MuseForJews

muse: n. a source of inspiration

Shadow Puppet Edu

This free iOS App makes it easy for even very young students to create videos in the classroom. They can use it to tell stories or explain ideas. It’s also a great way for them to demonstrate their understanding of a concept that they’ve learned.

First, invite them to begin a new project by tapping the plus sign and then giving the app permission to access the camera roll. Then, ask them to select and add the photos they want their presentation to include. They can choose photos from their own camera roll or choose others  by searching among the vetted resources that are included within the app, such as Flickr, Wikimedia, the Library of Congress and NASA. (Don’t worry about the credits; Shadow Puppet Edu will create the image credit citations at the end.)

Once students have chosen and added their images, they can then add a voice over narration. They can also choose to zoom in and out of photos as a story telling technique, or add fun animations to their presentation, such as shooting stars and flying hearts.

Your students can share their finished projects via social media, through email, or just save it their own camera roll.

To use Shadow Puppet Edu, download the free iOS app from the App Store. You do not need to create an account to use the app.

In Your Classroom

  • Ask students to demonstrate their Hebrew proficiency by showing a picture of an object along with a voice over recording themselves saying the Hebrew word for it.
  • Ask students to create an end-of-the-year slideshow that highlights their favorite projects and experiences from the year.

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

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April 24, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

I love stuff in the public domain – don’t you? ICYMI – the public domain means materials for which intellectual property rights don’t apply. In other words, it’s stuff you (and your students) can use in documents, videos, and other products. The New York Public Library has over 670,000 items that are in the public domain, and many of them are available online. For more info, visit the NYPL’s digital collection.

Here’s an iBook you can download to your iPad to help with finding educational content for iPads.

Ever wonder what nightingales singing by a river in Spain sounds like? How about American Tree Frogs in Indiana? To answer all your burning nature sound questions, visit Nature Soundmap, a collaborative project of over ninety professional nature recordists. For instance, here’s a lovely recording of marsh birds on a Sunday morning in Oregon:

January 8, 2016 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

If you have a little time on your hands, check out GoogleFeud. It’s a really interesting exploration about how society thinks. And a huge time suck, so buyer beware.

Want to find (or have your students find) articles at their reading level? This is cool – you can use Google’s search tools to help. Just put in your search terms, and on the results page, click on Search tools. Reading level should appear at the top of your screen. Clicking on Reading level will sort the results into Basic, Intermediate or Advanced – just click on the desired level and that’ll filter your results. For a step-by-step, check out this blog post.

If you want to easily create flash cards from a Google sheet (or, even better – have your students do it!), Flippity is a great place to start. Upload your sheet and automatically generate cards.

Hey! You know that Passover will be pretty soon, right? There are some terrific free resources online that you might want to check out. If you’re looking for some fun activities to do with toddlers and preschoolers, TCJewfolk have a very nice Seder kit that you can download for free. JewishBoston.com is also offering their free “The Wandering is Over” Haggadah.

If you have an iPad or a Macintosh computer with the iBooks app, take a moment to check out the amazing array of educational iBooks that you can download (most for free). The breadth of topics is simply mindboggling, and many books take advantage of the iPad’s multimedia capability to integrate video and audio besides text. You can browse the education collection using a computer here. Some of the books that caught my eye are:

To access iBooks on the iPad, open the iBooks app and visit the store. On a computer, go to the iTunes store.

Looking for templates to use with Google Slides? Check out Slide Carnival.

Here’s a terrific resource for your students (or you) to find copyright free photos to use with school projects. Even better – they come complete with an attribution caption. I love it!

NowComment is a cool website where you can create a document and then invite others to discuss it. Students and teachers can use their GAFE account to log in. Here’s a nice overview of it.

March 20, 2015 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , , , | Leave a comment

Adobe Voice

Crossposted from Behrman House’s Tech Tuesday email. Check out their great resources!

Kids love to tell stories. And teachers love an app that lets kids effortlessly choose photos or graphics, record their own stories and easily create an accompanying video.

Adobe Voice is free and surprisingly robust. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t get in your way – it’s simple and intuitive to use, doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary confusing features, and saves files in a format that you can easily share. Users can choose from a large variety of slide layouts, themes and music to enhance their stories. You can use the images that are in your personal camera roll, or you can search among Adobe Voice’s copyright-free image library (called “icons” in the app). There’s a nice selection of background music, too, or you can use music that’s already on your iPad.

Users need to use an Adobe ID (or sign in with Facebook credentials) to create Adobe Voice stories. You can sign up for an Adobe ID right in the app or do it via the adobe  website. Then, simply download Adobe Voice for your apple device. (Sorry – there’s no Android version right now.)

In Your Classroom

  • Have students bring in Jewish holiday family heirlooms and take photos of them holding them. Then, record the students talking about their object and how it’s important to their family.
  • Invite your students to retell a Bible story. Ask them to create between three and four drawing that depict important parts of that story. Then, use Adobe Voice to record students’ voices retelling the story to you, and add images of their drawing to accompany their telling.
  • Use Adobe Voice to create a tutorial for students struggling to learn how to pronounce prayers. Record yourself reciting the words to a prayer, and add imagery that relates to the meaning of the prayer.

March 4, 2015 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, iPads, Mobile devices and apps, Storytelling | , , , | Leave a comment

Week One: 5th and 6th graders word processing with iPads

We are piloting using shared iPads for word processing in two of our language arts classes this year, and my sincere hope is that it’s going to get better. Admittedly, one week is not exactly an indicator of anything (which is why pilot programs last more that, well, a week), but the rollout has already had its issues.

This rollout was done in conjunction with our adoption of Google Apps for Education. Part of the reason for instituting GAFE is that we had eight year old laptops that are coming close to well past their useful life, an I was hoping to avoid buying more laptops. We’re pretty much a Mac shop (for lots of reasons), and even the least expensive Mac Air is more money than I’d like to pop right now. And we’ve had tremendous success in many of our classes with iPads, so I was interested in seeing if iPads would meet the needs of our LA teachers.

If we were going 1:1 with take home in these classes, I wouldn’t have worried about what’s going to happen to the students’ documents, but we’re not (and I’m not sure I see that next year, either). So, in order for iPads to be used by multiple students, their documents have to have somewhere to go. Enter GAFE.

Well, that sounds fine, except that I had had little experience with relying on the Docs as a word processor. I’ve used Google Docs on a laptop, and wasn’t unhappy with it, but there’s quite a bit of difference between the Docs app and the web-based version. And I’m pretty sure Google doesn’t really care about making it more user-friendly, since they’re really interested in our purchasing Chromebooks…

Is there spell check for Google docs?But this is what I’ve got. I’ve got two LA classes with beautiful iPads (and standalone keyboards) and no spellcheck. That’s the text you want to get in the middle of a meeting… 

Well….um….no. Not exactly. There’s autocorrect, but that’s not the same thing. And if you’ve ever taught 5th and 6th grade, you know that “be sure to use spell check” comes out of your mouth a lot.

A lot.

Gulp. 

So for my play time today, I’ve been playing with Docs, Pages and Textilus on my iPad and Google docs on my laptop to come up with a suitable workaround that will be palatable to my LA colleagues and doable by my 5th and 6th graders.

Here are my findings:

The only place students should have to log into Google is in the Docs app…not Drive or Safari. This is important because these are shared devices, so where you log in you must log out.

Tip #1 – accessing a spellchecker while using Google Docs app:

If you do this, you get autocorrect, but you also get little red dots beneath words that don’t appear in the dictionary:

  1. Create a new document and tap on the three little dots on the right (under the battery indicator)
  2. Tap on Share and export, and select “Save as Word (.docx)
  3. Docs will save your document as a new Word document with the .docx file extension. The original one is still there (with no file extension), so your kids will have to know which one to open. 
  4. If you click on the little red dots now, you should see a checkmark next to Spellcheck.

Tip #2 — creating content using the Pages app and then saving to Google Docs

Pages on the iPad is lovely. The problem is that Pages documents are saved on the device itself, and aren’t available to the student outside of school. And, since multiple students could be using any one iPad at one time, the documents aren’t secure. A workaround is:

Make sure the student has logged into Docs

  1. Create a document in Pages, and then tap on the rectangle with the up arrow on it. This icon generally indicates a way to share or move an item.
  2. Choose “Open in Another App.” 
  3. Tap on Word, and then Pages will convert the document. 
  4. When the conversion completes, tap on “Choose App” at the bottom of the next box. 
  5. Choose “Open in Docs,” and you should get a box asking if it’s okay to Upload Item to My Drive?
  6. Tap on Upload. The document will be available in the student’s Google Drive

Google – please add a real spell check to the Docs app, or next year it’s Macbook Airs for us. 

August 30, 2014 Posted by | G Suite (GAFE), iPads | , , | 1 Comment

   

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