Thursday, July 10, 2014

Technology Thursday - July 10th

Once again we are linking up with 
Teaching Trio for their Tech Thursday Linky.

I love technology. I love that my district will be 1:1 K-12 in the fall. It has truly opened doors for our students and I'm proud to be part of such a forward thinking district. 

This week Michelle will be talking about Showbie and I will be talking about InstaGrok: "The Search Engine for Education"
You are probably asking yourself "What in the world is InstaGrok?" It's a great new way for students to search the web. I fell in love with this during my SDE Reading, Writing, Math and more conference.


How to Use InstaGrok Video: 

What I love about InstaGrok is how visual it is for students. It's not a long list of webpages with a small caption like in a Google search. Students are aimlessly clicking away on links trying to find info to fit their search. It's visually appealing and quickly offers students a view of Key facts, Webinars, Videos, Images, Quizzes, and Key Concepts; Key Concepts is neat because it helps students for related topics. This has always been an issue in the past but now it really helps narrow down the topics. 

InstaGrok is unique in how it presents information. Take the next 10 minutes and watch the videos if you haven't. Trust me. It's worth your time. If your district is going 1:1 or even moving in that direction I see InstaGrok completely changing how your students search for information. 

As with most apps there is a free version and a paid. The free version has everything I need. The paid $45 classroom version has some neat features like Teacher dashboard and assignments but as of now I will stick with free. 

Stay tuned for Michelle's post about Showbie. 



     Last summer our school district told us we would be going 1:1 with iPads in 4th grade. I was ecstatic!!! Think of all the things I would be able to do, how much independence my students would have, and there would be so much less paper! So a few weeks into the start of the school year the iPad roll out happened, and I am not going to lie....I was completely overwhelmed. The class had their shiny new iPads, now how did I integrate them into my ENTIRE curriculum?

      Showbie played a huge role in giving me the organization I needed for my digital class. Last year I had 29 students and doing work on the iPad helped to cut that HUGE paper load down. However, 29 emails for each assignment did not work for me!! Showbie helped to group my assignments together and put them all in one place.

     First step is to download Showbie onto your iPad. (The basic version is free!!)
      When you sign up as teacher they will give you a code for each subject you create. The program gives a lot of options. You can have one class, divide it into subjects, or even divide it into periods.  When the students download the app it will ask them for their code or codes and they are automatically put into that area. It's that easy!!

     You can then create an assignment for students to complete (it's more like an empty folder for them to put it in). When students are done they pick the assignment and click add file. 

It is then loaded for you. You will see each individual student in that group, and it will indicate if they have uploaded and assignment or not. You can click and individually grade the assignment with the brush of a finger tip. Students can see the corrections you made, and you can even have students correct and return assignments.

     Showbie can be a stand alone program. Assignments, recordings, and videos can all be put on there for students to complete. I didn't use this feature often. The best part for me, is that the program is compatible with almost 50 other apps. A complete list is found here: Apps that Work with Showbie 

     My students often downloaded PDF's into neu.Annotate, and then would export them into Showbie.  If you have PearsonSuccessNet, you have every workbook page for math or reading available. They can be saved as a PDF for your students!  I want to stress what may seem like a lot of steps to us is not to our students! They are definitely digital natives and master it in minutes!! This app, or one like it, is a must in the 1:1 classroom!!!! 


1 comment:

  1. That's a cool site! I like how the students can take notes right alongside the information they find. It keeps everything neat and organized!