The first app we have been using is Skitch! Each morning I Google “Sochi Medal Count” and this chart is displayed. I have been taking a screenshot of the graph and editing out the totals on the far right for each country. Then we use Skitch to circle who has the most medal of each type and to find out the total medal count for each country on the chart. The kids are very excited about adding three digits together and I love how each day it gets a little more difficult as more and more medals are won. The other thing I like about using this chart is the countries are ordered by the number of gold medals not by the total. This has led to a lot of discussion and understanding of how data can be displayed and used. Learn more about this app here
Today we were asked on Twitter what was our favorite sport. So we used the apps Haiku Deck and Educreations to create the graph above. Using Haiku Deck is a simple way to create a quick and polished looking graph. Once we had the graph made I took a screen shot on the iPad and imported that image into Explain Everything to add the pictures. Obviously the pictures are not crucial but for Kindergarten they really help the kids understand graphs. Once the images were added in Explain Everything we saved the image to our camera roll and tweeted it to our friends! Info on the apps below.
Quick intro to setting up a FREE Weebly site in the video below. Please note the last step which I failed to mention is pressing the orange publish button on the top right
For my Master’s course we were required to work with tools that could be used to create and e-portfolio. I picked Weebly mainly because it was a tool that I had not worked with before. I have used Google Sites, Wiki’s, Blogs and other tools in the past but Weebly was something I never got around to trying. The main benefit of Weebly is the simplicity of the process in creating a website or blog. The interface uses simple drag and drop functions that are laid out nicely and the process is fairly intuitive. Teachers that are looking for a way to have an online presence for their classroom (class website or blog) should give this tool a try.
The site allows for a lot more customization than other options which is an important feature for giving the creator ownership of their design. The other tools I mentioned before allow for customization but none of them do it is a simple way like Weebly. Of course Weebly is not as powerful a tool as WordPress as far as customization but WordPress is also not as user-friendly. Weebly is a great tool to use to introduce students to e-portfolios and to begin the process of creating one. The site has options to upload all the standard media a student might use in their portfolio such as video, audio, documents, pictures and text. For students new to the process Weebly is the perfect tool to start with but I think it is important that we give students autonomy in choosing the tool they want to use. My main concern would be the ease in exporting the content from Weebly. Technology and the tools available are changing fast and the ability to move seamlessly from one tool another is an important feature. Another aspect of Weebly that is a benefit is it shows the process of creating a website in a visual way. Of course creating a website requires a much deeper understanding but Weebly does begin that process of showing how websites are created. My hope would be that some students would take that basic knowledge and look for other options as they want to customize and add features. Weebly seems to be a good “gateway” into creating and designing online spaces.
The website created in the video can be found here if you want to see the product