Friday, December 28, 2012

This is the time of year that...

This is the time of year that there are a million and one posts about best apps.  I have read a bunch about the top 10 apps that do this and the top 5 that do that.

Here are two examples:
Top 10 Cell Phone Apps
Top 50 iPad Apps

These got me thinking.  What are the top apps you use?  Leave some comments about which apps you use.

Here are mine:
Music
Pandora - great to let it just play
Spotify - setting up some on demand songs.

Camera
(I used to use Instagram until they changed their terms of service.)
Snapseed - very interesting app by Nik Software (a google brand)
Flickr - A very old site but the new app is pretty nice.  Might be the best way to share pictures from the classroom.  Easy for iPads, parents and students to share images to one common location.

Cloud Storage
Dropbox - all images I take are automatically saved online.  Very easy to find these images on my laptop.
Goolge+ - This will automatically backup all images I take to the cloud.  It makes it a snap to share these with my family.

Social
facebook - mostly keeping up with the family
twitter - so many professioanl resources here
foursquare - checking in to places I visit.  There are some restaurants that will give deals when I check in while I am eating there.
yelp - similar to foursquare.

General
evernote - a place I save everything I need to remember.  I everything from shot records, library cards and ELITE notes.
Calendar - not sure what I would do without a online calendar.

What are some apps you have used today?

Can you ever share too much?

My mother loves to see my kids read.  There is one small issue.  She lives in New Orleans.  I could use one of the many streaming apps but that requires Grandma to be online when the kids are reading.  Not exactly easy to pull off.

There is this new iOS app that we tried out.  I hit record and once Aidan finished reading the clip was uploaded to youtube.  My mom could then click on the video anytime she wanted.

I can see a million ways to use this app in the classroom.

(Uploading video may take some time.  Be patient!)

How the app works:
*You will need a gmail/youtube account.

Open the Capture app.  (You will need to download the app from the app store. Search for Youtube Capture under the iPhone section.)



Frame your shot.  Make sure you can see everything you want to record before you click the red button.  Avoid moving the iPad while recording

Click on the timer on the right side of the screen to stop the recording.  It may take considerable time to upload videos longer than five minutes.


Add a title and a description to the video you just recorded.  The click the Upload button.


Wait until the video is completely uploaded to youtube before you share it.


Click on the video you want to share.  There are a few optional locations to share the video to.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What is better than Google? Google+ (Anything with a plus must be better!)

Google+

What is google+? (Google Plus)
(Visit youtube for more videos about Goolge+)




Why should I invest any time in Google+?
Do you have an android phone?
Yes - All your images will automatically backed up in the cloud.  Once you click it gets saved!  It makes sharing the images much easier.
No - keep reading

Communities
There is a new section within Google+ that allows for people to come together to talk about certain topics.  I found a few great communities of teachers talking about topics many of use are interested in.

I searched and quickly found these six.

Here are a two posts that I found to be helpful.

It is a cross post from Pinterest.  I don't think I would have ever found this without Goolge+.
Edmodo!  This is a HUGE update.  This one single site/app would be amazing to use in the classroom.


Getting Started with Google+

Why is this important?
There are so many ideas and sites out there to help you in the classroom.  Pinterest is an amazing place to quickly find ideas.  Twitter is similar but there are no visuals.  Google+ is similar to the lunch table.  You gather together to talk about certain topics that are important to you.

The communities in Goolge+ are new.  Try it out and I don't think you will be disappointed.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Google - To The Rescue!

I was working with Sammi, my 8 year old, on a piece of writing she was doing for homework.  There were three words she was struggling to spell.  My first instinct was to grab the dictionary but I couldn't find one.  We were going to use Siri on the iPad but we decided to try something else.  I wanted to find a solution she could use on the iPad and on a laptop.

laptop

Note:  use the chrome browser!

We launched chrome on the laptop and clicked the small microphone on google.com.  Make sure your laptop microphone is turned on.


Sammi then spoke the word she was struggling with into the computer.  Google took care of the rest.


iPad

You need to download the google search app for this to work.

Open the google search app.


Click on the small microphone.


Say the word you are wanting to spell.


The results will pop up as a regular google search results page.



The Big Picture
There are many tools that are available on laptops and iPads that can assist you in the classroom.  The google search tool isn't necessarily designed to help with spelling but it is very effective at this task.

The other amazing idea is this is all done by speaking into a device.   We did not need to touch the keyboard at all.  This allows more students to access this information than ever before.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Authors Chair and Sharing with the Microphone

From 1st Graders in Tammy Russell's room at Concord:

First graders LOVE to share their writing!  Most of the time, they choose to project their writing onto the whiteboard for all to see and read it to the class wearing the microphone.  First graders LOVE using the microphone!  We thought it would be fun to record our authors, simply reading their stories to the class.  This is HW sharing her funny Thanksgiving turkey story.


I sent a link to each parent almost immediately after each story was read.  Parents LOVED watching their little ones share their stories.  The feedback was very positive!

Monday, December 3, 2012

BYOD-Holiday Projects

From the classroom of Christina Phillips Concord-
I have been incorporating BYOD in my math centers. In honor of the holidays, I had students shopping online to complete a budget project. This project was engaging and fun. Students wanted to work on it more and more so they were encouraged to bring their devices to school. I now have 8-10 regular device users daily! Also 3 parents have e-mailed me to tell me that they are purchasing devices for their students for Christmas because their child is excited to bring them to school!


How are you using devices in your classroom?  Any creative ideas to encourage students to use their devices in your classroom?

Reading with my ears - free from the county library!

So many books... make more time! Too many great books to read and so little time. I started to listen to books at the gym and in the ca...