Have you heard about the Merge Cube?

Teachers are going crazy over the Merge Cube at Walmart.  You can find them in the electronics department.  Explore Augmented Reality with the Merge Cube on clearance for $1 at your local Walmart.  The regular cost can vary between $5 to $15.  Search  on Twitter and follow @MergeVR.  Check here to see if you can find any near you. For more information on Merge Cube go to https://mergevr.com/cube.

Common Sense Graphite

Did you know the Common Sense Media has a website for teachers? It is called Graphite. It is a site by teachers, for teachers that help you find the best educational technology resources and learn the best practices for teaching. See which apps, games, and websites the editors selected for the Best Learning Tools of 2015. Find Out What Made the Cut! The best apps, the best games, the best websites, and hidden gems are revealed.

Graphite is a free platform from Common Sense Education that saves you time by making it easy to discover the best apps, games, and websites for your classroom. With thousands of reviews of tools such as Edmodo, Kahoot, ClassDojo, and LightSail, our community of educators take the guesswork out of finding innovative ways to transform your teaching practice.

Graphite is changing the way educators discover the best edtech tools by providing reviews written by teachers like you and experts in the field. On Graphite, you can learn best practices for teaching and connect with our growing community of educators. Enjoy and expand your love of teaching with Graphite.

If you have not checked out Common Sense Media, you should check it out here. It is the nation’s leading independent non-profit organization dedicated to empowering kids to thrive in a world of media and technology. Families, educators, and policymakers turn to Common Sense for unbiased information and trusted advice to help them learn how to harness the positive power of media and technology for all kids.

Apps for Student Portfolios

Seesaw is an app that is called a Learning Journal. It is available for both iOS and Google Play. Students and the teacher can share the student’s work, photos, videos, drawings or anything from the camera roll with their parents or to create a portfolio of the student’s work. Seesaw consists of two different applications. Seesaw: The Learning Journal for teachers and students, and Seesaw Parent Access for parents. Teachers, students, and parents can use Seesaw on iOS and Android devices, Chromebooks and most other computers on the web. The class app can be used by both the teacher and the student. Parents only see their child’s work. Students can log in to their class with a QR code, text, or an email or google account if they use that. Students just scan their classroom QR code and get started. No usernames or passwords to forget. The Seesaw Parent app provides parents access to their child’s journal. It is available for free on iOS and Android. Teachers and students can use our iOS app, Android app, Chromebook app, or the Seesaw website on Chrome or Firefox browsers. Parents can access their child’s journal on the Seesaw website using any computer with a web browser. Parents can also receive SMS or email notifications about new items. Nothing is automatically shared without teacher approval.
Seesaw journals are organized by student and subject area. Journals are accessible from anywhere, on any iOS device or the Seesaw website. Teachers approve new items before they are added. One educator said,
“The introduction of the Seesaw app on our ten iPads in the classroom has been a complete ‘game changer’ for me as an educator. The application saves me countless hours, by not having to hassle with embed codes and files from other products we use. Sharing with families is now a few simple clicks, rather than multiple transfers between web pages and my classroom iPads.”

FreshGrade is another app for making learning visible. You can
capture, document and communicate learning via digital portfolios. There are three apps: one each for the teacher, student, and parent. The FreshGrade app allows teachers to quickly and easily capture artifacts of student learning while it happens – through pictures, videos, audio recordings, and anecdotal notes. Instantly tag individual students or groups of students, which automatically posts captured learning in the individual student ePortfolios and can be sent to parents or guardians for review. Teachers will also be able to send class-wide announcements, manage student profiles and monitor ePortfolio activity (parent views, comments, etc.).

Using the FreshGrade Parent App and FreshGrade Student App, students and parents are provided secure access to view, comment and even upload additional artifacts to the ePortfolio.

Engaged parents have a direct and positive impact on the successful development of a child. FreshGrade is empowering meaningful communication and collaboration between teachers, students, and parents through collaborative student digital portfolios. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports that FreshGrade, “makes real-time learning assessment as easy as snapping selfies.”

These are only two of many apps available for student portfolios.  Here is a link to a site where these apps are listed with others.