Monday, April 2, 2012

30 apps in 30 days revisted--A summary

Over the past 30 days, I have delivered a listing of 30 different--free--classroom tools. Some have been Web 2.0 tools while others have been gadgets to add to your classroom. So, this post will just be a summary of the 30 applications and their usefulness in the classroom. Stay tuned for the next series: Creating your positive digital footprint in 10 days (debuts Tuesday).

  1. App:
    1. Integration: Zamzar is nothing flashy, but it is extremely helpful. It is an online conversion tool. It converts files and URLs up to 100mb. It sends them to your email account or you can purchase an account at a small cost and have them stored online.
  2. App: Audacity: (Click here for downloading the Beta version--only version Windows 7 can use).
    1. Integration: Audacity is an audio editing software and it's free! You can mix existing tracks or build your own. When you are done, you can export them as MP3s. It is easy to use, but the capability is almost endless.
  3. App: Evernote:
    1. Integration: This tool is similar to Diigo, but has a few twists. It also has a toolbar app that lets you take a note of the page you are working on. However, you can build groups and share those notes with specific groups. Evernote is branching out to many sub-units so check them out.
  4. App: Google Cloud Connect Toolbar:
    1. Integration: My favorite application, period--this toolbar lets users sync whatever file they are working on in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint with their Google Apps account. You can select your sharing settings and even get an embed code to embed the page into a Website. The best part is that you can now type up any document in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and have it automatically appear on a Website.
  5. App: Clear Audio Dropboxes:
    1. Integration: With this app, users can leave audio responses and recordings in a digital dropbox. Users go to the link of the drop box, press record, and start recording their audio response. When they are done, they press stop and the response is automatically saved for the instructor to hear.
  6. App: Diigo:
    1. Integration: An old pro, Diigo is an online bookmarking site that you can access from any computer. With Diigo, you can take notes on pages and save and share those notes. You can build folders of bookmarks and share those folders. You can also install the diigolet toolbar app and click on the button to take screenshots.
  7. App: VoiceThread:
    1. Integration: This site allows users to develop "voicethreads." These are segments of video that are narrated by either text or audio. Viewers of the videos can leave audio, video, or textual comments. Voicethread is a great site for building tutorials or having students upload projects and get peer-review in a variety of formats.
  8. App: Google Search Stories (make videos from your searches; examples were run in 2010 Super Bowl): (to create video) or (to watch video)
    1. Integration: Google Search Stories are short videos created by entering in a search. For instance, if you wanted to search for Breast Cancer Prevention agencies, you would be given five spaces for search terms. Each search term becomes a section in the video. Therefore, the video must show how search terms were narrowed down to find the answer--the last segment of the video. It's a great, easy-to-use, and fun tool that challenges students to search correctly.
  9. App: PowerPoint as a movie
    1. Integration: Though not an application, saving PowerPoint as a movie opens up a multitude of possibilities. When saving it as a movie, you can import it into Movie Maker or more easily upload it onto a Website.
  10. App: Google Body Browser:
    Google Art Project:
    1. Integration: These are two of my favorite applications. Google Body Browser allows you to search for specific parts of the human anatomy and view them in multiple views--vascular, muscular, bone, skin. This eliminates body molds and gives all students the ability to view the body in a 3D fashion. Likewise Google Art Project lets users take tours of some of the best known Art museums in the world. It uses Street-view technology so users can actually walk through the museums and read about the individual art collections. It's better than opening up an encyclopedia and almost as good as going there in person.
  11. App: Part of number 10
    1. Integration:
  12. App: A Thin Line:
    1. Integration: MTV has created a decent application in A Thin Line, which targets bullying. It allows viewers to take quizzes on bullying as well as share their experiences and unite with others in bully prevention. And, it does it all in the "coolness" of MTV.
  13. App: SpaceTime:
    1. Integration: This is a search engine that lets users search in a 3D fashion. It shows results in windows that appear as a slideshow. This is create for the more visual and hands-on learners.
  14. App: Lino: and Wridea:
    1. Integration: Both of these applications are similar to wallwisher. Essentially, they are just online notetaking boards. However, Linoit allows you to create a board for a class so you can share notes for specific classes during the day. They can also be used for personal purposes as well.
  15. App: Woices:
    1. Integration: Woices is similar to Google's City Tours (which is no longer available). Users can build a audio track for any location on the Woices map and then, share the story. Audio recordings can range for family stories and the oral tradition to reviews of restaurants. You can even build walks with multiple audio recordings. This is great for students building projects over places.
  16. App: ToonDoo:
    1. Integration: This site gives users the ability to develop cartoons/graphic novels. Toondoo spaces is also available (specific for education); however it is at cost. Toondoo allows users to share books with the public or keep them private and share them through a link. It also allows users to upload their own images or select from a dashboard. It is a great site for all ages.
  17. App: Compflight:
    Little Bird Tales:
    Microsoft Digital Storytelling for teachers:
    1. Integration: This is the digital storytelling trifecta. With Compflight, users can search images by license. Little Bird Tales is a great site for getting young students to develop digital stories. And, Microsoft Digital Storytelling for teachers provides a wealth of resources on digital storytelling and copyright guidelines.
  18. App: Aviary: (for Google Apps for Education users) for other users:
    1. Integration: This is available for Google Apps for Education users as well. It is a design suite for free! And, all files created can be accessed through Google Docs. Aviary provides access to image editing, vector creation, audio editing, and music sheet creation. It is easier to use than the Adobe suite's free!
  19. App: vozMe:
    1. Integration: vozMe is a text to speech translator. It can be installed on your browser so that whenever you highlight a selection of text, it is read back to you in a voice (select male or female). This is great for students with special needs. Visuwords is a graphical representation dictionary. When you look up a word, it is displayed in a concept map fashion so you can see its connections.
  20. App: Wii Remote for interactive whiteboard: . Software is available here:
    1. Integration: This is a handmade interactive whiteboard with three basic parts: IR pen, Wii Remote, and a bluetooth adapter. Using these three tools, schools can create interactive whiteboards for $50. Though the solution is not perfect, it is awesome when you consider the price. In fact, I am building these at my district right now.
  21. App: Google Moderator:
    1. Integration: This is another app available to Google Apps for Education users. It is an online discussion/presentation space. Teachers can build series (think of them as units), with topics. Then, students can create questions or suggestions within each of those topics. Others can rank those questions. Teachers can then answer those questions online. It stays as a great resource for students to return to. It even serves as a basis for a final exam.
  22. App: Google Voice:
    1. Integration: This is available through download. It provides users with the ability to merge multiple phones into one number. And, it gives speech to text translation. Therefore, teachers can acquire a Google Voice number and deliver it to students. When students call that number, it will ring (on a phone that is linked to it or via a headset attached to the computer). When it goes to VM, it will appear as an email message in Gmail. And, since it is free calling within the U.S., it is a great solution for schools.
  23. App: MuseScore:
    1. Integration: Finally, a free site that lets teachers and students create their own sheet music and share it. With the addition of groups, this site is great for teachers who want to build classes and provide sheet music for those classes. Students can even create their own and share it within a group, to a specific person, or make it public.
  24. App: Googlios:
    Digication (This is actually accessed through your Google Apps for Education account, however)
    1. Integration: Googlios is a term created by a Google Apps for Education Trainer. His site contains a wealth of resources on creating ePortfolios. Digication is a tool, available to Google Apps for Education users, that builds ePortfolios for teachers and students based on templates (a standard K-12 template is already available) that users can create and share.
  25. App: Goalbook
    1. Integration: Goalbook is a great site for special services teachers. It provides a meeting space for parents, students, and teachers to discuss a student's goals and progress towards those goals. Convert.Files is a conversion site that converts files up to 200mb. Acmi is a storyboard creation site. This site allows students to search other storyboards and use them as templates or create their own and share and publish them. Classconnect is a Web storage space for teachers with a twist--it allows teacher to build teacher communities and search for lessons by topic. It is a great networking site for teachers.
  26. App: Screenleap:
    1. Integration: This simple, but handy tool lets a user share his/her screen with any other user through a URL. This is great for teachers who don't have Classroom Management Software like SmartSync and Vision. Though a teacher cannot run a student's computer though this site, it is great for sharing a Website or modeling an assignment on their computers.
  27. App: Digital Learning kits: and eLearning guides:
    1. Integration: Both of these apps use Google Apps for Education. Digital Learning Kits utilize Google Docs as a space for hosting images, links, and documents. They are collections of content that encourage students and teachers to obey copyright laws. The eLearning guide is a sample eLearning unit that can be completed through Google Docs entirely. This provides an alternative from standard LMS.
  28. App: Boolify:
    1. Integration: Boolify allows users to search Boolean style in a more visual pleasing atmosphere. It helps teach users how to correctly use Boolean searching. Boolify is part of The Public Learning Media Laboratory, which provides many Information Literacy resources. All of these tools help to make students more digitally literate.
  29. App: Google scripts with Flubaroo:
    1. Integration: With the help of Google Scripts like Flubaroo, you can now create self-graded quizzes in Google Forms. Through formulas, you have been able to develop self-graded quizzes with forms for some time; however, scripts are a one-time deal. Once you develop the script, you merely have to apply it and it will grade your quizzes. It saves the time that a formula involves.
  30. App: Google Sky:
    1. Integration: An extension of Google Earth into the sky, moon, and Mars. This app can be accessed through Google Earth or through the Website address above. This tool moves kids beyond Earth and into outer space, allowing them to become astronauts for the day.
Check out 10 days of digital footprints tomorrow!

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