Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Just a quick post today about InstaGrok. InstaGrok is a visual search tool that returns results in the form of an interactive concept map (a Grok). InstaGrok is free to use. But if you sign up for a free account, Groks can be customized and shared as well. 

One of the best features is that the results are much more education based then a typical web search and the site is ad free. The linked website sources open in a window that minimizes ads as well.

Here's a quick description and summary from Edshelf. One update - there's now an Android app along with the others listed.

Below is a "Grok" of a search I did on digital citizenship. In the window that opens, click on the various source types (Key Facts, Websites, Videos, etc.) or select one of the other concepts shown in yellow.

Try it out and start Grokking today!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Magical Beginnings and Endings

I really appreciated the article The eight minutes that matter most & how to make them magical by Brian Sztabnik posted in Edutopia. It's about creating meaningful beginnings (activating prior knowledge, building anticipation, setting learning targets) and endings (checking for understanding). 

Source: "The eight minutes that matter most", Edutopia 1.5.15

I immediately started thinking about tools that could be used with this author's ideas. Below are some that came to mind. Here's to a magical 2015!


1) "Trend with YouTube"

YouTube EDU is described as a "global video classroom" bringing learners and educators together. Here's a bit more information about this resource

3) "Cross disciplines"
Check out Art Project - Google Cultural Institute if you're interested in the author's idea of starting with a painting. This site gives users access to collections all over the world.


1) "Level Up", 2) "Exit Tickets", 3) "Mimic Social Media", 4) "Post-it Power"

Kahoot! - "game-based classroom response system" using mobile devices including mobile phones


Padlet - where students can post their feedback online (web-based), could also be used to "Start With Good News"

Plickers - great way to collect formative data without student devices, you need an IOS or Android phone, very cool

Polleverywhere - students can give real-time responses using mobile phones, Twitter or the web

Socrative - a free, comprehensive assessment tool that can be used with any device

TodaysMeet - private, online discussion forum (web-based)