Thursday, April 17, 2014

Google Docs + Bitly = Great QR Codes!

A 7th grade physical science teacher recently asked me how he could easily share study guides and other documents with his class. When I asked if he was familiar with Google Docs, he answered that he has an account and uses it at home. Perfect!

I demonstrated how to upload existing document to Google Drive and benefits of converting them to a Google Doc afterwards. (We made sure to share the documents with "anyone with the link".) We decided that his best delivery method would be QR codes for his group of students. I pasted a Google link into Kaywa and asked what he thought about it. He impressed me by telling me that the code was too pixelated to scan well. Bingo.

Now comes a tool in the middle: a URL shortener. There are plenty of options out there with tinyurl as probably the most popular. My favorite is bitly. Want to know why? Check out the four minute video below to learn all about it!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Reflector: Display Your iPad on Your Computer Unethered

Please pardon my absence - iPads happened. (I'm hoping for sympathetic nods here.)

Speaking of iPads, let's talk about a program called Reflector. It is my new best friend. Reflector is a one-time-fee download that allows you to display your iPad through your computer (and assumed data projector) untethered. The program costs $12.99, and there is a break in price is you buy in bundles of five. I used the program last week with two teacher trainings, and it worked flawlessly. I even embarrassed myself a bit when I played a video on my iPad and the sound started blasting from the speakers on my SMART board. (I didn't know Reflector could do that!)

It is sort of a little process to get the file downloaded and enter your registration key, so I've included instructions on the setup. Once the program has been installed, you really never have to even open it again. It waits on you in your system tray for you to double-tap your home button, swipe right, and start displaying. You can even have multiple iPads display at once, though it is hard to see details after about three. If you need help using Reflector after it's downloaded, check out this use quick-guide.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blabberize: Part Deux

Back in March I blogged about Blabberize - a great tool for giving your pictures a voice. This week a teacher posed a question on Edmodo asking for technology integration ideas for kindergarten and first grade. Below is a sample from a fabulous first grade teacher's class. (Gotta love that cutie-patootie southern accent.) Thanks Kati!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thinglink: Images with Hot Spot "Tags"

Thinglink it a neat little web tool for collecting resources. You start with a picture - maybe a map, science experiments, or computer parts. Once your picture is uploaded, then you can begin "tagging" areas of your picture with resources like websites and videos. I can just see teachers with interactive whiteboards going from resource to resource at the front of the room with this tool. And I think that the placement of the tags on an image is much more effective/attractive than just a collection of links on a Word doc or Power Point. Below is a sample that I threw together for our GA Studies teachers; hover over the image to see the tags and click to open them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Animoto: Easy Slideshow Maker

If you are looking for a very simple slideshow maker that will make it look like you have spent hours putting the final product together, look no farther; Animoto is for you. Insert your pictures, choose from their music or upload your own, set a few preferences, and you are done! A basic free account only produces videos up to 30 seconds long, but with a free educator account, you can create full-length masterpieces! Sharing your videos will be a snap too. Around here, we like to embed class picture slideshows on our webpages or in Edmodo. Below is a family sample of mine - please share your links or ideas for classroom use!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Collaboration Time! Using Google Docs within Edmodo

Earlier this school year a teacher asked me how he could share a folder in Edmodo that others could contribute to. Well, at the time, that was not really possible. He could share, but the other teachers could not add or edit. No more! With Google Docs now seamlessly integrated into Edmodo, you can share collaborative documents to any group! Check out the how-to.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vokis Now Embed in SMART Notebook

I have always love the website Voki. Teachers can create talking avatars that tell visitors how to navigate around their webpage. Students can create book reports or other projects to display knowledge. With the release on SMART Notebook 11, Vokis can now be embedded into SMART lessons. Imagine the possibilities! A French character could speak times to students for an activity. A mouse could tell a story before students put the sentences in the correct order. Thinking of younger students, an avatar could give directions for an activity during center time. (I made that one - cute huh?)

To get started, make sure that you have SMART Notebook 11; it came out recently. You will need to download this Voki avatar file to your computer and make sure that it is added to your "My Content." Just do this once to use the tool as often as you like!

I thought this little guy would be neat for our middle school's Humane Society webpage. Click the play button and prepare to be heartbroken. If you are not familiar with Voki, click for my quickguide. If you make something great, share it with everyone!