Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How Do You Play - Learn How to Play Ice-breaker Games and More

How Do You Play? is a free site that offers directions on how to play ice-breaker games, team building games, board games, card games, and many other in-person multiple player games. You can browse the games featured on the homepage or search through eight game categories for the game that you need the directions to.

Applications for Education
How Do You Play? is a good reference for those times when you need to come up with a quick activity that will help your students introduce themselves to new classmates or to encourage team work in your classroom. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blubbr - Create Interactive Quizzes Using YouTube Clips

Blubbr is a neat quiz creation service that I recently learned about on Danny Nicholson's blog. Using Blubbr you can create interactive quizzes that are based on YouTube clips. Your quizzes can be about anything of your choosing. The structure of the quizzes has a viewer watch a short clip then answer a multiple choice question about the clip. Viewers know right away if they chose the correct answer or not.

To create a quiz on Blubbr start by entering a topic for your quiz. After entering your topic enter a search for a video about that topic. Blubbr will generate a list of videos that you can select from to use in your quiz. When you find a video that works for you, trim the clip to a length that you like then write out your question and answer choices. Repeat the process for as many video clips as you like. Click here to try a short Blubbr quiz about the human heart.

Applications for Education
I think of Blubbr as being like TEDEd but with short video clips. In that regard, creating a quiz on Blubbr could be a good way to develop review materials for your students. Students can take quizzes on Blubbr without signing into the service. Unfortunately, to create a new quiz you do have to use your Twitter or Facebook credentials. Hopefully, that will change in the future.

Build a Media Gallery With Your Students in 2013

One of the challenges of having students create videos, slideshows, podcasts, and other multimedia productions in your classroom is making sure that they are respectful of copyright. One way to avoid any worry about copyright is by having students use media that they have created from scratch. Of course, building up a gallery of media that is large enough for all of your students to use takes time. To start building up a gallery of images, sounds, and video clips that your students can use in their projects commit to a 365 project for 2013. This year have your students make daily contributions to a group media gallery. If a daily schedule is too frequent for you try a weekly schedule with your students. Here are some tools that you can use to collect and create your classroom media gallery.

Tools for creating a classroom media gallery.
Aviary's Mobile image editor is a free app for iOS and Android devices. The Aviary mobile app allows you to quickly crop images and add effects to your images. What I like about Aviary's mobile app is that unlike Instagram you don't have to register or join any social networks.

To capture quick audio recordings try AudioBoo for Android and iOS devices.

To organize your gallery of B-roll media try using DropItToMe to have students contribute to a DropBox folder. If you're working in a Google Apps for Education environment use shared folders in Google Drive.

The Project 365 app for iPhone and iPad provides a place to organize your images in a calendar format and share you images via Facebook, Twitter, and email. The "pro" version of the app ($0.99) removes advertising, includes image cropping tools, and offers immediate upload to your Flickr account.

The YouTube Upload Widget installed on your blog or website is a good tool for collecting video clips that your students have recorded. To install the YouTube Upload Widget you do have to be somewhat comfortable with HTML. My HTML skills are crude but I was still able to install the widget into a test blog by following YouTube's documentation here.

Use Duolingo to Learn a New Language in the New Year

Duolingo is a free language learning service and app that I wrote about a couple of times in 2012. Just before the end of 2012 Duolingo added Italian to the list of languages that students can learn through the service. Students can now learn Spanish, English, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese through Duolingo.

To learn on Duolingo you read, listen to, and translate words and phrases. For example if I want to learn Spanish I'll be shown Spanish words with translations. I can can hear the words pronounced too. Then to practice I type and or speak translations. The activities start out with simple words and phrases. As I become more proficient, Duolingo gives me more challenging phrases. To help me track my progress Duolingo awards me point and virtual badges.

Applications for Education
Duolingo could be a good supplement to the in-classroom activities that students complete in your lessons. The free iOS app that Duolingo offers makes it easy for students to study wherever they go.

Presentation Tube - Record and Share Presentations

Presentation Tube is a service that teachers and students can use to record, share, and watch presentations. Presentation Tube provides a free desktop tool (Windows only) that you can use to record a video of yourself talking over and drawing on slides. The Presentation Tube recorder automatically synchronizes your PowerPoint slides with your voice. The free recording tool allows you to record for up to 15 minutes. Your completed recording can be uploaded directly to Presentation Tube. Watch a sample Presentation Tube presentation here.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a free tool to use to create short video lessons, Presentation Tube could be the tool for you. You could have students use Presentation Tube to practice speaking on camera about a topic that they're going to present to their classmates.