Saturday, February 21, 2015

5 Browser-based Tools for Creating Audio Recordings - Videos on How to Use Them

 Earlier this week I featured some tools for creating podcasts across on a variety of platforms. An audio recording doesn't have to go through the full-fledged production process of creating an a podcast in order for it to be a valuable activity for students. Creating short, unedited audio recordings is a good way for students to record and share their reflections on things that they have learned and observed in your classroom. The following five tools can all be used for creating and sharing short audio recordings.

Clyp.it is an easy-to-use audio recording tool available to use in your web browser. To record on Clyp.it you simply go to the website and click the big record button (you may have to allow pop-ups in your browser in order for Clyp.it to access your microphone). When you're done recording click the share button and you'll be taken to a page on which you can download your recording or grab an embed code to post the recording on a blog. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to use Clyp.it in your web browser. Clyp.it is also available to use as a free iOS app or as a free Android app.



Vocaroo is a free service that you can use to create short audio recordings. Creating a recording on Vocaroo is a simple process that does not require you to create an account or have any special browser plugins. Just go to the site and click record to get started. In the video below I demonstrate how to use it to create a recording and post in on your classroom blog.



SoundCloud's Android and iOS apps no longer have the recording features that they used to have, but the browser based version still offers a good recording tool. After recording in your SoundCloud account you can grab the embed code for any of your recordings. In the video below I demonstrate how to use SoundCloud to create recordings and publish them in your classroom blog.



AudioPal is a free service that anyone can use to create short audio messages to embed into blog posts. AudioPal offers three way to create messages. You can record using the microphone connected to your computer. You can record by calling AudioPal's phone system. Or you can create a message by using AudioPal's text-to-speech function. In the video that is embedded below I demonstrate how to use AudioPal's text-to-speech function and how to embed your messages into your blog.



AudioBoom offers an easy way for teachers and students to create short audio recordings that are matched to images. In the video below I demonstrate how to use the web version of AudioBoom to create a short audio recording. AudioBoom also offers free iPad, iPhone, and Android apps. AudioBoom's education section is full of great examples of using the service in classrooms.



The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good evening from the FreeTech4Teachers.com world headquarters in snowy Woodstock, Maine. After a long day of playing in the snow my dogs and I are enjoying some downtime. As you can see in the picture to the left, downtime for Max and Morrison means shredding rope toys. Whatever you're doing this weekend, I hope you're having as much fun as Max and Morrison had with their toys.


Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. More Fun With Math in Pictures
2. 10 Good Google Docs, Sheets, and Forms Add-ons for Teachers
3. How to Create & Distribute Flipped Lessons Through EDPuzzle
4. Speech to Text in Google Documents
5. The Real Benefit of Using Google Sheets Add-ons Like Flubaroo and Goobric
6. How to Search for Publicly Shared Google Docs, Slides, and Spreadsheets
7. A Couple of Tools That Make It Easy to Track Tasks

Registration is open for the spring and summer sections of my popular online courses Getting Going With GAFE and Blogs & Social Media for Teachers and School Leaders. Graduate credits are available for both courses. People who are subscribed to the PracticalEdTech.com newsletter receive a discount on registration.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
Versal is a great tool for building interactive online course components.
MidWest Teachers Institute offers online graduate courses for teachers.
PresentationTube provides a good way to use PowerPoint to create flipped lessons.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.

Friday, February 20, 2015

That's Baloney! - A Fun Trivia Game for Kids

Parts of this post originally appeared on my other blog, iPadApps4School.com

That’s Baloney! is a free iPad app designed to engage elementary school students in fun games about science, language arts, math, and social studies facts. The app has levels appropriate for students in grades two through six. The concept behind the games is a simple one; a statement is shown to the student and he or she has to decide if it’s “baloney” or if it’s true. The games is over after four incorrect choices or after answering all questions correctly. Students are shown a summary of correct and incorrect answers at the end of each game.

Applications for Education
Four players can play That’s Baloney! on the same iPad. Playing a few rounds of That’s Baloney! could be a fun way to get students to try to recall information from previous lessons. It’s also the kind of educational app that parents and children can use together.

A Couple of Tools That Make It Easy to Track Tasks

Last night I answered an email from a reader named Melissa who had a question that I'm asked on a fairly regular basis so I thought that I would my response into a blog post. Her question was,

"I was wondering if you knew of any way for students to track and mark off their learning tasks as they go throughout the day. I just want a really easy to-do list that my kids can easily 'check off' as they go and see how much they have accomplished."

There were two options that immediately came to mind when I read Melissa's question. First, was StrikeApp. Strike App is a simple to-do list creation and management tool. To use Strike App just title your list of things to do and start typing your list. When you've completed a task just come back and strike it out by clicking on it, dragging it off the screen, or "x-ing" it out. You can share your to-do lists by sending people the link to your list. For those people who like to experiment with different backgrounds and themes, Strike App offers a handful of designs to choose from.

The second option that I recommended to Melissa was FetchNotes. Fetchnotes is a neat service for creating and keeping notes online. Fetchnotes uses an interface for creating and sharing notes that will feel familiar to Twitter users. When you write a note, just use a hashtag to label your note. Then whenever you want to search for a note just enter a hashtag. For example, if I was a student taking notes in a history course I might use the hashtag "#revolution" for all notes related to revolutions. Then I could go back and read all of my notes about revolution by just searching for that hashtag. When you want to share a note with someone in your contacts you can do so by just putting "@" before the person's name. Fetchnotes works on the web and offers Android and iOS apps.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How to Use Text-to-Speech to Post Audio Messages on Your Blog

AudioPal is a free service that anyone can use to create short audio messages to embed into blog posts. AudioPal offers three way to create messages. You can record using the microphone connected to your computer. You can record by calling AudioPal's phone system. Or you can create a message by using AudioPal's text-to-speech function. In the video that is embedded below I demonstrate how to use AudioPal's text-to-speech function and how to embed your messages into your blog.


Applications for Education
AudioPal could be a good tool to use when you want students to create messages for an audio blog. I've used services like AudioPal to have students record and share short reflections on things that they learned during the school week.

AudioPal does require that you enter an email address in order to access the embed code and sharing links. If you're students don't have email accounts, you could set-up a classroom Gmail account (something like mrbyrnesclass@gmail.com) that all students enter. All of the AudioPal messages that your students create would then go to that one email account that you manage.