Floating Tool Evaluation 3 (DONE)

Stick Pick

stick pick

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stick-pick/id436682059?mt=8


Here is a quick overview of what Stick Pick does:

Overview:

Type of software: randomization and questioning app

Primary user: teachers

Appropriate Audience: teachers can use for any age range of students

Price: $3.99

Features:

  • Insert students names and randomly draw a name by clicking on the can of sticks on the app
  • Select a mode/level of questions you want to ask individual students based on their level of knowledge (see picture on right)

    Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 2.34.20 PM
    Select leveled questions based on the student.
  • This app provides a long list of questions and ways to phrase questions based on the student you randomly selected
  • Insert whether the student answered the question correctly, incorrectly, or gave an opinion-based answer and rate their response (5= insightful, confident to 1= no understanding)
  • E-mail the students their result of the questions asked in class by clicking on their name in the roster

Evaluation:

Appropriate audience: this app is great because any teacher can use it for any age of students. From early elementary grades to high school students, teachers can find useful ways to use this app for questioning purposes. The options to choose the level of knowledge a student has for any concept or subject is what allows this app to be used across a wide range of grade levels.

Feedback provided: it is very easy for teachers to send student’s feedback about their answers to questions asked in class because all they have to do is insert their evaluation of the student’s response, click on their name in the roster, and send it to them via email. The teacher can add other comments if needed within the email to make the feedback even more specific.

Strengths:

  • The options to customize questions based on the students level of knowledgestick pick 2
  • The ESL mode is great so the teacher can ask students appropriate and understandable questions based on their level of English proficiency
  • The randomization factor
  • The option to send feedback

Limitations:

  • Teachers wished they could add in their students from a word document or excel form because this app only allows teachers to manually enter all their students names (see comments in picture below).
  • Although cheap, it does cost $3.99 to download
Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 2.32.53 PM
Teacher reviews/comments about this app.

Classroom Applications

Teachers often find it hard to get students actively participating in class. With the use of this app, the teacher can randomly draw a name from the cup of sticks and ask that student a question that he or she would be able to answer based on their comprehension of a text or concept. This way, the student will not feel uncomfortable answering a question, but they will also be participating in a way that is not intimidating or difficult for them. All students will have the chance to participate and share their knowledge to the class when a teacher uses this app.

Getting ELL students engaged and actively participating in class discussions can definitely be a difficult thing, especially if they are Level 1 or 2 language learners. Using this app with the ESL mode can relieve some of the pressure and nervousness of the ELL student because he or she knows that the teacher will only ask them questions that they are able to comprehend and answer adequately based on their English proficiency. This app is a great way to get ELL students participating and engaging in class discussions.

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Floating Tool Evaluation 2 (DONE)

Schoology

https://www.schoology.com/


What is Schoology? Watch this video to find out!

Overview:

Type of software: cloud-based, management, and collaboration software

Primary user: teachers and students

Appropriate audience: middle school aged students through higher education

Price: free

Features:

  • Shows recent activity page (similar to Facebook) where teachers and students can post, like, and comment on each other’s posts
  • A reminders and upcoming due dates tab so students can always see what their assignments are for the week
  • Teachers can add assignments and lessons directly to his or her class pagek-12-lessons-in-a-snap
  • Embed content from Google, Microsoft, Youtube, and more
  • Teachers can track students individually through the student analytics reporting and then post content that will better suit their personal needs
  • Access grading tools such as written and video feedback and a specific tab for student grades
  • Students can take quizzes from their page and get immediate feedback
  • Works on iOS, Android, and Kindle devices

 

Evaluation:

Age appropriateness: this tool is appropriate for middle school students all the way through college students. This site has no advertisements and is fairly easy to use and organized efficiently. As long as the teacher gives a demonstration on how to use this tool, his or her students, no matter what age, should be able to easily access their assignments and quizzes, as well as communicate with their peers and their teacher easily.

Feedback provided: students and teachers receive immediate feedback after students complete a quiz or other graded assignment. With access to immediate results, teachers can quickly provide targeted feedback to students and differentiate for them as needed. Everything on Schoology is organized in a way so teachers and students can see grades, progress, and feedback at any time.

Ability to maintain interest: since there are so many different ways to use Schoology, such as posting videos in a lesson, taking an online quiz, having discussions on a class page, and more, its ability to maintain student’s interest is high. Students are not limited to doing the same thing every day on Schoology, and providing variety in how lessons are presented or how assessments are performed definitely keep students engaged and interested.

Comparison to Facebook: Schoology has many different features for educational purposes, but it is very similar to Facebook in the discussion aspect it provides. The
tour-recent-activity_0teacher or student can type up a post in their class page containing an article or discussion question, and other students can reply, comment, like, and overall further promote discussion. This is very similar to Facebook, especially nowadays with all the political debates going on that almost everyone see’s on their Newsfeeds. Schoology is a great way for students and teachers to communicate, debate, and share ideas, only in a safer, less public space.

Classroom Applications:

If a teacher is having a difficult time organizing his or her assignments, quizzes, grading records, etc. then he or she should turn to Schoology. This cloud-based software is organized in a way so that all of a teacher’s assignments, quizzes, grades, and more are in the same location. Instead of searching through endless amounts of papers, all the teacher has to do is log on to Schoology and can access anything that they need on any device, at school or at home.

If a teacher is struggling to track student’s progress in a visible way that is easy to access, k-12-data-analytics-mastery-learning-2Schoology can easily do that for them. With the analytics section of this site, teachers can easily see student’s strengths and weaknesses from their quiz scores marked by green (meaning they have mastered the content) or red (meaning they need help) coloring. It is very easy to see who needs more help and who can move on to new content with this type of technology.

Floating Tool Evaluation 1 (DONE)

Brain Pop Jr. (specific to math)

BrainPop_Jr._Final

https://jr.brainpop.com/math/


Overview:

Type of software: math gaming software

Primary user: students, teachers

Appropriate audience: elementary aged students (grades K-3)

Price: free

Features:

  • Many different reinforcement games for math concepts
  • Offers games in other subjects as well (English, social studies, science, health, etc.)
  • Many math categories to choose from (number sense, measurement, fractions, time, geometry, multiplication and division, etc.)mult and div
  • All games offered in different languages (ESL, Spanish, French)
  • Videos explaining concepts offered
  • Quizzes provided
  • Lesson plan ideas for educators provided
  • Audio voice reads aloud when mouse is over a word

Evaluation:

Appropriate audience: this software is age appropriate for younger elementary students. It provides games/lessons that coincide with the Standards for kindergarten throughout 3rd grade. There are no advertisements and the pictures and animations are very kid friendly for this age group.

Ease of use: I had no trouble navigating my way through this website. Students will need a username and a password to login and the rest is very self-explanatory. For younger students, teacher directions of where to go will most likely be needed but everything is labeled clearly and visibly, and the topics are organized very well. For students who may have difficulty or have no learned to read yet, the audio feature is very useful. Students will just need to hover their mouse of the words and a voice reads the label out loud to them.

Ability to maintain interest: since everything on this website is very kid friendly and appropriate, I imagine it to be very stimulating and interesting to the students who use it. The colors, the playful animations and images, and games are all things that will keep students wanting to play while simultaneously learning and reinforcing math concepts.

Limitations:

  • Concepts offered are only really appropriate up until 3rd grade, so 4th grade and up will not benefit from this site
  • Need access to a computer or tablet with Internet to use

Classroom Applications:

Struggling to find a way to reward your students with computer/iPad time that involves the reinforcement of concepts at the same time? Using this tool will eliminate the tough search! Students will play fun and stimulating games that allow them to practice their math skills across many different subjects without realizing that they are doing so. This site will serve as a great way to reward students or to fill empty time when students finish work without straying them away from learning math.

Teaching math strategies to students can be very difficult, but Brain Pop Jr. provides a whole section about math strategies! Teachers can have students log on to this site and learn about how to use different strategies to solve math problems without the difficulty of the teacher teaching them. brain popThis can also reinforce how to use math strategies and offers practice for students to do so. The different math strategies offered on this site are, choosing an operation, patterns, pictographs, solving word problems, and tally charts/bar graphs.

Tool Evaluation 9

Raz-Kids

(ELA subject specific tool)

raz kids logo

https://www.raz-kids.com/


Overview:

Type of software: ebook online reading resource software

Primary user: teachers and elementary aged students

Appropriate audience: elementary aged students (K-5th grade)

Price: $109.95/year

Features:

  • 400+ leveled interactive ebooks provided
  • 29 reading levels provided
  • Open book eQuizzes that test comprehension
  • ebooks in different languages (mainly Spanish)

    razkids
    Students can find their name and are provided with texts appropriate to their reading level.
  • Online running records for teachers
  • Students can listen to books while the text being read is highlighted
  • Students can record themselves reading a book
  • Can access through free apps for iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire

Evaluation:

Age appropriateness: Raz-Kids is very age appropriate for students ranging from kindergarten to 5th grade. Not only is it age appropriate, but it is also appropriate for different kinds of reading levels since the books on this site are leveled starting from A-Z. Every child will be given books that are appropriate for their age and reading level based on their reading skills and can work their way up a level through practice and scoring high on the post-reading eQuizzes.

Feedback provided: Students and teachers are granted instant feedback from Raz-Kids. Directly after students take an eQuiz, they are told their score (ie. 10/10 correct) and they are also told if they have moved up a level. Teachers are also given feedback because Raz-Kids provides an organized tab where the teacher can view every student’s progress, scores, and reading levels. This allows the teacher to monitor and assess his or her students based on their online reading and quiz scores.

Strengths:              

  • Easily accessible through a variety of different devices
  • All of the texts are leveled so the teacher does not have to level them his or herself
  • Hundreds of ebooks provided
  • Tools for students to use (ie. sticky notes to mark down unknown words, recording reading, etc.) while they are reading
  • Teachers can easily keep track of student progress with the online assessments, running records, and student recordings
  • Follows the ELA Common Core Standards
  • Interactive books make reading enjoyable for students

Limitations:

  • High cost, teacher might have to pay out of pocket if school does not provide the funding for it
  • Not all students may have access to a device whether it be at home or in school since it is an online tool

Application Within Education:

Say for instance you are a new teacher who does not have a stocked bookshelf of age appropriate books for your student. Finding the readability level of each book is tedious and time consuming, but using Raz-Kids can eliminate all of these issues. Although the teacher (or school) must pay a yearly fee, Raz-Kids provides hundreds of age appropriate books that are easily accessible to students through popular devices. Each book is leveled A-Z so the teacher would not have to worry about doing that on their own time. This ebook software saves teachers time and money (buying hundreds of books will most likely cost more than the annual fee) and engages his or her students.

If students are struggling with fluency because they are not exposed to fluent readers enough during school or at home, Raz-Kids could serve as their model. Since this

raz
Here a student is listening to the text being read by a fluent reader.

software provides the option of having a book read aloud to a child by a fluent reader, the student could see how fluency works and acquire it on his or her own through recording themselves. Students are able to follow along with the voice that is reading the text through the highlighted text feature and they can experience a perfect model of what a fluent reader sounds like if they are not being exposed to fluency at home or in school as much as they should.

Tool Evaluation 8

Wunderlist

WunderlistLogo2

https://www.wunderlist.com/


Overview:

Type of software: productivity app

Primary user: adults, older students

Appropriate audience: anyone with a busy schedule and needs constant reminders and an organized To-Do list

Price: free or $4.99/month for advanced settings

Features:

  • Add, organize and schedule your to-dos from your phone, tablet or computer
  • Set due dates and reminders to ensure you never forget important deadlines
  • Use subtasks, notes, files and comments to add important details to your to-dos
  • Create lists to help sort your to-dos
  • Star tasks that are really important so you know you have to prioritize them (task then shows up under Starred tab)
  • Share lists and collaborate on your to-dos with family, friends and colleagues
  • Can be used from all devices including computers, phones, tablets, etc.
  • Swipe down from any app to get a glance of your due to-dos
  • Save web pages and articles to your Wunderlist
wunderlist
Wunderlist works on every device!

Evaluation:

Age appropriateness: this tool is appropriate from students in upper middle school to an adult age. There are no advertisements or distractions on this site, and it allows all users to easily organize and prioritize their daily lives. This could be really helpful for older students to set reminders about homework, projects, and other deadlines. It could also be useful for adults who have to set reminders about meetings, their children’s extracurricular activities, deadlines, and more.

Ease of use: this tool is very straightforward to use; everything is labeled and organized in a way that is very accessible to the user. It is easy to add new to-do tasks, manage lists, star important tasks, and share lists with others. It is easy to access your lists on any device by signing into the website or downloading the app and then signing in with a username and password. It’s very simple to star important tasks and to set alerts to remind yourself about important things that need to be completed.

Ability to maintain interest: if I used this tool to keep track of everything I had to do, I could see it becoming addictive! This tool would definitely maintain my interest because I would be compelled to add every little thing I had to get done into this app. It’s also so easy to access from every device that I would constantly be checking it. I can imagine this to be true with many other users as well.

Limitations:

  • The user can’t add a location to their task, which could be very helpful so the user knows where this task needs to be completed (if it has a location)
  • Constant reminders from this app could be very distracting, especially if they are being shown on all devices.

This video shows how to efficiently use Wunderlist and its many features:

Classroom Application:

Teachers are very busy, and often have to collaborate or co-teach with other teachers. Finding the time to sit down with them and communicate about their ideas and goals can be difficult. To solve this issue, Wunderlist could be a helpful tool for

wunderlist-assign
This image shows a user “assigning” or sharing a list with someone else

collaboration and communication purposes among teachers. Teachers can share their lists on this app with other users so they can see exactly what must be done in preparation for the lesson. This would definitely give both teachers one less thing to do (meet up with each other) in their already busy day-to-day schedules.

Students also have very busy lives and often forget to jot down their homework in their planners or agendas. With Wunderlist, this problem could easily be avoided. The teacher can make it a priority in his or her classroom that the students download this app and put their homework in it every day. The teacher could also share a weekly to-do list with his or her students on this app so they can see their assignments and due dates that way as well. Having access to this to-do list on every device would be very helpful for students in this age of technology.

Tool Evaluation 7 (Tool Presentation)

Word Talk

wordtalk-plugin

http://www.wordtalk.org.uk/home/


Overview:

Type of software: downloadable audio software plugin

Primary user: anyone with access to a computer and Microsoft Word

Appropriate audience: students learning to read and write, English language learners, a person with a reading disability, or anyone who could benefit from reinforcement of both print and oral reading.

Price: free!

Features:

  • Need Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Word (2007-2011) and Computer Synthetic Voice (SAPI 4 or 5) to download
  • Converts text to speech
  • Added in toolbar in a Word document
  • Speaks entire document, paragraph, sentence, word in a text (as long as it is copy and pasted or written in Word)
  • Text is highlighted as the tool reads it
  • Change the voice and speed of the tool to the user’s liking
  • Change the color of the highlighting

Tool bar features and explanations:

wordtalk-toolbar

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 1.30.58 PM
Screenshot from my Mac from WordTalk website

 

Click here to watch a quick Tutorial video of how WordTalk works.

Evaluation:

Age appropriateness: This tool is appropriate for students in elementary school, up to adults of any age with access to a computer and has Microsoft Word downloaded on their computer. This tool can be used to help young elementary students learn the sounds of letters and words while physically seeing the letter or word highlighted (adult help with directions will most likely be needed). This tool can help English language learners of all ages as well. There really is no age limitation to this tool because it can assist anyone who wants to listen to text rather than read it themselves.

Ease of use: This tool is simple to use; the user has to download this software to their computer and it will show up under the “Add-ins” tab in Microsoft Word. The tool bar is fairly easy to use and there are explanations of what each button does on the WordTalk website.

Strengths:

  • Extensive toolbar
  • Easy to access in Word documentMicrosoft_Word_logo
  • Can read any text in English
  • Ability to adjust the voice and speed that it reads
  • Highlighted text
  • No cost

Limitations:

  • Computer must have Microsoft Windows and Word installed
  • This software does not work on Mac OS X, iPad, Android devices, or Chromebook
  • If text is not found online, the user (or teacher) will have to type the text into a Word document (time consuming)

Applications Within Education:

A lot of times students are interested in reading a certain text that is above their reading capabilities, so when they read it, they are more focused on decoding the words rather than comprehending what is being read, which leads to frustration and the inability to recall or retell what they read. With WordTalk, the students could focus more on the meaning because the text is being read directly to them. If the text is digital, the teacher will just have to copy and paste the text into a word document, but if the text is from a book, the teacher will need to type it into a Word document so WordTalk can work.

WordTalk can be very beneficial for English Language Learners. The teacher could type up vocabulary words into a Word document and the ELL student could listen to WordTalk dictate these words and he or she can practice saying them while seeing how they are spelled. This will eliminate the problem of the teacher having to spend time helping the ELL student pronounce new vocabulary words while managing a classroom full of students. Instead, the ELL student can practice on his or her own with the help of WordTalk.

Tool Evaluation 6

Engagement and Active Learning Tool: Prodigy

prodigy

https://prodigygame.com/


Overview

Type of Software: math gaming software

Primary User: elementary aged students, teachers

Appropriate Audience: elementary aged students

Price: free or paid membership for $4.99/month

Features:

  • Addresses Common Core Math Standards in the form of an engaging, fun game
  • Teachers set up an account, select the CCS, grade, topic(s), and school; Prodigy aligns standards, topics, and grade so the game addresses them directly
  • Students access through a class code
  • Students create an avatar and can earn coins and badges to accessorize their avatar and level up
  • Teachers can track student’s progress under a “report” tab
  • Teachers can create a planner so Prodigy addresses certain topics for a certain
    Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 2.34.50 PM
    Screenshot from my Mac of what my Prodigy Planner looks like for the next two weeks in my classroom.

    amount of time under the “planner” tab (picture shown on the right)

  • Teachers can create their own assignments to implement into the game
  • Fun and kid-friendly storyline provided to the students to immediately engage them

Watch the trailer video for Prodigy below!

Evaluation:

Accuracy of Content: Since the teacher can select the grade level and topics from the Common Core they want Prodigy to include when setting up their account, the content is right on target. The teacher can align the game to include content that he or she is teaching in class for students to get that extra practice on topics that must be covered in a certain grade level.

Age Appropriateness: Prodigy is age appropriate for any elementary aged student, but offers

Prodigy-e1447260863721
What a student might see when playing Prodigy

math content up to grade 8. The gaming aspect of Prodigy is very engaging and stimulating for young students and makes it seem like they are not even doing math when realistically they are. There is nothing inappropriate on this site; there are no advertisements or pop-ups, so students will not get distracted or click on something they are not supposed to.

Ease of use: Prodigy was very easy to set up, for both students and teachers. Teachers create their class by providing an email and password, grade level, and topic and then are given a class code. Students simply must go to this URL: prodigygame.com/play, plug in the classroom code provided by their teacher, and begin playing! As students play, the teacher can easily add content he or she wants students to practice by adjusting his or her calendar on the Prodigy site.

Feedback provided: Teachers receive real time reports of student’s progress. The teacher can see the student’s usage, their weekly activity, student progress, curriculum coverage, and topic coverage. Teachers can easily view any of these reports under the report tab and adjust the game as necessary. When students answer a question incorrectly, they are given more opportunities to answer that same question later in the game, and of course, they do not earn any points/coins for their avatar when giving incorrect responses.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 2.37.07 PM
Screenshot from my Mac of what a student report might look like. “Abby G’s” report for multiplication facts is shown.

 

Applications Within Education:

When drill and practice activities are not working out in a classroom, the teacher can use Prodigy to deeper engage students in active learning in a fun way. Doing regular paper and pencil math every day can get very boring and repetitive, but using Prodigy allows students to practice their math skills via a game environment. This will make students want to do well in math, because of the rewards their avatar receives when they answer questions correctly. Overall, students will become more engaged and excited about math because of this alternative tool for learning, instead of doing drill and practice worksheets.

If a teacher is having a hard time organizing and keeping track of student progress, he or she can turn to Prodigy to automatically do that for them. Prodigy offers straightforward and easy to read reports of student progress based on the topics they are practicing while playing the game. The teacher does not have to do any manual work and can simply click on the reports of individual students to see where more direct instruction might be needed and with whom. This will save the teacher a lot of extra time to work with students who may need more assistance instead of grading papers and recording student data.

Tool Evaluation 5

RealtimeBoard

Online Whiteboarding Tool

https://realtimeboard.com/


Overview:

Type of software: Web 2.0, digital whiteboard

Primary user: companies, teachers, and students

Appropriate audience: anyone wanting to present header-logoinformation, or work together on a certain project (for students, probably high school aged and older).

Price: Free, or upgrade to access more features ($8/month)

Features:

  • Add a frame to the board, which acts like a page and choose a template to get started.
  • Upload videos, pictures, and links.
  • Use sticky notes to save ideas and brainstorm.
  • Create charts on the board.
  • Collaborate with others by adding them to your board. Can collaborate in real time (like Google Drive).
  • Any recent changes on the board are highlighted so users can keep up with who has been editing and what has been changed.
  • Directly communicate with someone by mentioning his or her username. User will be notified that they have been mentioned via email or just simply on the browser.
  • Work is instantly saved.
  • Add emojis to your board through sticky notes as a way to react to people’s ideas.

Evaluation:

Age appropriateness: This software is appropriate for upper middle to college-aged students. Because the user needs good technology knowledge to use this, I would say it would be difficult for elementary aged students to use. Older students can get the best use out of this software because they can easily collaborate with teachers and other students through the digital whiteboard, and they can also put their skills such as, using Word features, inserting content such as links, videos, pictures, etc. and using tables to good use.

Ease of use: Because I have prior experience with technology and know how to navigate and use it fairly well, I found this software to be very easy to use. All of the features are easily accessible, and the website provides tips and videos for users if they need extra assistance or any clarifications. It is very easy to leave comments, insert text and external links, add people to your whiteboard, and more.

Feedback Sticky Notes Great Job Praise 3d Illustration
http://www.123rf.com/photo_64768908_feedback-sticky-notes-great-job-praise-3d-illustration.html

Feedback provided: It is very easy for someone to leave a comment or a sticky note on someone’s work or idea. A teacher could use the comment section or the sticky notes section to leave feedback on a student or group of students’ whiteboard. Then, the student could see the teacher’s comments and make necessary changes to their whiteboard. The teacher could even create a rubric and post the link in the comment he or she makes so the students have direct access on their whiteboard to the rubric.

Limitations:

  • Coming from a teacher’s standpoint, it might be hard to have elementary or middle aged students work on this software because it is advanced and the user needs to have a fairly decent technological background to use it.
  • Might be difficult for a teacher to present material using this whiteboard because all of the features could easily distract students, especially if they had access to the whiteboard while the teacher was presenting the material.
  • All users would need access to a computer, laptop, or tablet to access this site.

Below is a video describing how to set up your first whiteboard on RealtimeBoard:

Applications within Education:

If a teacher wants students to collaborate by brainstorming ideas on a certain topic or for a group project but does not know how to get all students involved, he or she can use Realtime board to do so. By giving each student access to the whiteboard, everyone can easily collaborate and contribute to the assignment by posting sticky notes, inserting links or videos, commenting on other’s ideas, and more. Because it is so easy and there are many different ways to contribute on this site, the teacher can have the peace of knowing that all students are involved in some way.

If students are collaborating on some sort of project and the teacher wants to give direct and concrete feedback to all students but does not know how to do so, using this software could easily solve that problem. As long as the group of students adds the teacher into their whiteboard, the teacher can view student’s progress and see what all of their ideas are. The teacher can leave sticky notes or comment on things the students have posted so students can easily view the feedback, and apply it to their whiteboard. He or she could even add a link to an external source for students to do deeper research; the possibilities are endless!

Click here to view the whiteboard I created and played around with.

Tool Evaluation 4

StoryJumper.com

https://www.storyjumper.com/

story-jumper
https://www.storyjumper.com/library/my

Overview:

Type of software: Web 2.0, storytelling, digital book creator

Primary User: someone who wants to create a digital book

Appropriate audience: anyone who wants to create a digital storybook; primarily upper elementary aged students

Price: Free

Features:

  • Sign up for free as a regular user, or as an educator.
  • Educator can create a class page where the students can search for the title and see all of the books the teacher has created and posted.
  • Add scenes, photos, text, props, and more. Some are offered by the website but you can also upload your own photos.
  • Invite other users to collaborate on the book with you.
  • Communicate via video chat while creating the book.
  • Design your text with different colors, fonts, and sizes.
  • Add as many pages as you would like, including cover pages, dedication pages, and a back cover.
  • The software auto-saves progress while you are working, so the user does not lose his or her work if something goes wrong.
  • Appropriate for elementary aged students since a lot of the props and scenes provided are for younger students, but any user can create a blank book and upload their own photos to use.
  • Has a “How To?” button if the user needs clarification or help on how to do something.
  • Can search other books created by other users open to the public under the library page.

Above is a video tutorial of how to use StoryJumper

Evaluation:

Age Appropriateness: StoryJumper is highly appropriate for younger aged students and for teachers too! The photos, types of books offered, and props are very kid-friendly and cartoon-like (pictures of dogs, sun, etc.). This is really engaging for younger students and also offers creativity for students and any other users as well. Students are not limited to these features offered by the website; they can upload their own content appropriate pictures, if they are familiar with how to do so.

Ease of Use: This site is very straightforward with its features and how to create your digital book. It provides a tutorial, and blurbs of instruction when the user first enters the site. The left sidebar provides access to all of the different features the user can include in his or her book (text, photos, scenes, props). The font is big, legible, and easily understandable for elementary aged students. If the user needs assistance, they can click on the “How To?” button. If the user is a student, they can easily search for their class page to access the books their teacher has posted.

Strengths:

  • Straightforward, and easy to navigate
  • Free
  • Appropriate for elementary aged students and for teachers to create books
  • Can search for books other users have made to incorporate into a lesson
  • The collaboration option for teachers and/or students to use to work together to create a book
  • Can upload your own photos to use in your book

    screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-5-47-20-pm
    Screenshot from my computer when I was creating my book.
  • Video tutorial available if user needs help
  • Perfect for educators
  • Can present a book on a digital whiteboard as a presentation (when the user clicks play on their book, the pages flip as if it were a real book with sound included)
  • Users can leave comments on other users books (e.g., teacher can leave feedback for his or her students)
  • Can make the book private or public

Limitations:

  • Unsure if the user can include videos or audio into their books
  • Need to have a pretty good grasp on how to upload pictures, edit text, and overall work with technology to get the best use out of this software
  • Students could get distracted by the designing aspect of creating their book rather than focus on the content

Application:

If a teacher wants students to create a book independently or with a partner but has limited time for them to do so, using StoryJumper would be a positive alternative. Since creating a handmade book requires tedious work, detail, and time commitment; making a digital book would save a lot of time and would allow for neatness and creativity, especially if done by elementary aged students. The students can creatively collaborate to make a book for an assignment, the teacher would be able to easily access their work and leave them feedback, and it would all be done time efficiently.

Sometimes when a student presents his or her work to their classmates, not every student can see the work being presented, or read the words and observe the pictures if they are presenting a book (I have seen this in my pre-prac). To avoid this, the teacher should have his or her students use StoryJumper to create their books. This way, when the students are finished, the teacher can easily bring up their book and have it displayed on the board via a projector or a digital whiteboard, and every student will be able to clearly see the student’s work.

Click here to read a very brief book I created on StoryJumper.

Tool Evaluation 3

Twiducate

indexlogo.jpghttps://www.livelingua.com/twiducate/


Overview:

Type of Software: Web 2.0, social networking for schools

Primary User: teachers and students

Appropriate Audience: teachers of all ages, and students from the upper elementary years through college

Price: Free

Features:

  • Twiducate is a social networking site for schools to use so teachers and students can network together in a safe way (similar to Twitter).
  • Teachers can create their own classroom page and code, and invite his or her students into the page so no outsiders can join.
  • Teachers and students can post on the page to communicate, debate, or share ideas about a certain topic.
  • Students and teachers can comment on specific posts to further communication.
  • Teachers can add other teachers and students into their classroom page to view everyone’s posts.
  • Teachers can make a public page to collaborate and communicate with other teachers using Twiducate.
  • Teacher can add links under the links page, bookmarks, and also deadlines and events under the date’s page for students to see when they sign into the Twiducate classroom page.
  • Available chat room for students to communicate while everyone is online.
  • Teachers and students can edit their posts by adding colors, bullet points, pictures, links, and other features similar to those on Word.
  • Safe and secure pages; only the creator of the classroom page (the teacher) can invite other people into the page.

Here is a video tutorial of how to use and navigate Twiducate:

Evaluation:

Age Appropriateness: This software is highly appropriate for students who have access to and are aware of how to use technology with the guidance of a teacher. Because the teacher is the only person who can invite the students to see the classroom page, no outsiders or public accounts can view what the teacher and students are posting. This site is predominantly for educational purposes only, so there are no pop-up advertisements or links to other websites. Also, the teacher can view what each student is posting to make sure they stay on task and are using the site appropriately.

Strengths:

  • Easy to use and to navigate
  • Teacher can monitor student activity on the site
  • Posts can be edited to make them more visually attractive
  • Users can comment on other people’s posts
  • Easy for teacher-student collaboration
  • Relatable and engaging site for students (similar to social media)
  • Safe from public
  • Can add links to other sources, bookmarks, and important due dates on the classroom page
  • Chat room for quick communication among students and teacher

Limitations:

  • Students could use the software inappropriately since it is so similar to popular social media sites.
  • Access to the website was slow (on my computer)
  • Students could choose an inappropriate avatar (profile picture)

Comparison to Twitter: Twiducate is very similar to Twitter in the fact that it is a tool used to collaborate and communicate with other people via the Internet. Similar to Twitter, students can comment on other people’s posts and view what everyone is posting. Unlike Twitter, this site is far more protected because the classroom page is not open to the public, the users are not limited to 140 characters, and the user can edit their posts and also use bullets, images, font colors, and more. The user has no followers and there are also no hash tags or trending pages available to the user on Twiducate. The focus on this software is much more educational than Twitter.

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 2.15.32 PM.png
My Twiducate page for our class (as if I were the teacher). I have added two posts as seen above. This is a screenshot from my computer.

Applications with Education:

If the teacher is having a hard time engaging his or her students into a certain content subject, or can’t seem to relate or connect to them, the teacher can turn to Twiducate. If the teacher presents this site and the students see that it is a social media tool, they will definitely be engaged, since social media is extremely popular among youth today. Because the students can make an account, post, and communicate with their peers on the classroom Twiducate page, they will feel like they are on Twitter, but for educational purposes. This tool really is a great way to get students socially engaged with their classmates and with the teacher.

If a teacher is having difficulties in his or her classroom with student participation, Twiducate could help solve the problem. If the teacher wanted to, for example, have a debate about a topic with his or her classroom, he or she could assign students to log into the classroom Twiducate page and create a post expressing their opinion on the matter, and also comment on other students’ posts. Since speaking in class is not every student’s strong suit, using Twiducate could allow the student to participate and express their views without physically speaking in front of the class. This way, everyone is participating without the pressure to speak up.

Click here for a review of Twiducate