Hello Readers! Today, you are in for a treat from our guest blogger, Julie, The Techie Teacher. She is here today to share a few tech projects you might try for Back to School. We know you'll enjoy the information she has to share.
Are you looking for some FUN, innovative yet E-A-S-Y technology projects you could implement with your students the first month back at school? Do you only have access to laptops or desktops...no iPads? Then check out some of these ideas:
#1: QR Code Kids:
Last year I posted on my FB page this picture of business cards that I came across on Pinterest:
I thought it would be cool to make these with some kiddos and link the QR code to their voice reading a piece of writing aloud. A teacher at one of my schools contacted me and said she wanted to do something with these figures for Back to School Night. She wanted her students to write a little paragraph about their goals for the year that they could read aloud and make into a QR code. Parents who visited her room could scan the codes with a cell phone and listen to their little child's sweet voice. She took their pictures, had them printed and I went into her classroom to help out with the "techie stuff". Really, it is EASY and YOU could totally pull this off on your own. If you haven't heard of the website Vocaroo, go check it out right now. Just don't forget to come back!! The simple interface makes this tool a breeze to use, even for kindergartners! All students have to do is click the red record button, read their paragraph and press stop. They press "Click here to save" when finished:
Then click QR Code:
BOOM! Their QR Code appears on their screen for them to print. Here is an example of their final product:
#2: Classroom Architect:
I have blogged about this site before but I remember my own students really enjoyed this activity. Classroom Architect will allow your students to create their "ideal classroom". When they first load the site they see a blank background:
They use the tools at the top to design and label a layout they think would be most effective:
The only way to save is to save it to a cookie on your computer so I suggest having your students print straight from the site or take a screenshot of their creation. I usually have the students paste a screenshot into a word processing document and type a description of how and why they designed their classroom the way they did. You could even have them write in the voice of a teacher and pretend they are arranging their classroom for their future students. Who knows, you might get some good ideas for your classroom set up! If you are interested in grading this activity, here is a simple rubric I have for FREE in my TpT store. Click the image to take you to the print out :)
#3: All about ME Selfie:
Cameroid is a FUN website students can use to take selfies (if your computers have webcams). Frames include the following:
These are also good to use as writing prompts! For a Back to School activity I would have your students take a selfie using one of the frames or scenes and save it to their desktop. Then they could add their picture to the top of a word processing document and type a paragraph telling about who they are as a student. If you are a Google apps school, then it could be cute to create one Google Slideshow to share with your entire class. Each child could have one slide to decorate with their selfie and a few facts about themselves.
The slideshow your class creates could then be embedded on your class website/blog for parents to see!
#4: Setting Goals:
Speechable is another EASY, yet fun website I have blogged about before. Students can upload a picture of themselves or take a selfie with the webcam or Cameroid (the site I mentioned above) and upload it to Speechable. They can create a speech bubble that states their goal and then add their own drawings. These would be super cute to hang up in your classroom as a reminder for your students to keep working towards their goals.
#5: 3 Facts and a Fib:
I loved playing this game with just a paper and pencil that students would use to write down three facts about themselves and one fib. We would read the sentences aloud and the class would guess which of the four statements was the fib. Well, this activity could easily go digital using the website CheckThis. Students can upload a selfie and write 3 facts and one fib as the answer choices to a "poll". CheckThis basically turns student work into a website. Other students can visit the website and make their guess. The "poll" feature will not show the correct answer but will show the students how many votes each statement has received. After everyone has voted on each website, each child can reveal the correct answer.
If I were to do this activity, I would have the students submit their website url to me via a Google Form OR paste their link to an editable Google Doc. Your students do NOT have to have a google account to access and add (only text) to a Google Doc if you change the settings to "Anyone with a link can edit". This would be a great way to create a running list of the student websites so others can visit later on. Word of advice: Once students paste their link to a doc, change the setting to "Anyone with the link can VIEW". When the students start clicking on each others' links, this will ensure that nothing accidentally gets deleted :)
Good luck as you head back to school!
Thanks for joining us, Julie. For more tech ideas, be sure to check out Julie's blog, The Techie Teacher, here.