets a question correct, the blue pawn in the race moves forward a step. If a student from the blue team answers incorrectly, the blue pawn in the race doesn't move forward. The point is to have as many students on the same answer the questions correctly the fastest.

What I love the most about Socrative though is that you can see the students answer the questions in real time. In other words, if a student isn't even logged into the classwork, you can tell! If a student only answered one question all class period, you can tell. You can also say "Ok, Mike, you check your #4's answer again" and have him self correct.

Socrative is a great assessment tool. The only thing I've noticed is that it sometimes might a little buggy. Sometimes I'll have my students raise their hand and complain that it randomly logged them out. I haven't been able to tell if Socrative is the issue, or if my students are trying to pull a fast one on me because they are getting a lot of the questions wrong, so they think that by closing the tab, and raising their hand to complain, I'll allow them to redo those questions that they got wrong. In this case, I tell them I can see where they left and I tell them what question to start off at.

I wish there was a way to delete scoresheets on this though. I have used this so much and have so many archived, that if I have to look back at a students scores for whatever reason, it can get a bit confusing.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Videos using Screencastify

I use the extension from the chrome store called screencastify to create my tutorial videos. The free version of screencastify lets you create videos that are up to 10 minutes long. If I have a video longer than that, I would just create multiple videos on the same topic, calling them "Part 2" and/or "Part 3".

You don't even need a chromebook to get screencastify. As long as you have chrome, you can get the extension. From there, you can just share it onto YouTube and choose whether you want to make it be public, unlisted (where you need the link in order to view it), or private.

I prefer to make my videos public because I want my students to search for my videos and easily find them.

You could even have the students use screencastify to create a tutorial video teaching YOU and the rest of the class what they learned! I would highly recommend you give screencastify a try if you are looking for an easy way to create your own videos for your classroom.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

ViewPure to for ad free videos

There are a lot of great reasons for utilizing YouTube as a tool for your classroom. Maybe you want to show a movie clip or listen to a song clip. Or, maybe you create and post tutorial videos like myself.

A few weeks after I created my youtube channel, I had to find another way for my students to watch my youtube videos because our technology department blocked youtube. Since then, I've been using a website called viewpure. Viewpure helps "purify" videos, making them more school appropriate. It removes all of the comments, ads and related videos so that students can watch the videos you post without dstractions. All you need to do is copy and paste the link of  video you find online into the white box and then click "purify". From there, you can copy your new viewpure link fromyour address bar and onto your classroom website for the students to click on.

I recommend you give viewpure a try if you use videos in your classroom!

Math With Kousou YouTube Channel

My YouTube channel is called "Math with Kousou" and can be found here. Rather than have me teach on the board, I have students watch tutorial videos that I created and uploaded. So, in other words, students are watching my lesson through tutorial videos on youtube in class.

Using youtube as a tool for teaching is extremely helpful because it helps differentiate learning. Students are learning at their own pace. They can pause the video where ever they need, go back to a certain point in the video if they need a certain example repeated, and take as many or as little notes as they want.

Having a YouTube channel is great because students can watch the videos at home if they are absent, or the next day if they are absent. It is a good way for students to help catch up on what they need to. I also know students rewatch the videos before tests and quizzes as a review.

By having the students "learn on their own" so to speak, that leaves me available the entire period for more individualized student attention. Students can pause the video at certain example and ask me to reexplain something they don't understand.

Students can also watch these videos on their phones (right before school starts) or while they are doing homework.