Friday, November 4, 2011

VoiceThread Mobile for iOS

A few weeks ago I ran a workshop in which participants explored some tools for digital storytelling. One of those tools was VoiceThread. I like to introduce teachers to VoiceThread because it is a very collaborative tool that everyone with a laptop can access and begin contributing to a story in a short period of time. However, until last week VoiceThread wasn't very mobile-friendly. That changed when VoiceThread introduced VoiceThread Mobile.

VoiceThread Mobile is a free app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Through the app users can create and comment on the go. Now you can snap a photo or capture a video with your iOS device and immediately start a VoiceThread project around that item. Or you could add that picture or video to an existing VoiceThread project.

Applications for Education
VoiceThread Mobile could be a great app for recording and reflecting on the sights and sounds of field trip. Take students on a walking tour of a historical district in a city and have them capture images that they then string together and discuss in a VoiceThread project that starts in the field and is finished back at school.

Olympic Challenge 2012 - Olympics-inspired Lessons

Through a Tweet from Jen Deyenberg earlier this week I learned about a neat collaborative project started by Chris Leach. Olympic Challenge 2012 is a series of academic challenges based upon Summer Olympic events. Right now there are twenty-two challenges proposed. Teachers can sign-up to have their students "challenge" other classrooms. Or you could simply have your students try the challenges without challenging another classroom. Here's one of the fun challenges in the list; Tennis: draw faces on tennis balls and then animate them to tell a story.

Just Beam It - Drag and Drop File Transfers

Just Beam It is a new service for quickly and easily sharing files with your colleagues. To use the service just visit and drag a file from your desktop to the Just Beam It transfer box. After dragging your file, Just Beam It generates an unique url for your file. Give that link to the person or people you want to be able to download your files. Just Beam It supports files up to 2GB. Watch the short video below for an overview of Just Beam It in action.

JustBeamIt from JustBeamIt on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
If the email service in use at your school can't handle large attachments, Just Beam It could be one way for students to share files with each other and with you.

Just Beam It offers a Chrome Web App that you might find useful too.

Story Wheel - Storytelling Prompts on an iPad

Story Wheel is an app for the iPad and iPhone that is designed to promote audio storytelling. Spin the Story Wheel on your device and when it lands on an image, dictate a short story based on that image. When you are finished recording, you can play your story back with animations generated by Story Wheel. The basic Story Wheel app is free. You can add more thematic sets of images like the Pirate theme to the app with a $.99 in-app purchase. The video below offers a short overview of Story Wheel in action.

Applications for Education
For students who have trouble expressing themselves through writing, Story Wheel could be useful as a story starter that they use to record their thoughts verbally before transitioning to writing them down.

What You Want to Know About iPads in Education

Is your school considering purchasing iPads for your classrooms? If so, you probably have some questions about the devices, apps, and how to use the devices themselves in the classroom. Three educators from Palm Beach County schools have constructed a wiki to help people answer those questions and more.

On the Palm Beach County schools' iPad in Education wiki you will find a chart comparing the iPad to desktop and laptop options. The chart breaks down the costs and capabilities of each scenario. On the wiki you'll find long lists of iPad apps appropriate for elementary, middle, and high school students. And if you need help just learning to use an iPad the iPad in Education wiki lists a bunch of good tutorial videos and other tutorial materials.