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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Add Your Voice to Diagrams By Creating TinyTap Sound Boards

Parts of this post originally appeared on my other blog, iPadApps4School.com

TinyTap is a great iPad app for developing your own educational games. I've been a big supporter of the app since it launched a couple of years ago. TinyTap has always been targeted toward the K-3 crowd, but it can certainly be used with older students too. To reflect that TinyTap has uses in older grades, the developers gave the app a bit of a facelift and added some new features.

TinyTap still works the way that it always has, but some of the decorations and animations that were included to appeal to young students are optional rather than default settings.

To create a game on TinyTap you upload pictures or take new pictures and arrange them into a set. Then select each image to create questions about it. To create your question press the record button and start talking. When you have finished talking select a portion of your picture to serve as the answer. I created a small game about objects in my house. I took four pictures of things in my house. Each question asked players to identify the objects in my house. For example, when a player sees a picture of my kitchen he or she has to identify the tea pot by touching it.

The feature of the updated TinyTap app that I like the best is the Sound Board option. A Sound Board is an image or set of images to which you add your voice. To create a Sound Board you highlight elements of a picture then record yourself talking about those elements. When a student views your Sound Board he or she can tap on highlighted portions of the image to hear you talking about them. This could be a great option for creating a narration of a flowchart or a diagram.


How to Create and Subscribe to YouTube Playlists

Putting together collections of YouTube videos can be a good way to provide students with review material related to units of study in your classroom. The easiest way to do this is to create YouTube playlists that you then embed into the sidebar of your classroom blog. The video embedded below shows you how to create a YouTube playlist.



To embed a playlist into a blog or website open the Share menu associated with a playlist then copy the embed code provided.

If you are playing a video within a playlist on YouTube you can find the embed code for the playlist below the video that you are currently watching.

My playlist of Practical Ed Tech tips is embedded below.



An additional method for getting students to watch the playlists that you create for them is to ask them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. This option is only available if your students have YouTube accounts of their own.

Try Science - Online and Offline Science Activities for Kids

TryScience, produced by the New York Hall of Science, offers a nice collection of online and offline science activities for elementary school students. On TryScience you will dozens of activities arranged by topic. The offline activities are hands-on activities like wind mapping with bubbles and building tin foil boats. The most of the online activities, like Catch the Wave, have an offline activity that you can use to teach the same concepts found in the online version.

Applications for Education
The next time that you are looking for an elementary school science activity that you can use with or without Internet access, take a look through TryScience's gallery of activities.

A History of Immigration in the United States - A Multimedia Timeline

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed a great new service for creating multimedia timelines. That tool is called Hstry. Through the Hstry platform you can create timelines that include videos, images, audio, text, and quiz questions. It is possible to add instant feedback on the quiz questions in your timeline. To get a sense of how Hstry timelines function, take a look at one of their recent featured timelines about the history of immigration in the United States.

A History of Immigration in the U.S.A. traces patterns of immigration in the United States from the Colonial Era through 1965. The timeline shows the motivations for immigration throughout the history of the United States. The timeline also includes responses of the government to waves of immigration throughout the history of the United States.

Applications for Education
A History of Immigration in the U.S.A. ends in 1965. A good assignment for students would be to develop continuations of the timeline to cover 1965 through today. Those timelines could include video clips of Presidents and other politicians discussing issues around immigration policies.

As a teacher you can create an online classroom on Hstry. In that online classroom you can view all of your students' timelines.

CK-12 Announces the Top Flexbooks of the Year

The CK-12 Foundation's FlexBook tool allows teachers to develop their own multimedia textbooks. Those books can be shared publicly with the CK-12 community. This CK-12 released a list of the most used FlexBooks of the year.

This year's five most used CK-12 FlexBooks are Biology Concepts, Chemistry Concepts, Life Science Concepts for Middle School, Physical Science Concepts for Middle School, and Earth Science Concepts for Middle School.

If you would like to try developing your own FlexBooks, the tutorials embedded below will help you get started.


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