How Can I Use Technology Keep My Students Engaged Through The End Of The Year?

colouronwhite-300x214The end of the school year is rapidly approaching and, depending on where you teach, summer break could be under a month away!  But how can you keep your students excited and engaged about what you’re teaching when thoughts of summer fun are starting to occupy their minds? Your students still need to finish learning the curriculum and prepare for final exams as well as state standardized testing, especially as many schools have already begun their state testing.  Here are some suggestions to keep your students engaged (while still having fun!):

Review Games – Towards the end of the year, students may be focused on days at the beach and baseball games, but don’t let that detract from what they should be learning in the classroom. Try playing review games to keep your students engaged and prepare them for finals and testing at the same time:

  • PurposeGames is a great free tool for you to create games to play in your classroom. There are two types of games you can create in the form of a multiple-choice option or a mapping option where your students are given an image and they have to name certain places on the map. This game isn’t limited to geography; it can be used with mapping the human body, moon phases and more.
  • ProProfs Brain Games is a free tool to create word games such as crossword puzzles, word searches, brainteasers and more. A huge benefit to these games is that they are easily embeddable and can be added to your Alchemy SmartBinder.

Quiz activities – There’s no easier way to prepare for a final exam than with practice quizzes, and here a few tools that can help you break the monotony of standard assessments and keep the students intellectually hungry:

  • eQuizShow is a free tool to help educators create a Jeopardy style game online. You simply enter categories and then type in questions and answers. eQuizShow is very easy to use and doesn’t require you to upload any files.
  • Socrative is another quiz building tool that is extremely device-friendly. It can be used by student teams or individually by your students as they race to answer questions correctly.  After each correctly answered question a rocket ship moves incrementally across the screen and the first individual or team to propel their rocket ship to the other side of the screen wins.

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers, schools, and organizations. This past fall Alchemy released SmartBinder Flip (beta), the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on class engagement and understanding. Our premium product suite consisting of SmartBinder Collaborate (which includes SmartBinder Teams) and SmartBinder Engage are now publicly available. Contact us today at alchemylearning.com.

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Alchemy in the News: Edsurge Summit Results!

EdSurge Tech Summit for Schools

Alchemy Learning was one of 30 national educational technology companies selected to take part in the second EdSurgeTech Summit for Schools, held in Baltimore, MD on February 22nd.  The Summit represented an opportunity for teachers to gain full access to participating companies’ edtech products, as well as give in-depth reviews and feedback.  We chose the summit as the ideal time to debut our premium product suite of tools in private beta, including SmartBinder CollaborateSmartBinder Engage, and SmartBinder Teams to the scrutinizing eyes of over 650 teachers of all grade and subject matter range.  Over 100 teachers gave in-depth feedback and reviews of the SmartBinder suite…and we were blown away by the reception!

To start, a full 90% of teachers reported that they would suggest that their school purchase SmartBinder products and 84% of teachers stated that they would individually pay for the premium suite! Additionally, teachers answered questions directly related to specific aspects of SmartBinder:

Finally, we were given some great comments on the SmartBinder suite that we wanted to share. Teachers wrote:

“You can do so much with this program.”
“It will definitely be worth the investment by the administration.”
“VERY easy to use.”
“I cannot think of something I would change.”
“The user interface was lovely.”

“The tiered pricing is perfect.”

While the Edsurge Summit participants might have gotten a ‘sneak peak’ at our premium tools, the entire teaching world can access the SmartBinder suite today!

Alchemy in the Community

We were thrilled to sponsor to two additional Edcamps in the Mid-Atlantic are by donating the door prizes (new Chromebooks) to bothEdcampARLINGTON and EdcampMetroDC.  Both events were well attended and explored such topics as “Un-Schools” (fitting for an “Un-Conference”!), Google Glass in Class, and Globally Connecting Classrooms.

Check out Alchemy Learning co-founders Henry Blue and Win Smith’s multi-post series on the onset of the digital instruction-era and the implications and benefits for classroom teachers.  The first post highlights the types of time-saving and efficiency-boosting web-based tools teachers are adopting, and the following week’s post examines the pedagogical approaches that are being innovated in the digital instruction age.

Finally, Alchemy would like to thank the teachers and administrators who stopped by our displays at the 2014 Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & and Conference (PETE&C) in Hershey, Pa, and the 2014 National Association of Independent Schools Conference in Orlando, Florida. Hopefully we’ll see you on the road at the next event!

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers, schools, and organizations. This past fall Alchemy released SmartBinder Flip (beta), the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on class engagement and understanding. Our premium product suite consisting of SmartBinder CollaborateSmartBinder Engage, and SmartBinder Teams are now publicly available. Contact us today at alchemylearning.com.

New Website, New Teacher Tools!

The Alchemy Team is excited to announce the launching of our new website that unveils our suite of premium curriculum and learning management SmartBinder tools! Contact us today for information on special deals for our early adopters!

SmartBinder Premium Upgrades!

Our new website features our suite of collaborative curriculum and learning management SmartBinder upgrades to the free SmartBinder Flip. Learn more here!

  • SmartBinder Collaborate facilitates team teaching with full course creation and editing rights for multiple teachers..
  • SmartBinder Engage gives students their own learning environments with course materials, discussion boards, and assignments and assessment management.
  • SmartBinder Insight is a teacher’s personalized dashboard with RTI flags, student progress and other instructional support.

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SmartBinder Teams!

Alongside the premium SmartBinder suite, we are thrilled to announce SmartBinder Teams, which integrates with any of the SmartBinder suite to enable the creation of peer-to-peer teams of any size to promote collaborative curriculum development, team teaching, and subject matter repositories.  Watch the video here!

 

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers and schools.  Alchemy recently released SmartBinder Flip (beta), the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on class engagement and understanding. SmartBinder Collaborate, SmartBinder Engage, SmartBinder Insight, and SmartBinder Teams are presently in private-beta. Contact us today at alchemylearning.com.

Alchemy in the News: November

Well, November flew by and jettisoned us into the Holiday Season!  ColourOnWhiteAlchemy’s SmartBinderFlip, the free, cloud-based lesson binder that helps teachers build, deliver, and capture data on digital lessons, continued to receive recognition and user adoption, and, in addition, we pushed some exciting new features to private beta!  Read more below:

More SmartBinder Reviews!

  • Alchemy’s SmartBinder Flip (beta), released this fall, was ranked #20 on the “Top 100 Educational Sites/Apps 2013” by David Kapular of Technology Tidbits and Tech & Learning!  Kapular writes that SmartBinder is “an excellent site for creating a digital lesson w/ any kind of content.  Once this lesson is created it can be shared w/ students via a URL and can be used to “flip a classroom.”  Check out the full list of 2013’s Top 100 edtech tools and sites here.
  • Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers  listed SmartBinder Flip as one of five online tools that help teachers align to Common Core.  He highlights SmartBinder’s Standard Mine that allows teachers to ‘drag-and-drop’ tag their lessons to Common Core or customizable standards.  Check out Byrne’s post here.
  • Finally, Future Teachers Learning Together, a product Elon University‘s education program reviewed SmartBinder Flip and reported that “thanks to the vast online resources that are out there for teachers, there is a way for teachers to create interactive lesson plans online,” and they “hope that you think Alchemy SmartBinder is as great a tool as [they] do!”  Read their full detailed review here.  We love feedback from emerging teachers so keep it coming!

 Alchemy in the News

  • As reported by citybizlist, Betamore and Alchemy Learning led a discussion on educational technology and web-based application development with a group of educators from the Ukraine.  The educators consisted of Open World-sponsored professors from the Ukrainian universities and were hosted in Baltimore by the World Trade Center Institute  Read more about the exchange here.
  • Alchemy travelled to the Baltimore Convention Center on November 4th for the 2014 AIMS Conference, which consisted of teachers and educators from AIMS’s 124 Maryland and Washington D.C. schools.  This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. David Eagleman, a Guggenheim fellow, NY Times Bestseller, and director of Laboratory for Perception and Action at theBaylor College of Medicine.  Eagleman’s research and keynote centered on the impact of unconscious neural functioning on learning.

What’s Ahead?

  • Following on the heels of the release of SmartBinder Collaborate to private beta for the fall semester, which builds upon SmartBinder Flip with robust curricular structure and teacher collaboration, we’re excited to announce the release of SmartBinder Engage to our pilots. SmartBinder Engage is seamlessly integrated with SmartBinder Collaborate, features student portals, and empower teachers with tools for assignment and assessment creation, delivery, grading, and management.  Next-up for private beta is SmartBinder Teams, seamlessly integrated portals for teams of faculty members to collaboratively manage shared resources!

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers and schools.  Alchemy recently released SmartBinder Flip (beta), the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on class engagement and understanding. SmartBinder Collaborate, SmartBinder Engage, and SmartBinder Teams are presently in private-beta. Create your free SmartBinder Flip account and launch the new tutorial at alchemylearning.com.

Alchemy Learning, Betamore Engage in Dialogue with Visiting Ukrainian Educators

On Tuesday afternoon, Betamore, Baltimore’s, center for technology and entrepreneurship, and Alchemy Learning led a discussion with visiting university educators from Ukraine at Betamore’s Federal Hill campus.

The Ukrainian educators, from Kharkiv National University and Odessa State Environmental University were sponsored by Open World, a Washington D.C.-based organization seeking to enhance understanding and capabilities for cooperation between the United States and countries of Eurasia, and were hosted by Baltimore’s World Trade Center Institute, the largest international business network in the Mid-Atlantic, which strives to drive the growth of Maryland’s global business community through global networks.

Ukraine

Visiting Ukrainian educators engage in dialogue with the founders of Alchemy Learning and Betamore

After a day and a half of visiting Edcamp BaltimoreJohns Hopkins University, Towson University, and Goucher College,the educators engaged in dialogue with Betamore founder Mike Brenner and Alchemy co-founders Win Smith and Henry Blue on Betamore’s Academy courses and entrepreneurial initiatives, Alchemy SmartBinder and the development process, and a variety of other topics including social media tools and strategies, applications of gamification in education, and a proposal for a Ukrainian-based tech-enabled environmental monitoring system.  The group will spend the final days of their U.S. venture in Washington D.C. 

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers and schools.  Alchemy recently released SmartBinder Flip beta, the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on student mastery and understanding.  SmartBinder Collaborate, SmartBinder Engage, and SmartBinder Teams are presently in private-beta. Create your free SmartBinder Flip account and launch the new tutorial

 

 

Alchemy and Maryland Educators Connect

Alchemy Learning had a great past month of interacting with teachers and educators in Maryland at MSEA, AIMS, and Edcamp Baltimore.

Alchemy MSEA

Alchemy at MSEA

On October 18th and 19th, Alchemy Co-Founders Henry Blue and Win Smith travelled to Ocean City,MD for the 2013 Maryland State Educator Association.  This year’s MSEA was particularly important as, in an election year, the state’s teachers and administrators were to decide which gubernatorial candidate to endorse.  By the end of the convention, Alchemy had engaged in valuable conversations with over a hundred teachers and the MSEA had deliberated and decided to endorse Anthony Brown.

Alchemy also travelled to the Baltimore Convention Center on November 4th for the 2014 AIMS Conference, which consisted of teachers and educators from AIMS’s 124 Maryland and Washington D.C. schools.  This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. David Eagleman, a Guggenheim fellow, NY Times Bestseller, and director of Laboratory for Perception and Action at the Baylor College of Medicine.  Eagleman’s research and keynote centered on the impact of unconscious neural functioning on learning.

Edcamp Board

Edcamp Baltimore attendees add topics for the day’s sessions.

This past weekend (11/9) Alchemy sponsored the door prize, a new Chromebook, at Edcamp Baltimore ’13, which took place at Johns Hopkins University.  The conference was extremely well attended with hundreds of teachers and educators from the Baltimore-area and beyond attending.  A number of great dialogues and sessions ensued on topics ranging from the Blended Classroom, to Project Based Learning, to Flipping Professional Development, and Makerspaces!

Alchemy Learning, founded in 2012 in Baltimore, MD, creates cloud-based, data-driven learning & curriculum management tools for teachers and schools.  Alchemy recently released SmartBinder Flip beta, the free, cloud-based lesson binder which allows teachers to build and deliver digital lessons and capture valuable feedback on student mastery and understanding.  SmartBinder Collaborate, SmartBinder Engage, and SmartBinder Teams are presently in private-beta. Create your free SmartBinder Flip account and launch the new tutorial at alchemylearning.com.