Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

I was recently asked for a list of free and cheap instructional technology resources that I have found productive for use on computers. Here is a list in no particular order. I will share an app list (iOS & Android) later…

Hot Potatoes (FREE quiz maker) https://hotpot.uvic.ca/

Quia (Subscription quiz maker) http://quia.com

Kahoot (Online quiz maker) https://getkahoot.com/

WordPress (FREE Web space creator) https://wordpress.com/

Wikispaces (FREE Wiki maker) https://www.wikispaces.com/

PBWorks (FREE Wiki maker) http://www.pbworks.com/

Delicious (FREE bookarkmarking service) http://delicious.com/

Diigo (FREE bookarkmarking service) https://www.diigo.com/

MOODLE (Open Source Learning/Content Management System) https://moodle.org/

GIMP (Open Source Image Editor) https://www.gimp.org/

Inkscape (Open Source graphics software) https://inkscape.org/en/

Open Office (FREE Productivity Suite) https://www.openoffice.org/

Audacity (FREE Audio Editor) http://www.audacityteam.org/

Kompozer (FREE Webpage Creator) http://www.kompozer.net/

Ubuntu (FREE Operating System) http://www.ubuntu.com/

VLC (FREE Media Player) http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

Blender (FREE Digital Rendering Software) https://www.blender.org/features/

Scratch (FREE Programming Software) https://scratch.mit.edu/

InfranView (FREE Image Graphic Editor) http://www.irfanview.com/

PDFSAM (FREE PDF Manipulator) http://www.pdfsam.org/

Jing (FREE Screenshot/Screencast Software) https://www.techsmith.com/jing.html

 

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Interesting World War II article at The Morning News on a WWII secret unit the “waged war and fakery” as a weapon… The Ghost Army

ghost_army

The Associated Press (AP) has several great resources for teaching history…see links below:

AP Explore Page (Some examples follow)

Berlin Wall 25th Anniversary

D-Day 70th Anniversary

World War I 100th Anniversary

JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary

Vietnam – The Real War

As I shared some time ago, I have been embedding DOPO Android tablets into the learning process in my classroom.  My students and I have been utilizing the devices this school year without any major bumps in the road.  One was dropped and met its end, but the rest of the tablets have weathered heavy use.  One thing I miss is access to Flash; so, I installed the Dolphin and FlashFox browsers as a solution to run some of my Flash based resources (I do have alternative HTML versions as a work around too).  Yes, these browsers utilize the last version of Flash to run on Android (11…), but I’m not too concerned about a security risk as we spend most of our time in the walled garden of my classroom website.  Many of my students also use their own devices (a few tablets and mostly phones) to access my online resources.  I also reworked my classroom site, that runs via WordPress, with a more mobile friendly theme.  So, what will the new school year bring?  A continued effort in personally financed and low end tech that can follow me anywhere…

Interesting article at CNN.com on the propaganda art of the Vietnam War.  Great teaching resource for this time period… (See link below)

Art of war: Propaganda posters paint a different picture of Vietnam

vietnam_propaganda

I am doing a trial of an LMS called Canvas.  MOODLE was a great open source solution but is no longer an option in my current district.  The following is a little history on the LMS for your perusal…

history-of-lms

k2-_ba2833fd-2248-4cc1-a555-49e4013aea34.v3This is an update to my low end stab at furnishing my classroom with devices for student use (see other post here – Low end tech:  a solution?).

Along with several old laptops I have been utilizing some DOPO Android tablets that have served very well.  I was able to restore one device that was out of commision and that enabled me to utilize 8 of these tablets for a few months.  After a tragic drop of one of the devices a couple of weeks ago (an accident), I was back to 7 DOPO tablets.  Walmart had a good deal on these devices (upgraded versions for $39.99 each); so, I used some birthday money to order 5 more.  These devices have been stellar in meeting the needs of my students.  I have added cases for each and that has been a good investment in protecting the devices from day to day wear and tear.

I have had to adjust some of the tutorials (QUIA and ExamView activities – see weekly Agendas) that I create on a regular basis in order to bypass the lack of Flash availability on the Android devices.  The old laptops are holding up well, and Ubuntu has been a refreshing answer to the old Windows machines.  The Macs run well with OS 10.4+ and meet the needs of everything that is required for learning.  The Android devices, particularly the DOPO tablets, in addition to students being able to use their own phones and a few other devices via a BYOD network is allowing access for all students on a daily basis.

I have set up a separate Gmail account to manage the Android devices that I will begin using once the new tablets arrive this week.  I load each droid with the minimal browser and a few apps that enhance the classroom experience.  Power management is achieved via several power strips, and I am looking for an improved storage system, but we are making do with what we have.  Each of my students have a Google account via the school district that they can utilize as needed; so, my students are equipped with all the tools they need to be productive and to create on a regular basis (See our recent infographics projects).

The better solution would be if I didn’t have to pay for and support it all myself, but I have found a way for my students to be engaged, to learn, to remediate, and to be enriched on a regular basis.  If you are looking for a low cost device that is sturdy, reliable, and engaging I highly recommend DOPO tablets as a positive addition to your learning environment.