Tuesday, July 9, 2024

EdTech Links of the Week - 7-9-24

Each week I keep an eye out for the latest edtech resources through blogs, social media, podcasts, videos, user groups, and more. I then try to reshare these resources in many ways.

One way I share these is here on the blog in these "EdTech Links of the Week" posts. See below to explore the latest batch of resources, and be sure to share with others who may benefit.

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And as always, please let me know of any resources that you recommend. I would love to learn from you!

This week I have 3 resources from around the Internet and 2 resources from my blog.

🎁 Diffit Premium for 1st Year Teachers
Diffit is one of the AI tools I often recommend and demonstrate in my PD sessions. It is a great tool to take any content (text, video, article, topic) and create a leveled version of the content, along with key points, summary, assessment questions, and more. You can see my earlier blog post and video about it for more details.

As a special gift, they are now offering a full year of Diffit Premium for free for first-year teachers. The premium version includes even more features and capabilities. To claim this offer, first-year teachers just need to fill out the form here: https://web.diffit.me/first-year-teachers

🧱 Toppled

Toppled is another totally free online word game that could be great to help build vocabular and spelling skills. Here are the directions for how the game work.
  • Every day you'll see a different wall of letters. Your goal is to make 4 valid five-letter words from the letters in the wall. Every wall has multiple solutions. You can use any words you like, as long as they're a valid five-letter word.
  • To make a word: tap any 5 letters and hit the submit button.
  • If your word is valid it turns green and the letters are removed from the wall. Make another guess using the letters remaining and continue until you Topple the wall.
  • If the letters turn red then you can't make any valid words from the remaining letters. Tap a guess twice to delete a word and add the letters back in.
  • Each wall contains four bonus golden words. You don't have to find them but they're worth more points! To help you find them, the starting letter of each golden word is highlighted gold.
  • The game also has clues to help you find golden words. Every three words you add to the wall will unlock a new clue.
  • At the end of every game you'll get a score screen with a final score based on these point values:
    • 🟩 Valid Word = 25
    • 🌟 Golden Word = 125
    • 🟥 Deleted Word = -30
    • 👀 Used Hint = -25
    • ❌ Failed Attempt = -10
    • 🏅 Toppled the Wall = 100

🧭 Explorer

Globe is an AI company with the mission to "optimally represent information for human comprehension". One of their tools, Explorer, does a great job of this with AI-powered organization, images, and links for any topic.

You start by simply typing in the topic you want to learn about. Explorer then creates a table of contents on the topic, and then visualizes each section and concept with an optimal image or diagram so you can quickly find what you need, or discover what you didn't know you needed. You can then click on any of those images to get a quick explanation, as well as a link to a website where you can learn more. You can also click on any subcategory to run a deeper search on that subtopic.

There are lots of search tools out there, but I really like the visual elements and organization of Explorer. I see how this could help you find the information you need, while also encouraging you to explore deeper into the topic.

▶️ New Recorded Training - "Storytelling Activities with Google Tools"

I recently recorded a new training on "Storytelling with Google Tools" where I explored using Google tools for student activities involving writing and storytelling including:
  • 🐉 Choose Your Own Adventure Stories
  • 😀 Emoji Rebus Stories
  • ⬛ Black Out Poetry
  • 🎞️ Stop Motion Animation
  • 🔊 Story Soundboards
  • 🎲 Random Writing Prompts
You can watch the full recording and get access to all the directions and templates for the activities at the link above. Feel free to share with others, and I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on these student activities.

💎 Google Docs Treasure Chest

Speaking of Google tools, I recently took some time to clean up and update my Google Docs resource page. The page now has the majority of my Docs resources nicely organized in categories including:
  • 🧰 Resource docs
  • ▶️ Tutorial videos
  • 📄 Activity templates
  • 📰 Blog posts
Be sure to check that out for a deeper dive into Google Docs!

Post by Eric Curts
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