Monday, June 18, 2012

'Camp Plug and Play'

Last week, I had the privilege to attend a five-day retreat put on by the Arizona K12 Center down at the Westward Look Resort in Tucson, AZ.  What a great experience!  This was the second year that I attended this fantastic retreat and I look forward to attending for many more summers to come.  Last year's class was on 'Getting Smart with your SMARTboard' and this year I attended 'Mobilize Your Classroom' - which was all about utilizing iPads (or iPods) in your classroom!  I have a personal iPad, so I was interested in how to use it efficiently in the classroom without too much distraction.

Here are some resources that I would like to share that may help you in your classroom:

-Tony Vincent has a fabulous web site, Learning in Hand, that helps teachers and school districts navigate mobile learning.  He has featured many podcasts and presentations that help narrow down efficient apps. that are useful in the classroom.

- One such podcast that really 'jump-started' my learning was on QR Codes and how they can be used within the upper grade or secondary classroom.  I was so inspired by all the talk of QR Codes in the classroom that I have started the process of linking my classroom web page/virtual classroom with a QR Code and have plans for so much more! Stay Tuned!  Here is a free and easy site that allows you to link web addresses, text, and so much more to your documents and web sites: QR Stuff and here's another. Go crazy...see how you can bring technology into your classroom in fun and inventive ways!

- Here is a QR Code (get a free QR Code reader app. on your 'smart phone) that will take you to a 'You Tube' Video that I made using Google Search Stories. Have you ever done this?  It's such a great tool...I set up a class 'You Tube' account so that students can make there own, then drop them into out class 'channel' to view..of course assuming that You Tube is not blocked in your district, as it is in mine. Imagine students making 30 second videos on historic figures in world history, or to tell the story of their summer vacation - so many great opportunities! 

- Finally today...Have you used Edmodo in the classroom?  What a great (and free!) class web site!  We used this site during our retreat week to post comments and resources - I can totally see this being used next year for my students to respond to reading reflection questions, take class surveys/polls, and generate questions for each other to help them with their sixth-grade year! You can also link websites and documents (dropped into Dropbox) for student reference! Here is an example of our 'Mobilize the Classroom' site:

For my next post, I'll share with you some of the great (and free!) apps. that we used on the iPad throughout the week.  Have a great's going to be 113 degrees all week here in Arizona! Yikes!

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