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Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to Quickly Create an Audio Slideshow

Summarizing the highlights of an event, summarizing the key points in a story, and summarizing the results of research project are all common purposes for creating audio slideshows. Sharalike makes it quick and easy to create a video for any of those purposes. In the video embedded below I provide an overview of how quick and easy it is to create an audio slideshow with Sharalike.


On my updated page of video creation resources I have a playlist of tutorial videos. The latest addition to that playlist is this video about making audio slideshows with Sharalike.

GroupTing Makes It Easy to Organize Volunteers for Group Events

GroupTing is a new service that makes it easy to organize group events. The purpose of GroupTing is to enable you and your event attendees to keep track of who is attending your event and what they are bringing to it. For example, if I'm planning a classroom party and I need parents to contribute cups, beverages, snacks, plates and napkins, when I send out my invitations I can request that people bring one or more of those items. GroupTing allows me to specify how many of each item is needed and who has volunteered to bring the requested items.

Creating an event in GroupTing is quick and easy. To create an event just give it a name, set a location, set a date and time, then fill in the event details including the items that are needed for the event. Once you've created the event you can send email invitations directly from GroupTing. Recipients of your email will be able to click through to RSVP and indicate if they can bring things to the event. GroupTing will send event reminders to people who say that they are planning to attend your event.

You can also use GroupTing just for invitation management and skip the part about asking people to bring things to your event.

Applications for Education
There are other services like GroupTing, VolunteerSpot and Sign Up Genius come to mind, but GroupTing is probably the easiest to use. As mentioned above, it could be a great tool for organizing classroom holiday parties, PTA fundraiser events, or any other school event that relies on volunteer contributions.

This Wage Calculator Shows Students Salaries In Terms They Can Understand

As I've mentioned many times in the past, personal economics is one of my favorite topics to teach. Over the years I've developed games for teaching it and shared those along with other resources in posts like this one. This week on Life Hacker I discovered another resource that can help students understand the purchasing power of a salary.

Salaries in Real-Time is a simple wage calculator produced by Retale. The calculator shows you how long you would have to work in order to earn enough money to purchase hamburgers, televisions, running shoes, cars, and houses. You can view this information from the perspective of your own salary by entering it into the calculator. You can also see that information from the perspective of a surgeon, a nurse, a lawyer, a teacher, a web developer, a firefighter, a truck driver, or a construction worker. And just to put in perspective how rich they are, you can also see how long it would take Oprah or Lebron James to earn enough money to purchase one of the items on the list.

Applications for Education
Salaries in Real-Time provides a nice starting place for conversations about purchasing power. The calculator isn't without flaws. It only accounts for the time it would take to earn the money to purchase house or car if you did nothing but save 100% of the salary. I would take these numbers and ask my students to generate more realistic projections of the time it would take to earn and save enough money to buy a car or house in cash. That assignment would require them to account for taxes, cost of living, inflation, and other variables impacting earning and saving rates.

Storyboards in the Classroom - A Webinar Recording

Last night I hosted a webinar about using storyboards for a variety of purposes. The webinar was sponsored by Storyboard That. If you missed the live session, you can now watch the recording as embedded below.


Click here if you cannot see the video.

The slides from the session can be seen here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Two Good Apps for Learning Phrasal Verbs

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

One of the true challenges for English language learners is understanding the meanings of phrasal verbs. The following apps are designed to help students build an understanding of phrasal verbs.

The Phrasal Verbs Machine, developed by Cambridge University, is a free iPad app that aims to help ELL students learn the meanings of phrasal verbs. The Phrasal Verbs Machine provides students with short animations that illustrate the meanings of many common phrasal verbs. There is a written definition below each animation. Students can view the animations and definitions as many times as they like before trying their hands at the practice identification exercises. The Phrasal Verbs Machine provides definition translations in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, and Portuguese.

Phrasalstein, developed at Cambridge University, is a great iPad app and Android app designed to help students learn the meanings of phrasal verbs. The app has a practice mode and a quiz mode. In the practice mode students select a verb and a preposition combination then see a short animation demonstration of the meaning of the chosen phrase. In the quiz mode students see an animation then have to select the matching phrase. Translations of the meanings are available in Spanish, German, Italian, Russian and French.

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