What’s new in EdTech: Voice Recording Tools

by Simran Kharod

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2017/11/voice-recording-tools.html#.Why3LEqnHic

This article talks about using voice recording tools in the classroom. It explains how instead of just jumping straight to writing you can record your voice and create a stronger impact with your students. This news could have a positive impact on children and their families because it brings a new way to explain and teach to your students. It can also help bring new ways to have students share books or projects they have junkbeen working on in the classroom.

I think this news will affect Early Childhood Education because it can help teachers explain things to students who might not understand when they see it in writing. It can help teachers reach out to students in a different way when they are not in the classroom.

Today’s guest blogger: “My name is Simran Kharod and I am a student at TowsonUniversity studying Early Childhood Education.”

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Coding Through Interactive Stories

by Farran Travers

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2017/11/a-great-new-tool-for-teaching-kids.html

This news article talked about an app that teachers or parents can use to enhance their children’s reading skills and teach coding at the same time. The app is called Dystopia 2153 and is a 3 episode series. Children can start at the beginner level when learning to code and work their way up to eventually code from scratch. The goal of this app is to have the children solve puzzles using coding to help Chiclet the character in the story escape from an evil villain.junk

This news article will affect young children and their families by giving them a variety of ways to learn coding.The amount of jobs in technology is increasing and teaching children to code is vital for their future career success.

This news article could influence Early Childhood Education by introducing new ways to teach children howto code by incorporating other content areas into coding.

Today’s guest blogger is Farran Travers

 

“I am an Early Childhood Education major at Towson University”

Nine Great Websites to Help Kids with Their Homework

by Ashley Avelleyra

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2017/10/9-great-websites-to-help-kids-with.html

This news article listed, described and provided information about nine different websites that provide resources and necessary help for students who may need extra assistance with their homework. junkThe nine different websites were ReadWriteThink, Khan Academy, Discovery Education,Smithsonian Education, National Geographic Kids, Starfall Parent-Teacher Centre, PBS Learning Media for Students, BrainPOP Jr., and KidInfo. After each website was listed, a link was provided for each one and a short description of the website and what the website offered. Most websites provided assistance for some to all subject areas. Examples of some resources included in the websites are interactive games, instructional videos, virtual labs/activities, etc. These websites could be used from any age level and could also help assist parents and teachers as well.These nine websites will be beneficial for young 

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children and families because it adds to the list of resources that children and parents might use when doing homework or acquiring the need to further develop an understanding for a certain subject area.

The nine websites can be sources that teachers can recommend to their students and their families in order to help dive deeper into a concept or further assist them in the concept. This news article incorporates technology inside and outside of the classroom because it provides internet resources to help further the understanding of a subject area through virtual activities and such rather than practicing through an activity on paper.

Today’s guest blogger is Ashley Avelleyra, an Early Childhood Education major at Towson University

Class Flow: Creating Interactive Lessons

by Meghan Kline

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2017/10/classflow-creating-interactive-digital.html#.Wdfwba2ZMcg

This article, written by the author of Free Technology for Teachers, was about a website called ClassFlow and the ways in which the website can help teachers design interactive and engaging lessons. ClassFlow is a free delivery application that allows a teacher to create lessons, administer quick polls, present classroom projects, and give assessments through a tablet or computer. For mobile devices, ClassFlow has created an application called “ClassFlow moments” which allows a child to engage in work on a hand-held device, while also allowing parents the ability to see what the student is doing in the classroom. According tot he article, the website can be used by all grade levels and is a great resource for the classroom when the primary teacher is and is not at school. On this website, teachers are able to first create interactive and engaging lessons using the “new lesson” tool. This section of the website allows a teacher to start a brand-new lesson, collaborate with other educators on a lesson, or select pre-made lessons that can be manipulated to fit the needs of the individual classroom. Another tool the website provides, is the “quick poll” tool. This tool not only allows a teacher to keep students engaged and apart of the lesson, but also presents data that shows a teacher what concepts of the lesson children are and are not yet grasping. Two other tools that ClassFlow provides,are the “interactive whiteboard” and “activity” tool. The activity tool allows a teacher the ability to supply students with engaging class work that can be altered to fit the needs of each student. The whiteboard,then allows students the ability to share and present their classwork or activities with the rest of the class. For example, in a video provided by the website, they show a group of students taking photos of a hands-on activity they completed in the classroom and sharing them to the whiteboard. This allowed other students in the classroom the ability to see what their peers were doing and how they went about solving the problem. The last tool the website provides is an“assessment” tool, where a teacher is able to test student’s knowledge on specific lessons and receive data and scores on each individual child. Through all the tools the website provides, ClassFlow allows an educator the ability to create valuable lessons that not only get students working with technology, but also give students an overall better classroom experience.This news will affect young children and their families because it will allow a child to receive an overall better learning experience through the different tools the website provides. Along with this,having the site available online and through an application will allow a child the ability to share what they are learning with a parent or guardian. The article discusses how the primary reason that the application was created, was to promote parent interaction and viewing. ClassFlow will also affect the activities and instruction a child is receiving because the educator now has the ability to individualize assignments and lessons for each student while keeping the main purpose of the activity or lesson present. Lastly, the website will affect the type of assistance a parent or guardian is able to give their students on certain topics, because the website allows them access to lessons and activities so they have a better background to what and how their child is learning. This in the end will affect students and families positively because it will increase the child’s knowledge and cause less frustration and confusion for parents that are trying to help their child learn.This news will influence Early Childhood Education because it will allow educators the ability to create more valuable lessons for the classroom and fit lessons better to each student’s individual needs.This website will make it easier for teachers to personalize activities so that students are receiving a similar instruction but in ways that are best fitting for each child. Along with this, the website will influence Early Childhood Education because it will allow a teacher to have faster and easier access to student data on certain class topics and help teachers see what concepts are and are not working in the classroom.The different tools that provide teachers with the ability to chart data of the classroom make it easier for teachers to gain an accurate set of data and see what concepts still need to be worked on as the lesson progresses. Lastly, this website will influence Early Childhood Education because it will help students connect to the ever-changing technology in the world and find good uses for technology in the classroom. Because the website is fitting for all ages, early childhood students will be able to easily understand what the website is asking them to do and will be able to see an appropriate use for technology in a classroom setting.

Video of Class Flow in action

Today’s guest blogger is Meghan Kline

 

Four websites to encourage perseverance in student writers

by Sydney Baldwin

https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/09/20/4-tools-to-inspire-perseverance-in-student-writers/

The article discussed struggles students face during any writing they have. Writing is not fun for everyone and can be very challenging. The article highlights how students need a better/easier way for students to accomplish writing.The first website is mainly for any students writing novels.They are able to pace themselves and learn writing techniques. Their goals for writing are easily achieved. The second website, Grammarly, is used for grammar and mechanics. It can junkprovide more help than spelling errors on Word. They give an explanation of your spelling mistakes so students can learn what they did wrong. The third website, Classcraft, is less geared toward writing and more towards students working at their own pace. It is an interactive map that educators can use to put their activities on. They can have writing activities, if they want. It gives students one task at a time and they get a badge every time they complete something. They can work independently or in groups. The last website, Road trip Nation, seems mainly for older students. They can watch videos of people who have the same goals as them and see how they overcame their obstacles. Especially in writing, when students feel like they can’t write, they can watch inspiring videos to help them. They can also give advice.This article can help young children become confident in their writing at a young age. Even 2nd-3rd grade students start short writing samples. It is important to instill perseverance and confidence for anything at a young age.These websites are helpful in achieving that. These tools can be used every day and even at home. They make children see the value of their writing and help them grow.If used when children start writing, the progress will be immense. They can use it in elementary school and through high school. It takes the pressure off writing and makes it more enjoyable for everyone.

All of these tools can be used in classrooms today. Educators will realize how these tools enhance children’s writing. The websites can be implemented in order to have students do their best writing. In older grades, an educator can use the first website described (NaNoWriMo) to give students a chance to be creative with their writing in a fun way instead of just having them sit in class and write. These tools incorporate technology in the classroom as well.Memorizing grammar rules can be hard, with Grammarly, students can make mistakes and understand what they did wrong instead of just fixing it and not knowing why. Each of the tools provides support that educators would want in their classroom. The tools can help with perseverance in writing and thus, can cause perseverance in any other content areas or activities.

Today’s guest blogger is Sydney Baldwin

 

 

Four Tools for Awareness and Self-Worth

by Caitlin Farrell

https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/09/01/4-digital-tools-to-help-students-increase-appreciation-and-self-worth-in-any-classroom/

According to the Mindshift article written by Danny Wagner, when an individual is shown appreciation, this leads to an increased feeling of social importance. These individuals are also more likely to show their peers appreciation, similar to a “pay it forward” way of thinking. Mindshift has selected four digital tools to assist teachers and students in achieving higher self-worth and a supportive learning environment.

The first of these digital tools is “This I Believe”. This is a site which allows users to write, share and discuss beliefs and self-reflection with others. This helps students strengthen their own personal ideas. Although this website seems very positive, it wouldn’t be practical for an early childhood environment.

The second tool presented in the article is “DIY”. This site provides different do-it-yourself projects that children can complete and then share their creations online. Students can receive helpful feedback on their creations, as well as commenting on others. Openness to feedback can help students increase their sense of worth.

Mindprint Learning” is the third tool suggested which offers online assessments. These assessments measure students’ strengths and challenges. Examples include verbal reasoning or processing speeds. Teachers can review the results with their students to help them recognize their areas of strength and devise a plan to increase their weaker areas.

The final tool isSeesaw: The Learning Journal”. Seesaw is a digital portfolio which allows students to upload their drawings, pictures and other various types of work. They can then reflect on their work through a voice recording. Students are able to comment and give positive feedback on their peers’ work. Allowing the students to explain their thinking from a voice recording also helps increase self-worth since many students struggle to describe their drawings or artwork in writing.

The tools presented in the article affect young children and their families by attempting junkto improve and increase their self-worth and thus confidence in the classroom. Although these are tools described for teachers and students, they can also be used in the home.

If these sites prove successful and are used correctly, they will help create a more supportive classroom. Students will become more open to feedback and in turn give their peers helpful comments as well.

Today’s guest blogger is Caitlin Farrell

Researchers Explain What Adults Can Do To Provide An Educational Experience With Technology

by Julie Lipshutz

https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/01/04/they-still-need-you-how-adults-help-young-kids-learn-with-technology/

This news article discussed researcher’s views on how technology should be used for toddlers. The author interviewed two researchers based on the outcome of a recent study. A study tested the different reactions two- and three-year-olds had after a human demonstrated a game verse a computer. Both the human and computer showed the children how to move and match puzzle pieces on a tablet screen. After concluding that the toddlers replicated this action better by watching the human’s instruction, the author summarizes what the researchers advise for adults to do when children use technology.

Interaction, scaffolding, and transfer learning are main strategies the researchers refer to. Since the computer demo caused confusion,computer and toddler interaction offers little support to learning.However, with an adult present during technology play, more knowledge will be retained. Learning takes place when an adult is by the child’s side as he or she uses technology. By pointing out images,identifying words, and asking questions adults are strengthening toddler’s comprehension. Additionally, by creating discussion, adults become aware of what the child needs further assistance with. The adult can then provide scaffolding techniques to advance the child’understanding of a topic. It is important for an adult to be present for this. Similar to the human and computer demonstration, social or human scaffolding is more effective than the computer. Lastly, adults should relate what the child views on the touch screen to reality; better referred to as transfer learning. Thus while the toddler develops, he or she can begin to make connections from what they see online to their world experiences. Overall, the researchers stress the importance of adult guidance, but it is understood there will be times when toddlers are alone with technology. In this case, adults should take caution in what their child is playing. Games that provide feedback to answers,repetition, and different levels are useful tools that help maintain an educational experience when the adult is absent.

The article makes it clear that if the parent is available to interact alongside their child, then they should. Therefore, this news will affect the parent and child relationship; it will bring them closer together and build learning. When children play games alone, their thoughts are not heard by another person. Conversely, when the child is attended to,their thoughts are acknowledged, bringing the two family members closer together. During this interaction they create a stronger relationship, while having a personal and friendly discussion about the game. This bonding produces a long lasting learning experience for the child. With an adult repeating questions or connecting what appears on the screen to the real world, the toddler will be better prepared for school. In return, the parent can now recognize their child’s strengths and weaknesses in learning, what they understand,junk and what needs to be further addressed. Young children can be seen playing alone with at ouch screen whether its during a meal, at the grocery store, or waiting at the doctor’s office. Primarily, this news will affect these family habits. Knowing this information about computer verse human interaction, adults will feel less willing to hand their child a phone without their assistance. Family members will have more caution to the freedom they allow toddlers to have with electronics.

Technology is constantly advancing, which means there is now a variety of applications that can be used in education. Although media advertises the educational benefits of electronic activities, not all games are developmentally appropriate. The articles discussion on types of apps and or games that offer instructive features is informative for early childhood teachers. The idea of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)constantly has teachers wondering what other tools they can use to support their students development. Many educators turn to technology for different forms of teaching. The information on what tools in apps are useful for learning will be helpful for educators when searching for resources that support UDL. Using the researcheradvice, teachers can implement this knowledge when evaluating if a product is useful to share in the classroom.

Today’s guest blogger is Julie Lipshutz