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!

 

OneTab Chrome extension logoQuick one this week! If you use Chrome and you are like me and most other people, you have way too many tabs open in a lot of different windows. This uses a LOT of memory and can cause your computer to slow WAY down. You need all of those tabs for different projects you are working on, so you understandably don't want to close or loose them.

OneTab Chrome Extension to the rescue! Whenever you find yourself with too many tabs, click the OneTab icon to convert all of your tabs into a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once. When your tabs are in the OneTab list, you will save up to 95% of memory because you will have reduced the number of tabs open in Google Chrome.

 

csfirstGoogle CS First is a free program that increases student access and exposure to computer science (CS) education through after-school, in-school, and summer programs. All clubs are run by teachers and/or community volunteers.

Their materials:

  • are completely free and available online
  • are targeted at students in grades 4th-8th (ages 9-14)
  • can be tailored to fit your schedule and needs
  • involve block-based coding using Scratch and are themed to attract students with varied interests

The goals of CS First are:

  • Increase confidence when using computers
  • Instill courage to try new things
  • Grow perserverence when tackling difficult problems (grit)
  • Provide a sense of belonging in technology for underrepresented students
  • Demonstrate the impact that CS has in careers and communities

No experience is needed, and all training materials are provided! No computer science experience is necessary to host or volunteer. CS First provides all the training and materials you need to successfully run and lead a CS First club. All training and materials are free and available online. If you are hosting a club in the United States, you can also request materials at no cost to you.

Learn more below, or get involved now!

 

CanvasSee how teacher Rhiannon Hartvigsen is blending her classroom with Canvas at Mount Ogden Jr. High in Ogden School District. She is also taking advantage of Canvas Mastery Paths, which allows you to automatically differentiate your instruction based on students scores from a formative assessment/quiz. 

 

adobe spark iconAdobe Spark is is a suite of FREE apps, including Video, Post, and Page, that allows you and your students to create beautiful social graphics, web stories and animated video - in minutes - without being a creative professional. With Spark in the classroom, you can easily create high quality reports, research papers, posters, writing assignments, presentations and so much more. See some examples and resources on the Adobe Spark in the Classroom page to discover how your classroom creativity can be enhanced. You and your students can use Adobe Spark on any desktop or laptop, Chromebook, or on any iOS device with the Adobe Spark apps. And yes, it is completely free!

 

Spark Video

Whether you want to gain a following, launch an idea, or support a cause, video is the most engaging way to communicate. Create and share compelling videos in minutes by easily combining video clips, photos and icons into an engaging product. Add impact with text overlay with no design experience required! You can also select from a wide variety of free soundtracks, bring in your own personal music, or even use your own voice to make your point. Spark Video also includes a wide array of rich visual themes to match your story, mood, and message. Each theme includes beautiful transitions and motion that bring your story to life. 

Spark Post

Create stunning social graphics in minutes. Get started by previewing a huge assortment of professionally designed templates, and make it your own with a few simple steps. Turn your text and photo into a professional-looking graphic by simply applying the theme of your choice. You don't need any design experience! Resize your text to your liking - beautiful typography is applied on the fly. It works like magic. There are also automatic sizing options so that your graphic is the perfect height and width for Facebook, Pinterest, or a banner for your web site or Canvas course. Once you have created your masterpiece, it's simple to share it to social media, or download the image file to use as needed. 

Spark Page

Create beautiful web stores by taking your photos, videos and text and easily adding them into a stunning professional web page layout. Photos can come from your own device, from your favorite cloud services, or choose from thousands of free stock photos. Your text, photos and videos instantly come into life with fluid, elegant motion. You call it easy, but your audience will call it amazing.

Please talk to your principal or let us know if you are interested in learning more about any of the Adobe Spark tools. SEDC is happy to provide training to help you and your students get creative!

 

buncee iconBuncee is a creation and presentation tool for students and educators to create interactive classroom content, allowing learners of all ages to visualize concepts and communicate creatively. Buncee’s interactive, drag and drop interface helps students and educators create engaging multimedia projects and presentations to increase interactivity and flip the classroom. With the free version, they provide a library of 8,000+ stickers, animations and templates, or upload your own. You can also embed YouTube or Vimeo video, plus add Creative Commons licensed images right from the canvas, and include text and drawings to further express your ideas. 

Want to get creative from your iPad? Buncee has an iOS version as well!

Sign up for a free version to give Buncee a go. If you love what the free version provides but need more, there are free 30-day trials on their Premium and Classroom versions. They also have versions for schools and districts that provide automatic provisioning of your classes and student accounts, unlimited student accounts, assessment functionalities and more. 

The Digital Citizenship lesson and activity below is a great example of just what Buncee can do. Take a look!

 

Google Drive iconLosing all of your teacher or personal files and photos is a painful experience. Setting up a good backup plan, and keeping up with it, is also painful, but less so than the alternative. Until now!

Last month, Google released a new tool called Backup and Sync for Google Drive and Google Photos. Backup and Sync is an app for Mac and PC that backs up files and photos safely in Google Drive and Google Photos, so they're no longer trapped on your computer and other devices. Just choose the folders you want to back up, and Google will take care of the rest. The great thing is that since your school G Suite account allows you unlimited storage, you can store all of your important school files and any photos for free! 

Backup and Sync works for both Google Photos (download) and Google Drive (download). Learn more about how Backup and Sync works here, or watch the video below. 

 

You may not have heard of Google Keep, but you NEED to know about it. Keep is an incredible and easy to use tool for organizing all of the bits of information busy educators tend to collect whenever, wherever, that always seems to get lost. Keep allows you to bring together notes, links, photos, really anything you can grab with your computer, tablet and phone! Beyond gathering and organizing your digital ‘stuff,’ you can share your notes, collaborate with others, set reminders… even drag-n-drop text and photos into your Google Docs! Review the presentation below and start to make Google Keep an integral part of your daily workflow.

Links:

 

Session Presentation:

Video Demo of Google Keep in Action:

 

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.

 

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