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Please spare a moment to complete my ‘Educational technology survey 2018’ – it will only take a few minutes (I promise!)

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After a teacher poses a question to the class, there’s often that silent pause as the students puzzle over the answer. How long should the teacher wait while the audience considers the problem? What’s the most productive way to use the question and answer style response with a classroom?

There were several studies in the 1970s that looked into the effect of the teacher’s waiting time after asking a question had on students and their learning. In 1972, Mary Budd Rowe’s work found that students answered more frequently and with longer responses when teachers paused longer. In 1994, Robert Stahl had similar findings that showed the number of “I don’t know” student responses decreased by increasing the waiting time.

Studies show that pausing for up to five seconds after posing a question has a great impact on student learning. However, the common length of the pause was about 0.9 seconds, so teachers may enhance it to refine the effect.

How do you help math classrooms cover a wide variety of content while utilizing the best practice of extended wait times? Try using the four following strategies and resources to help students improve their classroom engagement and thus carry their skills over into homework and other assignments.

Share the Class Agenda

Students will be more prepared and ready to answer math questions if they first have an idea of what topics are going to be discussed that day. Start off class by sharing an overview or agenda of the subjects and activities the students will be reviewing that day. Students will have time to mentally prepare for the assignment ahead of time and have more time to recall prior knowledge.

By informing the students of the topic and order of class activities, students will be ready to receive questions and generate an answer during the waiting time.

Use a Class Opener

If students don’t immediately begin utilizing their time effectively once they are in the classroom, it may become difficult for them to get on track and focus on the questions. Start the class off properly by presenting some warm-up math problems with a quick assessment.

This practice will help students prepare for impending math questions and build their confidence and engagement in the topic of the day.

Give Multiple Examples Beforehand

 Before presenting students with math questions, demonstrate several examples beforehand to put strategies and solutions into the student’s heads. Solve a problem together with the class before asking them any questions on similar math equations.

The use of multiple examples is useful in other subjects besides math as well. Students will benefit from seeing various diagrams in science class or multiple essay samples in English class. A variety of essay samples can be found at affordable prices at World Essays.

Apply Educational Apps

Phone and tablet applications are an excellent way to help with math fluency for the young students. Apps like Quick Math help generate questions the students can answer quickly at their own pace and independently. There are also educational math games, such as Math vs. Zombies, which make learning fun. Many of these apps are free, but many you can buy at affordable prices.

There are some ways for a teacher to use wait time effectively, helping students answer math questions quickly and confidently without rushing them. These strategies can also be employed for some other different school subjects, so try them out and see how student comprehension improves!

Written by Cristian Dorsey – IT Geek and Blogger

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Our new class topic is called ‘iDoctor’ – in a nutshell: human biology with a STEAM focus.  I decided to ask the children to use ‘Green Screen’ / ‘Chroma Key’ technology to look inside the human body!

How do you do it?

First, get to grips with using ‘Green Screen’ / ‘Chroma Key’ – it’s really easy.

…the only difference is that, in this lesson, the background isn’t the ‘Green Screen’ – the t-shirt is.

Next, download these images:

Use the ‘Green Screen’ app and apply the images above as an overlay.  Choose the colour that the image will replace (luckily my school’s uniform is bright blue, so it worked well).  Here’s the lesson in action:

How to use 'Green Screen' / 'Chroma Key' tech to look inside the human body! - YouTube

Finally, ask the pupils to take a screenshot, and then use the app ‘PicCollage‘ to label the muscles/bones/organs/body parts.

Here’s an end product:

The children really enjoyed the lesson, and it made the learning real – they certainly learnt a lot about human biology.

Have a go!  Let me know how it goes!

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The EdTech industry continues to grow with new products. These edtech products are available to educators and school administrators. Each one can make a big difference in your teaching and your students learning.

Do you want to introduce a new product in the classroom? Here’s a complete list of must-try Edtech Resources and Technology Tools for Teachers:

  1. BOOK CREATOR

Insert Video: https://youtu.be/7Tr6S-_ZlSc

Any student can create, publish, and share online books using Book Creator. Students can combine text, images, audio, and video to create:

  •         Interactive stories
  •         Digital portfolios
  •         Research journals
  •         Poetry books
  •         Science reports
  •         Instruction manuals
  •         ‘About me’ books
  •         Comic adventures

They can choose a layout and insert Google images straight from the app into locked panels. They also have the option to create a book from scratch. They can customize the font, add shapes and stickers, hyperlink the text to other online resources, and import audio and video files.

Once the book is ready to publish, the pages turn like a real book with audio and video options inside the app.

It’s also an app perfect for teachers. They can create books and put them in a private library or a shared library for you and your students.

Introducing this new tool to your students can open up great opportunities for learning.

  1. INSERTLEARNING

Insert video: https://youtu.be/51-a8zgCsCc

Turn any page on the internet into a lesson with the Insert Learning tool. Teachers can add some questions and add a few commentaries while inserting a related video. You can do all that with Insert Learning.

It’s basically an extension you can add to your Chrome browser. Once done, you can turn a web page into a lesson in just minutes.

Highlighting text, adding notes, and embedding your own questions can all be done using Insert Learning. Other content like YouTube videos, ThingLink images, flashcards from Quizlet, mind maps from Coggle, even videos you record straight from your webcam can also be included in your lesson.

It doesn’t stop there! You can also grade your students right inside the app with a special code through Google Classroom. Your students’ responses will be sent to a teacher dashboard.

This tool is great for engaging your students with dynamic lessons. Don’t be afraid to experiment with tools to see what works and what doesn’t.

  1. FLIPGRID

Insert video: https://youtu.be/_A-pbE9qXD4

Flipgrid is an app where teachers or students can pose a question and prompt others to answer it using short videos. Once the video is finished, they can also leave a response to other videos.

If you are doing a book review or a film review in class, this would be the perfect tool.

Flipgrid is the leading video discussion platform used by millions of PreK to Ph.D. educators, students, families, and organizations in more than 150 countries! Create a Grid (that’s your classroom or group), add Topics to spark the discussion, and your community builds a dialogue as they share short video responses.

  1. NEWSEUMED

Insert video: https://youtu.be/mN8BbN1PTq4

This app is perfect for social studies and history teachers. It is an online collection of primary sources, news artifacts, and lessons that help teachers teach media literacy, civics, and all aspects of the First Amendment. This gives your students a closer look at history.

You can search for content several ways. You can try it by state, century, theme, topic or type of resource. There are various forms of content as well: map, a newspaper, a quiz. You can share it using a URL which can last for weeks.

This app must be on every history teacher’s list.

  1. AUTODRAW

Insert video: https://youtu.be/VwRbvVrUXTc

This tool guesses what you’re trying to draw. It’s a cool app to begin some sketching. It gives you a strip of illustrated images to choose from, based on the object you’re trying to draw.

You can choose that object, add color, resize it, or basically manipulate it however you want. You can also turn OFF the automatic feature and just sketch without any assistance.

Once complete, you can download it as a PNG file, share it on your social media.

Autodraw is perfect for dual coding, visualization, and non-linguistic representation when teaching. Teachers can use this app to add icons or illustrations to your classroom materials.

Some teachers also use this for early finishers in their class. You can also recommend it to students to assist them when they’re trying to create projects.

  1. Quizalize

Insert video: https://youtu.be/WWQ_YYGrGKE

Quizalize aims to make quizzes a form of friendly online competition. Teachers can create quizzes that test subject knowledge or can pick from a selection of 20,000 premade quizzes. Then, students can be grouped into teams, play as individuals at home, or sit down to a formal test offered through this tool.

  1. SWAY

Insert video: https://youtu.be/mZFnRVwgOOM

Make Newsletters, Presentations, and other forms of Communications with Sway. Powered by Microsoft, you start by selecting a template, a topic, or a document you already have on your computer.

You can insert images and videos inserted, forms added, and content embedded. Then you can add content without toggling between tabs. Easily drop in photos, videos, and other multimedia. Note that Sway is integrated with your device and the web.

It’s a good alternative to Powerpoint when making presentations in class.

  1. Edmodo

Insert video: https://youtu.be/G1pbqVfhhVQ

Edmodo is a platform where parents, students, and teachers, where they can all be involved in education.

With intuitive features and unlimited storage, quickly create groups, assign homework, schedule quizzes, manage progress, and more. With everything on one platform, Edmodo is designed to give you complete control over your digital classroom.

Edmodo is a great way to connect all the stakeholders in a child’s education.#

  1. Illumination

Insert video: https://youtu.be/Xf2Ta_k3Q5M

Designed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), Illumination provides teachers with a platform where they can find hundreds of lesson plans, activities and ways to improve their teaching practices. Educators can pick grade specific games and content, ensuring that their students are on par with standards set by the NCTM.

  1. Creaza

Insert video: https://youtu.be/EQIuuYYnmO0

This EdTech tool is so easy to use. It gives both students and teachers a space to create interactive presentations. Teachers can use this to upload unique content. Students can produce mind maps, comic book strips, and presentation with audio, and visual qualities.

About the Author

Farid Gasim is Founder of Edarabia.com and has extensive experience in serving the Middle East education industry. As an integral part of media agency, Grafdom, Farid has developed marketing strategies for institutions and government agencies. He is a notable speaker with over 12 years of marketing expertise and numerous public engagements at New York University, Zayed University, Higher Colleges of Technology and other industry events & forums.

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Education has moved on from pencils, pens and paper – and onto the virtual age with interactive white boards and tablets.

Furthering the frontier of technology in education is Virtual Reality, a computer-generated simulation of a 3D environment that can be interacted with in a physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, ordinarily goggles.

Virtual Reality can transport your students to other ends of the planet, and even into the outer universe – without ever leaving the classroom.

Innovations within Virtual Reality has reduced the costs of the technology and made it more easily accessible to a wider audience. This as well as the immense possibilities it holds makes Virtual Reality the perfect teaching tool – but which headset is perfect for YOUR classroom?

Here at ITR and www.hirevirtualreality.co.uk, we have investigated some of the leading Virtual Reality solutions on the market right now to help you decide:

Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset developed and manufactured by Oculus VR, a division of Facebook Inc.

The Rift has a Pentile OLED display, 1080×1200resolution per eye, a 90 Hz refresh rate, and 110 degree field of view to enhance immersion.

It boasts integrated headphones which provide a 3D audio effect, rotational and positional tracking to avoid collisions and injuries.

It is completely wireless, so users can be fully engaged in virtual worlds without being tethered to a computer – you can take your learning outside of the classroom!

The sensor normally sits on the user’s desk. This creates 3D space, allowing for the user to use the Rift while sitting, standing, or walking around the same room – this is perfect for a small classroom, as the Rift is incredibly compact.

For more information, visit: www.oculus.com/

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive is a virtual reality headset developed by HTC and Valve Corporation.

The headset uses room scale tracking technology, allowing the user to move in 3D space and use motion-tracked handheld controllers to interact with the environment.

The Vive has a refresh rate of 90 Hz. The device uses two screens, one per eye, each having a display resolution of 1080×1200. The device uses more than 70 infrared sensors and like the Rift, it has 110 degree field of view.

A lens distance knob moves the Vive lenses further and closer to your face – perfect for students who wear glasses.

Adjustable velcro straps and thick foam padding allow for personalisation and comfort, for any head. The Vive even includes EXTRA velcro and foam for further customisation making The Vive suitable for all ages and sizes.

The front-facing camera allows the software to identify any moving or static objects in a room; this functionality can be used as part of a Chaperone safety system, which will automatically display a feed from the camera to the user to safely guide users from obstacles.

For more information, please visit: www.vive.com/uk/

Samsung Gear VR

Released in 2015, The Samsung Gear VR is a mobile virtual reality headset developed by Samsung Electronics, in collaboration with Oculus, and manufactured by Samsung.

When in use, a compatible Samsung Galaxy device acts as the headset’s display and processor, while the Gear VR unit itself acts as the controller, which contains the field of view, as well as a custom inertial measurement unit, or IMU, for rotational tracking, which connects to the smartphone via micro-USB.

The need for a Samsung Galaxy device can make this headset limiting – but what it lacks in freedom of device it makes up for with its easy-to-use instructions. On your first load, software is automatically downloaded and you are then walked through how to use the device.

The Gear VR headset also includes a touchpad and back button on the side, as well as a proximity sensor to detect when the headset is on to aid its easy use.

On top of this, the Gear VR also boasts additional built-in motion sensors, for better responsiveness and lower lag as well as handy voice recognition – perfect for a teacher delivering a lesson to guide the VR experience.

For more information, please visit: http://www.samsung.com

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard is a virtual reality platform developed by Google for use with a head mount for a any smart phone.

The Cardboard software development kit (SDK) is available for BOTH Android and iOS operating systems. The SDK’s VR View allows developers to embed VR content on the web as well as in their mobile apps.

Named for its fold-out cardboard viewer, the platform is intended as a low-cost system to encourage interest and development in VR applications – and it has proved immensely popular.

Users can either build their own viewer from simple, low-cost components using specifications published by Google, or purchase a pre-manufactured one. This could make the perfect classroom activity – students can not only use the headset, they can also make it! Google provides extra recommendations for large scale manufacturing, and pre-assembled kits based on these plans – the low-budget components are far from limiting. To use the platform, users run Cardboard-compatible applications on their phone, place the phone into the back of the viewer, and view content through the lenses. It comes with an NFC chip that will automatically launch your official Cardboard app when you place your phone into the headset. There’s also a brief and easy-to-understand tutorial demo that shows you briefly how to use it.

For more information, please visit: https://vr.google.com/cardboard/

For more information on Virtual Reality, and how you can hire the technology for yourself, please visit: hirevirtualreality.co.uk and itrhire.co.uk

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