Friday, January 26, 2018

A Periodic Table of AR and VR Apps

At the start of the BETT Show Mark Anderson and Steve Bambury announced the release of their new Periodic Table of iOS Apps for AR and VR. The table is an interactive Thinglink image that links to AR and VR apps. The apps can be used to address topics in STEM, creativity, geography, storytelling, art, teaching, science, and history. Some of the apps in the table are free while others are paid. And it should be noted that Mark and Steve work in the UK so the links point to the UK version of the app store.

Important News About Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a great tool for making videos, storytelling websites, and simple graphics. It has been popular since its launch a few years ago. Also since its launch there have been many questions about whether or not it can be used with students under the age of 13. For while Adobe's guide for educators indicated that it could be used with students under 13 with the right supervision. This week at the BETT Show, Adobe made an official announcement about the use of Adobe Spark by students under age 13.

The announcement states that beginning in April students under the age of 13 will be able to use Adobe Spark with Adobe's school ID integration.

In the same announcement about age restrictions, Adobe announced that starting in April all of the premium Adobe Spark features will be available for free to all schools and universities.

Applications for Education
Adobe Spark Video is one of the tools that I feature in Teaching History With Technology because I believe that it provides a good way for students to create short historical documentaries. Ten other ways to use Adobe Spark are featured here.

The Coolest Thing I Saw at BETT Today!

Today at the BETT Show in London I met with Mike Tholfsen to learn about some of the free products that Microsoft is making for schools. He shared some more details on the announcements that Microsoft made earlier in the week, but I was absolutely blown away when he demonstrated Microsoft Translator!

Microsoft Translator does what its name implies, it translates your text in real-time. It support translations for sixty languages. But that's not what impressed me. What blew me away about Microsoft Translator is that members of your group or assembled audience can choose the language they want your words translated into. For example, I could be writing or speaking in English and have two people reading my words in Spanish, one in French, and another in Japanese.

Microsoft Translator will translate your spoken or typed words in real-time. To get started just head to the Microsoft Translator website then choose "start conversation." From there your translation room is launched. Your audience can join your conversation by either entering using a join link or by scanning a QR code. Microsoft Translator has dedicated mobile apps. It can also be used in any modern web browser on a laptop.

Microsoft Translator isn't a one-way street. People who have joined your conversation can reply in their chosen languages and their messages will be instantly translated into your chosen language. So just like in the listening example that I gave, I could have two people speaking Spanish, one speaking French, and another speaking Japanese and all of their messages will appear to me in English.

In addition to the stand-alone website and mobile apps, Microsoft Translator is available as a PowerPoint add-in. When installed into PowerPoint Microsoft Translator will automatically subtitle your slides as you speak. More than 60 languages are available in the Microsoft Translator PowerPoint add-in.

If you work with an ESL/ ELL population, you need to try Microsoft Translator.

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