Archive | March 2014

Classflow: Engage and Collaborate Like Never Before

Classflow.com is an incredible new presentation tool that may change the way teachers interact with their students. Classflow is cloud-based and allows teachers to access and build lessons using any browser, on any device. Lessons can include web links, videos, images and even PowerPoints. Once and lesson is built it can be easily shared with students on their smart phones, tablets, laptops, or Chromebooks! Teachers can even choose to share their lesson on Classflow’s ever growing library. 

While teachers do the “driving” and are the ones deciding which cards will be shared on students’ devices, Classflow allows students to interact and manipulate cards, then send them back to the teacher.

My favorite feature of Classflow is how easily your lessons can be adapted on the fly. I have created some great presentations for my students and right in the middle of teaching, a student will add an idea that is even better than what I was doing. Classflow gives teachers and students the ability to create new cards that will become part of the lesson without ever exiting your current Classflow presentation.

Here’s a short video showing you how to get started on Classflow:

Into the Twittershpere!

Not on Twitter?

Teachers don’t have enough time. It’s a fact. We all know it. Teachers today are overwhelmed. How are they supposed to find the time to search and find new, quality ideas and resources to integrate into their lessons in the midst of the mountains of paperwork and endless responsibilities piling up around them? They can’t. Like I said, teachers don’t have enough time.

With teachers being pulled in so many different directions, they need resources to come to them. What if mind-blowing, incredibly engaging lessons found you? It’s possible, and Twitter can make it happen. Some of you are thinking Twitter is where people go to tell about what they thought of Madonna’s outfit at the Grammys (see below).

Twitter is definitely a forum for anyone with internet access to share their random thoughts, but it’s so much more! It’s a gathering place where thousands of educators collaborate and are willing to share incredible resources and phenomenal ideas with you. And it’s all FREE!

To get started click here and sign up for an account.

Once you register I recommend only following a handful of people at first. After you’ve discovered a few you really like, see who those people follow, and follow them too. You will soon have a collection of people tweeting “teaching gold” directly to your phone or computer.

Don’t be afraid to unfollow people either. Twitter does not notify users with others find them boring or not helpful. And get rid of that egg profile picture! No one cares what an egg has to say. Finally, tell a little about yourself, inquiring minds want to know.

Here are some more resources to help you get started on Twitter:

@cybraryman1’s  Twitter for Beginners Page (He has a page for everything, literally everything)

A Not So Delusional Guide to Twitter

Twitter Starter for Teachers by @alicekeeler

Weekly Twitter Chat Schedule. This schedule sorts chats by #’s and specific topics you may be interested in.

Already on Twitter? Ready to take your Twitter experience to the next level?

Tweetdeck is for you! Tweetdeck allows user to create a custom twitter experience. One of my favorite applications of Tweetdeck is the ability to create columns to follow a particular hashtag (#). Now with the help of Tweetdeck, I have access to real time streaming 24 hours a day!

Here’s how to customize your Tweetdeck to suit you:

Once you’ve created your Tweetdeck account click on the “+” on the lefthand side of the page to add a column

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Then choose the column type you would like to add. To add a specific hashtag column, click “search” and then enter the hashtag you are looking for.

Here is an example of some of the columns I’ve created:

You can find the Tweetdeck Chrome App here or it’s available on your iOS or Andriod app stores

Twitter Bonus: Here is a really cool activity to try using Twitter in your classroom.