Tuesday, December 27, 2011

hAPPy nEw yEAr! It is a SN-app!

One thing about working with  young adults is that you run the risk of alienating them at the same time you are trying to share good ideas and ways for them to improve their learning and independence.As a special education teacher in a rural high school in Maine, I work at unlocking the doors to the future by using online digital tools with my students.

Teaching our students to use online tools under our direction, soon allows them more independence and the ability to use their skills no matter where they are. Our students are beginning their large research projects when we return to school and these  apps will help our students keep things organized and at their finger tips.

Here are my top apps.  

Easy-Bib app is an app for the computer where a  student is able to copy a URL, clip the text from the URL and get help with a MLA bibliography. Now with the mobile app Easy Bib, http://easybib.com  the student has the ability to take a photo of the ISBN number and all the MLA information about the book is logged into the mobile device. How sweet is that?

Evernote app provides a way for our students to collect information for a research project into one place in the cloud. No matter if they use their mobile device, including smart phones or ipad/androids, or desktop computers our students are able to save everything to one space and access that information when needed. Check out evernote peek as a way to make your own flash cards or quizzes! http://www.evernote.com

Animoto app- Have you ever said to someone , “Oh, you should have seen the fun we had!,” Now you can make good on that statement by using the animoto app on your smart phone or mobile device. Create an animoto http://animoto.com  account and take about 16 photos, then open the animoto app, gather the pictures, choose some music and create a mini video of your event. Again, there is a feature for sharing with social media like Twitter and Facebook. Our students use this as a way to share a limited number of images, with short captions when they are working on projects in school. Whenever we can use an online tool to capture the content from a course, we take advantage of the “cool factor” and the “medium is the message” theory promoted by Marshall McLuhan .  Our students, especially the ones for whom writing is something to be feared and avoided at all costs can tell a very succinct and poignant story using images. After all, look at how much money is spent on 15 seconds during Super Bowl Sunday.

VoiceThread app-Is a great online tool for collaborating and telling a story at the same time. The features on VoiceThread http://voicethread.com have grown exponentially from use on computers to now on the iPad and other mobile devices,  including text messages, video messages, audio messages and even a way to phone in a message with your phone.

Remember to share a little fun and humor with your students. I am sharing this Alpine Replay, http://www.alpinereplay.com where the app, logs and registers the snowboaders’ and skiers’  actions on the slopes. Not only is the app fun to use, but it also teaches at the same time. Skiers and snowboarders will learn about, calories burned and energy used, speed, slope and the app even allows one to see where the ski area is on the earth. An added feature is that the social aspect of the app allows you to challenge  your friends to any one of the features that the app tracks, like most days on the slope, most kilometers traveled, most vertical, most calories etc. So far I have two medals for being on the hill before 9 AM. Probably the only one I will continue to consistently earn.

hAPPy nEw yEAr! It is a SN-app!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

LED Tree Kennebunk, Maine coakes
During the season of darkness, in the northern hemisphere, we rely on daily brightness “of sorts” to lighten up our days.

Here are some “gifts” for you and your students to brighten your days.

That’s all folks, stay busy, yet relax and keep your days bright, or brighten someone else’s day.