It is always nice to get to Friday and look at all the options I have of great tech integration projects happening around the Puxi ES. This week I am giving a big shout out to the ESOL and AS staff as they have been doing some great stuff using a variety of Web 2.0 applications and Mac software.
Kevin Desmond and David Young have been doing a great deal with voice recording/podcasting and making digital stories with narrations. They have used everything from Voice Recorder (PC) to GarageBand to Audacity to record the voices and stories of their ESOL students. These are then posted to the portal and Kevin posts them to the ESOL blog site. Another tool they use is VoiceThread. Voicethread is a web based photostory application that allows you to upload photos and audio to make digital stories. The cool thing that seperates VoiceThread from other applications like iMovie and Photostory is that anyone can view your photostory (if you want them to) and make audio comments on the pictures in your slideshow. This way, not only can you share your photostory, you can also start conversations around them. This can be a very powerful tool for students reflecting on writing. Below are two links, one is an example of a VoiceThread Kevin made around Just Right Books and the second link will take you to VoiceThread. I urge you to visit VoiceThread and have a play for yourself, make a talking Christmas card “book” for your family.
The second showcase piece this week is from Kathryn Dungan. She has been using GarageBand to record audio versions of books in the second grade classrooms for her ESOL students (and any other student in the classes) to listen to. This is a great way to differentiate instruction for your auditory learners. According to Kathryn, “It allows me to be in two places at once. I can have kids at a station listening to these books and I can be at another doing small group work as the kids work through their stations.” She saves the audio books on the I: drive so they are accessible from any computer in the 2nd grade. Below you will find a link to one of these audio books, Bearenstein Bears Go to Camp. Have a listen at your leisure or download it and put it into iTunes to listen to on your iPod/iPhone. These audio books are also an excellent way to use the iPods we now have available through Ellen in the A/V closet. You could load a bunch of these stories on iPods and have them available for your kids in class to listen to whenever appropriate.
As always, if you would like to explore any of the application or ideas discussed here feel free to email Kris or I for assistance or to answer questions you might have.
Weekly Tech Tip
Finally, my personal tech tip for you this week comes in the form of music. Trying to find that Cole Porter Christmas album or looking for a little Bing Crosby to ring in the holidays? Look no further than Lala.com. Lala.com allows users to listen to any of the 8 million songs on the site for free, in their entirety, in an ad-free environment.
Granted, you can only listen once. But if you like the song you can buy a web version of it for a mere 10 cents. It’s then saved in your personal library, accessible from any browser,
including the one in your phone. Your music is on the “cloud” whenever you want to listen.
MP3 versions are available for an additional 79 cents (that’s cheaper than iTunes). These are loaded straight into iTunes and, because they are DRM-free, can be played on any device you have. This means all the music is licensed (and legal). In other words, your days as a music pirate may be over. Better than iTunes, because they are not coded like they are when you buy music from iTunes, you can share the music from Lala with as many people you want and listen to it on any device. So go ahead, get that Bing Crosby album you used to listen to during the holidays or that long lost Vanilla Ice album you have been to ashamed to ask your friends for.
Gracias a Dios es Viernes,