Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bunsella Bedtime Stories - An App for Narrating Stories

Bunsella Bedtime Stories is a free iPhone and iPad app for creating and narrating bedtime stories. I learned about the app through an email from its developer, who built it as part of her dissertation work in universal design learning technologies.

Bunsella Bedtime Stories features claymation-like characters to which you lend your voice to tell a story. You can upload your own images through the app too. Completed stories can be shared through email, Facebook, or YouTube. Watch a sample story in the video below.

Applications for Education
Bunsella Bedtime Stories was originally designed for parents to narrate stories for their children. The app could also be used by students to create and share stories. If you had a classroom set of iPads you could have students exchange stories and respond to each other with a "part II" or response story.

Is Khan Inherently Crap?

These are two Tweets that Jerrid Kruse sent in reply to John Carver's reTweet of my post about Mastery Connect mapping Khan Academy videos to Common Core standards. Jerrid's comment reminded me of the similar sentiments shared by others in the educational technology community. I think that the majority of Khan's videos do serve the purpose of providing good, on demand tutorials. Yes, there are people who hold Khan up as the savior of education, he's not, and there are flaws with the flipped classroom model (assumption that students have access to the Internet at home being a major flaw with flipped classrooms), but does that mean that we shouldn't have students watch Khan videos? Please leave a comment below.

In the interest of telling more of the story, here are two follow-up Tweets from John and Jerrid.

For the record, I agree with John's comment, "Nothing will replace the human relationship in learning." I also think that John and Jerrid did a good job of keeping this conversation civil. Too often I see some of these conversations leave the realm of "polite" discourse and morph into something that isn't productive.

Khan Academy Videos Mapped to Common Core Standards

Disclosure: Mastery Connect is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers.

Last month Mastery Connect added LearnZillion videos to the resources available in the Mastery Connect teachers' community. On Friday they added more videos in the form of Khan Academy videos. All of the videos from LearnZillion and Khan Academy are mapped to Common Core standards.

By request, here's a screenshot of how to find the videos once you've signed into your Mastery Connect account. Open the "common assessments" tab in Mastery Connect to see this screen.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for some videos that could help your students learn a concept that is a part of the Common Core standards that you have to teach to, the Mastery Connect community could be a great place to start your search.

The Best Laid Plans...

For months I had planned to speak at the Ed Tech Teacher Winter Conference that was held yesterday. Unfortunately, bad weather and a scrap of metal through my truck's tire kept me from getting there. Believe me, I would have much rather been in Boston than trying to change a tire in the pouring rain in a park & ride parking lot on the side of I495. My apologies to everyone that had registered for the session that Greg Kulowiec and I had planned. One thousand times thank you to Greg for adjusting and flying solo.