Showing posts with label global classroom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label global classroom. Show all posts

Friday, January 15, 2016

Skype Translator Is Now Available to All Windows Users

Last spring Microsoft made a preview edition of Skype's translation tool available to Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users. The limitation of the preview edition was that all parties in the call had to install the preview edition. This week Microsoft announced that Skype Translator is now a native part of Skype for Windows. This means that anyone using Skype on a Windows computer will be able to utilize Translator.

Skype Translator will automatically transcribe and translate as you talk. At this time Translator supports Chinese Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. In instant text Skype messaging Translator supports 50 languages.

To use Skype Translator in Windows simply open Skype as usual then click the globe icon in the upper, right corner of the app. If the globe icon isn't visible, make sure you have updated to the latest version of the app.
Image courtesy of Microsoft PR. 
Applications for Education
As demonstrated in the video embedded below, the realtime translation option in Skype will open up more possibilities for connecting classrooms through activities like Mystery Skype.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Advertising Comes to Skype

Skype is a wonderful free (for most purposes) service that teachers are using to connect classrooms across the globe. I'm planning to use it to connect my Global Studies class with another for the purpose of expanding our classroom conversation beyond the just the eight of us in the room. If you're currently using Skype in your classroom, you should be aware that they are going to start inserting some advertising into the home tab in Skype for Windows. Skype says that they won't be using pop-ups or interrupting calls with advertising. You can read the full announcement from Skype here. Here's what the advertising will look like.
Update: Just to clarify, I don't begrudge Skype for making this move. They have bills to pay just like the rest of us. I'd rather see them raise revenue this way than move to a completely fee-based model. I posted this information just so readers who use Skype in their classrooms wouldn't be surprised if they see advertising appear.


H/T to Read Write Web.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching

Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching is a book, authored by Jeff Stanford, that I've been slowly working my way through since the beginning of the year. Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching could really be described as two books in one. Because of the extensive directions provided throughout the book, even if you've never used Moodle, you can utilize the strategies described in the book. As a case in point, the second chapter of the book is 72 pages long and is dedicated to teaching teachers everything they need to know in order to create a quality online learning environment for their second language students.

Chapters three through eight of Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching offer a combined fifty-five concrete examples of activities for teaching second language skills through a Moodle environment. Each of these teaching activities is outlined with detailed directions for making them work in Moodle. Directions are easily identified in each chapter by the heading "here's how to do it." Attention is given in the directions to pointing out common pit-falls and how to avoid them. I was really impressed by chapter 8 of Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching. Chapter 8 offers seven listening activities that can be done in Moodle. It may be because I've never taught second language learners, but I had never thought of creating listening activities in Moodle.

Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching wraps up with a chapter on assessment and a chapter on extended activities. Included in these chapters are directions for creating assessments in Moodle and record-keeping in Moodle. Also included in the final chapter are ideas for student e-portfolios in Moodle.

Overall, Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teachingis a very good resource for second language teachers who are looking to build an online learning environments for their students. The "here's how to do it" section included with each activity make it possible for new Moodle users to confidently try online teaching activities.

One last note before you run out and buy this book, it's important to note that the book assumes that you already have Moodle installed on a network that you can access. The book shows end-users (classroom teachers) how to use Moodle, but does not give directions for installing Moodle on a network. If you're in need of Moodle hosting, Global Classroom is one of many good Moodle hosting services. If you're not sure if Moodle is going to be "your thing" or not Global Classroom offers a free plan that will accommodate up to 50 students. I have a free account that I use for testing out different Moodle tools.

FTC Disclosure: I did receive a free review copy of Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Learning.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Revolver Maps - 3D Display of Website Visitors

Revolver Maps is a free service that provides free tracking widgets which you can embed into your blog or website. The widgets are 3D spinning globes that display little dots on a globe. Each dot represents a visitor to your blog. Revolver Maps offers nine customizable widgets including one that represents seasons around the world as well as blog visitors. I've embedded that widget below.


Applications for Education
I've heard and seen Jeff Utecht and Sue Waters advocate for putting visitor tracking widgets into your classroom blogs as a way for students to see how many visitors they get and where those visitors come from. In fact, Sue has this topic as the lead post on her blog right now. Putting a widget into classroom blogs shows students that they really are addressing a global audience.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Global Survey of Schools and Students

Every spring MLTI (Maine Learning Technology Initiative) hosts a student/ teacher tech conference where teachers and students present together. It is a great time of learning and sharing. I presented last year, but am unable to attend this year.

This year Sarah Sutter, Alice Barr, Cheryl Oakes, Kern Kelley, and Jim Moulton are hoping to get the 800 student participants online and using Google as a data tool. The goal is to have all of the students looking at and utilizing the data from this global survey about the length of school days and access to public education around the world. If you have a couple of minutes, can you and your students please complete the brief survey? I know the students and teachers in attendance will appreciate it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Moodle Tutorial Videos

If you're a new Moodle user Moodle Tutorials could be a great reference for you. Moodle Tutorials provides a free place for users to share the video tutorials that they create. As long as your video is about Moodle, you can contribute to Moodle Tutorials. Every video on the Moodle Tutorials website is accompanied by an embed code and a download option.


If you would like to use Moodle, but your school doesn't support installing it on your local network, you may want to consider using Global Classroom's free hosting options.
Update: May 2012 - Moodle Tutorials seems to have gone offline. 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Class Wish - School Supply Help for Teachers

Classwish is a service through which teachers can find people willing to help purchase supplies for their classrooms. Classwish operates in a very similar manner to Donors Choose. On Classwish, teachers can create a wish list of supplies that they need for classrooms that aren't provided in their school budgets. People looking to help teachers can purchase products on a teacher's list and receive a tax deduction for their purchase.

Applications for Education
Classwish, like Donors Choose, provides a great free service to teachers through which they can get the supplies they need for their classrooms. Register on Classwish to create your wishlist. If you would like to see how one teacher is using Classwish check out Kate's list on Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Moodle Tutorials and Other Moodle Resources

Global Classroom, as I've shared in the past, provides free Moodle hosting to schools that don't have the capacity to host Moodle. One of Global Classroom's employees, Joe Thibault (a really nice guy that I had lunch with at FOSS VT last spring) writes a blog through which he shares some how-to tutorials as well as resources that you can use with your Moodle. Today, Joe posted a link to some free quizzes that you can use in Moodle. You can find that link here, but I encourage you to find the link on the Global Classroom blog and explore what it has to offer.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Collaboration Project for All Ages

Colette Cassinelli has put together a collaborative Google Maps project in which any classroom can participate. The project is called "Greetings From... Postcard Geography." The project asks for students to embed, on a Google Map, "postcards" representing places of significance near their school. Students can add postcards individually or add one postcard on behalf of an entire classroom. You can read more details about the project on either Colette's blog or on the website established for the project. I have embedded a small version of the map below. Click here to view the map in full size.


View Larger Map

Applications for Education
This collaborative project could be a good way for students to explore the places where their peers around world live. Participating in this global project is also a great way for students to investigate and identify the significance of the places in their neighborhood.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Global Lesson Plans

Tina Coffey at Teaching With Technology has posted a great list of online projects designed to connect classrooms across the world. One of the projects that I really like is the "A Room With a View" project designed by and hosted by Jennifer Wagner. The objective of the project is to have students around the world take pictures from their classroom windows and write stories about what they see outside their windows. The project is designed for pre-K through 6th grade students, but I think that the concept could definitely be used with older students. You can find more information about the "A Room With a View" project at the "A Room With a View" wiki.

Check out Tina Coffey's full list of online projects.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Most Read Posts

After a five day vacation (camping in the rain) I'm back to civilization. I'm trying to get caught up on nearly 5,000 new items in my RSS reader. While I'm catching up, check out five of the most commonly read blog posts over the last six months.

In order by popularity here are the five most read items over the last six months.
1. Famhoo - Family Safe Search Engine
2. An American Teacher in China - Olympic Thoughts
3. Banned Websites are Today's Version of Yesterday's Banned Books
4. Free Moodle Hosting on Global Classroom
5. Animoto vs. Photostory 3 - A Side by Side Comparison

Monday, May 12, 2008

3 Steps for 21st Century Learning

From time to time I like to search Youtube and TeacherTube to see what people are saying and doing with regards to 21st century technology in education. This afternoon I found this short video titled 3 Steps for 21st Century Learning. The video hits on three skills that students will need to have in order to participate in the global market of the 21st Century.



I like this video because it is different from the standard, "Shift Happens," style video which focuses on the need to change and incorporate 21st Century technology into the classroom, but doesn't offer suggestions about what to do. While 3 Steps for 21st Century Learning, doesn't spell out exactly what teachers should do, it does offer some good suggestions and justification for change.
The piece I like most about this video is that while it stresses having the skills to compete in the 21st Century's global market it also places due attention on the need for constant competition with oneself in order to improve.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Free Moodle Hosting on Global Classroom

Today, I had lunch with Joe Thibault at the FOSS VT conference. Joe works with Global Classroom. Global Classroom provides free hosting for Moodle. Global Classroom classroom also provides free Moodle training for teachers. Moodle is a powerful application, but it does require server space and network management. Global Classroom removes the biggest obstacle to using Moodle, server capacity and network maintenance. Global Classroom hosts and manages a global Moodle network that any teacher can join and use to create their own online classroom. This is an excellent free service that schools should take advantage of.

Moodle is an open-source program for creating online learning environments. Moodle has hundreds of features that teachers and students can utilize. Some of the most commonly utilized features of Moodle are online test creation and test taking, wiki pages, posting and collecting assignments, attendance register and gradebook.

Below is a short video introduction to Moodle.