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Apps for Summer

Happy Last Day!

I hope you enjoy this last day with students and look forward to some time to relax and rejuvenate.

Whether you’re headed out on vacation or heading out to the back yard, here are a few ideas to play with:

Tuesday Tech Tip: TED-Ed!

As you know, I’m a fan of TED.  But even if I weren’t, I’d definitely pass this along… TED-Ed has launched a website that has some really great possibilities

There you’ll find the tools to:

  • Watch great educational videos, created by teachers and animators.
  • Nominate a fellow educator!
  • Each TED-Ed video has a supplementary lesson…
    • Take a multiple choice Quick Quiz while watching the video (with video hints!)
    • Find open-ended questions in the Think section.
    • Dig Deeper to find more resources
    • Save your answers

But here’s the coolest part… you can “flip” any lesson!

  • Customize the quizzes, write your own open-ended questions, and modify the resources.
  • Grab your finished lesson’s unique web address and share it with students.
  • Track your students’ work.
  • You can flip any video from YouTube using the TED-Ed platform, including ones you create!

Watch the tour:

Want to win a prize?  Create an account and participate in my flipped lesson here!

Tuesday Tech Tip: Quietube

Today’s Tip comes from Ashley Nowak at EPES.  She shared a nice tool for watching YouTube videos:  Quietube.  It’s a tool to remove all the distractions like comments, related videos, etc., and especially nice for projecting videos in the classroom.  Here’s an example.

The thing I like best is that there’s a Chrome extension for it.  Just install it in your Chrome browser and whenever you’re on a page with a video (Vimeo, YouTube, etc.) you’ll see a circle in the address bar.  Click it and viola!  You can even link to this page instead of the original video if you’re sharing the video with others.

(image credit: Dominic’s Pics via Flickr)

Mobile Learning I: Stories to Share

The inaugural Mobile Learning I group just finished the class before Spring Break.  We wanted to share some of the project ideas they tried.  They’re committed to playing, setting learning goals, and trying new things with students!  Mobile Learning I will again be offered in June and in the fall.  Mobile Learning II is also on its way this fall.

Chris Smith (HS Art) is determined to dig deeper with Twitter.  He also created QR codes for The Glenn that point to YouTube videos of his students talking about their process for creating the murals inspired by Glenn Olson’s garden.

Caryn Odgers (HS Science) and Kari Diederich (HS F/CE) collaborated using a mind-mapping app called Mindjet.  They are using their mind map to help students learn more about medical occupations.

Briana Gustafson (HS Special Ed) used Audioboo, CamScanner, and Barcode Scanner along with QR codes to cue her students in daily living skills so that they become more independent.  One of her students is most excited about is seeing his own picture next to each code.

Jen Vogel (Early Childhood) used Audioboo with a student who read an alphabet book.  He was so excited to hear himself speak, as were his parents and grandparents!

Margi Wachowiak (HS Library Media Specialist) is using QR codes on her Summer Reading posters that point to book trailers for each book.  And she’ll be trying the codes out for Freshman Orientation next year!

Jodi Acker (MS Math) is using Audioboo to enhance student’s portfolios.

Tammy Breitlow (MS Social Studies) is using iPod Touches with students to create and edit propaganda ads as they learn about WWII.

Anne Tredinnick (MS Science, MS Computer Literacy next year) will be trying todaysmeet.com for her 5th and 6th graders to “backchannel” while watching a video about internet safety and digital citizenship.  She’s also going to have her science students use Audioboo to describe the robots they build as part of their energy unit.

Cyndy Johnson (MS Special Ed) is going to have her 8th grade students record podcasts of their own poems as part of their scrapbook project for English.

Rebecca McDermid (HS Science) used Socrative Teacher and Socrative Student to capture quick formative assessment check-ins.

Natalie Slaby (3rd Grade, WES) will be creating a QR code scavenger hunt to kick off her Fractured Fairy Tales unit with 3rd graders.

Dana Ringhand (2nd Grade, WES) used a QR code to share a podcast created by her 2nd graders reading a story they wrote about an alien they created using Abby Monster.  When you scan the code, you’ll see the “alien” and hear the story!  Listen for the elements of a story…

Many of these apps are also web-based.  Android4schools is a nice site for Android device users.

Today’s Technology Tip: a Teaching Tool and a Tablet Tip

A teaching tool:

60in60.  A nice wiki with a ton of ideas.  There’s a cheat sheet at the bottom of the home page if you’d like “60 in less than 60.”

A tablet tip:
Mobile devices are audio recording devices, among other things, and have the capability of translating speech to text (and vice versa).  Why might this be useful?

  • For capturing a note or composing an email quickly.
  • To search the web without using the touch keyboard.
  • For students with difficulties writing or keyboarding—if they can speak their ideas, their hands don’t get in the way of their thinking.

Android:

    • The keyboard includes voice.  Anything you can type, you can speak:  Google searches, Twitter, Note Everything (a nice note-taking app), Evernote…
    • Google Translate will translate text to speech, even English to English.

iPad apps:

    • Google Search
    • Dragon Dictation: speech to text
    • iSpeech TTS: text to speech

Difficulties with accuracy?  Speak clearly and slowly with good volume, and no gum.
Difficulties connecting to wireless?  Here’s the scoop.
Need more ideas for how and when to use your device?  Ask a colleague; most of the best learning comes from sharing!

**Last week’s TED winner is Kate Boyce, who plans to use TED talks with her seniors on C days!

Have an idea for a tip?  Please let me know!!

Tuesday Tip: TED


Yesterday, the TED-Ed YouTube channel was launched.  Here’s the scoop.

Not only can you consume TED content, you can create it.  TED-Ed is an invitation to educators, including you!

The biannual TED conference was held a few weeks ago in Long Beach, CA.  TED was created in 1984 as a place for “Ideas Worth Spreading” in the areas of Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  It has since broadened its scope to include science, education, innovation, creativity, culture, and more.

Speakers are invited to give “the talk of their lives” in 18 minutes or less.  There are over 900 TEDtalks available for free and include speakers from Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Al Gore to 12-year-old app developer Thomas Suarez and 10-year-old Adora Svitak talking about what adults can learn from kids.  Ken Robinson’s legendary talk about creativity in schools has been viewed 11 million times, with 10,000 views added each day.

TED Wish: Each year, $1,000,000 is granted to someone with “a wish to change the world” Watch Jamie Oliver and Dave Eggers’ talks about their wishes for kids.

It goes without saying, there’s a few TED apps out there as well.

Why not share some of these fascinating talks with students?  What sort of discussion might they have about these big ideas?

Why not share some of these fascinating talks with colleagues?  Add a comment here with a favorite TED talk of your own.  It’ll also enter you in this week’s prize drawing… you know the drill.  🙂

Norski Ninja: Week 9!

We’re in the home stretch of our Norski Ninja series. And today we’ll begin thinking about the ways we love GoogleApps as next week’s tip will be just that–sharing the good parts of this change. Here are this week’s Ninja skills:

  • Calendar: Sharing your calendar with others takes a few steps and we covered that in Week Three. Now you can take it a step further by creating additional calendars to share. How about a classroom activities calendar? How about a volunteer calendar? A project calendar? You may not want classroom, sports, club, or other activities merged with your calendar, so just create another one. Share it. Embed it on your web page.
  • Mail: February can be pretty busy and your Gmail box might be filling up now, so use filters to automatically categorize, label, color-code, and organize your messages.  Say you’d like all of the messages from your principal to be labeled “Important”–a filter can do that. (This feature is similar to Rules in Groupwise.) Here’s how filters work in Gmail.
  • Docs: Although it’s improving all the time (Tables! Presentations! Page Numbers!), I’ll admit that Docs does not do everything that Word does. Sometimes you might need a more elaborate layout than Docs can offer. In that case, try downloading your GoogleDoc in another format for revision or sharing. Go to File >> Download As. You’ll have a choice of formats:
    • Word: Use this one if you’re going to do a big layout, need more clipart or need to use the excellent SmartArt in Office.
    • PDF: Use this one if you’re not going to make changes to the document, but you want to “freeze” it for posting to the web, sharing with others, or as an alternative to printing.
    • RTF: This format is pretty universal. Almost any word processor will open it up. It won’t be fancy, but it will be shareable and editable by lots of tools, including the very confusing Microsoft Works.
  • Here’s more information on downloading, including Drawings, Presentations, and more!
  • You can download and upload files to GoogleDocs much like you would use a flash drive. You don’t have to convert them to upload and you may still share with others. When you’re using Docs, Mail, and Calendar to cut down on the paper in your life, you are definitely approaching black belt status.

Remember to comment on this post to be entered into our weekly Google drawing. Give it a try! Tell us how you’ve used any of these tools or any Google tools.