Saturday, January 28, 2017

PhotoScan by Google

Last week, Kerissa Bearce wrote a post on Google Photos. You can read the initial post here

 Google recently released a new app to make the Google Photo experience even better.  The app is PhotoScan by Google and it allows you to move your print images to the digital world!  Using the app, you simply snap a picture of your picture, rotate your phone following the onscreen prompts and your photos are automatically cropped, rotated, and color corrected.  Photos can be saved to your camera roll or sync to your Google Photo account (and if you aren't using Google Photos, then you may be missing out a photo storage solution that changes the way you interact with your photo memories).  PhotoScan is both an Android and iOS app.  You can read more about this app here.

If you would like a quick tutorial video, I've created a quick screencast to show you how to use this scanning tool .

This app would be a great way to capture high-quality scans of students work to add to their Google Drive to include in their e-portfolio.

Happy scanning!


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Draw & Tell HD

Draw and Tell HD is a powerful app for students PreK-4th grade. This app promotes creativity while providing a platform for students to share and document their learning.

Students can draw and tell using stickers, text, and drawings to express their thoughts on a variety of backgrounds or an image from the camera roll. The product saves in Draw & Tell, but can save to the camera roll and Google Drive as well.
Students can choose stickers,
patterns, paint, pencil or crayon.
Students select a background

Ideas for using Draw and Tell HD in the classroom:

*Students will take a picture of their work (paper or digital) and record a verbal reflection to save on Google Drive for student ePortfolios.

*Students will color a picture to use as a story starter for writing.
Students can draw and tell about community helpers.
*Students will take a picture of a special event or project, then record a verbal reflection.

*Students will record ideas from a thinking map when planning a story. Students can listen to the verbal reflection to support the writing process and promote language acquisition.

*Students will design a picture using stickers to create a story problem in math.

*Students will draw a picture to show learning of a specific topic or skill.
Students can app smash using Number Pieces,
combine images using PicCollageKids,
then upload to Draw and Tell HD to explain.
*Students will take a picture of text and record the read aloud to practice and document fluency.

How do your students use Draw and Tell HD to amplify their learning?

**Check out other apps from Duck Duck Moose for learning tools in your classroom.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Google Photos

Ever have that feeling that you know you should be backing up your photos and videos from your phone but there are too many options and ways to do it? Or then your photos will be all over the place in different locations and hard to search and find? And wouldn't you rather have all your photos right next to your heart in your handy dandy phone? This is what I do. But then I see a friend lose a phone or shatter it and lose all those precious memories. Oh, the horror!

Introducing Google Photos (unless you already use it, then welcome back). Google Photos is an app for your phone or tablet device that will back up your camera roll photos and videos to the cloud (Google Drive in this case). It's completely free and the only limit is your storage on Drive. In our educator accounts, we have so much storage, you'll often hear us say it's unlimited. It's not, but it's so big, you couldn't possibly fill it up. On your personal Gmail accounts, you may have a limit of somewhere from 10GB-20GB.

Install the Google Photos App. Once you log in, there are options to back up & sync your photos. Just imagine using this in any elementary classroom. If students installed and synced Google Photos on their iPad, any photo or video they have in their camera roll would automagically go to their Google Drive. 

In the image on the above right, you can see in Google Drive where the Google Photos button resides. It is similarly placed on the iPad Google Drive app.

In addition to that great use for students, Google Photos also has a great search function. You can type 'dog at the beach' if you know you have photos somewhere of your dog at the beach and it should pop up. It can also easily create animations, collages and movies using Google Assistant in the app.

Give it a try and let us know how it goes!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Let's Recap Updates

In October, I wrote about Let's Recap that is a web-based application or as an iPad app for students. You can read the full blog post here.  Here are some of the ways Let's Recap is being used in the district:
  • Counting by 5s to 100
  • reading a passage for two minutes for teachers to assess fluency
  • Foreign language teachers having students respond to prompts to practice speaking fluency
  • Book reviews by genre
  • Exit ticket where students explain a process
  • and so many more ways!

Let's Recap is in its first year and in still in beta form. Since beginning in February 2016, there are now over 500,000 users! As expected of a beta program, Let's Recap is listening to suggestions and making changes!  They just released an update with exciting changes.

After students respond to a Recap prompt, a video reel is created. Previously, teachers were unable to edit the video created. Not anymore!  There is now an edit option on the daily reel.

Once edit is selected, you can select which students' videos should appear in your reel. You can also turn off the music and graphics that Let's Recap adds to the video reel. 

This new customization allows teachers flexibility in deciding the number of video responses included in the reel as well as selecting the responses that best represent a topic or use of the summary reel. 

The other new update is the addition of a specific due date. Prior to the update, teachers could select a closing date of 24 hours, two weeks, etc.  Now, a specific due date and time can be selected for each Recap assignment.   

Want to see how others are using Let's Recap? Check out these blog posts!

Project Based Learning: Essential questions and Many Uses of Recap by Rachelle Dene Poth (although this article is written through the lens of using it for responding to Essential Questions, the same concept would apply to using Let's Recap for student voice!  Imagine actually hearing their voice through video reflections rather than a survey.)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Windows MovieMaker12

Windows Movie Maker (for students who use a Dell computer, grades 6 - 8) is a great tool for students to easily edit their movies.  There are many video editing extensions and apps available, but many times they only allow 2 to 3 minutes of video or they end up costing after a certain amount of videos have been created.
Students can download Movie Maker from LANDESK.

Select the window icon in the bottom left of your computer. Click LANDESK Management > LANDESK Workspaces. (as shown in image below)

If Launchpad appears, click the 3 lines in the upper left.
You should now see Self Service > Select Software Catalog.
Search or scroll for Movie Maker > Click Install. MovieMaker should begin installing to your computer.
Once installed, search or select All Apps to find Movie Maker.  

Using Movie Maker
The one drawback to MovieMaker is that you must Save your Project!  Students will need to Click File > Save Project.  

The menu bar allows for quick editing of video.
Add videos, photos and music from Home menu bar.
Add transitions using the Animations menu.
Change the look of your video using Visual Effects.
Emphasize narration, video or music in video using Project Menu.
Play video Full screen; view Waveforms (audio) using View Menu.
Trim Video and adjust the speed of clips using the Edit Menu. 
Videos can be saved to students computer (from Home Menu) and then uploaded to Google Drive.  (YouTube requires a Microsoft account.  Students will need to save to their computer, then upload to YouTube or Google Drive.)  I would choose "Recommended for this project".

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