Tuesday, February 8, 2011

InClass - An App for Text, Audio, and Video Notes

InClass is a free iPhone and iPad app that could be a very useful tool for students carrying those devices. InClass provides students with tools for taking text, audio, and video notes. Students can also use the app to take pictures of hand-outs, slides, and other valuable information that they see in class.

Taking notes is not all that InClass can be used for. It can also be used as a task management tool to help students keep track of their schedules and due dates. To share notes, images, videos, and schedules students can connect InClass to their Facebook accounts.

Make Use Of, where I first discovered InClass, has some good screen shots of InClass in action. You can also find some video tutorials for InClass on their YouTube channel.

Applications for Education
For students that have iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches the InClass app could be a great way to take notes and keep track of notes. The option to record audio while note taking will be helpful to students who miss something during classroom conversations to go back and hear it later.

Read Jules Verne's Works for Free

Did you notice the Google logo today? If not, go see it now. Today's logo was designed to commemorate Jules Verne's 183rd birthday. The logo is actually somewhat interactive today as you can adjust the image using a lever included in the drawing. Google's blog post about the logo reminded me that Verne's works are available to read for free through Google Books and other hosts of public domain works.  I've embedded below Around the World in Eighty Days and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

Around the World in Eighty Days.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

If you're interested in learning how to embed books into your blog, wiki, or website, please see the directions I've posted here. To learn more about Google books, please click here.

Check Out the Voki Lesson Plan Database

Voki for Education is a neat talking avatar creation service that has gained quite a bit of popularity with elementary and middle school teachers. Using nothing more than their keyboard and mouse students can create customized talking avatars. Add in a microphone and students can use their own voices for their avatars. Finished avatars can be embedded into a blog, wiki, or website or simply shared on the Voki site.

Applications for Education
Voki for Education now offers a lesson plan database that anyone can access. If you have lesson plans of your own that you would like to share, you can add them to the database. Here are a couple of the ideas I quickly gleaned from the database. Voki has been used by educators to have students create and produce short digital stories. Some teachers have students create Voki avatars to practice their foreign language pronunciations without the fear of having their classmates judging them on the spot.

Pilot Handwriting - Write by Hand on Your Keyboard

Pilot Pen has created a neat website through which you can capture your handwriting on paper then use it to type and send emails. Pilot Handwriting provides you with a simple grid to print and complete by hand. After you've filled in the grid just hold it up to your webcam and Pilot captures your handwriting to use as a font. You can then type on your keyboard using your very personalized font. Unfortunately, that font can only be used to send emails to your friends from the Pilot Handwriting. If they make downloading the font an option then they'll really be on to something good. Learn more in the video below.

American Experience - Nixon Visits China

Yesterday, while planning a unit about China-US relations for my global studies class I rediscovered the American Experience videos about Richard Nixon. Through PBS Video it is possible to watch the whole series or just a segment of the series. I'm planning to use the seven minute segment about Nixon's trip to China in 1972. You can watch the segment below.

Applications for Education
American Experience suggests a simple scrapbooking activity as a follow-up to watching this video. While that activity is probably good for middle school students, it's a little too simplistic for my high school juniors and seniors. I'm currently developing an activity in which we'll be watching the segment then analyzing and comparing its influence in Cold War relations with that of post Cold War diplomatic relations.