The 2021 Boomwriter Writing Bee!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.

Image shows pictures of author's Jeff Kinney and Jerry Craft along with the text "Boomwriter Writing Bee: The biggest writing bee in the world! For grades 3-8. Over 10,000 students expected to participate. It's free! Register by April 30!" Boomwriter.com/writingbee
More info here.

One of my favorite things about hosting the Educational Duct Tape podcast is how often my guests surprise me with tech tools that I’ve never heard of. One of my favorite surprises came 2 years ago (almost to the day!) when my friend Angela Wojtecki told me about Boomwriter. As with every EduDuctTape episode, I asked Angela a “teacher question” that could be answered with educational technology. The question that I asked Angela, a school librarian, was “How can we have our students create ebooks?”

She gave me 4 options, but the one that delighted me with its fresh take on the process was Boomwriter. While the tool has multiple ways that it can be used to enhance students’ experiences with writing, the one that stands out to me is their collaborative book writing activity.  Imagine each of your students writing drafts for every chapter of a collaborative book, getting teacher feedback, revising reading their classmates’ chapters anonymously, and then voting to select the ones that become a part of the final text! The writing skills involved in this process are innumerable!

A few months ago, when my 4th-grade daughter told me that they were using it in her class, I could barely contain my excitement. (She marveled at me already knowing what it was 😊)

But that excitement was nothing compared to when I told her and her brothers about The Boomwriter Writing Bee. She was giddy about the competition and her big brother was impressed by the two authors who are involved (more on that below). Little bro was disappointed to be too young to participate this year, but he’ll have his chance soon enough!

So, what’s The Writing Bee? Continue reading The 2021 Boomwriter Writing Bee!

Present Google Slides in a Partial Screen

If you’re anything like me, you need more when you’re teaching, especially if it’s remote, hybrid, or concurrent teaching. More coffee. More time. More money in your paycheck. More aspirin. More screen space.

Well, I can’t help with the first 4, but I can help you with the last one.

Did you know that you can present Google Slides without using your entire screen?

This is super helpful in a handful of scenarios.

One of those scenarios is when you want to share Slides in Zoom, Google Meet, or any other videoconferencing solution, but don’t want to “lose” an entire screen just to your presentation. If you share just that presentation window and not your entire screen, you’ll be able to use your screen for 2 purposes! This is especially helpful if you only have one screen. In that situation, if you run your slides fullscreen, then you can’t see your students or the chat!  Use this tip to let you do both on the same screen!

What if you want to present two things and one is a presentation? If your presentation is fullscreen, you’ll have to toggle back and forth. Use this tip to present them side-by-side!

Check out this EduGIF to see how it works. Underneath the EduGIF, you can find a link to a “pausable” version and the step-by-step instructions.

This animated GIF shows the process for putting Google Slides in present view without using your entire screen!
View a “Pausable” version of this EduGIF here.

Continue reading Present Google Slides in a Partial Screen

#EduDuctTape – James Varlack – Developing Engaging Instruction

#EduDuctTape S03-E53

James Varlack says that “Engagement is developed.” So, in his interview, I asked him how he develops his engaging instruction. We discuss how James works toward each of the 3 types of student engagement–emotional, behavioral, and cognitive–in both analog and digital ways. We discuss Jamboard, Google Docs, Google Slides, Padlet, Whiteboard.chat, Whiteboard.fi, Microsoft Teams whiteboard, Google Arts & Culture

Continue reading #EduDuctTape – James Varlack – Developing Engaging Instruction

#EduDuctTape – Claudio Zavala: Hearing from Your Learners with Adobe’s Creativity Tools

#EduDuctTape S03-E52

Claudio and I talk about hearing from our students with tools that empower them to create. Specifically, Adobe’s tools Spark Video, Premiere Rush, Premiere Pro, Spark Post, Spark Page, Photoshop, Illustrator, Fresco, and Audition. Also, audience questions about sites to use for surprise inclement weather folders for elementary schoolers and a Google Sheets conundrum. Continue reading #EduDuctTape – Claudio Zavala: Hearing from Your Learners with Adobe’s Creativity Tools

Knikole Taylor: Formative Assessments

#EduDuctTape S03-E51

Recording this episode with Knikole Taylor put a huge 😃 smile 😃 on my face right when I needed it. We had so much fun talking and I think you’ll have a blast listening. You’ll barely even notice that, by the time you’re done, you will have learned about 7 different tools for #FormativeAssessment (Pear Deck, Nearpod, Jamboard, Padlet, Mentimeter, Formative, and Classkick)!

Listen on YouTube here

  • Today’s Sponsor: Texthelp – You can sign up for a free teacher account at text.help/equatio-fft
  • Soapbox Moment: Teachers > Bowlers
  • Today’s Guest: Knikole Taylor
    • Bio: Knikole Taylor serves as the Instructional Technology Coordinator for Life School.   Through personalized support, Mrs. Taylor works with teachers and teacher leaders to craft professional goals to extend their scope of instruction and meet the needs of all learners.
    • Contact Info: Twitter: @knikole
      Email: info@knikoletaylor.com
      Website: knikoletaylor.com

Continue reading Knikole Taylor: Formative Assessments

Casey Hall: EdTech in Music Classes

#EduDuctTape S03-E50

Listen on YouTube here

    • The JakeMillerTech Newsletter – Sign up! jakemiller.net/newsletter
    • Soapbox Moment: The Shortest Soapbox in Show History
    • Today’s Guest: Mr. Casey Hall
      • Bio: Casey is a Fine Arts Education Program Specialist at the Georgia Department of Education where he supports Fine Arts Teachers across the state of Georgia. At the time of the recording, he was the Fine Arts Support Teacher (FAST) for Fulton County School (FCS) and the Music Specialist at Wolf Creek Elementary in Atlanta, Georgia. As a FAST (Fine Arts Support Teacher), he coached and supported other music teachers across the Fulton County Schools. Most recently, he was awarded the title of 2019-2020 South Learning Community Teacher of the Year for Fulton County Schools. 
      • Contact Info: @mrhallpass (Twitter/Instagram)

Continue reading Casey Hall: EdTech in Music Classes

Using EquatIO® to Support Digital Math Instruction

This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.

For years, one of the most common questions that I heard as an educational technology trainer, speaker, and coach was “I’m a math teacher. How can I use edtech in my class?”

I had lots of answers that I was excited about. I advocated for Desmos activities, Flipgrid topics for sharing strategies, spreadsheets for investigating patterns, and more. One thing that was always tough, though, was actually entering mathematical representations into digital spaces. Some spaces were built for it, like Desmos, and some spaces had a pen tool, like Flipgrid, but others were not set up well for it, like Google Docs, Slides, and Forms.

Until EquatIO® came along. With its “Make math digital” tagline, Texthelp’s tool gave teachers and students the ability to easily enter equations and graphs into Docs, Slides, Forms, and more. At that time, there were quite a few math and science teachers who were very excited about the capabilities that EquatIO gave them. They enjoyed using them to create content, activities, and assignments for their students. And, for some of them, they even had their students use EquatIO to respond or create content of their own.

From my observations, some math teachers may have thought that EquatIO was a misspelling of equation. Until early 2020, that is. When math classes, along with all of the other classes in schools, moved online, educators needed a way to create, as EquatIO calls it, “Make math digital.”

And I think that EquatIO is one tool that they should consider to support their digital math instruction.

EquatIO–which is free for teachers–has 8 main features that I’d like to share with you.  The first 5 relate to entering math and science expressions into digital spaces. Let’s look at those first.

Entering Math and Science Expressions with EquatIO

Check out these input options in the EduGIF below and then read on to learn more about each.

This animated GIF shows a handful of ways that math and science expressions can be entered into a Google Form.
Note that while this EduGIF shows EquatIO being used in Google Forms, it also works in Slides, Docs, Sheets, and Drawings, as well as Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Office 365 applications.

Continue reading Using EquatIO® to Support Digital Math Instruction

16 types of Media you can add in Book Creator!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.

Did you know that Book Creator books could contain more than just text? Like, way more?

Back in the day, when I first saw Jon Smith present about Book Creator, I was so jealous that it wouldn’t work with my classroom-cart of Chromebooks. Nowadays, you can use Book Creator on just about any device, and better yet, they have added tons of different types of media options that weren’t there before!

Check out this #EduGIF to see the 16 types of media that you and your students can add to your creations! Then read on to learn a little about each! As you’ll discover, there are actually way more than 16 types that’ll work!

This animated GIF shows 16 types of media that can be added to a Book Creator creation. Continue reading 16 types of Media you can add in Book Creator!

Robert Kaplinsky: Teaching Mathematical Problem-Solving Digitally

#EduDuctTape S03-E049

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Listen on YouTube here

Continue reading Robert Kaplinsky: Teaching Mathematical Problem-Solving Digitally

19 Ways to use Wakelet Spaces in Your School or Class!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions, however, are my own.

Versatile.
Practical.
Powerful.
Convenient.
FREE.

If you use any of those words in the description of an educational technology tool, my ears immediately perk up. And, when Wakelet came out a few years ago, my ears were up and alert. But when they announced Wakelet Spaces in August 2020, the first word in that list–versatile–really came to the forefront for me. So, I’d like to share **19** ways that I think that you could use Wakelet Spaces in your school or class!

First, though, some background on what Wakelet Spaces are. At the time of the announcement, Wakelet was already a phenomenal tool for curation, organization, sharing, and more. It was even a great tool for collaboration, as you could collaborate with other Wakelet users within a Collection. The additional power of Spaces kicked that collaboration, curation, organization, and sharing up a notch: now you can organize multiple Collections into one Space. This is where that word from earlier–versatile–really comes into play though: Spaces can be created collaboratively and can be shared with anyone to view.

Before we get into my list of 19 ways to use Wakelet Spaces in your school or class, let me give you a quick peek into what creating a Space, collaborating in a Space, and sharing a Space looks like. Check out the #EduGIF below:

This animated GIF shows the process of created a Wakelet Space, sharing it with another user, adding to the Space, and sharing the Space with viewers.

Now that you see how easy it is, let’s talk about some ways that you could potentially use them: Continue reading 19 Ways to use Wakelet Spaces in Your School or Class!