Sponsor Spotlight: GradeCam

gradecamTake a photo of a student’s quiz. That’s all you have to do. The GradeCam software takes care of the rest. Comparing the student’s answers to a key you’ve already photographed, it grades the quiz, reports the results back to the student, and records the grade in your gradebook.

You can use just about any webcam or document connected to your computer. There’s also mobile capability if you’d rather use your cell phone or tablet.

Anyone can sign up for a free account, but you’re limited to 10 questions per quiz, and there’s no gradebook integration. Teacher-level and school-wide accounts are also available, allowing you to share assignments and correlate assessments with common core standards.

GradeCam supported EdCamp Cleveland by donating three teacher accounts and one school account to be given away. We are grateful for their support.

Sponsor Spotlight: ABCya!

When my daughter comes home from 2nd grade, the first thing she wants to do is hop on the computer.  Far be it from me, an Instructional Technologist, to tell her no.

She gets on the computer and immediately heads to ABCya.com.

This site offers K-5 learners wonderful FREE educational apps and interactive games covering many subject areas, including spelling, grammar, typing, and reading fluency.  It is colorful, engaging, and easy to navigate. When the teachers at school promote it, students have no problems finding their way around on their own at home.  It really is a win – win!

I find it hard to say no to my daughter, unless she asks for a puppy, but in this case I can only say YES!

ABCya has supported EdCamp Cleveland through a monetary donation of $250 used to offset the costs of the conference. We are grateful for their continued support.

Sponsor Spotlight: Inspiration Software

Inspiration Software has been making mind-mapping and concept mapping tools for twenty-five years. Their tools have helped millions of students learn to visually organize ideas, represent knowledge, and identify and classify relationships among ideas.

logo[1]Their flagship product, Inspiration, is now available in a variety of of formats, including web-based and mobile versions. Kidspiration takes the essential functions of the Inspiration product and presents it in an intuitive, simplified format targeted to younger learners. Classroom editions allow teachers to easily manage student accounts.

Use Inspiration for visual mapping, outlining, writing and making presentations. Brainstorm ideas, structure your thoughts and visually communicate concepts to strengthen understanding with the Diagram and Map Views. To take notes, organize information, and structure writing for plans, papers and reports, use the integrated Outline View to focus on main and supporting ideas and to clarify thinking in written form. With Inspiration’s Presentation Manager, transform your diagrams, mind maps and outlines into polished presentations that communicate ideas clearly and demonstrate understanding and knowledge.

You can use the software to create webs, idea maps, mind maps, concept maps, graphic organizers, process flows, and other diagrams for thinking, organizing and writing. Use these proven visual thinking and learning techniques to brainstorm ideas, explore and explain relationships, and integrate new knowledge with what you already know. Inspiration encourages deeper, more critical thinking and that improves creativity, comprehension and retention.

Inspiration Software supported EdCamp Cleveland by providing three copies of Inspiration desktop software and three licenses for the Inspiration Maps iPad app to be given away. We are grateful for their support.

Sponsor Spotlight: Biteslide

Biteslide is the engaging platform for creating school projects online. Biteslide slidebooks are a creative and fun way to express yourself using text, images, videos and much more. They’re really easy to use and a lot of fun too.

biteslide-logo-234by80pxBiteslide is designed especially for teachers, students, and the teaching environment. It was created with the goals of engaging students, empowering student creativity, and saving time for teachers.

Biteslide promotes creativity and engages students of all ages across the curriculum. Biteslide can be used to create all kinds of projects, including presentations, slide shows, photo albums, collages, portfolios, yearbooks, posters, diaries, and journals.

Biteslide reimagines the school project by helping to develop students’ 21st century skills in a creative, engaging, and efficient way.

The easiest way to get the idea is to use our no-registration trial. You’ll get the idea in less than a couple of minutes. For more information, visit the Biteslide web site.

Biteslide supported EdCamp Cleveland by providing ten free subscriptions to be given away at the event. Additionally, they are providing a 10% discount for all EdCamp Cleveland attendees. We are grateful for their support.

Sponsor Spotlight: eBackpack

Pass out assignments. Collect student work. Grade and review homework. Save time by making changes once and eliminate duplicated efforts! eBackpack provides secure homework drop boxes and allows you to distribute handouts and assess student work easily. Take control over your classroom. It has never been easier to interact with students, parents, and colleagues. Your materials and your students work are at your fingertips! View files online! Access on your iPad! eBackpack lets you focus on teaching, not paperwork!

eBackpack provides safe and secure digital cloud storage for student and staff work and assignments that is e-rate eligible. You can easily share files between project participants, committee members and even with outside parties in your web locker. eBackpack enables you to offer e-portfolios to show students’ growth and learning. Engage staff, students, and parents, all for a lower total cost than an on-site solution. It works in all browsers, the iPad, and can be used as a network drive on both PC and Mac computers.

Visit the eBackpack web site to learn more about what this service has to offer.

eBackpack supported EdCamp Cleveland by providing a 12-month teacher subscription to be given away at the event. We are grateful for their support.

Participant Perspective: Jeremy Brueck

brueckJeremy Brueck
Director, Digital Text Initiative
The University of Akron | Center for Literacy

Twitter: @brueckj23
Web site: http://brueckei.org

Why are you coming to EdCamp Cleveland?

When passion and interest drive an individual’s pursuit of understanding, learning can become a reconstruction rather than a transmission of knowledge. The EdCamp model provides opportunities for participant-driven conversations to organically grow from shared interests and passions. In our current educational culture, times for this type of invaluable professional learning experience are limited. I’m excited to get the opportunity to connect with so many others at EdCampCLE in a learning environment that emphasizes the role of the SOCIAL and CULTURAL context of learning.

What have you been learning lately?

It’s time to organize with the intent to revolutionize. We can’t just keep talking and complaining. Our kids deserve more from us and we must advocate for a educational system that supports their future, not our past.

If you could attend a session on any topic, what would it be about?

I’d love to hear more critical conversations around moving from an educational system where we are compliant with a testing culture that finds value in measuring only static knowledge to a culture that embraces both quantitative and qualitative ways of knowing and seeks to build essential understandings in students.

If you could change the world…

I’d bring the discretion and decision-making powers back to local communities. Education shouldn’t be legislated on a state or national level by people with no connection to our local schools. It should be done by individual communities, parents, teachers and students who are innately involved with our kids learning.

The ideal classroom is…

What if we redefined “class” to a more informal co-op or collaborative gathering of learners? Why are we continuing to organize by age? What if we eliminated semesters and jumped in to continuous knowledge pools where teachers and learners moved in and out as needed?

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Whenever I need inspiration I read Tupac lyrics.

One more thing…

Shout out to @schinker for organizing EdCampCLE.

Jeremy Brueck’s company, Brueck Educational Innovations, supported EdCamp Cleveland through a $250 donation to help offset the cost of the event. We are grateful for his support.

Participant Perspectives highlight some of the people who are planning to attend EdCamp Cleveland. If you would like to be profiled too, please fill out this form and we’ll take it from there.

Sponsor Spotlight: TechSmith

TechSmith is a software company based in Okemos, Michigan that produces screen capture and recording software for individual, professional, and educational use. Their software makes it easy to create compelling, polished content you can share with anyone.

Camtasia Studio allows you to create, edit, and produce stunning videos at any screen
size. Use it to make tutorials, as well as a variety of training and marketing videos. Camtasia Studio lets you edit and polish video of your computer screen and instantly share it to YouTube, portable devices, and more.

If you don’t need all of the features of Camtasia Studio, try Jing for basic screen recording. Jing gives you the basic tools to start sharing images and short videos of your computer
screen. Whether for teacher us to develop and deliver instruction, or student use as an authentic assessment tool, Jing can add basic visual elements to all of your online conversations. And best of all, it’s FREE!

Snagit provides you with a wide variety of tools needed for quick and easy visual communication. Whether you need to make an engaging screen image or a quick how-to video, Snagit allows you to communicate efficiently.

Developed and updated every day, TechSmith software keeps improving as they continue to take our solutions wherever their customers are, try innovative ideas, and expand their reach with mobile apps. TechSmith is the past, present, and future of image capture and screen recording technology.

TechSmith supported EdCamp Cleveland by donating two copies each of their Camtasia Studio and Snagit products, as well as twenty T-shirts and some pens and highlighters to be given away at the event. We are grateful for their support.