Monday, July 29, 2013

Have You Grokked Lately?

What a weird question, right?  If you've used instaGrok, then you know the answer to this and you can Grok with the best of them.

If this sounds as foreign to you as Klingon, then you have to join us in the world of instaGrok.

This web delivered app is an AMAZING way to help your students get a clearer view of what their research could/should look like.

CCSS plainly states that we are no longer teaching our students to write long, drawn out research papers.  The focus has now changed to "research on the fly."  instaGrok supports such standards and provides students with graphic and well-organized ways to pull research together.

instaGrok has "regular" and "classroom" settings available.  Might I suggest that you try these out to see what works best for you?


All your students need to do is type in their "big idea."  I chose "cheese."  Then I hit return and instaGrok did all of the "grokking" for me.  My big idea now became the center of a brilliant graphic organizer that I can work with in...editing as needed.  There is also a nifty little "slider" that allows me to choose the level of difficulty/sophistication that I wish to conduct my research.  The great thing about this slider is that, if one of my students is struggling with way too many choices, a single slide allows the teacher AND student to customize the research.  

instaGrok helps provide plenty of ideas for narrowing research down...cheese has subheading of rennet, cheesemaking, curds, gouda and many others.  For less experienced researchers, this feature makes instaGrok especially appealing!

The Grok also brings up photos, videos and other web-based resources and puts them in an easy-to-use format along the left-hand side of the page.  The student can save his/her Grok and can send the teacher or a parent or classmate a link so as to share what they come up with.

I started using this with 4th and 5th grade students last year and my students loved the ease of use and the format.  Organization of research was never easier!  And, as a classroom teacher, conferring with my researchers was a breeze!  Really!

I'm moving my way to 3rd grade in a couple of weeks and I still believe that instaGrok is the way to go.  I can't wait to try it out with my new Minions!

Give instaGrok a try this fall!  You won't be sorry!

Nikki

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7 comments:

  1. Angela...check this out! I'd love to hear what you think of it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is so cool! How have I never heard of it before?!
    Erin
    The E-Z Class

    ReplyDelete
  3. Erin...I know what you are saying! I learned about instaGrok at an Apple training and was floored that I had never seen this. Play around with this and let me know what you think sometime!

    Nikki
    uncommontothecore.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
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