4 Good YouTube Extensions for Teachers

March 29, 2017
In today's post we are sharing with you four handy Chrome extensions that will enhance your YouTube viewing experience. The first extension in the list enables you to turn off the lights in a YouTube page so you can only focus on the video playing. The second one provides you with an excellent solution to block annoying ads on YouTube videos . The last two extensions come with a bunch of functionalities all geared towards improving your YouTube experience. You only need to install one of these extensions; in case you have more than one YouTube extension installed on your Chrome browser this could probably create a conflict and result in the extensions not working properly.

1- Turn off the Lights

‘With a single click on the lamp button, the page will fade to dark. And automatically focus on the video. By clicking on it again, the page will return to normal.Turn Off the Lights is a lightweight and useful add-in designed for a more comfortable watching experience. It works for all known video sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Hulu, Metacafe, YouKu, etc.’

2-Adblock for YouTube

‘Install Adblock for Youtube™ now and all the Pre-Roll Ads on Youtube™ are gone, forever! The enhanced Adblock removes any ad videos shown before your video as well’

3- Enhancer for YouTube

‘Enhancer for YouTube™ is a very lightweight extension that is highly customizable, easy to use, and that will greatly improve your YouTube™ experience! It allows you to: Control volume level and playback speed with the mouse wheel; remove ads from videos (automatically or on-demand); remove annotations (automatically or on-demand) and many more’

4- ImprovedTube 

ImprovedTube  provides you with a number of functions to enhance your YouTube viewing experience. Some of these include: dark colour themes for better viewing at night, set default player size, hide YouTube elements like header and footer, hide annotations and related videos and many more.

An Excellent Resource to Help Teen Girls Learn Coding

March 29, 2017
Made with Code is an interesting coding project by Google to help teen girls learn coding. According to the stats featured in Made with Code website, out of 74% of girls who express interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in middle school, only 0,4% of them plan to major in computer science when they graduate from high school. The purpose of Made with Code is to empower women and help raise their representation in technology related sector. ‘If we can inspire teen girls to see that code can help them pursue their passions, whatever they may be, then hopefully they will begin to contribute their voices to the field of technology for the benefit of us all.’

Made with Code provides teen girls with a wide variety of materials to help them enhance their coding skills. It features a number of creative projects where girls get to use coding to design amazing stuff. It also provides them with extra resources and links to website where they can learn more about coding. Made with Code has a YouTube channel featuring examples of what girls have actually created using codes. Watch the video below to learn more about Made with Code.

10 Excellent iPad Apps for Creating Educational Videos

March , 2017
Looking for some good iPad apps to help you create educational videos to share with students? The collection below has you covered. It features what we think are some of the best video apps in iTunes App Store. Using the apps below will enable you to create short educational or instructional videos,  merge multiple clips into a single video, annotate videos, add text and multimedia materials to your videos and many more. We invite you to check them out and share with us your feedback in our Facebook page. Enjoy

10 Excellent iPad Apps for Creating Educational Videos and Animations

1- WeVideo

‘WeVideo is an awesome video editor that allows you to both capture and edit videos on the go. Using weVideo will also enable you to create amazing photo-stories and slideshows using the images you have in your gallery or the ones you have captured by the app. WeVideo provides a slew of interesting tools to edit your creations including : adding effects to movies, a set of pre-made themes, add titles and captions, add music and audio. The finished product can be shared through popular social media websites.’

2- iMovie

‘iMovie lets you enjoy your videos and tell stories like never before. Browse your video library, share favorite moments, create beautiful movies, and watch them on all your devices in iMovie Theater. And with the iMovie extension, it’s fast and fun to make every video more memorable — right in the Photos app.’

3- Animoto

‘Animoto allows you to create simple and beautiful videos that combine text, soundtrack and images. Animoto provides more than 1000 soundtracks from different musical genres which you can access in their music library and use in your videos. You can also use your iPad camera to take photos or use the ones already stored in your camera roll. Other features that Animoto provides to users include over 50 different video styles to choose from, the ability to add captions to your photos, trim video clips and create title cards.’

4- YouTube Capture

‘YouTube Capture is definitely a must have iPad app for teachers and students. This app is developed by Google and, unlike the basic YouTube app, YouTube Capture allows users to record videos and upload them instantly and right from their iPad or phones and Instagram.’

5- 30hands Pro

‘30hands Storyteller Pro is the easiest way to tell a story, explain a concept or flip a classroom. Create a multimedia presentation in minutes and publish it as a video to share.’

6- Splice

‘Splice makes it easy to create fully customized, professional-looking videos on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Imagine the performance of a desktop editor, optimized for your mobile device. Just tap to trim clips, adjust transitions, add slow motion effects and more to create beautiful videos you’ll love to share.’

7- Magisto Video Editor & Movie Maker

‘Express your creativity - make a movie and tell your story by working with Magisto’s automatic movie editor. You don’t need to be an expert photo or video editor, Magisto’s magic will create a professional looking video story from as little as a few photos or a video. It’s that easy!’

8- Perfect Video

‘Perfect Video is a really EASY TO USE video and slideshow editing app. It lets you quickly Trim, Merge, Split, Reverse, Rotate and Crop clips, add Subtitles, add Mosaic,add Watermark, Photos, and Text, pick Transitions, add Music and Recordings, and export your video clips.’

9- Videolicious

‘Instantly weave together interviews, videos, photos, music and more into a sophisticated video production—in seconds. Just talk and tap—or watch and tap—to make the perfect video.’

10- VidLab

‘VidLab is a multi-track, multi-clip video editor that allows you to easily create beautiful, fun videos & photo stories by adding text, artwork, music, video, sound effects, overlays, voice-overs & more to your videos (and photos)!’

A New Important Feature Added to Google Docs

March 29, 2017
Google Docs has released today a new interesting feature that allows you to easily capitalize a large portion of text with a single click. Alternatively , you can  ‘decapitalize’ or convert capital letters into lower case using the same process. To do so, you simply select parts of the text you want to capitalize and choose ‘Capitalization’ from the Format menu in Docs. Next choose one of the following:

Lowercase, to make all the letters in your selection lowercase.
UPPERCASE, to capitalize all the letters in your selection.
Title Case, to capitalize the first letter of each word in your selection.’

Some Very Good  Social Studies Apps for Teachers and Students

March 28, 2017
Below is a collection of some very good apps to use in your social studies class. This collection is created and featured in iTunes App Store and features a number of key apps that we are publishing here in our blog for the first time. The apps are arranged into three main categories: world cultures apps, geography apps, and history and historical figures apps ( see links under the infographic).

This visual is also available in PDF format from this page. Enjoy

Some Very Good  Social Studies Apps for Teachers and Students

I- World Cultures

1- Barefoot World Atlas

‘Barefoot World Atlas puts the world at your children’s fingertips! With this incredible app, anyone can fly around the magical, interactive 3D globe and discover the rich wonders of our planet.’

2- Kids Planet Discovery

‘Let your kids have fun discovering the world with games and activities in Kids Planet Discovery. Kids Planet Discovery sends kids off on virtual adventures around Planet Earth, giving them the chance to learn about cultures, animals, music, dress, geography, and more.’

3- Geo Walk

‘Geo Walk is a world fact book about animals, plants, historical events,famous people and inventions. All articles can be explored in a fun way by traveling across the globe and learning where the building is, or where the natural habitat of an animal is, or where a famous person lived.’

4- Kids World Cultures

‘ Kids World Cultures for iPhone and iPad is filled with fun and engaging games and adventures that let kids explore how others around the world live, work, and stay entertained.’

5- First Step Country

‘First Step County is a unique app in the Education category that will help your child identify and learn about the prominent countries Flags, Maps, Monuments and Currencies.’

6- World Cultures Gallery Guide

‘Explore the Hudson Museum's World Cultures Gallery and celebrate a world of culture and cultures of the world. The Hudson Museum is an anthropology museum, located at the University of Maine in Orono.’

II- Geography

1- Geography Drive USA

‘From state capitals to US landmarks and key historic events, Geography Drive USA packs 800 important facts into one amazing adventure with surprises around ever bend.’

2-National Geographic World Atlas

‘Welcome to the redesigned World Atlas app from National Geographic, the best world geography reference resource available. The Atlas features Nat Geo's award-winning cartography and stats and facts about every country on Earth.’

3- GeoMaster Plus HD

‘This brand new version includes 7 new games : UK countries, UK cities, Canadian provinces, Canadian cities, French cities, German regions and German cities! A total of 21 exciting games, an atlas and high resolution maps.’

4- GeoBee Challenge HD

‘This is a challenging game, so it's not for beginners...but do keep in mind that the National Geographic Bee is meant for kids in grades 4-8…In the multiple-choice round, answers come from a library of more than 1300 National Geographic Bee questions. In the map challenge round, you zoom, pinch and tap your way to find spots on an interactive map from a catalog of 1000+ locations.’

5- Stack the States

‘Stack the States makes learning about the 50 states fun! Watch the states actually come to life in this colorful and dynamic game!’

6-Stack the Countries

‘As you learn country capitals, landmarks, geographic locations and more, you can actually touch, move and drop the animated countries anywhere on the screen. Carefully build a stack of countries that reaches the checkered line to win each level.’

History and Historical Figures

1- BrainPOP Featured Movie

‘Bring learning to your fingertips™ with the BrainPOP Featured Movie app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Watch a different animated movie every day, then test your new knowledge with an interactive quiz – free!’

2- Washington D.C

‘Take a tour of Washington, D.C.—past and present—with 3-D animations of the White House, Capitol Building, and Lincoln Memorial. You'll also enjoy interactive maps of the city, as well as a detailed look at the Declaration of Independence.’

3- World Book

‘This Day in History for iPad is an interactive multimedia calendar that displays historical events for the current day or any selected day, along with related media such as photos, illustrations, music, and speeches.’

4- Britannica Kids: US Presidents

‘Britannica Kids: U.S. Presidents takes young learners on a fun and educational meet-and-greet with the 44 U.S. presidents.’

5- Presidents vs. Aliens

‘Presidents vs. Aliens® makes learning about the presidents fun! As you learn presidential facts, quotes, nicknames and historical events, you can use your knowledge to help the presidents defeat the aliens.’

6- Britannica Kids: Ancient Egypt

‘Ancient Egypt is the perfect app for exploring the secrets of hieroglyphics, mummification, the Pyramids, Tutankhamen, Cleopatra, and other popular Egyptian topics. Learn and play at the same time through a variety of games like Memory Match, Jigsaw Puzzles, and the Magic Square among others.’

A Handy Infographic Explaining SAMR Model for Teachers

March 28, 2017
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here is one of our popular visuals on SAMR model we shared a few weeks ago.  As we have stated elsewhere, 'SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) is a four-level conceptual framework developed by Dr Ruben Puentedura (2006) to help teachers make effective use of technology in their instruction. It provides ‘a framework to support educators and instructional designers in creating optimal learning experiences using mobile devices in education’(Roomers et al.,2014. p. 79). SAMR can also be used to encourage ‘teachers to ‘move up’ from lower to higher levels of teaching with technology, which according to Puentedura, leads to higher (i.e., enhanced) levels of teaching and learning.’ (Hamilton et al., 2016. p. 434). To help teachers better understand the SMAR concept we designed this illustrative visual based a number of interesting resources (see list at the bottom of this post)'.

The visual below is available for free download from this link (no commercial uses please).

A Handy Infographic Explaining SAMR Model for Teachers

Hamilton, R., Rosenberg, M. & Akcaoglu, M. (2016).The Substitution augmentation modification redefinition(SAMR) model: A critical review and suggestions for its Use. Tech Trends, 60:433-441, DOI 10.1007/s11528-016-0091-y
Puentedura, R. (2006). Transformation, technology, and education [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://hippasus.com/resources/tte/
Romrell, D., Kidder, L. C., & Wood, E. (2014). The SAMR Model as a Framework for Evaluating mLearning. Journal Of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 18(2), 79-93.
Davis, E. (2014). SAMR Made Easy with Google Apps. Google Apps Action. Retrieved from http://googleappsaction.com/?p=51