5 Ways AI is Changing e-Learning

5 Ways AI is Changing e-Learning

 

E-Learning has already proven its effectiveness in comparison with traditional or so-called face-to-face training. Due to the facts and statistics, the e-learning increased the retention rates up to 25-60% in 2016, when the classic way showed only 8-10%. That speaks volumes.

 

Taking to account that the last 2 years were really breakthrough in the world of technologies and applications, the figures can be much bigger now. Thanks to the cloud-based LMS (Learning Management System), teachers/instructors/lecturers from various colleges and universities can share their knowledge and experience with students worldwide.

 

Nowadays the AI and ML are revolutionary technologies that are shaping the e-Learning, changing the landscape of the human civilization. Here are top 5 ways the AI will dramatically change the education industry in the upcoming 2019 year.

What is AI?

Anyway, before we leap to the ways, let’s definite what is the AI basically. Briefly speaking, Artificial Intelligence is the computer science and rapidly developing technology that emphasizes the simulation of human intelligence and reaction by machines. It includes such processes as:

  • learning;
  • reasoning;
  • planning;
  • problem solving/self-correction.

 

When we talk about the most particular and well-known AI applications, we can point out the next ones:

  • speech recognition;
  • expert systems;
  • machine learning;
  • automation;
  • machine/computer vision.

Today AI already impacts on our everyday life and business. It’s obvious that technology is important for the Internet’s future development and use, making everything more personalized and customized.

Top 5 Ways AI is Reshaping e-Learning

Anyway, what is the connection between the AI technology and e-learning? Actually, the education can get a great benefit by means of the technology tools used. Availability and affordability, speed, effectiveness, and personalization is the small part of the profits expected from the deployment of the AI into the studying process. Thus, there are at least 5 ways the AI along with the ML can reshape the learning. Let’s take a closer look at each one step by step.

Greater Speed and Efficiency

Improvements with the same or even higher quality promised are the goal of modern technologies like the AI. So, the Artificial Intelligence implemented into the studying will hasten the process and make it more efficient.

 

It’s the fact that the behind-the-scenes/tedious work is needed, but it takes some time. And the technology has the potential to automate it. That’s bound to speed up the studying process. What’s more, the AI will be able to forecast a positive outcome and eventuality depending on the student’s goals, preferences, experience, individual needs, pace, etc. And that all will take a seconds only, without a human intervention required.

Artificial Mentoring

Another feature of the technology that can be highly profitable for e-Learning to mention is Artificial Mentoring. The advantage of AI mentors is that they will be available for learners 24/7 via phones/tablets and computers/laptops to provide them help and the info required wherever they need it and wherever they are. The Artificial Intelligence mentors’ aim is to teach as well as to offer the content for studying to reach the goals, serve up videos, etc.

Personalized Learning

The AI will deliver individualized education. Thus, similarly to Netflix that uses ML to improve the recommendations list due to the users’ preferences, AI can personalize the experience for students as well. Therefore, the tech will allow tracking interactions of learners during the course.

 

That will give the e-learning the possibility to leverage the personalization, suggest specific and targeted content due to the needs and goals of each online student. Herewith, the system will be able to provide a more comprehensive course for students with a lack of basic knowledge and skip some modules for more skilled and advanced learners, for example.

Teaching Assistants

All mentioned above features of AI used in e-Learning are bound to establish more viable training packages that take to account all factors, not only one criteria. The ML system that is a subset of the AI provides a detailed Big Data survey to forecast the outcome that will make possible to get new or more individualized learning opportunities. In such a way, you can get more productive p2p cooperation thanks to the AI solutions.

 

Each student has different needs, abilities, skills, etc. and that’s why they need personal tutors. And that becomes possible thanks to such AI technologies as educational chatbots that are a useful learning tool widely used nowadays in the schools and colleges worldwide.

 

The idea of AI chatbots is that they can take some repetitive tasks of the teachers making the educational process more meaningful. Thus, such AI teaching assistants bring the following  facilities for study:

  • answer typical students’ queries fast and immersive;
  • check homework regularly;
  • determine gaps and troubling subjects to create an individual learning program on the data gathered;
  • recommend content and peers to improve the learners’ skills;
  • set goals and monitor the learning progress of each student;
  • analyze the learners’ needs to make personalized recommendations and feedback.

Augmented Content

The AI technology can be used to discover new training content by means of analyzing online systems: video platforms, teaching marketplaces, social platforms, and others. In such a way, the Artificial Intelligence can generate positive outcomes to be applied to new tasks.

 

Besides that, the technology can be used for creating new content like simple articles. Thus, the augmented learning asset can be produced and adapted to specific channels automatically. Also, if we are about the long articles, for example, the Artificial Intelligence solutions can be used for getting out and after summarizing the key issues as well as enriching its section with relevant multimedia content. It will ease the education process for students.

AI Influence on e-Learning: Summary

Considering all the information and facts above-mentioned in the article, the Artificial Intelligence and the system subsets like ML are dramatically shaping the e-learning industry. The benefits of implementing the technologies into the studying process are quite obvious:

  • automation of grading, providing the educators more time;
  • assessing students and adapting to their individual needs/aims/pace;
  • additional support to students provided by AI tutors around-the-clock.

So, the AI can change where and how we learn new things with a chance to cowork with teachers over the globe, staying on track and studying at the most convenient time for you, and all that at a lower cost.

 

Guest Blog Post: Sketchnoting with Chromebooks and AWW app

I am a  Dynamic Learning Project Coach at Parkhill Junior High in Richardson, TX, a one to one campus, using HP touchscreen Chromebooks. I was introduced to AWW app, along with the idea of sketchnoting at the Dynamic Learning Training at Google headquarters this summer. I couldn’t wait to introduce the idea of sketchnoting, using AWW app on Chromebooks to our teachers!  We introduced this strategy to our 7th grade language arts teacher.  They used AWW app to sketchnote while reading a short story.    

I started to write a long blog about what the teachers and I liked about  sketchnoting with AWW app, but then realized we weren’t the voices you needed to hear! Instead, we asked our students, your primary audience, to give their feedback…so here it is what they had to say!

“In class, we have been using AWW App a lot! We used it to take notes on a book we were reading in class, and really enjoyed using it! I personally liked how you could type, draw, and insert pictures too!”

“I like that the program is a full control creative software that allows you to put exactly what your mind creates into something you can see with your bare eyes. It’s an ingenious idea that could revolutionize digital note taking forever!”

“The benefits of the application are that you can customize your screen and draw freely with the push of a button, which separates it from stereotypical document creators such as Microsoft Word. You can take notes more creatively and freely.”

“ Your website is wonderful, I love every little thing at you can do. I’m an artistic person, so I love the draw feature. It’s not ‘chunky’ like some drawing websites, and I’m really happy with it.. I also love how you can change the colors of the text, as well as the size.”

sketchnoting in class with AWW app

We also used AWW app in Orchestra class. We had students draw a musical symbol, and then download the picture to post this padlet.  We would have loved to draw directly onto awwapp, but this teacher was using the free version of AWW app.  After downloading, students decided how their symbol affected music (style, volume, etc), and posted in the correct column.  Our students LOVED being able to create and draw via AWW app, and said that these were their favorite aspects of the app:

  • It was very intuitive
  • I liked that you could download your drawing.
  • I love drawing in awwapp because it has changing color and and eraser.
  • they way you get to express yourself

We also asked our students what they thought could be improved on AWW app.  They said:

“First, when using the eraser i have no idea of what I am erasing until it is gone. I think it would be a good idea if you highlighted the outline of the eraser  of the entire eraser it self.”

“As an experienced beta tester for indie/small devs (as well as an amateur dev myself) I can see the problems my peeve is the hairballs in the script.The panning tool feels redundant, as well as the disappearing text boxes with clicking the outline, overall I believe they are small but very annoying.”

“I think it would be cool if you were able to select your drawing and move it/ shrink it.”

“I was having trouble finding the spell check. You could try to make it its own tab.”

“Sometimes, when I have written a paragraph, I accidentally click somewhere else, making the ‘type here’ thing pop up. I then press the undo button on instinct, to get rid of the ‘type here’, but it deletes my paragraph I wrote instead. So it would be helpful if you added a button that undid your undo. I think it would also be cool if you could change the font of the text, even to some other simple one like comic sans or Verdana or Raleway (from google docs)”

sketchnoting in class with AWW app

We introduced AWW app to our students before version 3, but had them check it out!  Here’s what they enjoyed about the update:

“I enjoy the fact that you can now save the awwapp that does help a great deal more than you may know.”

“the post-it note”

Our teachers were able to use AWW app to enhance lessons that have been done the same way for awhile.  By integrating  your app  students are now able learn and contribute in the way that makes sense to them, either by drawing, typing, writing, or inserting pictures.  Being able to change a task that was previously disengaging to interactive and enjoyable is a huge win for us.  Thank you for creating this app, we can’t wait to use it in more of our classes!

Guest Blog Post: How to Improve Connection with Students in the Classroom

For me, being able to walk around the class and making a connection with students while delivering a lesson is a must. Being tethered to the whiteboard and having to turn my back to write was just not working. Add on all the wasted time of writing a problem, walking around the class helping one student at a time, then walking back up to the board. Finally, being so far away from the students in my class meant students in the back would be less focused thinking I wouldn’t notice them.

Communicate with all your students – not just those closest to the board

Enter AWWApp. Now, I am able to connect my computer to the iPad using a QR code and walk around anywhere in the classroom to work in whole group, small group, or with individuals. Whole group lessons became much more effective. I was able to walk around the class and allow students to show their work to everyone else. Having my students use the iPad to show their work right there from their desk made them feel more empowered.

Be there for your students when they need your help the most

Found a common misconception? No problem, I just start explaining it and start correcting that issue from wherever I am. Using AWW allows me to be close to those students and make sure they are getting it. 

Present your work on a big screen

Another piece that made it really convenient was not having to write upside down in small group. I would just project it and the screen was larger and easier to read for them without me needing to write upside down. 

AWWapp has made a great impact in my classroom and any situation when I needed a wireless whiteboard like professional developments or faculty meetings. I highly suggest using this in your class. It will be the solution to many classroom issues like behavior, permanent whiteboards, or tethered computers. 

Guest Blog Post: Creating Instructional Math Videos With AWW & Screencastify

Fourth-grade students in Ms. Doroodchi’s math class at Beck Elementary were recently given the challenge of creating instructional videos for their peers and future fourth graders. With their recent studies on division and understanding remainders, the problem-solving block transformed into a time of creating and explaining their thinking. To say they were excited about the task would be an understatement.

Visualizing Math Problems With AWW

Initially, students worked in groups and were tasked with writing and solving original word problems that would require the use of their division skills. The group captain was responsible for composing the word problem, while other group members solved the problem and analyzed the remainder.

In preparation for making the instructional video, students were introduced to Aww App. The digital whiteboard allowed students the opportunity to practice solving problems on their Chromebook. The first day students spent time simply exploring Aww App and the available tools.

The initial problems solved were generated by the teacher and students used applicable tools to solve the problem and justify their thinking. Aww App provides students with the ability to add text, images, and their own annotations with drawing and shape tools. Students utilized different tools throughout their exploration depending on need.

Visualizing Math Problems with AWWAPP
Visualizing Math Problems with AWW. Courtesy of Kelli Sanders

Making Instructional Math Videos with Screencastify

Screencastify was used to create the final recording of their instructional video. Used in conjunction with Aww App, students were able to share their word problem and show the steps necessary for solving the problem all while explaining and justifying themselves verbally along the way. Sophia was especially excited about the project saying:

I love how easy it is to record and share. Instead of sharing your work in front of the class with your math journal, you have your work ready to be shown on the big screen”.

Making Instructional Videos with Screencastify. Courtesy of Kelli Sanders

This project provided students with the opportunity to demonstrate several ISTE Standards for Students. The empowered learner “leverages technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals”. Additionally, the creative and global communicator strands were addressed as students published content for an intended audience and collaborated within groups in their classroom.

 

Guest Blog Post: Poetry Visualization in English Class With AWW


A few months ago, I was browsing Twitter and noticed a tweet about this new application online that would enable you to use it as a whiteboard.  I was instantly curious, so I checked it out.  My initial thoughts were, “How cool is this!?”, and my thoughts soon turned to, “How can I use this?”

One Word Concrete Poetry with 7th Graders

As quite a new user to awwapp.com, I am still learning all the ins and outs of it.  My first use was in a poetry class with grade 7s.  I had my students use iPads and awwapp.com to create concrete poetry.  We began by talking about one-word concrete poetry, and I showed them a few examples. Next, it was their turn to try AWWApp. I gave them a word like “rollercoaster” and they had to create a concrete poem on their iPads that gave meaning and form to the word “rollercoaster”.  We tried several words, each word students would get about one minute to create using AWWApp, and then they would have to hold up their iPads to share their creativity with the class.  This was just a simple, basic use for AWWApp, but it was so effective and most of all – FUN.  After using AWWApp in this capacity, students were hooked, and they asked about using it the next time they came to class!

Shakespeare on the Whiteboard

I wanted to try this with my grade 8 class as well, to see if they were as eager and excited about this new application. Once again, it was something I was still learning about, so we stuck to the most basic of uses but found it so much fun to share in this way.  Students worked in pairs collaborating on the same board and represented lines of Shakespeare’s “7 Ages of Man” soliloquy visually.  We had broken down the soliloquy into the different ages, and students had already visually represented each age on a Google Slideshow.  As a way to share with the class, we took the time to represent our slideshows on AWWApp.  Students would create a small sketch and indicate the age range they figured the age Shakespeare described was related to.  My grade 8s had a lot of fun drawing on the board, using the colour palette, and playing with the size of the lines.  As they completed each age and held up their iPads for the class to see how they represented each age, they had fun seeing what each pair had done, and I was able to see if they were accurate in their translation of Shakespeare’s “Ages of Man”.

Poetry visualization tool

Conclusion

As I am sure is true with all teachers, time is something I wish I had more of. With more time, I am looking forward to more ways I can use AWWApp in my classroom. I love the collaboration ability, as this is so key in what I do in my classroom. I know this will be a feature I will continue to make a lot of use of. In addition, the integration with Google Classroom is fantastic, and as a Google Classroom user, this feature will be valuable. I see this application as a tool that will become part of my repertoire and one that my students will look forward to using in many ways. I have already recommended it to several colleagues.

6 C’s of Education in your Classroom

It all started with 4 C’s of the 21st – century education: critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. These are the skills that many of you teachers are familiar with and already implementing them in your classrooms. However, this is not where C’s are ending. In his blog post, Brian S. Miller first introduced the world to the new, augmented concept – the 6 C’s of education. He suggested the concept after talking to his colleagues, listening to their suggestions, and studying materials of education leaders of today. In this post, we’ll take a look at this concept.

The Importance of 6 C’s of Education

Before digging deep in the concept, it’s important to highlight the value of these new educational skills. The key purpose of educational institutions is preparing children for their future jobs. However, the problem educational institutions are facing is that future of today’s children is so unpredictable. Jobs we can’t even imagine are created every day. Employers require creative and problem-solving skills and an ability to adapt to changes. Those new skills and abilities kids can’t polish by solving standardized tests. That’s why teachers need to foster new skills in the classroom- skills of 6 C’s education.

21st century skills: The 6 C's of Education
The 6 C’s of Education. Photo Credit: Michael Fullan & Sylvia Duckworth

6 C’s of Education

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the process of filtering, analyzing and questioning information/content found in various media, and then synthesizing it in a form that has a value to an individual. It allows students to make sense of the presented content and apply it to their daily lives.

Collaboration

Collaboration is a skill of utilizing various personalities, talents, and knowledge in a way to create a maximum outcome. The outcome must provide a benefit to the entire community or a group. Due to synergy, the common outcome has a greater value than a sum of values of each individual outcome. Check how you can sparkle collaboration in your classroom with few easy games.

Communication

Communication is a skill of presenting information in a clear, concise and meaningful way. It also designates careful listening and articulating thoughts. Communication has various purposes: informing, instructing, motivating, and persuading.

Creativity

In the 21st century, an individual must be able to create something new or create something in a new way, utilizing the knowledge he has already acquired. It does not just signify art, but also various solutions to a problem in real life situations. In our last blog post, we have suggested few methods how to foster creativity in the math classroom.

Citizenship/ Culture

This is a part where various authors point out different skills. Miller states the culture as one of the pieces of 6 C’s, while Michael Fullan features citizenship. When we look closer, they are not so different, and actually, they go hand in hand with one another. It is important for an individual to be in touch with everything that surrounds him – both culture and community.

Character Education/ Connectivity

According to Miller, understanding the importance of human connectivity in the world filled with technology is a necessary skill to teach children. Fullan highlights character education as the last C. It includes school’s commitment to helping young people become responsible, caring, and contributing citizens.

How to Foster 6 C’s in your Classroom?

So, how can you implement 6C’c in your everyday curriculum? How can you inspire your students to start developing their creativity, communicative and critical skills? You can start by trying these few methods, and see how they work for you. Changing traditional teaching ways can be hard, but it’s rewarding to see how your students transform into scholars of the 21st century.

Try AWW App for Free

Project Based Learning

Project-based learning is probably more closely associated with 21st-century learning skills than any other form of learning. According to Buck Institute for Education, project-based learning is “a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge“.

Within a project, students are involved with a meaningful real-life problem over a defined period of time. Students are required to find a solution to it through a process of asking questions, finding, analyzing and applying information and employing their creativity skills. Usually, the process also includes decision making, working in teams and reviewing for the sake of improving the final solution.

Project based learning: 6C's of education
Project-based learning. Photo Credit: zulama.com

Moving through the process, students develop skills that include problem-solving, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. It’s important to emphasize that the goal of a project-based learning is not solving the problem, but gaining aforementioned skills throughout the process of solving the problem. Teach Thought lists fifty ideas for projects you can try out in your classroom.

Try AWW App for Free

Genius Hour

A Genius hour is another teaching method in the classrooms of the 21st century. The movement refers to a certain amount of time during class that teacher give to students to explore their passions. Genius hour originates in Google’s practice of giving the engineers 20% of their time to work on any project they want. The idea was simple – give people the freedom to do what they want and the productivity will go up. Since it worked pretty well for Google, why not try it in the classroom?

The crucial part of Genius hour is defining a fine line between helping students to focus on the problem and letting them explore the topic on their own. While it’s OK to guide them in the beginning, at some point you’ll have to let them work at their own pace and in their own style.

Principles of Genius Hour

According to Teach Thought, there are six principles of Genius HourSense of purpose refers to a purpose students find in the topic they choose to explore. Students Design their own learning methodology. Through Inquiry & Navigation students make sense of ideas important to them. At the end of the day, a Genius hour is all about Creating something out of the learning process – a new thought, idea or a project. Socialization refers to connections students make with teachers, peers, and members of a community to help them carry out their projects. Lastly, there is an 80/20 Rule which refers to a schedule of time within a curriculum divided between a traditional class and Genius Hour.

6 Principles of Genius Hour. Photo Credit: Teach Thought

While it’s not important to follow 80/20 rule, be sure to define a certain amount of time when your students will freely explore their passions. They’ll develop critical thinking skills while exploring the topic, creativity while expressing their new knowledge, and communication skills while highlighting the importance of the knowledge they’ve gained. If you’re looking for Genius hour ideas, there’s a Google + community discussing the topic and sharing experiences.

 

Guest Blog Post: Collaborating in Trigonometry Class with AWW

 
I have recently been introduced to the AWW app, and immediately began using it in my classroom. What an amazing tool to use with students. This app allows you to annotate on a board, which can be shared with students and they can add their notes as well. Therefore, I find this to be a great collaboration tool, with a whole class or even small groups.

Trigonometry Class with AWW

Just as students work together using Google documents, sheets, or drawings, the AWW app allows students to work together and works great especially in a math classroom. Students can work out problems and also insert pictures. Here are some pictures of the first time we tried it in our Geometry class working on Right Triangle Trigonometry. The following week when students were working on problems, a few students decided to use this tool on their own to work together. Also, I like how you can download the picture images and share them with everyone using any format.
 
 
Photo Courtesy of Amy Caputo. Working on Right Triangle Trigonometry

Student Collaboration in Trigonometry Class

Here is a group of students working on a Trigonometry problem, using a board they created to collaborate. Specifically, in this assignment, students were asked to solve a problem and share their work in Google Classroom. The assignment details are also shown below. I look forward to sharing this tool at our next faculty meeting during the ‘Teacher Talk’ share out.
 
 
trigonometry class group project
Photo Courtesy of Amy Caputo. Group project assignment
student collaboration in trigonometry class
Photo Courtesy of Amy Caputo. Student Collaboration

Guest Blog Post: 21st Century ELA Classroom with AWW

The 4 Cs of 21st-century learning (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity) should be the backbone of all lessons in today’s classrooms. Often, finding a tool that is able to address all of those areas is difficult. However, Awwapp has created just that.

Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication and Creativity in ELA Classroom

Recently, my 6th graders used Awwapp to analyze the traits of a character from the memoir we are reading. They needed to use critical thinking to support their claim and collaborate with their partner to ensure that all aspects of the assignment were covered. Also, they had to communicate effectively to demonstrate their learning. Lastly, they had to use their creativity to develop a visually appealing piece that encompassed the evidence needed to support their claim.

Collaboration and Creativity in ELA classroom
Photo Courtesy of Bridget MacQueen. Visualizing Character Traits with AWW

Awwapp provides a platform with which incorporating these 4 Cs is a cinch. My favorite part is the messaging feature. Students are able to communicate within Awwapp itself. Hence, this is a skill that they need to develop through practice. By implementing Awwapp into my classroom, I have been able to provide students with more opportunities to communicate via messaging. Sometimes, their partners are within the classroom, but at other times, they are in another classroom. Therefore, the messaging feature comes in very handy. 

Collaboration and Creativity in ELA classroom
Photo Courtesy of Bridget MacQueen. Portraying Character Traits with AWW

These opportunities for exercising their creativity through collaboration and effective communication is a breeze with Awwapp. AWW app is truly adaptable for use in all content areas. Moreover, the ease of its use is a major plus.

Creative Thinking In Math Classroom

For years creativity was discouraged in schools. Teachers were imposing strict guidelines kids should follow when doing their assignments. There was only one correct answer and one accurate process, while everything else was wrong. In that old-fashioned setup, following rules and standards was the best way to become a successful A grade student. Luckily, things started to change lately. Teachers slowly started to recognize the huge importance of fostering creative thinking in the classroom. Math class teachers are surely one of the pioneers of creativity – inspired teaching.

Creative Thinking = Divergent thinking

When thinking about the word divergent, I’m sure you had negative connotations coming to your mind. Now, let’s stop for a moment and see what the word divergent really means. Scholars describe divergent as tending to be different or develop in different directions. Divergent thinking refers to the way the mind generates ideas beyond prescribed expectations and rote thinking. Is being different really that bad? Although we can all agree it’s not, it’s been rooted deeply in our minds that different means wrong. Why is that so?

As children, our divergent capability operates at a genius level. Starting with our education, the system teaches us that doing things differently is wrong. Due to the system suppression, the ability to think divergently decreases drastically as we grow.

creative thinking in math classroom- divergent thinking

What exactly the divergent thinking has to do with creativity? The definition of creativity is the ability to come up with original, unique solutions to problems or ideas. In other words, creating something new, a new value. That being said, thinking differently than others is actually required if you want to come up with something different, something unique. So, basically, thinking divergently is a key to creativity.

Fostering Critical Thinking Inside Classroom

The world we have known is changing rapidly. Set of skills we have now, might not be valid in few years. The ability to adapt to new conditions and situations is a crucial skill. Employers want you to look beyond the answers. Creativity is valued as the most important business skill, while creative thinking is one of the keys to economic prosperity in the 21st century. So, how can we prepare our children for this fast changing, hectic environment?

creative thinking in math classroom - importance of creativity in schools
Photo Credit: Dylan Wiliam

By allowing students to nourish their creative thinking in the classroom you are preparing them for the world outside of it. Turn your classroom into an open space of free thinkers and wonderers. Allow your students to use new thinking tools, to tweak solution paths and facilitate new processes. The best way for students to learn how to think creatively is to let them think creatively. Let them test, revise and draw conclusions from their own judgments. With time, they will become more and more confident in their thinking.

Creative Thinking in Math Classroom

Lack of creative thinking in math classroom results in memorizing techniques, without imagining how, where or why to use them in real life. Setting up an environment in which mistakes are allowed, and making sure that your students know there is more than one solution to a problem will go in favor of creativity. Math is as much about posing problems as problem-solving, and at that point, the creativity is in noticing there is something to investigate. Another powerful tool in supporting students as independent, creative thinkers is the use of questioning. In this environment, classroom needs to value difference and learn from that diversity and creativity. I have listed few techniques that will help you out in boosting creative thinking in math classroom.

Number Talks

Number talks are sessions where students present various solutions to math problems. They are not using pencil, pen, calculator or algorithm, but only their mental process often referred to as mental math. Students solve problems by breaking and decomposing numbers. Once they solve the problem, they need to explain the logic of their solutions to the entire class. It is a great way of both facilitating students’ creative thinking and practicing their argumentation. 

creative thinking in math classroom - number talks
Photo Credit: Catherine Reed

Teachers usually structure number talks in a way that students sit on their seats, while a teacher writes down their solutions on a board. It sometimes may be hard for all the solutions to fit a board, causing that some of them have to be erased. Further on, students might not be able to see all the writings on a board from their seats. AWW has a simple solution to these problems. Use AWW as an online smartboard and let your students solve problems from their seats. Solutions will display both on a smartboard or a projections screen and their own devices. You can manage students’ participating rights, as you don’t want them all to be able to draw at the same time.

creative thinking in math classroom - number talks
Photo Credit: Catherine Reed
Writing Their Own Problems

One of the ways to spark creative thinking inside the classroom is by letting your students write their own math problems. Benefits of this practice are various. You can assess whether your students can apply higher-level thinking skills. Students can improve their argumentation skills while they practice explaining the logic behind their problems. You will also get a feedback at which level of understanding are they, as they will come up only with the problems they can personally solve. Students will include their personal stories and experiences into their explanations. Thanks to that, you will learn a great deal about your students’ interests and life outside of a classroom.

 

 

5 Google Classroom Updates in 2017

Google Classroom is a platform that 20 million students, educators, and administrators all over the world use every day to learn, teach, share knowledge and monitor students’ progress. That being said, Google Classroom keeps progressing and improving to meet the needs of its widespread users. In this blog post, I’ll introduce you with 5 Google Classroom updates published in 2017, designed for each of aforementioned groups of users.

Google Classroom Updates for Teachers

Individual Assignments

By default, teachers can post assignments to all students in the class. Starting from January 2017, teachers can post assignments to individual students. This option allows the teacher to make differentiated assignments and apply the more individual approach in the classroom

To make it done, you need to click the triangle next to students button in your course. That will activate the drop down menu where you can choose to select all users or pick individual students.

However, you can not post to individual students if more than one class is included. Also, you can not post individually to more than 100 students at a time.

Google Classroom updates for teachers
Making individual assignments
Teacher Notifications

Google Classroom has updated teacher notifications. Teachers can now see whenever a student submits the assignment past the due date. Also, if a student resubmits a work after a teacher has already reviewed it, a teacher will receive notification.

Inviting via Email

Starting from March 2017, teachers can invite students and co-teachers to their classes via email. Invited user will get an email with the instructions on how to join the class.

Google Classroom Updates for Students

Student Notifications

The new update will help students to turn in their assignments on time. The student will get a notification 24 hours prior to the assignment due date.

Notification Management

Both students and teachers can manage their mobile notification settings. They can choose which type of notifications they want to receive on their mobile devices.

Google Classroom Updates for Personal Accounts

Recently, Google Classroom has announced probably the biggest update of the year! Google for education has broadened its eligible accounts policy and allowed users to sign up with personal Google accounts. 

This is a revolutionary move from Google Classroom, as it actually means that you don’t need to have a G Suite for Education anymore. It opened the doors to all those users who aren’t associated with any school. Homeschooling parents, online tutors and life long learners can now create their Google Classroom accounts.

However, there is a catch. Although you can create Google Classroom account with a personal Google account, you can not yet create your classes. At this moment, you can only join an existing class. Creating feature will be available over the next few weeks. In the meantime, you can ask Google to let you create your class before that. When you click a create a class button, the notification box will open. Click the “Let us know” link on the bottom that will lead you to Google form. Fill it out and wait for a response.

Google Classroom Updates

Google Classroom Updates for Administrators

User Metrics

As a G Suite for Education administrator you access users metrics like weekly active users, a number of active classes, created courses and posts. These metrics should help administrators to reduce paperwork and measure the success of both teachers and students.

Google Classroom Updates from AWW

Last week AWW introduced an update of Google Classroom board share. With this enhanced version, teachers and students can have more integrated user experience of AWW and Google Classroom.

Teachers can now create assignments, announcements and ask questions from within AWW board, while students can turn in their completed assignments directly from the application.

Google Classroom Updated with AWW
Sending Assignments in AWW

Beginner’s Guide to Paperless Classroom

Starting with Paperless Classroom

If I ask every teacher what would make their work better, their answer would probably be – more efficient and organized classroom. More time for students and less time doing paperwork. Paperless classroom is an concept which, if implemented thoughtfully and carefully, can make your teaching wishes come true.

However, when starting to think about going paperless, you’ll have to consider some facts. As in every concept, you have to take into account both benefits and challenges. At the beginning, set your expectations low, and see how the paperless concept works for you. Test it. Adapt it to your needs. When you’re ready, set the goals and keep track of them.

Paperless Classroom
Courtesy of: Paul Gigliotti

Benefits of Paperless Classroom

The two most obvious benefits of paperless classroom are smaller cost and less time spent for printing out. Printing out endless number of assignments, homework, syllabi and exams, can be cumbersome and exhausting work. Not to mention, the costs of paper, ink and maintenance can add up to enormous sums. Average American school pays $25,000 annually just for the costs of paper! This alone is a reason enough to start considering implementation of a digital classroom concept.

Beyond these obvious benefits, there are other perks of implementing paperless classroom system into your school. Paperless implementation can result in a more sustainable and efficient workflow. No more “dog ate my homework” or misplaced exams. Another big value of having a cloud based system is access to data. Teacher can access student data and see whether he’s turned in his homework right from his couch. Deeper analysis of student data can show how student progress over time.

Benefits of Paperless Classroom
Courtesy of: chalkup.co

Not doing things old way, can create a lot of extra time for student collaboration end engagement. Doing things digitally can save time and make more engagement friendly environment. Concepts like flipped classroom and blended learning are some of the examples of fostering collaboration with the use of paperless technology.

When kids got all the learning materials available in a cloud base or LMS system they can access it whenever they want. Discussions started in classroom can continue at students’ homes. Moreover, Students can share their homework or a group assignments with friends and collaboratively solve problems. As a teacher you can access their assignments in real time end even help them with their struggles from your home.

Students can engage with the lessons in the way they find more comfortable. Gamification is the perfect example. Students can feel more like they’re having fun, than actually learning, and thus likely to involve more. Furthermore, digital audio-visual formats like videos and screencasts are by a definition more engaging way of consuming information then one-dimensional textual forms.

Challenges of Paperless Classroom

No system is perfect. There are several challenges to think about when transitioning to paperless. The obvious one is access to internet and devices. Both of them cost money. In addition, there are tools that you’ll use to transform your class to digital. Whether it is a comprehensive system or a simple app you’ll have to think about money that you’ll need to invest in it. Lastly, think about the hidden costs. Many of products have freemium pricing models. If you don’t pay attention to small print, you may unknowingly end up being charged for an increase of a service.

Paperless ClassroomAnother challenge is a question of training. As much as systems are becoming more easy to use, there is a certain time period that’ll need to pass before accommodating with it. We recommend you to take a trial period or demo version before actually buying a product. That way, you can avoid buying a product that you don’t feel comfortable with. Bad customer support can also be a deal breaker. Call out or send a ticket to test customer support promptness and how they’re dealing with problems.

Lastly, there’s a mind shifting challenge. Abandoning habits created for years is hard. Many older generation teachers, that didn’t grow up in the internet age, can have an aversion towards digital tools. Moreover, they can think there’s nothing wrong with printed exams and handwrite red-pen homework corrections. As a result, they can feel confused and reluctant. However, younger colleagues can help them out discover pain points when using technology and explain them that tools are not here to replace them, but to help them use their time more efficiently.

Practical Steps to Go Paperless

♦ Build up your digital learning materials repository. LMS systems or cloud platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox are probably the best solution to collect and store all your materials. Recently, AWW has introduced embed option for Canvas, Edmodo and Moodle.

 

Paperless Classroom with Cloud Storage♦Create digital lessons/assignments. There are so many tools on the market that enable you screencast your lessons, make video tutorials and record your audio explanations or student’s thoughts. With AWW you can create and save unlimited number of lessons. Use text, drawings, images and files to create intuitive and fun learning materials.

♦ Distribute lessons digitally. It is important that you can easily distribute your lessons and assignments. AWW app has made a great tool that will help you share your saved lessons with a click of a button to entire class.  

♦ Collect completed assignments the same way you distributed it. Students can easily turn in their AWW assignments by sharing them to Google Classroom.

♦ Monitor progress of your students. When we’re talking about monitoring progress over time, yet again, LMS systems come in handy .

♦ Connect with parents. Share grades, lessons and assignments with parents and keep them in the loop.

Embedding Whiteboard inside Canvas & Moodle

If you are a teacher, you’re probably using some sort of LMS system. LMS systems became prevalent these days, as they help teachers and administrative staff to manage their tasks more efficient. LMS platforms are effective and responsive way for educators to create, deliver and manage their content, as well as monitor and assess participation in their class. All that being said, we can all agree that learning management systems are life savers.

Drawing and Sketching inside LMS

Surely, most of you use your LMS as a central place for creating, storing and sharing your lessons, assignment and other instructions. Sharing assignments and quizzes with your students can make your classes more interactive and students more engaged.

Most LMS systems, like Canvas or Moodle, enable you to upload various file formats into your assignments and quizzes. You can upload videos, text files, images and sheets. But, what about whiteboard, a canvas where you can doodle along with your students? Did you ever, as a teacher, have a need to draw out a complex math formula or electric circuit and share your drawings with your students? Did you ever wanted to make a group assignment or discussion, for which a visual note taking tool would come as a perfect solution? Well, I suppose a lots of you have found yourself in a situation like that. No wonder why, because whiteboard is a flexible and simple tool that can be very useful in everyday teaching environment.

Yes, there are a number of whiteboard services and platforms specialized for educators. But they all require you to create an account, remember a password, learn how can you add your students to it etc. There are also plans that don’t allow you to add entire class in a free version, and you have to pay money for it. All that taken into account, it would be so much nicer to have a whiteboard inside your LMS. A System that you already have an account for, your students connected to it and all materials stored in.

Create your Assignments with AWW

With a new AWW embed option, you can create a shared whiteboard and share it via embed link to your assignment right in your LMS dashboard. With just one click you can share an assignment with an entire class. Have your student brainstorm and express themselves visually on the board. Group your students in smaller groups and let them discuss between themselves, using whiteboard to draw up key points. Whether you are using a Moodle or Canvas, AWW works fine and seamless with both.

Copy and Paste Embed Link into LMS

 Have all Materials at One Place

Having AWW lessons in your LMS system makes easier for teachers to organize their classes and have all materials at the same place. There is no need for creating various accounts and remembering different passwords. AWW embed link is available to all users in a free version. You can just enter awwapp.com, create a lesson and embed it into your LMS without the need for registration.

 

BETT London 2017 Review: Teachers Needs Beyond Technology

In the wake of the Bett Show that took place two weeks ago in London EXCEL center, our team discussed what have we learned from it. I wanted to share my conclusions with you in a short review.

What Bett Taught Us

AWW was exhibiting at this renowned educational show that lasted four days. There was a huge promenade of startups, enormous corporations and IT giants offering their interactive whiteboards, content software, school safety solutions and so on. I caught myself thinking: I really can’t imagine being in shoes of these teachers, trying to find the right solution for their classrooms. The offer is just too big, information overload is inevitable.

Our primary goal wasn’t to offer our product but to educate ourselves and find out what teachers really need. We are not teachers, and we really don’t know what is going on in the classrooms. But, we are eager to find it out. We strongly believe that market research is the only way to make a proper product and Bett was our perfect opportunity to speak face to face with educators across the world.

BETT London Review

We talked with more than 800 visitors – teachers, school leaders and IT guys. We talked with people from all European countries, Indian subcontinent, China, and UAE. Finally, we came to a staggering conclusion. Although there is a pretty deep level of technology penetration inside schools in terms of interactive hardware and devices for each student, there is an overall confusion and lack of knowledge of how to use it in a meaningful way. By meaningful, I mean using technology to transform classes from traditionally based classrooms to collaboration and discussion oriented flipped classrooms. 80% of our interviewers do not use technology in a way that helps their students to engage with a class. Other 20% use it only sporadically. Technology is there to help, but if not used properly, it simply loses its purpose.

BETT London Review

Next Steps for Teaching Beyond Technology

With the feedback we got from teachers, we have drawn out high-level ideas of what we’re trying to accomplish:

  • Give teachers the power to transform their classes by letting their students be in charge of their learning.
  • Let students explore the content in the way that feels the most comfortable to them.
  • Make a platform that gives students a chance to share the knowledge and collaborate with their friends.
  • Give students a chance to show and elaborate the knowledge from their perspective.

We want to hear your opinion as well. After all, research is a continuous process. So, do not hesitate to reach us and send us your suggestions at dorotea@awwapp.com

Guest Blog Post: Collaborating in 3rd Grade Math Class with AWW

Math Class Collaboration on Any Device Any Time

As an instructional technology coach, looking for tools that help create a student-centered classroom that engages and includes all students is a must.  Interactive boards or wall mounted whiteboard are limited in few ways: Number of students who can use it at the same time, remote student input when they are not physically in the room, and the ease of keeping the work for future reference. One tool that helps is A Web Whiteboard (AWW). AWW scales these challenges by allowing input for all students, no matter where they are located. Also, it gives teachers the ability to transform a classroom by allowing students to collaborate and communicate on any device at any time.  The advantages and possibilities are endless. Also, the features and ease of use allow for implementation at any grade level.

 Math Class Collaboration with AWW
Student Collaboration in Math Class

Smashing AWW with Screencastify

While I was a coach at the Wilson School District, in West Lawn, PA, students and teachers were using AWW in many creative ways. It allowed teachers and students to communicate with each other in innovative ways. 

One of many creative ways was the smashing of AWW and Screencastify. In Mrs. Hueyett’s 3rd-grade class, at Whitfield Elementary school, students were tasked with creating a how-to video on the commutative properties of multiplication. The property can be a tough concept for students to grasp verbally. With the help of AWW it became a visual and hands-on learning experience.  By combining student research, creativity, AWW, and screencastify students drew out their math problem and voice annotated directions to walk their audience through the process. Students then shared their videos with other students to teach them about the property from a student perspective.

AWW app collaboration in Math Class
Recording AWW App Boards in Math Class

Students love creating with AWW, and the tool gave them the ability to share what they learned with an authentic audience.  The ease and benefits of AWW are an endless asset to schools.  Check out AWW app today and let your student’s creativity take over.  

 

Sketchnoting in the Classroom with AWW

Sketchnoting is really a buzzword these days. You cannot surf a web without stumbling upon a blog post or guide introducing sketchnoting skills, sketchnoting for beginners, sketchnoting resources… And we can’t blame them – sketchnoting is a really great way to enhance your student’s creativity, information retaining and interaction in the classroom. AWW app can help you achieve that.

Why Sketchnoting?

There is a number of reasons why your kids should start making their sketches in the classroom. Sketchnoting is the most creative and individual learning method for kids and is more personal than a classic note taking.

Kids memorize better while taking visual notes. The visual cues in sketchnotes enhance their recall process. When kids are sketching, they are basically organizing information visually and arranging it in a hierarchy. This spatial arrangement of information provides a structural framework for the content.

Kids can arrange information the way that best suits their learning habits and abilities.  Each student has a particular style to portray his or her knowledge of the topic. Sketchnoting allows them to express their style and release their creativity.

Kids are developing listening, organizing and summarizing skills while sketchnoting. Unlike classical note taking, sketchnoting is a higher order process of capturing information. It requires a combination of listening, thinking, visualizing and drawing at the same time.

It’s fun so kids stay focused and engaged with lessons. Try it out in your classroom and watch your kids draw and create their sketches! They will absolutely love it!

4 Components of Sketchnoting

There are four main components of sketchnoting.

  1. Text
  2. Images
  3. Frames/ Containers
  4. Connectors

4 Elements of Sketchnoting

Boost your Sketchnoting with AWW

  • No need for pencil or notebook

With AWW your kids won’t need pencils or notebooks to start making awesome sketches. The only thing they’re going to need is their own mobile phone or a tablet provided by your school.

  • Share your work with the world

There are few things that give so much pleasure like an admiration you get for your work. Motivate your students to master the art of sketchnoting and let them share their sketchnotes with their friends on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Include friends

Have your students invite other classmates to join their boards to make a collaborative sketch. Students can use it outside the classroom as a fun and easy learning method for study groups.

  • Drawing options at a glance 

Make your drawing as easy as possible and use AWW advanced tools. Make a circle, rectangle or line with a tap on the board. Type in the text or erase it without hassle. Add files and draw sketches on the top of them. Upload your presentations or images and make your sketches even more visual. Save your sketch and add a missing drawing afterward with AWW templates.

  • Have unlimited canvas

A classic notebook is limited with a size of the page. With AWW you can expand your canvas as much as you need. You can even add additional pages to your board for each lesson or topic and export it as a single pdf file.

 

AWW Introduces New Features: Features For Teachers Part 7

Recently, we have introduced a feature that enables you to upload PDF and PPT files into the AWW board. The experience is now complete, because now you can also export your board content as a PDF file.

Export Your AWW Interactive Presentation into PDF File

You have prepared your lesson PDF file, upload it on the board, and have had your children taking notes, writing sketches and marking words on the top of it. This great interactive presentation will make a perfect learning material for your students. But, there’s a catch – you couldn’t download your multiple page presentation in a nice readable form. Well, we have some good news for you: you can now export your multipage board into one single PDF file and have your presentation at a glance! PDF export is a premium feature, but you can have a 30 days free trial if you register at our page.

How to Export Board Content into PDF

Log into your account and create your board. When you’re ready to export click on the Invite to board button. When the dialog box opens choose an Export to PDF option. Once you click on it, you’ll get notified that you’ll receive your file at your email when it’s ready. Let’s create and export your interactive presentations right away!

Invite to board button AWW app
Invite to board button

Export to PDF file AWW app
Export to PDF button

Guest blog post: AwwApp – A Kindergarten Favorite Collaboration & Creation Tool

To some, technology in the Kindergarten classroom is a very abstract idea; it poses quite a few questions. How are they going to learn to be creative? How are they going to develop their fine motor skills? How are they going to learn to communicate and collaborate? As a Kindergarten teacher, when looking at these questions, it’s a bit overwhelming to figure out how to make all of this possible while implementing technology. AwwApp has given me the opportunity to allow my students to develop each of these VERY necessary skills, while still using technology.

How are they going to learn to be creative?

Whether we are using AwwApp to practice our sight words, respond to a writing prompt, or just to have free time, my students are putting their own twist into what they are creating. They are no longer just using a whiteboard with a black marker. Now, they have 8 different colors, and 4 different sizes of markers right in front of them. They can draw, type, or insert pictures into their work. All of these tools are so easy, my Kinders taught themselves how to use them.

AWW is Kindergarten Collaboration tool
Courtesy of Mackenzi Braun

How are they going to develop their fine motor skills?

AwwApp allows my students the opportunity to use a few different methods to complete their assignments. They are either using their finger to draw and write on their touchscreen, or they are using their fingers on the trackpad to draw and write. If they choose to insert a text box to create their answer, they are developing their fine motor skills by typing on the keyboard.

Kindergarten Collaboration tool
Courtesy of Mackenzi Braun

How are they going to learn to communicate and collaborate?

We use AwwApp for free time in my Kindergarten classroom. However, we also use it to practice sight words, write sentences, and respond to given prompts. My students are communicating through the products they are creating, as well as when they share their work with the class or with a friend. AwwApp also offers the opportunity for students to collaborate by inviting them to add to the same board.

AwwApp has been a game changer in our Kindergarten classroom. Although traditional writing, cutting, and pasting is still very important in Kindergarten; AwwApp is a tool that has allowed my Kinders to continue to develop the skills that are very important at 5 and 6 years old through technology. It can be used in so many different ways, you just have to think outside the box.

Visit AWW at BETT Show London 2017

AWW is starting this year with a big entrance. Last couple of months we worked hard and made lots of great product updates and now is the time for a show-off! From January 25 to 28, AWW will be showcasing at the world’s leading education technology event, BETT London.

Why to visit BETT Show

BETT is arguably the best place to learn about educational technology this year. The vast number of seminars, exhibitions and presentations will make you shiver in excitement. From international education star, sir Ken Robinson, to world’s most influential social media personas like Charlie McDonnell and creative entrepreneurs like Imogen Heap, everyone can find something to treat himself with. You can find entire seminar agenda here . If you didn’t already, you can still register.

Visit AWW at BETT Show London
Visit BETT Show London

Visit us at C479

We’ll present AWW as an online smart board solution by projecting AWW board from tablets to projection screen. Visitors we’ll be able to try out all premium features on tablets and see how it all shows up on a screen.  We are looking forward to present you last product updates like multiple pages board, permanent board and PDF/PPT upload. At the very show, we’re going to surprise you with another cool product update, which is still in progress.

We are also be there to answer all your questions and to receive all your suggestions. Last, but not least, we’ll be giving special 20% subscription discount to all BETT visitors. 

 

5 Collaborative Classroom Games with A Web Whiteboard

Forget about dull and boring lectures with a teacher pointing on a blackboard with their stick, repeating the words and phrases and making students to memorize them by heart. With educational technology giving so much opportunities, teachers can turn boring lectures into fun and collaborative group work.  One of the most creative ways to engage your students and make your lessons fun are collaborative classroom games. Here are listed five classroom games you can do with your students on A Web Whiteboard (AWW).

Pictionary

Students who learn better through visual stimuli can memorize new terms and concepts playing Pictionary. Have your students draw their representation of the word.

Create a list of new words and terms relevant to the topic or lesson you have recently taught in your class. Divide the class into few groups, preferably of three or four members. Let one of the students from group to draw their representation of term using AWW app. The rest of the group needs to guess the meaning of the term. Let the group collaborate and discuss while guessing. Every group that guesses the term correctly gets a point.

You can do this on more complex level when reviewing history or geography lessons with older students, and on a simple level when teaching first graders new vocabulary.

Classroom games with AWW - Pictionary
Pictionary with AWW – courtesy of Danielle Moore

Hangman

Hangman is another simple game to use when reviewing lessons. It is also a great way to assess where is your class at when it comes to spelling. AWW app comes in very handy when using hangman game as an assessing method.

Create a list of the words relevant to the certain topic and divide your students into groups. Let them know the topic, or if you want to make it even easier, reveal the year or a figure relevant to the word. Have students brainstorm within the groups and try to guess the letters of the word. Each group gets to draw one letter of the word as they change turns alternately. Make a gallows for each group. For each wrong letter a group gets a part of the body on their gallows. The group with the least number of parts of the body gets the most points.

Tic-Tac-Toe

This can be a good math practice method. If you have enough tablets in your class, give one tablet per each pair of students. If you don’t, you can make this a team work with groups of four students. Or you just let your students play on their own smartphones.

Create 3×3 field tic-tac-toe grids on your AWW boards. If you want your students to solve problems for a whole period, create more than one grid. You can use multiple pages for each grid if you are a premium user. Fill each field of the grid with math problems leaving enough empty space for answers.

Divide the class into pairs or groups, according to the number of devices. Share separate boards with the grids to each group/pair and let them solve the problems within grids. Separate their answers by color – let’s say a Person A uses red color, while Person B uses green. Whoever solve the problem correctly gets a tick from the teacher. The goal is to collect three successive ticks in a row. Student who achieves that first within his group or pair can cross out these fields and get points.

Classroom games with AWW
Tic-Tac-Toe with AWW

Circle the number

This is really, really simple classroom game you can play with your kindergarten children and first graders who are learning to write. Basically, write down a bunch of numbers on your AWW board and share it with the class. If you don’t have enough devices, divide them in the groups. Read the numbers at loud and let your students to circle out right figures on the board.

There are many similar versions of the game like circle the animal, plant, letter….

Crossword

This is really awesome vocabulary practice classroom game, but it take a little bit more preparation than other classroom games mentioned in this post.

Make a list of questions and answers and create a crossword. It can be a simple crossword with only one vertical field, or more complex one, depending on the age of your students.

You can save your crossword as a template, so you can reuse it whenever you’re playing this game with your students. Share the crossword with your students and let them work in pairs or groups. You can limit the time of solving and give points for every correct answer, or you can let them unlimited time and give points to those who are the quickest.

 

Hope you’ll try out some of these classroom games and that your students are going to love it. Here are some other creative classroom games you can try out without the use of web whiteboard.

INFOGRAPHIC: Top 5 AWW Tools & Colors

We at AWW are always striving to find who are our customers and how they use AWW. We were curious about what tools you use the most, and what colors you find the most interesting. So, we crunched metrics from the past month. You wanna check them out? Let’s go!

The most popular AWW tools

We have pulled the data from over 150.000 unique drawing sessions. Our goal was to find out what are the most popular free tools. As a criteria, we considered tools that were used at least once in the drawing session. We picked five most used tools out of fourteen tools in total. We didn’t count undo tool in, though. Basic tools are in the first row, and the second one is presented by premium tools.

AWW tools
AWW tools

Not surprisingly, pencil turned out to be the most popular tool with over 33% of total tool usage. It’s an interesting fact that average user uses pencil 5 times per drawing sessions. Second place took eraser with 27%. What came as a surprise, pan tool settled as third most used tool. 11% of drawers used pan tool to move on board and expand drawing space. That is probably the best indicator of the need of multiple pages on a board.

Scissors settled at the lower part of the list with little bit under 11%. Text tool placed at the bottom of the list with only 10% of tool usage. Considering that AWW app is primarily a drawing board, we could assume that results would show something similar. Other tools participate in a total tool usage with 8% combined.

The most popular AWW colors

 

AWW colors
AWW colors

There were slight smaller differences between color usage, than between tool usage. We picked five most used colors out of eight in total. You seemed to like red the most, as it placed as a number one used color. Red is used in almost three out of ten drawing sessions. Blue settled on the second place, with 16% of total color usage. Blue is followed by black, with its share of little bit under 16%. Green and pink settled on the last two places on the list. Surprisingly, yellow didn’t enter the top 5 colors list.

What colors or tools would you like to have in AWW? If you have suggestions, we would like to hear them. Write us at dorotea@awwapp.com

AWW Introduces New Features: Features For Teachers Part 5

For the last few months, lots of teachers have asked us about possibility to upload PDF and PPT files into AWW whiteboard. Your suggestions and opinions matter to us, so we rolled up our sleeves and done some work. From now on you can upload your presentations and documents into the board and have a full teaching experience.

What Can PDF/PPT Upload Do For Your Classroom

This feature can transform your reading lessons. If you are an English, or foreign language teacher, this will probably be a game changer for your reading class preparation. Let your students circle out unknown words, phrases or synonyms, and make a group discussion.

Grammar classes can work like a dream! Just upload your PDF and every page of the document will show up in the separate page of the board. Let your students annotate transition words and passive forms with a touch of their fingers.

Annotating with AWW app
Annotating with AWW board. Courtesy of Adam

Make an interactive presentation combining PPT files and multiple pages on the board. Every slide of presentation will show up in the separate page of the board. Students can write their comments and annotate objects in the presentation without leaving their seats.

PPT upload combining with AWW multipage
Every slide is shown in the separate page

How To Upload PDFs And PPTs Into AWW

This is a premium feature, so in order to unlock it you have to sign up for one of our premium plans. Signing up for any of our plans unlocks 30 day free trial. After signing in, go over to a tool bar, and at the end of a lower row you’ll find a tool for PDF/ PPT upload.

PDF and PPT file upload into the AWW app
How to upload PDF & PPT files

Hope you’ll have a nice teaching with AWW!

 

AWW Introduces New Features: Features For Teachers Part 4

We in AWW want to redefine the process of learning by empowering teachers with useful educational technology. Therefore, our developer team is constantly working on adapting our features to suite the needs of teachers and students. That is why we started developing set of features that will integrate AWW with Google Classroom. First one in the row is AWW board share to Google Classroom. 

What Can Google Classroom Bring You?

Google Classroom can be considered as the most powerful tool in education technology. It is easy to use tool accessible from all devices. There is a variety of smart ways to use Google Classroom.

You can create an assignment and deliver it with a click of the button. The need for paper wasting is reduced with this tool. You pick from variety of Google Docs from Google Drive to create your assignment. Creating, correcting and validating assessments was never easier than with Google Form quizzes.

One of the greatest things about Google Classroom is sending feedback in real time. Students can make comments on assignments within seconds from their delivery. This is the great way to test how your students feel about your assignment- was it clear, or they need a little bit more help from your side. They can comment privately, so fear from being embarrassed or labeled as less achieving is reduced to zero.

You can also use Google Classroom as an inspirational tool. It is a pool of educational resources collected from a community of teachers. If you don’t feel quite creative or you lack of inspiration to create motivating lesson, you can check on other teachers’ lessons and get inspired by them.

It is a collaboration toolinvite other teachers to join your course and make a group project. Include specialists from different study fields and create interdisciplinary lessons.

Have your introverts to speak up! Stage fright and other limitations of a traditional classroom are diminished for those shy students.

Use Google Classroom as your pin board. Write announcements for your students and their parents using Google Classroom announcements. You can also ask for student and parent feedback sending annual or monthly questionnaires.

GGoogle Classroom share link
Google Classroom share link

Mix AWW With Google Classroom To Make The Best Results

Combining this two apps you’ll make the most of your classroom. Simplicity of AWW and resourcefulness of Google Classroom are winning combination. There are three biggest use cases that will transform your class:

Share your AWW board and use it to create assignments with a click of the button. With a variety of AWW tools, assignments are more creative than ever.

Keep your students in touch by sharing AWW lessons with those that were not able to participate in class due to sickness or other reasons.

Invite senior teachers to your Google Classroom course and use their help, or share it with a group of teachers to make a collaborative project.

Enable Google Classroom
Enable Google Classroom

To unlock this feature you’ll have to sign up on our web page and check the Enable Google Classroom integration box in your account details. When you click on the invite to board button, there will also be a link to share the board on the Google Classroom.

 

AWW Introduces New Features: Features For Teachers Part 3

Have you ever thought of how it would be really cool to draw something on AWW and than slide to another page to draw something new without the need to erase previous drawings? Well, this is your happy day! We have worked hard on creating feature that will allow you to do exactly that. Now we can proudly announce that  multipage board is out! 

Organize Your Drawings With Multipage Board

Multipage board feature allows you to make separated drawings without using new board or erasing drawings from current one. Creating new page is as easy as clicking on the + button at the bottom of the board. Content of every page is visible to all participants invited to the board.

With multipage board you can easily navigate through your drawings as there is a pagination and the arrow on the bottom of each page. Therefore, there’s no longer a need for using confusing pointer tool. Whatever page teacher is interacting with, students will see that exact page.

AWW Multipage board
AWW Multipage board

Let Your Students Collaborate & Interact

As a teacher, you often need to structure your lessons into differently themed chapters. With multipage board you are able to organize your chapters with as many pages as you need. For instance, you can structure your literature lessons into the pages associated with specific writer.

Using multipage feature will unleash students’ creativity in classroom group assignments. For instance, you can let your students to create educational collaborative comic with a historical person as a main character.

Try It For Free

Multipage feature is a premium feature that is available in all AWW premium plans. You can start a one month free trial by registering at awwapp.com/register and see how it works for you.

Join AWW Ambassador Program

You love AWW app and want to share your love with others? You are a school technology instructor or edtech conference speaker? Join our Ambassador program and get access to cool benefits.

What Is AWW Ambassador Program?

AWW ambassador program is intended for all AWW users who want to promote and spread the word about AWW on conferences, workshops, and similar events. Specifically, it’s not a financial reward program (we do have a separate affiliate program).

What Can AWW Ambassador Program Offer You?

As a token of thanks, we are giving out a Personal premium plan to every ambassador, for as long as he’s active within the program. Also, this is an opportunity for an ambassador to be among first to try out our new premium features.

Also, we’ll provide you with a special promo QR code and a link that you can share with your audience. The link and QR code include ambassador’s name. Anybody who signs up with your link or code will get 2 months free of any premium plan. 

www.awwapp.com/info/plans/?ref=*your_name*

Requirements

Ambassador is considered active when promoting or showcasing AWW in 3 or more events in a school year. Event size is not specified – it can be as simple as a school district meeting, or big as an annual conference. Specifically, we would not require ambassadors to structure their presentation or topic in any way. We would like that the content and structure of your presentation reflects how you feel about AWW and how you use it!

Any person who is legally an adult in United States and United Kingdom is eligible for the program.

AWW Support

Every ambassador will have our support. When entering the program you’ll get guidelines and preparation material with key facts and graphics you could use in your presentations, along with your QR code and link. Moreover, we’ll prepare promo materials (use cases, videos, product updates) that we’ll send you regularly to keep you updated.

How To Join In?

If this sounds good to you – here’s what you need to do. Send an e-mail to ambassador@awwapp.com with a name, surname and an e-mail address with which you have previously registered on our page. We will provide you with a Premium plan using that e-mail address.

AWW Introduces New Features: Features For Teachers Part 2

We can proudly announce that another feature for teachers is out and ready: AWW presents board invitation via QR code!

Simplify your classroom collaboration

Having in mind that simplicity is one of AWW’s key advantages, we didn’t hesitate when you have suggested us this awesome feature. With QR code invitation classroom collaboration is even simpler than before. Teachers can share their boards with students in matter of seconds and focus on what really matters – teaching.

AWW QR Code

How to share boards via QR code?

There is absolutely the same invitation mechanism as before, only with slight improvement. When you click on the “invite to board” button, QR code will generate along with the invitation link. Right click on the QR code and press “Open image in new tab”. By opening the QR code in another tab in full size on the projection screen, students can take photos of QR codes from their seats. Shared boards will then automatically open on their mobile phones. That easy!

 

How To Become AWW Affiliate Partner

Every entrepreneur can agree that most valuable resource of every company or brand are their customers! We in AWW appreciate our customers very much and we’re thinking of way to reward them for their engagement. Therefore, we started an affiliate program. 

What Can Affiliate Partner Program Offer You?

AWW affiliate program offers you an opportunity to earn a little extra money while promoting app that you love. AWW app offers a range of premium plans with subscription fees. By becoming an affiliate partner you are eligible to earn an entire amount of one month subscription fee. That means if someone subscribes for a personal plan with your code – you’ll get $10, and if someone subscribes for an enterprise plan – you’ll get $100!

What Do You Need To Do?

If this sounds good to you send an e-mail to affiliate@awwapp.com with your data:

Name

Surname

E-mail address with which you have registered at awwapp.com

PayPal account E-mail address

And we’ll get back to you with the URL link that contains your referral code like in the example below:

www.awwapp.com/register/?ref=*code*

This acts like your individual URL and it tracks all the traffic and subscriptions that came trough your code. You can put that URL wherever you think people who might have interest in AWW will see it. If you are an educational technology blogger your blog would be the perfect place! You have strong presence on your social networks – put URL on your post! If you’ re kicking in making awesome video tutorials – include your link there! There are no quotas or KPIs. It’s all up to you!

When Do You Get Your Money

You will get paid for every eligible subscription. Eligible subscription occurs when the subscriber, who registers via your URL link and subscribes for a plan, completes his second month of subscription. After second month of subscription ends, you will get your earnings at the first day of the calendar month coming after it. That means if someone subscribes at 15th day of January, his trial ends at 15th of February and he proceeds with second month of subscription ending at 15th of March, you will get payed at April 1st. You will be able to see your earnings on your affiliate dashboard. To enter your dashboard, just enter your profile details and click on the affiliate dashboard button.

Who Is Eligible To Become A Part Of Affiliate Program?

Any person who is legally an adult and is the citizen of United States can join the program.

How To Set Up Online School Smart Board With AWW App

With AWW smart board alternative every school and teacher can afford to use advanced edtech. It is an economical smart board alternative that will reduce your costs! Find out how to set up your own AWW smart board in three easy steps!  

Works on every device

AWW app is a web based app. That means AWW can work with any device or browser! AWW works whether your school has BYOD concept or has invested in their own laptops or tablets.

Sharing boards

AWW is a collaborative whiteboard. That means you can invite other participants to collaborate with you on the same board. Inviting is pretty easy to do – just click on the invite button and share generated a link to whomever you want.

Using AWW with a projection screen

The above-mentioned features allow teachers to use AWW as a smart board alternative! Teachers can easily make their low-cost smartboard with this three-step process:

AWW Smart Board Alternative
Using AWW With Projector. Courtesy of Tracey Mikos 
  1. Open AWW app on a tablet or smartphone

  2. Invite students to the board

  3. Share a board link to the PC connected to a projector

Voila! Everything that teacher writes or draws is shown on the projection screen! 

With AWW teachers can walk down the class with tablets in hands and interact with their students, uninhibited with limitations of PC. Students can collaborate and draw at the same time. As opposed to other smart boards, AWW doesn’t have limits on how many students can draw simultaneously.

AWW Introduces New Features: Features For Teachers Part 1

For the past few months, AWW team had worked hard on the market research trying to improve AWW and adapt it for the educational needs. We wanted to design online whiteboard for teachers with their help. So, we asked teachers how do they use AWW, what they feel about it and what are we still missing!

Online Whiteboard for Teachers is Getting Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the features that you repeatedly asked us for were keyboard shortcuts. So, we decided that shortcuts will be the first thing on our developer’s To Do list. Now, we can proudly announce that they are out!

Here is the list of  keyboard shortcuts you can use on our online whiteboard for teachers:

p = pencil
t = text
e = eraser
u = undo
1 – 5 = tool size
i = invite to board

Update:

  • space = pan
  • l = line
  • r = rectangle / filled rectangle
  • b = ellipse / filled ellipse
  • m = mark
  • d = PDF/PPT upload
  • h = highlighter
  • v = select (Hold CMD/Ctrl for temporary select)
  • n = notes
  • s = save board

Now you can draw on our online whiteboard without hassle. You can focus on what really matters – visualizing lectures and collaborating with your students.

Features For Teachers Series

This is only the first improvement in our series Features for Teachers.  In the next few weeks, we are adding some more teacher-oriented features in our paid plans. Keep following us and be the first to try them out!

Edtech Era: Advantages Of Using Online Smart Board In Digital Classroom

A number of teachers may not yet be aware of the benefits of using smart technology in classrooms. One of the most used pieces of educational smart technology are smart boards – interactive whiteboards that give students the ability to learn both independently and collaboratively. However, with a development of cloud technology, standard smart boards are becoming outdated. Collaborative online whiteboard, used as classroom online smart board, presents a low-cost alternative for standard digital smart boards.

This article will demonstrate both general benefits of using smart boards in classrooms and specific advantages of online smart boards over standard technology.

Embracing Smart Board Technology In The Classroom

Here is a list of some of the most important advantages of using smart boards in classrooms.

Enhancing Student’s Learning Experience

Smart board technology provides enriched learning experience by projecting visual elements. Visual learners can observe the projection screen/board while tactical learners can learn by touching the tablet or laptop screen.

Smart Means Interactive

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that students learn best when there is involved use of hands or they are touching with their hands – in other words hands on–learning. Smart board interactivity provides students the ability to write and draw by the touch of a stylus pen or a finger.

Focusing On Lectures

Students can use teacher’s notes projected on the screen/board and save them or send them via e-mail. They do not need to take them by themselves, which lets them focus better on the content of the lectures.

Classroom Collaboration
The role of smart boards in classroom collaboration – source: elearninginfographics.com

Collaboration

Probably the most important advantage of smart board technology over traditional board is the ability of collaboration. Students can write or draw at the same time on the same canvas thus stimulating creativity.

 Access To Online Resources

Students and teachers can easily access a wide range of online resources via laptop or tablet necessary for interactive lectures or collaborative schoolwork.

 Interactive Whiteboard
Interactive whiteboard – source: cultofpedagogy.com

Online Smart Board VS Standard Smart Board Technology

We have learned that smart boards are useful educational tool that helps teachers to empower their lectures. However, there are some considerable downsides of using smart boards, too.

Downsides of Standard Smart Board Technology 

First of all, smart boards can be really big investment – the cost of a smart board with full equipment can go up to $5.000! That is quite a sum, especially for classrooms with fewer students. Furthermore, in the best-case scenario, only five students can write on the board simultaneously. That means not the whole class can participate in collaborative work, but only few students. Another big issue, that you should consider, is the matter of endurance and board maintenance costs. Classroom full of children running around is not the safest environment for the high-end technology prone to be scratched or turned over.

Alternative 

However, there is an alternative. AWW is the first online smart board app designed for in-class use that is compatible with all devices, operational systems and browsers. That means greater flexibility for schools who don’t have budget for smart boards or laptops for every student. With AWW every student can bring his own device and simply draw on it. Only thing school has to provide is a projector and a projection screen. Teacher can open AWW online smart board on tablet, then share the board on the computer connected with projector and everything that teacher draw will show on a projection screen. Best thing of all is, AWW has absolutely no limits regarding simultaneity: everyone can participate at once.

Here is a full table of features comparing online and standard smart board.

FEATURE AWW ONLINE SMART BOARD STANDARD SMART BOARD
Cost Low Cost High Cost
Billing Interval Monthly Subscription At Once
Compatibility All Devices, OS And Browsers Particular Devices/ OS
Simultaneity No limits Limited up to 5 users
Installation Not Required Required
Maintenance Requires Any Software and Hardware Maintenance