App #10 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #10: Partner a beautiful image that you’ve drawn or photographed with interactivity and you’ve got Thinglink. These rich interactives provide another way to curate and organize information. I’ve written about this before using the SAMR Model as an example (developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D) and also here where I was participating in CLMOOC.

Thinglink offers interaction tools that tag photos or images with a a whole group of content, adding a layering effect. The system is built on the use of tags to add more information like audio, other images, web links, video, text information and anything else you might think you wish. Images can be from multiple sources and even a collage of images built through a program like Picmonkey (see App #8) or Pic Collage (app on ipad).  That leads me to think, why not use this as an infographic to visually showcase statistics. Swap PowerPoint with Thinglink and see where it takes you. Use Thinglink to connect all your flipped videos on your blog.  Or have students explain their science experience  or self assessment through sequenced captions. Teacher-Librarians – have you considered this as a tool to teach research skills or how to vet the mountains of information found? 

Simple tips: Sign up for a teacher account. Search inside the site and you’ll find other interactives giving you more ideas. thinglink_xmas

Click on the image to see a message for the holiday season.

App #9 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #9: In our effort to highlight the SAMR Model of integration of technology, we’ve been considering what activities might fit into Redefinition (technology that allows creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable). What activities might have significant impact to student outcomes? The “tell your story” concept remains one of the powerful ways we have to teach others, to increase audience, to learn new processes, to share expert knowledge in safe ways (consider also that shy student in your class). app_tellagami

Animations are live and well. While many are found in game environments, why not connect our learning outcomes above to the creation of animations – and no, you won’t spend a ton of time learning software! Tellagami is an app for ipad or android (love that) and produces animated characters (much like Voki or other avatar programs) that can be saved to the camera library, imported into other apps or uploaded to a blog or other website. tellagami_screen Have students create a teaching session or speech (in another language like French, Spanish, etc.) and create a gami to deliver the content.  How about the significance of a historic event via a gami? Complete a biography of a personal hero? Tell a story from the first person perspective. Or how about in Special Ed, where a student might need lots of practice in speaking.  Capturing and “freezing words in time” offers a great way to reflect upon both speech and ideas.
What makes this app a ‘cut above’ are several things: ability to insert own backgrounds (including drawings), ability to save to camera library and no wifi needed unless you wish to upload to a site.  This allows for so many other possibilities to import to other apps like Explain Everything, iMovie or transferred to a computer (mpeg4) – now we have to talk about workflow.  (Stay tuned for more on this in later posts.)

What can you use Tellagami to do, to learn, to share?

App #8 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #8:  Image editors are the tools that help your ordinary images dance off pages. IrfanView is a free program (on your school computers) that does a variety of basics like compression.  I love the “batch conversion” feature when I need a ton of images resized for the web.  (click here for instructions)

picmonkey_iconWhen I need to add pizzazz to my images, I go to PicMonkey. This simple online editor uses a drag-and-drop display that is easy to master.  Every change you make shows immediately.  The site requires no signup and is used successfully with students as early as Kindergarten, not to mention all teachers. More importantly, you save your images anywhere you wish.
picmonkey_editorThe Basic Editor gives quite a few options to choose such as Crop, Color, Rotate, Resize. Each option opens up further options giving you lots of choice including the ability to upload your own layers and special effects.

picmonkey_slider

Most all areas use a slider for control.  When you like what you see, press ‘Apply’ and you now have a brand new image – something that you can call your very own! (This is definitely a fan favourite in our workshops. Just imagine adding this to powerpoint, publishing pieces, newsletters.)
Click here for instructions on using PicMonkey.

How can you see this tool being used in your classes?

App #4 of “10 Apps to Countdown Season”

App #4:  “I hate Google Docs!” stated a student in an advanced writing class.  The teacher being stunned by this emphatic state turned my way with a “now what!” look.  After probing, it became clear that this writer liked the thesaurus dictionary in MSWord.  A quick introduction to online visual dictionaries opened a whole different world not only to the group but also for the teacher in expanding to other classes. Here are two of my favourites:

lexipedia

Lexipedia provides a visual display connection of words (nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and relationships fuzzynyns, synonyms, antonyms).  Hovering over the term offers a definition.  More importantly, this tool has an embedded audio option of the text. You can see a definite plus for those students who need this type of support.

visuwordsVisuwords, another online visual dictionary uses colours and a variety of line shapes to define relationships and connections much like a concept map. Type a word in the box and see the connected terms come alive.

What are your favourite tools for expanding vocabulary in writing?