EdTech Weekly News Roundup - September 04, 2015

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Being an educator means you probably have very little time to read the news during the week. Here are some interesting edtech articles from this past week that you might find useful.

"The Teacher’s Guide to Using YouTube in the Classroom” — Edudemic

Here are four ideas for using YouTube plus 12 additional sources of educational videos. This resource should help you find videos appropriate for the lessons you have planned, and as the article suggests, create your own and "share it on YouTube to help out the next teacher.” YouTube is one of the most—if not the most—popular content embed in Haiku Learning, so we're pretty sure our users will want to check out this read!

"This Teacher Wants To Excite Your Inner Scientist” — NPR

Here’s an interview (you can listen to the audio) with a former Yale professor who explains complicated scientific concepts by targeting "everyone's inner smart 12-year-old." She has a new podcast called Science Underground, a two-minute podcast on all things science - perfect for students with short attention spans!

"The Ultimate Checklist Before You Flip Your Classroom” — TeacherCast

Perfect for the beginning of the year. This blog post divides the checklist into three phases: thinking, acting, and reflecting. Each phase offers specific tactics to use and they’re all very practical and useful tips. For those using Haiku Learning, it’s perfect for flipped learning. We even provided a couple different ways to use create your flipped class in recent posts. One in a post on organizing pages and another post on using page layout templates for different purposes.

"Online Teacher Book Clubs: Promoting a Culture of Professional Development” — Edutopia

Here’s a way to do PD that fits nicely into the busy lives of teachers! Some tips for different uses are included. Of course, this book club can live inside Haiku Learning, where you can create a class and enroll teachers as students. You can create a whole class around this book club, or have a PD class in general, with the book club as one page with subpages. Either way, you can create a schedule using our Calendar to keep everyone up with "deadlines", and use our Discussions forum to capture all the great insights!

"Haiku Learning Named Indiana Companies to Watch Spotlight Award Winner” — Haiku Learning

We’re very excited to be honored and wanted to share with our customers! The Spotlight Award recognizes past Companies to Watch honorees that have demonstrated continued growth and success since receiving their Companies to Watch award. We received our first one last year — so that's two years in a row of some pretty awesome growth!

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Haiku Learning Honored as Indiana Companies to Watch 2015 Spotlight Award Winner!

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Just as many schools will be holding pep rallies to celebrate school pride in the coming weeks, we feel as though we’re coming off our own pep rally this past week!

Haiku Learning was just honored as a Spotlight Award Winner in the 2015 Indiana Companies to Watch!

With our award it the ceremony

For those of you who don’t know, Haiku Learning started in Goshen, Indiana in 2006, so we’re incredibly honored to be recognized by the State of Indiana and the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE).

The Spotlight Award recognizes past Companies to Watch honorees that have demonstrated continued growth, success, and commitment to Indiana since receiving their Companies to Watch award. We received our first one last year — so that's two years in a row of some pretty awesome growth!

But that's not all! To add to the hometown cheer, we have just joined forces with Goshen Community Schools in Indiana, just down the road from our headquarters, to power blended learning in the district.

Our product developers are excited for all the in-person school visits, observations, and conversations they’ll get to have with students and teachers in Goshen!

Hmmm...We kind of feel like we're just missing a football game to finish off the week!

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App of the Week: 12 New Apps Added to our Embed the Web Library

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In this weekly blog, our own Emily Jeanes gives readers the lowdown on web apps that educators can use inside Haiku Learning. Emily is the very first Haiku Learning Sales Engineer. Edtech ninja, sci-fi writer, and proud transfer from our award-winning Client Services team, she brings with her a passion for researching, playing with and integrating awesome educational tools into Haiku Learning. Like Haiku Learning, she likes to think she plays well with others.

Just in time for the new school year, we've added 12 new apps to our Embed the Web library, in addition to the 42 we added this summer! We now have 225 total apps in our library — which gives you more choices to inject some web 2.0 into your class!

12 New Apps in our Embed the Web Library

  • Buncee: Students and teachers alike can create free, engaging, multimedia presentations using Buncee. Add sound, embedded video, animation, or any of their adorable custom drawings! We also just did an App of the Week on Buncee!
  • Gynzy: Create and embed interactive whiteboard activities using Gynzy!
  • Knowmia: Use Knowmia's free iPad app to create classroom-ready video presentations and plan lessons, or search their inventory of wonderful, rated, subject-area-tagged lessons, made by teachers like you!
  • Moovly: Students and teachers can create (then embed!) animated videos using Moovly, a "cloud-based digital media and content creation platform."
  • Pathbrite: Pathbrite makes creating a beautiful web portfolio easy. Display achievement and work, then track analytics on hits, allow for comments, and more.
  • Pixiclip: Pixiclip is "an online canvas that lets you communicate using a webcam or a mic." Record your sound, video, and onscreen writing, too!
  • Random Name Selector: Need to pick a student at random from your class? Paste your class list into Primary Technology's Random Name Selector, then share and grab that embed code. You can even remove a student from the list after they've been selected!
  • TodaysMeet: Give your students a voice with this backchannel chat platform. Designed with students and classrooms in mind, TodaysMeet gets you ready for synchronous discussion and collaboration.
  • Twiddla: Twiddla is web-based whiteboarding collaboration tool. Surf the web, upload documents, chat with text and audio. All in your browser. All for free. Get twiddling!
  • Vialogues: Talk about a conversation starter! Vialogues (video dialogues) allow you to upload or select videos from Youtube, then pose questions, have discussions, and even create polls all together.
  • Vibby: Vibby is "the best way to highlight, share and discuss the best parts of any video." Explore their inventory, or upload and clip your own!

Keep an eye out for more updates like this on all of the new goodies in our Embed the Web Library!

Did you miss our new additions from the summer? They came in four batches. Catch up on them now:

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Question of the Week: How Can I Help Students Keep Track of their Work?

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Getting — and staying — organized is one of the biggest classroom management challenges for many educators. And just as students have unique needs, teachers have unique teaching styles, and schools have unique learning goals.

With the new school year around the corner, we'll spend this month providing tips on all the great ways you can organize content in Haiku Learning to help maximize learning, increase efficiency, and get your year started off on the right foot!

5 ways to help students stay on top of work and manage their time

Gone are the days of simply telling students what their homework is and writing it on the board.

Of course, you probably still tell them what their homework is. But Haiku Learning also gives you so many other ways to reach students about those oh-so-important dates and events.

1. Mini Calendar

The Mini Calendar content block gives students a summary of any month's schedule. Students can click in the calendar to see the upcoming activities for that day. They can also go to the assignment from within the calendar.

2. Upcoming Assignments

The Upcoming Activities content block provides students with an easy-to-read list of upcoming assignments with links to the assignments.

In a previous post, we recommended having a home page at the top of your pages list that includes blocks like a Mini Calendar and Upcoming Assignments, so students always have one place to go in your class to find track work.

However, others may prefer to also put a Mini Calendar and/or Upcoming Assignments block on each page. If so, we recommend keeping it in the same place on each page, probably near the top, so students always know where to go to find it.

3. Announcements

Announcement content blocks are great visible reminders that help students (and parents) stay up to date with not only assignments, but also other important happenings like events and field trips. Most teachers place Announcements in a prominent place, and it’s easy to move them with our drag and drop interface.

A screenshot of a Home page with Announcements, Mini Calendar, and Upcoming Assignments
Here's a screenshot of a class with a home page that includes Announcements at the top left, a Mini Calendar in the top right and Upcoming Assignments right below that.

4. Email reminders

Send reminders via email or text message for specific assignments from your Assignments area. Click on the Unsubmitted column, and you’ll have the option of sending a message to all the students who haven’t submitted the assignment yet, or manually select students yourself. We make it easy by providing a default reminder message, but you can edit the message to your liking.

A reminder in Haiku Learning

5. To Do Lists

Students have lots of freedom to create a tailored To Do list if they use our iPad app. They can create tasks, assign them to specific classes, set due dates, and add any other relevant info they need to know. They can easily show, hide, delete, edit, rename, and reorder with a quick swipe. Their To-Do list is the first thing they’ll see when they sign into the app, so it’s staring them right in the face!

A To Do list in our iPad app

Hope you found all this helpful! In case you missed our series this past month on getting set up for the new school year, here are all the other posts:

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EdTech Weekly News Roundup - August 30, 2015

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Being an educator means you probably have very little time to read the news during the week. Here are some interesting edtech articles from this past week that you might find useful.

"Back-to-School Night 2.0” — Edutopia

Inject the traditional back-to-school night with some modern technology to set the tone for what it means to be a part of your class. Start with video self portraits of the students to display, walk parents through the communication technology like Remind that you may be using, and save your presentation in Google Slides or Haiku Deck for access later on by attendees and non. BTW, Remind and Haiku Deck are in our Embed the Web library, and we just did an App of the Week on Haiku Deck! And if you’re a Google Apps school — well, you know how easy it is to embed those in Haiku Learning!

"A Guide to Producing Student Digital Storytellers” — edSurge

Use technology to transform projects previously done with posters and dioramas and give students a bigger, more authentic audience to share those stories. The article includes 5 tips, suggestions for apps, and ideas for different subjects.

"Using New Technology to Rediscover Traditional Ways of Learning” — Edutopia

“Rediscover” the following traditional modes of learning using new, more mobile, interactive technology: the oral tradition; gestures, dance, and the body; and visual learning. Podcasts are included for the oral tradition and there are great options for embedding podcasts using the Embed the Web Library in Haiku Learning.

"3 Ways Mobile Technology Is Transforming Learning Spaces” — THE Journal

When we think mobile technology, we tend to first think of how mobile devices are transforming learning. But what about how they’re transforming learning spaces? (Of course, that ends up affecting learning, so it all comes full circle!) Included are 5 tips for redesigning K-12 classrooms. Plus, several districts are profiled, so you can get examples of what others have done on different types of budgets.

"How To Plan Better Professional Development” — Tech & Learning

Co-author of the upcoming book Building School 2.0, the author has 5 tips for structuring PD at your school. One common running theme is making the teachers the center of PD as opposed to just the receivers of information.

“Indiana Names Five Spotlight Award Winners at Companies to Watch Ceremony” — IN.gov

We are so happy — and so humbled — to be honored as a Spotlight Award Company in the annual Companies to Watch Awards from our home state of Indiana. Just had to share the good news!

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