Thursday, May 16, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
There are several modes that interact with each other, almost like spaces within the truck- stack ice cream scoops on one screen, mix yogurt on another, and bring it all to the cash register screen. Overall, a great context for descriptive language, requesting, and all sorts of language structures, as well as building play skills.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
July 12-13, 2013- Long Beach, CA: ASHA Schools Conference- Presenting two sessions, "One Digital Story at a Time: Apps to Target Narrative and Expository Language" and "'Out of the Box': Apps through a Language Lens." I will also be facilitating a roundtable discussion during Friday's event.
Click for More Information
July 22, 2013- Boston MA: EdCamp BLC at Building Learning Communities- I am helping to organize this free unconference in which the agenda is built and executed by participants. Now a veteran of 7 Edcamps, I will say again that I learn more at these events than I do from traditional PD!
Click for More Information and Registration- now open!
8/19/13- Fredricton, New Brunswick, CA: Exploring the iPad for Language-Based Teaching and Interventions-In this day-long workshop, participants will learn "top tech tricks" for utilizing the iPad as a teaching and learning tool, including accessing photo/video production and organizational strategies, accessibility functions, and other native apps. A wide variety of apps in various categories that support students with language difficulties and other learning needs will be demonstrated, along with an evaluation framework for choosing apps for intervention and special education. Attendees will also choose from a selection of free apps to create a project to use with students, and access a variety of information resources to continue learning about technology integration.
Click for Registration
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
I mention all this primarily because Google has recently unveiled a cool new resource: The Peanut Gallery. This website (you cannot access this on iPad, and it only works in Google Chrome) allows you to dictate language that will appear as "silent film" titles over any of a selection of over 12 old movie clips. The site uses Google's "Web Speech API" and is remarkably accurate. Just speak, and it will convert your speech to text within titles over the movie clip, which is then saved and shareable.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
A sampling of the activities:
Which Car Would You Buy- Presents sounds produced by cars and car parts and links these to purchasing decisions.
What's Making This Sound? and Sounds Like?- Have you listen to sounds or people's descriptions of a sound in order to guess what they are talking about (inferences!).
Eyes vs. Ears- talk about "listening with your eyes" while exploring how visual input helps us understand sounds .
Stop Me If You've Heard This One- demonstrates that you can't talk and listen at the same time! I have a lot of students that can benefit from that one...
Ultimately, Sound Uncovered is probably best for older (upper elementary, MS/HS) and high-functioning students, but the interactives could be adapted for young students. Exploratorium, the interactive museum of science, art and perception in San Francisco, offers a similar open-ended app called Color Uncovered, which also looks to be a good context for eliciting language and description.
Common Core Connection:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1d Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
Monday, April 29, 2013
So much of language involves breaking a whole into its parts, labeling, or describing, and Skitch gives you an engaging and beautiful way to do this with students. Skitch allows you to build a diagram or graphic organizer from scratch (its tools include arrows, shapes, text, highlights or drawn lines) or apply all of these annotations to a snapped or saved photo.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
All students, but particularly ours, benefit from seeing visual examples and connections between ideas.
This is the main function of Penultimate, another free tool from the folks at Evernote. Penultimate allows you to create sketch-based journals that then sync with your Evernote account.
You can write on the page (I recommend having a cheap stylus available for this- get a Targus or iHome one from Amazon, Marshall's or TJ MAXX) or insert images:
The AMAZING thing about this is that your printed text is then searchable in Evernote!
So, grab a stylus and get visual! Here are my thoughts on Penultimate:
Monday, April 22, 2013
Not to mention all the how or why questions.
It's definitely a plus when we can up the engagement and fun on these types of interactions with students.
In my last post, I started looking at Evernote through that eponymous app, and there are a number of ancillary Evernote apps that work with the overall ecosystem. Today, let's look at Evernote Peek, an app that allows you to make fun little quizzes with an ingenious use of the iPad.
Peek gained notoriety as the first (and I think since then, only) app that interacted with the iPad Smart Cover.
Here's how you do it:
First, of course, download Evernote Peek and Evernote, and create an account in Evernote. In Evernote, create a notebook for your "Peek set."
Once you have created your notes, open Evernote Peek. Tap the Plus to add your notebook, then My Notebooks, and select the notebook in Evernote that you created.
Select the notebook from the Peek menu and start your quiz! Here you can see what the virtual Smart Cover looks like...
A couple of notes.
-Some of the other content you can add to Peek is worth exploring. In particular, the Test Prep notebooks in the Education section provide good models of mnemonics for vocabulary words.
-My Smart Cover no longer interacts with Peek. I have no idea why. You can turn on the virtual Smart Covers in Peek Settings.
-Peek is a great app to use in consultation- teach students how to make Peek sets. Mine thought it was super cool!
How do you see yourself using Peek?
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
We'll start with Evernote itself, a sort of catch-all note taking and idea capturing tool (free for pretty much every platform and on the web). I'm not as much of an early adopter as people think I am, and though Evernote is pretty entrenched and mature, I started REALLY integrating it into my work in the past year. The idea of Evernote is, naturally, a place to add notes. BUT, until an update sometime in the last 6 months or so, you could not organize those notes into Notebooks on the mobile versions- you had to make the notebooks in your web account. This limited my use of it somewhat, and I am really glad that feature is now in the iOS apps. This is yet another example of why it's important to know a little bit about what your Updates contain- they might transform an app from marginally useful for you to very useful.
-In a few tech-based consults for students, they have been very interested in using their device to start to take notes. They often start this by using the built-in iOS notes, and then it has been (usually) easy to help them see the value of Evernote, which of course has Notebooks and is searchable. Unlike Notes.
In my next few posts, I will be talking about some other free tools that integrate with Evernote.
How about you? Are you using Evernote or something similar?
Monday, April 15, 2013
This story is still unfolding, with many horrible and tragic details. Many of us in Boston spent the afternoon making sure our friends and loved ones were safe. I am so blessed that in my case, they are, but there were some close calls.
I had intended to post about something else today. I am so shocked and sad for our city. My thoughts and prayers go out to all that were affected by this terrible event.