Category Archives: apps

Flex Your Artistic Muscle

Apps are a great way to express yourself creatively.  They allow you try different means of artistic expression in both photography, music, painting, sketching and now 3D building and design.  I wanted to share with some apps that are great ways to get your artistic juices flowing.

Music

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PocketBand allows you to create high quality tracks by mixing, looping, and sampling. For Androids only.

 

PianistPro-Icon

 

Music Pro allows you to learn how to play the piano with instruments, games, and metronome. For Androids only.

 

Photography

Both of these apps help to edit photos from your library.

ArtStudio-App Pics Art for iOS and Android.

 

 

images

Photo Editor for Android only.

 

 

3D Design

images  Redesigning your house? Use 3D Interior Room Design to help you create the room you always wanted with out trying to figure out the the color is right.  For Android only.

 

So go on, express yourself

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Filed under apps, Images, Music, Technology

Get Your eBook On

So I talk about books a lot, since well, I am a librarian and all. And I have mentioned some apps and websites to visit if you are interested in writing a book of your own.  Well here are few more, and these are super easy that not only are they great for classroom use, but those budding writers in your class or home might get a kick out of these too. These apps are perfect for both entertainment and education (well at least the eBook ones are, the comic ones are purely entertainment).  Teachers will be able to create original eBooks to use in their classroom.  Teachers will have the ability to add images, text, links, recordings and more to the eBook. Then simply share with students or colleagues to allow greater access to information.  These apps allow you to create and upload your eBook to iBooks and ePub readers.  You can access many of them through an app or online.  The prices vary but these are all well worth the look.

Students and kids will have fun with these apps as well (especially the comic ones).  They can take stories they have written and create a collection, or create a photo book highlighting a recent summer event or family function that you can share with just those who you would like. No need to put in bookstores for the world to access, unless of course you want to.  These apps are a great way to keep kids creative and writing all summer long. Heck all year long for that matter.

The comic apps are fun since you don’t need to be an artist to use.  By using pictures you already have you can add cartoon images and drawings to create funny one of a kind strips.   So check them out.

eBooks

 

book writer

 

Book Writer for iOS

 

 

IDEAL

 

IDEAL e-Pub Creator for Android and iOS

 

 

creativebookbuilder

 

Creative Book Builder for Android and iOS

 

 

Digital Comics

Comic Puppets

 

Comic Puppets for Android and iOS

 

 

Photo comics Pro

 

Photo Comics Pro for Android

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Filed under apps, Books, Cartoons, Creativity, Digital Story Telling, ebooks, education, Reading, Technology, Writing

Google in Education

Happy New Year!  I took a little bit of break to collect some ideas and start on some posts and I am ready to start sharing again.  The first post for the new year is going to focus on using Google in the classroom and in education in general.  My school has recently provided all students with a Google account and access a Google drive to help streamline the process of homework, papers, and other classroom assignments.  However, There are several other options that Google has available that will provide the teacher and the student the opportunity for a more enriching learning experience.

1) Google Alerts
This feature provides a flexibility to receiving updates for a particular topic of interest.  The alert will be send directly to the student’s mailbox so the information is completely up-to-date. This is perfect for those using current events or news stories in their classroom activity and is helpful for reports dealing with ever changing events.

2) Google Books
Ahhhh, I couldn’t go one highlight without mentioning Google Books.  Forgive me I am a librarian so yes books will be at the top of my list.  And yes, I know they are in digital form but I am not totally against the digital book.  Do I think they should have an actual book of course but the digital book works just as well…but that is another topic.  Back to Google Books.  This tool is amazing for students to access millions of books and preview them for free.  It allows students to reference countless books on any subject matter to gain a greater level of understanding on said topic.

3) Google Talks and Hangouts
I love this option for video chatting with a group of people.  The feature allows for up to 10 individuals to conference in on the same video call at the same time in order to talk about ideas, discuss a book,  voice concerns for a project, etc.  I have used this feature actually with my two book clubs.  Each school was reading the same book and we were able to have a larger book discussion through the hangout option.

4) Google Scholar
Probably used more by high school and college level individuals, this feature provides the Google user the ability to research scholarly literature from multiple sources.  The latest articles, abstracts, and books can be downloaded directly into the users mailbox, and all information can be cited, and public profiles can be created.   This is wonderful for those students working on larger more detailed research papers and theses.

5) Google Calendar
The online agenda.  This is option allows the student to schedule when projects and assignments are due and even share their calendar with other users.  Also alerts can be sent through a text message or email in order to help the student submit assignments on time.

Overall Google helping the students interact with each other and educational information in a new way.  They are providing the tools for the student Google user to become a more active participant in their learning process and succeed in new ways.

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Filed under apps, education, Social Networking, Technology

Good Readers

At the beginning of the year I was asked by two eighth grade language arts/English teachers to work with their students twice a month by promoting books (mini book talks), help find new books they might not have thought of, and provide the opportunity for their own critique of a book.   This is both fun and challenging.

Talking about books is not a problem.  I can do that all day.  

Providing ideas for new books is in the bag.  I have a promotion I do where I only give the students a brief synopsis of a book. They do not get to know the author or see the cover. If they like what they hear they can check it out and then see the actual book.  Once they do, they have to give it at least one week, if they don’t like  it at the end of the week they can return but they have to give me or their teacher a detailed reason why they did not like the book in the end. They can write it in their reading response journal. We call this the don’t judge a book by its cover promotion.

So my real problem was getting them to recommend books.  They already have a response journal and they have to write papers about their books. How was I going to get them to participate in recommending books to their classmates.  Here are some ideas I had:

1)       Write a brief summary but also have the cast the book as if it was being made into a movie.  They have to sell this book to the public: what’s the hook; what would their posters look like; maybe the more ambitious ones make a trailer.

2)  Create an infographic about the book

3)  Draw a cartoon about the book

4) Select a character from the book and write reasons why you would be friends with this person and why you wouldn’t.

Those are just some ideas, however, getting the students to open up is still a challenge. Some are more than willing to talk for hours about a book, while others clam up and never even look you in the eye.   However, there is one thing that these types of students have in common. Social networking.

So why not bring social networking into the equation.  Classrooms and schools have really embraced social networking in all areas of the learning environment.  And one of the best social sites for librarians is (can you guess from the title of this post?).

GOODREADS!!!

Now I love GoodReads.  I have been able to see what my former co-workers are reading, what some of my friends are waiting to get their hands on; what some former students are recommending to me; and I get to see what strangers are thinking.  I have discovered so many new authors and learned about new books from GoodReads that I feel this is the perfect site for students to use to express themselves as well as learn about books they never would have thought of trying.  My GoodReads campaign has been embraced by my fellow teachers and the administration is happy with this also. However it was the reaction by the students that was surprise. They loved it and have come up to me countless times to ask if I have a certain book that they learned about from GoodReads.  I might not have gotten all of the students involved, but the ones I did, I love it.

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Filed under apps, Books, Creativity, Social Networking

How Schools can use 140 Characters

Over the summer I read a blog post from Claude Lord (http://claudelord.org) where spoke about Twitter being embraced by the school systems. Here are some of the highlights, I suggest you visit her site she has some great stuff.

1) Twitter’s frivolous motto: “What are you doing?” would gain full potential and extend to “What are you thinking, learning, discovering, visioning, designing, listening to, reading, blogging about?”

2) Teacher’s meetings would turn into an ongoing stream of resources, professional development, bouncing-off ideas and experiences on what works and does not, with instant targeted feedback.

3) Sharing collaborating and attributing each other’s work would be the new norm.

4) Competition would give way to collaboration with growing understanding that the more your share the more you gain

5) Locked cabinets would open-up their resources to be used, mixed, remixed and attributed.

6) Barriers between admin, faculty, staff, students, parents and community would dissolve in a cloud of connections and opportunities irrespective of age, role, status, and class – grade or socio-economic.

7) The 140 characters limit would become the art of minimizing thought in a nutshell – Good or bad is debatable.

8) Upcoming conferences would be public knowledge, repeatedly announced, retweeted, and back-channeled, so great ideas can spread to those who can’t attend – and supplement the experience for those attending.

9) Minority voices would no longer be silenced.

Ms. Lord gives a lot of food for thought on how Twitter can maximize the learning experience but also build upon the community of learners, teachers, and parents in a way that was never available before.

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Filed under apps, Social Networking, Technology, Twitter

Flipping Out!

The Flipped Classroom.  The buzz word in education.  I have spoken about how to flip your classroom and some sites and programs to use. So I thought lets throw some more at you.  Here are some of the big ones that teachers from across the country are talking about

 

1. 9Slides
A way to capture and share your information through interactive slides. Can be used on your mobile devices. A monthly fee of $29.99 or a business fee of $299.99, visit your mobile stores.

2. Ask3
A free app of the iPads that allows you to turn your iPad in an interactive whiteboard to promote collaboration and peer-to-peer learning.

3. Educreations
Their catchphrase: Teach what you know.  Learn what you don’t.  A free iPad app that is similar to Ask3 in the sense that you are turning your iPad into an interactive whiteboard. However, you are able to post your whiteboard to a website for students to view as many times as need.

4. Knowmania
A free app that allows for the teacher to search for pre-made videos or create their own to show in class of embed in a website to impact the students both in and outside of the classroom.  All videos on the site are made public for anyone to search and use.

 

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Flipping a Classroom with Screeny

As I am working creating my how-to videos for my libraries, I have stumbled upon many screen capturing applications and sites.  I have posted about them on this blog and I would like to add another one to ever-growing list.

Screeny is a MAC based application that works on your computer and allows you to capture not only the whole screen but smaller sections of it.  Use the built-in camera or an external one to capture video and pictures at any size.  This is also supported by the Cloud where you can upload the images or videos directly to your cloud account. It allows for easy compression of videos for uploading to the cloud. The application uses Quicktime and is always saved at the highest possible quality.  You also have the option to capture audio as well, or add audio to your video.

This is a great app to help in your quest to create a more vibrant flipped classroom.

SCREENY iOS only $14.99

 

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Filed under apps, Flipped Classroom, Images, Movie, Presentation, Technology, Video