Friday, June 24, 2016

Vocaroo: Voice Recording quick and easy

I have been looking for some options for presentations because some of my students are very hesitant to talk about things in front of the class. While I require them to do some sort of book talk or presentation, I decided to allow them to do it in a different way so I looked around for some tools online that can be used for that purpose.

Vocaroo is an easy tool to use for just the purpose I wanted, quick oral presentations.  I think because of ease of use and the method of delivery any class could use it.  Social Studies, English and Foreign languages.   I love the fact that it doesn't save everything on a site, you just receive a link with the final product and embed that into your page.

I could see a recording from this site embedded into a blog or a website with some sort of oral description.  A foreign language teacher could very easily use this for an oral prompt for an assignment or a test as well.

I love that the result can be emailed directly so if you are assigning students an oral presentation, they can complete it and email it.  The link can be embedded as well.  It is so easy!  I think it can be a real benefit to reach those students who fear public speaking.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Blabberize: Quick mini oral presentations

Being that I am originally a foreign language teacher, I often have that side of my brain running when I look at a website.  How could this be used in a foreign language class?   I found a fun one today called Blabberize.  It's free and it is quick, but it could be very beneficial in a foreign language class or even some other classes where a quick presentation could take place.

Here is how it works:  You find a photo or a picture and upload it to their site.  Then, you record a clip of information one of three ways, microphone, telephone or upload.   Then, the site merges the audio together with the image and you have a talking photo.

I see this being very useful for a quick response in foreign language.  It appears that only one person can speak so no conversations but maybe students can answer a quick question or something.

I wouldn't use this often in my classroom, maybe from time to time as a change in pace. It's definitely worth looking into.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Educaplay Learning Resources tool

Not long ago, a tweet passed through my feed from SimpleK12, and as you probably have seen,  I am a big fan of SimpleK12.  They offer so many wonderful things to educators.  The feed was a blog post with 50+ free tech tools for your classroom.  I was hooked.  I started checking them out and decided I am going to do several posts about some of them.   We are starting today with a post about EDUCAPLAY which is a multimedia resource tool.

Educaplay is a site that allows users to create multimedia games and tools to use as a review tool.  You can create a free account to use and also search a directory of other people's files.  This site reminded me a little of Quia, which I used to use when I was teaching as a review tool.  As my followers know, I am too cheap to buy tools, and this one is a freebie.

Creating an account was easy, so was making an activity. I noticed you can select your country and then see specific grade levels and specific content to cover in the activity.  There are also tutorial videos available for each activity you use.  When you make the activities, you can alternate the method of presenting the materials-  visual, text or audio.  (Awesome tool for a foreign language teacher!)

I think this is a pretty good tool for the classroom teacher of all levels.  Because there are many methods of presenting information, it will benefit many.  I think, too, it could be embedded into some LMS as well.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A New form of book reports: Trailers

With students today being so much more tech savvy than they were ten, or even five years ago, the need to change out methods of instruction is vastly growing. But, what about our way of collecting information and assessing students?

This semester I was given two sections of a course called Library Media.  In Indiana, this is a course that is designed to focus on research as well as the ongoings of a school library.   Students are to focus on digital citizenship, reading and recommendations.   One of the assignments I decided to do was to replace the traditional book report with a book trailer.  I felt letting kids do a more technology based presentation/ recommendation would be more exciting and let them use a little more creativity than simply writing a report.

The students used one of two online platform called Powtoon or Animoto.   Both of them allow users to create fast presentations that come out as a video.   Many of the kids chose Powtoon because it let them modify the fonts and change the size of text.  They are also able to do transitions, which they liked.

The outcome was really a great one.  I was pleased with the results and it made the assignment so much more fun.

Anyone who requires students to read a novel or even a book excerpt can require students to do a book trailer in place of the traditional report.