Welcome Sway As a Tool for #GRA15

Sway_splash

I was rather excited when I spoke to the awesome team behind Sway at ISTE 2015 and the possibility of creating our very own group for Global Read Aloud in their community since I know many schools in the project are using a Microsoft platform.  Well, the time has come to reveal the group and I could not be more pleased.

Welcome 2015 Global Read Aloud Participants!

The Sway team at Microsoft invites you to create a Sway to share your Global Read Aloud experience.

Sway is a new app from Microsoft that allows you to easily create and share interactive presentations, personal stories, book reports, and more. You can easily share a sway with friends, other students, your parents, anyone really – just send them the link!

This could be a review of the book (predictions, connections, theme analysis), your experience connecting with other readers, how the book has inspired you to create, or anything else you want to share about your experience.

Sway makes it easy to create a beautiful interactive experience. 

To learn more about how to use Sway to share your experience go here.

An Exciting Tool to Use to Connect with #GRA14



Every year as the Global Read Aloud grows, new exciting ways to connect present themselves.  And while I always encourage people to connect in whichever way that works for them, sometimes a new way emerges that deserves a highlight.  This is one of those times.  


I first heard of Tackk, last year as a few people shared what they had created during the GRA.  And I was impressed, after all, a lot of time had definitely been put into it and it must have been hard to do.  So I didn’t investigate any further, I simply moved on, thinking this tool would not work for my students and the precious time we have.  I should have dug a little deeper.  
Tackk is an easy, free way to create simple pages on the web. Teachers use Tackk everyday for lessons, projects and creativity in the classroom. Tackk’s content widgets (text, photos, GIFs, video, music, maps, media, etc.) allow for simple and fun creation which can be shared on social channels like Edmodo, Twitter and Google+.


To help support GRA14, Tackk has created GRA templates to make creation, sharing and collaboration easy for students, teachers and classrooms. Teachers can use Tackk to create and share GRA lessons, assign student book reviews and assessments, capture photos and video during the program and interact along the way.


Get more Tackk ideas and follow GRA’s Tackk profile here: https://tackk.com/@globalreadaloud.
Find out more about Tackk here: https://tackk.com/gratemplates


Again, the Global Read Aloud does not tell you which tools to use, but I do like to share good ones.  I am excited to use Tackk with my 7th graders to further our global connections.

The Official Tools We Use #GLRead12

The thing that I have always loved the most about the GRA is that every person makes this project into whatever they want it to be.  That also means that you choose what ever tools and methods of sharing that you feel most adventurous or most comfortable with.  In the spirit of this, here is what is officially available for participants.
We will have:
A central wiki – this will have time lines, helpful tools, but no teacher contact info.  This will be be the main showcase piece for people to share what their students have been doing.  http://globalreadaloud.wikispaces.com/
Edmodo for teachers to connect.  Both groups have been set up already.  These are where you can set up contacts with others such as for skyping, quad blogging, book discussions, whatever you choose.  This is also another great venue to share any tools or resources you may be using.  These groups are only adults, no students/kids allowed.  You will need to join Edmodo to connect to the groups.
  • Charlotte’s teacher group code is 93pop0
  • Ivan’s teacher group code is njco4k
Edmodo groups for students and yes, these will be much smaller, there will definitely not be one large group for students.  I encourage you to start reaching out to others and make those connections, put “want ads” up on our Edmodo teacher group and get those connections going before October 1st.  As much as I would love to facilitate all of these connections it is not going to happen with this many people involved.  These student groups have therefore not been set up yet and can be set up by you.
Google groups – these are solely for behind the scenes communication because not everybody is signed up to receive these emails.  I finally got the planning group sign ups to work and have been approving members as the requests come in.  Soon, I will be using that more to speak specifically to groups and this big group will be for once in a while updates or discussions.  These can be joined by signing up your email on the right side of this blog
Our Blog – http://www.globalreadaloud.com – this is used for posts on the project both from students and teachers, like a front window for the project.  If you would like to write a post for the project please do so and send it to me, I would love to hear whatever you have to say about why you are doing this, your hopes, oyur past experience, etc.  The same goes for during the project and after, I particularly love hearing from the students and their thoughts.

Twitter – the hashtag is #glread12 – use this to share ideas and to reach out to others as well.  Follow me on Twitter @pernilleripp and I will gladly help get you connected.

Anything else you choose.  People in the past have used all sorts of various tools and places to connect; Twitter, Facebook, Teachmeet, classroom websites etc.  This is all up to you.