Sunday, July 20, 2014

Symbaloo: A Great EdTech Tool to Organize Your Digital Life!

One of the problems that connected educators face today is classifying and categorizing the large number of digital tools and curriculum resources they utilize in their classrooms.  Symbaloo is a great tool that helps teachers organize their resources in a visual way, so that they can access everything instantly and without hassle.  It is a type of visual bookmarking system that allows users to organize a great number of resources on one page. 

Symbaloo for Teachers
One of the main advantages of Symbaloo boards is their ability to be shared with other educators.  For instance, teachers can share a Symbaloo board with their colleagues, and collaborate with each other sharing the same curriculum resources and utilizing the same tools.  In addition, for those of us who use more than one type of device to access information, Symbaloo works seamlessly between devices.  You can access a Symbaloo account from multiple devices, regardless of the device’s type, operating system, or interface.

Symbaloo for Students
Aside from being an amazing tool for teachers, Symbaloo can be a tool for students too.  Students can use Symbaloo to create a platform that has everything they need in order to be successful.  Symbaloo can be utilized across the grades, from Kindergarten all the way through high school.  It can be used for something as simple as gathering all the students’ websites on one page, to something more advanced such as working collaboratively on a research project and compiling a list of all the resources for a project for effortless and quick access.  The level of systematization that Symbaloo provides allows the students to take control of their own learning and become more productive.

You can check out Symbaloo by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Movenote: A Smart Way to Communicate Your Message

Movenote is a noteworthy free web tool teachers and students can use to create unique presentations. Movenote is a Video Presentation software teachers can use in their classrooms to create engaging lessons and tutorials.  Designed with simplicity and functionality in mind, Movenote allows teachers to bring existing presentations to life by adding an extra layer of video and sound. 

Main Features of Movenote
Teachers can import in Movenote a variety of format files such as PowerPoint or Keynote presentations, PDF’s, pictures, and snapshots.  In addition, Movenote supports cloud storage services such as Google Drive, DropBox and Box, so that you can load content stored on the cloud.  Furthermore, teachers and students can use the cameras on their mobile devices or laptops to take pictures they can then import in Movenote.  Once you import your files, Movenote will convert the files or pages into individual slides, and all you have to do is press the record button and begin recording your video presentation.  Movenote splits the screen into two so that the viewers can see you in a smaller window, and hear what you have to say, while they watch your presentation.

Movenote is a Device Agnostic platform, meaning it will work on any Windows based PC, Mac, Android, or iOS device.  The Android and iOS apps are free of charge, and so is the web version of the platform.  Movenote works seamlessly with Gmail as well as with other email clients.  The Chrome version of Movenote allows users to highlight the main points of the presentation using mouse clicks, which is something that currently the Android and iOS versions do not support.
When you finish, you can preview your video, and if you are satisfied with the result, you can save your video, and share it via email or via your social media accounts. 

Implications For Teachers & Students
Teachers can use Movenote to enhance the main points in presentations, or, to make themselves better understood in everyday teacher-to-teacher or teacher-to-student communication.  Also, teachers and students can use Movenote in the classroom to create unique digital storytelling projects.  Students can take advantage of the storytelling component of the platform and immerse themselves in a powerful learning experience during which they narrate a series of slides they have previously created. 

You can check out the web-based version of Movenote here.  You can download the iOS version here, and the Android version here.  If you do, please drop us a line or two, telling us how you are planning on using Movenote in your classroom.