Cool Tool | Knowledge Notebook

CREDIT Knowledge NoteBook imageWhen it comes to note taking with a computer, many students “automatically” go for Microsoft Word while some go for Google Docs. Sure, Word is excellent for creating formal documents (a fancy proposal, a business letter, a paper or written assignment) with all its super-nice text formatting features. And Google Docs can be a fabulous collaboration tool — but as a student, your focus is to capture what (as in: what is the most important information or knowledge I need to know?) — and not necessarily how it looks or reads, or how to share it. As a student, the primary goal of learning is really and more simply to master what is expected to be learned for a subject. For making study more effective and to facilitate real understanding of course materials, Word or Google Docs don’t really cut it. To study on a screen, to take notes, and to later study those notes — a tool designed expressly for this purpose is best. Knowledge Notebook is such a tool: it captures key information quickly in and out of classroom, logically and automatically organizes information for easy access and for later study, and is a contextual tool that facilitates true understanding of course materials. Purpose-built for study, it’s quite simple: it helps students study. It includes a Notes List, Flashcards, Quiz, Timeline, an easy Wiki Search, and Concept Maps. Have a look.

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Cool Tool | Languagenut

Here’s a professional language teaching support tool which offers interactive and engaging games and activities. With 12 world languages, including French, Spanish, German, and Mandarin, plus seven others and 14 support languages for English as an Additional Language including Polish, Arabic, Hindi, Somali plus 10 others, Languagenut supports over 5,000,000 students in 32 countries worldwide and is available both on and offline. All its resources can be fully adapted to use on the computer, tablet and interactive whiteboard. It covers the four key skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing — with fun and interactive games, songs and stories. It also includes a vast array of printable resources, ensuring that teachers are able to perform engaging language lessons if technology isn’t available. The Teachers’ Tracking Tool gives teachers the ability to keep track of class lists, teacher logins, homework and certificates and reports which ensures the teacher can easily track students’ progress. Very cool; see it for yourself.

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Trends | The Oztoc Project

CREDIT Oztoc ProjectWith the growth of the touchscreen generation, educators are turning to advanced interactive displays to encourage creativity and promote engaging and collaborative learning among students. This was the case for the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery (WID) at UW–Madison and the New York Hall of Science which teamed up with MultiTaction, a leading interactive display provider, to create the Oztoc installation. “Oztoc” or “cave” in the Aztec Nahuatl language, is located in the New York Hall of Science and is an interactive multitouch table that investigates how collaboration and learning occur in informal settings like museums. Utilizing MultiTaction’s Enriched Reality™ software, Oztoc uses 2D optical markers to uniquely recognize real-life objects placed on the display. Students then play an interactive game on the table display by combining physical blocks (representing electronic components) to create circuitry and lights to attract undiscovered underwater creatures. With both collaborative and competitive modes, the game allows learning researchers to target and test specific scenarios to engage children and transform learning and teaching tools. Oztoc asks the question about how children can learn to think like engineers as they problem solve, reason and work with each other, and supports the growing emphasis placed on STEM. Check it out.

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Cool Tool | Revision Assistant

CREDIT TurnitinHere’s a brand-new formative writing tool giving students immediate, actionable feedback on all aspects of student writing. Turnitin Revision Assistant (for use in grades 6-12 and in developmental writing in higher education) extends teachers’ reach by giving students immediate formative feedback during the writing process. “Writing is the one subject critical to academic and career success yet is almost entirely unsupported by existing educational technology,” says Turnitin CEO Chris Caren. “Of the hundreds of reading and math applications to support instruction, very few provide meaningful feedback on writing beyond grammar and spell-checking,” he says. The tool gives students holistic, specific feedback on their writing in a way that encourages them to value iteration. As they write with it, they can request a ‘Signal Check’. This provides them a visualization of how they are performing on writing traits such as focus, use of evidence, or organization, among many others. Actionable comments appear in the margins and are tied to sentences highlighted in the text. Positive and constructive comments help students to continue revising. Students can revise and get feedback as many times as they would like before sharing their work with their teacher. In a pilot, one teacher reported receiving the best essays she got all year. In this same 2015 study with 18 middle and high schools, 164 educators and 3,439 students:

  • Ninety-four percent of pilot students revised their work at least once when writing with the tool; middle school students revised, on average, ten times, while high school students revised six times.
  • Middle schoolers doubled the length of their essays across revisions when using the system, while high school papers increased by 70 percent.

Turnitin Revision Assistant is currently being used in school districts across the country, including Irvine USD, Corona- Norco USD, Washoe County, San Dieguito USD and Covina-Valley USD. It’s available on a per-student, annual subscription basis. Check it out for yourself.

 

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Cool Tool | TCI Econ Alive! The Power to Choose

CREDIT Econ Alive TCITwenty-five years ago, a group of teachers formed K-12 publisher TCI, based on the principle that the more students are actively engaged, the more they will learn. TCI’s latest offering is Econ Alive! The Power to Choose – a comprehensive, semester-long economics curriculum that demystifies economics for high school seniors. It’s made up of concise, standards-based text with activities that help students grasp complex concepts through understandable, real-world situations. Using this in-depth, online curriculum, students embark on collaborative projects, writing assignments, critical-thinking challenges and problem-solving group work. Teachers and students access a wealth of coordinated resources – easy-to-implement presentations, clear standards-based content, interactive student notebooks, formative and summative assessments, and more. Throughout the program, students experience the key principles of economics. They analyze news headlines to determine how events will cause demand or supply curves to shift. Acting as members of the Federal Reserve, students analyze economic data to set monetary policy. They also experience what it’s like to run a company, as they form businesses, create business plans and compete for investor funding. Econ Alive! makes learning fun while giving students a unique advantage as they prepare for college and career. Learn more.

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