Communication Tools for your Homeschool

Communication Tools for Homeschool Famlies

Episode 74: Communication Tools for your Homeschool

Here are the 5 communication tools mentioned in this episode. Listen to the episode to hear more about them.

All these are free or have a free version that is all you are likely to need.

1. GroupMe

Use the GroupMe app when you need to communicate with a group of people.

2. WhatsApp

WhatsApp can be used to message and call people all over the world.

3. Marco Polo

Marco Polo is an asynchronous video app that makes it easy to send and receive video messages.

4. Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing tool. The free version allows you up to 40 minutes at a time, and up to 100 people on a call!

Here is a video showing you how to use it

5. Slack

Slack is a messaging app where you can create channels for specific topics. It is a good tool to use when not everyone in the group wants to get all the messages all the time.

Thie show sponsor is FundaFunda Academy. The classes mentioned in this episode are

  • Visual Literacy
  • Computer Applications
  • Health

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Communication Tools for Homeschoolers #technology

Project Based Learning Techie Style

Project Based Learning Techie Style

Episode 73: Project Based Learning Techie Style

What is Project-Based Learning?

Project-Based Learning is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.

From pblworks.org

In the episode, I explain in more detail what PBL is, and I provide some examples. in addition to the examples I mention, you can find more ideas for projects here.

How to add tech to project-based learning

1. Online research that can include

  • videos/documentaries
  • online articles
  • interviews conducted through video conferencing
  • web-cams eg of animals in their habitats
  • Google Streetview / Google earth

2. Online presentation that can include

Be sure to listen to the whole episode for further explanation of how to do this with children of all ages.

Visit our sponsor FundaFunda Academy and check out their online classeses. Lots of options for all ages! Classes often include online games, interactive websites, videos and techie projects.

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Project Based Learning with Technology

Free Tools to create slideshows

Free Tools to Create Slideshows

Episode 72: Free Tools to Create Slideshows

In this episode, I talk about the following free tools to create slideshows. Listen to the episode for more detail about each of them.

  • Powerpoint / Keynote
  • Macs come with Keynote and many PCs will have Powerpoint on them when you buy them. These are both very powerful and have lots of features.

  • Google Slides
  • Google Slides allows people to collaborate and work on the same slideshow. It also allows one to leave comments.

  • Prezi
  • Prezi has a unique look and feel and allows you to zoom in and our of different areas of your presentation.

  • Adobe Spark Presentation Maker
  • This tool easily allows one to search for copyright-free photos online to add to the presentation

  • Emaze
  • Emaze has a very cool modern look and it is very intuitive to use. You can also download the presentation to use offline or you can share the link.

  • Canva
  • Canva also allows you to link to your presentation or download it. It also offers the ability to make presenter notes

And visit our sponsor FundaFunda Academy and check out their online Computer Applications class for 7th – 12th graders. It covers most of these slideshow tools and many more tools your teen needs to learn how to use.

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If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Free Tools to Create Slideshows

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips

71: Virtual Field Trips

In this episode, I talk to Jayda Justus, aka The History Mom about virtual field trips.

Jayda is a writer and blogger at The History Mom, where she reviews historical sites and
experiences for families. These reviews provide helpful tips and reading lists to enhance visits
for children and families and encourage parents to make history sightseeing part of their
vacations.

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy incorporates virtual field trips into their online high school US History class as well as their history web-based unit studies for 4th – 8th grade.

Favorite places to go virtually

 
State-run entities:

Historic Homes:

Museums:

Presidential Sites/Libraries:

National Park Service:

International:

YouTube:

Apps: 

You can find more ideas in this guest blog post by Jayda on this guest post on TechSavvy Homeschool blog.

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If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Virtual Field Trips

Free Online Vocabulary Games

Free Online Vocabulary Game

70: Free Online Vocabulary Games

 

Here are the free online vocabulary games mentioned in this episode. Listen to the episode to learn about each one.

1. Vocabulary Spelling City

Vocabulary Spelling City is for students up to middle school and includes games like Hangmouse, a version of Hangman.

2. Knoword

Knoword is for teens and older and even the ‘easy’ level is challenging as you don’t get choices but must give the term with only the first letter as a hint. Stats and gamification make this fun.

3. Vocabulary.com

Vocabulary.com is available as a website or an app (the app does have a small cost). Students can either just play on their own, or you can create a teacher account and assign specific packs of word.

4. Freerice

Freerice is also available as a website or an app, and this app is free too. You can choose from 5 levels and you earn rice that is sent to countries where there is extreme hunger. You can also earn badges.

Show sponsor FundaFunda Academy incorporates some of these games in their Writing Mechanics online class.

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Free Online Vocabulary Games for all ages

Digital Portfolios

Digital Portfolios for homeschoolers

69: Digital Portfolios

 

These are the tools to create digital portfolios discussed in this episode.

1. Padlet

Padlet is like a giant pinboard and makes it easy to pin graphics, videos, and text.

2. Google slides

Google Slides allows one to scroll through slides to view students’ work.

3. Seesaw

Seesaw is an website designed specifically for digital portfolios. It is suitable for younger students as it has very tight privacy features.

4. Pathbrite

Pathbrite offers similar options to seesaw but without the privacy features, so better for older students who might want to send the link as part of a scholarship application or when applying for a job.

5. Build a website

Students could use free website building tools, or build a website from scratch to showcase their work. Here is an example of one my son created – Jason’s portfolio.

If your children don’t have the techie skills to create a digital portfolio, consider enrolling them in show sponsor FundaFunda Academy’s Computer Applications online class.

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Digital Portfolios #homeschooling #technology

Homeschool Moms Can Be Gamers

Homeschool Moms can be Gamers

68: Homeschool Moms Can Be Gamers

 

Don’t imagine gamers as teen boys who play first-person shooter games and one has to drag away from the computer. That’s a stereotype – homeschool moms can be gamers!

Merriam-Webster defines a gamer as ” a person who plays games especially : a person who regularly plays computer or video games”.

There are some many different types of games that there is really something for everyone!

Why should homeschool moms be gamers?

 
1. Way to keep up your techie skills and learn new ones

2. Good for your brain – practice problem-solving

3. Stress reliever

4. Something you can do WITH your kids. Create shared experiences trying to beat a game. Let your children be the teacher and show you how to play. Discuss Video Games as an art form.

** FundaFunda Academy, our sponsor, has a Visual Literacy class and as part of that class students study video games!

5. Something to do with your husband

Games mentioned in this episode:

  1. Framed iPad app
  2. FIFA soccer
  3. Wii Sports
  4. EA Sports
  5. Escape from Pompeii
  6. West of Loathing (Switch)
  7. Lemmings
  8. Angry Birds

Be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Homeschool moms can be gamers #homeschoolgaming #homeschoolmoms

Apps and websites to help students access reading materials and educational videos

Apps and Websites to Help Students Access Reading Materials and Educational Videos

67: Apps and websites to help students access reading materials and educational videos with Dr. Monica Burns

 

Dr Monica Burns

In this episode, we welcome Dr. Monica Burns to share her favorite apps and websites to help students access reading materials.

Dr. Monica Burns is an EdTech and Curriculum consultant, author and former New York City public school teacher. She visits schools across the country to support PreK-20 teachers to make technology integration meaningful and sustainable. Monica’s website ClassTechTips.com helps educators place “tasks before apps” by promoting deeper learning with technology.

Dr Burns’ favorite websites for reading materials

  • Epic: Currently $7.99 a month and there is a free 30-day trial
  • Newsela: free
  • ReadingIQ: Currently $7.99 a month and there is a free 30-day trial

Find more ideas from Dr. Burns here.

Dr. Burns’ favorites websites for educational videos

All these resources are free

One of Dr. Burns’ favorite tools is Adobe Spark because it allows students to easily create graphics, videos and web pages. Read more about it in her guide.

Dr. Monica Burns’ Blog & Podcast
Blog – ClassTechTips.com/blog
Podcast – ClassTechTips.com/podcast

Follow Dr. Burns on Social Media
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram

Books by Dr. Monica Burns

Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom

40 Ways to Inject Creativity into Your Classroom with Adobe Spark

 

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If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

 

Apps and Websites to Help Students Access Reading Materials and Educational Videos

Digital to-do lists for you and your children

Digital To-Do Lists for you and your children

66: Digital to-do lists for you and your children

 

Although there is nothing wrong with using paper “to-do” lists, digital to-do lists can be so much more convenient and flexible. Using them can help you and your children organize your lives.

Here are 3 different options to consider using:

1. Notes on your phone

When you are on the move, using the notes app on an iPhone (and something similar on other phones) is an easy way to see what you need to do. On the iPhone, you can even turn your list into a check list. Other options would be to delete items as you complete them.

2. Todoist

Todoist is available both as a website and an app.

Here are some features I really like about it:

  • Set up projects with tasks – and even sub-tasks (80 projects)
  • See the calendar view
  • Can prioritize tasks
  • Can set recurring tasks
  • Collaborate with up to 5 people
  • Extension to set up tasks right from your email(outlook/gmail) or to turn a webpage into a task (Chrome/Firefox)

3. Trello

Trello is the tool I use to organize my life and we also use it to set assignments for our Science Olympiad team. Listen to the episode for more details but here are some highlights:

  • Available os a website or an app
  • Unlimted personal boards and 10 team boards
  • Boards are divided into lists (ie ways of grouping tasks) and then lists are divided into cards. An example, you could have lists for each day of the week and then cards detailing tasks for each of those days.
  • Set up checklists on cards to keep tabs on when things are completed by your children
  • 1 free power-up per board – recurring tasks is the one I usually choose
  • You get a unique email that lets you add cards to boards when you send an email to them ie you can easily forward something that needs action straight from your inbox to your Trello board.
  • As long as your kids have access to your computer they can use it – even if they don’t have their own emails

You can find examples of Trello boards used for to-do lists on the show notes for our episode 5 Ways Homeschool Parents Can Use Trello.

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If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook

Digital To Do Lists for you and your children

Free Online Anatomy Games

Free Online Anatomy Games

65: Free Online Anatomy Games

 

Here are the online anatomy games mentioned in the podcast.These games were shared with me by the authors of 3 of FundaFunda Academy’s anatomy unit studies. And right now until 15th January, you can get 50% off all their regular-priced web-based unit studies with code JAN2020

Golden Hour Game
Be part of a medical response team to someone with a head injury and learn about the brain.

Code Fred: Survival Mode This is a game that teaches about the endocrine system and how our bodies react to danger.

Time Zone X: Immune System – Put in the correct order various historical events related to the immune system

Whack a Bone – players first progress through 3 levels which get progressively harder to identify and “whack” the bones.
Poke a Muscle – this is similar to Whack a Bone but relates to muscles.

Not quite as fun as these last two, but the game at Realbodywork covers the organs of the body – It is basically just a “match up” game. Similarly Purpose games has a number of games where you get a list of items and must click on the correct location in the body.

Digestix – this is a cool game about the digestive system

Solve the Outbreak – this is a game created by the CDC about diseases and epidemics.

Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss future episodes.

And be sure to join our Facebook group where we can talk about this together.

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to the show and give a rating and maybe even a review!

Contact Meryl via email on meryl@mediaangels.com or connect with her on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook