Flip Your Quizzes with FLIPQUIZ

The research shows that gaming in the classroom enhances learning. FlipQuiz will help the educator provide the games that meet the needs of his or her classroom. In the past it has been time consuming to create even simple games and now with FlipQuiz game creation is so much easier.

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Using FlipQuiz allows you to create and save your games to use at a later date. But wait…there’s more! FlipQuiz frees you up to access your games anywhere you have access to the internet. No longer will you slap yourself on your head for forgetting tonight’s game on your computer at home.

In addition to being able to add questions and answers to your game component, FlipQuiz gives you the option of inserting links with the answers so that students can quiz themselves thus serving as an alternative to those dull flash cards of the past.

Avoid A Fate Worse Than Waterboarding!

PowerPoint can cause a slow painful death!

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When your student sees this slide as the opening slide, that is his signal to

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Dodge (Bullet) City

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Don’t forget to spell check before you present!

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Objects on the screen can be excellent, but just make sure that you don’t over do it!
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Otherwise your students end up

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So…how do we fix it?

Sometimes the best slides have no _ _ _ _ _ at all…just

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Remember:
Less_Is_More

Try something radical and give your presentation
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Give your next lecture old school…without PowerPoint!

New Year, New Tech. Take The Plunge

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Technology has turned the world upside down and the educational world is no different. We profile many apps on this blog. Sometimes the information can be overwhelming! Suppose you want to add technology to your classroom and just don’t know how to go about it. Start with baby steps my friend…baby steps.

1. Realize that tech will never replace the teacher. It is nothing more than a tool, no different than a projector, a calculator or even a pencil or pen. Have it work for you…not the other way around.

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2. Practice first, and then show. No one expects perfection when learning a new skill. However, make sure that you are comfortable with the technology before rolling it out to your students.

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3. Incorporate distance guest speakers. Instead of having a local subject matter expert come into your class, why not invite a guest lecturer from across the state, the nation or from around the world. Skype has a great website for finding guest lecturers.

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4. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and ask for help. All of us were EMS responders before we became educators. Remember the mistakes that you made as you were learning skills such as patient assessment, ECG identification and pharmacology. You messed up…right? Well, allow yourself the same privilege with classroom tech. When you run into a problem that you can’t fix, don’t be afraid to ask your students for help. Most of them are digital natives and helping you, the instructor, will only increase their respect for you. In addition, you give them a chance to excel at an area of strength for them.

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5. Understand the benefits that come from using technology. According to Cornell University, educators who use tech effectively in the classroom can expect:
Strengthened learning activities.
Engaged students.
Enhanced classroom communication and interconnectivity.
Increased efficiency with assessment.
Provides students with the opportunity to:
Communicate.
Collaborate.
Create knowledge.
Interact with course material in multiple ways.
Develop their technological skills.

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Need more information or have questions about how to start? Feel free to contact me or any of the folks who follow this blog. You will find that we are more than willing to help! Now…GO FOR IT!

Tools That Allow International EMS Study

Communication among students and educators is a dialogue. The right use of distance communication enhances the learning process. Why is online communication so important and what does it bring to the classroom?

1.  Immediate satisfaction! Students no longer have to wait for a document to take days or weeks to be returned to them. It is quite easy to collaborate with others from around the world in an almost instantaneous method.

2.  The use of online EMS collaboration for EMS students strengthens the philosophy of role of the educators as a coach. As educators, we shouldn’t have to worry about knowing all of the answers. However, using online collaboration tools, students and their instructors can search get information from many EMS professionals whether they are down the street or around the world.

3.  Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, your EMS students have the chance to go beyond stated expectations and explore specific areas of interest. This would help them to see that the learning process doesn’t end when the classroom portion is over.

How about changing the way you think and bring this tool of online collaboration into your classroom? The following reviews three free apps that you can use to get your EMS students working, and more importantly, learning together from subject matter experts around the world. Although these apps may have a charge for the top of the line forms of these products, all of them are free to use at a basic level.

Flowboard

Flowboard
Flowboard is an app that allows you to make and deliver presentations directly from your iPad. Flowboard presentations get away from the one sided limitation of Power Point and allows the student to explore their creative and interactive side. When you are ready to deliver your presentation, it feels like you are using a mobile tool to deliver your ideas. Students with a creative bent can develop their own template or choose from one that is stock. . Flowboard allows you to easily manipulate images and video.

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Google Drive
Google Drive used to be known as Google Docs. Google’s free online document creation and editing app is widely used by educators that want to collaborate with students, colleagues, and other. This can occur synchronously or asynchronously. Any student or groups of students can be granted editing rights. This allows them to make and track changes to the document. They are also able to see previous changes made by other participants.

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Join Me
Join Me is a screen sharing tool that enables instructors to share their computer desktop with others that they choose. The free version will allow up to 10 participants (including the originator of the broadcast) and includes such features as screen sharing, Internet calling, chat as well as several others. Join Me is designed to be easy to use and allows access to tools that you’ll use every day for everything from formal presentations to online tutoring of struggling students.

What other types of collaboration tools have you used?

Flip Your World With Knowmia Teach!

Knowmia Teach is a recording tool for educators who might be interested in “flipping” their classroom, but who don’t want to drop down a chunk of change for other more expensive screen casting software. The instructor is able to create a short video lesson and then publish it on the Knowmia website so that their students (and others) have access to them. It is really quite simple to add graphics and organize your presentation much like Powerpoint ®. Your picture and voice are recorded as you use your hand as the stylus.

An example of how this could be used in the EMS classroom can be found at this excellent presentation on the Tetrology of Fallot

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Some of the features include:
• Build your lesson out of individual steps (like slides) so it’s easy to manage and organize – each step is a separate whiteboard
• Record everything that you do as well as your voice and video to create the lesson step-by-step
• Capture your face in the video as you narrate the steps
• Import images, graphics or video clips from the iPad’s media library and built-in camera – or paste in any image of your own
• Select from a wide range of background options
• Make it easy for others to find your lesson by including tags that you choose yourself

If you have been wanting to experiment with the flipped classroom, Knowmia Teach might be just the ticket.

Your Next Students Assignment Might Come “Mission Impossible” Style

If you are a person of a “certain age”, you might remember the Mission Impossible series. No, not the one with Tom Cruise but the one with Peter Graves. The Impossible Missions Force (IMF), a small team of secret agents used for covert missions against ruthless, evil leader; evil organizations and big crime bosses .At the beginning of each show, the assignment was always presented with a creative tape recording that outlined the details. At the end of it, the “tape will self-destruct in five seconds” ending in a puff of smoke. What if you could make a progressive assignment for your students that incorporated elements of Mission Impossible and The Amazing Race.

Set up your outgoing voicemail message for learners to call in and listen to as a part of an activity. Wondering how you might use this? Here an example: the message could be a scenario, provide clues that learners need to use to solve a puzzle, or address a series of questions as part of an activity.

Now, I fully understand that the last thing you want is for your phone to be ringing at all hours of the day. No problem. Google Voice grants you access to a single phone number that, if desired, rings all of your phones, saves your voicemail online, and transcribes your voicemail to text. It can also be set so that no calls are forwarded to any of your phones. The cool thing is the Google Voice is free. Give this a try today…and don’t forget “As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions.”1

1. White, Patrick J (1991), The Complete Mission: Impossible Dossier, New York: Avon Books.

If I Only Had A Brain! Now, You Do!!!

3D Brain is a very useful application that allows the student to view up to 29 regions of the human brain. The app allows the student to rotate the image up and down and from left to right while viewing the image from almost every possible angle.

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When desired, it is possible to get more information on the particular region of the brain that you are viewing. This includes a brief case study as well as some of the functions of the particular area. In addition, 3D Brain includes links to related medical articles that shed more light on what the current brain view is.

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By using your finger to drag across the screen, the instructor can rotate the image, displaying different regions of brain tissue. It is also possible to expand or shrink the diagram so as to gain a better view. EMT’s and paramedic students would benefit greatly from the use of the 3D Brain App for study. This is an excellent application for the classroom or lab that goes beyond the hand held model to give an, almost, MRI quality view of the brain.

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The 3D Brain app was developed by a non-profit organization called Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. At the time of the publishing of this blog, the app was available at no cost.

Infogram For Mr. Smith!! Infogram For Mr. Smith!!

Wikipedia describes an infographic as a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data. In other words, a picture is worth a thousand words. Infographics make it easier to digest a large amount of information in a short period of time. Developing a very high quality infographic makes it more than thirty times likely that your student will read the material than if in text form alone.1 For an excellent example of an EMS related infographic take a look at the one below based upon stroke symptoms.

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Inforgram is an excellent website to easily develop quality infographics. This web based software provides templates, designs as well as other tools to research and develop professional and interesting looking charts and infographics. You can set up an independent account or log in from your Facebook site. The values that you embed within the infographic can be accessed from an Excel file or from the build in spreadsheet.

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Infogr.am infographics can include videos and maps along with pictures and text. Your Infogr.am projects can be embedded into your blog, website, or wiki.

1. http://www.pr2020.com/blog/the-case-for-content-marketing

Wouldn’t It Be Nice???

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had access to high tech learning management systems and bubble scanning sheets to make your life as an educator easier? Well…why not!

Mastery Connect offers assessment tools that provide a miltiple of ways to gett both formative and summative assessment results. They make grading fast, automatic and easy. Using their GradeCam(TM) Bubble sheet scanning software you can scan from your document camera…or…wait for it…your Ipad!

If you want to, you can go completely paperless and give exams that can be created on any brand of tablet or mobile device. But wait! There’s more! Using the Browser Assessment and Scoring website, you can deliver those exams through either a PC or a Mac web browser.

Sure…I hear you! What’s an exam delivery system without getting feedback on how your students are doing or if your exams are effective. They have you covered there as well. Get rapid feedback via reports on item analysis and student mastery reports. The results can then be exported to any gradebook. Scoot on over to Mastery Connect to learn more.

Do, Or Do Not. There Is No “Try”. – Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back)

In the educational arena, testing is a very hot topic right now. Some for…some against. Yoda would have understood the value of appropriate testing. However, testing can serve a valuable purpose in, not only identifying students who are struggling, but allowing educators to know “who” is struggling as well as “what” they are struggling in. With this post, we begin a series of three very useful tools that will allow you to develop and deploy online exams in your class. Let’s begin with Socrative!

Socrative

Socrative is a free quiz/ survey tool that can be used in place of “clicker” systems that can cost hundreds of dollars. Socrative enables the educator to create exams and quizzes via either a multiple choice or short answer format. It also includes a Space Race game that could be effective in some class populations.

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Socrative differs from Poll Everywhere in that you have the option of allowing your students to submit information anonymously or you can require them to identify themselves by name. It is compatible with Apple, Android or Microsoft tablets, phones and computers.

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One of the better features about Socrative is that students do not need to create any type of account with the software company. According to their website, “Socrative takes teachers 3 minutes to set up and takes their classes 20 seconds to load.” It typically takes me a little longer to get an exam ready to go, but with more use an educator could reach that goal. When you set up and deploy the exam, you are given a “room number” that allows them to begin the exam. As stated above, any device that allows access to the internet will work.