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HelloTalk Language Learning App

21 Sep
Correct Sentences 2 CorrectingWith a unique take on language learning, HelloTalk provides high school and college students with an opportunity to practice their skills in an authentic environment.  This app connects speakers from different languages who want to practice their skills.  It includes translation, text to speech, voice to text, and transliteration features. There’s also a Correct Sentences function to help each other correct grammar mistakes. All text and voice sentences can be favorited like flashcards for later review study.
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Doodle DrawIn the classroom this can be set up for use in a closed environment by locking search controls and connecting students with their peers.  Older students can participate in group chats, VoIP feee calls and search by city to practice their language learning.  HelloTalk supports a wide range of languages and is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Common Core in Action: Using Digital Storytelling Tools in the ELA Classroom

19 Sep

Common Core in Action

Here’s a preview of my new post for Edutopia – click on the link below to read more!

When students come to school each morning, they have tons of stories — stories to share with their friends as they unpack or move through the hallways, stories to share with the class during morning meetings, or stories to share with a teacher about something that made them happy or sad. In the classroom, writing can happen in many different ways, whether it’s free writing in a notebook to gather ideas or publishing stories to share with the whole school.

The Common Core State Standards expect that children across the grades can write for three specific purposes:

  1. Opinion pieces that persuade a reader and make an argument
  2. Informative writing that explains an idea and relays information
  3. Narrative stories of real or imagined events.

As students move from one grade level to another, the complexity of these tasks will change greatly. The persuasive writing that takes place in a second grade classroom will look very different than the work that a seventh grader produces. From kindergarten through 12th grade, students are expected to share their writing through technology.

…Click HERE to read more!

New Premium Services from Frolyc

16 Sep

student-ac-spotEarlier this year I introduced Frolyc as a terrific tool for teachers to design lesson-based interactive activities. Users can now purchase individual activities to use with students or they can upgrade to a premium service where all activities are available for unlimited student assignment.  Kind of like signing up for Netflix and having access to all of the content all of the time. Frolyc is also giving activity authors the opportunity to sell the activities they create and post on the site.

The premium service supports student creativity by letting students access the authoring interface straight from the Activity Spot iPad app. Students can create activities as part of their daily lessons, and demonstrate their learning and thinking.  These student-created activities can be assigned by the teacher to other students, facilitating peer-to-peer learning.  Frolyc is also starting a Premium Authoring program where users can be compensated for activities they create – you can learn more about this new program by signing up on their site.

Frolyc can be used in both 1:1 iPad classrooms and learning environments with just a few iPads. Check out their blog to learn how this platforms supports differentiated learning with one or more iPads by giving every teacher the power to curate and create instructional and assessment activities quickly.

Visit their website to get started or watch this video!

SoundSwaps for Spelling & Reading Practice

15 Sep
5_box all openSoundSwaps is an iPad app designed for students with dyslexia and other auditory based spelling and reading disorders.  With a bright and colorful, kid-friendly interface Soundswaps works with students on a few different skills.  This includes levels on word families, and initial and final sounds in words.  There are also activities that help students practice vowels, and random changes in words.
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19_sng i in trash partial keybdWith SoundSwaps students can work on their auditory conceptualization skills and eliminate extra visual and auditory distractions while they focus on figuring out where within a word a sound has changed.  Students who are struggling with foundational literacy skills will benefit from the extra practice this app provides.
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You can visit Language Learning Apps’ website to learn more!
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Classify It! Animal Exploration

13 Sep

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 2.27.55 PMscreen480x480Classify It! from the American Association for the Advancement of Science has an awesome free app that helps students learn about different animals.  This multi-level app asks children to identify different organisms.  They’ll earn points as they unlock each level and answer questions.

This app is great for station work if you only have a few iPads since it lets multiple users create profiles.  Download Classify It! today – it’s free!

 

Common Core in Action: Manipulating Shapes in the Elementary Math Classroom

12 Sep

Common Core in ActionHere’s a preview of my new post for Edutopia – click on the link below to read more!

As a former elementary school teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, I know how powerful iPads can be as learning tools in the hands of students. This mobile device is so much more than a content consumption tool, because students can use an iPad for hands-on learning. They can move items across the screen, write about a topic, and document their learning using audio and visual tools.

No Rubber Bands Required

I want to introduce you to a virtual manipulative app and demonstrate a few different ways that it can be used in an elementary school classroom to address concepts outlined in the Common Core State Standards while promoting higher-order thinking skills. Geoboard, by the Math Learning Center is a versatile app that provides a rubber-band free alternative to traditional geoboards. It lets students pick and choose from two different boards and lots of virtual rubber bands to create shapes.

…Click HERE to read more!

iAnnotate for PDFs (with a Special Offer!)

10 Sep

Make Paper Jealous iPadI’m a big fan of iAnnotate – it’s an app that I use personally and professionally and if you work with PDFs you’ll definitely want to check it out!  Teachers and students are seeing the benefit of going paperless, especially when deciding whether or not to print huge PDF documents just so they can highlight and add notes.

iAnnotate is fantastic PDF viewer that gives users the power to write all over the page, adding notes, highlighting and marking up text as they see fit. Teachers can use iAnnotate for digital grading, including leaving audio feedback.  Students can use it to highlight and search long course readings without having to waste paper.

iA3-Icon-1024Branchfire is giving away 2,000 free copies of iAnnotate (usually $9.99) during the back to school season.  If you’d like to win a free copy send out the following tweet: 

Hey @ClassTechTips I want to #makepaperjealous with iAnnotate! 

Just make sure you’re one of my Twitter followers so I can direct message you the promo code! You must also have an Apple ID for the US App Store. Offer good until codes run out!

Learn more about iAnnotate at makepaperjealous.com

 

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