4 Great Educational Web Tools Are Now Available for iPad

October 20, 2014
Over the last few weeks, a bunch of educational websites have become available for iPad users. I am pretty sure you are all familiar with their web-based versions for I have reviewed them in several posts in the past. Besides their educational relevance all of these apps are easy, simple to use, and free. Check them out below.

1- EDpuzzle





EDpuzzle is an easy and effective way to deliver videos in the classroom. Video is no longer a passive experience, with EDpuzzle video comes to life with audio-notes and questions. An interactive an unique experience for your students. Make any video your lesson. For students, EDpuzzle provides an easier way to learn through video-lessons outside of the classroom. Students can download the app and opt-in to receive video-assignments directly with questions, so they can check their understanding through the video.
2-  Glogster



Glogster app allows you to create interactive glogs. A blog can combine images, graphics, audio, video and text. Goglster has a very easy and simple to use canvas.You can start with a predesigned template from the gallery and choose from the 10.000 unique educational graphics to add to it and when you are done you can share with others using different sharing options.

3-Weebly


Weebly, the popular website creation platform, has now a powerful app that works on iPad. Besides Google Sites, Weebly is one of the best free web tools I have been recommending for teachers to use for creating classroom websites and students portfolios. Weebly has a very simply and easy to use editor that allows you to create your website within a couple of minutes. You can simply drag and drop different elements into your template and add your content and share your website with the world.
4- Canva


The popular web platform Canva has recently released a great free app for iPad users. For those of you who are not yet familiar with Canva, this is a web tool that allows you to create beautiful visuals, posters, and flyers. The simplicity of Canva is what makes it a viable tool for using in class with students. You do not need to be a graphic designer to use Canva. All you need is a computer or iPad and internet connection. Canva provides you with a variety of pre-made templates and layouts that you can choose from to create your poster. It also provides numerous images and illustrations to use on your layout.

Over 300 Free Comic Strip Printables to Enhance Students Writing and Thinking Skills

October 19, 2014
Comic strips are good learning tools to use with students to get them engaged and to motivate them to write. They can also be used for storytelling where students get to narrate a story drawing on a multitude of ready-made characters, or in the case of ESL/EFL students, be used to teach English. There are, in fact, several other ways to use comic strips in class and this post features some interesting samples.



Today I want to share with you this excellent resource from Make Beliefs Comix. As you probably know, Make Beliefs Comix is one of the tools we  featured in  "The Best Tools to Teach Writing Through Comics". Make Belief has compiled more than 350 free comic printables that teachers and parents can download and use with students. These printables are arranged into more than 40 categories.




"The printables encourage writing and thinking in a quick and fun way. A student's efforts to complete the printable can then become the first step in writing longer essays, poems or stories on the same subject. The printables also can be used with students enrolled in literacy and English-As-Second Language (ESL, ESOL) programs and provide an educational resource for teaching language arts."

Free Fillable Comic eBooks for Students to Use in Class

October 19, 2014
I have just learned that the popular comic strips creation tool Make Beliefs Comix has released some new free e-Books to help students enhance their creative writing and thinking skills. These e-Books are available in PDF format and are also fillable. They contain several writing prompts to trigger students thinking. The good thing about these materials is that students can access and start working on them right from their browsers . Here are two samples of eBooks I have been tinkering with this afternoon.

1- Make Beliefs Comix Fill-ins




" You supply the words to complete this book! This do-it-yourself comic e-book provides a place where you can give MakeBeliefsComix characters your own words and thoughts. In this comic book, unlike any others you’ve read, you’ll get to decide what happens and have the final say. All you need to do is just follow the prompts and fill in the talk and thought balloons to determine what characters say and think."

2- Make Beliefs to Spark Your Writing


" When you read this book, let your mind roam to new places and ideas and express all the wonderful things that are within you. All you have to do is fill in your responses to the magical questions asked by the characters from MakeBeliefsComix.com. For example, make believe someone discovered a note that you placed isparkn a bottle that washed up on the beach. What would it say? "

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5 of The Best Android Apps for Creating Visual Concept Maps

October 18, 2014
It seems like a large number of our readers here in EdTech and mLearning are Android fans. Each time we post a list of iPad apps on certain topic, we receive a number of emails from several teachers inquiring about the Android versions of those apps. The recent request we got in this regard is about concept mapping apps for Android. To this end, we have scanned the iPad concept mapping apps we have previously shared and consulted a few other sources to compile for you this short selection.

1- Mindomo


Capture your thoughts directly on mind maps, turn them into presentations on the fly, and share them with others. Synchronize your maps to the cloud, from any device.The Mindomo platform creates a powerful environment where you can easily collaborate with others by sharing ideas and working together on mind maps in real time. No matter where you go, you can creatively bring your ideas to life.
2- MindMeister



MindMeister for Android lets you create, edit and share your mind maps on your Android handset or tablet and synchronize them with the award-winning free online MindMeister service, either alone or collaboratively with others.
3-Mindjet 

Mindjet Maps for Android lets you easily enter ideas, tasks, and meeting notes into intuitive visual maps that help you quickly organize concepts and prioritize action items. Instantly create new maps or import them from Mindjet Connect. 

4- SimpleMind

SimpleMind Free for Android is a mind mapping tool that turns your android phone or tablet into a brainstorming, idea collection and thought structuring device.The Free version comes with basic but powerful Mind Mapping features.
5- WeCollabrify

WeCollabrify is an Android app that helps students collaborate and learn anywhere. Some of its features include:
  • WeMap: (Collabrify concept maps) Organize thoughts and ideas with classmates in real-time. Approach concepts in a collaborative fashion, and conquer problems together.
  • WeSketch: (Collabrify drawings) Share and edit drawings in real-time. With WeSketch, your students can work together and SEE what their classmates are learning.
  • WeKWL: (Collabrify KWL charts) KWL charts are widely used in classrooms today...but not like this. We've given this tried and true tool a new twist: collaboration. Perfect for group projects and studying, WeKWL is the future of the graphical organizer.

You Can Now Create Your Classroom Website on iPad for Free

October, 2014
Weebly, the popular website creation platform, has now a powerful app that works on iPad. Besides Google Sites, Weebly is one of the best free web tools I have been recommending for teachers to use for creating classroom websites and students portfolios. Weebly has a very simply and easy to use editor that allows you to create your website within a couple of minutes. You can simply drag and drop different elements into your template and add your content and share your website with the world. I have already written a couple of guides on Weebly which you can check from the links below:


Some
  • A Managed, Protected Environment for Your Students. With Weebly, you can password protect all your students' websites with one click.
  • Add pictures, videos, audio players, documents, maps, and photo galleries easily by dragging and dropping.
  • Post class updates, homework assignments, and news for parents using the super slick blogging features.
  • You can completely customize the template of your site, or build your own with HTML & CSS, right in the Weebly editor.
  • It also provides the hosting so you don’t need to pay for a hosting provider. 
  • It has three options when it comes to choosing an address for your site: 1) You can choose to publish your website to a free sub-domain of Weebly.com (http://Weebly.com), 2) you can purchase a domain directly from Weebly which we instantly set up with your site, or 3) you can configure a domain that you already own to work with your Weebly site (we'll show you how to do this).
  • It is completely free to create and publish a website with Weebly.
Watch the video below to learn more about Weebly for iPad



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Awesome Poster Featuring 15 Online Netiquette Rules for Students

October 17, 2014
Here is a good visual encompassing some important netiquette rules for students to keep in mind while using the net. You might want to go through these rules with your students to make sure they understand them. Here is a quick round-up of these netiquette rules:

1- Before posting your question to a discussion board, check if anyone has asked it already and received a reply. Just as you wouldn't repeat a topic of discussion right after it happened in real life, don't do that in discussion boards either.
2-Stay on topic, don't post irrelevant links, comments, thoughts, or pictures.
3-Don't type in ALL CAPS! If you do, it will look like you're screaming.
4- Don't write anything that sounds angry or sarcastic, even as a joke, because without hearing your tone of voice, your peers might not realize you're joking.
5- Always remember to say "Please" and "Thank you" when soliciting help from your classmates.
6-Respect the opinions of your classmates. If you feel the need to disagree, do so respectfully and acknowledge the valid points in your classmate's argument. Acknowledge that others are entitled to have their own perspective on the issue.
7-If you reply to a question from a classmate, make sure your answer is accurate! If you're not 100% sure when the paper issue, DO NOT GUESS! Otherwise, you could really mess things up for your classmates and they will not appreciate it.
8- If you ask a question and many people respond summarize all answers and post that summary to benefit your whole class.
9- Be brief. If you write a long dissertation in response to a simple question, it's unlikely that anyone will spend the time to read through it all.
10-Don't badmouth others or call them stupid. You may disagree with their ideas, but don't mock the person.
11- If you refer to something your classmate said earlier in the discussion, quote just a few key lines from their post so that others won't have to go back and figure out which post you're referring to.
12-Before asking a question, check the class FAQs or research the Internet to see if the answer is obvious or easy to find.
13- Check the most recent comments before you reply to an older comment, since the issue might have already been resolved or opinions may have changed.
14- Be forgiving. If your classmate makes a mistake, don't badger him or her for it. Just let it go-it happens to the best of us.
15- Run a spelling and grammar check before posting anything to the discussion board. It only takes a minute, and can make the difference between sounding like a fool and sounding  knowledgeable.


team work
Source: Touro

Easily Create Classroom Posters and Flyers Using Canva for iPad

October 17, 2014
The popular web platform Canva has recently released a great free app for iPad users. For those of you who are not yet familiar with Canva, this is a web tool that allows you to create beautiful visuals, posters, and flyers. The simplicity of Canva is what makes it a viable tool for using in class with students. You do not need to be a graphic designer to use Canva. All you need is a computer or iPad and internet connection. Canva provides you with a variety of pre-made templates and layouts that you can choose from to create your poster. It also provides numerous images and illustrations to use on your layout.



The process to use Canva is pretty simple. Select your layout. Search for graphics and images to include in your template and customize the background colour and fonts of the text. You can even include pictures stored on your iPad and once your poster is finished you can then share it with others using social media websites or ,even better, save it to your iPad as PNG or PDF.

Watch this video to see Canva in action.




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