Sunday, August 26, 2012

Work Smarter Not Harder

Work smarter not harder is the theme song of many educators.  This summer I have tried to put this motto into action.  I have read numerous blogs/websites and found some awesome ideas and numerous free downloads of great therapy activities. It is going to be a lot of fun to bring these activities to life in my classroom.


Two blogs that I would like to give a shout out to are Speech Room News written by Jenna and Sublime Speech by Danielle.  These ladies have put together wonderful resources for other slps and parents.  Take a few minutes and look through their blogs; you will be amazed and will have some great resources. These professionals also have some of the material for sale on Teacher's Pay Teacher's.

I downloaded the "Capture the Words - Articulation Edition" game from Speech Room News thinking it was a great activity that I would use on a regular basis.  Then I ran across Danielle's post on using the "Glow Draw" app.  Why not combine the two activities?  In other words, I am going to have my students play "Capture the Words" on the iPad using the "Glow Draw" app to interact with the game board.  The kids are going to love it.

Thank you to Jenna and Danielle for sharing their knowledge and resources with us.  Students with speech language needs around the world can only benefit from your generosity. 






Saturday, August 25, 2012

Kabaam

Kabaam, what an intriguing name for an app.  You might want to considering taking a look.  Kabaam is an iPhone app that was produced by Gamua and sells for only ninety nine cents.  With a great name like this I'm sure your wondering what you can do with this app.

Kabaam allows you to create and publish comics using your own pictures.  You are able to take your own pictures with the device or access pictures you have saved in your photo roll or on Facebook.  As you are telling your story you can add what Kabaam calls juice to each photo.  Juice really is the ability to add speech, thought and shout bubbles as well as notes (short bits of text that reveal the setting or tone) and Baams (expression of speechless acts).  Once you have completed your comic strip you name it.  Then it is time to publish it.  Some of the options you have are; publishing it to kabaam.cc, post to your Facebook or Flickr pages, upload to Picasa, send it by email or save it to your photo roll.

When you are building your first Kabaam there is an awesome tutorial that walks you through each step.    I also like the tutorial located at kabaam.cc.

How have I used Kabaam? On the speech side of my job, I used it to script conversations to help some of my student work through social issues. The comic strip format really helped them to understand their peers point of view.  It worked amazingly well because I was able to personalize the comic strip by using classmates in the pictures.  I have also used Kabaam with my technology classes. After we completed our unit on internet safety, students wrote comic strips.  An activity like this allowed me to move the students up Blooms Taxonomy to higher levels of learning.  

If you haven't tried Kabaam I highly recommend you take a look. The only  drawback I can find is the limit of nine pictures. It is well worth the dollar to get it.  Kids love it and adults will have fun too.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Apps, Apps, and More Apps

It is an exciting time to be in education.  Things are changing rapidly and one of the most powerful changes I have witnessed is the introduction of the iPad into the educational setting. Hard to believe I quickly adopted this isn't it.  I feel fortunate to work in a district that believes in technology and was able to find a way to get these educational tools into the hands of their professionals. 

Getting an iPad is the easy part.  Weeding your way through over 500,000 apps in Apple's App Store is an insurmountable task.  Have no fear I have found some fabulous resources that can help you through that process.

Smart Apps for Kids - Every day this group put out their pick for the "Good Free App of the Day".  I have grabbed some great apps through this program.  Smart Apps for Kids also provides real and authentic app reviews.  They provide daily news on free and discounted apps too. The Rafflecopter is fired up daily offering their friends some of the greatest giveaways on the web.  Some of things I have seen them giveaway are; iPads, apps, cases, and some of the neatest accessories on the market. They can be found on the web and on Facebook.


AppAble - If you have a student with special needs AppAble is the place for you.  They frequently have chats with app developers on their Facebook page.  These chats are highly beneficial as they will help you maximize the features of the app.  They also help you have a greater appreciation for the app developers and  will provide you with a few moments of comic relief too.  The administrative team at AppAble is friendly and seem to be online 24/7 providing resources to the special needs community. Some of the resources they provide are app reviews and a Daily Free App List to find the deals of the day. Code and accessory giveaways  are regular features on their Facebook and blog pages.  Stop by and check them out.

The iMums - Four moms from around the world have joined forces to offer advice on everything related to mobile devices.  On their Facebook and web pages they offer unbelievable reviews that feature educational apps and recreational apps for kids.  They also do in-depth product reviews too.  On their website you will find interviews with app developers and reviews of some of the newest accessories on the market. The iMums send out a daily email summarizing their posts for the day. Which is very handy to quickly pursue the news of the day.  Giveaways are abundant and multifaceted on The iMums pages.  Stop by one of their locations and check out this wonderful resource.

AppyMall - The new kid on the block is quickly become a popular destination. The AppyMall is designed like your local shopping mall with five main anchor stores.  These stores are; Preschool App Store, Elementary App Store, Middle School App Store, Special Needs App Store, and Speech Language App Store. Additional stores are opening on almost a daily basis. Inside each store you can search by age, grade levels and more.  Since opening, the AppyMall has been busy offering lots of contests, giveaways, and flash sales.  I am still feeling my way around the AppyMall but like what I see so far.  It just might become a game changer in the app review market.  Perhaps another "Mall of America" but this time in cyberspace. Check out the AppyMall and their blog and Facebook page to see for yourself. 


Please realize that these are just a few of the wonderful resources out their there.  I know there are a lot more but this group is where I hang out when I am looking for information of apps and accessories. If you have not stopped by all the resources that I mentioned make time in the next few days and see what I am excited about.



Welcome to Tech-Talk

Seeing my thoughts in a blog is scary but a little exciting.  I've had the urge to give this a try for quite sometime but keep putting it off because I do not consider myself much of a writer.  Well there is no time like the present.  So here goes!

Tech-Talk is a blog that will focus of my thoughts and ideas regarding my professional life.  I fill dual roles for the district that I work for.  Currently I am the districts only educational speech language clinician.  At times it gets a little lonely on my island so feel free to stop in for a "virtual chat". The other part of my day is also filled with teaching technology to the districts 4th - 6th graders.  They are a great bunch of kids and eager to learn and embrace whatever I put in front of them.  It's hard not to catch their excitement for learning.

I know my teaching assignments are a strange combination but I love it!  It allows me to use both of my degrees and combines two of my passions.

Stop back again to see what I have been up to.  You will find my thoughts on various things related to technology, speech/language services and an occasional misplaced comma or two.