Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Edit Your Pictures with Aviary - A Simple to Use Tool

There are lots of picture editing tools that teachers can use with students.  Aviary is an excellent one that has a clean interface and is simple to use.  Here is  a picture I uploaded, edited and framed with one click. 
You upload a picture, click on various editing tools and save. How many times do you students take pictures that need to be cropped or brightened?  Aviary is an answer! 

 In addition, teachers can join the education version of Aviary - Here teachers can create private student accounts, use a variety of editors for images, music, and sounds, and manage projects in Aviary Education, in a safe, controlled environment.  You will need to request a free login to Aviary Education. Here is a screen shot of the education version request. 

Give Aviary a try.  I think it is a good tool for your classroom multimedia projects or for editing your personal pictures.  If you already use Aviary, write a comment about your experience with this web tool. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Learning Idea - Do You Share Mobile Learning Apps?

In my technology integration work with teachers, I have begun suggesting that teachers explore "free apps" for smart phones and the various mobile devices.  Although some teachers/schools may be  not own or use such devices, many parents own devices that their students can use as a powerful learning tool.  I think teachers should have a basic knowledge of what learning apps are available and make recommendations to parents, much like they do in other academic areas such as summer book lists.  We should not miss an opportunity to extend learning now and during the school year by making students and parents aware of the multitude of free learning apps that are available for downloading. 

I read this article and had to smile because the author said something that I have shared with teachers - Angry Birds is not a learning app!  In this article, Top Free Educational and Fun Apps for iPhones and IPads for Kids,  Christina Landers shares her picks for learning apps.  No Angry Birds and she keeps it simple for novice learners.

Whether you have access to a mobile learning device or smart phone, check out these titles and increase your understanding of mobile learning. Although Ms. Landers shares early learning apps in her article, there are so many free apps that can enhance learning for students of all ages.  If you search for a title, you will find a description and screen shots of the app.  Here is the description for the Counting Coins app that is pictured here.

I will continue to share mobile learning ideas and tools.  We need to take advantage of FREE tools both mobile and otherwise.  Awareness of quality free learning games will help students move beyond the Angry Birds.  If you already share mobile learning apps with students and parents, post your ideas in a comment.