Friday, June 12, 2015

Spoken - A Network for Publishing Short Audio Recordings

Spoken is a new social network that is designed for sharing audio recordings of four minutes or less. Spoken describes itself as "Instagram for audio." On Spoken you can upload audio recordings that are up to four minutes long then attach cover images to those recordings. All of your recordings appear in your profile where people can follow you and you can follow others.

Spoken does not have a built-in recording tool. You have to record outside of Spoken then upload your recording. I used Vocaroo to make the recording that I uploaded to test Spoken. Clyp is a simple and free app for recording on Android and iOS devices that could pair well with Spoken.

Applications for Education
Spoken could provide a good way for high school or college students to share audio recordings in which they reflect on learning experiences and or share advice with other students. As a teacher you would have to follow each of your students to hear their recordings.

AudioBoom is a service similar to Spoken that offers a service specifically for students and teachers.

Spoken is currently in beta. You will need to request an invite to use the service. My invitation arrived about 24 hours after my request.

Thanks to Jake Duncan for sharing Spoken on Twitter. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Use Your Phone to Control Google Slides Remotely

Earlier today Google announced a great update to the Google Slides apps for Android and iOS. The apps now support broadcasting through Chromecast and Airplay. This means that you will be able to broadcast your slides to a larger screen from your phone or tablet while still viewing the speaker notes on phone or tablet.

Applications for Education
If your classroom is equipped with Chromecast or Airplay devices, having your students share their presentations with the class could be easier than ever. You won't have to lose classroom time to fumbling with adapters, flash drives, or switching between accounts on a shared computer.

Newswordy - Short Lessons About News Buzzwords

Newswordy is a neat website that features a new buzzword of the day everyday. Each buzzword is picked from the currently trending topics being discussed on news programs, political talk shows, and news websites. Each buzzword of the day is accompanied by quoted examples of that buzzword being used and links to articles and other media in which the buzzword of the day was used. You'll also find some links to the buzzword being used on Twitter. You can find previous buzzwords of the day by clicking on the very small archive button in the upper right corner of the Newswordy homepage.

Applications for Education
If you teach any current events lessons, Newswordy could be a handy resource for finding articles that provide students with the context of the buzzwords that they might be hearing in newscasts.

DIY Sun Science - Learn About UV Rays and More

Yesterday, I featured three good resources from the Lawrence Hall of Science. Today, I have another resource to add to that list.

DIY Sun Science is a free iPad app from The Lawrence Hall of Science. The app features directions for hands-on lessons about the sun. The lessons are a mix of activities that students can do on their own and activities that they should do with adult supervision. All of the activities use common household goods. Some of the activities that you will find in DIY Sun Science are measuring the sun, making UV detectors, detecting solar storms, and cooking with a solar oven.

At the end of the directions for each activity in DIY Sun Science you will find short video lessons related to the focus of the hands-on lesson. You can also just jump to the video section of DIY Sun Science to access the videos without going through all of the directions screens.

Student Blogging Activities and Tools That Don't Rely on Text

When we think about blogging we often think about writing. But the great thing about blogging is that it doesn’t have to be limited to written text. In fact, publishing podcasts or publishing short videos on a YouTube channel can be considered blogging too. Creating and publishing infographics and or interactive images is another form of blogging that isn’t completely reliant on text. The handout embedded below highlights tools students can use to create blog content without relying on text. (Click here if you cannot see the embedded document).