10 Powerful Apps to Enhance Students Writing Style

May 24, 2017
Below is a collection of some powerful apps to help you enhance your writing style. They provide you with a distraction-free environment where you can focus more on the writing task.  Some of these apps offer other interesting features that include giving you instant feedback on your writing style, proofreading services, spelling check, and many more. We invite you to check them out and share with us your feedback. Enjoy

10 Powerful Apps to Enhance Students Writing Style
1- Flowstate
‘The world is a hive of distractions, multi-tasking, and cultural ADD. Many sit down to write and watch hours vanish with nothing to show but a trail of browser tabs. Flowstate is a response to the amphetaminic digital age. It frees the writer to turn on, tune in, and open up.’

2- Danger Text 
'Danger Text is a text creation motivational tool that laughs in the face of writers block and procrastination. It is the perfect tool for rapidly writing—and sharing—your stories and ideas.'

3- Refly Editor
‘Refly is an AI-powered smart editor for authors, bloggers, and content marketers. A smart editor that helps proofread your content as you write. We use modern Machine Learning techniques to identify grammar mistakes. A powerful spell checker helps avoid embarrassing mistakes. A goal tracking tool helps develop a habit and stay on the course.’

4- Expresso
‘Expresso is a little tool to edit texts and improve your writing style. It will teach you to express yourself through writing more efficiently and help make your texts more readable, precise, and engaging.’

5- Writefull 
‘Writefull is an app that gives feedback on your writing by checking your text against databases of correct language. You can use Writefull in any writing tool - from MS Word to Gmail. Simply select a piece of text, hit the short-key to activate Writefull.’

6- Rough Draft
‘Ever write your first draft on a notepad? Writing on paper, you let go and just get your idea out. You don't get caught up perfecting the words too early. Rough Draft is like writing with pen and paper, so you can't delete words, only cross them out. Each "edit" reminds you that you're writing a rough draft.’

7- Paragraphs
‘Paragraphs lets you focus on what you do best: write. No distracting menus, no complicated formatting options. It's just you and whatever you feel like writing.’

8- Ulysses
‘Ulysses is your one-stop writing environment on iOS. Whether you’re a novelist, a journalist, a student or a blogger – if you love to write and write a lot, Ulysses gives you a uniquely streamlined toolset, covering every phase of the writing process.’

9- iA Writer
‘iA Writer is designed to provide the best digital writing experience: Keep your hands on the keyboard and your mind in the text.’

10- Scrivener 
‘Scrivener banishes page fright by allowing you to compose your text in any order, in sections as large or small as you like. Got a great idea but don’t know where it fits? Write when inspiration strikes and find its place later. Grow your manuscript organically, idea by idea.’

Courtesy of Product Hunt

7 New EdTech Tools for Teachers

May 24 , 2017
This month's New EdTech Tools post features 6 interesting applications we are publishing here for the first time.  Some of the things you can do with these tools include: interactively explore math concepts such as Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus; learn English through stories; record and share video notes, and many more.

1-  GxWeb

GxWeb is a free, browser-based app for interactively exploring concepts, modeling problems and discovering solutions in areas of math study from Algebra and Geometry through Calculus.

2- Deep English

Join Over 400,000 Learners Around the World. Speak Quickly and Understand Native Speakers. Learn English with interesting stories. Get fluent by listening a lot and speaking a lot With free lessons and a free email course

3- Why So Scientists Do What Scientists Do

‘A site developed to help non-scientists, or students embarking on a career in science, to understand "the scientific mind-set.’

4- VideoNotebooks

This app allows you to take notes while watching a video. Notes are organized in notebooks, and each notebook corresponds to one video.The app also allows tagging individual notes to be able to retrieve a specific subset of notes across all notebooks later. Notebooks can be also tagged for better organization.

5- Check 123

‘Enjoy more than 20,000 Curated Videos from all over the World in the Web's first social video encyclopedia!All of Check123’s videos are validated by professional experts in different fields, and prioritized by quality - helping you find the best possible answer to your search!’

6- Infomusic

‘Informusic is the all-in-one music history resource for students, professors, and classical music lovers. Browse through biographies, program notes, sheet music, audio examples, and interactive timelines that contextualize musical events with art, history, politics, war, and more!’

7- Your Family on Google
'Share entertainment and stay connected with the ones you love. Create a family group with up to six family members and get the most out of Google, together.'

8 Excellent Web Tools for Creating Educational Video Tutorials

May 23, 2017
For those of you asking about video lesson tools, below is a collection we published a few months ago featuring some of our favourite tools in this regard.  You can use these tools  to  create instructional videos and tutorials in a simple and easy way without the need for an advanced technology knowledge. All of these tools are web based, no software download is required.

1- YouTube Video Editor

YouTube Video Editor embeds all the hacks you need to create stunning video lessons. You can use it to trim videos, add hyperlinks, add illustrative text, add audio tracks and several other multimedia materials. To be able to use YouTube Video Editor, you need to be logged in to your channel via your current Google account. Check out this guide to learn more about what you can do with YouTube Video Editor.

2- Snagit

‘Snagit gives you a simple way to create and edit screenshots or record videos to show a complex process, give detailed feedback, or share important information with the people who need it most…Capture an image or video of what you see on your computer screen. Record Skype calls or Google Hangouts with audio. Instead of traveling on site, capture meetings and interviews that you can watch and review later.’

This is another great tool to use to record a video of your screen. Camtasia has an advanced video editor that lets you create professionally looking videos: you can add animations, music, transitions, backgrounds,or even import your camera footage and turn it into an instruction video. 

For those of you using Chromebook in their instruction, Explain Everything is an excellent tool to use to create video lessons. It offers you an interactive screen casting whiteboard to create slides, draw in any color, add text , audio files, images and videos to design stunning video tutorials.

Playpoist (former Educannon) is another wonderful tool to use to create video lessons. It allows you to add a wide variety of question types to your videos. Each of these questions will be time-linked to a specific moment in the video so students will stay engaged as the video progresses. You can ‘add tables, images, audio clips, links, and even embed coded.’

6- EDpuzzle

‘If you use videos in the classroom, EDpuzzle is a must have. Take any video from YouTube, Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, etc. make it perfect for your classroom and more engaging for your students. Make any video a true lesson by making it to the point, personal and effective, plus get all the data about your students so you know if they truly understand the lesson.’

'VideoAnt is a web-based video annotation tool for mobile and desktop devices. Use VideoAnt to add annotations, or comments, to web-hosted videos. VideoAnt-annotated videos are called “Ants”.'

Screencast-O-Matic  is a free and easy to use screen recording too. With one click you can start recording your screen and right from your browser on Windows, Mac, Linux and does not require any software installation. 

An Interesting Infographic on How to Use Popular Latin Phrases in APA Style

May 23, 2017
There are a number of popular latin verbs student researchers use in their papers such as etc., e.g., cf.,  and many more. However, these abbreviated forms have their own rules when it comes to formatting them in APA style. The visual below, which we created based on the official guidelines of the American Psychological Association, shows you how to properly use some of these latin abbreviations in APA style.  We invite you to check it out and keep a copy of this visual handy for the next research paper.

Related: Class poster on how to cite online sources in APA style
  This is how to use Some Popular latin Abbreviations in APA Style

12 Great Social Studies Apps for Elementary Students

May 22, 2017
This is the seventh post is a series of posts covering educational iPad apps to use with elementary students. We are trying to build a repository of good apps elementary students and teachers can easily  access and use in their learning and instruction. To learn more about the previous posts we have published so far check out this section. Today's collection features a number of useful apps to use with young learners when teaching social studies. These apps, which we curated from iTunes App Collections, cover 3 main themes: Geography, History and World Cultures. Check them out and share with us your feedback.

Links to the apps are under the visual.

12 Great Social Studies Apps for Elementary Students
1- 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.’

2- 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.’

3- 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. ’

4- Stack the States
‘As you learn state capitals, shapes, geographic locations, flags and more, you can actually touch, move and drop the animated states anywhere on the screen. Carefully build a stack of states that reaches the checkered line to win each level.’

5- 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.’

6- History Today
‘History Today is an encyclopedia of news stories for what happened on this day in history throughout the US and world.’

7- 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.’

8- US Geography With Flat Stanley HD
‘Master state geographic locations, capitals, flags, spelling, and see photos from each state. Learning all 50 states has never been this fun! Perfect for kids ages 4-12.’

9- Stack the Countries
‘Stack the Countries® makes learning about the world fun! Watch the countries actually come to life in this colorful and dynamic game!’

10- BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week
‘Bring learning to your fingertips™ with the BrainPOP Jr.® Movie of the Week app for the iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®. Get a different animated movie every week and check out related quizzes and educational activities - free!’

11- Social Studies Friendzy
‘Learn Social Studies with our K - 8th grade Social Studies games app! Test your knowledge on the US Presidents, US states and capitals, US government and history, US citizenship and immigration, and so much more! We feature the top 100 students every day!’

12- Thud! Presidents 
‘To win at THUD!, you'll need more than a head stuffed with facts. Each level is a tricky puzzle where you must carefully balance and stack your answers... or it all comes crashing down!’

8 Excellent Google Sheets add-ons for Teachers

May 22, 2017
Here is another of our popular visuals we published few months ago. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, this is a collection of some good Google Sheets add-ons to help you carry on a variety of  educational tasks. These include how to:
  • Create graphs and forms and write complex math in your sheets
  • Create and modify a planning schedule for project management in a spreadsheet; easily scaffold, manage and assess students projects in Google Drive
  • Quickly grade and analyze students assessments, split cells, remove duplicates, clean up data and change case
  • Add powerful functionality to quizzes you create via Google Forms
  • Send personalized mass emails with Gmail and track email opens.
Here are the links to the add-ons featured in the visual:
8 Excellent Google Sheets add-ons for Teachers