Friday, January 25, 2013

QR - crazy code or useful classroom tool?

Here is an article from Monica Burns about using QR codes in the classroom.



This post lists 5 very powerful ways to use these codes in the classroom today.  I think the idea of quickly accessing information is vital to making the most of precious classroom time.

Take a look at this inspirational post.  It will take many 4.5 minutes to read.

Let us know what you think.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Honk if you love someone - UPDATE

Saw this in a school today and I had to share it.  I don't know the origin of these posters but they are posted in some common areas.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

I hate using the word PHONE when talking about cell phones.

Here is my wonderful device.  I do many things on it and I think it can make calls.  I don't think of this as a cell phone.  I am not exactly sure what it is.  Mini computer?  The Android of Awesome?  Just two working titles I have right now.

What about these devices in the hands of the students?  Do you see them walking around with something similar?  Is there a way to use them in the classroom?

Yes.
44 ways to be exact.

This post showed me a number of ways that I have never really thought about.

Examples:
Use the device to peer edit.  (Remember it isn't about what you like.  Maybe you would not be comfortable using the small screen but they are.  I think each kid may write a small novel every day with all the texting, messaging and posting on FB.)

Poll the students using Socrative.  Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.  It takes maybe 15 seconds to set this up.  Dead simple and powerful.

How do you see using these devices in the classroom?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

AudioGalaxy - Your Music Anywhere You Are (Guest Post)


I occasionally listen to music in my classroom, sometimes content related and sometimes as just background music while the students are working.  About a year ago my brother introduced me to Audiogalaxy which has changed the way I listen to my music library. He’s extremely knowledgeable about music applications and gave me permission to post his comments. Here they are:
Audiogalaxy is a digital music player (similar to itunes) that scans all the music folders on your home computer. The program can play back all the songs through the websiteAudioGalaxy.com. Itunes has features such as “Home Sharing” where you can stream anything in itunes on your computer – music, photos, videos, etc to your mobile device (iphone, Ipad, Apple TV) but that is confined only to your home network. The thing that separates Audiogalaxy from the pack is the ability to stream all of your music from your home computer to your mobile device app anywhere with a 3G or Wifi connection. So where a typical mobile device tops out at 64 gig of music space, the Audiogalaxy app can stream an infinite amount of music from your home audio library and take up zero space on your mobile device. Simply tell Audio Galaxy to look inside any folders on your computer (local or external drives) and it will scan them into the AudioGalaxy database. That database simply finds the directory to find the music on your computer (similar to itunes). After you let it scan your library, open the mobile application and the music is streamed through your cellular or wireless network. In your mobile settings, you have to put in your computer’s IP address for the mobile app to “talk to your home network”. This is the same example of “Remoting” in to another network from multiple computers. The streaming bit rate quality of the music is okay and there’s a high quality audio setting available that streams it to about your average mp3 quality. For the convenience you can’t beat it! Now the bad news, I just went to the website and saw they are not taking any new applications or users. I assume they are cooking something up that may involve a fee or something. I’d probably pay a small fee for the service since I value my home music library more than what I can get on apps such as Spotify. The program Spotify is quite popular with many folks but they do charge a monthly fee for mobile streaming. Spotify is a computer program to install at home and listen on your home computer for free with commercial breaks.  The Spotify app can stream your home library – plus a huge amount of music from the spotify music catalog to your mobile device. Most people pay for Spotify since it’s got more music than they ever need and they don’t have to import CD’s or buy anything new. It’s all on Spotify. I find Spotify doesn’t meet my needs for paying to listen to music – since Audiogalaxy is free for me.
For  your students “Spotify” might be an example that they really latch on to? Chances are they’re not a music collector-freak like me. But that’s pretty much what I know.
-Barry Marquart

Monday, January 7, 2013

Did You Know?????


Did you know students can upload pictures from their devices directly to your flickr account?  This is so powerful because students are able to collaborate on a group project, share their images, and make learning connections outside of the classroom.  Check out this lesson from Scholastic on collecting biological phenomena in everyday life.  Want to give it a try?  Here are 3 simple steps. 
Step 1:  Create a flickr account.
Step 2: Enable mobile device upload to your account.
You can upload photos to Flickr from your camera using your unique email upload address. Set it up here.
When you upload photos via email, the subject line is used as the title of your photo, and the body of the email is used as the description.
Step 3:  Share unique e-mail address with students.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

When are we ever going to use this? (math)

Pretty sure you have heard that before.  Sometimes it can be difficult to prove why you need to know something in the future.

Here is a short video I showed my kids.  It is only about four minutes but I stopped it often so we could discuss what was being discussed.

The video is from TED.


I wish there were videos like this when I was learning math.  I never understood how math was used in the real world.  I now understand that math makes most everything in the world work.

What do you think?

How might you use this in your classroom?

Note: I showed this video to my own kids.  They are only 6 and 8.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What is in a sign? (Honk if you love someone.)

I watched this video and stopped in my tracks.

What if...

  • we had signs like this for our students?
  • this one sign made the difference?
  • that sign was the only encouraging thing you saw all day?




I found this video on twitter.  Here is the original source.

How is this STEM?

I came home to this package the other night. Two feet by four feet and it weighs seventy-five pounds. If you Google the name you will see...