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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Two Tools for Creating Mobile Language Lessons With QR Codes

QR codes and smartphones have made it easier than ever for students to quickly access all kinds of written, video, and audio information. A quick scan of a QR code (I like to use the Google Goggles app for that) can give students instant access to all kinds of information. One way to use QR codes in the classroom is to share audio files with students.

To create a mobile language lesson with QR codes teachers can attach QR codes to objects in their classrooms or schools. Then have students try to identify those objects in the language that they're trying to learn. To check their answers students can scan the QR code and hear the correct answer on their phones or tablets. There are two tools that make it easy to create QR codes that will launch audio files on students' smartphones and or tablets.

Vocaroo is a tool that I've written about many times in the past. On Vocaroo you can quickly create a short audio recording. When you save the recording you can opt to have a QR code generated. When it is scanned that QR code will launch your audio file on your students' smartphones.

QR Voice is a free tool that allows you to create QR codes that when scanned will play a short audio message. To create your message and QR code you can record a voice message by clicking the microphone icon on QR Voice or you can type in your message. Either way you're limited to 100 characters. QR Voice is offered in 38 languages.

A Seven Part Guide to Video Editing Fundamentals

Wistia is a great video hosting tool that I've written about in the past. Besides using it to host videos, I've used it to convert video file formats.

Wistia's learning center offers a lot of good advice for new and veteran video creators. Recently, they published a new seven part guide to video editing basics. The guide covers choosing your editing software, transferring footage and organizing projects, finding and assembling the best takes from live action video, trimming the head and tail of footage, adding music and B-roll, exporting a proof, and wrapping-up the project. Each part of the guide includes sample videos to demonstrate the topics discussed.

Applications for Education
Wistia's seven part guide to video editing basics was created for people who want to make videos for their small businesses. That said, the concepts in the guide are universal and could easily be applied to videos that your students create.

Classkick Introduces Viewer Mode - Parents Can View Students' Work on Any Device

Classkick is a free service for creating, distributing, and assessing students' work. Originally, the service was only available on iPads. It is now available to use on any device that has an updated web browser. The latest update to Classkick brings a feature called Classkick Viewer.

Classkick Viewer allows parents, teachers, and students to view assignments through any device connected to the web. The neat thing about Classkick Viewer is that parents and teachers can view their students' work in real-time and or when it is completed. Learn more about Classkick Viewer in the video embedded below.


Through Classkick you can create an online classroom through which you distribute assignments to students. Students join your class by enter the class code into the Classkick app on their iPads or on the Classkick Viewer site. Once they've joined your classroom you can start distributing assignments.

The assignments that you create in Classkick can be based on screenshots, imported images, drawings, text, or voice recordings. Classkick lets you see what your students are working on within the app or in Classkick Viewr. Students can ask you for help while working in the app. You can also give feedback to students directly through Classkick.

Three Fun Phonics Games from Teach Your Monster to Read

For the last few years I've been a fan of the online learning game called Teach Your Monster to Read. The game is designed to help students improve the speed and accuracy with which they recognize letters and sounds. The game gets its name from the friendly monster avatars that students use in the game. Today, I learned that Teach Your Monster to Read now offers three fun phonics games to be played offline.

The Teach Your Monster to Read phonics games are designed to help students increase the speed with which they recognize sounds and letters while at the same time getting them moving about your classroom, gymnasium, or playground. Currently, three phonics games are available through the Teach Your Monster to Read website. In all three games students use large grapheme flashcards that students have to properly identify and place in proper sequences.

In Pirates and Sailors students have to match the grapheme cards to objects whose name begins with the grapheme on their cards. In the Pass the Sound game students participate in a relay race of sharing corresponding grapheme cards. And in the Find My Family Sound game students have to find classmates who have drawn the same grapheme card without showing anyone what is written on their cards.

Applications for Education
Playing the Teach Your Monster to Read phonics games could be a fun way to review what your students may have learned while playing the online version of Teach Your Monster to Read.