Several years ago a colleague that is no longer with our division brought Nearpod to my attention. Nearpod helps facilitate instruction by integrating presentations with opportunities for students to provide feedback using computers, tablets, or smartphones. I loved it from the very "get-go"!
Recently with the availability of Google Cardboard I have been searching for ways to instructionally use virtual reality with my students. The ITRTs in our division applied for the Google grant to get devices into our students' hands. Google denied me so the hunt continued. I was really excited to see Nearpod pop up again in my Facebook feed one day. Using the same technology as Google Cardboard apps Nearpod has combined VR (virtual reality) with the ability for students to provide feedback on the trips they are taking. If you do not have Cardboard devices, this does work well on tablets. There are over 25 different fieldtrips and most of them are free. The ones that are not free are merely $4.
This would be even better if they allowed you to add your own panos. WHICH, BTW, they say is a future functionality.
Plus, this works well with Google Classroom. I think I am in love. . .
The preschool teacher inside of me that has never really gone away says it is better to give children a blank piece of paper and some crayons and let them color their own picture rather than give them a color book.
That being said, one of the things I remember about visiting my grandma is that she would sit and color with me. I loved coloring beside her! I guess color pages may have their place-they must! Someone has started printing adult color books (no, not X-rated, just very more detailed).
There is a app called Quiver App that brings back the fun of coloring a color sheet and then expands that fun even more! All you do is print the color sheet out from Quivervision.com, color it and then use the Quiver App to interact with the image virtually. Kids will love it! It may be a great thing to pay with on these upcoming snow days. It will work on any platform, iOS or android. And there is an Educator Version with more educational content!
At the beginning of December the three ITRTs from Amherst were allowed to attend the VSTE Conference held in Hampton. Whenever I attend a conference I try to stay away from vendors because I know I will want to spend money I don't have. I stick to the sessions. However, one vendor set up right across the room from some of my sessions and brought children in to showcase what they had created using the vendor's product. I saw second grade children use basic programming skills coupled with a product called makey makey to do some really cool things. SECOND GRADERS were programming and coding! I was hooked.
I came home and asked my technology supervisor for a makey makey to experiment with but was told we didn't have the money. Bummer! So I went to a site called Donors Choose and applied for a mini grant to purchase four makey makeys. By the end of December my grant was funded and today my makey makeys arrived at my school. I can't wait to use these with the students!
This is way cool! And to be honest I am so glad for this change. My desk use to be a total mess and I could never find anything. As I began moving into the digital world it became much easier to stay organized. I have all this "stuff" now on my cell phone. No more mess for me!
Note: I got this video from a Vimeo page by someone named Designboom, Last night (12/11/15) I was contacted by the original producer of this cool animation. He gave permission for me to leave it up as long as I mentioned his company, Best Reviews and included a clickable link. I am totally in love with this so please feel free to check it out on their website. The top of the page has reviews of desk chairs. You will have to scroll down to the bottom to see a larger version of the Evolution of the Desk.
Thank you, Mr. Faw. This is truly cool!
Link to the original work: http://bestreviews.com#reviews
_Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools,
located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to
work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work
with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus,
I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler