Fourth graders recently used an Adobe iPad app called Adobe Voice to make quick videos for their contribution to a global project, If You Learned Here. One of the things I heard back from their teachers was how easy Adobe Voice was to use.
Now Adobe has combined 3 of its apps (Voice, Post and Slate) into one- called Adobe Spark. You can use Spark to make videos, web pages and graphics- quickly and easily without having to be a professional graphic designer. Essentially it's a way to tell stories, make presentations, journals, portfolios- all in one place. The iPhone and iPad apps are still separate apps, but Adobe Spark is online- and it's free and it works on chromebooks.
Here are a few intro videos for you to check out.
This one is from Adobe
This is a review from CNET
And Finally a How to Use Spark video from Richard Byrne...
Richard also has some excellent ideas of how teachers and students can use this new set of tools onhis blog. Check it out!
Were you intrigued by the post on hyperdocs? If so... you're in luck. They are having avirtual bootcamp- a 4 week online course this summer. There are 2 cohorts forming and graduate credit is available.
One of my favorite things to do on my commute to school is listen to books on Audible. I use an old ipod and listen through the radio in the car. As I was working on courses for assistive technology, I would listen to an mp3 of the reading I had to catch up with on my way over to The Reading Institute in Williamstown. Listening to books for enjoyment or for coursework is a great alternative way to use your time while on the go.
Aside from books on tape, Audible, etc. what kind of PD is available? Well, Texthelp- creators of Read & Write for Google Chrome just announced a great new feature last week. Now you can select text on any Google Doc or web page and convert it to mp3 and downloads it to your computer. This is a quick selection from last week's blog post. It's really fast and easy to use. Below is Texthelp's overview video.
I started thinking about a post on audio PD when I saw Vicki Davis' post on Bam radio with Dave Burgess- of Teach Like a Pirate fame. Vicki and Dave were talking about how to have an epic end of the year. My first thought was to email the post to everyone, since it pretty much went with what I was writing about last week... but then decided to simply expand upon the basic audio PD idea.
You can fill up your device with subscriptions to podcasts on iTunes. Here are some of my favorites:
Overall favorite: Bam Radio Network/educators channel
Moving at the Speed of Creativity
EdSurge on the Air
Beyond the Hour of Code
Every Classroom Matters
I asked on Twitter for other suggestions- and if I get any good ones, I will add to the list- so check back.
* Thanks to @katem126 http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl
There is a wealth of free courses, seminars and books on iTunes University. You can subscribe to course from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Yale and so much more. Open edu offers an amazing array of courses. This isn't even including Coursera, EdX, etc... and the MOOCS. Most of this is available as audio. You can drive to the beach, to the mountains or the grocery store and learn new things while you drive.
Give it a try!
I first met Chris Craft about 10 years ago, either in Atlanta or San Antonio at NECC (now ISTE). Chris is a phenomenally talented educator and you can follow his work on Twitter @crafty184. He is also part of the core team at Ed Tech Team.
Check out all of these extensions here.
Chris has put together a series of chrome extensions that you may find useful. I have tried out the Crafty Text extension, like it and think it's useful. It essentially sits on top of a website and allows you to put up a large overlay- with a url, with directions, etc. If you have ever tried to get all your students in the same place at the same time or to just amplify a point in class- without leaving the site you are showing- this is the extension you need. Install to Chrome: goo.gl/z0alBM
Another extension that I think you may like is Crafty Rights. This forces all Google Image search results to be pre-sorted for copyright restrictions. The search returns images that are labeled for reuse. As you can see below, activate the CR extension, search Google images, and the returned images are labeled for reuse. Can't you just go into search>images>search tools and click on the correct label? Sure- but if you can click once and get there, why bother?
The next crafty extension is the Crafty Level. This returns the Flesch-Kincaid reading level of any web page. After you install it, go to any web page, highlight (select) text and then click the CR icon to see the number displayed.
And finally, last but not least- the Crafty Cursor. This simple tool gives you a translucent yellow bubble over your cursor position. Handy to be able to quickly turn on to highlight a section of a page for a presentation or to help students follow your directions on the board. It's a little laggy on my chromebook- probably because I have too many tabs open.
Thank you, Terri Eichholz!
I subscribe to Terri's blog and look forward to reading Engage Their Minds. When I saw this list posted last week, I knew I wanted to share Terri's ideas with you. She has very graciously allowed me to share her list from her post- Give Them a Surprise Ending! Terri is an amazing educator from San Antonio, TX, who currently teaches gifted students in grades K-5. Check out the list and see what great ideas you can use in your class. She always shares excellent ideas! Remember, we do have a breakoutedu box- 3rd grade loved the Teamwork Breakout and 4W- our brave pioneers did an excellent job on Spyder Heist. 3P has been challenging other grades...let me know.
Here are some activities that could make the highlight reels of your students’ year.
Shelly Terrell's :
Want to learn more?
You can check out the Hyperdocs FaceBook group here.
UDL- What is it?
Why should I care?
Free Resources from CAST
"Story Shares is a non-profit organization devoted to inspiring reading practice and improving literacy skills."
This is a resource which started off on Kickstarter as a writing contest with support from Benetech, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), Orca Book Publishers, and the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) and Jabico Enterprises. Now it is a growing platform to support older struggling readers with more appropriate reading material- and as a writer's platform.
I just want to highlight 3 additional tools today.
This tool provides an easy to use authoring tool. The part I like- you can automatically add audio and word by word translation. Is it beautiful? No, but useful.
" iSolveIt puzzles provide an engaging way for students to develop the logical thinking and reasoning skills that are essential in mathematics." These are fun to do- and strike a good balance between challenging and daunting.
"Science Writer is an interactive, web-based instructional learning tool designed to help students in writing a complete science report; it supports students throughout the process of writing a science report. Research has revealed several effective instructional practices in improving the written language performance of students, and Science Writer has been designed to provide these:
- A breakdown of the report writing process into manageable components
- Scaffolds for each step of the writing process
- an organizational structure for report writing
- Sentence starters to help initiate the writing"
from : http://sciencewriter.cast.org/details?audience=teacher
Now you can access videos from Flocabulary, Smithsonian, Jonathan's Bird's Blue World, Encyclopedia Britannica and more on either your iOS or Android app. The videos will be available on the web version soon.
So, what is it? It is a reading platform designed for K-5. If offers thousands of great books for your students to read. These are high quality books from leading publishers. It is totally free for educators and their students to use at school on just about any device/platform. You can set up up to 36 student accounts with your HES email address. As an educator you get a teacher dashboard and can monitor student progress. Students cannot access this from home, unless their parents buy a subscription- $4.99/month. As we all know- free is not a business model. Sites like this can only operate if parents support it by subscribing at home. Parents can get a free 60 day trial with the promo code EPICREADS.