Wednesday, 4 November 2015

An exciting TeachMeet in East London hosted by Stirling Primary School

Submitted by Fiona Beal
If you have ever attended a TeachMeet you will know how exciting it is to hear everybody's 3-5 minute ideas. TeachMeets are a fantastic opportunity for meaningful and enjoyable professional development. East London has been very consistent with their TeachMeets (hosted either by Stirling Primary or Clarendon Primary) and on October 27th Stirling Primary hosted its annual TM starting at 14:30 in the afternoon. They had 50 registrations and lucky draw prizes to the value of a few R1000s!

EL TeachMeet 2015 (3)
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There were a record number of presenters at the TeachMeet all sharing wonderful ideas and applications suitable for the classroom.

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Here are some of the presentation ideas that were shared at the TeachMeet

1) Drik Greeff spoke about the Viva-App
An Afrikaans Dictionary app is now available free for smartphones and tablet computers. It was launched by the Virtual Institute for African ( VivA ) in collaboration with the Atterbury Trust. It is known as the VivA app and is available free on the Google Play Store and the Apple iStore. The dictionary portal enables users to dictionary meanings, translations and synonyms of Afrikaans words.
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2) Drik Greeff – marking solutions with Excel
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3) Drik Greeff spoke n Google Expeditions and Google Cardboard

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Dirk showed this YouTube video called “Expeditions: Take your students to places a school bus can't” as shown below.



4) Emma Fourie spoke on Virtual Reality with Google Cardboard
Google Cardboard is a virtual reality (VR) platform developed by Google for use with a fold-out cardboard mount for a mobile phone. It is intended as a low-cost system to encourage interest and development in VR and VR applications. It provides a way to experience virtual reality in a simple, fun, and affordable way...iImmersive experiences for everyone. Students can visit places they have never been to and experience them as though they were actually there.

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5) Lorraine Richter spoke on Matific
Matific is a Maths website found at https://www.matific.com. Matific takes a unique approach to teaching K to 6 Maths using hands-on and interactive mini-games, called episodes. These immersive bite-sized apps for tablets and personal computers are based on a modular and progressive spiral learning system. It is CAPS-approved. Matific is free for teachers when using the website and for all students that are logged on - on computers or iPads - while the teacher is logged on. If a teacher wants to set homework or students want to use Matific at home, parents need to get a parent account which costs R120 per year.

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6) Megan Skelly spoke on Digital Citizenship with Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media has a K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum available from https://goo.gl/f7tLhW.  Their materials are designed to empower students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world. You can access their K-12 curriculum in three ways (see their website for more detail).

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7) Rose-Ann Rothman spoke on Educreations
 Educreations (https://www.educreations.com/) is an exciting app that transforms your iPad into a recordable whiteboard. It records your voice, handwriting and also allows you to insert pictures to produce your own personal video lessons that you and your students can share online. Annotate, animate, and narrate nearly any type of content as you explain any concept. Teachers can create short instructional videos and share them instantly with students, or ask students to show what they know and help friends learn something new.

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This video, shown below, shows how Educreations works:



8) Megan Skelly spoke on Flipping the Classroom with Numeric
Numeric is a non-profit organisation based in Cape Town. Their mission is to help young South Africans excel in Maths, and also to train world-class Maths teachers.They do this by running after school programs, a teacher training academy and courses for teachers and university students.They make use of technology, and Khan Academy in particular. As part of their mission they have been mapping all the Khan Academy videos to the South African CAPS standards. They started with Maths videos for high school, but have now moved on to primary school and are looking at other subjects.You access the videos via their website, Numeric.org.

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Best is - If you struggle with bandwidth, you can even buy a flashdrive with all the Khan Academy videos organised by grade, subject and term. The content is open source, so you only pay for the flash drive and postage. Their website has the details.

9) Mary Lou Berndt spoke on Google Keep
Google Keep is a syncing note taking application developed by Google that connects to Google Drive.  Google Keep is available as a mobile app for the Android and iOS mobile operating systems and also as a web application.  It also supports photo notes, voice notes, and checklists. Google Keep lets you quickly take and save those notes, photos, voice memos, and checklists to Google Drive, and then access them again on any other web-connected device you use. It's ideal for quick note-taking on the go, anyone who appreciates simple, fast note-taking tools or to-do apps, or for saving notes on the desktop that you know you'll need on your Android phone, like shopping lists, addresses, phone numbers, checklists and to-do lists, or conference call codes. Google Keep supports Google Apps accounts.

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10) Interesting websites by Claire Dean
Clair spoke on three interesting websites for teachers and students to visit:

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a) Maths Dictionary for kids http://www.amathsdictionaryforkids.com/ 
The original A Maths Dictionary for Kids is an animated, interactive online math dictionary for students which explains over 630 common mathematical terms and math words in simple language with definitions, examples, acivities, practice and calculators. A Maths Dictionary for Kids Quick Reference is a device friendly html version with definitions and detailed examples for over 930 math words and terms.

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b) Blockly Games https://blockly-games.appspot.com/
Blockly Games is a series of educational games that teach programming. They are designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer programming. By the end of these games, players are ready to use conventional text-based languages. Blockly Games is a Google project to encourage tomorrow's programmers. The games are designed to be self-paced and self-teaching. One can to use Blockly Games both inside and outside the classroom. All code is open source - see the developer's website for more info or to download zip files for offline use. Blockly says on their website, "Please give us your feedback as we continue to grow."
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c) Tik Toki timelines http://www.tiki-toki.com/ 
There are loads of timeline makers out there. What's so special about Tiki-Toki? Tiki-Toki works in your browser. Sign up for a free account and you can start creating a timeline. No other online timeline maker allows you to view your timelines in 3D. Tiki-Toki provides integration with YouTube and Vimeo for videos. Each timeline you create has its own unique URL that you can send to friends or colleagues. Tiki-Toki allows you to create different categories for stories (events) and colour code them. You can also get  friends or colleagues to contribute to your timelines.

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11) Megan Skelly spoke on 'Made with Code' 
https://www.madewithcode.com/

On the 'Made with Code' website you’ll find:
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12) Teneille McGregor from Stirling Primary spoke on Quizzlet
www.quizlet.com
Quizlet is a free website providing learning tools for students, including flashcards, study and game modes. It was created by high school sophomore Andrew Sutherland in 2005 and now contains over 40 million study sets. All of the material is user-generated. You start by creating your own study sets with terms and definitions. Next, you can add images, copy and paste from another source, or use Quizlet's built-in auto-define feature to speed up the creating process.

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13) Ricky Birch spoke on Seesaw Student Driven Digital Portfolios
http://web.seesaw.me/
Seesaw is a digital portfolio that empowers learners to document what they are learning at school. Students capture learning with photos and videos of physical work, or by adding digital creations. Everything is kept organized for students and teachers. Teachers can invite parents to Seesaw so they get an immediate window into what their children are learning about at school. Seesaw empowers students of any age to independently document what they are learning at school.

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This video, shown below, shows how Seesaw works:



14) Smanatha de Bruin spoke on 'Úseful Apps and Websites’
These are seven of the 36 apps mentioned on the presentation:

1) Quizlet - app or website: www.quizlet.com 
Millions of flashcards, tests & study games for any topic and age

2) Kahoot website: www.getkahoot.comCreate, play and share fun learnings games - any subject

3) Spelling Free App https://goo.gl/CT38zr 
Personalise lists, test, practice

4) Socrative app http://www.socrative.com/ 
This is a testing app. Socrative empowers you to engage and assess your students as learning happens. Through the use of real-time questioning, result aggregation, and visualization, you have instant insight into levels of understanding so you can use class time to better collaborate and grow as a community of learners.

5) Remarkable app https://goo.gl/3GfYjp
Teacher receives work, marks and grades it!

6) See Saw app http://web.seesaw.me/
Student digital portfolio

7) News-o-Matic app & website press4kids.comDaily news reading for kids

The lucky draw
During and after the meeting the Lucky Draw took place. Sponsors were very generous in supporting this occasion.

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This was a bumper TeachMeet with so many exciting tools shown by the presenters. Thank you to Claire Dean for sharing the Dropbox folder of presentations with SchoolNet so that we could write this post.

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