Thursday, January 19, 2012

Alli's App Smackdown Vol 4

This Monday was an amazing day for me and (hopefully) the teachers at Denton Creek.  The only thing that would have made it better was if the Cottonwood Creek teachers could have been there.  My mobile device hero, Tony Vincent came to present a full day workshop on ways to integrate iTouches and iPads in the classroom. He shared many great apps and ideas!

That said, it was hard to select my top 5 apps of the week!  Here are some that excite me right now!!!

1. Skitch (iPad only) - Use drawing tools to annotate screenshots, websites, pictures and more.  Great for students to practicing labeling, locate text features, etc. Students can save pictures with annotations to the camera roll of the device for later.  Simply plug in the device to save pictures to the network or use Bump to send the picture to someone else's device.

2. Tour Wrist - Use this Map app to go on virtual field trips, discuss landforms, observe different kinds of rocks, etc.  Great 360 panoramic views!

3. Splice  - Film videos, edit, add transitions and titles all on your device with this app!

4. Socrative (Student) and Socrative (Teacher) - Think you need clickers for student response?  YOU DON'T!  Socrative is a response tool that can be used on any device or computer to poll, question, test and discuss concepts with students.  Login as a teacher to create your "room" and post questions, exit tickets, quizzes, etc.  The students then can use the app on an iPad/iTouch or navigate to the room on a desktop or laptop to answer! Learn more at or ask me for a quick demo.  :) You have to see this in action!

5.  Sparklefish - This Madlibs-style game teaches parts of speech using audio. Students can create funny stories and then listen back to them!

Happy Apping!

Tips and Tricks for Blogger

Today I am blogging live from TENOR ITS, a regional technology integration group meeting.  The presenter right now is covering some tips and tricks for using Blogger.  Some tips are new and some may only be new to you, but here are some great tips and tricks!

  • Threaded Commenting: Now it is easier within the comments of Blogger to reply to a comment on a blog. Prior to this, all comments were "lumped together" under your post.  It was difficult to see if someone was commenting on the post or on another comment. Now, your readers can comment on each others' comments in a more organized way!

  • Connect with Google+: If your Blog is linked to your Google+ account, you can then send your blog posts to people within your circles.

  • Custom Mobile Templates: You can now customize the way your blog will appear on mobile devices. Many times all of our hard work spent customizing how our blogs look is wasted when our readers are reading from a mobile device.  Now you can set up a special "mobile look" for your blog.

  • New Blogger Interface: You may have noticed a link at the top of your Blogger dashboard that allows you to "try" the new blogger interface.  This interface will eventually be permanently updated for all blogs, so now is a great time to try it out!

  • Stats Available: The stats page has been updated.  You can now see where people are viewing your blog and from what type of devices.

  • Blogger App for iOS:  Have you used the Blogger app?  It makes it easier to post on the go!  I could see students blogging live during class from an iDevice simply by logging into this app.  TIP: Check your photos - sometimes the formatting gets thrown off when posting photos from the app.  You may want to go in and check your posting on a desktop or laptop to be sure photos and formatting "look" right.
Need help using any of these cool features?  Let me know!!