I have written previously about Fakebook, which allows you to create a fake Facebook page. To see that article, click here. Classtools.net has another fun activity that is a bit easier for you to use but can create the same type of feel. the SMS Generator!
The SMS Generator gives you the opportunity to create a text message conversation between 2 people. It can be historical figures or characters from a book. You could even have different shapes carry on a conversation! It can be used across the curriculum. It is straight forward and simple. You can access from a computer or a mobile device.
Use the options below the message field to add conversation bubbles, save your work, share your work, and start a new conversation. Before you can share your work you must save what you have done and create a password to protect it. Each conversation that is created is given it own unique URL. Without the password anyone who stumbles across the site address could modify the conversation. We want to keep it safe.
Once the conversation is saved, you have options to share your work. You can copy the URL to share that way. You are also given options to get an embed code to be used on your website or a QR code can be created to link to the conversation. Choose the option that works best for you!
The text message generator is just one more way to allow students to express/share what they have learned. Allow your students to reach for higher level thinking by granting them the freedom for creativity in their assessment.
A BIG obstacle and headache that often occurs when working with iOS devices is being able to easily transfer your photos and videos between the iPad and computer. Emailing is not always the answer. File sizes can become too large. Having to attach image after image is a hassle. An even bigger hassle is having to plug the device into the computer. Simple Transfer is a free app that will allow you to transfer your data wirelessly to or from any computer.
Simple Transfer is VERY easy to use. Once it is downloaded, open the app. It will show you a screen with a web IP address on it. Leave the app open and then enter the address it provides into the web browser (Chrome, IE, Safari, etc.) on your computer.
A window will pop open on the computer showing your iPad and the different folders you have created on it to store your photos and videos. If you are looking to upload media from your computer to the iPad it can be done from the first window you see. Choose the location you want the file to save on the iPad and then browse to the file you wish to upload. Note that the free version of the app only allows you to transfer 1 file at a time to the iPad.
If you are looking to transfer files from your iPad to your computer, select the folder where the files you are transferring are located.
The screen will refresh, opening the folder you have chosen. You can now select the photos or videos you want to transfer. You also have a “select all” option. Note that the free version of this app allows you to transfer up to 50 files at a time to your computer. If you select more than one file to upload, a zip file will be created and sent to the computer. Open the folder on your computer to view all the files you have transferred.
There is a paid version of this app that will allow you to transfer more than 50 files at a time from device to computer and also allow you to upload multiple files at once from computer to device. The paid version is $1.99. Try the free version first to be sure your network is not blocking the use of this app. If it works and you find you need more freedom with the app, purchase the paid version. Then sit back and enjoy Simple Transfer!
An issue I often had in my classroom was finding writing prompts that my students could get excited about. A single prompt does not meet everyone’s needs. I realize there are times when an entire class needs to address the same prompt, but in most cases it doesn’t matter what they are writing about as long as they are motivated to do their best. Write About This is an app that can help you with prompt ideas.
The app is set up very well. It is easy to manipulate and straight forward. The home screen allows you quick access to everything. You can choose to locate a prompt by searching, by category, or choose to have the app randomly select a prompt.
The app is set up with 19 categories. Each category has a varying number of picture prompts to choose from. It doesn’t stop there. Choose one of the images and it gives you a written prompt to go along with it. The prompt can also be read to you. Not enough you say? Each image has 3 prompt levels to further individualize instruction. How in-depth do you want to go???
Along with the hundreds of prompts already loaded in the app, you have the ability to create your own custom prompts. You can take a picture with your device or choose an image that already exists in your camera roll. Add your written prompt to the picture and save. You now have a custom prompt for your students. Create as many as you like.
When in the writing process, once you choose an image, you are asked to title your writing and provide your name. This will help keep your students’ stories organized. Once your story is finished, you can save it to the “My Write Abouts” section of the app. You can also share your story by emailing a PDF. The app allows you to set a default email address to send to each time if you prefer. Here is an example of a mini-story I created.
There are 2 versions of this app. The free version gives you a good feel about what it can do but is limited in the number of prompts available. The paid version ($2.99) gives you many more image options. Try out the free version first and see if it is right for you. I am pretty sure the paid version will be in your future!
QR codes are playing a big role in the classroom these days. Teachers are using them to introduce topics, review vocabulary, and self-check work. There are quite a few sites that will create the code for you. My favorite is QRStuff.com. It is very straight-forward and easy to use.
You can create codes for multiple types of media. Link to text, a website, video, pretty much any type of data you want as long as you have a link.
Images have been a little more of a challenge though. In order to create a QR code for an image you must first have the image stored on-line somewhere. I have found that using Google Drive is quick, easy, and free! Here’s how you do it.
From your Drive, choose to upload a file and then browse to the image you wish to use. Once the image has finished uploading, go to the share settings and choose to make the image visible to anyone with the link.
Copy the link, go to QRStuff.com and create a code for a website url. Download your code and you are good to go! Click here to download a cheat sheet to guide you through the entire process.