EdTech Weekly News Roundup - July 31, 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.

"Redefining Special Education with Partnerships, Robots and Google Hangouts” – edSurge

Using some 21st century collaboration, a unique partnership in NJ between two schools and the state DOE shows how schools can provide an inclusive learning experience with technology.

"A Teacher’s Guide to Wikipedia” – Edudemic

While many teachers despised Wikipedia in its early years, there are some positive uses of the site. This article considers it from both the pro and con side and provides suggestions for using Wikipedia in the classroom. Plus, their media bias lesson could be translated into a great project in Haiku Learning’s WikiProjects!

"Teacher Recommended: 50 Favorite Classroom Apps” – MindShift

We love curated apps at Haiku learning, mainly because our customers love them! We have our own Embed the Web library filled with hundreds of curated apps. This particular list is curated by a librarian at a high school in Connecticut who “tapped her professional learning network of educators” to share their favorites. There are also some insights here on why teachers prefer certain apps, drop some, or stick with others over the long haul.

"Digital Activities & Icebreakers for Gen Y” – Tech & Learning

The article includes slides, resources, and bookmarks to help show students how to reflect on their actions online and make positive choices. One of their suggestions, learning missions, can be graded with digital badges in Haiku Learning!

"Forty Educational Websites For Your Summer 2015 Toolkit, Part 4” – Tech & Learning

So many cool resources in this list from multi-player practice quizzes, a blogging site with a guaranteed, global audience for your class blog, to a safe, social networking tool for schools.

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App of the Week: tlk.io

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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.

What is tlk.io?

From their site: tlk.io is "a simple web chat."

In Haiku Learning: Use Embed the Web to embed the an adorable, simple chat widget onto a Page. Students connect via name or Twitter handle, then start chatting in their browser, in Haiku Learning.

tlk.io embedded into Haiku Learning
A tlk.io chat embedded into a content block in Haiku Learning.

Quick Facts

How do I get the embed code?

Scroll down to the Embed area of the tlk.io site, then enter any custom channel name you'd like to use. Set custom height, width and even a CSS theme if you'd like...or just keep it simple and copy their itty-bitty javascript code. As a head's up, this embed does use HTTP, so it will likely cause a mixed-content warning in some browsers, like Chrome and Firefox.

Why should I try it?

Here's a resized tlk.io chat

There are a lot of synchronous chat tools out there with complex video, white-boarding, file uploads, and other fancy capabilities.

But sometimes, you just want to see who's on and have a chat, or ask a quick question and get an answer.

And that's where tlk.io is perfectly simple.

Sure, you can change the widget's colors or link out to some custom CSS, adjust your notification and sound settings, or even connect via Twitter to "claim" a channel as your own.

And yeah, tlk.io is super-duper responsive (it even looks great in the narrowest column in Haiku Learning!), free, and easy.

But for some casual office hours or students co-working on a WikiProject from different locations, or for when a Discussion is just too formal or Comments are just to permanent...I think that's where tlk.io could really start to shine.

So give it a try!

We think tlk.io is pretty great, simple, and frankly - it's gosh-darned pretty to look at, too!

Until next time, embed ALL the things!

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EdTech Weekly News Roundup - July 24, 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.

"15 Tips for New Teachers From a Technology Facilitator” — edSurge

Here’s some help from someone who works teachers across disciplines to integrate technology. Because let’s be honest—it’s easy to get sucked into your own subject-world. But when it comes to integrating technology, there are common challenges for all teachers. Plus, this author offers up some tips that you may not think of, such as using Donor’s Choose to fund some of your projects.

"Teachers as Learners: 6 Great Professional Development Ideas” — Edudemic

While personalized PD isn’t new - every teacher has probably sat down with their supervisor to discuss their unique challenges and goals and how to meet or overcome them—there are so many other ways out there that teachers can access nowadays that can make the entire PD experience more meaningful and open them up to new ways of thinking. Some of the suggestions, like creating their own portfolios, are borrowed from the classroom and tweaked for teachers!

"A Look Inside the Classroom of the Future” — Edutopia

Most of today’s students will find themselves being a part of global teams in some capacity. Based on the author's work with more than 2,000 U.S. middle and high school educators on building global competence, they’ve come up with five core strategies that that they’ve seen educators adopt to effectively create the classroom of the future. One of the author’s suggestions is to leverage real-world case studies. A twist on that in Haiku Learning? Use WikiProjects to give your students some authentic, real-world projects that challenge them to brainstorm collaboratively online, solve problems together, show their work, and create something new. All of these things can be done inside WikiProjects using all the digital tools available there plus all those interactive apps inside our Embed the Web library!

"9 Way to Get Your Grammar Game On: A Playlist” — GettingSmart

If you’re an English teacher hoping to find some fun apps to make grammar feel less like going to the dentist (you don’t want to do it but you have to), you should check out this article. This teacher was inspired to put it together after being asked by parents for recommendations for websites or apps to help their children review grammar over the summer.

"Webinar Spotlight: Do's and Don'ts of Integrating Tech in Schools” — Common Sense Graphite

Here’s a video of a webinar on integrating technology from the experts in digital citizenship, Common Sense. These “do’s” and “don’ts” come from lessons learned from a computer specialist in California's Fremont Unified School District.

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App of the Week: 39 - No, 42! - New Apps in our Embed the Web Library: Part 4

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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.

Last month we announced that we added 39 new apps to our Embed the Web Library. However, it turns out that number ended up being 42! Catch up by reading Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. And now, here is the final chapter!

12 New Apps in our Embed the Web Library

  • 7th Space iFrame Generator: Looking to embed a site that doesn't provide their own embed code? 7thSpace quickly and easily creates an iframe for you. Just paste your url, and they'll make the code. Haiku may "not recognize" your custom code, but that doesn't mean it won't work great!
  • 99 Chats: 99Chats offers a quick and simple, text-based chat room that can embedded right into your class.
  • Chatango: Engage students synchronously by hosting a live, text-based chat widget right in your class page!
  • Credo Reference: Search text for over 1200 published reference works from a variety of publishers, or connect to your local Library search using the Credo Reference search widget.
  • BitStrips: Help students use their "own personal emoji" to design custom comic strips, or search the Bitstrips inventory of witty user-generated content.
  • Sweet Search: Sweet Search is a search engine designed just for students! All web sites returned by this cute little search widget have been evaluated for inclusion by their research experts.
  • Tagul: Tagul allows you to create beautiful word clouds, then embed them into your class.
  • VocabAhead: Create a custom-curated list of VocabAhead's engaging vocabulary word videos, and embed their widget (with up to 50 videos!) into any class.
  • Website Toolbox Chat: WebsiteToolbox provides simple Forums, Chat Rooms, Polls and Guestbooks for your class with "no coding, software or servers" necessary!
  • Wideo: Create, share and edit animated videos online using Wideo. They have lots of great templates, or choose your own custom background, images, music, and more.
  • Wonderopolis: Share the Wonder with this daily-updating widget from Wonderopolis, home to thousands of explanations of areas of our everyday lives.
  • WordItOut: WordItOut is a word cloud generator with great styling and customization options, easy word uploads from the web, documents, or even copy/paste.

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

Don't miss Emily's next app review! Subscribe to the Haiku Learning blog to keep up with all the latest from Haiku Learning.

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EdTech Weekly News Roundup - July 17, 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.

"How Twitter Can Power Your Professional Learning” – EdTech: Focus on K-12

Following ISTE 2015, an elementary school principal in Wisconsin noticed a lot more educators using twitter to express their feelings about the overwhelming experience, many on Twitter for the first time. Remembering his own initial use of Twitter, he offers some tips for educators to manage their professional learning with Twitter, so they don't feel like they're "drinking from an open fire hydrant."

"100+ Education Twitter Accounts to Follow” – Getting Smart

Perfect follow up to the above article. Looking to get a head start on who to follow? This list breaks it down for you by categories such as education bloggers, news and media, thought leaders, foundations, cool schools, and more!

"21st-Century PD: Retention, Reflection, and Redistribution of Knowledge” – Edutopia

Educators go to conferences all the time, but what do they do with all that information? Some of our customers have Haiku Learning classes devoted to sharing best practices. Imagine a page in one of those classes devoted to sharing conference notes, reflections, creations? And how about Discussions to continue the conversation? As the article says, it's important to retain, reflect, and redistribute!

"Forty Educational Websites For Your Summer 2015 Toolkit, Part 2” – Tech & Learning

We missed Part 1 of this series, so check that out too! Part 2 has everything from puzzle apps to presentation apps, and there’s something here for everyone, as most all disciplines are covered here. Some of these apps are also featured in our Embed the Web library!

"How a 21st Century Librarian Enhances Student Learning” – THE Journal

Apparently, librarians are getting written out of many school budgets and need to be their own “PR ninjas”. This librarian, who was awarded the 2014 School Library Media Specialist Award from the Louisiana Association of School Librarians, offers some great suggestions on what librarians can do to work with teachers and students and show administrators how valuable they are to improving student success.

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