Tuesday, April 8, 2014

5 Ways for Students to Showcase Their Best Work

As the end of the school year approaches you may be looking for a good way for students to organize and share examples of their best work of the school year. If your students have blogs or wikis that they have maintained all year then all they need to do is move their best examples to the front page. But if that is not the case for your students then take a look at these five services your students can use to organize and showcase examples of their best work.

Page O Rama is a free service for quickly creating stand alone webpages. Creating a webpage with Page O Rama is very simple. Just visit the Page O Rama homepage, select a web address, title your page, and start typing. Page O Rama offers a good selection of text editing tools including page breaks. If you want to, you can add images to your Page O Rama pages too. If you think your page is something that you're going to want to edit and update occasionally, you can enter your email address to create an administrative log-in.

Dropr is a free service for creating portfolios of your images, videos, and audio files. Within your Dropr account you can have multiple portfolio pages. If you wanted to have a page for images that you took in the fall and a page for images that you took in the spring, you can do that in Dropr. To create a Dropr portfolio start by signing up with a social media profile or with your email address. Then start your first project by uploading a cover image. Once you have started a project you can drag and drop media from your desktop to the Dropr website. Each project can include text in addition to the media that you upload to it. Each of your projects will have a different URL. You can work on your projects in private until you are ready to share them with the world. Your Dropr projects can be embedded into a blog as a slideshow.

Populr is a service for creating simple webpages to showcase an example or two of your best work. On Populr you can quickly create a stylish webpage with pictures, text, and document uploads. Populr offers a selection of templates that you can modify or you can build your page from scratch. All of the editing (aside from typing text) is done through a drag and drop interface.

About.me is a good tool for students to use to create a digital resume to share as part of a college admissions application or an internship application. About.me makes it easy to quickly create a one page site highlighting your strengths, things you've published online, and your preferred contact information. About.me offers support for embedding YouTube, Vimeo, and SoudCloud files into your page. This is a great option for students who are hoping to find employment or internships in the media production field. Students can prominently feature their best videos and or podcasts on their About.me pages.

Tackk is a free service that was featured last week on Free Technology for Teachers. By using Tackk you can create a page to announce an important event, to advertise an event, or to show off your best digital works. To create a Tackk page you do not need to register for an account, but unregistered Tackk pages expire after seven days. If you register for the service your Tackk pages stay up indefinitely. I registered for the service before creating my first Tackk page. Creating my Tackk was a simple matter of uploading an image then adding text in the customizable fields above and below my image. Tackk pages can accommodate videos, audio files, and maps, but I did not include those items in my first Tackk page.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tony Vincent's Favorite iPad Apps That Are Also Android Apps

Tony Vincent's Learning in Hand is one of my go-to places for ideas about iPad apps. Last week after Book Creator for Android was released Tony published a document in which he has listed his favorite iPad apps that are also available as Android apps. About half of the apps on the list are free. You can click through the document to go directly to each of the apps in their respective iOS and Android app stores.

Applications for Education
One of the biggest challenges facing teachers in BYOD environments is locating apps that will work on the two most popular mobile operating systems. If you teach in a BYOD environment, Tony Vincent's list of favorite educational iPad apps that are also on Android is a must-bookmark.

A Handy New Tool for Giving Proper Attribution When Using Flickr Images

A couple of years ago Alan Levine published a Chrome extension that correctly formatted the attribution of Creative Commons licensed images found on Flickr. Unfortunately, the latest update to Flickr's user interface broke that extension. Not to be kept down by Flickr, Alan has released a new browser bookmarklet for quickly formatting Creative Commons licensed images found on Flickr. Click here to read Alan's explanation of the process he used to create this handy new tool. I encourage you to read the explanation of how it was created, but if you just want to jump to the Flickr CC Attribution Helper it can be found here.

To use the Flickr CC Attribution Helper drag the bookmarklet to your browser's bookmarks bar. (If you're using Chrome, you may have to go into the settings and select "always show bookmarks bar" before dragging the bookmarklet into your browser). Then whenever you're viewing an image on Flickr you can click the bookmarklet to get a pop-up window (make sure your browser allows pop-ups) containing the properly formatting attribution information.

Applications for Education
Besides offering a great way to make sure that your students are giving proper attribution for images they find on Flickr, the Flickr CC Attribution Helper will tell students if an image is not a Creative Commons licensed work. See my screenshots below for a visual explanation of this feature.

Padlet Introduces Usernames to Replace Email Sign-in

Over the weekend Padlet announced the introduction of usernames to replace email sign-in for your Padlet account. Along with this change Padlet is introducing two related features that should prove to be helpful to teachers and students. First, all of your walls will be moved to a special URL containing your username. This should make it easier to direct students to the Padlet walls you are using in your classroom. Second, Padlet announced that soon you will get a public page containing your username and all your public walls will be shown there.

Applications for Education
Padlet is one of my favorite tools for hosting brainstorming sessions, collecting exit ticket information, and creating collaborative KWL charts. In the guide embedded below I outline how to use in your classroom. You can download the guide here and view it as embedded below.

Next Vista Announces Educational Videos of the Year

Last week Next Vista for Learning announced the finalists for their educational videos of the year contest. Over the weekend the winners were announced. Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners. The winning videos are embedded below.

Student video: The Breathing System

Teacher video: We Are Bullied

Teacher/ Student collaboration: Allow Us to Illustrate