Friday, December 18, 2015

Looking for a timer?

Count down, count up, and more.

Use "Timer" to countdown or count up, with alarms, loops, and in many colors, sizes and fonts. These Timers have a high level of accuracy, checking every second, and automatically adjusting when pc / tablet / phone is overloaded. The "Save Link To Your Custom Timer" link, lets you create a timer with your custom settings.  You can then place that URL on a Web page, or save it as a browser bookmark.  


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Zaption - Make video work for you

Transforms clips into an engaging "lean forward" activity
Add questions or comments to that video clip you want to show. (Pro version has lots of additional features, but the free version is pretty powerful too!)

"Teachers, trainers, and content publishers use Zaption's intuitive web app to quickly add images, text, quizzes, and discussions to existing videos from YouTube, Vimeo and private video libraries. The result is an interactive learning tour that transforms video from a "lean back" experience to an engaging "lean forward" activity."


Monday, December 7, 2015

Shadow Puppet - a 30hands alternative

Tutorial & download links

The most recent update of 30Hands significantly changed the free version of their app. (You can now only make five slideshows on each iPad and only export 3 times.)  Now what!? You might want to try Shadow Puppet. The app is fairly easy to use and it allows students to create and export narrated slideshows much like 30 hands.

Some features:
  • Cites photos sources used from the internet.
  • Text can be added to each image.
  • Music tracks can be added.
  • There is an option to "redo" a recording on a page. (but you must decide before moving to the next slide.)
  • You must save to preview.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Instagram for kids?

Social media and students.
I've had some questions recently about Instagram and students - what should a teacher or parent be teaching kids about this platform? It's all good fun, but how does one avoid the problems that can arise? Kids love the ability to play with images (and filters and overlays) and I've seen students as young as 11 with accounts. Here are some pointers and guides to peruse on the subject.

What is Instagram? (Video)

Parents' guide:

A short "advice" video for teens and tweens


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Using Do Ink's Green Screen app for iPad?

Green Screen Links

Do Ink's Green Screen app for the iPad is a lot of fun, easy to use and a great way to let students share their learning. Insert yourself in a children's book background, visit historical or present day settings, explore extreme environments, do an eTalk Daily or a news program - the sky is the limit. Here are some links to explore.

Green Screen Basics v.1.7

Green Screen Basics (with Keynote slide as background)
(Earlier version)

Creating Backgrounds for Green Screen in Keynote

Using Green Screen

More Green Screen ideas

Top 10 tips for Green Screen

2 Page guide

Reading of "A Cricket in TImes Square" (demo)


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Scholantis Student Portfolio Resources and Demo

Learn more about the Portfolio options
This link also features an archived webinar that demonstrates the features of the Student Portfolio.

"Scholantis Student Portfolios allow students to create collections of documents, presentations, blog posts, or other media (e.g. photographs, videos, certificates, rubrics or assignments). A portfolio is much more than a digital scrapbook. It allows students to create a purposeful collection of their work that demonstrates their efforts, progress, and achievements."


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Top tools for the BYOD classroom

Apps and sites to explore for BYOD
I heard Leslie Fisher present at the 2015 ERAC conference. It was a very energetic and dynamic session! Linked above is one of the handouts from her extensive webpage. This PDF focusses on BYOD-friendly apps and sites. (Here's a link to more: )


Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Using Pic Collage" Video

Quick app overview: Pic Collage
Chris Loat and I offer a quick overview of Pic Collage for teachers wanting to add this to their tool box.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Rory's Story Cubes iOS & Android Apps

Scaffold story telling with these prompts
Plug in or Airplay your iPhone or iPad and quickly generate storytelling ideas for your English, ELL, FSL or other second language class. Realistic physics - shake to roll the cubes. Move and rotate them as you tell your story. The app comes with both the Original and Action sets. Other sets are available as in-app purchases. (Here's a video of the actual cubes - app works the same way.)


Ten Webtools for Digital Storytelling and Book Trailers | A Listly List

Engage active reading for students
Thanks Naomi Bates for "these ten websites that use images, music and/or video to create book trailers to engage active reading for students."


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Online Poster Creators - 10 options

ePosters to represent learning

There are many tools available for students to represent their learning. These "eposters" offer many of the same advantages of the typical poster, but add projectable and shareable features. Embedding a video or a link make these webapps a powerful way to share an insight or explain a concept: RWT, Canva, LucidPress, tackk, Picmonkey, Poster my Wall, Muzy, QuotesCover, Pixteller, Smore, Quozio, BigHugeLabs, Recite and Ribbet. Some of these choices offer very specific presentation modes, others are very flexible. (The link above takes you to a clickable mindmap - don't forget to explore mondomo too.)


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A quiet break from the clatter

Take a deep breath...

This site offers a quiet (with bird sounds) vista to contemplate while you take a few calming breaths. You can easily switch the scenery and background audio by selecting a different scene from the bottom right of the screen. (There's also an app that will lead you through a guided meditation if you prefer.) With a projector and some speakers, you can give your class a nature break, and even provide a setting for some creative writing.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

3 Apps to use in conjunction with the new Book Creator comic templates

Spice up your comics!
"One of the most popular and effective Educational Apps of all time Book Creator, has just released a major update that includes comic strip templates. Here is a quick look at 3 Apps that may be used in conjunction with these templates to help create a more effective digital comic: Daily Monster, Topia & Canva."


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tools for Adding Questions and Notes to Videos

Annotate the clips you use.
"Short videos from YouTube and other sources can be quite helpful in introducing topics to students and or reinforcing concepts that you have taught. Watching the video can be enough for some students, it's better if we can call students' attention to specific sections of videos while they are watching them. The following tools allow you to add comments and questions to videos that you share with your students...."


Monday, September 21, 2015

Shelving Game - iPad friendly too!

Shelving practice made easy
Use Mrs Lodge's Shelver game to put books in call number order.
"You have a choice of 3 levels. Click on a book with your mouse (or your finger on a touch device) and drag it into the correct order. When you think your books are in the correct order, click the Check My Shelf button at the top of the screen to see if you are right."


Friday, September 18, 2015

Using 30hands - some links

Planning to use 30Hands sometime soon?
Here are some links I've come across that might help jump-start a project you are working on, or give you some ideas for integrating this easy-to-use app.

Quick tutorial for students

A powerful storytelling tool - some ideas to try.

Using Pic Collage and 30hands in Primary ...
A Pre-K classroom uses Pic Collage and 30hands. (Both apps are free to use on the IPad.)


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Padlet app - take a look

Padlet is now an app
The online web tool Padlet, is now available as an app. With the Padlet app you can post sticky notes (including text, images, movies and links to websites) onto a wall/page. Notes can be re-arranged in any order. Login to your account and you can sync online "walls" to work on the iPad.

(Thanks for the tip, CL)


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The "Padagogy Wheel"

The latest and most popular educational apps

"How do we show teachers that the pedagogy should drive the technology and not the other way around?  Take a look at this PDF poster (version 4.0 published Mar 2015) with links to 122 of the latest and most popular educational apps.   The poster also has app selection criteria according to Bloom's taxonomy.  And there are QR Codes linking to more online resources.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Legoizer Turns Any Image Into A Lego Kit

Everything can be made of Lego
"The Legoizer turns images into Lego creations by breaking them into block-sized chunks and supplying a shopping list and list of instructions. [...] it could be a fun way to surprise a Lego-loving friend!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Cite This For Me: Reference Generator

Giving Props is easy!
"Cite This For Me is a free citation tool for students. It automatically formats your bibliographies and reference lists correctly using the APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard referencing styles."


Friday, May 29, 2015

Cleaning up webpages - Reader and Readability

Just show me the text!
Reader View in Safari on iOS devices strips webpages of everything except text and images. On a mobile device, tap the icon on the left side of the address bar to see a white page with black text plus a button for controlling text size; tap it again to return to the original page. (Safari lets you know when Reader View is available for a page by flashing a quick "Reader View Available" message as a website is loading.) On a laptop or desktop, the full Safari app offers the same functionality, with the plus that printing or projecting is much easier for a class to read.
Some webpages don't allow Reader View; in that case, the Readability Bookmarklet could be the answer. Simply drag the bookmarklet to your address bar to use it. (There are also instructions for an iOS install.)


Use Preview App Resize Images

Shrink those massive pic files.
Do you have pics you can't use or upload because they are too big? The Preview app on your Mac is a perfect tool to solve this problem!

Resize an Image using "Preview"
"Select Tools" -> "Adjust Size" brings up the Resize dialog box, which allows you to resize any image. (It supports many measurement units, including pixels.) If you want to do many pics at a time, visit the link above, or watch the following video:


Monday, May 25, 2015

Turn a Photo into an Illustration

PicMonkey has lots of options!
".... we've tried our hardest to put you and your images in the realm of the unreal. We're talking about how to illustrate your photo in the style of a stencil, poster, graphic novel, or Warhol print. This short tutorial packs six effects into three minutes, so get ready, get set, and get illustrated."

Along with Lunapic, PicMonkey gives you great options for creating illustrations to insert in your BookCreator masterpiece. (You'll have to do the editing on a laptop or desktop and then import/email to your iPad.)


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Comic-Style Projects on iPad

Harness your inner comic geek.
(or "Les bédés règnent!))
Here are two apps that let students create impressive comicbook-like projects. Great for supporting writing, storyboarding or representing learning.

Comic Maker HD (Free) some popup ads

"ComicBook!" iPhone app ($3.49)

The image pasted above was made with ComicBook, and I first pulled the images into to turn them into pencil drawings using the "Effects" submenu. (You can do this on your iOS device - very slick.) Note: there is an editor in the app, but it has fewer modification options.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Splice - Video Editor

Combining videos the easy way.

Looking to put some student videos together, I tried a number of free video joining apps - Splice was the perfect solution. The app lets you add clips from your camera roll, set transitions, add frames, add images, create a title, and even edit clip lengths. Easy to use, powerful and fast.

Here's a sample I made using a couple of random clips I took, with some audio uploaded for fun.


TumbleBook-Of-The-Day embedded code!

Looking to direct your kids to Tumblebooks?

Get your students in the habit of checking out Tumblebooks. TB offers a "book of the day" clip to view that changes daily. Paste the following html into your blog or website to liven things up!


Design engaging images for your social media posts in under 30 secs

Quick graphic with quote.
Add two sizes of text, change the background image, add a logo or insert pic. All in a snap.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Build" with Chrome

Virtual Lego set for Lego lovers
"Build": It's a virtual Lego set for the little Lego lover in your life. Lego and Google Chrome teamed up to create a site for master builders of all ages to build their own creations. And no clean up required!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Cool Text: Titles and signage made easy

Need a genre sign or promo text?
"Cool Text is a FREE graphics generator for web pages and anywhere else you need an impressive logo without a lot of design work.  Simply choose what kind of image you would like. Then fill out a form and you'll have your own custom image created on the fly."


Friday, April 10, 2015

Crossword Puzzle Maker

Words, words, words.
Sometimes a crossword is the perfect tool to practice spelling, check definitions and review new vocab. This puzzle maker offers a quick "copy/paste" way to upload clues and words, and gives the option of printing completed puzzles as an answer key. (Check out some of the other word tools on this site.)


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Zimmer Twins Movie creation

Create your own Zimmer stories from scratch.
"On you create your own endings to one of our story starters. You may also create your stories from scratch. So put on your director's hat and you might just be our next featured movie maker! All movies feature Edgar and Eva Zimmer, the Zimmer Twins. They are an ordinary pair of 12 year-olds except for one thing - they have psychic powers. They weren't always psychic though. The weirdness began when they adopted a black cat named 13. From that point on, strange things began to happen."

Learn more:

Lufthansa Geography Quiz

Fly around Europe
For a fun test of your knowledge of geography, just click on where you think the city is and the plane will land there, then it will show where the city actually is! Try for the highest score.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Getting it picture perfect

 Wrapping text around photos in MS Word
"When inserting images into MS Word, it is nice to be able to wrap the text around the image rather than having the image 'In Line' with the text. Set the image as 'Tight' or 'Square' to allows one to place the image anywhere on the page and have the text wrap around it; this allows for more effective layout in the document."
"To change the image so it can have the text wrap around it, click on the image and click on the wrap text icon (it looks like a dog with text), then select 'Tight' or 'Square'."

(Thanks for the tip Chris)

To force MS Word to automatically insert images as 'Tight' rather than the default, go to the Word Menu >> Preferences >> Edit and select 'Tight' in the drop down menu beside "Insert/past pictures as".


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Screen Sharing with Screenleap

Frictionless Collaboration!
Trying to explain what's on your screen to someone else? Are you frustrated because they can't see what you can? Try Screenleap - visit the site, click on the big green button and get a "share link" to send to your collaborator. They will see you working on your screen  - real time!

"View from any device with a browser (including PCs, tablets, and smartphones) without having to install any software."


Monday, February 23, 2015

iExplorer - iPhone, iPad File Transfer App for Mac & PC

Want to access the files and folders of your device's apps?
Is there an easy way to get student work off an iPad for archiving or sharing? Yes there is...

"With iExplorer, you can access more files and folders than ever before. Need to access photos on your iPhone or iPod? Can do. Want to access the files and folders of your device's apps? Done."

Thanks Chris for sharing this at the METT meeting.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Generate an iPhone/iPad icon from any image

Turn yourself into an app icon!
You want to create icons for your webpage or blog, and you really want to rock an iPhone app look and feel. This site gives you multiple sizes for download, and even throws up a screenshot of what your icon would look like on a device!

"This tool generates iPhone/iPod icon from any image. Glossy, corner rounding and shadow effects are applied so icon will look exactly like on iPhone/iPod or iPad (original icon masks are taken right from firmware)."


inklewriter - Interactive Stories made easy!

Bring interactive stories to the classroom
"inkle is looking to bring interactive stories to the classroom, and give teachers free and simple get-stuck-right-in software to use with their students. From within a web-browser, the inklewriter will let students make and play interactive stories with no programming required."

Here's an enthusiastic review: LINK

Monday, February 16, 2015

Save online video for later

Avoid streaming issues!
Are you fighting with the wifi at your school site? Do you hate the "spinning rainbow wheel of buffering"? Here's yet another option for downloading video clips for use in class.


Roll the dice

Quick dice roll webapp
This site offers an easy-to-use dice throwing interface for classroom use. (Pick one die or many.) Works great on iPads or iPhones. Use the dice for choosing groups, making a selection on a game card or as a way of randomizing conversation starters, etc. (Some more ideas here.)

For fun, look at these "image dice" sets you can print and make:

And here's an iOS app ("Make Dice") that uses either text or pics - hook up to your projector - have fun! ($3.49)


Bingo Card Generator

A fun way to practice target vocab
Personalize with your own title. Paste in a list of words (Separated by commas), decide if you want a free space, choose the size (5x5, 6x6, etc.) and generate the card. For ease of printing, copy the cards row by row and paste it into Word. You can then play with the size, margins, etc. in order to get the printout you want. (You can even insert a graphic if you like!) You can print multiple versions of cards using the same basic word set. (ie. 30 cards for a class set.)

Have fun!


Using Wordle to Make Word Choice Posters

Instant word wall to build vocabulary
Genevieve Hawtree has a great suggestion on how to use "Advanced" Wordle to generate quick mini-posters to boost vocabulary development in the FSL or ELL classroom. (You'll either need to follow the column layout suggested on the Wordle advanced page, or simply paste a chunk of words into the Wordle "create" box, and duplicate the main word 3 or 4 times.) Pick "horizontal" in the layout options as this will make the text more readable.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Use Voice Dictation To Speak To Your Mac

Streamlined and simplified dictation

Chris Hoffman gives a quick run through of how to use the Dictation feature on Mac. You'll need to be running at least Mavericks (OS 10.9)  to take advantage of this. The article also gives a list of all the dictation commands you need to know.

"The Mac Voice Dictation feature is streamlined and simplified. It's easy to start using without a long training process and will feel familiar to people who've used voice dictation on smartphones and tablets. In fact, it's extremely similar to the voice dictation feature on Apple's iOS."


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Greetings French flashcards | Quizlet

An easy way to review vocab
Consider using Quizlet to review vocab with your students. Projected, the flashcards can be used in a "game show" mode with teams trying to give the correct response. You can also put it in spelling, matching, testing or space race modes for more fun and practice.

Encourage students to create their own stacks (if they are over 13 years) or simply practice with ones you set up. (You can easily share a link via URL, class blog or QR code.) Cards will read themselves out loud in the language you select. Add pics from a preset bank or upgrade and use your own!


Cartoon Maker websites?

Getting on the Graphic Novel Bandwagon
If you want to have your students create their own graphic novels, (or short stories for that matter) help them get familiar with the genre.

Tumblebooks has graphic novels that you could peruse. (We also have CDs at DRC with graphic novels (in French) that you can show without the words in the bubbles.) Flip through some comics to get a feel for layouts and techniques.

If you want to create from scratch, there are some options for this kind of activity.

Think about using Powerpoint templates for panels.
(This is a great how-to site with all kinds of suggestions!)

or look at these...

You can create free strips w/o a sign-in. If you want to save it, you need to sign-up.  (Limited style but appealing in a funny kind of way.)

Preset images, but lots of control and easy to use.

Works a lot like ComicLife and requires an account to use. Students can create panels, and then combine the panels into "books." (The prefab art is a little cliché, & the editor can be fussy to use.)

More Powerpoint

A site like Lunapic can be used to modify images and create the content - take screen shots and paste into a PPT panels template

A vid tutorial

Some Png images to use