Thursday, November 15, 2012

Next Book Club Meeting

For November's meeting, the UHS Student Book Club is reading Veronica Roth's Divergent.  We'll be having our book discussion Wednesday, November 28th at 2:00pm in the library media center.  New members are always welcome!

Learn Spanish

Interested in learning Spanish?  Check out the Spanish MOOC, which is an open course for people that do not already have a background in speaking or learning Spanish.  The course offers 12 graded assignments which will provide students with personalized feedback.

The course is a combination of recorded video instruction, conversation practice with other students, and homework assignments evaluated through the integrated Instreamia learning platform.  In these assignments, students will practice listening recognition, vocabulary understanding, context comprehension, and grammar usage.

And best of all, the course is FREE!  The course begins January 21, 2013.  Register here.

Pixntell for Photostories

A free iPad app for creating narrated photostories, Pixntell lets the user select some images, arrange them in a preferred order and then narrate each image. Similar to Animoto in its format, Pixntell could be used to create short student biographies, art presentations, book reviews or book trailers.  When a Pixntell project is complete it can be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, or shared via email.  For more ideas on how to use Pixntell in the classroom, visit Richard Byrne's blog here.

Podcast Apps

Do you enjoy listening to podcasts?  Or maybe you have an interest in creating your own podcast?  There are some free apps available for download to your iPad.  Here's a round-up of a few that are out there.

Downcast is a favorite among podcast listeners. Attractive features include importing and exporting feeds, sending media files to Dropbox, marking podcasts for "priority play" playlists, and podcast-specific settings.  Downcast also syncs with iCloud.

Pocket Casts is great for the person new to podcasts.  The intuitive interface makes it easy to find, add, and organize podcast subscriptions.  A good choice for anyone that doesn't want to be bothered with multiple setting screens to listen to podcasts.

Spreaker lets you record your own podcasts.  Read what you want to say and then share all your latest news with your friends on any social network. Spreaker also includes a DJ console to mix voice, music, and effects while creating your podcast.

Hokusai is a multi-track audio editor for the iPhone or iPad.  Hokusai lets you edit your recorded podcasts/audio tracks side by side, mix them together, and export to mp4 format.  Other tools include fade in/fade out, various filters and effects.

Teenage Life in Ancient Rome

Ever wonder what it would be like to be a teenager in a different time period? A Glimpse of Teenage Life in Ancient Rome is the new TED-Ed lesson developed by Ray Laurence from the University of Kent.  The video and its associated questions feature the story of Lucius Popidius Secundus, a 17-year old living in Rome in 73 AD.  His life is a typical one of arranged marriages, coming-of-age festivals, and communal baths. Learn more about what your life would have been like in ancient Rome and watch the video.

Boston Public Library Field Trip

On October 25th, Mrs. Fournier's Research Class took a class field trip to visit the Boston Public Library.  Students toured the library building, visited some of the revolving exhibits, explored the art galleries, and admired the outdoor courtyard's sculptures and architecture. One exhibit in particular that students found interesting was the current "America Votes: Mapping the Political Landscape" exhibit which included approximately 30 maps, political cartoons, photographs and other graphic images that date from the 1780's to the present.  An interesting and informative trip!

Learnist: Pinterest for Schools

Another great app discovered on Richard Byrne's blog Free Technology for Teachers...Learnist is the equivalent of "Pinterest for Learning." Learnist can be used to visually bookmark and share lesson plans and other educational resources.  Learnist also had an iPad app and iPhone app available which enable users to create and browse boards, and share favorite resources.  Unlike Pinterest, Learnist does not require a Twitter or Facebook account to sign up.  All you need is an email account!