Friday, October 24, 2014

What if more apps did this? (This might just be as magic!)

Two items that have consumed me this week.

PhotoMath
Just watch this video and you will see this may just be the most amazing app ever created.
PhotoMath from MicroBLINK on Vimeo.

I think the way this can help a student deconstruct a math problem is out of this world.

Inbox
Do you remember when gmail first came out?  It was in 2004 and it changed how the world used email.  The only way to access gmail in those days was through an invite from a friend or you could buy one on ebay.

Google has done it again. They are reinventing how you view your messages in a new product called Inbox by Google.  It is still by invite only but they seem to be handing them out like candy on Halloween.

I still don't fully understand this but I love it.





One more thing...
Google Drive
Have you seen this message when you logged into Google Drive this week?

It appears Google is pushing the new version of Drive much harder this time.  Take a look at why the switch to the new Drive is a move you will want to take.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Want more feedback from students? Scan away!


Plickers are awesome.  Just ask Amanda McKay.

It's the end of 4th hour and Amanda's physics students have been hard at work learning how to calculate net force.  A poll question appears on the board.  Her students reach under their desks and reveal personalized QR codes.  As they hold up their codes, Amanda scans the room.  In a flash, Amanda knows every student's response to the question.

I asked Amanda three questions about plickers.  Here is what she had to say:

What are "plickers"?

"They are what I call Paper cLICKERS.  The mini QR codes that are printed on them can be oriented in four ways to show four different choices for a multiple choice question and are aimed at an Android or Apple device that interprets the choices.  A live bar graph is shown on the device as responses are read.  A correct answer can be chosen and would then be shown as a green bar on the graph."

How do you use plickers?

"I use them to collect quick bits of formative information to assess what students know or how comfortable they feel about a topic that we've covered.  They are secured to the underside of my desk tops with velcro and students can quickly take them out and show me their answers."

What do you like most about them?

"It quickly gives me important information regarding whether students are ready to move on or need to spend more time on a topic, and, as long as my phone is charged, I can run the app (even in airplane mode with no connection)."

For more information, check out this video and go to their website, www.plickers.com. Check out their quick start guide here.




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recording on a jet plane?


flickr image: williamson

You just recorded the most amazing screencast of your life.  Everything you needed to say just seemed to flow, you were in the zone.

That video is now on Youtube.  

The audio appears that it was recording while you were on a plane.

Now you are looking for a way to have your recordings sound as smooth and clear as your natural voice.

Solution:
1.  In the lower right task bar, right-click on the audio icon.

2.  Left-Click on Recording Devices

3.  Left-Click on Microphone to highlight (you should only see one microphone icon listed)

4.  Left-Click on Properties button

5.  Left-Click on the tab titled Levels

6.  Move the slider for Microphone boost to the far left (should be at 0.0 DB)

7.  Left-Click Apply button and then Left-Click OK button


This solution brought to you by Keith Loveless.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Connecting to eValuate? Try this...


Please use the following address to directly connect to the eValuate site.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Anything with a + is always better. This one will backup your photos and videos automatically!


You have all these photos and videos on your phone/iPad/tablet and you really want them to be backed up.  The issue is the backup process can be hard!  When you realize you need them backed up it might just be too late.

Enter the automatic backup.  Every photo you snap and video you shoot will be backed up through a simple (and free) app.  Google+ is like the swiss army knife app, it does so much.


Android


iOS


Where did my photos backup to?

  • Open Google+ on your computer.
  • Click the home button in the upper left corner of the screen.
  • Click photos on the drop down list.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sometimes you just need paper.


A simple site with many different types of paper you can print out.  Take a look at Printable Paper and I am sure you can find something usable.

Check these samples out!

Sometimes creating a video project can quickly get out of hand without some type of guide.  Using a storyboard can be just what everyone needs to keep the project on track.

There are about a million reasons for using postcards in the classroom.  This site offers two blank templates.

Graph paper is like the swiss army knife of paper.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Simple Interactive Games for Every Grade (Even High School!)

Adaptive Learning Games


Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.  These games are not exceptionally high tech but they are effective.

I tried out the comma game and the one about chemical families.  It was somewhat like flashcards but the game gave me instant feedback.  This one feature was enough to make this site blogworthy.

Use the search feature in the upper right corner to find more games.

I searched for water to see what options I had to pick from.  So many to choose from!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

An insider view of what is happening across the globe.


Each pin on this map represents a newspaper published somewhere across the globe. Click on a pin to translate that paper into English.  Some of these also link to the facebook and twitter pages of the newspapers.

Why is this amazing?

Think about any topical story, like ebola, and read how other countries are reporting it.  A easy way to compare many points of view quickly.

Teach a modern language?  Maybe some of these papers could be used in the classroom.

Check out Newspaper Map to learn more about what is going on around the globe.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Telling a story.


Have you seen that commercial of Hall and Oates as they worked on the lyrics of a song?  It was like you could see inside their minds as they edited the song to get it just right.

This site will do just that.   Watch the samples they have and let you mind wander.
How might this be used in the classroom?

  • A retelling of a historical event?
    • An argument between two historical figures?
  • Book trailer?
    • How the story unfolds from a few points of view?
  • Solving some problem?
    • How multiple parties attempt to construct a solution? 
The application of this site is endless.  How might you use this with your class?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Easy way to create a short?

Your students want to create a short video and you are looking for a way to make that happen.

Questions:

  1. What devices do you need to create a video?
  2. What software do we have to edit?
  3. How can we share these videos?


Answers:

  1. Devices - just use anything you have access to.  Mobile phones and tablets will work best for capturing the shots.
  2. Software - Check out WeVideo.  The students can log in with their Lindbergh account.  Upload the videos they shot on any device and begin to edit.  All of the footage will be stored online.

     3.   Sharing
           High School Students - upload to YouTube.  
           Middle/Elementary - upload to Google Drive and share with the teacher.

This appears to be a super simple app/site to solve some issues we have with creating videos.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

These webpages are just too busy. Is there a way to make them a little more clear(ly)?

Check out these before and after images.  What do you notice?

Before

After

Before


After


How can you get your webpages to appear in this easy to ready format?
Visit the Chrome Web Store.
Search for Clearly.
Install!

Check out this video for more information.



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Do you need a digital hug? There is a playlist for that!



As I entered a classroom the other week I noticed something immediately.  The kids were reading and Katie Dausmann was conferencing with a student in one corner.  This is a typical scene in any elementary classroom so it took me a while to figure out what was so different.

Almost out of reach was this soft music playing.  It seemed to have magically set the tone for the whole room, it was time to read and reflect quietly.

I have read about the power certain music can have but finding those specific songs can be rather challenging until now. Katie was using a specific playlist on Songza called Ambient Music for Reading.  I believe playing this music at a low level helped create a super atmosphere in the classroom.

There are also a whole set of Genres and Moods within Spotify that can accomplish the same thing.

I did find a section called Kids on Spotify.  This section contains lists like Disney, Hipster Youth and Minecraft.  Yep, Minecraft has inspired a whole series of songs.

What about Pandora?  Check out Vitamin String Quartet.  This channel has all your favorites played with a twist.  Check it out, you will not be disappointed!

What music do you use in your classroom?

Crazy idea or crazy smart?

gum on the ground by the Alamo I have been watching a billion crime shows on Netflix over the past year or so. Mostly because many of...