A Great Tool to Find Books At The Right Reading Level for Your Students

February 28, 2017
Scholastic Book Wizard is a great tool you can use with your students to search for and find books based on their reading level. Book Wizard allows you to search for books using :1-) reading level: a reading level can be measured through either  guided reading level, DRA, lexile measure or grade level equivalent. 2-) Genre: you can search for books by genre e.g., fiction, nonfiction, classics, anthologies, adventure, novels, drama…etc. 3-) Subject: you can further filter your search by subject or 4-) by grade, from PreK-K to grades 9-12.

When you locate the book you want, click on its title to access more details about it including things such as : a short synopsis of the book’s main topic, information about the author, reading level, grade level and many more. Watch this video from Amelia Troast to learn more about how to use Scholastic Book Wizard.

There is also a mobile app for Scholastic Book Wizard which comes with an interesting scanning feature. ‘Use the built-in barcode scanner to find book information. Sometimes, when a book has multiple editions with different barcodes, you may not find your book by scanning. Try searching by typing or saying the book’s title. New books and barcodes are being added all the time to make Book Wizard Mobile even more up-to-date.’

Here Is An Excellent Tool for Creating Visually Appealing Presentations, Newsletters and Interactive Reports

February , 2017
After we have seen how to easily create class newspapers and informational flyers using Printing Press tool, we are introducing you to another equally important tool called Microsoft Sway. This is a free digital storytelling tool and mobile app that allows students to create and share visually appealing presentations, newsletters, personal stories and interactive reports. The process is simple and easy: students choose the designs they want to use for their creations, add their own content and when done they share it with others through a generated link.

Whether it is a presentation, newsletter or an interactive report, students can add a wide variety of multimedia materials to their creation including videos, images, text, charts…etc. They can use the site’s internal search functionality to help them locate relevant media content to add to their work. Additionally, ‘Sway’s design engine instantly puts all your content together into a nice, cohesive layout. Choose from multiple designs in the Layout gallery, customize it to add finishing touches, and you’re ready to go’. As for sharing options, with a single click students can generate unique links to share their productions. Anyone with the link can see their creation without having to sign up or download additional software.

8 Great Educational Websites for Newbie Teachers

February , 2017
When it comes to educational web resources the options are overwhelmingly bountiful. There are tons of websites, blogs, and wikis that provide amazing resources to help you in your daily teaching. Our job here in EdTech and mLearning is to bring to your attention some of  these wonderful resources hoping to help you transform your teaching with the use of technology and enhance your students learning and comprehension. In today’s post, we are featuring some of our favourite educational websites especially curated for newbie teachers. These  platforms will help you locate, find and access materials designed specifically for use within educational settings. Of course this is a subjective selection based on our reviewing experience in this regard but we do welcome suggestions to add to this list. Share with us on our Facebook page.

8 Great Educational  Websites for Newbie Teachers

1- Common Sense Educators

‘The nonprofit Common Sense media is a great educational platform for teachers and educators seeking to enhance their professional development growth and learn about classroom-tested ways to integrate technology in teaching’. Its Digital Citizenship section features a number of interactive games and activities to help students learn how to use technology safely and effectively. The Reviews and Ratings section embeds EdTech tools reviews, how-to videos and lesson plans to help teachers make the best of technology in their teaching.

2- Google For Education

This is definitely a must-go to platform for anything related to the use of Google tools in education. It provides a huge repertoire of educational resources from IT guides to professional training programs and productivity tools reviews.

3- ReadWriteThink

This is another  great website for teachers. 'It offers a plethora of educational materials and resources to use in your classroom with your students. These include things such as interactive, printable, lesson plans and many more. You can also check this section to access Readwritethink’s interacitive tools we have reviewed in the past.’

4- CK-12

CK-12 is a great platform that 'provides high quality curated STEM content for teachers and students. Its library has over 5000 math and science materials ideal to use in class. Flexbook is one of the best features I like in CK-12. Flexbook provides a wide variety of free textbooks for teachers to use in their lessons. It even allows teachers to create their own Flexbooks using materials from other textbooks in the site. Textbooks are available in multiple formats including: PDF format, Kindle and Nook and iPad.'

5- Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Pay Teachers is ‘a community of millions of educators who come together to share their work, their insights, and their inspiration with one another. We are the first and largest open marketplace where teachers share, sell, and buy original educational resources. That means immediate access to a world of expertise and more time to focus on students and teaching.’

6- TED Ed

TED Ed is 'one of our favourite video resources we have been recommending to teachers and educators over the last few years. The great thing about this platform is that it provides video lessons submitted by teachers and animated by professional animators.TED Ed videos are less than 10 minutes long and are ideal to include with students in class. More importantly, TED Ed enables teachers to create their own interactive lessons and share it with others. the process is very simple and we have already covered it in a previous post: just find a video you want to use in your lesson, then add interactive materials to it (e.g questions, discussion prompts..etc) and when you are done share it with your class and track its progress.'

7- Super Teacher Worksheets

This is an excellent website that provides tons of worksheets covering several of topic areas including math, reading and writing, phonics and early literacy, handwriting, grammar, science and many more. It also offers a worksheet generator tool allowing users to create and print their own worksheets.

8- PBS Learning Media

‘Learn how you can tap into America’s #1 Educational Media Brand for access to thousands of innovative, standards-aligned digital resources, compelling student experiences, and professional development opportunities.’

An Interesting Infographic Featuring 8 Good Exit Ticket Tools for Teachers

February 23, 2017
Here is an infographic we created for the post "8 Great Exit Ticket Tools for Teachers". The post is too long and did't have much space for this visual so we are sharing it here separately.

Exit tickets or cards are informal assessment tools teachers can use to assess students understanding at the end of a class. They can also be used for formative assessment purposes to help teachers design better instructional content based on students feedback. Exit tickets can take the form of a prompt or a question related to what have been taught in the lesson. Here are some examples of questions and prompts to use in your exit cards as featured in Brown University:
“Name one important thing you learned in class today.
What did you think was accomplished by the small group activity we did today?
Write/ask one question about today’s content—something that has left your
Today’s lesson had three objectives (These would have been shared at the
beginning of class and should still be available for referencing.), which of the
three do you think was most successfully reached? Explain. Or, which was not
attained? Why do you think it was not?”
The traditional way exit tickets were used to be delivered was through pen and paper. But with the pervasive use of technology in education, there appeared a number of useful web tools teachers can utilize to create and share exit tickets with students. Here is an updated list of some of the best tools we recommend for teachers:

This visual is also available for free download in PDF format from this link.

8 Great Exit Ticket Tools for Teachers

Grab These iPad Apps- They Are Free Today

February 26, 2017
This week's apps gone free selection features 7 interesting iPad apps you may want to try out. Four of these apps (Sea of Squares, Zenge, Quell+, and Coloring Animal Zoo) are puzzle games to stimulate kids creative thinking and enhance their problem-solving skills. There is also the popular Audio Notebook app which is free today. It allows users to both record and takes notes on the go. The remaining apps are a time management app for keeping track of your daily activities and a Twitter application that enables you to view your Twitter timeline and mentions on the lock screen.

Grab These iPad Apps- They Are Free Today

1- Audio Notebook

‘Stop struggling to take notes while keeping up with discussions. Audio Notebook captures everything that is said, so you don't have to worry about missing a thing.’

2- Time Manager

‘Time Manager is an easy way to keep track of your daily activities. With one touch you can access all your common tasks and edit them at any time. All your tasks will be totaled and broken down into reports and graphs for you to see how well you're spending your time’

3- Tweety Pro

‘View your Twitter timeline & mentions on the lock screen or inside any app to quickly get updated about the world around you with Tweety.’

4- Sea of Squares

‘Sea of Squares is a simple relaxing 3D puzzle game. Match two or more adjacent blocks of the same color to remove them up until you clear entire level. What could be easier? Huh! Try it on your iPad, iPhone or iPod and see how far you can get.’

5- Zenge

‘Game is intended to be a relaxing experience, thus there are no points, stars, tutorials, move counters, in game shops or any other distractors. Just pure, immersive journey with Eon, told through gorgeous art and music.’

6- Quell+

‘Quell is an enchanting game of logic which has taken the puzzle world by storm. It offers Over 80 levels of cunningly crafted puzzles – requires lateral thinking; perfectly balanced difficulty curve; localized for English, French and several other languages...'

7- Coloring Animal Zoo

‘Welcome to the Coloring Animal Zoo, where interacting with every page is easier than ever; simply touch to color! But that’s just the beginning! Complete fun tasks like popping bubbles in the aquarium, chasing the parrot in the aviary and helping cute little birds clean the hippo’s teeth!’

Source: Apps Gone Free

A Great Tool Students and Teachers Can Use to Create Customized Portfolio Websites

February , 2017
Portfoliogen.com is a great tool for teachers and student-teachers allowing them to create a customized portfolio website. Members get their own URL where they can organize all of their materials in one place.

Some current features include:
  • Members can request professional endorsements
  • Password protection is available for the portfolio website as well as files uploaded
  • Members can publish documents and pictures 
  • Video embedding is supported
  • Multiple layouts and design options are available
Portfoliogen also offers a premium service that  includes more features such as :
  • Create UNLIMITED pages
  •  Upload up to 100 documents and files
  •  PDF, DOC, MP3, XLS, PPT File Uploads
  •  Add up to 100 photos
  •  Embed UNLIMITED videos
  •  Export / Download your portfolio
  • Enhanced design and layout customization
  •  Upload header and background images
  •  Save and access all templates and layouts
  •  Add Unlimited web links
  •  UNLIMITED journal posts
  •  Resume Creator
Here is an example of a portfolio website:

Portfoliogen.com has recently added a number of key features. It started  allowing members to add a public profile to their memberships. Members can find each other and connect allowing them to share information and build their professional networks. This is important because 80% of people find jobs through people they know. As soon as someone registers with Portfoliogen.com and starts building their portfolio website, their public profile can be easily customized, made public at the members' discretion and connected to one's professional contacts also utilizing Portfoliogen.
By: Adam Gibbons from Portfoliogen.