New Technology

The items listed below are some of the best new and emerging educational technologies and tools that we have come across in our travels and work in schools. If you have something new that you love, let us know and we'll add it here!

 

JoeZoo app iconGiving good feedback on student writing is crucial, but it takes a lot of time and effort. The more timely the feedback is, the more useful and meaningful is it for students.  Giving feedback by adding comments in Google Docs is good, but is still a time consuming process. JoeZoo is here to help!

JoeZoo is a Google Docs add-on that allows you to provide quick, frequent, and actionable writing feedback to students using not only comments, but easily created rubrics as well which you can use to grade student writing as you are giving feedback. You can also track student and class progress to better see where your students are excelling, and where they are not.

They provide great support through many tutorial videos, frequent feature updates, and will quickly reply to email questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - all while keeping JoeZoo free! It can be easily added to teacher and student G Suite accounts by your district, or installed manually from their site or through Google Docs add-ons.

Take a look at how it works:

Besides, you need to take a look at JoeZoo simply because they have one of the best logos EVER! If you try it and love it, let them know @joezooapp on Twitter, and tag @sedck12 as well.

 

Switch & Glitch app iconLearn to CODE and save the day with robot friends!

Switch & Glitch is a PUZZLE game where you and your friends explore different planets, help corrupted wildlife and collect mysterious metagel. Explore exotic single player levels before you start competing against other others in a unique MULTIPLAYER mode.

During your adventures, you’ll get to explore CODING and COMPUTATIONAL THINKING, two key skills of the future. You use a visual programming language to control the robots and to solve puzzles. Every level presents a problem that you need to break down, just like real programmers do!

 

EquatIO logoFinally! A tool for all of you math and science teachers out there who could never justify having studens submit homework digitally. Snapping a photo of hand-written homework and equations worked, but wasn't a very elegant solution. 

EquatIO makes math digital, helping teachers and students at all levels create math expressions quickly and easily. This Chrome extension allows you and your students to easily create mathematical equations, formulas and quizzes. Intuitively type or handwrite, with no tricky math code to learn. Until now, writing equations and math expressions on your computer has been slow and laborious.

Type or handwrite virtually any mathematical expression directly on your keyboard or touchscreen. There’s no need for any complicated code or programming languages. EquatIO instantly turns your thoughts into clear, accurate on-screen formulas. When you type ‘sq’, it knows that you mean ‘square root’. And it listens, too. When you dictate a formula aloud, EquatIO is smart enough to ignore ‘umms’, ‘errs’ and other unwanted non-math words.

More than a replacement for pen and paper, EquatIO makes math and other STEM subjects engaging and rewarding for every student.

Features:
- Easily create math expressions including equations and formulas
- Compatible with Google Docs and Forms* (Sheets and Slides coming soon!)
- Input via keyboard, handwriting recognition* (via touchscreen or touchpad) and voice dictation
- Guesses what you’re typing or writing - like predictive text on your smartphone*
- Hear your math expressions read out loud
- Compatible with LaTeX input for advanced users
- Create interactive digital math quizzes*
- Input student responses directly into digital quizzes*
- Chemistry formula prediction*

Try EquatIO free for 30 days, with unlimited access to all features. After that, access to their Premium features requires a licensing subscription.

 

Cybersecurity Lock IconThe Cybersecurity Lab is a game designed to teach people how to keep their digital lives safe, spot cyber scams, learn the basics of coding, and defend against cyber attacks. Players assume the role of the chief technology officer of a start-up social network company that is the target of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. In the game, players must complete challenges to strengthen their cyber defenses and thwart their attackers. The Lab also features stories of real-world cyber attacks, a glossary of cyber terms, and short animated videos that explain the need for cybersecurity, privacy versus security, cryptography (cyber codes), and what exactly hackers are.

There are four major gameplay components of the Lab:

  • Coding Challenge: An introduction to very basic coding skills. Players program a robot to navigate a maze, using drag-and-drop commands.
  • Password-Cracking Challenge: A series of “password duels” teach players the basics of how attackers might try to crack their passwords and how they can make better, more secure passwords.
  • Social Engineering Challenge: Players are presented with two apparently similar emails or websites. They must first identify the differences between them and then decide which one is a scam attempting to steal their information or money. This challenge also includes a number of audio recordings and transcripts of phone calls; players have to decide if they should trust the caller or not.
  • Network Attacks: As their companies grow, players must buy defenses to defend themselves against a series of cyber attacks. The better that players do in the three challenges, the more resources they’ll have to buy defenses.

Access The Cybersecurity Lab game here, but be sure to check out the Educator Guide first! Big thanks to PBS NOVA Labs for creating this great tool.

 

Zero Noise Classroom Chrome Extension IconThis tool may not be out there on the 'Cutting Edge' of tech, but we thought that it could be a useful one. 

Zero Noise Classroom is a free noise level display and stopwatch for the cooperative classroom. It helps students be aware of the noise level in the classroom during cooperative learning activities, and moderate it accordingly. When time is over, the percentage of time that the noise level has exceeded the optimal level is displayed, so the teacher can use that value in gamification techniques. Adjust the microphone sensibility in your operative system for best results.

 

Flipgrid logoUse video like your students use video. Flipgrid is a video response platform that allows educators to host video based discussions with students. Educators create topic grids and students respond with recorded videos to discuss, reflect, and share via webcam, tablet or mobile device.

A grid is where your students go to view your topics, record their responses, and reply to their classmates. Grids can be open or locked and embedded into any LMS (Canvas, Google Classroom) or Web site. Set a topic to spark ideas and fuel the conversation. Add a new topic for an upcoming project, weekly readings, around current events, or wherever you want to lead the discussion. Students respond with videos recorded on their laptop, iOS, or Android device. Students have unmilited retakes, can pause and resume, and flip the camera to share their environment. Replies prompt students to ask questions and explore each other's perspectives. Each video can be the spark for an entirely new discussion.

View a video on Flipgrid and enjoy the presentation below to learn more!

 

ClassFlow IconBy Merriam Ferre, via the December 2016 UCET Newsletter (PDF)

https://classflow.com/

ClassFlow is a cloud-based teaching and learning platform. It's free to use and offers easy lesson building tools that will help you quickly create lessons, assessments and assignments. Check out their website above. With the ClassFlow marketplace, you don't have to recreate the wheel. They have thousands of interactive resources you can search through to find a resource that will help in your classroom. Similar to Teacher Pay Teacher, you can get many lessons for free and then there are many teachers selling their own made resources on the site as well. Checkout the ClassFlow Marketplace here.

ClassFlows' interactive lessons in your classroom are easy to create and easy to deliver to your student's electronic devices. They give students and teachers collaborative work spaces and chat options so that students and teachers can easily collaborate with each other. Another feature ClassFlow offers is rewarding behaviors of your students. You track their achievements in this easy to see format that motivates the students as well. With so many features ClassFlow offers, they are bound to be a teacher hit.

 

SketchUp LogoSketchUp is a powerful, yet surprisingly easy to use program for designing buildings, vehicles... practically anything to scale in 3D on a computer. Google purchased SketchUp many years ago in order to create (and let others create) the 3D buildings in Google Maps and Google Earth. Ever since Google purchased SketchUp, teachers and students in Utah have had free access to this software. I've created models of the last two homes I've lived in. In 3D. To scale. It's an incredible tool.

Still not sure what Sketchup is?

SketchUp users are architects, designers, builders, makers and engineers. They are the people who shape the physical world. They are important, and they deserve great tools because great tools produce great work.

Great tools are ones you look forward to using. They do one thing (or maybe two) really, really well. They let you do what you want without having to figure out how. They help with hard or boring tasks so that you can focus on being creative, or productive, or both. And they are, in their own way, beautiful.

At SketchUp, we do our best to make great tools for drawing. For our users, drawing is thinking. They draw to explore ideas, to figure things out, to show other people what they mean. They draw because they love it, and because nothing great was ever built that didn't start with a great drawing.

SketchUp has now changed hands again, but this software is STILL available to schools in Utah. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn how to get a license. 

However, this is not the reason for this post...

As of a few months ago, my.SketchUp was released as a beta preview of their software that runs entirely in a web browser. This means that pretty much any device with a mouse and a screen can use SketchUp for 3D design - even Chromebooks! This is a huge advance, and a great way to introduce students to 3D Modeling.

Have you ever heard a student wish that they could start building 3D worlds for gaming? Design a dream home? Create a building of the future? With SketchUp, they CAN! It's very easy to learn how to use - just visit their Learning page

 

Science Journal App IconScience Journal is a tool for doing science with your smartphone. You can use the sensors in your phone or connect to external sensors to conduct experiments on the world around you. Organize your ideas into projects, make predictions, take notes and collect data in multiple trials, then annotate and explore your results. It's the lab notebook you always have with you.

Need more ideas for your Science courses? Here are 8 Apps that Turn Citizens into Scientists from Scientific American.

 

Google ChromecastGoogle announced recently that they have fully integrated Google Cast (formerly known as Chromecast) into the Chrome web browser. Is this good news for teachers? If you have access to, or have a classroom set of Chromebooks, then the resounding answer is YES!

In the past, you needed a $40'ish piece of hardware that you could plug directly into a newer TV or projector which you could then send or "cast" any Chrome browser page to that device to show the video and audio. It was a great solution for the home, but it never really caught on with any teachers that I knew of - probably because the majority of teachers have, shall we say, "Vintage" projectors in their classrooms which didn't have the proper HDMI connections.

On the iOS side, many schools have tried really hard to get Apple TV's working. They work amazingly well in the home environment, but for some technical reasons that I'll spare you today, they didn't work very well in large scale school wireless networks. And, each Apple TV set you back $99.

Now, back to why this announcement is great news for teachers, especially those teachers integrating Chromebooks into their classrooms.  Google has also released a new Chrome app called Google Cast for Education. Once you install this app for your Chrome browser, your computer will act as the Chromecast device. Since Google Cast is now integrated into Chrome, any of your students with a Chromebook can now request to share their screen with you, to show you the great work they are doing, or the amazing video or page that they found while researching online.

Since your classroom computer is probably already hooked up to your classroom projector &/or interactive whiteboard, students that 'Cast' their screens to you will also be sharing to the entire class! No extra things to buy, no extra configurations, it just works. If you are worried about students hijacking your screen, fear not! Google has built in some pretty clever settings for this reason. No one can see your screen to share unless you have shared this privilege with them. Also, when they attempt to share their screen, depending on the user you can set it so that you must approve it before it shows on your screen, or it will just show up. They have also integrated Google Classroom so that you can invite a whole class at a time to share to your screen. It's pretty cool!

Learn more about Google Cast for Education here:

 

zSpace LogozSpace is the virtual reality learning experience already being used in over 250 school districts today. Here’s a quick video preview to see how one district is using zSpace both in their elementary and high schools.

We also announced at the 2016 ISTE Conference in Denver that zSpace is working with Google to create an end-to-end virtual reality classroom experience that combines the power of zSpace’s interactive Screen VR technology with the Google Expeditions Pioneer Program.

To further explore how your teachers and students can immediately leverage this transformative technology within their curriculum, visit our website at http://zspace.com.

 

MathPixMathPix looks like an amazing app, but would you want to share this with your students?? Why or why not? It's the coolest math app I've seen since MyScript Calculator.

Here's the description: Mathpix is the first app that lets you solve and visualize math by taking pictures of your handwriting (printed math works too!). Mathpix wants to replace expensive and clunky graphing calculators to provide a free and fun learning aid for math students across the world.

 

IMG 3400Well before Pokémon GO got millions off of the sofa and out in "The Real World" searching for virtual characters, teachers were using virtual and augmented reality to transform their instruction, to bring the world into their classrooms for students to experience and interact with. Here are a few resources to help you get going using this technology in your instruction:

  • Our Media Specialist, Chris Haught, has a great page on her blog on Virtual Field Trips
  • Google Cardboard is a DIY kit to build your own VR viewer using your mobile device. You can search the app store for virtual reality and find apps to use to look at constellations, foreign countries and more. 
  • View-Master has a viewer that is quite a bit more sturdy for not much added cost. There are extra apps and experience packs or 'reels' you can get to take your students on an array of virtual expeditions.
  • You and your students can use the Google Cardboard viewers with the Google Street View app (iOS and Android) to view any location in Google Maps that have been photographed. With the app, you can even create your own 360˚ photo spheres on your phone with the app, without purchasing expensive camera gear!
  • If you want to take photosphere creation to the next level, you can use Story Spheres to add audio and other information within a sphere, as well as connect one photo sphere to another. 
  • Aurasma helps people use augmented reality (AR) to turn everyday objects, images, and places into new, interactive opportunities to engage with their fans and customers through striking graphics, animation, video, audio, and 3D content. Use the app on iOS or Android to begin viewing the world through this 'enhanced' version of their world. 
  • For Chemistry, or really for anyone curious about how the natural world works, the Elements 4D app is mind-blowing. Using real 'cubes' that you can print and build, you can combine different elements by just putting the blocks next to each other in the augmented 'space' through the camera on your device. If the elements react, you'll see the actual product along with the balanced chemical equation. There is a growing list of lesson plans for elementarymiddle school, or high school (all in PDF).

 

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