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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

89 cool apps, sites, and tools for teaching

iPad is a Wi-Fi 64 GB version (another one beh...
Whether using tablets, droids, or devices, take time to experiment and use something new. It might just be the mood boost you need. Here are 89 ideas for you. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you use tablets and other devices, the nature of them requires you to be a teacherpreneur, or one who innovates, selects, and customizes your classroom.

A great way to add interest to the classroom (especially while spring testing is happening) is to introduce or play with a new tool. You need a break of scenery and your students do too!

Sometimes it is what you need to grab their attention as you review something important. 

One thing is for sure, there is no excuse to hand them a boring worksheet. For this post, I've delved through my lists of apps, websites, and tools that I keep in Diigo to give you teacherpreneurs out there some things to play with! Enjoy and feel free to share your favorites in the comments. Note that many of these are apps, Ios, Android, and some are websites. Play as you learn, it is the best way!
  1. Flipboard is an excellent tool (now it has curated magazines you can distribute for your classes.) It is a wonderful RSS reader and monitoring tool.
  2. This app is by Techsmith, makers of camtasia. Right now it is free. You can import PDFS and use screenshots. Powerful tool that is free. 
  3. KNowmania is a very cool website which now has an app. You'll want to look at the online site, but if you're looking at flipping and have detailed screencasts, etc, this is a nice site. It is also an interesting app to have children use to create their own screencasts. "Knowmia Teach is a new free lesson planning and recording tool for teachers. It helps you create short video lessons on any subject and publish them on Knowmia.com so your students and the public can find them. Knowmia Teach makes it easy to bring in visual aids from multiple sources, organize them in steps (like slides in a presentation) an"
  4. What makes this app interesting is that you can use the whiteboard, but you can also record and record things "or over video streaming** without changing of application". So, you can record what you're doing and it records what you're doing and voice and drawings. Fascinating app but a tad more expensive at $4.99
  5. This tutorial maker has a nifty groups function ($5 per month) that lets teachers create groups, etc. It is designed and billed as a "flipped classroom" tool to make it easy to record, etc. For teachers who struggle with flipping, this would be a good solution to test. The app is free to try.
  6. This app "records your writing and voice" and sends it to YouTube for you. NOte that I've found that large files from ipads can sometimes be hard to upload to YouTube so Dropbox is important and was recently added to a new version of this. For me, Dropbox Integration is a must-use for any app.
  7. This app does one thing well - you quick draw and record. It saves it to your camera roll and then you take it from there (can upload to dropbox, etc.) "The app records your voice as you draw to create quick presentations. Doodlecast Pro saves videos to the camera roll making it easy to import them into popular video editors or presentation tools such as iMovie, Keynote, or iBooks Author. Perfect for teachers, students, business"
  8. You can screencast and create from your ipad using Explain everything. It currently costs $2.99 in iTunes. Pretty robust editor.
  9. Very cool way to get your Kindle notes into evernote. I use evernote for EVERYTHING and Kindle is my main ebook reader.
  10. If you use Diigo but are researching a certain topic for a book or term paper and also use Evernote, I recommend setting up an ifttt.com recipe similar to this one I'm using for my collaborative writing book. Everything tagged "collaborative writing" goes automatically to my collaborative writing book. You could use this for a course. You could take everything on Diigo tagged with the course number into a notebook (or into a Google spreadsheet, for that matter.) There are many other sources of information you can use to collect information on a topic in one place. 
  11. Interesting new tool that lets you overlay and tag people, etc. in a video. There are interesting (and some scary) applications for this. This is one of those sites you'll want to play with. The neat thing is that you can add tags to objects as well. This could have some fascinating applications for flipping the classroom. "The tool is free to use, so everything you saw in the video example I sent would be possible when you sign in to wireWAX studio. The only limitation for a free user is the size of the overlay is limited to 200px by 200px, but apart from that we hope there is plenty of scope to do as much creative stuff as you like, from using the overlay boxes or the inbuilt widgets (Flickr, Instagram, Youtube, Facebok, Twitter etc). 
  12. A Video mail sharing site where you flip and send video back and forth. Toni said she'd like to try it with students. This would be interesting to try. This is better than text email for families separated by time - you can do a video message. Interesting. There are also apps for it. If you can't skype, consider using eyejot
  13. Fascinating tool that lets you upload data and make predictions. This would have been a lifesaver in 1990 when I took "Artificial Intellegence Applications in Market Research" at Georgia Tech. IF you are working with predictive modeling at the college level, you should look at the powerful feature set available here.
  14. A new website that many are discussing. I love using BAckchannels in my classroom and thus far have used Chatzy and Ning chat, however, this website is designed for real time chat for classrooms. You can mute and remove comments, it has a profanity filter and also a full transcript so you can go back and assess participation and weaknesses. You can set the chat to discontinue when you leave. When I review for tests, I always like to use a backchannel because I can ask questions and we can document answers and the students can save as notes. This is a great tool. I'll be testing the free chat room this week. I've heard from some of our Flat Classroom(r) certified teachers that this is a create tool.
  15. There are some cool new features in the Kindle app - in addition to xray and notebook (previous feature upgrades) you have multi-colored highlighting, brightness sync across devices and a prompt to rate a book when finished (I like this one because, perhaps, more REAL people will rate amidst many book reviewers who are either biased for or against an author for undisclosed reasons.) Update that iOS or Droid Kindle app or whatever device it is on. 
  16. YEs, they are here. Smart furniture. This is the smart table. Expect to see desks and more as we begin to merge our technology with everything around us. This would make a great unit for a demo or cool interactive learning center. " SMART Table® 442i collaborative learning center. Publicly unveiled at the British Education Technology Conference in London today, the SMART Table features an engaging 360 degree, multitouch surface with a brilliant 106.68 cm (42") high-definition 1080p LCD display. The SMART Table enables up to eight students to interact simultaneously and actively collaborate to achieve shared learning goals."
  17. (Android app) I met a girl working at GameStop who is a college student. She was furiously working with a somewhat beat up Galaxy Tab. I talked to her about what she used and she said that Handy Notes ROCKED. She got her Caseen stylus and showed me what she was doing and I loved it. She said that she had a whole semester's worth of notes. She took notes in this and went back to her dorm and printed off the notes so she could highlight and study them but that when she needed to review, she could. I have to admit, I was quite envious. There are some classes I took that I'd love to have in evernote. If you use a Droid, I'd recommend trying out handy notes. This is a link to the app review on Android Authority.
  18. term.ly is the companion website for the terminology app for the ipad/ iphone. You can also shorten and share definitions. The main problem I had is if you use a diigo box, the search box tries to take over the words. Nice clean dictionary.
  19. IF you tweet or share a to a lot of apps, this app, Drafts will connect to just about anything. Type it, then decide where to send it, or you can save your most inspirational items to tweet, Facebook, or wherever later. It links with evernote, twitter, facebook, app.net, email, messages, calendars, dropbox, evernote, bufferapp, toodledoo and more (as well as ifttt.com integration.) I'm still learning about all the ways to use this handy tool. The only thing I wish it did is that I could add to it from the web and then see it on my ipad.
  20. Billed as a mobile search engine - this allows for quick searching from a mobile device... "This new search app, which works universally on both iPhone and iPad, is built upon the independent search engine DuckDuckGo, which we also use to provide search through the MacStories archives. DuckDuckGo is a pretty innovative and ambitious search engine, which distinguishes itself from big competitors with accurate, plainly listed and pre-sorted search results, diversified search suggestions, and an extensive amount of useful shortcuts to quicken the search process. Bang On focuses on one specific of those syntax shortcuts: !bang. With this exclamation mark syntax, you can search specific sites like Google, Wikipedia or YouTube by entering for instance “!google” with you search.
  21. If you have a wordpress blog, this app - Poster - is an app that many seem to love for wordpress. Worth a download if you're on wordpress. (I use blogpress because it is compatible with blogger but this app looks more feature rich than blogpress.) I am thinking this would work with edublogs - it is worth a try for those of you blogging in a 1:1 ipad environment.
  22. Day One as been named the Mac App Store 2012 mac of the year. This personal journaling tool helps you write and record your life. Right now I'm using vJournal as it syncs with Evernote but I'm considering a swap to Day 1 just because it is BEAUTIFUL. I just get nervous about putting things in an app if it can't export -- this might be able to - but I'm looking into it. It is worth a mention because the CEO of Twitter is using it every day and tweeted and endorsement recently.
  23. This is a reminders app that streamlines the reminders process for the iphone/ ipad. I like the fact it has repeating reminders and you can easily reschedule. I've found the native reminders app a bit cumbersome in the iphone/ ipad and don't use it.
  24. So many cool calendars and apps for the Mac. Thinking my next computer will be one, although I totally love and recommend my Think Center m90z as a great touch-screen computer for the family. Fantastical is a natural language calendar app for the Mac and you can try it for free.
  25. iPad schools that are also Google Apps will love that the new updates for iOS let you edit google docs simultaneously much like you do on the web! Great news.
  26. How to enable offline Google Drive (GoogleDoc) editing and some droid features. As always, Chrome works best with these features. Test them out and try them. Also, you'll want to download the Drive App on your Droid or Apple device.
  27. The "official" announcement of Google Drive which is a mesh of dropbox -like storage and a built in editor of all kinds of things (formerly Google Docs.) You can "install" Google Drive but don't have to to usethe services. Don't get confused, it is still Google Docs, although I've found an enhanced drawing feature in Docs when testing with my students this week.
  28. Podomatic has a new free fast tool called "minicast" where you create a slideshow with photos and videos. 
  29. Create talking photos and slideshows.
  30. Aviary has so many great tools including Myna, a collaborative audio editor.
  31. A tool that makes it very easy to write on maps. You can put markers, widgets, and put text easily on the map as well as exporting it to Google Earth or Google maps. This is a great tool for children. You shouldn't use paper maps for Geography projects, particularly if you're in a 1:1 program. Try this app instead.
  32. A fascinating way that allows you to shoot and upload video that is integrated with Google drive. While there is a free version, there are also paid versions for higher capacity requirements. This allows online video editing and easy sharing with social media. This may be the resource we've been looking for collaborative video editing.
  33. You can merge your spreadsheets with data on the web by using Google fusion tables. I'm going to be taking my spreadsheets further and learn how to do this.
  34. Here are some ideas of what Mark is doing for sharing work, I have my students create the blog that suits their personal interest project. While Tumblr is nice for blogging, I have older students and monitor it closely - most schools would not find a good fit in tumblr, I think. Good ideas here, though.
  35. There are some great apps for music production. I have students use my iphone to record voice overs for their movies. The very best "sound" studio I have is my car - I can pull it up and let them record without background noise. You couldn't do this at most schools, though, but if you have something to record, I highly recommend it.
  36. For each of my online modules, MentorMob allows me to create annotated, step-by-step reading/viewing lists that I can easily embed into my course LibGuides. So, I’ve been able to gather stuff from my desktop and from the web–sites, presentations, videos, images, surveys and articles–and pull them all together in a sequence my students will be able to work through them over the course of a week. Playlists can be collaborative, tagged for easier discovery, shared with social networks, commented on and rated.  A Firefox extension allows for on-the-fly additions. MentorMob also allows for the creation of multiple-choice and yes/no quizzes.
  37. This website lets you mashup and create new feeds from existing ones. Take some time to manipulate feeds into smaller ones and you'll be glad you did.
  38. A service that filters feeds for certain keywords. This is a fascinating way to drill down into feeds that have a lot of content but you just want some of it.
  39. This Feed flitering service will pull out spam and profanity - great to try for those who are behind firewalls and concerned about inappropriate content getting through.
  40. An app that uses your Twitter account to make magazines.
  41. Scribefire is a wonderful blogging tool that lets you blog as a popup on your browser screen.I find it very useful for "how to" posts.
  42. Information on Google Drive including a video about how the service works. I'm setting it up with my Google Docs and will let you know if it is a viable alternative to dropbox.
  43. Detailed instructions for installing pocket onto any web browser including for mobile devices.
  44. Instructions for adding Pocket (formerly read it later) to the safari web browser. This is the sole competitor for Instapaper in my opinion. Cool App.
  45. Instructions for adding a safari bookmarklet for just about every service (except Diigo) on Chris Bray's website. If you have an ipad or iphone and want to send things to your Tumblr blog you can follow these instructions. (For pinterest, go to the Pinterest website.)
  46. Reddit is increasingly a site where technology news breaks as well as having a tight integration with top technology sites like Twit.tv (they use Reddit to curate topics for the show.) This app is the highest recommended app for using reddit on the ipad and for that reason I've installed it.
  47. Tweetcaster is receiving some notice for the ability to drill through search results. While hootsuite and bufferapp remain some power tools for me on my ipad, this cute little app is free and is worth a try.
  48. This web browser for the ipad integrates tightly with dropbox. If you want to download and save to dropbox from your ipad web browser, this is worth it.
  49. Feel on is only available for android via Google play but turns your twitter stream into comics. Good for a laugh but it also lets you post comics as you tweet (and post to Facebook too.)
  50. I love reading "must own" apps lists. I agree that Yelp is essential but still need to upgrade to pocket. It is on my to do list. I use twitter but prefer hootsuite althought it did give me problems at iste on my iphone.
  51. Display recorder is a cool app that lets you record everything on your ipad screen. This is a demo. I found out about this at socialedcon during our smackdown. Unfortunately it has been taken down out of the app store for some reason, but I'll mention it because it was there.
  52. You should read this page if you're at ISTE and if you're not. It is created using Smore - an app recommended at the smackdown today. It includes many of the other events of iste that you'll want to join.
  53. Not sure how I missed the April announcement that Read it Later has been rebranded as Pocket but I kept seeing "pocket" in my RSS readers, Zite, etc. and got curious. Pocket (theh competitor to instapaper) allows you to save websites you see on your mobile device to read later like a magazine on devices like your ipad, droid device, kindle fire, or even your web browser (if you read on your laptop still.) I've seen many use this on their laptop and send it to Pocket or Instapaper to read on their ipad later.
  54. A new social network around scrapbooking called Wollage to share memories. This might be a great one for using this summer.
  55. Another lesson deployment app for the iPad that you can compare to NearPod. Another one worth testing.
  56. For app programmers out there, this book is free today. It will teach you how to build Windows 8 apps with HTML5 and Javascript and is free May 2, 2012. “Metro Revealed: building Windows 8 apps with HTML 5 and JavaScript”
  57. Socrative is an app that turns any device into part of a student response system. Not sure why I haven't written about before as it has won all kinds of awards. If you have BYOD or iPad or any type of 1:1 technology, Socrative is a must use so you don't have to buy a separate response system.
  58. Monster list of iBooks tutorials and resources http://t.co/bGIG0fDa #edtech #ebook #edapp #flatclass
  59. Awesome! You can now create a public URL for ANY file in dropbox (not just those in your public folder) to share with anyone. It is a very easy system as Richard Byrne shares in this post.) Great news. Dropbox is my favorite "go to" app for making my classroom paperless.
  60. An excellent list of Chrome extensions. I'm such a productivity fanatic, I've found that the lightning fast Google chrome and a FEW extensions are all I need to get everything done. Firefox's last few builds have just been laggy and very slow for me, not sure why, but I now prefer Chrome.
  61. RT @GlenviewMath: "Wanted you to know Geometry Pad is new and free." Thanks! http://t.co/7AWDwrcK #edapp
  62. The "A week in the life" elementary Flat Classroom project is using Popplet to jumpstart collaboration in a "non threatening, risk free environment" according to Donna Roman at our book club meeting tonight. She says it is great to have low hurdles when you start.
  63. A free Skype tutorial for those getting started. This is a  wonderful entry level communication tool to get started with communicating with classrooms around the world.
  64. Adobe has been adding some powerful features lately to their tools. This is a video about Content Collector tools in In Design CS6 - making it easier to pull content together.
  65. Instagram is on Android with support for Facebook Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare but not Flickr. Increasingly, pictures are being shared due to the proliferation of websites like pinterest. It is a free app and a great way to share photographs from your phone.
  66. Go to the quiet place (hat tip Angela Maiers.) some of you could be using this right now.
  67. My very smart friend, Jarrod Robinson, from down under, has a PE games app.He is a PE teacher using QR codes and cross disciplinary learning experiences like few I've ever seen.(Plus he's nice and funny too.) If you work with Physical Education, you'll want to check out what he's doing.
  68. Better file converter than zamzar. (Hat tip to Richard Byrne - free tech for teachers) because it doesn't require email.
  69. An excellent screencaster- you can post to YouTube or send wherever. You don't need to install software to run this one.
  70. A timeline maker - it will also let you compare timelines.
  71. Here's a Chrome add in that should be part of gmail. It shows an icon to display what the attachment file format is.
  72. You can mark and annotate youtube videos with a customized player to mark sections, etc. This embed plus tool is a fascinating one to use with students and in blog posts.
  73. A free research tool that lets you collaborate with other researchers and collaborate. You can import papers as well.
  74. Open source free screen recording software. I've used it in my classes as a substitute for Camtasia.
  75. This free tool lets you give handouts to your students and make assignments. Just got an email from the owner and it is now free.
  76. Study blue now has ways that students can compare their answers to those of other students. This is a very popular flashcard sharing site, but I must admit I'm intrigued by what they are doing here.
  77. Share your screen instantly with this website. All you need is a browser to share it and anyone can view (even those on a smartphone.) 
  78. Spalshtop whiteboard comes from the Splashtop desktop product. I use splashtop to connect to my pc's from my ipad. If this is as good as the app, it is a great option.
  79. New feature on Google admin to make other types of administrators. What a relief!
  80. An excellent video about Google lit trips and how it works.
  81. Online Stickies - lino
    A sticky note account. I may use this for my pkflow method that uses stickys. This website lets you have a page with online stickys and notes. Cool tool that reminds me of corkulous on the ipad.
    tags: education app webapp productivity technology edu_newapp
  82. A website where people share knowledge. This was listed as an important website for learning. I haven't explored it yet, but hope that some of you will share what you're doing in the comments.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Will you please add your apps, lists, and tools in the comments so others can read them and get more ideas? What will interject excitement for learning?
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