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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

VocApp - Multimedia Flashcards on iOS and Android

Last week I shared a few tools that students can create digital flashcards. Two of those tools offer the option for including audio in flashcards. Another option is to use the VocApp app for iOS and Android.

To create flashcards on VocApp you need to create an account and sign-in. Once you're signed-in you can click "create flashcards" and begin writing out a list of words. Choose the language that you want to learn and VocApp will automatically translate words from English to the language you've selected. On the flashcard creation screen you can add an image to represent the words you're entering into your flashcards. The case of common words, VocApp will automatically add images to your flashcards. To help students learn how to pronounce words, VocApp offers audio support.

VocApp does offer some pre-made flashcard sets for sale, but you don't have to purchase anything in order to use the service to create and study your own flashcards. There is also a large gallery of public flashcards created by other users and made available for free.

Applications for Education
There is certainly not a shortage of flashcard services on the web. That doesn't mean we should ignore it when a new one comes around.  I like to give students a few options and let them choose. Some students may prefer the interface of VocApp over that of similar services. The ability to use VocApp in a web browser as well as on an Android tablet or iPad makes it a good option for BYOD settings.

Memrise - Learn New Languages

Memrise is a service through which you can learn vocabulary for a new-to-you language, study science flashcards, review math problems, or review content from any of the hundreds of online course offerings on Memrise.

Review on Memrise happens in a manner that is a blend of flashcard flipping and quiz question answering. After signing into your Memrise account select a category that you want to study. Then within that category choose one of the many sub-topics. For example, I chose History & Geography then selected Capitals and within that topic I selected Canadian Capitals. To review the capitals Memrise showed me a few capitals and locations in a flashcard style before hitting me with a few quiz questions. That pattern repeated until I had worked through all of the capitals. I earned points for correct and timely answers. My points helped me move up the leader board for the activity that I chose.

The content on Memrise is generated by users who develop and share materials. If you don't find materials suitable to the topic you're studying, you can develop and share your own online review course on Memrise.

Memrise offers Android and iPad apps to complement the online platform.

Applications for Education
Memrise offers Memrise for Teachers. Memrise for Teachers will allow you to add students to your online account, assign courses of study (sets of review materials) to them, and track your students' progress through Memrise activities.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Padlet Now Has Desktop and Mobile Notifcations

Padlet's latest update adds the option for creators of Padlet walls to receive notifications on their desktops or mobile devices. Notifications on desktops come through the Chrome or Firefox browsers. Notifications can be enabled in the Padlet iOS and Android apps. From the browser notifications users can approve or deny new posts on Padlet walls and approve or deny requests to join a private Padlet wall.

This is the latest update in a string of Padlet updates over the last nine months. Some of the other updates in the last year include a complete overhaul of the user interface and the option to allow commenting on Padlet notes. Learn how to use commenting in the video embedded below.

How Search Works - An Illustrated Explanation

Google search is a part of our students' daily lives (most of them have never lived in world without Google), but often they don't know how the search results displayed before them got there. How Search Works is an animated graphic that reveals the basics of how websites are sorted, ranked, and presented to you in your search results. More information is revealed as you scroll down the How Search Works graphic.

A couple of years ago the folks at Canva created a Google Search Tips infographic for me. You can see that infographic below. Feel free to print it for display in your classroom. 



Last week I hosted a sold-out webinar called Search Strategies Students Need to Know. The content of that webinar is available on demand.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Things I Wish Every Teacher Knew About Technology...

On Friday morning I had the idea to write a list of the things that I wish every teacher knew about technology. Before I started writing the list I put the prompt on Twitter and watched the responses come in. The responses covered just about everything that I would have written in one way or another, but there is one thing that I will add to the Tweets embedded below. The thing that I wish every teacher knew about technology is that even the most tech-savvy colleague or student in your school doesn't know everything about technology. Remember that when you're not feeling confident about using technology in your classroom.



All of the Tweets above were organized into a Twitter moment. You can learn how to create moments here.