Reflections and Resources from Tarheelstate Teacher: 10 Things You Should Know about Boom Learning
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10 Things You Should Know about Boom Learning

It's not every day that I find a piece of technology that knocks me out of balance, but Boom Learning has made it really hard for me to focus on anything else lately! I can only compare it to when my district went 1 to 1 laptops in 4th and 5th grade and all I could do was try to see the world through an "All of my students will have a computer next year!!!!!" lens. So, now with Boom Learning my brain is consumed by how I can go digital and paperless with my resources..."Self-Checking, interactive, Digital Task Cards? Yes! ! !"
I have fallen fast for Boom Learning  and am in love with all of the cool features! Self-checking digital task cards? Yes, please! More ways to use my interactive whiteboard? Yes!!!! More ways to give students' feedback WITHOUT me having to do the checking?!?! ALL GOOD! Head to this post to learn what you need to know to get started with Boom Learning. If you are going 1 to 1, are a fan of Google Classroom or Google Apps, or need another way for your 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade students to use technology independently, this is the perfect app for you to check out!
Today I'm going to tell you a little more about Boom Learning by sharing some of the nitty-gritty things you would want to know if you are trying to get started with Boom Learning in your classroom.

1) First, let's make sure you know the lingo. A set of Boom Cards is called a Boom Deck. 

2) A starter account on Boom Learning is currently free for teachers and parents. At this price level, you can create 5 private decks and add 5 students or student groups to share the decks with. Yes--you can create on Boom Learning for your own classroom without having to buy decks! If you can handle Powerpoint, I know you can do this! You can check out the other three user packages here.

3) You can preview 4 cards from ANY deck for free. {I love that you can try them out to see how the card sets work and make sure you like them before deciding to pay for them!} You can also access a lot of Boom Decks that are offered for free. {My full Multiplying 3 digits by 1 digit Error Analysis set is free!}

4) It's quick and easy to create student logins! In your dashboard, click "Add Many Students," and enter nicknames for each student. Boom Learning will automatically generate passwords, but you can create personalized passwords for each of your students. {Often times, students already have a login and password for another account--like Google Apps/Google Classroom so you can just use the same ones!} With older students, you can share the classroom username and password and let them set up their own account details. {More trouble than it's worth if you ask me! I'd set those in 5 minutes and save my students {self} the headaches!}

5) Boom Decks can be played in two ways:

Fast Play: With your free account, you can have unlimited access to playing any purchased or free Boom Cards through an interactive whiteboard, tablet, or other device. In Fast Play, you are unable to record student progress {however, Boom Learning is giving this capability away for free for one year for new users!}

Sent to Students: You can send Boom Cards to individual students or groups of students for up to 80 students. {Think--instant differentiation after you do a little prep work! #bestillmydifferentiatedheart!!!}
I have fallen fast for Boom Learning  and am in love with all of the cool features! Paperless, self-checking digital task cards? Yes, please! More ways to use my interactive whiteboard? Yes!!!! More ways to give students' feedback WITHOUT me having to do the checking?!?! ALL GOOD! Head to this post to learn what you need to know to get started with Boom Learning. If you are going 1 to 1, are a fan of Google Classroom or Google Apps, or need another way for your 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade students to use technology independently, this is the perfect app for you to check out!
6) Unless the order in which students solve the cards is important, Boom Decks are randomized. In a randomized deck, students will be given 20 cards to play. Students are shown cards that they have seen less frequently (perfect if you want to use them again and again to develop mastery and growth mindset!). Students will see the entire deck before seeing repeat cards.

7) Once you access a Boom Deck, it is in your "library" forever. You will always have access to play it in "Fast Play" mode.

8) There are "student," "teacher," and "classroom" accounts. Students can only play assigned decks and view his/her own progress on their assigned decks. Teachers (and parents) can organize classrooms, add/remove students, assign decks, buy decks, and use the deck editor to create their own Boom cards and assignments. Classroom accounts are shortcuts for older students to log in and set up their own accounts.

9) Students have a "notebook" that they can store their cards to. Students can "Remember" and "Trash" cards that are assigned to them. This allows a student to "save" a card that they want to go back to. If a student "trashes" any cards, a record of the cards that were trashed will show in the students "notebook." BOOM--COOL!  

10) You can purchase Boom Learning Decks through Teachers Pay Teachers (that's a link that is always up to date with all of my Boom-Ready task card sets). And if you search Boom Cards or Boom Learning on Tpt, you can find a ton more Boom Cards for your needs!

11) You can also purchase Boom Decks straight from Boom Learning. To purchase from Boom Learning, you purchase a points package. Currently, Boom Points are less than 1 penny per point. Most teacher-authors are pricing their task cards similarly to their tpt prices. Mine range from 200-1000 points (that's for a huge multiplication bundle at the high end!)

One last thing I would love to share with you is how Boom Learning came to be: Rachel Lynette, yes, the Rachel Lynette of Minds in Bloom and task card queen extraordinaire, was talking to a friend one day about how nice it would be to have an app for task cards.

One thing led to another and Rachel's friend connected her to Mary and Eric Oemig, and thus began a journey to create an open marketplace for digital, interactive task cards. Rachel is now an adviser for Boom Learning. (I got to meet Rachel at #tptvegas2015 {wasn't I lucky :)}.

I have fallen fast for Boom Learning  and am in love with all of the cool features! Paperless, self-checking digital task cards? Yes, please! More ways to use my interactive whiteboard? Yes!!!! More ways to give students' feedback WITHOUT me having to do the checking?!?! ALL GOOD! Head to this post to learn what you need to know to get started with Boom Learning. If you are going 1 to 1, are a fan of Google Classroom or Google Apps, or need another way for your 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade students to use technology independently, this is the perfect app for you to check out!SO MANY cool features are in development for Boom Learning! Voice and audio (where students can have things read aloud) is in beta right now! Boom Cards are designed with multiple choices, open-ended answers, and clickable buttons.

And I am telling you, so far, it has been way easier for me to figure out how to use Boom Learning than to create similar self-checking, instant feedback kind of questions for google drive. {I'm going to figure that one out too, it's just a little more complicated to do in Google what Boom does so masterfully.}

Have you tried Boom Learning yet?!?!?! What are you waiting on? Start with my multiplication freebie and see what you think! I'd love to hear what you think in the comments!

Also, if you've purchased any of my task cards, make sure you check the list below to see which ones have FREE Boom Learning versions included! You can go to your TPT purchases and re-download those task cards if you have purchased any of these!
Go digital with Boom Learning digital interactive World Biomes Multiple choice review game!Coming Soon!

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this information. I had never heard of Boom Learning before so I for sure am going to try it out this school year. I am a resource teacher and this would be a great way to assign task cards directly related to their IEP math goals. I am heading over to your TPT store right now!

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    1. You are so welcome! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I am so glad you found something new that you can add to your differentiation tool box! I really believe Boom Learning is great for helping teachers differentiate for students quickly! :) You are exactly right about assigning for specific students! So exciting! Happy teaching!

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  2. I'm so excited to start these ! As a k-5 Reading Specialist, I have over 40 kids this year. When I figured out one of my 5th graders still needed to boost her Phonics this summer, I knew Boom was the answer. Easy for me to "tutor" her and only need to check in 1-2 times over the summer. Best of all, I can support her incoming Kundergarten sibling with Boom Cards, too ! Love this post !


    Wendy

    Ms. D's Literacy Lab @ TPT

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