Category Archives: Tech

AASL Recommended Apps: Content Creation: Touchcast Studio

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

The app Touchcast Studio allows students to “produce broadcast quality projects on an iPad, like having a TV studio in your hands!” Students can create interactive videos that can be annotated or layered with elements from online or the cloud, like websites, images, polls, and more. “Built in tools include whiteboard, green screen, a multi-camera switcher, a teleprompter and video editing features. Users interact with elements from within the video by touching or clicking without leaving the video. Analytics are available for interactive elements.”

Level: Middle School +
Platform: iOS
Cost: FREE

Read reviews from educators and get ideas for incorporating the app into classroom activities from this post on Common Sense Education’s site. CNET has this detailed review of Touchcast, which includes some examples of the capabilities of the app.

Here’s a video (under 4 min long) with some tips for using Touchcast Studio in your classroom:

AASL Recommended Apps: Organization and Management: Google Keep

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

The app Google Keep is a note-taking service with lots of capabilities. (Side note, I use this app and think it’s great!) Users can share notes with others, save and bookmark research, save photos, links, and notes. The app works across platforms and is part of G Suite. A quick tip: “Color code notes and use tags for the ultimate organization; set reminders for important lists.”

Level: All
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: FREE

Common Sense Media has this detailed review of the app which includes input from parents and pictures that explain features of the app. This review from Computer World gives an overview of Google Keep and shares ways it can be used in everyday life.

AASL Recommended Apps: Humanities and Arts: The New Immigrants: NYC 1880-1924

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

The app The New Immigrants: NYC 1880-1924 “explores the immigrant experience through a carefully curated collection of over 100 artifacts that includes photos, documents, newspaper articles, political cartoons, oral histories, videos and much more. This is a comprehensive collection of primary and secondary sources and images related to the second wave of U.S. immigration. The “Teaching Immigration” section provides sample lesson plans, teaching strategies to develop historical thinking skills, and document based performance tasks.”

Level: Elementary +
Platform: iOS
Cost: FREE

School Library Journal has this detailed review of the app, or check out this review from a social studies teacher who has used the app in the classroom.

AASL Recommended Apps: Content Creation: CoSpaces

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

Level: All
Platform: iOS | Android
Cost: FREE

The app CoSpaces lets students create their own virtual reality worlds! Students can choose from a “collection of characters and objects which can be adapted and animated.” Once their world is created, they can view it with a mobile device and headset. Some quick tips include importing your own 360 photos to make custom stages for your VR world, or have more advanced users incorporate Blockly code to bring their world to life.

This review from EdShelf breaks down CoSpaces and includes some highlights of the app. Common Sense Education has this article about the app which features a Pro Con list as well as classroom activity ideas.

Watch this quick video for a glimpse into the world of CoSpaces:

 

 

AASL Recommended Apps: Humanities and Arts: English Central

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

 

Level: Kindergarten +
Platform: iOS  and Android
Cost: FREE

The app English Central helps students learn English through the thousands of videos it makes available. Videos range from casual to formal speaking situations. The app also includes courses specifically for those entering certain professions like hotel and service and offer levels from beginner to advanced. Students can focus on specific skills like grammar, pronunciation, and useful expressions and also take assessments to see how well they are learning material.  Students can even have daily lessons delivered to their phones, if they choose. A tip to make English Central even more useful would be to suggest that ESL students take the app home with them to share with other family members who might also be learning English.

English Central has a Teacher Portal which offers webinars, video lessons, and other tools specifically for teachers. The app has been reviewed by the MidAmerica Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, and also by Busy Teachers.org who posted this detailed review.

Watch this quick video to see English Central in action: