Monday, April 21, 2014

Thing 4 - Socrative or Kahoot!

So, I could definitely see myself using Socrative next year in 6th grade when we have our own laptops all the time, but this year I won't book the laptops for something that I am not using the whole period.  It would be great for exit tickets and formative assessment of student learning.

Kahoot! was the more fun one, but a bit trickier to use.  Getting the link:
for my quiz was a pain in the behind.  It would be good for something in school, but not for out of school.

On the whole, I can see myself using Socrative but probably not using Kahoot!

I commented on the blogs of Nadia Hartley and Dave Feren.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Thing 3 Mindmups and Lucidcharts

Howdy folks,

So this time I created a Mindmup on Energy which is part of our current unit 6th Grade Science:
The pros of the mindmup were that it was easy to use, for a simple mindmup.  Kids could easily make one.  It can be saved to google drive.

Cons were that it was a bit limited, i.e. I couldn't work out how to change the font size.  It was also limited in how the arrangement of anything.  I also couldn't get "Batteries" to be a child that was linked to 2 parents (i.e. to Chemical and Electricity).  Last con is that kids can't collaborate on it at the same time.

Next, I created a Lucid Chart, which you can see below

mind mapping software
This looks better, and gets rid of many of the constraints that Mindmup has.  The huge positive is that kids can collaborate on this at the same time.  I can drag the parts wherever they need to go, and adjust the font.

Only cons are that the free version is a bit limited, i.e. 60 parts, which seems like a lot, but it isn't if you realize that an arrow counts as one pop.  Also, it's a bit trickier for kids to use.

On the whole though, I easily prefer the Lucid Chart to the Mind Mup although I could definitely see myself using both with students.  They are both definitely better than using Active Inspire for Mind Maps.  I would use them like how I have used Mind Maps in Active Inspire, which is at a point in units where we need to make links and visualizations to what we've learned.

Last but not least, I posted on Randee Dewey's blog who introduced me to Workflowy for making lists, and on Nika Espinosa's blog, who had some sweet beach pictures.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thing 2: Google Apps and Extensions

Howdy fellow riders,

Here are my comments about the Apps that I installed:

Mind Meister: Great one for doing mind maps. Way better than using the Active Inspire software. Easy to use. Both could easily be used for students and teachers. You can easily share them with people, print them, etc. Can totally see teachers and students using this.

The Economist: Gives me access to 3 editors picks per week, including back issues. It's not great, but I will be reading those 3 free articles each week. I would really only recommend this for teachers who read the Economist but are too cheap to pay for a subscription.

Google Finance: I can add all of my investment information to this "App", which is less of an app than it is a link to the Google Finance webpage. It's a good way to keep track of stocks. Obviously this is for teachers and perhaps for some upper HS students who like to invest.

Here are my comments about the Extensions that I installed:

One Tab: One click on one tab will reduce all your tabs to One Tab, thereby cutting down clutter of having many open tabs without losing tabs that you might need later. Definitely recommended for teachers and students.

Adblock: Gets rid of a lot of annoying ads. Definitely recommended for teachers and students.

You Tube Center 2.1.0 - Now this one is an unofficial Extension, but it's great mainly because it allows you to buffer entire You Tube videos, the old way, which can save time with our slow school/home internet connections.  Definitely recommended for teachers and students. Google and You Tube obviously don't want people to use this but that can't stop you, here's the link on how to download it and use it:

I don't think I would remove any of these Apps or Extensions, but Economist and Google Finance ones won't be used that much.  I also really liked Alicia's Print Friendly & PDF extension, which will be getting significant usage from me.

Alright folks, that's all for this post.  Please check out the wonderful comments that I posted on Phil Jefferson's (AKA Jeffrey Philips) and Adam Winton's blogs


Monday, February 24, 2014

Thing 1 Voice Thread: The first and the most random

So I could see myself using this in class to show what kids are doing.  My question is, can the kids get voice thread accounts or is the Explain Everything App better for that.  This would definitely be great if I were away.  If the students can't make their own voice threads, I don't think that this would be as useful, because I don't have the time to make these and post them on my blog.  If the kids can make them, then it would be a great way for them to present and show their learning.

That's all for Thing 1, thanks Alicia!

-The Freeman

Intro About the Free Man

Hi my name is Neil Freeman and I facilitate the learning of students at ISM.................okay that's a pompous way of saying that I teach 6th grade science.  This is my 4th year doing that, and my 7th year at ISM.

My wife is Joanna McElhiney, who teaches 4th grade and we have 2 boys which are probably mine, Jared who is 3.9 and Aaron who is 2.4

We like sports cars:

So, what do I like tech wise?  It's efficient and easy to do.  Kids don't lose things when they are in the cloud.
What don't I like?  So much of my prep time is now spent in front of a computer.  99% of my planning.  70% of my marking.  Sometimes, I get antsy from being on computers too much!

My favourite place to go in the Philippines without kids is Takatuka Lodge in Sipalay, Negros.  My favourite place to go in the Philippines with kids is Alona Beach, Panglao.

Alright, that's all for now.

Hope you like my blog.

N.T. Freeman