Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Instructional Technology Resource Update

Hello fabulous teachers! I have listed below the top instructional resources that I have learned about recently. All new website links are also posted on  I hope you will scroll through the resources, and to pick out one or two new things to try out! I attended the NCTIES (NC Technology in Education Society) Conference in March, so I learned about a lot of the resources below from the presentations I attended!

ZooBurst (via Tammy Worcester)
"ZooBurst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books. Readers who have a webcam installed on their computer can also experience any ZooBurst book in Augmented Reality. As an educational tool, ZooBurst provides students with new ways in which they can tell stories, deliver presentations, write reports and express complex ideas."

An example of a ZooBurst book in Spanish for practicing prepositions that I found online is below. There are so many things that you could do with this site in a World Language class! Here are some ideas for what students could make for assignments or teachers could make for teaching a lesson:
  • Children's books
  • Alphabet books
  • Number books
  • Color books
  • "How To" books to practice the imperative tense
  • Weather books
  • Vacation books (to practice the past tense)
  • Books on cultural topics.

"Simply type the speech for each slide, instead of recording it, and HelloSlide automagically generates the audio. It gives more exposure to your presentations, making them searchable, editable, and available in 20 different languages."

This is a great way to have your students practice their writing in the TL. I think that they will get a kick out of hearing it read by a native speaker when they have finished. It is an engaging alternative to PowerPoint for teacher lessons and student presentations!

BlogBooker (via Richard Byrne)
"BlogBooker produces a high-quality PDF Blog Book from all your blog's entries and comments.
Archives can be generated from any blog running on WordPress, LiveJournal (and derivatives) or Blogger."

If your students have a blog, they can turn all of their entries into a PDF book at the end of the year as a portfolio.As a teacher, you could turn your blog posts into a book as proof of reflection for your yearly teacher evaluation

Tape-a-Talk Voice Recorder - Android Apps on Google Play (Via Richard Byrne)
"Tape-a-Talk is a high quality voice recorder with many extra features."

This app would be an awesome tool for students to use to practice speaking in the target language. They could do voice recordings, listen to themselves and see if they want to re-record, and send their recording to you.

Audio Memos Free - The Voice Recorder
"Audio Memos is a voice recorder for the iPhone and iPad. What you'll really like about Audio Memos, is that you can actually HEAR your recordings (try it and compare, you'll hear what we mean). It's also easy to use, with a simple and intuitive interface."

This is the voice recorder app that I use on my iPhone and I really like it. It is similar to "Tape-a-Talk".

PaceRecorder - Android Apps on Google Play (via Richard Byrne)
"The PaceRecorder is a voice recorder equipped with a simple pace indicator. It requires 10 seconds of you speaking to register your pace. It will show different colors so you can understand your speaking pace:
Blue=relaxed Green=balanced Red=excited"

I have not tried out this App yet in French, or Spanish since I don't have an Android myself, but if it is measuring pace, I would think that it should work in any language. This would be a good tool for students that get nervous doing presentations in the TL. They could practice first using this App. It would also let them know if they were speaking too quickly or too slowly. (via Tammy Worchester)
"AirPlay mirror your iPhone 4S, iPad 2, or iPad 3 to any Mac running OS X 10.6+, wirelessly!"

This app is awesome! You can pull up items on your device to show on your computer screen, and walk around your classroom at the same time. Normally, I only post about free resources on my blog, but this one was so cool that I just had to share it anyways. Unfortunately this app is not free, but it might be worth the investment if you are going to use it everyday in your classroom, or for professional development presentations. There is a time-limited trial so that you can try reflection, or you can purchase it for $14.99.

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