Tag Archives: Tools

Cutting Edge Texting… Now on Android

remind 101 just announced the release of their Android App. remind101 is the fastest, safest and easiest way for connected educators to communicate with their students through private and secure text messages.  In today’s mobile classroom environment, our students show up to the classroom with devices in hand, and it is essential for educators to have a safe and efficient way to communicate with them. This release makes it easier for students, parents and educators to use this awesome tool regardless of platform or device.

The service allows educators to broadcast messages to both students and parents in a convenient and easy to use platform. Like a Swiss Army knife, remind101 manage to incorporate many aspects of effective communication in a simple and tightly integrated app.

This means remind101 is now available as a FREE download on both Google Play and iTunes. The app features, class management for up to 10 classes, unlimited students or parent’s text messaging, message scheduling, users text history and many others. Watch my interview with Brett Kopf, Co-Founder of remind 101 and the accompanying demo of remind 101 to learn more about this great resource for connected educators. You can download the Android app by visiting the Google Play store now.

As always please leave your comments or questions below and Subscribe to my YouTube channel and news feed.

remind101 | Bret Kopf

 

How It Works

via: remind101 on Vimeo.

LearnSprout | Student Information Simplified

There are many ways to manage student data and all of them require some sort of technology. The challenge for many schools is how to manage it all while retaining data integrity. The amount of data generated for just one student can be difficult to share and manage amongst the many systems currently being used. We live in a connected world which means the safeguarding of our students data is more important than ever today.

That is where LearnSprout comes in, they have developed an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows schools to share student information amongst the various systems in use from a secure environment that retains data integrity. LearnSprout can manage multiple data sources and individual system updates from a single API that make the whole process seamless to school administrators and educators.

LearnSprout was formed by three college buddies, Franklin Chien, Anthony Wu and Joe Woo; after college they went to work for three of the largest technology giants, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. They have now come back together to launch LearnSprout and cultivate the edtech ecosystem through their innovative approach to managing the data in our Student Information Systems (SIS). I recently sat down with Franklin Chien to talk about their services and to learn more about the company. You can watch the interview video below.

LearnSprout can pull data from PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, Illuminate, Aeries, Skyward and STI; integration with other systems is currently being worked on. Their service is FREE for schools and districts, but EdTech software vendors pay a small fee to connect to their API. The API addresses both privacy and security concerns by being fully compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. You can get the full details from their Security Policy document.

If you are ready to take data management to the next level at your school I would definitely give them a call. They are primarily working in the K-12 sector of education, but I see the potential for their API to be used in Higher Education as well. If you want to learn more about LearnSprout products and services visit their website http://www.learnsprout.com/.

Franklyn Chien: Passion

via: rocketlist on Vimeo.

Annotary | Bookmarking Research Tool

I have tried many bookmarking services for research before, but I have settled for a few favorites. I love Diigo’s content curation capabilities, Pocket for mobile content, Pinterest for my addiction to eye candy and EduClipper for education. What if I told you there is a new FREE service that combines features from all of these into one.

Welcome to Annotary a new service that allows you to highlight content from the web, create collections of the best stuff you find and share it with students, colleagues, family and friends. They have made it real easy for you to bookmark your finds, and have extensions for both Chrome, and Firefox. You can highlight webpages and take notes. The pages stay highlight and they are added to a collection to be shared with others. You can also explore their site and see what other users have been bookmarking. They also have a built-in search engine that searches all of the collections in Annotary. Sharing can be done on all major social networks or through an e-mail. What do you think? I like it so far. So go ahead highlight the web and share your notes. Watch the demo video below and post your comments. Learn more about Annotary by visiting their website at http://annotary.com/

Connected Educator Swiss Army Knife

remind101 is the fastest, safest and easiest way for connected educators to communicate with their students through private and secure text messages. In today’s mobile classroom environment, our students show up to the classroom with devices in hand, and it is essential for educators to have a safe and efficient way to communicate with them.

This service allows educators to broadcast messages to both students and parents in a convenient and easy to use platform. Like a Swiss Army knife, remind101 manage to incorporate many aspects of effective communication in a simple and tightly integrated app. The brainchild of Chicago brothers, Brett and David Kopf they got the idea for the app while attending college as a solution to a common problem for students; how to manage the flow of information between them and their teachers.

The Kopf brothers have since moved to San Francisco where after being accepted into the Imagine K-12 Instructional Technology incubator they have continued to tweak and develop remind 101. Their app is currently being used by over 200,000 users across Canada and the United States.

remind101 is available on iTunes as a free download; it includes features such as, class management for up to 10 classes, unlimited students or parent’s text messaging, message scheduling, users text history and many others. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Brett for a short Google+ hangout, so be sure to watch it, and the accompanying demo to learn more about this great resource for connected educators.

Brett Kopf, remind101 Co-Founder Interview

 

How It Works

Remind101 from remind101 on Vimeo.

Managing student behavior in the Classroom

ClassDojo is a classroom tool that helps teachers improve student behavior in their classrooms. It helps the busy educator optimize their daily routine and provide feedback for students and parents. This stunning webapp captures and generates behavioral data that can be shared with parents and administrators. One of the great advantages of using this tool is that you can literally access it from anywhere; whether you are on your desktop, smart phone or tablet device. It is free to use, and with just one touch on your device it allows teachers to instantly award points and badges based on a student’s behavior or participation. This tool can also be used to provide positive reinforcement without making the students feel as if they were being punished.

Students and parents have access to a profile page that is updated in real-time to see how they are doing in class, and what badges/points they have earned. As a teacher, you can use Class Dojo’s reward system to provide instant visual notifications for students to see (e.g. ‘Well done Daniel! +1 for helping others!’). 
I recently had the opportunity to sit down for a talk with ClassDojo’s Co-Founder, Sam Chaudhary to talk about their vision and the future of ClassDojo. So, please be sure to watch the interview video and visit the ClassDojo YouTube channel for some pretty cool videos about this great product, its many features and how it is helping teachers around the world manage behavior in the classroom while increasing student engagement.
Sam Chaudhary –  ClassDojo Co-Founder Interview

ClassDojo Introduction 

 

Creative Commons License

The Best way to manage your research for Free

I am currently attending school and the one thing I am not having fun with is doing all of the research that comes as part of being a student. I have searched all over the Internet for tools to help me manage the amount of data gathered during the research process and I believe to have found the answer to my problems in Mendeley.

A free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. The thing that stands out about it is that contrary to other tools I have tried this one actually has a Desktop, iPhone and iPad applications that allow you to do your research anywhere you have access to the Internet and while on the go. So go ahead and do some research of your own. To find out more about Mendley and to create a free account please visit, http://www.mendeley.com/

What is Mendeley? from Mendeley on Vimeo.

The new Kid with lots of muscle Outlook.com


Microsoft in an effort not to be outdone by Google has released a new webmail service called Outlook.com. There are many advantages to using it over Gmail because they are offering unlimited e-mail storage on all accounts and a generous 7GB of free space on SkyDrive which is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. The interface is a lot cleaner than Gmail and Microsoft promises to display no adds offering a clean look that reminds me a lot of Facebook. They are also allowing you to convert your Hotmail, Live.com and MSN accounts to the Outlook.com service. Microsoft has promised to integrate Skype into the service which will be an additional bonus to using the service. There is also a preview of the Windows 8 app switcher which gives you some insight as to how this will work when Windows 8 is finally released. I recommend for now securing your name or switching your existing accounts to this service.

Here is a walk-through of the service enjoy it.

The Easiest way to Record MP3 online

Record MP3 is a Flash based webapp that allows you to create .mp3 files using any microphone. The cool thing about this tool is that it not only they give you a shareable URL but you can save the .mp3 file to your computer. Think about the possibilities for this, you could used it for grading audio feedback, audio lectures, Podcasts and whatever else you can imagine. Please watch the video below for a short demo of this tool and visit; http://www.recordmp3.org/ to get started using it.

A Pear for the Hungry Lion : OS X

CCleaner has long been a must have tool in the self-service arena to keep PC’s humming along and free of trouble. I am pleased to announce there is now a Mac version of this gem. I must add, Piriform has done a fantastic job in creating a very well rounded product for Mac’s. The best part of it is that is free. You must be asking yourself what this has to do with Instructional Technology, well I can assure you that it has everything to do with it. If your system is not running the right way you cannot communicate with your students. They on the other hand cannot do their handy work, and that open the gates to those e-mails you get on the weekend with stories about how the dog ate the keyboard ect… If you are a Mac user go give this a try by downloading it from the Piriform website, http://bit.ly/KW8xdc

*If you are a Windows user, there is no need to go crying to mama for candy as you can get the version for your OS here, http://bit.ly/KW8FcP

Image Optimizer

Image optimizer is a free online service to resize, compress and optimize your image files. This service is really easy to use, and it comes in handy for those times when you need to upload an image to your course or a website, and you get the not so friendly popup “Image is too Big and cannot be uploaded” message. Image optimizer will take care of this for you by resizing the picture to your desired resolution, and at the same time give you the smallest file possible without losing any quality on the original image. There is also a desktop version for this webapp but on all of the testing I conducted the web version works fine, provided you have a high speed connection to upload the original file. I recommend to always resize your images for optimum screen viewing across all devices. I recommend using resolutions, no smaller than 800×600, and no larger than 1024×768. This will allow your content to look its best across desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. You can get Image Optimizer from this link, http://bit.ly/M1iaxo