Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Using Technology to Stay Current with Students Who Cannot be Physically in Your Class

We've all experienced students missing class for one reason or another.  Sometimes students are too sick to come to school, but other times students are unable to attend school for other reasons.  How can these students to stay current with their education?  In the past a parent might stop by the school and pick up their homework.  Schools may send teachers to students houses for in house instruction.  Current technology allows students to stay in touch with their classes anywhere they may have internet access.  There are a lot of ways that students and teachers can stay connected and here are just a few suggestions:

  • If teacher and student both have access to iPad, Macs, iPhones, or iPod Touches they can connect via Facetime.  At the start of the class the teacher can call the student and through video chat the student and the class can interact with each other.
  • If you have a Smartboard and a microphone, teachers can record everything they do and say on their smartboard using Smart Record.  They can then post these videos on YouTube, Vimeo, Safari Montage, inside Moodle, etc for students to watch on their own time.
  • Our district has the google education apps.  Through Google Video Chat teachers and students can connect and interact with each other much like the FaceTime app already mentioned.
  • Using teacher's can share everything they are doing on their computer screen with a student who has a computer or mobile device.  Right now they even offer free audio and chat features along with screen sharing.  This is also a great tool for a student who may be visually impaired, as they could use their own device to enlarge what the teacher was doing on their computer.  There is no registration or sign in required, you simply go to the website and it will give you website to share with your students.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Project Base Learning (PBL) and the importance of teaching Higher Order Thinking Skills.( HOTS).
Many times students will not know where to start or even know how to put their ideas together. Students will truly need some modeling before feeling comfortable with developing a topic for a report or project. ThinkTank will help give support to the students that will give them a feeling of accomplishment. NoteStar will help the students stay organized.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You Tube

I have gotten lots of questions from teachers lately about to use You Tube to communicate with students. Check out this week’s video to see how to subscribe, create lists, upload, edit privacy and share videos that you create with your students.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fotobabble - Talking Photographs

Fotobabble is a site that allows the user to upload a photo and then record voice to play while the photo is on the screen. You can string your Fotobabbles together to create web-based presentations, digital stories or virtual tours with your voice leading the way. To use this program you need to create an account. An account requires a username, password and email address. For that reason, only people 13 years and older can create an account on Fotobabble. (Companies are not allowed to collect personal information, such as an email address, from anyone younger than 13.)

Watch the video below to see how to create a fotobabble. It takes just minutes to upload a picture and add audio. The max record time on the website is 1 minute. If you have the updated version of the app for iPhone or iPad the recording limit is 5 minutes.

Ways to share the fotobabble: 
  • With the URL link to share through email or post online
  • There is code to embed in websites and wikis
Here is a link for directions on how to change many fotobabbles in a slideshow.
Ideas of ways to use Fotobabble:
  • Home-made greeting cards
  • Talking postcards from your travels
  • Review products, songs, movies, TV shows, anything!
  • Citizen journalism: Reporting from the scene of something newsworthy
  • Provide commentary on a photo found on the web
  • Promote a brand, products or services
  • Create contests
  • Narrate the story behind a special photo
  • Adding a visual element to your poetry or music

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Using iPad Apps to Stay Current with Education

If you have an iPad, there are some great apps right at your fingertips to help keep you current with educational news and trends.  There are two apps that I really like, both in what I like to call "magazine format" which allows you to flip through pages and browse news stories.  Flipboard and Zite are both free apps on the iPad (iPod touch and iPhone).  You can customize subjects and add your Google Reader content to both of these apps.  Flipboard allows you to share articles via Twitter, email, and favorite items in twitter.  Zite allows you to share articles via Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, and email.  Both apps are great ways to stay current, and don't take a lot of time out of your day.  Just a few minutes every day, and you can browse all the latest headlines in education.