Category Archives: Technology

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

What Google Did to Email

I came across this story on CNN’s website and I thought that I would share with fellow members and readers.  The last one is definitely my favorite.  Thanks Google and gmail for making my life a little simpler.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/28/tech/gallery/gmail-anniversary/index.html?hpt=hp_bn5

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Filed under News Sites, Social Networking, Technology

Some interesting ways to incorporate technology

Sometimes the technology can get the better than us.  Whether it be an updated system, or the latest installment of an app, or maybe there is a new program that is better than the one you just started using.  It is OK.  You are not alone. So many teachers, parents, and even students experience the same feeling.  It is just too hard to keep up, especially when the school systems are requiring that we (as teachers) use more and more technology in the classroom.  Well here are a few easy tricks to get the technology in there, without having a learn a whole new way to teaching.

1) PowerPoint game/quiz review shows.   Face it, reviewing a lesson before a test can be boring, here is a chance to make it fun.  Teachers have been creating reviews lessons using PowerPoint to mimic popular game shows like Jeopardy, Who Want to Be a Millionaire and Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader? There are free templates online for you to download and make it your own.  This is a great way for those who are not too tech-savy to use an already established program.  I have done this many times, and have even used Prezi to create a few review games.

2) Just Tweet It! Students mission, to summarize a lesson in 160 characters or less.  Not only does this avoid having students repeat themselves over and over and over again, but it forces them to get at the real core of the lesson and what is being taught. This is good for end of the unit/lesson discussions, but also for a quick book review.  You have came them break up the main points of the standard book review to individual tweets (ex. main character, plot, etc)

3) Blogging from a characters perspective.  This is a fun one.  If you have ever had students write letters from the viewpoint of a character you have multiple options now to incorporate technology.  The most popular choice being Blogging.  Instead of letters, the students will post, and can add images and videos as well to enhance the post.  There are blog sites that can be used specficially for the classroom that protects the students from unwanted attention.

4) Surf the Web. This is an oldie but a goodie.  Webquests have been around for a while, and ultimately what it does is guides students to search the internet for specific information.  An idea is have students become curators for their own museum on a particular topic.  But since it is for a museum the students must determine what artifacts belong in their museum.  This hits many common core areas of study but also touches on technology and digital literacy since they must evaluate the sites for validity.

Again these are just a few options for you to ponder while you try to find ways to get that technology in the classroom.

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Filed under education, Language Arts, Math, Presentation, Science, Technology, Twitter

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

Student Reviewers I give it 4 Stars

Students are reading more.  I love it. They are reading more and they are actually enjoying it.  Well some of them. But a majority of them are finally reading books they want to read and that interest them and as a result they are finding enjoyment. YES YES YES!!  I am thrilled at this.   But now we face the battle of getting them to talk about the books they read.

Some bask in the glow of the spot light, and  can not wait to get up and talk and talk and talk and….talk about anything and everything.  But than you have the shy ones. The ones that would rather crawl under the desk and hide than speak up in class.  Well good thing there are other options, and one that fell across my lap recently .

Allow me to  introduce LitPick (www.litpick.com) an online service that allows the students to read new releases or not yet released titles, write reviews, and then have their review posted on the site for other users to see. They are in essence becoming a book reviewer.  Only they won’t receive payment for it, instead they will be able to keep their copy of the book and have their work published on the world-wide web.

However, LitPick is not just a site for reading, with every review the students write there is a trained editor reviewing their work and editing were needed. Then the editor shares with the student their thoughts and comments, in turn helping to guide the student into becoming a better writer.

This is not a free service and students are not allowed to sign up on their own, they must have an adult signing up with them as well. But there is group pricing for libraries, classrooms, and home schools.  And titles are available in both e-book and standard book format.  This is a great site to get both active and non active readers finding books that peak their interest, learn about writing more efficiently, and most importantly, learning to be vocal about their reading choices and about any topic in general.

I suggest you check it out. It is a great program.

 

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Filed under Books, Creativity, ebooks, Reading, Reviews, Social Networking, Technology

The Ups and Downs of the Social Media

Teachers have seen how social media can hurt the student body. In fact we are trained on what to look for, how to speak to the students about it, learn about the district and school’s policies for acceptable usage; so I feel we are learning everything we can possibly know.  I know it changes everyday, but we are trying to keep up with it the best we can.  I read an article yesterday, and I wanted to share but was busy so I am sorry I am late to the party with it, but it really seems to sum up nicely how social media is being used.   Yes we are aware of all of the negative issues that social media can bring (cyberbullying being the main issue), but social media is also a way to bring out the positive.  I will not do the article justice so I will just let you decide for yourself.  But basically, social media can provide an outlet for students to express their opinions, reach out and stand up for those who might need a voice or cheerleader, showcase themselves in a positive light.  These are all issues that are highlight the positive aspects of social media.  Just remember, for every cyberbullying case and celebrity butt shot, there is a teenager out there fighting for a cause and supporting those around them.

Please take a look at the article.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/21/living/social-media-positives-teens-parents/index.html?iref=storysearch

 

 

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Filed under PodCasts, Social Networking, Technology, Video