This week I am excited to share a brand new, very cool, easy-to-use, FREE, simple sign-on (sign up with your Google), digital storytelling tool I learned about from Richard Byrne at Free Tech for Teachers. It is called, “My Simple Show” and it turns your stories (and uploaded powerpoints) into Common Craft-esque videos (like this one on elections). You can start from a blank slate or choose one of their templates; use your own images or theirs; and record or upload your own narration or let them narrate for you. I can see students using their templates to explain historical figures, events in a novel, introduce themselves to you; or you creating short videos to introduce a new topic to your students. This can be used for almost anything else you can imagine! Take a look below at one I quickly put together because I was so excited to give it a try. Disclaimer– I am a child of the latter half of the 1900s- the 70s and 80s to be specific. The technological advances I mention were big to me when they first came out- especially the microwave!
It is always good to have and know your options. Last week I shared the JoeZoo Express add on with you for offering feedback to your students – including creating and inserting rubrics into each student’s document. If you like to use rubrics, you will love this additional option from Alice Keeler. Take a look at what Alice Keeler has done with her Epic Rubrics for Google Sheets. Let me put it this way, personalized rubrics for each student on their own tab in a set of sheets that you can email and give students a copy in their drive. Sounds like a mouthful, I know, so best to just pop over and take a look. Keeler has such great creations on her site that you should spend some time browsing her Google apps templates like Tweet my Class and more!
Today I heard about a brand new professional learning platform, Edchat Interactive. You may remember me posting about weekly #edchats on Twitter which I enjoy participating when my schedule allows. Two of the same fantastic educators who began that (Tom Whitby and Steven Anderson), along with Mitch Weisburgh have now founded this new online, interactive professional learning experience. These will be live video conversations with a leader introducing a topic and then the participants breaking into small groups to discuss via video chat. The groups will then come back together to share, reflect, and discuss with the presenter and members of the other breakout groups. The schedule of seminar topics looks fantastic and I am excited to participate in these professional learning experiences.
People don’t learn just by watching. We need to interact, reflect, and participate. That’s our model, in 45 minute segments that fit into the busy lives of educators.
Lastly, I watched a very inspiring TEDWomen video last night, Linda Cliatt-Wayman, “How to fix a broken school? Lead fearlessly, love hard”. Cliatt-Wayman speaks about her experience as the new principal of a failing high school in North Philadelphia. She speaks passionately about leading with love in this very moving talk.