Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Good App to Help Students Pace Presentations

PaceRecorder is a simple Android app that records your voice and gives you instant feedback about the pace with which you are speaking. The feedback comes in the form of three simple symbols; a turtle, a rabbit, and a thumbs-up. If the turtle appears while you're speaking it indicates that you're relaxed or perhaps a bit too slow. The rabbit indicates excitement and perhaps that you're speaking a bit too quickly. And, of course, the thumbs-up means you're right on track.

Here is a demo of PaceRecorder.

Applications for Education
One of the nervous habits that most people have when they speak to a large audience is to speak too quickly. This is especially true for students who are giving presentations to a group for the first time. PaceRecorder is a free Android app that aims to help people better pace their speeches.

TinEye - Conduct Reverse Image Searches

TinEye is a reverse image search engine. What that means is that instead of searching for images by keyword you search for images by uploading an image or linking to an image. For example, if I have a picture of my dog and want to find more pictures of dogs like him, I simply upload a picture of my dog to TinEye and TinEye will search for images like mine.

TinEye offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Opera. With the extension installed you can simply right click on any image and select "search image on TinEye" to quickly conduct an image search.

Applications for Education
TinEye's browser extensions could be very helpful for students to quickly locate images to use in presentations. As I wrote a couple of years ago, TinEye itself could be useful for teaching students to be aware of their digital footprints. You could use TinEye to show them that an image they upload to a social network could get reused in multiple places.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Otter & Sqworl - Two Helpful Tools for Teachers

Scurry Labs is a small company that develops helpful web applications for teachers. Two their best products for teachers are called Otter and Sqworl.

Otter is a service that makes it easy to create simple webpages on which you can distribute information and collect assignments from students. Otter provides four widgets that you can add to your page. Those widgets are announcements, calendar events, hosted documents, and homework uploads. The widgets appear in that order on your page. Hosted documents can be uploaded from your computer or imported from Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox. Students can upload their assignment submissions through your Otter page.

Sqworl is a free bookmarking tool for teachers and students. Bookmarks created with Sqworl save a screen capture of each page you bookmark. To help you organize your bookmarks, you can create multiple groups of bookmarks in your Sqworl account. Should you choose to share your bookmarks you can share one or all of your bookmarks groups via the unique URLs that Sqworl assigns to each group. You can add bookmarks to your Sqworl account by manually inputting web addresses or by using a browser bookmarklet. The visual aspect of Sqworl provides a helpful reminder of why a site was bookmarked and what that site is about.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good afternoon from Connecticut where I'm getting ready for my youngest brother's wedding. That's him in the picture to the left. He's a high school Language Arts teacher. Our paternal grandparents, our father, and one of our uncles were also teachers. I guess you can say that we went into the family business.

A lot schools in New England started their new years this week. The rest will be back in session next week. If you recently started your new school year, I hope that it is off to a great start for you.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Two Ways to Visually Show Classroom Noise
2. 5 Handy Google Slides Features You Should Know - Here's How to Use Them
3. Timers, Word Clouds, and Kahoot
4. Cite This For Me - Cite Websites In One Click
5. Try Math Landing for K-6 Mathematics Resources
6. More Than 40 Alternatives to YouTube
7. 6 Tools That Can Help Students Keep Track of Tasks

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Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
Haiku Deck offers the best alternative to PowerPoint.  
Pixton provides a create way to create comics.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
D2L offers a great LMS and they want your input to make it even better.
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.
Buncee offers a great tool for creating visual stories.

Three Google Forms Add-ons To Help You Manage Parent Volunteers

Google Forms offers a great way to collection information from parents when you're seeking parents to volunteer to chaperone a field trip, help out in your classroom, or bring in supplies for a classroom party. The problem that you might run into is having too many volunteers or too many people volunteer to do or bring the same thing. You can avoid that scenario by using the Google Forms Add-ons called Form Limiter and Choice Eliminator 2. And the Form Notifications Add-on can help you keep track of the information submitted through your Google Forms. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use all three of those free Google Forms Add-ons.