Showing posts from March, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Toontastic!

Toontastic is another one of those apps we used "way back when" that was free (with paid add-on packs) but went to an all paid model and is now back to free... ALL free.  Google bought the company awhile ago and now EVERY "playset" and feature that used to cost money is FREE.  

Students can create cartoons with scenes.  It defaults to 5 scenes but you can delete the ones you don't need or you can add more if necessary.  Each one has a category (setup, conflict, challenge, etc.) to guide a full story but the individual scenes can be whatever you want them to be... they're all the same.

The first time students go through the app, you'll want the sound to be on (with headphones probably!) because it walks students step by step through the process of creating their cartoon.  There are all kinds of background scenes to choose from... great for stories about community, animal habitats, biomes or even th…

Throwback Thursday: Shadow Puppet Edu

iTunes link
Shadow Puppet Edu is an app that Amy blogged about back in July of 2014 and has since entered into our top 10 recommended apps for using in a classroom. We always jokingly (but truthfully) tell people, "It has nothing to do with shadows OR puppets." I consider it a more robust and user friendly version of 30 Hands, with more functionality. It has nice, big buttons so it's easier to use for a kindergarten or 1st grade student than something like iMovie, 30 Hands, or Doceri. It is a great way for students to create videos simply, and talk about their learning.
Shadow Puppet offers the ability to: Add photo, video, and slide pagesRecord voiceover narration, add music, or both Record voiceover as you flip through your photosChoose a background song or a song from iTunes libraryAdd text titlesChoose font, color, size, position, and animationDraw on screen and interact with your images as you recordDraw with pointer toolsZoom in/out, pan, swipe between images

Global Project - Awesome Squiggles K12 Collaborative Art Project

The Awesome Squiggles K12 Collaborative Art Project looks like an easy (and fun!) way for students to practice being Global Citizens (a GCISD Portrait of a Graduate trait!)  The objectives as stated on the project's website are to:

Build friendships among students from diverse backgroundsPractice speaking and listening skills with audiences of different perspectivesEmpower students to share their creativity with the worldWhen you sign up, you get to choose how involved you want to be with the project.  There is a level 1 with social sharing only and a level 2 with class to class collaboration. Step by step instructions can be found here:
Registration closes this Friday, March 25th so be sure to get signed up now!

QR Codes, Sharing and YouTube

QR Codes, Sharing and YouTube
Sharing a YouTube Video Using a Link

1. When sharing a YouTube video using a link, the full link must be used. This is the link found in the address bar on the browser. 

2. To make a QR code of a YouTube video, the video must be visible to students (it must be unblocked first. See blog post on Unblocking a YouTube video) and the full URL of the video must be used. The shortened URL will not work. 
QR Codes with YouTube 

QR reader apps redirect YouTube videos to an unrestricted level of YouTube instead of the restricted education configuration in GCISD. They therefore won’t work on our district network. The QR codes will work fine for any device not on our network. 

To correct this issue GCISD: 

1. Log into YouTube from within the QR reader being used. Though you may already be logged into Google on that device, once you scan a code you don’t actually go to YouTube. The video is viewed from within the actual scan app so the scan app is where you’ll need …

GCISD YouTube Settings

Tips and Settings When Using YouTube in the Classroom
Complete guidelines can be found here
**When using YouTube for GCISD business, use only your GCISD Google login and your GCISD YouTube channel** GCISD student YouTube accounts remain filtered at the current GCISD restriction level.As a classroom teacher, please use your GCISD teacher account.Check that all videos shown in class are appropriate and are within the guidelines of the campus policy. If you intend for your students to watch a video on their student devices, please verify that the video is unblocked for students to watch from their GCISD studentaccounts.Using a computer and a browser, default upload settings can be set in advance for your channel using the Video Manager in YouTube. The default channel upload settings apply only to videos you upload from a browser on a computer (laptop, desktop). In addition, the settings for each individual video can be changed.Privacy: Unlisted Category: Education Comments and Ratings: Turne…

Scribble Press Deluxe - Creative Book Maker for Kids

Scribble Press Deluxe
Elementary teachers may remember the Scribble Press app from the first days of iPads in GCISD back in 2011.  It was originally free but went to a paid model in 2012.  Last November they released an all new updated version of the app and it is currently free!  All elementary students should now be able to go to the Purchased section of their App Store and load the new Scribble Press Deluxe - Creative Book Maker for Kids on their iPad.  

Scribble Press Deluxe is a great app that students can use to create books but it's not just for stories!  Here's some ideas for using Scribble Press in all content areas:
Math - Use as a math journal throughout the year to illustrate and explain concepts.Science - Create a book to explain a science experiment. Use pictures from the actual lab to illustrate. Create books to explain a topic to younger students.SS - Create biographies of famous Americ…

Throwback Thursday/Tips from our Readers: EDpuzzle

Today's blog comes from Lu Adkins, 6th grade STEM math teacher at GMS. is a free web based tool, much like Blendspace, that will allow you to take a YouTube or other video and include audio notes and questions for your student to answer. It also will allow you to crop the video to what length or portion you desire. 

The greatness about EDpuzzle is that it links directly with Google Classroom. You can import your classes from Google Classroom and assign the videos directly from EDpuzzle to your classes or provide a link for your students. It's great if you are out for a day.  Your students can still be provided with content with your voice overs guiding them on the videos. I do a "flipped" classroom and this is one of the programs I am use currently. 

To learn more about all the features in EDpuzzle, check out Angie's blog post here:

Do you have s…