5 Great iPad Apps to Spark Students Creative Writing

October 26, 2016
Digital storytelling is one of the potent educational activities to spark students creative writing and engage reluctant writers. It allows students to have their own voice, communicate their thoughts and experiment with a variety of semiotic modes including text, images, audio and video. In today’s post we have handpicked for you five great iPad apps geared towards unleashing the writing gene within students. Students can use them to compose their stories and presentations and share them with others via email or social media. Check them out and share with us your feedback. Enjoy

ipad apps to spark students creative writing

  1- Little Bird Tales

This is an excellent iPad apps students can use to create and share their won digital stories and presentation using a wide variety of materials. The app provides a bunch of powerful features that include: import or capture photos to use in stories, use art pad for illustrations and diagrams, record voice and add text to each page, save and use images in the gallery, download lesson to your iPad and many more.

2- Story Spark

‘Story Spark creates endless unique story prompts by combining prompt templates and carefully selected word lists.With a simple tap on the screen, get a fresh new spark of inspiration instantly!Great for the reluctant writer, young and old. Never fear the blank page again! Express your creativity by expanding on the Story Spark prompt. Build your creative writing skills by elaborating and embellishing on the trillions of unique prompts randomly generated for you!’

3- Rory's Story Cubes

‘9 cubes, 54 images, over 10 million combinations and infinite stories. Shake to roll the cubes. Create a story using all 9 face-up images. Keep all your Rory’s Story Cubes® in one place with the app. The ultimate, mobile storytelling game loved by children, parents and grandparents on the go, creative writers, progressive teachers and games masters.’

4- Create Storytime

‘Do you like making stories? Create Storytime lets you create amazing stories with exciting and beautiful images. Choose from lots of different professional illustrations that will inspire you and your child with your storytelling.’

5- Adobe Spark

‘Spark Page makes it easy for anyone to turn words and images into a beautiful gliding web story. Transform your next newsletter, report, invitation or travel adventure into a gorgeous visual story that delights readers on any device. Get inspired by a wide variety of curated designs, then simply tap to select a beautiful, unique look. Gorgeous fonts, color and magazine-style design are automatically incorporated — no design experience required. ’

An Excellent Visual Featuring Top 20 Most Common Spelling Mistakes in English

October 26, 2016
Orthography is usually one of the hardest parts in the process of language learning. Orthographic systems are not created equal; some are  harder and more complicatted to learn. For instance, English orthography is hard to learn because of its irregularities and inconsistencies. Sometimes words are pronounced one way and spelt another way (e.g enough, through…etc) which creates a huge spelling confusion for learners. The visual below created by the folks in  Respelt features some of the most common misspellings in English. Check them out and share with your students. Enjoy

common misspelling mistakes
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Here Is A Great Digital Publishing Platform for Students

October 25, 2016
TikaTok is an interesting digital publishing tool for project based learning. It is designed specifically for k-6 students and provides them with a number of powerful Common Core aligned materials to help them create, illustrate, write and engage in learning activities and publish their work in different professionally looking formats including hardcover, softcover and e-formats.

TikaTok comes with a set of powerful features to unleash students creativity and help them become published authors. Students can upload their personal creations such as drawings and photos; use writing prompts  and access image galleries to create their own storybooks. It also provides teachers with tools to facilitate students writing projects. TikaTok offers project templates and classroom management tools. Projects cover different curriculum areas and are all aligned to Common Core. Finished projects can be shared with students via email. TikaTok is not free. It is available for a yearly subscription rate.

watch the video below to learn more about TikaTok

Courtesy of Edshelf
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Google Introduced A New Collaborative Digital Platform

October 25, 2016
Google introduced today a new collaborative tool called Jamboard designed specifically to enhance realtime collaboration and brainstorming among teams across the globe. It is basically  ‘a collaborative, digital whiteboard that makes it easy for your team to share ideas in real-time and create without boundaries’.

Jamboard comes with a bunch of interesting features that can make team work way more productive. Realtime collaboration allows users to work with each other wherever they are. They can also access each other’s Jamboards and remotely use the smartphone or tablet companion app. Jamboard integrates G Suite services so that collaborators can easily pull in content from the web or Drive apps like Docs, Sheets, Slides, Photos and add it straight to their ‘jams’.

Jamboard has a set of powerful built-in tools such as sticky notes and stencils and makes use of smart features like handwriting and shape recognition to speed up collaboration. Its touchscreen ‘ automatically recognizes the difference between using the stylus to sketch or the eraser to start over, and neither require batteries or pairing. Jamboard can also sense when you’re using your finger to wipe work off of the screen, just like a classic whiteboard (except you won’t get ink on your hand). The intuitive, single-cable setup makes it easy to start creating quickly with Jamboard — just wheel it in, turn it on and start brainstorming.’

Jamboree will be available for purchase in 2017 for a price that is under $6,000 USD. Watch the video below to learn more about Jamboard.

A Huge Library of Tech-rich Lesson Plans for Teachers

October 24, 2016
Common Sense (formerly Graphite) has this wonderful section packed full of pre-made lesson plans that teachers and educators can appropriate to their own teaching situations.  These lesson plans are digitally focused and integrate a number of educational web tools and mobile apps to provide teachers with practical working examples of the effective use of technology in classroom. Teachers can also create their own lesson plans and share them with the education community in Common Sense. To do so registration is required.

Before you create your own tech-rich lesson plan, you may want to check lesson plans other have already created. You can either check the ‘Featured lesson Plans’ section on the right hand side to view a number of suggested lesson plans or search the site for specific lesson plans. You can filter your search using criteria such as subject and grades. Watch the video below to learn more about Lesson Flows. Enjoy

Two Excellent Google Docs Tips for Teachers

October 24, 2016
After we have seen how to use Google Explore to create beautiful spreadsheets, today we are looking at different features Explore provides for Google Docs users. We will particularly show you how you can use Explore to access related content, insert an image in a doc , and conduct search within your docs and across the web. These features are available for Google Docs on the web, Android and iPad. To launch Explore, open a document and click on Explore at the bottom right.

1- Access suggested content
As you type in content in your document, Explore will display a panel with suggested content that can help you with the writing of your document. This content includes:

This tab features a number of suggested topics related to the content of your document. To access any topic click on its title.

The tab provides you with a set of images related to your content which you can add to your document. Added images come with a footnote at the bottom of the document.

Related research: 
In this section you will be able to view research directly related to the topic of your document.

2- Conduct quick searches within your document
Another excellent feature from Explore is the ability for document editors to quickly search their documents. They can type a search query in the search bar and choose whether they want to search their Drive or the entire web.

Source: Docs Editors Help