Friday, March 28, 2014

Queso Dip at 8:30 am and Other Things You'd Better Snag Immediately!

Those of you who have had the privilege to enter a school district's teacher's lounge know exactly what I'm talking about.  The special delivery....a pan of brownies, pink or blue cupcakes for an upcoming babe, or if I've particularly hit the jackpot...Velveeta queso dip and chips. The beacon reaches the far depths of the universe like some sort of pinging submarine, as people come out of the woodwork immediately.  The adage "you snooze, you lose" is especially true in the teacher's lounge.  So, there I was, snagging up my small portion of cheesy heaven....at 8:30 in the morning.

The same is true of treasures that appear on Twitter.  There are so many changes to the technology world. New app lists, new top 10 lists of what's hot in ed tech, and the list goes on.  Some nights my Twitter feed is so abuzz with things to save, I know that if I don't get my hands on it, it's gone into the Twitter abyss never to be located again.  I can't "favorite" or bookmark fast enough. (See this post from earlier this year about my favorite bookmarking site.)  This week, I found two really excellent tools that were new to me.  Ones you really should explore.

The first is one called Scrawlar.  I am incredibly impressed with the possibilities it offers.  It's a sharable whiteboard and word processor all wrapped up into one.  It can be found online and it works equally well on mobile devices (no Flash chaos!).  To top it off, it meets my ever so strict (but ever so rare) guideline of not requiring student accounts to get set up and started.  The Scrawlar blog lists a host of academic purposes for this site.  It's a little like Educreations and a little like Google Docs...all neatly wrapped in a unique package. For free.




The next site I encourage you to check out is a little sweetheart with BIG potential to be a great support to any elementary math classroom.  It's called Front Row.  The new teacher I mentor is truly phenomenal, and I would be remiss not to share that I likely learn just as much from her as she does from me.  This find was hers, and it's a doozy.  Not only can you quite easily enter your students into the room and custom tailor math supplemental activities based on the CCSS, but you can easily generate reports, or print out individual or whole group sheets for those days when the computer or internet just won't cooperate well for everyone.  This really doesn't cover the half of it.  This (Rock) Valley girl thinks this is totally awesome, totally free, and totally worth checking out!



Grab hold of these two sites for your digital backpack.  If I'm going to stick my neck out and promote something, it has to have serious promise in the technology integration world and deliver.  Deliver like that divine hot queso dip...even at 8:30 in the morning. A tech integrationist breakfast of champions. Dig in.

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