EdTech tips and tools from the week – 26th Aug 2011

TIPS

Reading – What do kids say is the biggest obstacle to technology at school? 

  • iPads. Interactive Whiteboards. Netbooks. Video games. Although educational technologies are being implemented more and more in classrooms across the country, we don’t often stop and ask students – or their parents – what they think their technology needs are. But the newly-released Speak Up 2010 survey has done just that.”

100+ Google Tricks for Teachers

  • As the title suggests – it’s a list of more than 100 tricks using Google products, from search to email to docs to calendar… the list goes on.

18 Ways to educate yourself every day (because nerds are sexy)

  • I think the title says it all!

 

TOOLS

Speech to text in Windows 7:

  • I had a teacher come and ask me about converting speech to text for her Early Childhood Education (ECE) kids after having mentioned the iPhone App, Dragon Dictation. This particular teacher would like to keep accurate records of conversations with her very young students, but can find it difficult to keep up with written or type notes. Normally I would have sent her straight to this app, as we are soon to move in to our new campus, we are lacking wi-fi at our current campus. So I did some research and found that Windows 7 has quite a robust speech-to-text facility, called Speech Recognition. This was, it seems, developed as an accessibility option as an alternative to mouse and keyboard controls, however when using it with Word it becomes a speech-to-text program. Now, it turns out that the ECE kids’ pronunciation isn’t quite clear enough for Speech Recognition to be accurate, but this utility does have great potential for slightly older kids. Do a search for Speech Recognition, or find it under All Programs, Accessories, Ease of Access. Follow the tutorial (we skipped the voice setup tutorial), open Word and start talking.
  • Potential Uses: 
  • Accurate record of conversations.
  • Transcription of reading.
  • Story telling for younger years.
  • Punctuation and other editing development. Have the kids read something, then edit the text (as it doesn’t punctuate and sometimes detects words incorrectly).

Online/Social Bookmarking for Younger Students

  • Of course, there’s the big guys in social bookmarking – diigo, delicious, etc – but for younger students these tools are simply too complex. I’d been looking for a clean, simple bookmarking tool that provided a thumbnail of the linked site. After a quick tweet out, @hechternacht was able to help me out with a great tool called Tizmos. It’s very simple and great for the younger kids – check it out.
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