Tricider

How is it possible to have all the students brainstorm at the same time and at the same place?

The answer: with Tricider.

Tricider is a free website. This website allows people to write down questions and share them with people around them. Then they can answer the questions, comments, give some pros and cons and vote for their favorite propositions depending on what is the question (tutorial). To be able to use this website you do not need to have an account. You just have to invent your question and share it with people. The question can be shared through Facebook, Twitter or by sending the link by email. A positive point of this website is that you can add your email address and every time someone answers or comments the question you will receive a notification.

According to Nik, you can use this website to do many things with your students. For instance, you can use it to publish a list of topics and have your students vote for their favorite one. Also, you can create controversial statements and ask the students to vote for the ones they agree and disagree with and they have to write pros and cons beside their choices. Another way could be that you divide the class in two, one half will have to find pros and the other half will have to find cons. At the end, you can determine which half of class has found the most convincing arguments. Another way to use the website is to create true/false statements to check if the students understood the text they read. I think these are interesting ways of using the website. For example, the second suggestion allows the students to practice their writing in a fun way because they are engaged in a debate. Their goal is to win the debate so they will not think about the writing part as a burden.

As shown by Melanie Kroening (Instructional Designer, Ecampus), one way you can use Tricider is to create an icebreaker activity with your students. Also, you can use it to brainstorm solutions and find the pros and cons of each, to brainstorm and collect ideas from the whole class or smaller teams and to brainstorm to find good ideas and vote for your favorite one to have the best idea rises to the top. Personally, I also think that the students can use it to brainstorm inside their teams. For instance, if they have to do a research, they can brainstorm on the topic they will choose or what they want to look at for the research. I did not think of using it as an icebreaker before I read the article of Ms. Kroening and I think it is a good idea because it will allow students to learn more about their peers on the first day of class. Also, the icebreaker activity could be used when teachers begin a new subject. The purpose could be to see what the students already know about that new subject.

Rhonndda also suggested another way of using Tricider, but not for the students. It could be used between teachers to make decisions without having another meeting. I think it is a good idea because teachers have a lot of work to do and sometimes it is hard to find time where everyone is available. It could also be used by teachers of the same subject to share what they do with their classes, to suggest ideas to the other teachers and also to help their colleagues find solutions when they face problems.

It is now your turn to try Tricider and see how it is a marvellous website.

 

 

 

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What is Delicious?

How is it possible to keep track of the website you consulted and that you will need in the future?

Many people will say: “Well put links in your favorites.”

This is a good idea. However, if you work on another computer you will not have access to those links. What can you do to make this possible? The solution is to use Delicious, a bookmarking website. The advantage of this website is that it is free and you can access to it regardless the computer you are using. To use the website, you have to create an account and you have three options: with your Twitter account, your Facebook account, or with your email address. However, Delicious does not work with folder to classified your bookmarks, it works with tags. You can tag your bookmarks with more than one tag if you want to, it would be easier to find them after. Here is a tutorial to help you understand if you have difficulty to create an account and understand how the tags work.

Now, how can it be used in classroom?

According to Melanie, you can use Delicious with your students to do a project. I agree with her. Students can use Delicious to store the websites they will need to write their text or do their report. For instance, if they do the project in teams they can share their links with their teammates. If a member of the team works on the project at his/her house and save links on his/her own account. The other team members can go on his/her account and look at the pieces of information found by the person. Also, the teacher can follow each student. This will allow him/her to stay aware of the progress of the students’ work.

Also, according to Chris O’Neal, Delicious is a great tool because it gives you access to bookmarks of people you do not even know. The example he gave was that if you are a 4th grade teacher and you want to do a project on volcanoes with your students. You save a link and tag it volcanoes. Then you will be able to see how many people had saved a link under the same tag and it will give you access to their bookmark library. If you look at the other libraries, you might find one of another teacher that did the same project that you want to do and find interesting links that you could use. I personally think that it is a great tool for that, but also because you can share your own links with your colleagues. If you are two teachers that teach in secondary 3 and do the same project with your students, you could each find some interesting websites and share them with the other teacher. This way the students in both classes would have access to the same materials.

Andi Stix, an educational consultant & coach, also suggested another idea of how to use Delicious in classroom. Her idea is to use this tool to engage students in active learning with role-play. For instance, you want you students to choose the best video out of four for a museum exhibition. As the teacher you will have do research on your own to guide your students. You will have put your links under a certain stack. They can look at other things like videos or blogs, but you want them to have the same bases. To do so, your student will create their own account on Delicious and then you will share the material with them. After, the students will have to discuss with their team to share their ideas. For me, it is a good way to create interactive project, because the website is easy to access and accessible to everyone. Moreover, it will allow the students to have access to the materials from their houses. Also, you can share information with your student not only for a project, but in the everyday life. For instance, you do a class on irregular verbs and you had found a great video about that subject. Well, you can share it with them through Delicious and they will be able to watch it as many times as they want to. So, it can be useful to share any kind of materials with your students.

Little Bird Tales

How could your students create a story, design it, record it and share it?

The answer is really simple; have them use Little Bird Tales.

This website has many advantages. One of them is that it is free so accessible to everyone. Moreover, the website is really easy to use so the students will have fun using it. To create an account you just need an email address. You can register as a teacher. To do so, you will have to create 4-digit school code if your school is not already registered on this website. (https://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/2011/05/06/free-tools-challenge-22-create-high-quality-digital-stories-with-little-bird-tales/)

Your students could use this website to create their own story. First of all, they would have to invent their story and write it down on a sheet of paper. After, they would use Little Bird Tales to design their story. They would have three options to do the images of their story:  draw the images by themselves, use images from internet or use their own pictures. When this step is done, they can put a text box at the bottom of each page and write a part of their story. After, they can record themselves reading their story aloud. Finally, they have the possibility to share their stories with friends and family.

Another project that would be fun to do is having the whole class create one story. Each student would write a page of the story book. However, everyone would create a page without knowing what the other students are doing. Thus at the end when the teacher would put together all pages, it will create a funny story.

Often, we will ask our students to do a research and create a PowerPoint with the interesting information they found to present to the rest of the class. Well, instead of using PowerPoint, the students could use Little Bird Tales. It would allow them to put only pictures or key words and explain them aloud by recording their voice. It would be less stressful for them than doing an oral presentation in front of everyone because he/she could only present his/her video to the class.

Another way you can use this website is to use it to create your lessons. For instance, you want to give a lesson to your students on irregular verbs. You create a kind of “PowerPoint” with Little Bird Tales. When you are done, you record your explanations. Then, you share the lesson with your students and they can listen to it as many times as they want to.

It is now time to have fun using Little Bird Tales with your students!

Using iPad in classroom !

 

There is already some interactive board in the classes, but what will be another way to make classes interactive?

Answer: To use an iPad in class.

People would reply, but how can I use an iPad in my class?

Here is the answer.

There are many apps that you can use while teaching. However, do not try to find apps that will teach the subject for you because you will not find any. What you have to do is find apps that will help you teach the subject to your students or maybe will help you realize project with them. For instance, you want to make your students do a movie in teams of four because you want them to practice their oral interaction. Well, there is an app that you can use for this called iMovie. This app allows students to film, edit, produce and share their movie on iPad.

Another app that you can use is Strip Designer. This app is used to create comics. It is a good way to have your students practicing their writing and having fun at the same time because their goal is to create a comic not to write an essay. The task is more interesting for them thus they are more motivated and they will put more effort in their work that if it was just a writing production.

Moreover, many schools ask their students to bring their own device like computer or iPad. If every student has his/her own iPad you can adapt your teaching to every student in your classroom. To make this possible you have to choose apps that will best respond to the needs of your students. If your students are listeners, you can find an app where you can record your lesson and then share it with those students so they can listen to it at home. Or if some of your students learn more through tactile interaction, you can find apps that will allow them to manipulate the information in order to learn. (https://www.apple.com/education/ipad/teaching-with-ipad/)

Another app that you can use is iTunes U. This app will allow you the teacher to build your course on it. Also, your students can have access to this app so you can share materials with them. For example, you can create a lesson plan for the next class and your students can see it before they come to class. You can post all their homework assignments on this app. If you share a video with them, they can listen to it and take note that are synchronized with the lecture. An advantage is that they can bring their iPad everywhere so they have access to everything you share with them all the time. For instance, if you decide to change the date of an exam, they will receive a notification that indicates that you modified something.

One advantage of using the iPad in ESL classroom is that you can find apps where students can record themselves reading a text aloud. Then, they can listen to their voice and particularly to their pronunciation. After, the app will tell them the right pronunciation for words they mispronounced. It is a good way to learn the right pronunciation of words of a new language. (http://www.interactioneducation.com/ipadsineducation.html)

With the iPad, no need to use a mouse or a key board, everything is at your fingertips!