Improve Your Grammar While Writing Emails! Mini Edtech Function Review on Grammarly

Grammarly

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What this Resource Includes:
Writing Platform, Grammar Check, Plagiarism Checker, Citation Generator

Bonus Points:
Grammar Learning Material, Online Thesaurus, Online Forum for Grammar Questions

Subjects:
Grammar

Grade Level:
3-12+

Audience:
Learners

Platform:
Google Chrome Extension

Price:
Freemium-Monthly Subscription

What it does well:
Grammarly is a Google chrome extension that can check your grammar while performing daily internet tasks like writing an email or a blog. Downloading the Grammarly Google Chrome extension will allow the program to check a user’s grammar for any website that has a writing field. Users can also open up a word processing document in Chrome and write freely while Grammarly suggests corrections automatically. This writing platform is able to catch more grammar mistakes than most word processors. For example, it does a really good job of informing writers when to use commas. In addition to every grammar suggestion is a small explanation for why a word or phrase is grammatically incorrect. Writers can learn from their mistakes as they are writing. Grammarly also provides an online grammar handbook for writers who want to learn more about how to improve their grammar.
Link:
https://www.grammarly.com/

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Learning Math and Science through Simulations. Mini Edtech Function Review on PhET Interactive Simulations

PhET Interactive Simulations
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What this Resource Includes:
Science and Math Simulations, Suggested List of Learning Goals, Lesson Ideas & Activities

Subjects:
Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Math

Grade Level:
K-12+

Audience:
Learners & Teachers

Platform:
Web-based

Price:
Free

Bonus Points:
Each Simulation can be downloaded and used offline, Simulations are designed through educational research

What it does well:
PhET Interactive Simulations is a learning resource from the University of Colorado that has a library of science and math simulations. These simulations allows anyone to learn about specific science or math concepts through direct interaction. Some of these concepts include: sound and waves, quantum phenomena, balloons and static electricity, and density. Users can experiment in the simulation environment and observe the reactions produced. The PhET simulations are accompanied by useful teacher resources such as a list of topics the simulation covers, sample learning goals, teaching ideas and activities. Teachers can submit their own teaching ideas and activities for each simulation which can be added to the website. One interesting aspect of the site is how every simulation can be downloaded to a computer, CD, or USB. Making it convenient for teachers, who can use them in classrooms that do not have an internet connection. These simulations were designed to be used in the classroom and have been tested for educational effectiveness. The testing process include student interviews and observation of simulation use in the classroom.  All simulations are free to use and the website even includes the source code for each simulation.
Link:
http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/category/new

Learn Programming Logic with this Lego Mindstorms Game. Mini Edtech Function Review on Fix the Factory

Fix the Factory

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What this Resource Includes: 24 Game Levels
Subjects: Programming
Grade Level: 3-12+
Audience: Learners
Platform: Web-based, Android, iPhone & iPad
Price: Free
Bonus Points: Excellent Graphics, Builds problem-solving skills, Game challenges players to complete levels in less moves and time
What it does well: Fix the Factory is a game that teaches players the basics of programming logic. The game is completely free and available on most devices. Players are able to give commands to a robot called EV3RSTORM from Lego Mindstorms to help it navigate each stage. These commands include moving in different directions, turning around, and picking up objects. The goal of each stage is to pick up a battery pack and bring it to a specific area. There are 24 stages total that become more difficult to navigate and complete. As players advance into the game, they gain access to more commands for EV3RSTORM. Players can receive higher scores for each stage based on how few moves, time, attempts, and errors it takes to complete a stage.

Fix the Factory is a great way to introduce kids to basic programming logic. It also encourages kids to think logically and build problem-solving skills in order to complete each stage. Additionally, the game’s graphics look excellent and does a great job of drawing the player into the game.
Link: http://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms/games

An Online Library of Educational Videos & Smart Memes. Mini Edtech Function Review on Curiosity

Curiosity

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What this Resource Includes: Educational Videos, Smart Memes
Subjects: Art, Business, DIY, Education, Physical Education, Math, Medicine, Music, Science, Social Studies
Grade Level: 6-12+
Audience: Learners
Platform: Web-based
Price: Free
Bonus Points: Easy to share Smart Memes, Create and customize educational video playlists, Ideal resource for flipped or blended classrooms
What it does well: Curiosity
is a great resource for finding educational videos on a variety of subjects. These videos are hand-selected from a wide variety of educational websites, YouTube channels, and other resources. What it does really well is organize educational videos into playlists with specific learning goals. The most interesting aspect of the Curiosity library is their collection of Smart Memes. These Smart Memes are images embed with interesting facts that, when clicked on, leads to an educational video  where users can learn more about the topic. Curiosity would be ideal for teachers who flip or blend their classrooms. They can find the educational videos they need from reliable resources. Teachers can also create their own playlists to share with their students. The site provides a safe learning environment. Teachers can allow their students to explore the site without fearing that they will find inappropriate content.

Link: https://curiosity.com/

An Academic Writing Platform That Helps You Research, Write, and Format Academic Papers. Mini Edtech Function on ComWriter

Comwriter

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What this Resource Includes: Writing Templates, Research Material, Writer Dashboard, Citation Creator, Bibliography Creator
Subjects: Academic Writing
Grade Level: 12+
Audience: Learners
Platform: Web-based
Price: Freemium
What it does well: ComWriter is a very handy online tool for anyone who needs help in writing academic papers like dissertations, a thesis, or research papers. What it does best is help the writer structure their thoughts with writing outlines. The outlines separate the different parts of a research paper like cover, preliminaries, body, and addenda. Each part is collapsible enabling writers to focus on one part at a time. Within each part writers can add in sections like headings, paragraphs, long quotes, lists, and images. Writing academic papers involve research other literature and referencing these other resources. ComWriter helps writers find academic resources for their paper through their Public Library. It can also easy create bibliographies and cite any resources that writers may use in their academic papers. Finally this writing platform allows users to format their paper using predefined or user customized writing styles. The predefined writing styles include APA, Harvard, and MLA.
Bonus Points: Writer’s Dashboard with printing options, due date tracker, and word count progress bar.
Link: http://comwriter.com

Learn New Languages by Reading News Articles. Mini Edtech Function Review on Lingua.ly

Lingua.ly

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What this Resource Includes: News Articles, Quizzes, Vocabulary Word Bank, International Dictionary
Subjects: English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Turkish
Grade Level: 3-12+
Audience: Learners
Platform: Web-based, iPhone & iPad, Android
Price: Free
What it does well: Lingua.ly is an app that uses the learner’s interests to tech then a new language. The learning materials are actual articles plucked from the internet. Users can read an article and touch words to receive their English translation. These words can also be added to a vocabulary bank to practice learning in the future. There are many articles to choose from and users can select the topic of their choice (business, education, etc.). The articles are a short reading perfect for learning on the go. Also included are vocabulary quizzes for additional language learning.
Bonus Points: Personal Learning, Interest-driven Learning, Adaptive Learning, Mobile Learning
Link: http://lingua.ly/m/

Edtech Function Review: Glean, The Video Lesson Library that Tracks Viewership. Great for Flipped Classrooms!

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Subjects: Math & Science
Subject Topics: Algebra, Geometry, Biology, Chemistry
What this Resource Includes: Video Lesson Library, Teacher Dashboard
Grade Level: 6-12
Resource Audience: Teachers & Learners
Platform: Web-based
Price: Free
Useful for these teaching practices: Flipped Classrooms, Blended Learning
Bonus Points: Very mobile friendly! Nice Progress Visualization

Today I will be reviewing Glean, a website with an online library of math and science video lessons. What interested me most about Glean was their Insight functionality which is able to track if students viewed a teacher-assigned video and show which parts were replayed. The site has a collection of math and science videos from various online sources (Khan Academy, YouTube, etc.). When users are watching a video they are given a list of recommended videos from other teachers on the site that cover the same topic. This gives them plenty of learning options.

What it does well:

Glean has a useful tagging system that easily identifies what learning concepts are covered in a video. They are also tagged with the Common Core standards the videos meet. Teachers can assign videos to their students by sharing a link. They are able to see if their students have viewed the video in real time through a live progress bar. The progress bar is filled in with blue to show how much of the video a student viewed once. Teachers can also see if a student has viewed parts of a video multiple times. The live progress bar visualizes this by filling in sections of the bar green where the video section was viewed more than once. This is a great way for teachers to view all their students’ progress easily.

What it can do better:

For now the lessons cover mostly math and science subjects. It would be great to see video lessons on subjects like social studies, grammar, and more. Also, it would be beneficial for teachers to be able to add questions to every video they assign and receive private feedback from students. This would make video lesson assignments more interactive and engaging.

What it comes down to:

Glean is ideal for math and science teachers to use, especially for those who blend or flip their classrooms. It’s also an ideal resource for students who may need extra help understanding math and science concepts. Glean is free to use and accessible from any device. It is a video lesson library that is definitely worth perusing.

What do you think about Glean? Would you use it in the classroom? Sound off in the comments below! If you would like to see more Flipped Classroom Edtech Resources then check out the Pinterest board below:

Until next time, keep learning everyone.