Thursday, July 30, 2015

Make Lesson Plans and Storyboards Pop With These New Guides

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on

For the last couple of years Storyboard That has offered great guides to using storyboards in the classroom. The latest update to their Teacher Guides section includes new literature guides as well as guides for use in social studies and Spanish. A visit to the Teacher Guides section of Storyboard That reveals three new literature guides. Those guides are for teaching Stuart Little, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Frankenstein. You will also find a guide to teaching The Great Depression with storyboards and guide to teaching Spanish Direct Object Pronouns.

Storyboard That offers thousands of pieces of artwork that you can use in your storyboards. Much of that artwork includes posable characters and other customizable pieces. In a new blog post Storyboard That's Sarah Laroche explains and demonstrates how to take advantage of the artwork and customizations to create a eye-catching scenes in your storyboards.

In February I hosted a webinar all about the features of Storyboard That and ideas for using it in your classroom. The recording of that webinar is embedded below.

Vibby - Break YouTube Videos Into Segments With Commentary

Vibby is a new service for breaking YouTube videos into segments and inserting comments into those segments. To segment a YouTube video on Vibby simply grab the URL for the video and paste into the Vibby editor. Once inserted into Vibby you can highlight a segment on the video timeline. Vibby then play only the sections you've highlighted. Click on a highlighted section to add a comment to it. Videos edited through Vibby can be shared via email, social media, or embedded into a blog or website.

Applications for Education
Vibby could be a good tool to use when you want to share with your students just a few pieces of a larger video. Using the comments in highlighted sections could be a good way to call attention to important parts of a video or to add further explanation to a section.

An Easy Way to Create Your Own iPad & Android Games

Tiny Tap is one of the free iPad and Android apps that continues to stay in my Best of the Web presentations. Whenever I show it off there is always a great response to it.

Tiny Tap allows you to create simple games based on pictures that you take. The purpose of the games you build is to help young students (pre-K through grade 4) practice identifying objects and patterns.

To create a game on Tiny Tap you upload pictures or take new pictures and arrange them into a set. Then select each image to create questions about it. To create your question press the record button and start talking. When you have finished talking select a portion of your picture to serve as the answer. I created a small game about objects in my house. I took four pictures of things in my house. Each question asked players to identify the objects in my house. For example, when a player sees a picture of my kitchen he or she has to identify the tea pot by touching it.

Applications for Education
I've been giving demonstrations of Tiny Tap for nearly three years now. Over those years I've heard some great suggestions for using the app. I've seen some great uses of it too. Some of the examples that stand out include making games to help students learn about locations on a map, to help students recognize patterns on a timeline, and to help students learn colors. Check out Tiny Tap's gallery of games for more ideas.

Best of the Web - Summer 2015 Update

On Wednesday morning in Mooresville, North Carolina I presented an updated version of my popular best of the web slides. Those slides are embedded below. I try to provide something for everyone in the slides.

This Playlist Will Help You Learn How to Use Remind to Send Messages to Students

Earlier today one of my former colleagues sent me a Facebook message with questions about using Remind this fall. To help her get started I created the following playlist of tutorial videos. Nine of the videos in the playlist were produced by Remind the others were created by me. The full playlist is embedded below.

Applications for Education
Using text messaging services like Remind is an important part of a larger strategy for delivering your school and classroom announcements to as many people as possible. Email is great for longer messages, but it's hard to beat the efficiency of text messages for short reminder notes. And when you need to say more than can fit in a typical text message, try attaching a file to your Remind messages.

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