Top Five Favorite App Review by Robyn Russell
Over the last five years, I’ve taught in two different schools districts that have had 1:1 iPad use for students and teachers. I’ve had an iPhone for several years and even an iPod before that. I consider myself pretty tech savvy so I know many of the cool apps or where to find reviews for the new ones. As this year approaches an end, I want to give my two cents about the top five apps that I used this year in my classroom. My advice is to download the app and use it for at least ten days before you spring it on your class. If after ten days, you are still enjoying the app and find it useful, then go for it! I teach high school English in Alabama but these top five can be used in a middle school or elementary school as well.
1. Edmodo – Edmodo is fantastic! I give it 5/5 stars. It looks like Facebook and serves a social media purpose. It allows teachers and students to communicate and share resources in an education friendly environment. You can use Edmodo to create and grade quizzes and tests. The new Spotlight feature is a place where teachers can upload lesson plans or other handouts for other teachers to download. It’s a great place to network with educators.
2. Dropbox – Dropbox is a lifesaver! I give it 5/5 stars. How many thumb drives do you have? Most teachers have a drawer full. I have twenty-eight individual thumb drives (one for each year, content, or club I have sponsored). Dropbox is a safe and free place where you can upload files. If you have the app, then you have access to every file you’ve ever uploaded. From Dropbox, you can share your files with others, email those files, or even save them to Edmodo for your students.
3. Kahoot – Kahoot is fantastic and I give it 5/5 stars. If I could give it 6/5 stars, I would. Kahoot is a game app that can be used in the classroom. You can create quizzes and show them via your Apple TV or projector and your students will answer questions. You can create quizzes or search the 1,000s of free quizzes on Kahoot. The kids LOVE this game and go crazy. I must admit that I love it too. It plays really cheesy music, which the kids totally love. It ranks the winners and creates a competitive atmosphere that you will love! I would advise using Kahoot about once a week for review before quizzes and tests.
4. Book Creator – Book Creator is awesome for any teacher that wants to create their own iBooks. I give Book Creator 5/5 stars. I’ve been teaching eleven years and I have 1,000s of Powerpoints. If you can create a Powerpoint you can use Book Creator. It helps you design and publish your own iBooks and then share your creations with students. You can add text, pictures, files, videos, links, and more. If your school uses iPads, then you need Book Creator!
5. Animoto – Animoto is my favorite video creation software. I give Animoto 5/5 stars. I used the free version of Animoto for about a year and then decided to upgrade to the $5 per month version and it’s worth every penny. I use it for school and at home. With the $5 version, you can upload about 75 pics and your own song to about 100 different customizable templates. As soon as you add titles or a few bullet points, it’s done! It so easy to use and a great resource. The students love having videos of all their cool accomplishments.
I keep a running list of all the apps I download and try out. Some are great and make it to student use and others I delete quickly. The best advice I can give any teacher who uses iPads in the classroom is to download apps and play with them. See if they can make you a better teacher and make your students better learners. If an app can do both of those things then use it! Here’s a list of all the apps I tried or tried to use the last few years.
Pow Strip Design
I haven't blogged in a while...too busy! I wanted to take a few minutes and update you. We only have about 5 more days of school and this year will be over. These last few days are bittersweet because saying goodbye to amazing kids is always difficult at best. I don't have tenure so I don't know if I will be back. :( BJ is an amazing high school. The teachers, administration, parents, and students are one heck of a bunch! I will say a pracyer andn cross my fingers and toes that I will get the opportunity to come back to The Bob. As of now, I am packing up and tearing down. The walls are becoming bare and the shevles are empty. I don't want to have to pack everything in one day so I try to do a little each day.
On a lighter note, today is Friday! I have almost everything graded and only a few odd things to enter in this weekend. Next week's schedule will follow:
Monday: Return and go over research papers / Start exam review "The Great Gatsy" and Graduation at the VBCC
Tuesday: Exam Review for "Night" and "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"
Wednesday: 1st Block Exam, 2nd Block Exam, 3rd Review, & 4th Review
Thursday: 3rd Block Exam, 4th Block Exam (dismiss), and 1/2 teacher work day
Friday: No kids - teacher work day
Saturday: SUMMER BEGINS
This summer will consist of a huge yard sale in the very near future, getting two cats "fixed", yardwork, helping my parents take care of my very old MamMaw, job-hunting, Ancestry.com to locate more of my ancestors, and some quality time with my sofa and a good book or two.
2nd Semester Open House is TONIGHT!!!
WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at BJHS
College Fair: 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. in the Cafeteria
PTA Meeting: 6:30 p.m. in the Zompa Auditorium
Open House: 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. BJHS Classrooms
If you are absent while we are reading Macbeth, please go here to read daily! This is not a play where you will want to get behind in.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read and stay with us!
Also, if you are confused while reading, please download my Macbeth companion to study while you are reading. It will answer some questions you have before you come to class. If you read a section and you find yourself getting lost, please 1) finish the section and then 2) read the companion. The play + the companion will help you understand. We are going slow and if you spend all your time looking for an online sysnopsis, then you are wasting your time. I will go over with you in class what you need!
Also, don't forget to check the class Edmodo site for information about the field trip to Montgomery to see Macbeth live on stage! The deadlines are approaching so print out for your forms and get them to your parents before Jan 25.
Hey kiddos (and parents),
The ladies that work in the Career Counseling Center work very hard to put all the scholarship information in one place. It could benefit you greatly if you check out their website! Also, if you haven't seen the latest scholarship updates, please click on the "Scholarships" file above. Thanks, RR
I have several shout outs this week! First of all I'd like to give a big shout out to all my kiddos because as a whole they are working really hard on their research papers (which isn't an easy task) so thank you!
Next, I'd like to give a big shout out to all the boys that tried out for soccer this week. You gave it your all. Most of you worked your booty's off and your hard work paid off. With one more day of practice, the player pool will be decided soon, so good luck to you all.
Next, I'd like to give a big shout out to my basketball players, Ryan and Xavier! I couldn't stay for the whole game last night but they beat Decatur - so woo hoo!
Lastly, I'd like to give a huge shout out to my football boys that are playing in the playoff game tonight against Mountain Brook. So to my favorite center, Cage - good luck and don't drop the ball! To my player of the week, Kevin - feel free to score as often as you would like! To Zach - good luck tonight and let's win this thing! To Julian - my big man on D - I love it when you get that ball back, Jelly!!
I have great kids and they all deserve a BIG SHOUT OUT so stay tuned next week to hear about my well deserving kids and how much I love 'em!
Below is the Notify Me that was sent to parents on 11/8 about student e-mail accounts. It's from Katrina Allen-Technology Coordinator with Madison City Schools.
In accordance with the guidelines of our Acceptable Use Policies and Code of Student Conduct, we are happy to be providing Madison City Schools email accounts to our students. These email addresses will have the madisoncity.k12.al.us domain and will be made available next Thursday. Students using the MCS email accounts will only be able to send email to addresses with the madisoncity.k12.al.us domain name and will likewise only be able to receive mail from addresses with the madisoncity.k12.al.us domain name unless we specifically “white-list” an academic resource (such as Kahn Academy). All student email will be archived on our servers and subject to district filters. Students will have access from home to their school email accounts through the web portal.
For your review, the section from the Code of Student Conduct referring to student email is posted below. If you would prefer that your child not be provided with this service, there is a “Student Email Account Opt Out Form” posted in the Technology section of our district website under “Help Files.” Please fill it out and submit it to our district Network Specialist, Aaron New, by delivering the form to our Central Office at 211 Celtic Drive or faxing it to 256-464-8291.
6.24.1 Electronic Mail.
Electronic Email is available for the support of educational, instructional, extracurricular, and administrative activity. With that purpose in mind, electronic mail accounts are available to students according to the following guidelines:
a. Students receiving e-mail accounts must use these accounts for instructional purposes only.
b. All student e-mail accounts are subject to monitoring and acceptable use policies.
c. The Board cannot guarantee the privacy, security, or confidentiality of any information sent or received via electronic mail. The Board will use a filtering device to
screen e-mail for spam and inappropriate content. Contents of electronic mail cannot be considered private. All contents of electronic mail are the property of the Board.
d. To insure the safety and security of minors, electronic mail, locally housed chat rooms (others are prohibited), and other forms of direct communication will be Board
We are excited to make this tool available to our students. It will facilitate their ability to receive information from teachers, submit assignments electronically, collaborate with peers, and send work/research between school and home. Email accounts for students in primary grades are primarily for purposes of allowing them to utilize online educational project resources such as Prezi which now require an email address for the user to access the tool. We hope these accounts will be helpful to both our students and teachers. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you very much,
Madison City Schools
I created an assignment in USA Test Prep. If you have NOT passed the Reading AHSGE, please take the Reading assigned test prior to November 26. If you have NOT passed the Language AHSGE, please take the Language assigned test prior to November 26. You have two attempts to take the tests so you can get the highest score possible. If you have not passed both tests, then you must take both tests prior to November 26. You will not have an extension on this date. I need this information so I can help you pass the graduation exam. Please do your
best and don't wait until the last mi nute. The quicker I have your results the
quicker I can create a study guide for you based on what you need to study the
If you have passed both tests, then you do not have to take either test BUT you can for extra credit. You will only receive the extra credit points if you score above an 85. You will have two attempts to reach 85+ and you will not get an extension on the deadline.
Thanks and good luck.