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To spread the impact that blogging can have on learners of all ages

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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Since its conception more and more teachers from across the globe have used Quadblogging to gain a genuine audience for their learners. Whether you are a Nursery teacher in Nigeria or an University Lecturer in Uruguay, Quadblogging will Quad you and your learners up with three other classes matching your preferences selected in the sign up process. As a group of four, each week, a different class will be the focus class allowing the other three classes to visit and comment on the focus class blog. Over a cycle of 4 weeks, each class has their week as the focus class.

Each Quad gets to decide how many cycles are completed and when you have completed the cycles, you simply come back and register for a new Quad. Quadblogging will now be a fluid project with no set timings aiming to give each participant a more flexible experience. To learn more about Quadblogging, please visit the old site QuadBlogging.net to browse through the information available.

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A Twitter Guide Inspired By Dr. Seuss

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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Twitter remains one of the most powerful platforms for sharing and conversation. This translates well to education, as it allows said sharing and conversation to be done on very flexible terms. You can lurk or get involved, share or curate, RT or @ respond. And if you follow enough quality accounts, you can likely get more resources and thinking in 15 minutes than you can use all year. With #hashtag searches and filtering, even twitter chats can be done asynchronously! But in lieu of all the guides, tips, strategies, and frameworks for twitter, some of you may still be looking to up your twitter game.

Which is where the following Dr. Seuss-inspired guide by Hootsuite makes sense. In the mesmerizing cadence of the literary classic, the guide explains how twitter works, how not to use hashtags, and offers a handful of best practices. In spite of its tone, it isn’t written precisely for educators or students, so it’s not something you can just hand to students. But it is Dr. Seuss, and we’re a sucker for his pleasing rhyme and colorful, nightmarish landscapes.

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Schedule planner for iOS and Mac devices

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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Schedules are a big part of project organization, and this schedule planner for iOS and Mac devices was designed specifically with students in mind. The weekly and monthly overviews on the interactive calendar can help keep track of due dates and group study sessions, and the app’s Cloud Sync integration assures that all compatible devices can access the same scheduling information.

Perhaps the best part of iStudiez for project organization is its dedicated assignments tracker, which allows students to take inventory of the necessary steps in their process and schedule them in order of priority.

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A digital notebook, locker, and collaboration grounds for project-based learning

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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OneNote can act like a digital notebook, locker, and collaboration grounds for project-based learning, mobile learning, and other portfolio-heavy approaches to understanding. Available for Android, iPad, and PC, OneNote is the original organizational tool–Evernote before there was Evernote, allowing students to separate notes into notebooks, and then pages within each notebook.

It allows for web clippings, audio notes, linking, hand-drawn notes, check-boxes, and other related artifacts of staying organized in the classroom. You can share notebooks and pages with collaborators as well. It’s also free and available for every major operating system, desktop or mobile.

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Scrivener: a built-in tool for creating outlines

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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A new generation of word processors has emerged as one of the latest steps in the evolution of education technology, and they can be a lifesaver to students faced with big research papers, theses or dissertations. Scrivener functions as a sort of Photoshop for text documents, giving writers multiple panes to shuffle around in the main window as they customize their workflow. Scrivener has a built-in tool for creating outlines, which is a must for beginning writers and stays useful throughout an entire academic writing career.

It also comes with the ability to view images, PDF files, Web pages and other media elements right inside the writing window, which can be a great help on those big research papers. One especially cool feature of Scrivener is an organizational tool that breathes new life into the tried-and-true method of using index cards and a corkboard to visualize the big picture of a long-form work. Shuffle the notecards around and their associated sections are rearranged in the document itself.

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Interactive mind maps

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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Not every student learns about mind mapping in school, but those who do almost never forget it. Professional settings the world over make use of the technique to energize the brainstorming phases of new projects. Popplet is a visual thinking tool that lets students use interactive mind maps to sketch relationships between notes and multimedia research material.

It only takes a few minutes to learn the control scheme, and the visual depictions of relationships between pieces of information can help students better understand and remember how the details of their project work together. The interface is fairly kid-friendly, also, which makes Popplet accessible even to elementary students working on their first report.

The Popplet mobile app for iPad cost $5 at the time of this writing, but accounts for the Web app can be had at no charge. If your students could use a fresh way to outline and brainstorm, Popplet might be just what they need.

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Gianfranco D'Aversa

Rome // Foggia // Abu Dhabi

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