All posts by Josef K

Explanation of iMovie

There are many times in a class in which you may want to have students create a video. IMovie is a useful tool for this. It allows students to pull in videos, sound, and photos from the internet (as long as they have a way to download the video) along with videos taken on the iPad or computer. Videos can be cut and shortened to wanted lengths, and audio can be adjusted, deleted, or added. Finished videos can be exported by email or to youtube in order to share them. They can also be saved in the iMovie theater.

When working on a video, a student can drag around different pieces of a video to different places in the finished ‘movie.’ Clips taken on the iPad or downloaded can be cropped and shortened. Audio can be detached and removed, which can be very useful. For example, if you want to hear music instead of someone’s voice, you can take out the voice and add in the music. A student can also add text over a video, whether it is for a title or a label in the corner of the video. Video clips can also be sped up and slowed down as needed.

If students need to compile interviews, or make a reenactment to a project, iMovie is the perfect tool. Using iPads with iMovie, you could have a class project for students to make videos in small groups in order to reinforce taught topics.

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Using Versal to Make Class More Interesting

Versal is an app on the Chrome App Store that allows a teacher to create an interactive course easily accessible by students.

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Versal has an easy to use sidebar as seen above. Using this, a teacher can create individual courses and sections within those courses. It is easy to add text as well. A lesson can be written plainly or it can be made interactive. There are ‘gadgets’ used to add any amount of things to a lesson.Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 9.28.38 AM

By simple click and drag, a timeline can be added, a map can be added, or you can add a quiz.

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Things such as quizzes are easily customizable from a small menu on the left. A single button adds a question or another choice of an answer, and you can type anything you need into the questions or answers. Other gadgets are interactive for the learner and just as easy to use. Along with built in gadgets, more gadgets can be added using the ‘gadget market’ button on the top of the page.

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Using the gadget market, you can find gadgets made by teachers just like yourself. These range from geography, to math, and to music. You can pick any you want to use by searching for topics and insert them into your lesson with ease. These downloaded gadgets can be edited just as easily. With Versal, you can make a course from scratch with help from built in gadgets, or you can use other people’s gadgets to start off your lesson and build your course from there.

Students in your class can view your course using the Versal app as well. This allows you to create your course and let all your students do any activities and readings in it independently.

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Computers in the Classroom

Computers add a lot to a modern class. They have many utilities that can be used for any number of different activities.  Applications on tablets can also enrich the experience of a class.  Being able to do something virtually that could otherwise not be done allows new activities to be part of a class. For example, if someone is disgusted by a dissection, a virtual dissection app may exist and can allow this person to experience the same dissection. Also, if there is any information that is not found in sources in a classroom or the library, a computer or tablet allows a student to find answers via the internet. The language department in Ashland High School also utilizes the computers’ recording functionality to let many people have a speaking test at once..

However, computer usage should be limited to necessity. If information can be found in sources within the classroom, those sources should be used instead of the internet. Otherwise, students will not know how to find information alone, but instead they will only know how to find information on the internet. Also, when finding information on a computer is needed, a student should know what websites are trustworthy, and which have potentially incorrect information. Also, if apps are used instead of class activities, people will not gain the full knowledge of the experience. A person is more likely to make their own discoveries doing a real dissection than a virtual one, for example. Using computers does not promote discovery and curiosity nearly as much as actual activity.

Computers, while useful in many cases, should not be a part of everyday classes. Students must learn to manage finding information without computers. Also, in order to promote people’s individuality and curiosity,  normal class activities should be continued separate from computers, including computers only when absolutely necessary. From a young age, people should be learning to complete tasks without assistance from computers.  Otherwise they will become computer dependent.

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Keeping up with Google Keep (and your work)

There was a time when people could not use their computer for everything. A time when someone’s room or office may have been covered in sticky notes just to keep track of everything they had to do. But that time is over. Products like google drive have pushed aside tangible objects to be replaced by online storage. In this day and age people use online documents or calendars to keep track of information or schedules. However, this leaves room for error. What if you forget to check your schedule one day and miss a meeting? How are you going to make a to-do list when you can’t customize enough to make one? The internet now has a way to do all this and more!

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With Google Keep, you can make virtual sticky notes. All the functionality of having your wall covered with sticky notes plus some, and absolutely none of the mess. There are plenty of things Google Keep can do that you can’t do with sticky notes, but first let’s address what both can do; Color code, To Do lists, Schedules, Reminders, etc. Now for what Google Keep can do that sticky notes can’t; Set reminders on certain notes, rearrange lists, easily re-sort notes, search through notes for words or colors (if you color code), be accessed from any location with internet, and more! And, when you are done with a note, you can archive it so it won’t clutter your note page, but you will still be able to find it again if you need to. To do lists also automatically moved checked off items to the bottom of the list.  A page of stickies may look like this:Screen cap1


Checked off to-do list:



As you can see, Google Keep has a lot of utility. It can give you reminders for classes, store notes on what you need to go over in any given class period in the form of to-do lists to be checked off. It is easy to navigate and  even if you can’t find something, you can do a search for it. If you ever find you can’t find something, there is an easy to use menu on the left side that can be accessed by clicking the three bars on the top left:screencap2

Overall, Google Keep is a great way to stay organized, and keep your organization method neat, so your room doesn’t need to look like this:

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