Google
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Quick Key Mobile Gets a Makeover

Quick Key is an app that turns your iPhone into a bubble sheet scanner. A couple of my former colleagues have raved about it for the last year. The app and its corresponding website have received a bit of an update. The basics of the app are still the same, but the site has a fresher look. Go beyond the looks and you will see that the teacher dashboard is easier to use. You can now import rosters and generate reports with just a couple of clicks on your phone or in your laptop's web browser.

Quick Key has two parts to it that when combined make it very easy for you to quickly grade multiple choice and true/false quizzes. Here’s the basics of how it works; create your quiz on the Quick Key website then print and distribute a bubble sheet. After your students have completed the bubble sheet you simply scan the sheets with your iPhone (it works on iPads too, but the resolution is grainy) and the grading is done for you. From the app you can send grades to the classes that you have created on the Quick Key website. If you enter students’ email addresses into your class rosters on Quick Key, you can have grades emailed to students.

Doulingo - The Most Downloaded Educational Android App of 2014

Last week Google revealed the most downloaded apps, games, movies, albums, and books of the year on Google Play. Duolingo was at the top of the education category for apps.

Duolingo is a free service designed to help students learn Spanish, English, French, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Danish, German, and Portuguese. The service can be used in your web browser, as an iOS app, and obviously as an Android app.

To learn a new language on Duolingo you read, listen to, and translate words and phrases. For example if I want to learn Spanish I'll be shown Spanish words with translations. I can can hear the words pronounced too. Then to practice I type and or speak translations. The activities start out with simple words and phrases. As I become more proficient, Duolingo gives me more challenging phrases. The Duolingo Language Coach is a feature that will tell you how many points you need in order to move to the next level in your lesson. The points that you earn not only move you along to the next level, they can also be redeemed for prizes in the virtual shop. The prizes are costumes and accessories for your Duolingo avatar.

Skype's Realtime Translator Goes Live (for some users)

Earlier this year Microsoft unveiled a preview of a realtime translation option in Skype. Beginning today, some Skype users who had signed-up for access to the realtime translator have been given access to this exciting new tool. The first invitations to use the new Skype translator tool are going to people on the list who are using Windows 8 devices. If you are using Windows 8 you can still get on the list.

Applications for Education
As demonstrated in the video embedded below, the realtime translation option in Skype will open up more possibilities for connecting classrooms through activities like Mystery Skype.

Why Do Rivers Curve? - A Video and a Game

Why Do Rivers Curve? is a short video produced by Minute Earth. The video explains and demonstrates the role of erosion in forming the bends in a river until an oxbow lake is formed. The video concludes with a challenge to use Google Earth to locate an oxbox lake. The video is embedded below.

Shape It Up is a good companion activity to Why Do Rivers Curve? Shape It Up is one of many good educational games and activities on Kinetic City. The activity presents students with "before" and "after" images of a piece of Earth. Students then have to select the force nature and the span of time it took to create the "after" picture. If students choose incorrectly, Shape It Up will tell them that they were wrong and give them a chance to choose again.

Seven Alternatives to Google Image Search - Comparison Chart

On a fairly regular basis I am asked for recommendations for alternatives to Google Image search. I've published lists of alternatives in the past. This chart is designed to provide a quick overview and comparison of good sources of images for students' slideshows and other multimedia projects. You can download the chart through the Box.com widget below or grab a Google Docs copy here.