The human voice can be such a powerful tool. It is used to teach lessons, ask questions, or give helpful tips to your students. If it is so powerful, why would we not use it more often?
Today, as I was doing some research, I came across a MP3 voice recording tool on Richard Byrne's Blog. The tool is called SpeakPipe and can be accessed on a computer, iPad, iPod, iPhone, or many android devices. MP3s are a powerful option because it allows teachers and students to provide their voice at all times. Teachers could use this tool if they are planning for a substitute teacher. Recorded oral directions from the teacher are always better than written directions read from a substitute teacher. With SneakPipe, recordings can be done without a username and password and can be shared as a link to your students or embedded into your webpage. Students could also use this tool to record their thoughts on a particular topic at home, giving the class good discussion clips to listen to on the following day.
There are many ways in which this tool could be beneficial in education. Take advantage of SpeakPipe and record your own MP3 message of up to 5 minutes. Check out my example below or click here.
While looking over Tony Vincent's (famous tech blogger) blog, I came across an app called Adobe Slate. It is only a IOS app right now, but hopefully it will become available in Google Play shortly. Because this app is so unique, I had to test it out and you can see what I made below.
This app allows users to tell their story with the use of text, pictures, movement, links, and more. This is a great way to promote something you want to share with others.
This has been the day I have been waiting for for quite some time now. I just got word that the Google Keep app is now available for IOS 9 (or apple devices). I have used Google Keep for over a year now and can finally use it on my iPad.
For those of you who are clueless to Google Keep, it is a tool used to keep notes, checklists, audio clips, and pictures. And best of all, each note looks like a post-it note, but these notes can be color coordinated or labeled into categories.
Now that Google Keep is an IOS app, this allows me to have access to all of my notes, checklists, grocery list, and reminders on any device I put my hands on (Android devices, IOS devices, or computers). Unlike IOS's Notes app, you were tied down to an Apple device.
Lastly, these notes can be shared with others or can be sent to your Google Drive as a Google Doc. This means that notes can be shared among family or friends using different types of devices!!
Download the Google Keep app in Google Play or the App Store today.
This coming Sunday will be one for the record books for having a Supermoon and a Lunar Eclipse. This has not happened since 1982 and will not happen again until 2033. On Sunday night at 10:11 pm, people watching in eastern North America will be able to watch the entire event until 11:23 pm that night. Make sure you mark your calendars and spread the word to your family and students to watch this awesome feature.
This would be a great opportunity to show the video below to your students as it is such a rare phenomenon. In order for this to happen, there must be three things that align.
As I was visiting a local school yesterday, I got the chance to work with a group of 3rd-5th grade students. I introduced them to time-lapses and animations. These two types of video can be a very powerful tool in the classroom where students are actively engaged in creating their own video. To make these kid friendly animations, I was using the free/login free site at ABCYA Animate. With no more than 5 minutes of explanation, the students were off and running. Because this was their first experience with this program, students just made a generic video not tied down to any standard or assignment. If I were to use this in the classroom associated with content, standards, or an assignment, here are a few ideas:
There is also an iPad app, but this will cost $1.99.
If you are like me, odds are that you have done some research on the new IOS 9 update. I am always looking for new features that will help the way I muli-task while using my devices. Upon my searching, I had found this site that gave 25 tips to know about the new update. Check those tips out here.
Some other features that were not noted on the top 25 list are:
As many teachers in Huron County are on a Kahoot craz, I thought I would take some time to show you some more useful features. Kahoot is a classroom response system, similar to clickers, which is by far one of students and teachers favorite tools. Kahoot recently added a new feature called "Ghost Mode" which will make you love it even more. "Ghost Mode" allows teachers to give students access to previous games, where they can race against themselves and their classmates' old scores. This is an excellent way to review for small or large groups of students as you can see the progress made or not made. To get an excellent tutorial on how this is done, check out engaged.net for a step-by-step guide. Not only can this new feature be played at school, but teachers can "Share Link" with parents/students and have them practice at home.
If you are not a Google or Google Forms fan, the newest update to Forms may make you jump on the band wagon.
Google Forms have been used for years to make tests, quizzes, and surveys and allows users to use an add-on called "Flubaroo" to grade it in a matter of minutes.
Well, this grading feature only works for question types that have a definite answer (multiple choice and true or false). Although that is still better than nothing, it was tough when teachers included essay questions and wanted to grade them easily.
Until now, that was not an option. Google Forms now has the capability to allow the teacher to use "Flubaroo" to grade multiple choice, true or false, and short responses or long responses. As part of this process, the teacher can read responses, enter a point value, and add typed feedback to that response.
Adding feedback to student answers only works if your quiz or test has a question for your students to add their email address. This email address is needed so teachers can grade their test, add feedback, and email the results to students.
With this tool in your belt, you will be happy to see yourself spending less time grading. Grading with Google Forms is still highly effective as you have the option to provide valuable feedback.
Check out this quick tutorial on all you need to know about the new Google Forms update.
FYI - Google Forms has a new purple icon, and there will be a updated version of creating and editing forms shortly.
Smore has been a favorite of mine for the last 4 years. I started using this newsletter service in my classroom to communicate with parents and now use it for my tech tips.
I like to use Smore because first of all, it is pleasing to the eye to read. No one wants to read a boring newsletter with no color. Just as a kid will usually pick a book by its color, so will some parents read a whole newsletter based off of its appearance. Having a good template and design will grab your audience and allow them to focus better on what you have to say.
The second reason I like to use Smore is because it is electronic and can be accessed on smartphones and devices. Most parents have a device and check their email on a regular basis. In most cases, parents will read a newsletter on their phone, rather than finding the hard copy newsletter that their son or daughter may have brought home.
Lastly, Smore is a great choice because it ease of creating a newsletter. No more worrying about your margins, columns, or picture sizes! Smore does all of that for you.
Of course a tool like this is never free. Smore just reduced its educator plan to $39/year, this is over a $200 value. Check out the Smore educator pricing here.
For the many districts that are a GAFE (Google Accounts For Education) School or even use Google tools in the classroom, here is a one of my favorite updates.....VOICE TYPING! Voice typing is a new tool added to the web based (used on a Chromebook, laptop, or desktop) version of Google Docs and can be found under the "Tools" tab. Voice typing can also be done on iPads and tablets using the Google Docs app.
As much as educators may not like this ability, it could be a huge tool for students with voice or scribing accommodations. Students who are unable to type because of a disability can now enjoy Google Docs to type a document for them.