It is the season of testing, which means many of us are experiencing reduced access to tech. It is also likely that students are starting to get a bit squirmier than normal, and creativity may be needed to engage them meaningfully. Here are some ideas to consider – all of which can be accomplished with minimal devices:
1.) Visit explore.org and search “nest” or “birth”. You can easily find a live cam view of animals with their young (or soon to be young). This could be used for a writing prompt, exploration of geography, measurement, and much more. Plus, all it takes is a computer and a projector.
2.) Take a picture a day of a growing plant (or anything going through a spring transformation) and then combine the images into a looping GIF file using makeagif.com. The images could be taken using a classroom computer with webcam, a student or teacher phone, or even a regular old digital camera. You could store the images in a shared folder for people to access when they have the opportunity to create the GIF.
3.) Record students doing stuff – audio or video of students speaking written work, enacting a scene, debating a point, or explaining a concept. For audio, you might try using Vocaroo.com, which will work on any Chromebook or computer with a microphone. For video, you can save space on your device by uploading it to Google Drive (see this guide for simple recording) where you can share it immediately.
No matter how you record, students will be moving and likely taking it a little more seriously because others may hear or see it. It may be a little tricky keeping everyone on task, but it is not impossible.
As always, Ron, Andrew, and I are here to help you plan and/or implement these and any other ed tech ideas you may have. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org