Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tap to Learn Grammar

Tap to Learn produces a bunch of educational apps for Android and iOS. The Tap to Learn Grammar app for Android offers more than 200 self-paced grammar lessons. The lessons don't have videos embedded in them, but there are links to external videos hosted on YouTube. After working through a lesson students can test their new skills in a series of quizzes. Instant feedback is provided in the skills quizzes within Tap to Learn Grammar. The free app records and tracks students' progress for them.

Applications for Education
Using Tap to Learn's Grammar app isn't a revolutionary approach to learning. That said, if you're looking for an Android app that your students can use to practice and track their progress in developing their grammar skills.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Collaborative, Crowd-Sourced Reading with Prism Scholar Lab

EdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site, has launched a new FREE video series called #ETTchat. Each week, one of their instructors posts a new video with ideas using technology in the service of learning. 


Collaborative Crowd-Sourced Reading with Prism

The Prism Scholar Lab is an experimental tool from the University of Virgina. Teachers can create a free account and then paste any text into Prism for their students to then annotate using various facets. In this video, Greg Kulowiec (@gregkulowiec) shows the potential for using this tool in classrooms as a way to quickly assess for comprehension, encourage class discussion, and scaffold analytical reading. 



Learn more about collaborative tools and ePub creation on the EdTechTeacher web site.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

ClassTag Streamlines Scheduling of Parent Teacher Conferences

ClassTag is a new service that aims to help you organize parent-teacher conference, classroom volunteer requests, and school events. The highlight of ClassTag is the option to create appointment slots that parents can reserve to meet with you.

To get started on ClassTag create an account and enter some basic information about your classroom or classes that you teach. To get the full benefit of ClassTag you will need to enter the email addresses of your students' parents. Once those steps are completed you can create a parent-teacher conference schedule. You can create time slots as short as 15 minutes or as long as an hour. Once a parent reserves a slot no one else can grab it.

The other core aspects of ClassTag are a requests feature and an event scheduler. The requests feature in ClassTag allows you to send out notes requesting things like field trip chaperones or material donations to your classroom. Parents can volunteer to fulfill the requests through the note that you send via ClassTag and ClassTag will keep track of the responses for you.

If you have a school event coming up, you can promote that event through ClassTag. Your ClassTag event page can include information about times, things you should bring to the event, or event costs. ClassTag will also keep track of RSVPs for you.

Overall ClassTag does offer a nice set of features of teachers. Many of the features can be found in other tools, but ClassTag does a good job of putting them all into one place for you.

Quizzy Offers a Quick Way to Create Online Quizzes

Quizzy is a free service that enables you to quickly make and publish online quizzes. To get started simply register for a Quizzy account then title your quiz and start writing multiple choice questions. When you have finished writing your questions you can publish your quiz publicly or keep it private. Quizzes that you mark as public can be shared with others by simply directing them to the URL assigned to your quiz. People taking your Quizzy quiz online receive a score as soon as they complete all of the questions. You can try my sample quiz here.

At this time Quizzy quizzes are entirely text-based without any options for inserting images or videos.

Applications for Education
Quizzy could be a good tool for creating practice quizzes for your students. At this time Quizzy doesn't have a mechanism for you to record students' scores on the quizzes that they take.

If you don't work in a 1:1 environment you can print Quizzy quizzes with just one click in your Quizzy account.

Need a Metronome or Timer - Just Google It

Whenever I run a workshop that is longer than an hour I use Google's built-in timer function to time breaks. All I have to do is type "set timer 5 minutes" into a Google search and a timer appears and starts counting down. You can enter any amount of time after set timer and you can pause the timer if you need to. Watch the video below to see how that works.


A new to me feature of Google search is the option to use a metronome. To access a metronome in Google search simply type "metronome" into your search and the metronome appears. You can adjust the tempo of the metronome by dragging the slider below the tempo display.

Thanks to Lifehacker for the metronome tip.