Month: May 2014

The Four C’s in STEM: Critical Thinking with Visual Ranking Tool

Intel’s Visual Ranking Tool helps students to think critically about a question or task.  Students can discuss the option and use the ranking tool to put responses in order of importance.

This free, customizable application allows the teacher to input possible solutions and discussion points or for the students to create and rank different solutions on their own.  Once students have ranked their choices, teams can compare their rankings with another team or class, thus sparking a deeper discussion on the chosen subject.

Throughout the process, the teacher can provide comments, questions for students an feedback on progress as he/she communicates with students.  And, the Visual Ranking Tool is also available on iOS and Android, to encourage mobile learning.

Want to see how it works? Check out the pre-loaded demo.

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The Four C’s in STEM: Communication with TodaysMeet

If you have not used a backchannel while attending a lecture or seminar, backchannels are a way for participants to interact with the main conversation simultaneously. Like an encouraged form of passing notes in class, except for the fact that all these notes are posted in a forum and directly related to the day’s seminar or lecture.

TodaysMeet is one such example.  Before the lecture, workshop, or seminar, access the site and name your “room” and select how long the data should be stored.  This creates your very own URL that you can share with attendees who can then access a very clean chat screen to comment.

It’s that simple.  No accounts to create, no passwords to remember. And the best part is that anyone can access a transcript to remember what has been discussed (or keep track of student participation or…ahem…appropriate and on-task comments.)

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The Four C’s in STEM: Communication with TwistedWave

TwistedWave is very similar to Audacity in that it’s a free audio editor and recorder, but unlike Audacity, there is no software to install.  Students simply access the site and begin a new document.  Students can also create an optional account that allows students to record for a couple of hours, and keep up to 20 minutes of content.

Once there, students can record their work and easily download the file into common formats like WAV, MP3, or WMA.  Students can even upload the file to Dropbox.

Using TwistedWave as an editor, students can upload a supported file type and use the Audacity-like interface to edit using features like fading, looping and other effects that will assist students in communicating creatively and effectively.

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The Four C’s in STEM: Communication with TitanPad

TitanPad is an online tool that allows students to craft a document simultaneously.  The beauty of this free online app is that each student s assigned a different color, so when each student types or edits, the text reflects their chosen highlight color.

While students work to build a document, they can chat on the right hand side of the screen to discuss possible edits, revisions,etc.  They can export to a text file, a PDF, or even export the file to finish it up in a word processing program like Microsoft Word. If necessary, students can even import a file to continue working.

One unique feature called Time Slider allows students to use a slider bar to playback the changes that were made. Although it is not packed with bells and whistles, it does provide the basics to enable student communication.

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