AATF Telematics and New Technologies Commission

Tech Tip of the Month

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Tech Tip of the Month

 April 2009 - Adding Photostory to Your Course

The download is free for window.

What photo story does: It allows you to add text and sound to your pictures on your computer and email the results to parents and friends.

Why I use it:

1. The technology is easy; Second and third graders can operate a digital camera and download the pictures.

Adding text and sound is also simple.

2. Content: Students act out the dialogs in their books or tell about their favorite activities.

3: The students do not have to memorize lines but they have to learn to read them fluently.

4. You can do TPR when you give directions for the poses in the pictures,

5. The characters in the dialog are now alive.

6. By watching students illustrate a short story you can check comprehension.

7. Students are motivated to pronounce words correctly because  they will be heard by the world  (teacher tube or you tube)

8. For elementary school  the topics can be, my room, my toys, my favorite sport, my time line.

9. For elementary school students 3 to 6 pictures is enough so the project can be finished in  3hours total ( I see the students 30 minutes twice a week.)

Example 1 | Example 2

submitted by Monique Navelet


 March 2009 - Adding a Wiki to Your Course

A wiki site can be easily added to any course to serve a number of objectives. For example, you may choose to create a wiki site dedicated to writing.   Open one page where students create a short narrative collaboratively. This whole-classroom activity will offer your students the opportunity to practice key writing techniques and develop skills.  Other pages can be authored by teams of student writers and presented for peer review and peer editing to the other teams.

With a wiki, you can design many interesting out-of-class extension activities to build writing skills.

There are many free wiki programs available, but Pbwiki.com is particularly easy to use.  You can create as many wikis as you want for free with their basic package.  Pbwiki.com offers affordable upgrades, but the basic package includes enough features to create an effective tool.

A great resource on creating wikis:

Using Wikis for Online Collaboration: The Power of the Read-Write Web by James A. West and Margaret L. West.  Jossey-Bass A Wiley imprint. 2008


January 2009 - Voice Recording

Maximizing the use of voice recording programs in the classroom

Many of the class management software programs that teachers and schools use, now include some type of Voice recording software (Wimba, audacity, etc.). There are many little things a teacher can do to begin using this software in the classroom. Here are some ideas:

1) we may have noticed that students don't really use punctuation when reading a foreign language text, making their comprehension more difficult. Therefore, we teachers can record ourselves reading the text, turning it into an audio text to which the student can listen to while reading the written text.

2) make some of the workbook's paragraph writing activities, oral ones to be recorded. Voice boards or voice messages are  excellent for this use. Some sample of such activities are the "describe your family" or the "talk about a film you saw recently" exercises.

3) for extra practice, turn the lesson warm up and cool down into oral activities which students must record prior or after class. As a variation, have students in pairs take turns making such recordings.

4) incorporate some recording into assignments and projects such as PowerPoint presentations, poster creations, book reviews. Respectively, students can record the run-through of the presentation, the explanation of the poster and have a simulated radio show for the book review.

5) turn oral exams and other oral exercises like short conversations into recordings. This last ides also saves time as the teacher can listen to the exams from home.

December  2008 - Gcast

Gcast is a great website that can be used by students to record speaking activities
via their cell phones, both in school and at home.   By following the simple instructions,
students can record AP speaking, skits, short speeches, etc. and with the touch of a button,
their recordings are uploaded to single web site controlled by the teacher.

This site can be very useful, for example, when the teacher needs to grade multiple students/groups on
their speaking during class time.  It is often very difficult to listen to each student/group during one class period,
and at the same time to keep the rest of the class on task.  Gcast allows students to work at their own pace,
makes it easier for the teacher to monitor what all students are doing and gives the teacher the opportunity
to listen to students' speaking at a more convenient time.

In order for students to be able to use this service, the teacher needs to set up a free Gcast account & must
provide a phone number (school phone number, for example) for login purposes.

March  2008 - Setting up chat groups on 2 portals : Angel & Blackboard
February 2008 - Voice Thread
January 2008 - Videoconferencing with Skype
December 2007 - Using the document camera instead of overhead transparencies
November 2007 - Podcasting: Portfolios and Pronunciation
October 2007 - How to Create a Picture with Pop-Up labels in Excel | Excel File
September 2007 - Tips and Tricks in PowerPoint


Page last updated 04/05/2011 09:25 PM

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