BoomWriter Just Released WordWriter for Teaching Vocabulary

July 24, 2014
 BoomWriter announced the launch of its new interactive vocabulary tool called WordWriter yesterday! WordWriter makes vocabulary fun, easy, and engaging and gives it a 21st century technology-twist! It's sure to be a great tool for teachers and students alike.



Utilizing BoomWriter’s interactive and collaborative platform, WordWriter will develop greater interest and engagement levels around vocabulary instruction.  WordWriter will increase students’ overall vocabulary comprehension through application of the teacher-selected vocab into their own written work.  Teachers will simply add the specific words they wish the students to incorporate, a word limit, and some guidelines—the WordWriter platform is flexible enough that students can write creative stories around the chosen words or just simple sentences to demonstrate their vocabulary knowledge.

  Best of all, WordWriter tracks student’s use of selected words and then checks off the vocabulary word once it’s been typed.  Once all students’ pieces are submitted and approved by the teacher, they can participate in the anonymous peer review portion of the process and vote for the piece they feel best utilizes the vocabulary.  WordWriter will also feature vocabulary word crowdsourcing, so teachers can see the most popular words for a particular grade added by other teachers from around the world!


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Skaffl A New Free iPad Workflow App for Teachers

July, 2014
Skaffl is a free iPad workflow  app created by Rita (a former instructional technology specialist at a 1:1 iPad district).  Skaffl allows teachers to plan, teach and grade using a collaborative iPad workflow solution. It also allows  teachers to seamlessly distribute and collect assignments from students. Some other important features of Skaffl include :



For teachers:

  • Create activities for students to complete
  • Plan ahead and save activities for distribution when you need them
  • Collect student work
  • Annotate and grade student assignments
  • Calendar View: Now you can view all your assignments in a easy to use calendar view that indicates distribution date and due date.
  • Mini Previews: View previews of student work even before they turn it in!
  • All Ungraded Assignments Stream: See all the assignments across all your classes that still need grading at the bottom of the main classes screen. Once the stream is empty, you’re done with all your grading!

For students:

  • Get their assignments and keep track of due dates
  • Hand in their assignments from other apps
  • Annotate and complete written assignments
  • All Incomplete Assignments Stream: Students now see a list of all incomplete assignments at the bottom of their “All Classes” screen. Now they can’t say they didn’t see it was due!
  • Calendar View: Students see assignments on the day they were distributed, and they see a indicator of the assignment on the day it’s due.

Managing iPad Videos in Schools- Visual Guide for Teachers

July 24, 2014
"Managing iPad YouTube in Schools" is a visual guide created by iPadWells from iPad4Schools. In this guide iPadWells walks teachers through the process they use in their school to create, share and teach using videos. YouTube is the principal video hosting used in this guide. That being said, it does not mean that the guide is not relevant for your teaching situation even if YuTube is banned in your school. You can still benefit from the tips and ideas provided by iPadWells on how to create enhanced videos using a wide variety of apps and share them with students who can access them at home.



The major apps used in this guide are: YouTube, iMovie, Camera, Explain Everything, Photos, and Google Plus. The guide starts with instructions on how to create a playlist on YouTube to which you can add videos you make using the apps mentioned earlier or videos you come across online. The guide also features some key ideas related to the privacy settings on YouTube and shows how teachers can manage them. Overall, this guide is very short ( just 4 pages) but is really helpful for those of you planning to integrate iPad YouTube in your teaching.  Click here to access the guide.

New Socrative 2.0 Guide for Teachers

July 23, 2014
Here is a new update for fans of Socrative. A few weeks ago Mastery Connect acquired Socrative but the good news is Socrative will still be free for all teachers. Subsequent to this new update, Socrative released a new user guide for teachers which contains all the things teachers need to know in order to tap into the full potential of this platform.



For those of you who are not yet familiar with Socrative 2.0. This is a popular student response tool. It empowers you to engage and assess students through any device or operating system. All activities generate valuable data in real time when you need it. Watch the video below to learn more about Socrative 2.0.




The updated Socrative user guide, which is available for free download in PDF format, covers the following key areas:

  • How to register and login to Socrative
  • Illustrative visual on the elements composing the dashboard
  • How to manage quizzes on dashboard
  • What students see
  • How to create and edit a quiz
  • How to tag a quiz
  • How to create a multiple choice quiz
  • How to create a true/false quiz
  • How to create a quiz with sort answers
  • How to manage My Quizzes page
  • How to import a quiz
  • How to start a quiz
  • Student paced quiz- what students see/ what you see
  • Teacher paced quiz what you see/ what students see
  • How to send a quick question: multiple choice, true/false, short answer,
  • Space race
  • Exit ticket
  • Reports
  • Report types

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A Good Tool to Annotate and Create Interactive Videos for Your Class

July 23, 2014
ThingLink is one of my favourite web tools for creating interactive images.If you have never used ThingLink before then here is a step by step guide I posted earlier to outlining the entire procedure to  create your first interactive visual that can embed videos, maps, text and links.



ThingLink has also released a new feature called ThingLink for Video. This new feature is  still in beta phase but you can request  an early access to try it. ThingLink video allows you to easily add interactive elements to public videos on YouTube. This is a great way to add rich layers of information and resources to videos you share with students. You can for instance add links to websites where students can read more on the topic of the video, or add links to other videos. You can also annotate your video by adding text and hyperlinks. Watch the video below to learn more about ThingLink Video.




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Teachers Guide to Creating Rich Interactive Visuals Using ThingLink

July 22, 2014
ThingLink is an excellent web tool that allows you to create interactive images online. The images you create can come alive by adding to them text, video, music, and links. ThingLink has also recently rolled out a new feature, which is still in beta, that allows you to add interactive pinmarks to YouTube videos. These pin marks can be links to other videos or websites.

The ability to enrich images with different media content makes ThingLink an ideal tool to incorporate in your instruction. There are a variety of ways you can use ThingLink with your students and the visual below provides 27 examples of activities that students can do using this platform. Click here to access the full visual.



The process to create your first interactive image is pretty basic. Here is how to do it:

1- First register with ThingLink. You can use the basic account which is free for personal use. Once logged in click on "create"




2- There are four ways to upload an image to your ThingLink account: you can upload one from your hard-drive, import it from Facebook, use a public Flickr image, or use one hosted online.
Keep in mind  that the maximum image size is 25MB. And if you are planning to add lots of text to it, make sure you use PNG instead of JPEG images.





3- When your image is uploaded  click on " click to add a tag" to start adding content to your image.



2- The content you can add to your image can be links to websites, videos, music, photos and text. To add more content just click anywhere on the image and a pop-up window will appear where you can add in your content.



3- Once your interactive image is ready you can then share it in different ways : via social media outlets, through email, as a direct link or embed HTML code.




Here is an example of how an interactive image created by ThingLink looks like. Hover your mouse over the image to access the links. This ThingLink is created by Dion.


A Rubric to Grade Students iPad Projects

July, 2014
Today's post features a practical rubric to use in class to grade your students iPad projects. This rubric ,which I learned about through Techchef4u, is created by Lisa and Mrs. Greathouse to help them "ensure that students would not just do the bare minimum while rewarding those who went above and beyond".

As you can see below, the rubric features 4 key criterion to base your grading on. These are content, writing process, layout, and graphics. Each of these criterion is assessed against a scale from 1 point (incomplete) to 4 points (exemplary). You might want to use this rubric to grade the projects your students do using iPad. It can also be a good model to help you design your own rubric that meets your own teaching needs.


ipad rubric