Thursday, March 21, 2013

Findery - Share A Story on Google Maps

Findery is a community site on which anyone can share a short story about any location on the globe. Findery uses Google Maps as its base so in a way it is really just a public, collaborative Google Map. To make a contribution to Findery just sign-in, pick a location, and start typing your story. Your story can also include pictures and video clips. You can make your stories public or private on Findery.

Applications for Education
Findery could be a good place to find stories about the places that your students are studying in a geography lesson. Findery is a public site and while there are some content quality requirements I would be hesitant to let younger students explore it on their own. Therefore, I would select stories ahead of time to use in my classroom.

H/T to Google Maps Mania.

Edcanvas Now Supports Audio Comments

Edcanvas is a free service that makes it easy for teachers to organize and share educational materials in a visually pleasing format. I've covered Edcanvas a couple of times since they launched. Today, Edcanvas launched a new feature that allows you to add audio comments to your canvases. Teachers can insert audio comments and students can insert audio comments.

In addition to the new audio comments feature Edcanvas launched an improved text editor today too. The improved text editor includes the option for tables and hyperlinks.

Applications for Education
In the blog post announcing the new audio commentary option the Edcanvas team suggests using the feature to have students read translations to practice their skills in a new language. You could also use the audio comment option to have students ask questions about shared materials and response to those questions online. 

Studies of iPad Use in Education

Cross posted from iPad Apps for School

This week I got the itch to go beyond anecdotal stories about iPads in the classroom and look for some more substantial research and writing on the topic. Below are some of the reports that I’ve been reading through this week.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for Victoria, Australia iPads for Learning – In Their Hands field trial studied the use of iPads in nine schools. One of the observations to note here is that greater success was reported at primary and special schools than in secondary schools.

The iPad as a Tool for Education is a study based on iPad use at Longfield Academy, Kent, England . There is strong emphasis on interpreting the data generated by surveying students and faculty. It’s interesting to note the differences in how students perceived the impact of iPad use on their achievement and how teachers perceived the impact of students use of iPads on student achievement.

Reading With iPads – The Difference Makes a Difference studied the impact on the reading comprehension, knowledge of content, and analysis skills of boys aged 11 to 13 who read using iPads.

Promoting Student Engagement by Integrating New Technology into Tertiary Education: The Role of the iPad studied the use of iPads by teachers and students in distance learning and in-person learning environments. The report includes some quotes from students who seem to have benefitted from the use of iPads. I would like to see the rest of the survey data that was used in the formation of this report.

The Impact of the iPad and iPhone on Education was published in 2010 and is speculative in nature as the students surveyed had not yet been given iPads. The study was gauging student and instructor interest in iPads and potential uses. I would like to see the follow up report if there is one available.

Now You Can Export Padlet (Wallwisher) Walls as PDFs and Images

For the last couple of months Padlet (formerly known as Wallwisher) has been steadily adding new features. First, the moderation options were improved. Then the name was changed. Two weeks ago a new group blog option was added. And now Padlet offers an option to download the contents of your walls as PDFs, images, Excel, or CSV files. Once downloaded you can print the contents of your walls. I also just noticed that Padlet has a Chrome app too.

Applications for Education
If you ever need to create a physical record of activity on your Padlet walls to discuss comments with your students, the new export options will be just what you need.