Know Recorder – Create Whiteboard Videos on iPads and Android Tablets

Know Recorder is a free iPad app and free Android app for creating whiteboard-style instructional videos. With Know Recorder installed on your iPad or Android device you can draw and talk while the app records everything that you do and say. Your video can have multiple pages which is a nice feature when you want to give a multiple step demonstration without having to erase anything. Know Recorder will let you import PDFs and pictures to display and annotate on screen in your instructional video. Completed videos can be saved to your device’s camera roll, exported to YouTube, or shared to Know Lounge. Know Lounge is the community site for sharing lessons created with Know Recorder.

How to Create a Google Earth Tour


A Schedule of Twitter Chats

Participating in a Twitter chat or simply following a specific hashtag can be a good way to connect with other educators for a great exchange of ideas. The challenge for teachers who are new to Twitter is finding Twitter chats and hashtags. Jerry Blumengarten has the solution to that challenge. On Jerry’s site you can find a schedule of education Twitter chats. The schedule is written in Google Calendar with times for each chat.

If you would rather just follow a hashtag, Jerry has a list of more than 300 hashtags used by educators on Twitter.

Keeping up with the speed of a Twitter chat can be a challenge for many of us. Tchat.io was created to address that challenge. Tchat.io allows you to enter any hashtag that you want to follow. Through Tchat.io you can follow all of the Tweets associated with a hashtag in real-time or you can hit the pause button if things are going too quickly for you. You can also tell Tchat.io to ignore reTweets for a given hashtag.

Courtesy of FreeTech4Teachers by Richard Byrne, 11/2/16.


 Richard Byrne of FreeTech4Teachers has highlighted a number sites that use comics to assess student mastery and knowledge. It is a fun way for them to present what they have learned.

10 Ideas for Using Comics In Your Classroom

Over the last couple of months I’ve shared a handful of tools that students can use to create comics. I even conducted a webinar on the topic last month (the recording is available here). There is no shortage of tools for creating comics available to students. Regardless of which comic creation tool you choose to have students use, the ideas for using comics in your classroom are the same. Here are ten ways that your students can use comics in your classroom.

1. A fun alternative to traditional book reports.
Rather than just writing about a book, have your students illustrate their favorite parts of a book. Let them create illustrations of characters as they pictured the characters while reading a book. The Giver is a perfect candidate for this kind of alternative book report.Another way to use comics for a book report is to have students illustrate an alternate ending to a favorite book. Or have them illustrate an epilogue to a book.2. Create biographies.
For a history lesson have students pick a famous person and illustrate significant moments in that person’s life. The further back in history, the better because students will have to really start to use their imaginations to illustrate scenes of people for whom there are few portraits or photographs.3. Create autobiographies.
Let students tell stories from their own lives in a comic setting.A variation on this idea is to have students depict themselves as the star of a superhero story.4. Create goal or vision boards.
Many comic creation tools let students use a mix of pictures and illustrations. Let your students use that combination to illustrate their goals for the school year, for an athletic season, or as a response to  “where do you see yourself in five years?”5. Illustrate procedures.
In elementary school classrooms you could have students create comics about appropriate recess behavior or lunch room behavior. With older students you might have them create a comic or storyboard about science lab safety concepts. A simple, one-frame comic tool like ToonyTool could be used by older students to create lab safety reminder signs.6. Summarize events.
Students of all ages can use comics to create summaries of an event like a political debate. Or you might have students create comics about historical events. Pixton offers some extensive lesson plans based on that idea.

7. Craft a visual timeline of events.
Creating timelines is a classic social studies lesson activity. Have students enhance their timelines by creating comic summaries of the events on their timelines. They could create the timeline entirely in a tool like Storyboard That or they could create their comics then print them to add to an existing timeline they created on paper.

8. Write and illustrate fun fiction stories.
A lot of student struggle to write fiction stories when they’re just given a blank document to write on. Comic creation tools often include lots of visuals that can help spark ideas in students’ minds. Make Beliefs Comix offers a lot of fiction writing prompts for students.

9. Illustrate concepts and or vocabulary terms. 
Creating comics to illustrate the meaning of a vocabulary word is a fun alternative to simply writing definitions and studying flashcards.

The Fabulous Field Trip Guide: Mobile Learning and QR Codes

7/6/2016 12:10:00 AM

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”- Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

In 2012, I visited the British Library with Terry Freedman. I was astounded by how much interaction I was able to have with the exhibits. I got to experience the exhibits with 3D glasses, touch tabletop screens, and scan QR codes. As I venture to more museums, landmarks and national parks, I have noticed how these sites are making their exhibits more engaging by adding a mobile component. Before planning your next field trip, discover ways the site is integrating QR codes, mobile apps, and . Check out my recommended apps and tips below along with a slide presentation (free to download) and bookmarks. Check out the rest of The Fabulous Field Trip Guide with suggested activities, virtual field trips, and virtual reality and augmented reality apps and web tools.

Recommended Apps

  • Download a free app of your destination to find podcasts, tours, scavenger hunts, and activities. Many sites and museums have mobile apps for exploring the site. For example you can download the Smithsonian, MOMA, and Louvre apps for free.
    • Find over 10,000 museum apps for Android here.
    • Here’s a list of over 20 apps with tours for museums and landmarks.
    • iPlanFieldTrips– an iOS/Android app with teacher forms and calendars to plan field trips.
    • Hear Planet– an iOS/Android app with audio tours for many destinations.
    • Museum Hunt– an iOS/Android app that get students to learn while playing a game.
    • Poetic Places– an iOS/Android app helping you encounter poems and literature at locations.
    • Fieldtripper-an iOS/Android app to learn about the history of a place with old photographs.
    • Create your own field trip scavenger hunt with the KlikaKlue app, Goose Hunt app, or QRWild.
    • Try Geocaching with your learners at various landmarks. The free Geocache app for iOS/Android will help students find buried treasures and learn about compasses,  deciphering clues, geolocation, measurements, and longitude/latitude.
    • Once you get used to finding Geocaches, your learners can create and bury their own Geocache.

    Integrate QR Codes

    Your students will learn more about an exhibit by scanning the QR codes next to the exhibit. Your students can also create their own QR codes to go along with the exhibits. Create QR codes and scan with the free QuickMark app. Try any of these ideas:

    • QR Stuff is a good site for creating colorful QR codes.
    • Get students’ feedback or have them post an interesting fact they discovered on a Padlet. Padlet is a free feedback tool students don’t have to register for and each Padlet has a QR code generated when you click export at the top. This makes it easy to share with learners.
    • Create a treasure hunt at your field trip with this generator from Class Tools.
    • Students can answer poll questions with PolltoGo which generates a poll attached to a QR Code.
    • QR Voice is a free service that creates an audio QR code of 100 words. Students can share a small fact, a short poem, or quote related to the exhibit.
    • Students can create an audio QR code. Find the instructions here.
    • Students can create QR codes with their own Tellagami explaining what they like about an exhibit. Find a video tutorial here.
    • Work with a national or state park or other landmarks to create QR codes of exhibits which do not currently have QR codes.

    Challenge: Use one of these resources to get learners engaging with exhibits using their mobile devices.

    If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.


    Click to access that resource!

    Field Trips, by shellyterrell

    cross posted at teacherrebootcamp.com

    Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at teacherrebootcamp.com.

3 Tips for Using YouTube Videos In Your Classroom

In my workshop YouTube, It’s Not Just Cats & Khan Academy I share a lot of tips and tricks for safely using YouTube in your classroom. One of the topics that I always talk about is how to share and display videos. Here are three of the more popular tips from that workshop.

  1. Remove distractions by using ViewPure. 

ViewPure is a service that allows you to watch and project YouTube videos without seeing the related sidebar content typically seen on YouTube.com. ViewPure offers a free browser bookmarklet that you can use to clear the sidebar content while viewing a video on YouTube.

You can search for YouTube videos through the ViewPure website. When searching for videos through ViewPure you don’t see sidebar content, you only see videos. You can choose to use strict filtering while searching through ViewPure.

To be clear, ViewPure is not a filter work-around if your school blocks YouTube and it is not a tool for downloading YouTube videos. (Downloading YouTube videos is a violation of the YouTube terms of service).

2. Show just a portion of a video by using TubeChop.
TubeChop gives you the ability to clip a section from any YouTube video and share it with others via a link or via an embed code added to your own blog or website. TubeChop lets you select a start time and an end time for an video that you share.

3. Create a playlist of videos. 
Save yourself some classroom downtime by having a playlist of videos ready to go when you need them. You can create playlists directly in your YouTube account. A video on how to do that is embedded below.
Another way to create a playlist is to use Diigo. You can share videos within Diigo groups. Your students can watch the videos directly inside the Diigo group and don’t have to go to YouTube.com to see the videos.
This post originally appeared on Free Technology for Teachers  on 3/16/16.



Thousands of Free Images Available to You

If any of you haven’t seen this news story, the New York Public Library just made 180,000 public-domain items available in their digital collection — including maps, posters, manuscripts, sheet music, drawings, photographs, letters, ancient texts — as high-resolution downloads, available to the public without restriction.  These are wonderful primary resources for history lessons and other special areas.

You can explore the images here.  They are organized visually by the NYPL Labs.   They are sorted by time periods.

It’s amazing to see them all laid out!

Noisli Offers Sound Choices

Noisli.com provides a great variety of sounds that can be used to create an environment in your classroom or as background noises.   It offers a number of high-quality sounds to promote focus, relieve anxiety or just relax while reading, studying or before going to sleep.  It also provides a color changing background and timer.  You can even mix sounds for your own personalized background sounds, such as ‘forest’ and ‘rain’.    For students that are easily distracted by room noises this white noise may help them focus better.

You can create an account for free online or buy the app for $1.99.


Do Your Students Have “Learned Helplessness”?

This is a good article by Caitlin Tucker – teacher and techie – who has faced this issue with her students.

Caitlin and some of her blog followers have incorporated the ‘Three before Me” plan in their classrooms.It is in response to students asking  questions of the teacher first – without doing putting any effort into finding the answer elsewhere first.

The article is here:  http://catlintucker.com/2016/01/learned-helplessness/

Ten Great Tools for Telling Stories With Pictures

If you are interested in having your students add visual components to their assignments, this article will give you a variety of easy options they can use

to tell a story or share new knowledge in a different format.  Click on the title above for the pdf listing how to easily create collages, adding images into stories and even creating picture books.

This article is from Richard Byrne who authors the FreeTech4Teachers site.

Create and Share Collections of Educational Resources from the Smithsonian Museums

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a a fantastic tool for organizing the thousands of digital resources available through the various Smithsonian museums. The Smithsonian Learning Lab allows teachers to create search for documents, images, videos, interactive animations, and lesson plans.

To create a collection in the Smithsonian Learning Lab you can browse for resources, search by entering a topic, browse trending topics, or explore collections published by other users. Once you have found a resource you can favorite it and add it to a collection of your own. You can develop as many collections as you like. In addition to saving resources already online, you can upload your own resources to add to your Smithsonian Learning Lab collections.
Applications for Education
The Smithsonian Learning Lab’s collections feature on its own is great, but the collections are better when you can share them with others. In the Smithsonian Learning Lab you can create a classroom. Students join your classroom by entering the password that you choose for your classroom. Once students have joined your classroom you can share resources with them. You can also distribute assignments to students through your Smithsonian Learning Lab classroom.

Smithsonian Learning collection





This post originally appeared on Free Technology for Teachers, 12/22/15.



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