30hands at Home – My Summer Diary

Moia Rowsome Blog

So we’ve come to the last couple of weeks of the summer break. It’s our final chance for fun and frolics in the sun. But just because your kids are out of the classroom and hanging with their friends, it doesn’t mean they have to stop learning! How about having them document their summer fun in 30hands Pro? The summer break is everyone’s favorite time of year. However, it is always a concern that our students and kids will become a bit disengaged and miss out on wonderful learning opportunities. So this is an activity especially for parents who want to keep their kids engaged in learning activities throughout the summer months, and to prepare them mentally for going back to school. And the good news is it’s very simple. Let’s say you’re taking a vacation in Florida and you have various activities planned for your week. Maybe you are spending some time on the beach. There’s a lot of nature on the beach that kids can explore and learn about. So maybe they could take some photos and videos of what they see on the beach using 30hands Pro and then narrate over their slides to tell a story of their experience! Maybe they could even interview their siblings or parents who have spent the day with them about what they learned. Or perhaps you’re not going to the beach? This activity is transferable to any vacation or outing, such as walking in the woods, fishing, or even going out for dinner in a restaurant! Perhaps you …

Edcamp Cape Cod – A True Learning Experience

Moia Rowsome Blog

Have you ever been to an Edcamp? I had my first experience when we attended Edcamp Cape Cod in August of this year. Collaborating, connecting and planning were themes that made up an exciting and motivating day. Everyone’s openness to share their ideas and what they have learned in their classroom truly inspired me. It also reminded me of the amazing work teachers and principals do every day to better their schools, their lessons and their students’ learning. I could sense everyone’s enthusiasm to listen to and learn from others. And as teachers and principals don’t always get the time to communicate sufficiently with each other, this was a great opportunity for them to do so. A bright and fun-filled atmosphere captured us as we began our day. What is an Edcamp? The philosophy behind the Edcamp is that it is an ‘unconference’. In other words, it’s not supposed to be a place where people ‘teach’ the attendees, sell their products, give keynote speeches or any of the common activities that engender the traditional educational conference. Rather, it is a place where teachers come to connect and communicate with each other. Conferences certainly have an important place in the  world of education, however the Edcamp is an opportunity solely for teachers and administrators to share their classroom and school experiences. Anyone can arrive and put up an idea to talk about on the board, which then gets input into the official seminar timetable for the day (see right). You are then set to …

How Digital Storytelling Improves Learning

Eric Braun Blog

There’s been growing talk about Digital Storytelling lately. iPads, Chromebooks and laptops are everywhere, and educators want to take full advantage of their capabilities. With the landscape the way it is, I’m sure many wonder if this trend is more about the technology or the story. Everyone would agree that tech for tech sake is not the way to go. Using computers and the Internet do teach kids how to use devices and infrastructure that have become fixtures in the world around us, but… “Is that all there is?” I hope not, and I think not! Why does a story matter? It’s all about the process. Let’s look at what it takes to create a story. We all know what a story is and that it has a slew of parts (beginning, middle, end, characters, conflict, etc.), but what happens when we create a story? What process do we go through? The truth is that it’s a highly iterative and active process. Here’s an example: Assignment: Tell a story that shows you know about the planets in our solar system. Show you know what order they are in. Show you know at least 2 facts about each planet and about the Sun. Include Pluto if you’d like. Make sure you tell a story rather than just providing the facts and information. Make it fun and memorable. Sample Process for non-digital story could be: Think of a story concept that interests you. Be creative! Think outside the box! Think about how to include the solar system, …

30hands In Action! Marisa and More

Nate Brown Blog

WOW! Kids and teachers have been doing really great work with 30hands recently! Check out these awesome pictures and presentations, straight from the classroom! Here’s Marisa’s adorable video demonstrating her learning on counting by 10! Keep up the great work Marisa!! Great job to fifth grade teacher Mrs. Nussbaum for getting very creative and using 30hands for an ecosystem scavenger hunt with her students!! I’m sure the kids had a blast(class outside AND 30hands!? So fun!) and learned a lot! Librarian Lynn Lowery and coach Jeanette C. did a fantastic job introducing their students to live chicks, and helping them create stories in 30hands! Between the chicks and 30hands, this sounds like a very memorable lesson for the students! Keep up the hard work! Thanks for the great post Joe Tedesco! Ashley Cernosek has the right idea! Digital storytelling is a great tool to add to your teacher tool belt. Kids love it and its easy to use! Looks like kids at Hatfield Elementary in Texas are having a great time learning and telling their stories with 30hands!! Thanks for sharing the good times Rob Thornell!  

Olive’s Quick Tip of the Week – How to Make Your Audio Better and Cooler

Nate Brown Blog

Hey everyone! Olive here with another pawmazing 30hands quick tip! This week’s tip is on recording audio that takes your presentation to the top of the trees. You may need a fireman to get you down, but your audience will love your 30hands video. Whether you use audio to narrate, create sound effects, or put in music, adding audio to your 30hands video can make your video the cat’s pajamas. Meta-furr-ically speaking, that is! First, let’s review the basics. The first step to recording audio in 30hands is to pick a slide to record audio on. For my slide, I picked a picture of a bunch of my cat buddies! Once you have picked the slide you would like to record audio over and are ready to record, select that slide and hit the circular red button at the bottom of the screen. Now record your audio. If you don’t like how it came out, you can re-record your audio as many time as you would like. This helps you get the quality of recording so good that even the Wind will like it. The slide will play as a video, for as long as the audio recording is. This way, you can record on multiple slides to string together a story that 30hands will put it together as one continuous video. The 30hands audio function gives you unlimited creativity, too. When you use different character voices for narration, background music to set the tone, sound effects for entertainment, or anything …

Class Activity: 2 Things I Learned in Math This Year

Gaby Charmont Blog

As the end of the year draws near, it may be a good idea to encourage students to recall some of the topics they learned throughout the year. Math classes cover a large amount of content and this activity allows students to choose their favorite few topics and give the class a brief explanation of what they have learned. The Activity: Urge your Students to think back on the year and all the knowledge and concepts they now have and comprehend. Have them explain the topic in order to cement it into their memory and aid the rest of the class recalling the information again as they view the presentations. This activity will help peers collaborate and remember their lessons as well as be able to explain things to each other to further solidify their understanding. The Level: This activity can be done at any level, it is meant to get students to look back on their year and remember all of the topics they covered. This will help to sum up the lessons of the class and make it easier for students to recall information from the entirety of the course. The Procedure: Have each student pick 2 topics which they thought were the most interesting or lessons they felt were really important. This will allow each student to choose how their presentations will be set up and what they will focus on. Since there is a broad range of information that students can pick, their presentations should all …

Class Activity: Language Learning Summer Wrap Up with 30hands Pro

Moia Rowsome Blog

Well, language teachers, you’re at that point in the year where your students are sensing the summer is arriving and have started to daydream about vacation plans and adventures. It’s getting tougher to keep them focused and let’s face it, we are feeling  a little similar ourselves! So, how about, instead of stopping them from dozing off into their dreamworlds, getting them to use their daydreams for a language activity! Also, gehen wir!   The Activity: Describing my summer plans in 30hands Pro. The Level: Generally for students who have covered the future tense in the target language, so I’m thinking grades 7 through 12. But if your kids are younger and you think they are up for the challenge, go for it! The Process: Have your students write a script in the target language about their summer plans. This could be broken up into June-July-August, or simply just 3 things they plan to do in the summer. Have them plan some specific activities. For example, if they are going on vacation, have them describe some specific things they want to do there. You could even bring in days and dates. And maybe the conditional tense! Me gustaría… Je voudrais… Vorrei… Then storyboard it out in 30hands Pro. When they’ve got to this part they can get creative by bringing in images and videos and using the drawing tool. And finally, they can narrate their script over the slides to tell their story in their foreign language! Now they’re ready to publish their video …

Reflecting on our learning: My Year at School

Moia Rowsome Blog

  So, teachers, the school year is finally coming to an end. PHEW! I can hear your gasp of relief from here. You are beginning to wrap things up and wind things down in class in anticipation of a well-deserved summer break. But, before we put on our sombreros and hit the poolside bar, let’s talk about some final class activities to get our kids reflecting on their year at school. It’s been a long year After a whole year of teaching and learning, we have all done a lot. Different methods have been tried and tested. New and fun activities have been added to our lessons. Even new technologies have been given our seal of approval. This list of all the new things we’ve been doing in our classes could go on and on. What’s really important to remember though, is that our students have also been doing and learning new things too. If you think about it, the vast majority of what we have covered has been new for our students. They have just had a whole 9 months of acquiring fresh ideas and skills. A whole 9 months! When we look at it that way, that’s quite a lot! Let’s get reflective! So let’s take a breather. Put your thinking caps on. Now take a step back in time with your students to reflect together on your year at school. Collaborative reflection is a valuable activity for our students as it allows them to connect concepts, share thoughts and ideas and thus further embed their learning. It can …

30hands for Peace: 20 Children, a Navajo Story

Eric Braun Blog

We are visiting Sedona in the desert and the mountains which expand forever. Century plants rise up to the vast skies that swirl above, and the powdery red dust colors everything around. By the side of the road, there are Navajos selling jewelry at stands near the roadside. One woman says she is 54. She looks great and has no wrinkles. She says she’s been through a lot. Raised 20 children. “Foster?” She nods but maybe not 100% true. She was the mother to her sisters and to her own mother, she says. “Where are you from?” she asks me. Boston. “You have no rocks there, right?” Right. “Everything is covered.” She cannot believe a life without rocks. I nod, thinking about my broad green lawn and the rocks hidden below the surface, the rocks that I uncovered only when I wanted to plant a tree or build a brick walkway. One year, she says, they traveled to South Dakota to see Sitting Bull. There, they heard of a place called Standing Rock. In a place where everything was covered, they wanted to see this rock. Perhaps, it would remind them of home. They could not find it, though, and finally asked someone. When they got there, they laughed. The rock was not even standing! Every summer she and her family travel on pow wow where they dance traditional dances and sell jewelry and Indian souvenirs. “All 20 children?” Yes. “In a bus?” No, in a truck with a trailer …

Designing Your Flipped Classroom with 30hands Storyteller Pro

Gaby Charmont Blog

Pumping student’s full of new information throughout the day and then sending them home with assignments to complete can be difficult and concerning for them. Once home, students may have a hard time recalling what they just learned or may have never fully comprehended the lesson in the first place. Lessons usually target certain types of learners which makes it difficult for others to keep up with the material when it is being taught in a way they do not understand. The flipped classroom pedagogical model can bridge this teaching vs. learning gap in education and will benefit all students. With lessons being pre-recorded by teachers and watched at home by students, there is more class time devoted to collaboration and putting the new knowledge to use through practical activities and creating presentations. Students can watch the lesson at home, rewinding and taking notes as necessary, which will reinforce the main points and they will better understand the material when absorbing it at their own pace. Encouraging students to come to class with a few questions on the lesson can begin the class in an engaging way that will also explain any confusions they may have. This will hone in their attention to the lesson and make sure the students have absorbed what they should have from the video watched at home. Providing an in class activity that will further expand upon this new knowledge will be the most meaningful for students who will remember the material much better than …