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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Educreations!

Being in a 1-1 iPad school is pretty great. The student's are doing so many neat things on the iPad, it truly is a wonderful tool.

The iPads have been utilized often in written communication with apps such as Tools4Students, where kids can create various maps and organizers for their stories. Strip Design to make drawings and descriptions of characters. In the first hour math class I co-teach in we've used apps to help with math drills, and various math practice games. Although I'm not in the science/social studies classes, I often hear of what great things the kids can do thanks to the iPads. 

In my own, personal math class.... The iPads have been nothing more than a glorified whiteboard. Generally glorified paperweight would be a better description. 

It's not that I don't like technology or see the benefit, I do. I just want my kiddo to have as many hands on opportunities to learn. This month though, now that I'm a seasoned teacher of 5 months, I've begun to do some deeper reflecting. Have I utilized all the tools that are around me daily? Nope. Are there things I can do to be better? Yes. 

Step in Educreations.

Super easy interface. Love it.

With this app, as a teacher, I can create a presentation, the app takes not only a video of what is done on the screen, but also records my voice. (Only bummer is there isn't an undo with voice recording...I've learned to hit pause between thoughts, so that I make fewer mistakes.) Students create accounts with username or email address as an elementary school teacher, I love that the student's don't have to have an email. Once they login to www.educreations.com from Safari, they can watch any video that I assign to their class. (They have to have a one-time password to join a class.) Really, this is simpler than I'm making it sound, I just want to make sure, that if you want to try this out you can! From there, students can view mini-lessons or full lessons that are created by me. 

Here is how I've used this application so far:
1. Some of you may remember that I cover 2 schools. I'm at my "home" school 95% of the time. {I'm so thankful for a very caring and wonderful para that goes above and beyond on a daily basis.} I created one lesson so far on how to count money using touch points. I plan on adding to this with a variety of lessons to touch on points even when I can't physically be there.
Even though this school does not have iPads, the videos can still be accessed by logging in online. My para created an account and can view anything I post to open up and share with the students there. 

http://www.educreations.com/lesson/view/decimals/3222034/
 
2. In my math class, on our maiden voyage with the application we were able to differentiate a lesson for the various needs of all of my students.  I put my students into two different groups. One group watched the same touch point money lesson that I created for the other school. The second group watched a video on decimals. Both videos had places where the students were to hit pause and work out examples on their whiteboards. I thought this made the process more interactive, and I and the paras in the room could see if the student's were starting to "get it", attempting... rather than just watching a video and zoning out. Once they hit play, the answer was given on the video and they continued till the end. After the groups were done, we did hands on activities to apply what they learned about.
3. I've put other little videos with multiplication songs and tips/tricks as a reference for students to utilize throughout the day or at home to help them refresh on concepts.  
  
Three new things in less than a week. The iPad no longer seems like a paper weight.  

I love this application. This is just the beginning. With the Common Core State Standard initative, I know that students will need to explain more. Giving student's a problem and having them create a video to explain how to solve it to show their understanding. Currently, student's can't upload to a class on educreations, but our tech gurus found a way to do this through mybigcampus. More on that if/when we get there.

So what do you think? How can this app be used in your classroom? 

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