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Thursday, June 16, 2016

EdTech Tips: DocHub, Wordclouds.com, and Toony Tool

Lucky me, I am a twelve-month employee, so I will be busy this summer helping new teachers in their on boarding process, while working with my returning teachers. Therefore, I hope to be posting throughout the summer!

How often do you get asked to fill out a PDF questionnaire for your principal or school district? If you work in my district, it happens all the time! To make your life easier you should check out DocHub. This Google Drive app allows you to easily edit a PDF within Google Drive. I recently used it to add checkmarks to my annual evaluation before sending it to my principal. You will love this nifty tool. 

I have been a big fan of word clouds for many years. I feel like I go in and out of love with them, and you can guess that I am currently in love with them. I love the way a word cloud can hook students into a topic or unit they are going to learn. Many word cloud sites exist, but I am a big fan of Wordclouds.com because you can customize the shape of the word cloud, the amount of words, and the orientation of the words without much effort. 

Students can use their higher order thinking skills to predict what they will learn about by analyzing the shape of the word cloud, as well as which words are bigger (show up more in the document). I love using word clouds with my ELL students since they can provide accessible entry points into assignments and projects. 

My final tool is something I am really loving...Toony Tool. A user can create custom cartoons and memes without much effort. Memes are a great way to begin or end a class using a little bit of humor. I like making memes that have something to do with what we are studying...if a student gets what makes the meme funny, they likely understand the concept presented. A student can also make cartoon strips showing understanding of different concepts with Toony Tool. Instead of using a multiple choice assessment, how about having a student demonstrate the meaning of a concept by making a simple cartoon or cartoon strip. 

I hope you enjoy my latest post...message me if you have any questions or suggestions.

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