Google
 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

CommonLit Added a Guided Reading Mode for Students

CommonLit is a free service that offers a large collection of fiction and nonfiction texts paired to reading questions. You can create a classroom on CommonLit in which you can monitor your students' progress through the texts that you assign to them.

Recently, CommonLit added a new feature that they call Guided Reading Mode. When you enable Guided Reading Mode your students will see questions appear in the margin of the documents. Students have to answer those questions correctly in order for the next section of the document to appear. See the Guided Reading Mode in action in the video embedded below.


Applications for Education
CommonLit has been a favorite resource of mine for a couple of years because of the nature of the thematic questions they provide for thought and discussion. The only trouble was that if students didn't understand the assigned text they would have difficulty participating in conversation about the thematic questions. The new Guided Reading Mode should help more students understand assigned texts and participate in classroom discussions about the thematic questions accompanying assigned texts.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the sun is trying to poke through the clouds. As I do every week, I have created a list of the most popular posts of the week. I think it is fitting that in the week in which the last man to walk on the moon, Eugene Cernan, passed away, the most popular post of the week was about an iPad app produced by NASA. That post and the other most popular posts of the week are linked below.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Students Can Build and Launch Virtual Rockets on Rocket Science 101 from NASA
2. Tips for Accessing Sites Blocked by Your School
3. Create Audio Recordings and Save Them In Google Drive
4. Please Practice Good Digital Citizenship
5. MoocNote Offers a Chrome Extension for Taking Notes on Videos
6. Would You Rather? - Quick Math Challenges
7. 18 Cartoon Videos About Cyber Safety for Students

This week I conducted a webinar called Search Strategies Students Need to Know. The webinar was sold out. Many people have asked about accessing the recording. The recording of that webinar and all of the others in my Wednesday Webinar series are now available on-demand.

Do you need a workshop or keynote speaker this spring or summer? 
My calendar is filling up, but I still have some dates available. Click here to learn more about workshops and presentations.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school students.
Math Playground offers hundreds of math games and tutorial videos. 
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosts workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explainer videos.

Take a Virtual Tour of Petra In Google Cardboard or In Street View

Last year Google added a virtual tour of Petra to its collection of landmarks that you can see in-depth in Google Maps Street View. This week that tour was updated for viewing in Google Cardboard VR headsets. Much of the imagery used in the tour was captured by a Street View Trekker camera. Take a quick tour of the imagery by watching the video below. Check out the Petra virtual tours here.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Three Ways to Create Stop-motion Videos

Creating stop-motion and time-lapse videos can be a good way for students to tell a story that they have developed. Stop-motion and time-lapse videos can also be helpful when teachers are trying to help students see how a lengthy process like osmosis works. The following free tools make it relatively easy to create stop-motion and time-lapse videos.

Parapara Animation is a free animation creation tool developed and hosted by Mozilla. The tool is easy to use and it does not require registration in order to use it. To get started simply visit the Parapara Animation website, select a digital crayon, then start drawing. Click the large "+" icon in the top of the screen to add a new frame to your animation. You can playback your frames at any time in the creation process. When you're done making your animation it will be assigned a unique URL that can be shared via email. A QR code for your animation will also be generated for you.

JellyCam. JellyCam is a free program (available for Mac and Windows) for creating stop motion movies. In the video below I demonstrate how to use JellyCam to create a simple stop motion movie.


JellyCam uses the Adobe Air platform. If you don't have Adobe Air Runtime it takes just a couple of minutes to install.

OSnap is an iPad app (available in a free version and in a paid version) that you can use to create stop motion and time lapse videos. The app is quite easy to use. To create a video with the OSnap app you simply need to start a project and take a series of still pictures using your iPad’s camera. Then adjust the number of frame per second to edit your video. If you want to, you can add a sound track to your video by selecting audio files that are stored on your iPad. You can go back and edit your videos by removing images and from the project at any time. Completed projects can be stored on your iPad, uploaded to YouTube, or shared via email.

Reading Rockets Provides Students With Daily Reading Tips

Reading Rockets Reading Tip of the Day widget does exactly what its name implies, it provides daily reading tips. The widget can be installed in your blog or website.


Applications for Education
The Reading Tip of the Day widget could be a good addition to your school blog or website. The widget provides a tips that parents can reinforce with their children at home.