Friday, July 14, 2017

Metaverse - Program Your Own Augmented Reality Apps

Metaverse is a free platform that lets anyone create an augmented reality app. I had the opportunity to have a guided tutorial through the Metaverse platform last week and I was so impressed that I'm now planning to include it along with the MIT App Inventor during the Practical Ed Tech BYOD Camp at the end of the month.

Metaverse's programming platform is based on the premise of using a storyboard to outline the actions that you want your app to perform. You then connect each frame of the storyboard with action commands that you pick from a menu of action commands. The more scenes you add to your storyboard, the more options you can add to your app. Essentially, creating an augmented reality app through Metaverse is the same process as designed a good choose-your-own-adventure story. The video embedded below provides an overview of the Metaverse design tool.


Applications for Education
Metaverse could be used by students to bring the characters from a favorite story to life in augmented reality like in this example. Or you could create an educational augmented reality scavenger hunt as this person shared.

Hyperdocs, Chromebooks, and Customized PD

A couple of weeks ago I featured two Chromebook training opportunities. One of those I'm hosting next week in Portland, Maine. The other is being hosted by my friends Ernie Delgado and Malia Hoffmann in Palm Springs, CA on August 2nd and 3rd. Yesterday, Ernie and Malia joined me on Zoom to talk about hyperdocs, Chromebooks, and how they customize their Chromebook trainings for each participant. The video of our interview is embedded below.


As mentioned in the video, readers of FreeTech4Teachers.com can receive a by using the code "Family25" when registering for Malia and Ernie's Beyond Tech Ed professional development course.

Disclosure: Beyond Tech Ed is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Thursday, July 13, 2017

More Than 40 Examples of Classroom & School Blogs

Earlier this week at the Upstate Technology Conference in South Carolina I gave a couple of presentations about using blogs and social media in school. One of the best ways to learn about using blogs in school is to see how others are doing it. That's why a few years ago I put together a survey and asked for teachers to share examples from their own blogs. The slides below feature more than 40 examples of classroom blogs.


Try Book Creator In Chrome to Create Multimedia Books

Book Creator is a one of the most popular iPad apps in schools. It's a fantastic app for creating multimedia stories. Now that platform is available in a web version too.

The Book Creator web version is currently in beta and open for teachers to use. Book Creator's web version supports creating multimedia books containing videos, images, drawings, and text. To create a book on Book Creator's web app just sign and choose a layout for your book. There are comic book layouts as well as traditional book layouts. After you have selected a layout for your book's pages you can add pictures and videos by either uploading them or by using your webcam. You can add text and drawings by using the drawing and typing tools built into Book Creator. Your completed book can be saved as a ePub or published online with a private Book Creator link.

Learn more about Book Creator's web app in the video below.



Applications for Education
Students can use Book Creator to create multimedia fiction stories, to publish non-fiction stories, or to create digital portfolios of their best work.

Anchor Offers the Easiest Way to Publish Podcasts

Anchor is a free audio publishing service that I started using last winter. I was drawn to Anchor by its ease of use. Recording on Anchor is simple of matter of just holding down the record button on your phone then releasing it when you're done talking.

When I started using Anchor it only let you record and publish in two minute increments. That changed in March when Anchor added the option for uploading audio to your Anchor channel. In March Anchor also added the option to have your spoken words automatically transcribed and displayed in a video suitable for sharing on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

This month Anchor moved into direct competition with other full-fledged podcasting platforms by automating the process of submission and distribution to Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Watch the short video below to see how easy it can be to publish a podcast through Anchor.


Applications for Education
In December and March I wrote that Anchor could be a good option for teachers who want to publish their own short episodes on the Anchor network. However, at that time I didn't recommend it for students because Anchor itself didn't have comment moderation. Now with the option to publish straight to Apple Podcasts or Google Play effectively bypassing the comments of Anchor I think it could be a good option for students to publish podcasts.