Nearpod

I first learned of Nearpod in a Professional Development Training. The training occurred in my classroom with approximately ten other teachers. Nearpod is an interactive tool that allows students to become more engaged with created lessons by the teacher. In the past, I have used Nearpod to study for tests and quizzes. Teachers can create a slideshow with questions that are fill-in-the-blank, short answer and multiple choice along with other options.

Here is how it works; students must use a code to login the course or slide you have created for them. As they go through each slide, students can answer accordingly. Once they answer, the teacher can reveal the answers on the screen to let the students know if their answers are correct. Another interesting aspect is the teacher may not have to create the lesson at all. Nearpod offers tons of lessons, some free and some with a fee, that you can use to engage your students on whatever topic you are exploring.

Nearpod covers various subjects, from English to Technology and Computer Science. It allows you to filter between grade levels, Kindergarten through 12th and you can change resource type such: full lessons, virtual reality and professional development. Nearpod not only enhances your lessons and learning, it can be beneficial for colleagues to share information, offer formal professional developments sessions and receive great content from other teachers in their field.

Nearpod is also a great tool for teachers to conduct polls or preassessments. This can allow teachers to get a grasp of where their students are intellectually and where they fall on the map of knowledge concerning a new unit, story, concept and various things offered by teachers. Although teachers can learn where their students are before introducing a lesson, the same tool can be used to determine if they understand the information by giving an assessment. Yes, the teacher can create the necessary slide to quiz or test their class through Nearpod by building their own assessment into the slides.

I believe Nearpod can add balance, creativity, activities and engagement to enhance the lesson of the student. Of course, it is important to use this tool to enhance the lesson and not just force the technology into the lesson. It can challenge the students if the content is challenging. My students enjoyed it, however, we made a few mistakes along the way with our first try, but afterward, we were able to rock and roll with it.

Here is a resource on some ways you can use Nearpod

Classroom Management with Nearpod

https://nearpod.com/blog/classroom-management-benefits/

Changing The Way We Do Research Projects with Screencast-O-Matic

If you are looking for new ways for students to do presentations or complete research projects, Screencast-O-Matic is a great software. Screencast is a software that allows you to record exactly what is on your screen, including audio sounds.

So here is how it works…First download the software, whether the free launcher or paid version. Then, whatever you are desiring to present should be on your computer screen. It can be a PowerPoint, Word Document, showing others how to do something interesting from your computer, etc. You can then open Screencast and it will open on the page that you want to record. Three recording options will come on the screen: Record with webcam only, record screen only and record with webcam and screen simultaneously. If you choose to record with webcam only, then the entire screen will be a live visual of you speaking about whatever topic you have chosen. If you decide to do screen only, then the information that you have on the screen will be shown, however, the microphone can still be on, allowing your voice to be recorded with only the screen being viewed. Then, if you desire to have screen and webcam recorded, your PowerPoint, Word Document or whatever you choose to record will take up most of the screen, however, a live visual of yourself will be produced in the upper right corner of the screen, allowing viewers to see you and the screen simultaneously. After the product is finished, you may save the document as a mp4 to send it to whomever and to access it later.

I personally enjoy Screencast-O-Matic because I have used it to deliver information to a group of people online, I have completed assignments with it and I am allowing my students to use it to complete their research project. Let me explain how this will work for my students. Instead of them completing a traditional four-page essay, they will do all the research on an argumentative topic, create a PowerPoint about the information, then they will create a Screencast-O-Matic document in which they will discuss the argument in detail and only use the PowerPoint as speaking points. This will be a great way to assess their knowledge on the topic, help them with their speaking skills and get them familiar with stepping away from things being done in a traditional format.

I am looking forward to their projects and I hope you will enjoy Screencast-O-Matic if you choose to use it.

Here is a link to the Screencast-O-Matic website

https://screencast-o-matic.com/

Here is a YouTube to show how to use Screencast-O-Matic

Continuing with Technology and Education

The Amazing World of Flipgrid

It’s easy. It’s fun. It doesn’t require much time. Flipgrid.

Can you imagine a tool that will allow educators to discuss a topic, answer a question or pose a question with a quick video? Students or colleagues who answer can hit the reply button and then respond to the video with their personal video.

This is a unique way for communication from student to teacher, teacher to student and student to student. Flipgrid is great for when teachers pose a question and students get to respond to the question along with responding to other students. This is technology I was just introduced to this semester. It is a brilliant way to pose questions for student interaction and it has the potential to help teachers meet the speaking standards of learning.

I also believe Flipgrid can be a tool used to meet certain accommodations for students. For example, if a student has an accommodation that allows them to type or speak their answers, Flipgrid can be great for that individual student. It will allow the student(s) to communicate their ideas on a certain topic versus trying to write it down.

I believe this tool can enhance learning because it does not contain the traditional method of a written responses. Due to the development of technology, educators must implement new strategies into their lesson that will include the various technologies. As we grow as educators, technology cannot be avoided.

Flipgrid is another piece of technology that can prepare students for the real world. As we know, this generation is now more familiar with technology and communicating via text. Text language has caused many students to write in the same manner in educational settings and texting has potentially hindered the social skills of many. Flipgrid can get students back to speaking to each other and teachers in an educational setting. It can become a way of practice and preparation as well as an assignment task.

I believe it is important for students to try new things to step away from traditionalism. Traditionally, prompts or questions are answered in writing; however, this platform allows students to step away from the task of turning in written assignments and fully expressing their thoughts through verbal communication and showing effectiveness with their message. Flipgrid is just one of the many tools that is impacting the way we do education with our students and colleagues.

Here is an interesting link below about how you can infuse Flipgrid into your classroom.

Changing the conversation just a little…

Twitter for Education

The fast-growing platform of Twitter is taking the education field by storm. The platform, which originally allowed only 140 characters and now been raised to 280, is allowing educators to connect across the world.

There was a time where it seemed as if only athletes, artists and actors were generating huge followings for their rants or serious content on Twitter. However, more educators are generating huge followings because of the content they are delivering. From technology to teaching strategies across various contents, educators have gotten a good grip of how to utilize this platform for educational purposes.

Recently, I was a part of an educational discussion through Twitter. This was an assignment that I had to complete for a class; however, it enlightened me on how this platform could be used to enhance discussion within a classroom for students. The discussion was fast-pace and we even had participants who were not a part of our class to participate in the discussion.

The idea of Twitter just being a gossip panel is fading away. Maybe in some groups it will be forever known as that, but professionals are using this tool to spread intellect, strategies, new ideology and finding others who they can learn from.

Of course, there are always limitations when it comes to using any platform. Twitter forces you to be concise in your wording, however, you can create a thread from the original post if you are interested in sharing more. Since I would consider using this for my juniors and seniors, the problem would occur with concision. Knowing my students, they would want to write all they can in one tweet, but it would allow them to learn the style of quick editing as well.

I am unsure how I can perfect this with my own students, but as far as educators are concerned, this is an ever growing platform for us to exchange ideas, partake in Twitter discussions by using a certain hashtag and learning from our peers. Twitter is changing the way we communicate with each other; how we are receiving and giving information. I have always been a Twitter user, but I have not maximized my usage as I have in the last two months. As an educator and author, I hope to build my audience and increase my content so I can be an asset to my educational colleagues and support them during their journey.

Here are some links below about Twitter chats and Twitter for educators

https://www.pbisrewards.com/blog/twitter-chats-educators/https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/twitter-teachers/

What you see is yours!

Greetings everyone,

I pray that you have had some successful weeks in your life. If it has been rocky and rough, I pray that God will give you continued strength on your journey and that peace, hope and love will abound in your life.

I want to share something with you today from Genesis 13. In this particular text, God is establishing Abraham and His covenant with him. In chapter 12, God tells Abraham to separate from his family and go to a place that He will show him. Abraham does everything that God says except one thing, he brings his nephew Lot with him. The problem with this is that God told him in Genesis 12:1, “Get from out of your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house…” Have you ever thought you followed God’s word completely, but then you were off just by a tad bit? Just like Abraham, you thought you were doing the right thing because you loved someone, you wanted to help them, or you just felt like God just left out a small detail that required your help. LOL!

God doesn’t need our help with anything. Remember, He is the sovereign God. For whatever reason, Abraham thought his decision to bring along Lot was justifiable. However, in chapter 13, the Bible says that a conflict had risen between the two. They both had too much stuff and they could not fit in the same space. Genesis 13:6 states, “And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together.” Well, that could be one reason why God told him to leave everyone else behind. A point I am going to make here is that sometimes we have a perception of scarcity and not of abundance. The conflict between Lot and Abraham only became a conflict because they felt they had to dwell in the same spot, with all their stuff as if there was nowhere else for them to live. Listen…there is more than enough out here for me, you, your mother and everyone else. The land is plenteous. The land is large. There needs to be no conflict over a client, customer, church, ministry engagements or whatever else. Stretch out. Think Bigger.

In Genesis 13:14-15, God tells Abraham, after he got him alone from Lot (after the separation God spoke the secret), “Lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are north and south, and east and west, for all the land that you see I will give to you and your children’s children.” Do you see that? God was telling Abraham that he didn’t need to have any conflict over a piece of land because he was going to give him so much land that it would last for generations.

This is for you, God wants you to look past your current surroundings, your current position, your current status and your current conditions. He wants you to lift up your eyes because lifting up your eyes will allow you to see further than you’ve been accustomed to seeing. Lifting up your eyes will take your eyes off your surroundings and put them on a focus point further away. He wants you to look out from among everything you have been used to seeing because up ahead, in your spiritual vision, God has so much for you. In other words, what he pretty much told Abraham is, “What you can see is yours.”

Be of good courage. Have a heart of steel. God isn’t finished with your life. Lift up your eyes and look ahead. Greater is up there. What you can see is yours!

Peace and blessings,

Lakishia Banister, M.A.T

www.Created2win-university.teachable.com  

I want to encourage you!

I want to encourage you on this week…

Many of you have plans, ideas, dreams, visions, next phases that you are believing God to help you to produce. Some of these things are difficult because you don’t know what step to take next. The main thing is to just follow God. There are things that people can’t teach you. There are things that you cannot reference your own wisdom or intellect for the answer, but you must follow God.

When the children of Israel were leaving old territory and going into a new space, they were told to follow specific instructions because they had never gone this way before. Following Godly instructions is critical to your next big break.

When I was at a preaching engagement recently, God gave me this revelation to tell His people, “Wise people follow instructions, fools are led to destruction.” All throughout the book of proverbs following instructions is done by the wise, but on the other hand fools are always going into the way of destruction.

Pray to God about your next decision. Open your ears and your heart to receive His answer. Sometimes we may not like his answer, nevertheless, go in the way that He tells you to go. Remember, He knows your future better than you.

Be encouraged friends! Allow God to answer all your questions and clarify your next phase.

I pray nothing but the best for you!

Peace and Blessings,

Lakishia Banister, M.A.T

Lakishiabanister.org

This is good news for you!

Greetings,

I pray this message finds you great, full of health and not stressed!

I want to share this good news with you because this blessed my very core upon noticing this. The good news I am about to share is familiar to some, but may not be to all. Either way, you will find peace and joy through this message.

Colossian 1:16-17

“16) for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.
17) and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

These verses right here are a whole message by itself. This may not get some people excited, but to be honest, if we can’t get excited about who God is, then all the other stuff need to be put to the side. See, when we come to recognize God in his totality, or rather, understand there is more to God than what our little brains can conceive, then we will come into the realization that “my life is okay because it is in God’s hands.” 

God created all things: the heavens and the earth. Our problems don’t even measure up to the power and complexity of God’s genius. Some of the stuff that we are stressed about is a God-finger away from being resolved. He has created Heaven and Earth. If He owns the land then your bills can get paid by Him. Your career can be advanced by Him. Your soul can be delivered by Him. Everything is His. Not only that, but all that we see and can’t see belongs to Him. When you inhale and exhale, that air, that O2 that you can’t see belongs to him. 

God was here before the beginning of time was ever recorded. He knows all about you, your needs, your life, your complications, your joys and your sadness. But I need you to do this one thing, look at God as the big God that He is and understand that all things were created by Him, including you.

Put your trust back into God instead of the arm of man. God is the one who has your back 100%.

Look to the creator of all things because by him all things consist. Put your trust back into his hands and let faith get to work for you. Colossians 1:16-17 is your good news!

Peace and blessings,
Lakishia Banister, M.A.T
lakishiabanister.org
created2win-university.teachable.com



Recap and More

Greetings,

I am super excited to share my recent experiences with you and encourage you while you are reading this.

The past two weekends have been phenomenal!!!

I preached a two night Spring Revival in Delaware and the third night in Virginia. God truly spoke to our hearts and minds. We have received testimonies of eyesight being restored, people receiving checks in the mail, finding money, aches and pains vanishing and deliverance. It is amazing what God will do for us when His glory is present.

Also, on April 13th I completed my first Barnes and Noble book signing. OMG!!! That is monumental. I know there is more room for major book signings to happen but I am super excited about this. I met awesome people, took tons of photos and signed a lot of copies. LOL!

Thanks for joining me on my journey whether through Facebook, Instagram, Blog or these emails…I appreciate you!

Now…let’s get to you! 

We all are on a journey, right? 

Well, I was reading in the book of Joshua about how God prepared the children of Israel to crossover into new territory or new space. As they were preparing to cross over and follow God’s instructions, God told them, “…for you have not passed this way before,” meaning, “you are going in a new direction, I am taking you on a new route.” 

Whew!!! God is saying He is taking you in a new direction. That’s why it seems like you have to put in more work. That’s why it seems like it is a bit more challenging. That’s why it seems like no one can help you. It is all because He is taking you in a new direction and the people who use to help you, can no longer help you.

God is setting you up for something big, but it is just the beginning. You have to be attentive to how God is speaking to you because the instructions that come your way is the beginning of you going in your new direction. Lift up your head. Pick up your chin. Square your shoulders because God needs you to walk in this next dimension like the soldier you are.

Get excited about your new path. You are about to crossover into a place called “brand new” “new space” “new path” and God is going to enlarge you once you start moving in that direction. And if you feel like giving up, don’t…you are almost there!

I am praying for you! You will move higher and higher!

Peace and Blessings,
Lakishia Banister, M.A.T
lakishiabanister.org





God Works Miracles

I love talking about miracles because it is important for us to know that God is still in the business of working miracles.

I know that people get excited about miracles (and we are supposed to), but let me explain what a miracle is for the most part. A miracle is needed when there is a problem that arises that you cannot fix or even help. It is as if there is nothing else you can do about it. There may be an emergency or a critical situation. For example, when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead, this situation was out of her father’s hands. There was nothing else he could do about it. Yet, he heard about Jesus and his miracles and believed that his daughter could be saved. Jesus let them know from the beginning that the girl was merely sleeping. He didn’t even look at the situation as the others did. Everyone else saw her as dead, but Jesus saw her as sleeping.

If you have a situation in your life that seems impossible for you to fix, then you are in a miracle zone. You are in the moment where God can come into your life and show His true power on your behalf. When He shows His power, it is not because you have been so good, but it is because He is so Great.

Whatever seems life-threatening or catastrophic to you, just know that the Lord sees it differently. Just as He declared Jairus’ daughter was asleep, He sees your situation as something that can and will be fixed.

Put your trust in God and believe that He will still work miracles, and not just any miracle, but the miracle that is designed specifically for your address, your mind, your body, your bank account, your career, your business, your family and anything else. He is here for you. The miracle is happening now!

Peace and Blessings,

Lakishia Banister

Things get interesting when you’re learning

When I first created this blog I truly thought I would be able to jump right on it- you know, have my content prepared for the blog and when it was time to post I could just hit copy and paste and voila the post would appear.

I am learning a lot about myself through this process and learning a lot about the process of building visibility in the era of social media. It is tough work, but nevertheless, I am learning so much information that it has truly been a blessing to me. I don’t always have my blog content ready, however, I am still learning. I don’t always know what I want to write about, however, I still choose to write. Every day is a learning experience because it is a part of the journey.

While you are on your journey be sure to enjoy the journey. The destination can seem so enticing and beautiful that we may miss our chances of learning and growing along the way. Allow things to get interesting for you. Learn something new and remember it. Be brave to move forward when something seems difficult. Step out of your comfort zone when you don’t feel like it. In the end, you will thank yourself because things will get pretty interesting.

I am grateful for my journey and I hope you are grateful for yours too. No worries, you will definitely reach your destination. Keep your focus on God and continue the work.

Peace and blessings,

Lakishia Banister