App of the Week: Shakespeare for the iPad generation

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from Common Sense Graphite. To read the full app review, click here.
shakespeare-in-bits

What’s It Like? Within Shakespeare in Bits: Romeo & Juliet, the full text of the play is featured side-by-side with an animated reenactment. While the style of animation is somewhat simplistic, there are professional actors voicing the parts. Within the text, simply tapping any highlighted words offers a more modern-day term. Tabs at the top of the text let students move easily between the text, section notes, a synopsis, and their own notes. A navigation bar at the bottom of the screen shows all options — viewing by scene, examining characters, reading analysis, and reviewing notes.

Graphite Rating: 4/5

Price: $15…Read More

App of the Week: Skaffl

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated by the editors of Common Sense Education, which helps educators find the best ed-tech tools, learn best practices for teaching with tech, and equip students with the skills they need to use technology safely and responsibly. Click here to read the full app review.
 skaffl

What’s It Like? Skaffl is a tool for distributing, completing, and grading work on the iPad. Teachers create classes and then share each class’s unique access code with their students, who can then use that code to enroll in the class via their own Skaffl login. Teachers then create three types of activities: an in-app assignment, a student dropbox, or a handout. A handy workflow for these activities appears every time teachers create a new one. Teachers can distribute activities instantly (to some classes, some students, or all at once) or schedule them for a later date.

Price: Free/subscription

Grades: 6-12…Read More

4 Essential Game-Based Learning Questions

Asking the right questions can help games make a positive impact in the classroom

game-learningYou’d have to live under a rock to be unfamiliar with the rise of game-based learning in classrooms across the nation in recent years. Integrating a game into an instructional unit may seem daunting, but four key implementation questions should help educators use games to support teaching and learning and help drive student engagement.

Games offer opportunities for collaboration and inquiry-based, self-directed learning. They also support skill development that students need under Common Core math and Next Generation Science Standards.

It’s first important to define what is not a learning game, said Susannah Gordon-Messer, curriculum and professional development specialist at the MIT Education Arcade, during an edWeb webinar on gaming implementation strategies.…Read More

How to Create Assessments for The Common Core

Here’s how to create new formative assessments to measure complex student comprehension

assessments-common coreThe rigors of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) ask today’s educators not simply to measure students’ factual knowledge, but instead to accurately assess students’ critical thinking. With such a major transition from multiple-choice testing, it’s important to know how to create assessments for these 21st-century standards.

“The most important question to ask at the onset of assessment creation is: How might we develop and use rich tasks to focus on those outcomes that matter most, and make school more relevant and engaging for learners and teachers?” explained Jay McTighe, consultant and author of the new Lumibook, Core Learning: Assessing What Matters Most, during a webinar hosted by the School Improvement Network.

McTighe emphasized that the aim of the new standards is autonomous transfer, or student comprehension and understanding of concepts, rather than facts.…Read More

New Common Core writing resource could save billions

New writing infographic can help save employers billions per year on remediation

writing-common coreIt seems that writing has almost gone the way of mathematics, with many students saying, “When will I need to use this in real life?” But according to research, billions are lost each year teaching employees the basics of good writing. However, thanks to a new Common Core writing resource, schools can now break down the basics of grammar, spelling, and punctuation into concepts appropriate for different student ages.

The infographic comes from Grammarly, a company that aims to improve communication among the world’s 2+ billion native and non-native English writers. Grammarly’s flagship product, the Grammarly Editor, corrects contextual spelling mistakes, checks for more than 250 common grammar errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and provides citation suggestions.

Grammarly’s aim is that this new resource can help curb the billions lost each year on writing remediation.…Read More