Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Flipsnack: An Electronic Flipping Book

FlipSnack is a free online web tool that allows users to convert PDF documents into Flash page flip books for the purpose of sharing literary work (stories, poems) and/or visuals (pictures, graphs, charts).  This very easy to use software only requires 3 simple steps:

1.  Upload PDF files
2.  Customize the flip book appearance
3.  Convert & publish into a flip book

I really like this web tool because it encourages students to focus on the writing process as the finalized copy will actually be published for the rest of the world to see.

Sample Classroom Activity:

This semester, students in my English 9 class read the novel Dare by Marilyn Halvorson.  My students enjoyed the book but strongly felt the novel needed an alternate ending.  As a result, we decided that their final novel project would be to write either a final chapter or an epilogue.  Below is an example of our project.

I highly recommend checking into Flipsnack interactive flipping books!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

QR Codes: A Wealth of Information Stored in a Little Square

"The De-tech-tive 4 Schools" QR code
QR codes (Quick Response) are two-dimensional bar codes whose distinct pattern have been encoded with specific information such as advertisements, websites, business cards, etc.  In fact in Japan, QR codes are even used to buy groceries!  Due to the increasing popularity of mobile devices,  QR codes are becoming more and more invaluable in that content can be quickly and easily accessed using the device's built-in camera.  There are two resources, one needs to get started with QR codes: a QR code generator and QR code reader.  Below I have included links to some possible generators and readers.Generators:Kaywa QR code generator Beautiful QR codesReaders:
Sample Classroom Activity:The QR code generator I would like to highlight is QR Voice.  Once the code has been scanned, a voice will delivered the encoded information.  I utilized QR Voice by creating codes for the poetic devices my English classes are expected to learn.  Below are the poetic device codes.  Please feel free to use and share with your students and colleagues. Qr codes for poetic devices
View more documents from L. Hall.

I strongly encourage you to give  QR Voice a try!  Click here to get started.

This blog originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quizlet: An excellent study tool

It is that time of year again when students are fretting over final exams and evaluations.  I have always told my students that it is not the evaluation that one should fear but rather being unprepared for it.  An outstanding flashcard resource students can use to ease the stress of studying is Quizlet.   Quizlet is a web and mobile based resource that offers a large database of flashcards and games for any subject area.  If there is not an available set of flashcards, users can also create their own individual set to meet their academic needs.

My favorite feature of Quizlet is its compatibility with various mobile platforms.  Kaka Flashcards is my app of choice as our school has Android based devices but a search of the App Store (IOS) or Blackberry App World will produce similar products.  I strongly encourage my students to use their mobile devices to study as often as possible.  5 minutes before dinner, 10 minutes while waiting for the bus, 15 minutes in the car, etc. - it is amazing how the small chunks of time start to add up.  Interestingly, recent research shows that mobile learning is a very effective study tool due to the increased opportunities to study but also the advantages of storing and retrieving information using our long-term memory.     

Sample Classroom Activity:

Below are two sets of flashcards a student of mine created for our English 8 class using Quizlet.  Please feel free to share these two resources with your colleagues and students.

I highly recommend Quizlet as it encourages effective study habits across multiple subject areas. 

This blog originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Skype for Education: Connecting Students with the Rest of the World

Skype offers fantastic opportunities for teachers and students alike to share, learn and collaborate with others around the world.  Skype for Education is an extension of Skype in that it offers a meeting place for educators to easily connect with one another.  A key feature of the Skype for Education website is the search engine that allows teachers to quickly narrow down potential educational contacts they would like to use with their classes.  

Sample Classroom Activity:

Last fall, my English 8 class was very fortunate to connect with a class from Aguascalientes, Mexico.   My students really enjoyed learning about Mexican culture as well as sharing activities we were working on.  Below is a video clip authored by the local news station CFJC News documenting our experience.  As well, I have attached the "I AM" poetry project that both classes shared with each other.

For teachers who are looking to expand the walls of their classroom, I highly recommend this resource - Click here.  

I am poem template
View more documents from L. Hall.


"Sharing Classroom Experiences Over Skype - (CFJC News)." CFJC TV7 - 
     Kamloops' Very Own. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2012.