Monday, June 16, 2014

Chatterpix and YakIt: Great Apps to End the School Year

This is a guest post from Samantha Morra of, an advertiser on this blog. 

The year may be winding down, but you still have your students for a few more precious weeks of school. If you have access to iPads in your classroom, a great end of the year activity with your students is to make pictures talk, create animations that anthropomorphize objects, or use personification to demonstrate understanding. It's actually a great activity anytime of the year. You can create with your students and keep them engaged and learning right up until the last day.

Two fantastic sets of apps for creating talking pictures on iPads are ChatterPix / ChatterPix Kids and YakIt / YakIt Kids ($.99). With both sets, the non-kid versions provide additional sharing features such as uploading to e-mail and social media sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, while the “kid” versions only save to the Camera Roll.


ChatterPix Kids & ChatterPix

ChatterPix Kids and ChatterPix from Duck Duck Moose are simple, elegant, and useful apps. Both allow students to take a picture or use an image saved to the camera. With a swipe of their finger, students can draw a mouth on any image. There is one button to press to record, and the mouth then animates with the recording.

  • 30 seconds to record.
  • Add stickers, frames, or text.
  • Send movie to the camera roll.


YakIt Kids & YakIt

YakIt Kids and YakIt from Freak’nGenius are similar to ChatterPix Kids but have a few more features which make them slightly more complicated to use but add more to the final product.

These apps have the same features as ChatterPix Kids and ChatterPix plus:
  • Several different types of mouths. Spend a little time aligning the points of the mouth and chin to create an interesting effect.

  • More stickers. Create different types of faces on imported objects.

  • Change the pitch of the voice. Instead of a standard recording, make some audio tweaks. While this may seem like a very simple change, I have found that being able to change the voice brings out more from our introverted students.

  • Multiple scenes. Rather than just one taking image, string together several different talking pictures.

Since all of these apps save to the camera roll, they are great for app smashing or building and blending with other apps to create something that exceeds the possibilities of just one app.

Here are some examples:

Face on coins & Chatterpix

Face On Coins Booth + ChatterPix Kids

YakIt Smash

Garageband + YakIt + iMovie

Creating talking pictures or animations offer amazing possibilities in the classroom. These two apps are so easy to use, students can complete a simple project in a short amount of time or make more complex projects that can lead to collaborative videos, ebooks, or websites. Not only are these apps fun for students, but they also allow them to think, create and demonstrate understanding.

To learn more about teaching with iPads and other technologies, EdTechTeacher will running Summer Workshops this summer in Austin, Berkeley, Cambridge, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Samantha will also be presenting at the July 28-30 EdTechTeacher Summit.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Find Fun K-8 Math Activities on Math Chimp

Math Chimp is a catalog of more than one hundred online mathematics games for elementary school and middle school students. Teachers can find games on Math Chimp by selecting the grade that they teach then selecting a standard or objective. After you make those selections Math Chimp will direct you to an appropriate mathematics game for your students.

Math Chimp offers a small library of instructional videos for each grade level. The videos are matched to the skills students practice in games for the same grade level. To find an appropriate video just select a grade and a skill.

Freddy's Fractions is an iPad and Android app from Math Chimp. In Freddy's Fractions students help a sea turtle named Freddy find fractions that are larger or smaller than the one that is presented at the beginning of each level. If you don't have access to an iPad or Android tablet, Freddy's Fractions is also available to play as a browser-based game.

What Is a "H/T?" and Why You See Them In My Posts

A couple of days ago Angela McDurmon asked me if I could share an example of using "H/T" at the end of some of my blog posts. She is preparing a social media guide for teachers and needed an example. Her request made me realize that there are probably some people wondering what a H/T is and why I include it at the end of some of my posts.

H/T, short for hat tip, is a quick way to acknowledge the source of an idea or resource that you share in a blog post. The two posts previous to this one have H/T followed by a link at end. For example, my post about The Invasion of America map was inspired by a Google Maps Mania post. My post took a slightly approach to sharing the map than the Google Maps Mania post. None-the-less I wouldn't have had an idea for the post without reading Google Maps Mania so I gave attribution.

This Interactive Map Shows Us How the United States Grew Westward

The Invasion of America is an interactive map produced by for the purpose of showing how the land holdings of Native Americans drastically shrunk between 1784 and 1887. You can move the timeline at the bottom of the map to see how the land holdings changed from year to year or decade to decade. The map also includes tools for selecting a Native American nation and or selecting a specific state or territory. Clicking on a highlighted tract of land will open a menu that includes links to treaty or executive order through which the land changed ownership.

Applications for Education
The Invasion of America could be a good resource for teachers of United States History to use to show students the impact westward expansion and the idea of Manifest Destiny had on Native Americans. To extend the use of the map further you could have students investigate the treaties and or executive orders used in acquiring land.

H/T to Google Maps Mania

Use This Extension To See Your To-do List Every Time You Open a New Tab

Dayboard is a free Google Chrome extension that opens your daily to-do list every time you open a new tab in Chrome. When you open a new tab for the first time Dayboard will appear and ask you to enter your to-do list for the day. After creating your to-do list for the rest of the day whenever you open a new tab you will see your list. You can place a checkmark next to items as you complete them.

Dayboard does not require you to create an account, it works offline, and when I installed it it only asked for permission to view activity on the Dayboard website.

Applications for Education
Dayboard is the kind of to-do list that I need and that I am sure many students can benefit from using too. I often find that I lose momentum on my to-do list when I start switching between tabs. Having my to-do list appear instead of the default "most visited sites" tab appear in Chrome should help me stay on task. I'm sure that it will help some students stay on task too.

H/T to Lifehacker