December 19, 2014

Cool Tools Column by Richard Byrne

Classroom Management Tricks: Timers and a tool to control noise | Cool Tools

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As every teacher knows, good classroom management can make the difference between a great class experience and a poor one. While technology doesn’t replace the need for a solid approach to classroom management, tech tools, including these, can certainly help.

Streamline Your Workflow: Five Time-Saving Tips

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Advice from Richard Byrne on streamlining tasks, from managing email via spreadsheets to harnessing IFTTT (If This Then That).

Eight Apps to Support Early Reading and Writing | Cool Tools

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It’s never too early to encourage reading. Richard Byrne shares his picks for tools that young readers and writers can use with or without an adult. Includes screencasts demoing three applications: Building Language for Literacy, Reading Bear, and Maily, an iOS app for letter writing.

Pleased to Meet You: Web apps for getting to know your students before fall | Cool Tools

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School’s out. But before we know it, we’ll be thinking about next year. To jazz up your blog and revitalize your summertime communication with parents and students, check out these fine tools.

Apps for Outdoor Learning | Cool Tools

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With spring in the air, students typically clamor to get outside—and teachers would often like to follow. April is an ideal time of year to explore outdoor learning opportunities, and these apps and sites can lead the way.

Cool Ways to Use Google to Inspire Your Students to Create Dynamic Worlds

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Here are some practical applications of how teachers and librarians can use Google’s Maps and Street View to create lesson plans and assignments on virtual tours of the streets of Paris, or map out some Civil War battles.

Multimedia Assessments: Tools for making dynamic audio-and video-based tests

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Video, audio, and images can help students gain deeper understanding of a question. Previously, struggling readers might have had assessment questions read aloud to him or her. Now, multimedia tools allow these students to take tests independently.

Cool Tools for Featuring Student Book Reviews

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There’s nothing like a book recommendation from a friend. Encourage students to share their opinions by creating a student-driven book review site. Richard Byrne shows you how in the accompanying screencasts.

Animation Made Easy: The best tools for student projects, from stop motion to GIFs

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With accessible tools, you and your students can create your own simple animations to convey powerful ideas. Screencast tutorials will have you up and running with the latest “Cool Tools” from Richard Byrne, SLJ columnist and blogger at “Free Technology for Teachers.”

Resources for Curating Video Collections and Creating Custom Courses

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A good video can be a powerful tool for helping students understand new concepts. The challenge isn’t locating quality instructional clips—but rather organizing your selections. Making playlists in YouTube is one strategy, but there are better options. Try these tools for organizing and creating video courses.