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Interactive Whiteboard Apps for Android ~ Great for Flippers

I am a fan of flipping the classroom and while researching for my Flippin Tools Course, I was looking for some Android whiteboard recorders that can compare to Educreations or ShowMe for the iPad.  I found two that allowed you to use a whiteboard an narrate. 

Lensoo Create (Free): 


This was my top choice as I found it easy to use and was able to publish a test video.  It did however only install onto my wife's Nexus 7 and not my Galaxy Nexus Android Phone.  

The website Lensoo.com is much more than a placeholder for their application it is a complete listing of different courses that users have created using their software.  This means teachers can browse through the current course listings to find ones they want to learn or show their students, as well as create full course themselves.

The application itself I found pretty complete and easy to use.  You can change pen color, erase, add pictures, record a narration and have multiple slides per presentation.   One thing I really liked is that they had some built in backgrounds to choose from that included a chalkboard and lined paper.  If you want to learn more it comes with some how-to video's which you can watch.


UTGreat Whiteboard Beta (Free):

I am going to keep a close eye on this application.  It is currently in Beta and does have a few kinks to work out, the most important of which is publishing.  At the time of me writing this post I could not find a way to share the narrated presentation.   UTgreat installed on my Galaxy Nexus phone but was not compatible with my Wife's Nexus 7 tablet, so the opposite of Lensoo Create.  It does have a Windows version that I have yet to tryout, even listing compatibility with Windows 8.

The UT in UTgreat stands for U = You, T = Teach,  great.  When I first turned it on it forced me to log into some some social networks that I am not familiar with or with Facebook.  I am hoping that this will change, so that it can be run standalone.

The application is quite functional allowing for multiple slides, color pens, and audio recording.   It has a Flipped section which sounds like I am able to annotate a video, but I could not get it to work.  It has the ability to insert PDF files, or photos.  While these were very good features the program crashed every time I tried to import a graphic, or pdf.

The application is Beta so I will give them a pass on the few issues I ran into.  Once they work out the kinks I can see this app becoming a strong tool for all educators.

Creating Classroom Websites with Google Sites

There are some powerful things you can do with your Classroom Website. This tutorial should help with starting and maintaining your school website.

Table Of Contents

Section 1: Deciding on Content

Step 1: Decide what you want on your website.

This is best done on a plain old piece of paper.  You can always change things once you get started but this step will help you decide what is important or not.

Things to think about
  1. Who is going to be accessing the site and for what reason?   
    1. Are you going to be asking students to go to the site for the daily activities, like the days assignments?  Consider that you also use an actual LMS application which is a tool specifically designed for posting homework, digital classroom discussion and test building.  
    2. Will you be expecting parents to go to the site regularly and what would they expect to see?
  2. Dynamic vs Static pages.
    1. Dynamic pages are ones that you are going to update on a regular basis.  This may be a homework page, calendar, photos or weekly news page.  Dynamic pages are very important as they will be the reason people come back to the your site regularly.   Once people realize that you have regularly updated information people will get in the habit of checking your site.
    2. Static pages are ones that won't change.  This may include talking about your curriculum or an about the teacher page.
  3. Can the information be public? 
    1. There are some students who's parents have not given permission for their child's photo be posted publicly.  Please make sure you know which students in your class have permission or not.  If you do not already know this information please check with the front offices.

Step 2: Know the type of pages you can post?

Google sites offers several types of pages that you can post.  Knowing the types of pages you can create may help with deciding on what information you want to put out.
  • Web page ~ This is a simple blank page with basic text formatting.   From this type of page you can write text and add photos (Example).   You also have the ability to embed (insert) Google documents, Google Folders or Calendars that you have created (Example).
  • Announcements ~ This is a Blog or News page.   This will give you a "New Post" button that any time you click, it will create a new post on top and push your old posts down.   You can also take those posts and put them as a "gadget" on your homepage, making your homepage more dynamic (Example).
  • File cabinet ~ This type of page allows you to upload files or create links and then organize them into folders (Example).  
  • List page ~ Is a page that you can create lists of items with specific headings (Example).

Step 3: Look At Examples

Section 2: Creating A New Site

Step 1 ~ Log into your GAFE (Google Apps For Education) account. 

  • The simplest way to do this is to go to http://docs.google.com/ and log in with your email address and password.  
  • Once you are in your docs you can use the black bar and select "Sites" or you can go directly to http://sites.google.com/.

Step 2 ~ Create A Site

  • I highly suggest starting with a Blank Template, but you can choose a theme.choosing a theme is encouraged.

Section 3: Adding Content

Editing a Page

  • Editing a page is done by browsing to the page and clicking the Edit button.

  • Once you are in edit mode you will see a format bar, and the edit button bar changed to a save button bar.   Google Sites does not auto-save like docs does so if you are writing a lot I suggest clicking save every once in a while. 

  • You can set the layout of the page so that it handles multiple columns:  
    • Edit mode => Layout => Select your layout option

Inserting Photos, Docs and Calendars

  • While in Edit mode you have the ability to insert Photos, Calendars, Google Documents, YouTube video's and more.   Edit mode => Insert.
    • If you insert Google docs the share permissions must be set to link only or public.

  • When you insert anything besides pictures they will show up as a gray box until you hit save.

Adding a New Page

  • To add a new page click the new page button

Section 4: Publishing

Step 4: Publicize/Share the site

  • You can choose to keep the site private while you build the content, but you will need to set the site settings to public before you want it to be seen by other people.

  • Once done send the URL (example: https://sites.google.com/a/askbj.net/plus1youred/) to the webmaster to publicize it on the school website

Tools to Create Your End-Of-Year Presentations

It is the end of the year and many of you have stories and photos to share with your students, parents, and the community.   I thought I would create this blog post to highlight some of the ways you can create those slideshows and share them.  

Before sharing your slideshow on your website or with the public, please check with your office to make sure all student have permission for their photo to be shown.   

~ Photostory (Windows Only)
Photostory3 is probably the easiest way to create a slideshow, it is free but is only available on Windows machines.  It handles only photos so there is no way to in-cooperate videos you might have created.    One trick that I use often for title slides is to upload a solid color photo and add the text on top of that slide.   The ending product of Photostory is a video file that can be uploaded to youtube and shared publicly.

~ Windows Movie Maker (built into Windows)
Windows movie maker will give you similar tools to Photostory, but also allow you to intermix photos and videos.

The YouTube Slideshow creator is built into youtube.   You can access it by logging into youtube with your @school.org account => Clicking Upload => Then clicking slide show.   You can add non-copyrighted music from the application and some nice transitions.   The ending product is already on youtube so all you need to do is share the link.

~ Slidespeech (webbased)
Created largely by +John Graves the way Slidespeech works is that you create a PowerPoint or Google Presentation and in the show notes section write a script.  Slidespeech uses text-to-speech technology to read your script for you.  The script can be edited on SlideSpeech and you also have the option to record your own voice.

Slidespeech is also available for iOS and Android.  There is also a Chrome extension which allows you to use Google Presentations natively.

Here is a Slidespeech video I created on Slidespeech: http://slidespeech.com/s/jh5y4unfen/

~ Prezi (webbased)
This site is like combining a concept map and presentation tool into one.   With this you will be able to group your photos and videos (uploaded to youtube) into different events or sections.

If you have other slideshow software methods that you like please share them as comments below.

Edlisten 28: The Future Of Education with Steve Hargadon

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

Show News:
I will not be producing any podcasts throughout the summer as I will be changing jobs and need to move my studio.  I will however be making some blog posts (no audio), so please check back to http://www.edlisten.com weekly.

This was a great interview with +Steve Hargadon, who is the director of the Web 2.0 Labs, host of the Future of Education interview series, chair of the Social Learning Summit and the Learning 2.0 Conference, and co-chair of the annual Global Education and Library 2.0 worldwide conferences.  And many more other things including co-host of the annual Edublog Awards.


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