Thursday, September 24, 2020

Kickin' Off 3rd Grade Tech!

Third grade is a BIG year for technology at my school.  It's the first time the kids get their own devices!  Well, typically they share an iPad and a Chromebook with a fourth grader.  This year, though, everyone got their own device, K-4 (thank you COVID.)  That meant all kids, K-3 got their own logins this year. 


In third grade, they got their own Chromebook which meant learning to type.  Still a very big deal!


That is where the third graders spend most of their tech time.  At least until they can login proficiently!

We've been through a few other typing programs, and while I won't name names, I will say that has been my favorite by far.  The kids login with Google, it syncs with Google Classroom, making it easy for teachers to check progress, and the lessons are bite sized.  That last part is important because the kids feel very like they're accomplishing things even when they only have 10 minutes, because they can complete a whole level (or two!) in that short bit of time.

Did I mention it's free?  Yes, there is a paid platform too, that gives you loads of customization options (highly recommended if you have the budget!) Thankfully the free platform has been just right for our needs this year!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The tastiest Pear of the Deck!

To be honest, I am not a fan of pears.  I don't like the texture. 

There is one pear I love, though.

Pear Deck is an absolutely gift of a tool for teachers.  I loved it before this whole remote teaching situation hit.  I love it even more now that "remote" is a regular part of our world.

Wanna know why I love it so?

Because it takes the hard work you've already done in creating Google Slides presentations or even PowerPoint presentations, and in just a few clicks of a button, it takes them from passive learning tools to interactive learning tools.  

Within Pear Deck (and we're talking the free version here) you can add questions to slides, add a draggable, where students take an icon and move it to a specific spot, you can make polls, and more.  The paid version adds in even more tools, including a student-paced mode where you can use Pear Deck as an exit slip or even a homework assignment!

To use Pear Deck in Google Slides, all you need to do is install the Pear Deck add-on.  Then, open your slide presentation the way you normally would, click the Pear Deck add-on, and you have a world of tools at your fingertips!  There are even pre-created slides you can drag right into your presentation!

If you haven't played with Pear Deck yet, you are missing out!  Take the work you've already done and add in a new layer of engagement! This tool is one you should definitely consider adding to your toolbox!