MuseForJews

muse: n. a source of inspiration

Podcasting

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

The Technology: audioBoom

AudioBoom is a free iOS app that enables you to record, publish and share podcasts. It’s very easy to use, and while it lacks GarageBand-type editing tools, it’s great for simple recording and hosting online. 

Once you install audioBoom on your iPad, you can use the iPad’s built in microphone to record. After you have completed the recording, upload it to the aurdiBoom website, and add a title, category, description and photo to it. Once it is posted to the site, you can share the podcast via social media, and generate a QR code that links to it.

Sign up for a free account at the website, and your iPad recordings will be uploaded to your account. A free account enables you to record podcasts of up to ten minutes in duration.(If you’d like to create longer podcasts, you’ll need to purchase a premium account at $90/year.)

 In Your Classroom

  • There is no limit to the kinds of classroom activities an app like this supports. Think about using this to promote Hebrew reading fluency, reporting school news and sharing original songs and stories.
  • If you have centers in your classroom, audioBoom is a great way for you to record instructions for independent learners to listen to.
  • The easily generated QR codes can be posted throughout the school to allow visitors to hear recordings in various locations.
  • Have students record and upload book talks and place their QR codes on book jackets
  • Teachers should be aware that there are a lot of podcasts that are available via audioBoom, and it’s difficult to monitor the content. Student use must be closely supervised.
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

December 6, 2016 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

December is Human Rights month. Teaching Tolerance’s Perspectives for a Diverse America has some nice resources, which you’ll have to register for a free account in order to access. You’ll find the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,  the 1929 poem, On Liberty and Slavery, resources for lesson planning and more.

Simple Machines is a charming website developed by Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Students can help Twitch build simple machines by using inclined planes, levers and more.

Intrigued by 3D printing? Check out Tinkercad. You can create a free account and view their tutorials to learn more about the tool. We’ve found this to be the easiest 3D modeling application for beginners.

You probably know that Google and Facebook are under fire because of fake news sites and the influence they may have had on the recent election. From a tech educator’s standpoint, this is really frightening, and I think we need to carefully consider if we’re doing enough to teach our students how to discern what’s legitimate on the web. Here are some resources regarding this troubling issue:

A great article from the New York Times about the issue.

Information about a free Chrome extension that you can install to let you know if you’ve arrived at a fake news site (including a link to download it).

Leave it to the kids! Three Princeton students tackled the problem during a recent “hackathon” and produced their own Chrome extension – read more about it here.

December 2, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Learn About iBooks Author

If you’re using a Mac laptop, you should know about iBooks Author! iBooks Author is a free application (download it here) that you can use to create eBooks for iOS devices or computers.

If you’re interested in learning more about iBooks Author, here are some resources for a full day workshop that I presented last year.

Download this workbook

Download these resources

November 2, 2016 Posted by | Presentation Support, Technology | | Leave a comment

Updates to Adobe iOS Apps

The Technology: Adobe

Adobe has updated several of their iOS apps and given them a new look and some new features:

  • Spark Page (formerly known as Slate) helps you create beautiful web pages
  • Spark Video (formerly known as Voice) lets you create animated videos  
  • Premiere Clip allows you to easily create videos from your photos

The apps haven’t changed much. They work on the same simple premise: you choose a template, and add words, music, text and images to it. The app then takes that content, and uses it to create a final product. There are not many options for customization, and you are mostly locked in based on the template you choose. That may seem like it’s limiting (and, well, it is), but if you only have forty-five minutes for your students to create a product, it can also feel really liberating! 

To check out Adobe’s iPad apps, visit the iTunes App store. All are free to download and use. The only premium feature that you may want to purchase is a subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud storage plan, which provides additional storage.

Additionally, it’s notable (and a welcome change!) that you can now sign up for a free Adobe ID in order to use many of the apps or you can use your Facebook or Google account. This is very convenient for those of us who already use Google and don’t wish to have another account.

In Your Classroom

  • Consider creating a single Google account or Adobe ID for all your students to use. That way, projects are synced across all your devices. It also allows for a project to be worked on by multiple users at once.
  • These apps are a wonderful way to have your students create end-of-year or field trip videos.
  • Apps that support voice like Spark Video are a great way for students to share their Hebrew skills.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

November 1, 2016 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday | , , | Leave a comment

Technology Tuesday: Tagul Word clouds

 What is a word cloud? A word cloud is an image that is formed from typed words, in which the size of each word indicates its frequency or importance. Here is an example of one:

Tagul is a free site that can help you create your own word clouds. You simply import your words, either one at a time, or by pasting a body of text.  And, you don’t have to limit yourself to English: Tagul will also work with Hebrew type, as long as you import a Hebrew font by going to “fonts” and then uploading your Hebrew font to it.

(Note: I had greater success with Tagul when I used Hebrew that had no vowels or cantellation marks.) 

You can also customize your word cloud by choosing from a menu of possible shapes, colors, fonts and layouts.  After you’re happy with the graphic, you can print it, download it, and share it with others.

To  use Tagul, create a new account, or use your Google or social media account. There is no charge to sign up and it is free for personal use.

In Your Classroom

  • Tagul can be used as visual tool to  to analyze ranked choices. For instance, you can do a values clarification exercise with your class, and then type in the results by rank (be sure to use higher numbers for more-frequently chosen values). The resulting word cloud will illustrate your class’s choices.  Try this with questions such as “what do you want to learn?” or statements like “the most important mitzvah is…”
  • Paste in any block of text for visual analysis of the frequency of words.
  • Do an “all about me” activity with your students. Ask each student to choose ten adjectives and rank them accordingly. The resulting word cloud will be a personalized set of visual illustrations that describe your students personalities.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

October 26, 2016 Posted by | Technology Tuesdays | , , | Leave a comment

Technology Tuesday: Booktrack

The Technology: Booktrack

The Booktrack website gives users the ability to add soundtracks and sound effects to written text, creating a unique reading, listening and immersive experience.

Creating a new booktrack is simple. Just click on, “Create new booktrack” and choose:

  • If you have your own story you’d like to add music to, or
  • If you want to use one from the Booktrack library.

Then, enter your text. It can even be a Hebrew text! (When I tried, I was successful copying a Hebrew text from an existing file and pasting it into Booktrack).

Once your text is in, choose music clips and sound effects from the Booktrack library and connect them to different pieces of the text, so that when readers come to that portion of your story, they will hear that music. 

Once your booktrack is complete, select a title, category and rating and publish it. You can choose to have your story available publicly in the Booktrack library or you can choose to keep it private. 

To read a booktrack, simply click on the book and read it in the browser window. (If you are having several students read booktracks in your classroom, I highly recommend you ask that they use headphones!)

To start making your own booktracks, visit the website and create a free account. Teachers can create a class, and add students manually or by class code to it. Students can create an account and then join the class to view or submit books to the class’s bookshelf.

In Your Classroom

  • Assign your students to create a booktrack using a Bible or holiday story. Invite students to think about what kind of background music and sound effects will provide the appropriate atmosphere for the content of the story.
  • Older students can create booktracks for younger students.
  • Use a Hebrew prayer as your text, and add sound effects to it that help add meaning.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

October 11, 2016 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Loupe Collage is an awesome website that takes your photos and makes them into a shape. You choose the pictures, then you choose the shape, image, or word you would like to shape. You can also use it to make a card. So fun!

Google Slides can be a great resource for creating an interactive eBook. Read more about it here.

Tuzzit is a collaborative mindmapping tool with easy to use templates. You set up the canvas, and then students can join and add text, stamps, images and more.

October 6, 2016 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sketchnoting Army

Woohoo! I made it to Sketchnote Army!

 

October 2, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Many of us rely on using videos in class. Why not? They’re engaging and open explain concepts much more efficiently than we can. Commonsense Media has some great strategies teachers can use to help students think critically about videos, including backchanneling, integrating videos into your curriculum and using tech to customize videos.

Just when I think that I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t have to explain what “GAFE” is any more, Google goes and changes the name! Google just announced that GAFE will now be known as G Suite. We’re not sure what that means long term (paid model, maybe?), but if you want to read about what it means now, check out the Google Cloud blog post here.

Want to give your students a brain break? Edutopia has some nice ideas here.

September 30, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

ClassTag

The Technology: ClassTag

ClassTag is a free website that allows you to easily email all your student’s parents at one time. You can use it to send announcements, event information (along with an RSVP link), requests for volunteers, or parent/teacher conference details. ClassTag also makes it possible for you to quickly email photos and weekly updates.

You can also use ClassTag to organize volunteers. Simply send parents an invitation to volunteer. Then, once they receive it, they can choose to click to sign up, and their commitment will appear on both their dashboard and yours. 

Begin by signing up for a free ClassTag account. Then, create a class and populate it with your students’ names and their parents’ email addresses.

In Your Classroom

  • ClassTag is a relatively new product, and it will be interesting to see what features get added over time. Right now, it’s a great way to keep in touch with parents and easily share photos, newsletters and announcements.
  • Don’t worry about sending unwanted emails to your parents– they can opt out of any of the categories so that they will only get the emails they prefer.
This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday | , , | Leave a comment

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