1. As awesome as Chromebooks are, they are on their way to getting even better. One of the complaints Google has been hearing is that users want Chromebooks to be able to run Android apps. Even though Google already has a TON of apps, it listened. Some of the newest Chromebooks now can run any Android app. PLUS! Some of the older models of Chromebooks will have updates scheduled during 2017 which will allow them to run Android apps. To see if you have a Chromebook which will run Android or are scheduled to have an update which will allow you to run Android, check here.
2. I recently stumbled across a very cool tool called EDpuzzle. Nope! This is not a jigsaw puzzle creator. This tool that allows you to add your voice and text questions to educational videos. On EDpuzzle you can search for educational videos and or upload your own videos to use as the basis of your lesson. EDpuzzle has an online classroom component that you can use to assign videos to students and track their progress through your video lessons.
3. School House Chalk is a new site that was created by Grand Canyon University which in recent years has been emerging as a front runner for training educators in using digital tools for best practice integration. Gail Moore completed a Masters at Grand Canyon! School House Chalk is totally free and provides strategies as well as interactives and tools.
4. Coding, coding, coding! The word is everywhere! Very soon the Virginia Department of Education will expect coding to be a part of every classroom, every subject. Gail and I have been working on how to correlate coding with our curriculum. One of the ways that has been the most fun for students is with Bee-Bot or Colby Jack, the mouse-bot. We have several ideas and would love to share them with you! Each of the robots is very economical. Bee-Bot is $89 and Colby Jack is about $30. The difference is that Bee-Bot is rechargeable and Colby Jack is battery operated. We have used these with students PK-5 with positive comments from everyone. Some of my students even shared that they asked Santa for a Bee-Bot for Christmas and these were students in the upper elementary grades. I would LOVE to see what the middle schoolers think of them! If you would like to see what either of these robots are like, please let me know and I can schedule a visit from my little coding buddies!
5. Friday at the Movies - This is one of my students favorite songs!
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