Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Symbaloo Now Working on Mobile Devices, Including IPad and IPhone!

I know some of our teachers started using Symbaloo recently and used it in the computer lab with students. Just wanted to let you all know that Symbaloo can now be used on mobile devices, including IPhone and IPad. I have not used it much, but did add it to my IPad and plan on using it some. I think our teachers liked using Symbaloo in order to set up their own group of websites that they wanted the students to use. No telling students website after website to go to, just get them to the symbaloo and all the sites could be ready. For personal use, symbaloo could be a simple directory of your favorite websites. That is what I am currently using it for on my IPad. I will let you know what I think of it after I have messed around with it for awhile. Below is a video of Symbaloo for the IPhone. Enjoy!

Puppet Pals HD for the IPad: Good Story-telling App for kids....and Counseling?

   I got this app idea from the School Counselor Blog (also where I got the great idea for Scribble Press...thank you Danielle Shultz!) and my own kids have made their first puppet story/video already. Puppet Pals HD is a free app (you can pay to get a super-charged version of the app called a Director's Pass) where kids/students can choose a variety of characters and settings to put on a short play or puppet show. If you download this to your IPad, as you move the characters and change the settings, the IPad will record your voice so you can have dialogue for each character. Students could act out part of a story they read or extend a story that they read. As for me, a counselor, I could have students mess around with this as they talk to me and maybe their stories will tell me more. Or they could use this as role play by controlling the characters or letting me play a role. The possibilities for this app are endless. For my own kids, I even uploaded the video to Youtube when they were done and now I can share it with friends, family, or on Facebook. Neat stuff! I can't wait to see what my kids will create next! Give it a try this summer and see how you might use it.

Click here for more information on Puppet Pals HD for the IPad

Scibble Press for the IPad: My Kids and I love it!

I downloaded Scribble Press to my IPad last night for Free and my 7-year old son already wrote and illustrated his own short book! He had a blast and it was so easy to do. You can choose from several dozen "fill-in-the-blank" template stories that go from pretty basic to pretty fun and bizarre. Or your children or students can make up their own stories with their own words and pictures. More colors, markers, pens, stamps, etc. than you can ever imagine. Once the story is done, kids can even design the front and back cover. When they are completely finished, they can keep the story on the IPad, send it to their IBooks account, or share it with Scribble Press. They could also turn their pictures and illustrations and stories into greeting cards, puzzles, or even get their book professionally printed and sent to their house or classroom. Amazing stuff! It is a free app (suprisingly!) and definitely worth a summer tryout to see if you could use it with your own kids or even within your classroom. I think even middle school and high school kids would enjoy this.

Scribble Press: Click here for info on the app and to download

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sticky Notes for Google Chrome

  In my never-ending quest for a task-manager that is easy to use, easy to see, and always visible or in a place where I can remember, I am now going to give Google Chome Sticky Notes a try. Thanks to Richard Byrne and his Free Technology for Teachers blogsite, I learned about this new sticky note app/extension to add to my own Google Chrome browser (did you know Google Chrome recently passed Internet Explorer as the most used web browser?? There is a reason for this...try Google Chrome and you won't turn back!). I just downloaded it and tested it out and really liked it. I like that when I open it, it becomes its own web tab so it is always just a click away. When I used the sticky notes that show on my computer, my students would sometimes see it on my screen when I closed out a video or a presentation during class. With the sticky note as  a tab, the chances they will see my sticky note is much less and with my role as a counselor, this is important. So...I am going to continue to use this sticky note app this summer and see if I can get used to it enough and like it enough to use it during the school year. If you use Google Chrome, you might consider trying this too!

You can add Google Chrome Sticky Notes App from the Google Chrome Store for free by clicking here!

More Things You Can Do With Evernote

  I am still an Evernote "newbie", but I hope to keep learning and using it more and more. I use it to keep track of my many counseling sessions, but any teacher or educator could use Evernote for a variety of reasons. Instead of me explaining the many ways, especially since I am still a novice at using Evernote, I think this blogpost by Rich Lambert would be much more helpful. Tons of great ideas in here!

Click here to read Rich Lambert's Evernote post (notice that he has a hyperlink to read even more of his blogposts about Evernote)

Evernote website click here

Common Sense Media's Summer Guide for Learning Activities for Kids and Teens

   Thanks to Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers for alerting me to another great thing one of my favorite sites, Common Sense Media, is offering. If you remember, Common Sense Media is a great place for parents and children to go to find accurate and detailed reviews about the newest movies, books, TV shows, and now games and apps. Now they have added a summer guide to learning apps you could download to a device or games that can be played on certain video game systems. They are broken down into 3 age categories and into 5 learning areas. I noticed that I have already downloaded some of the apps for my own kids. And of course, each app or game is rated by Common Sense Media so you can see how educational or applicable it is for your child. Enjoy!

Common Sense Media 50+ activities for summer click here!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Embed Files and Papers

Thanks to Educational Technology Guy, I am hoping to use the information in his blogpost to start embedding some of my files into blogs that I post. Newsletters, worksheets, fliers, papers, etc can now be embedded into a blog entry and even marked up with extra information you want your readers to know. I have not played around with this tool very much, but I am hoping it will be pretty slick and easy to use and be able to make the blogs that I manage even more informative and easy to read and use. Read his blog post here to see if this tool can help you!

Educational Technology Guy's post on embedding files click here!

FakeBook Adds Animate Feature and Even Easier to Use

 I'm a huge fan of the fun site called "FakeBook" as I think it would be a great way for students to show their knowledge of a historical figure or event or even their knowledge of a story or book that they have read. And now they have added an "animate" feature where a student could animate their entire creation and show how their page was created and how the events happened in order. Students knowledge of facebook should make proving their knowledge fun, easy, and applicable. And as students show off their learning, other students will enjoy their presentations. Not to mention the many already made Fakebook pages that you could browse and possibly use to better explain how an event or book unfolded. Give it a try this summer and see how you might be able to use it during the school year!

Fakebook Tool click here!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

FlashIssue is Awesome! Helps You Make Newsletter in an Instant!

  Wow. Just wow. I have been emailing my middle school parents links to my blogs and putting a brief idea as to what each post is about and cutting and pasting links, etc. It takes awhile, but I think it is important to share the many blog links with parents. Now, FlashIssue may just change how I do things and change it for the better. If you have a blog, you will love using FlashIssue to turn your blogposts into a quick newsletter. If you don't have a blog, you can still make a newsletter from blog posts you have read and want your email list to read. Or you can use other information you already have. Free to use, quick to sign up (can log in via Facebook), and quick to make the newsletter too. I will direct you to Larry Ferlazzo's blog post about FlashIssue as there is a great video on his blogpost to show you how it works. Then I suggest you try it this summer....it might be something you get good at use a lot when school starts up. Thanks for the link Larry!

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day: FlashIssue Newsletter Creation

FlashIssue website click here!