Friday, February 24, 2012

Scribble Press (Part II)


Yes, I have spoken about Scribble Press before, but now I want to show you what it can really do. This app really has a lot of potential for some exciting projects. (This is an iPad only app.) I stopped by Mrs. Jackson's class (third grade) today and she happened to mention to me the work her students are doing with Scribble Press. She has students using it to create stories, make illustrations, and even create non-fiction style pieces. I have a couple of examples for you to check out:

Martin Luther King Jr.

The Crazy Monkey

You could make about any project in your classroom come to life with this app. Students can easily record events for a science project, make a book about a social studies topic, create picture vocabulary books, or even show story problems in math.

Thanks, Mrs. Jackson, for sharing these with me today. I love seeing cool projects the students are creating. Keep them coming! :)


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Legal Pictures???

One of the big topics that has been flying around the Internet realm is the question of legal online property. We have all been guilty (especially me) of grabbing a picture from Google, Yahoo, Bing, you name it without giving proper credit. Believe it or not, many of those pictures are not fair game. It reminds me of the year 1999 when Napster was big. Tons of people were downloading music for free...because it was there. Now the same question has come up about images and who owns the rights to that property.

As I've been doing some digging, I started making a list of good educational websites (will forward to it to you by request). I came across one called Morgue File. If you are having your students download pictures for projects, this site provides free pictures. You can also give credit where credit is due if need be. It gives directions on how to go about doing that.

I have tested it a little as to the "safety" for our young ones' eyes. Thus far, I have found fewer issues than using Bing. However, that doesn't mean that someone couldn't just upload some inappropriate pictures. Please be aware that the internet is always changing, and such things happen because we will always have people that ruin it for everyone else. I hope that the content of this website stays fairly "clean." Have I found some materials that are not the safest, yes.

Another website that is more on the safe side but does not have near the library is Again, this is a site dedicated to free image content. This site does more filtering and is more careful about what is posted.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Storylines for Schools

Last week I came across a fun app that I think would work great for students that need to work on sentence writing. Storylines is actually a game I had played with a bunch of friends over Christmas Break. There was a large group of people, and each of us had a packet of papers all bound together with a ring so that the pages would easily flip. We started out by writing a sentence on the first page. After about a minute, we passed the booklet to the next person. That person would read the sentence, flip the page, and illustrate the sentence. After about a minute, we would all pass the papers around the circle to the next person, and that person would observe the illustration. As soon as they were ready, they had to attempt to write a sentence that matched the drawing. It is kind of like the old telephone game, except everyone participated at the same time, and we had paper and pencils.

Storylines is exactly the same except in app form. (By the way, I am referring to Storylines for Schools. Not the regular Storylines app.) The students could sit in circles of three, five, seven, or nine. They would start by writing a sentence. Then when the teacher directs, they could pass it clockwise to the next person, and that student would have to illustrate it. The third person would then write a sentence describing the illustration. They would continue to do this until they get their device back. In the end, they will get some wacky sentences and illustrations. I think the kids will love it! It would even make a fun activity for morning work.

Here is a slideshow to give you an idea of how it works:


[contact-form] [contact-field label="How do you think you could use this app?" type="textarea" required="true" /] [/contact-form]

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

QR Codes

While Zack and I were at the FETC conference, some creative ideas started flowing and now we have a big project in mind. Many of you have used a QR code scanner on your iPad or smartphone. If you haven't tried it, there are plenty of free ones in the app store. What a QR scanner does is send text or a URL to the device and the device decodes it for you. What we are thinking about doing is creating a database of books being read aloud. So far our only recordings are of me (Lance) reading a few various books. We would like more participants eventually. We would like teachers, students, and parents to record themselves reading one of their favorite picture books, and sending it to us in mp3 format. (If you are not sure how to do that, instructions will come in the future.) We will then take the files, host them on a website, and create QR codes for each of the links. The codes would be taped to books so that the students can just use their iPod/iPad to scan it, and they would be sent away to stream the audio for the book. (They wouldn't have to type in a single web address!) This will be a huge project and we are only in its infancy. Information about how you can help us make it happen will come in the future!

If you are not sure what I mean, download a QR scanner on your mobile device and scan this code to get a better idea. I would recommend using the Microsoft Tag App.