Tech Integration Post #9 of 10: Create Concept Review Videos For Students And Parents

Throughout the whole of the previous school year, I often wondered how to reach more of my student’s parents and engage them (directly) in classroom concepts. I wanted to somehow have the ability to connect parents with what was happening in the classroom, and at the same time offer parents the opportunity to practice fundamental math concepts with their children, based on materials I had created for them.

Originally I had planned to video myself explaining math concepts such as place value, number sense, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division. When I first tried to video myself I had to consider things like lighting and position of props. It turned out to be time consuming and somewhat difficult.

Recently, I found a solution, and want to share it with you.  I use the iPad app, Explain Everything to create math review videos.  Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations.  It’s like an interactive whiteboard for your iPad! You can easily create dynamic interactive lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials using Explain Everything.  It is possible to record your voice, add images, change pen colours and vary the thickness of your pen lines.  Not only that, but you can easily edit your video, and export to several different formats including, YouTube, Evernote, and email.

The intermediate division of my school is going to be focused on improving math skills this year, and it is my goal to email or host these videos in a place for my student’s parents to view before school starts, during the first few weeks or school, and at any time a review is needed.  So, the next time a parent of one of your students asks, “What can I do to help my child with math?” send them a link to one of your newly created math review videos.  It’s that easy!

Here’s a couple I made today.  Feel free to tell me what you think:

iPad + Blogsy: A Match Made In Heaven

Updating your WordPress.com blog on your iPad, while travelling, has never been easier with Blogsy. There are many applications you can use to manage your blog on the go including, WordPress, Blogpress, Evernote, but I really like Blogsy and its ease of use.

Before you begin blogging, you will need to purchase some additional hardware if you fo not plan to use the iPad’s built-in video and camera. If you have an additional camera you use to take pictures for your blog, or a video camera with more options you’ll need to purchase the Apple iPad Camera Connect Kit. This allows you to connect an external micro SD card or a USB device to your iPad. Once you connect the camera kit, the iPad will automatically import all video and images based on your preferences. It’s as simple as that. Once your media is stored on the iPad, you are ready to blog. It is also possible to add media via cloud picture albums such as Picasa Web Albums and Flickr without the camera connect kit. I’ll explain this later.

Once all the media (pictures and video) which you intend to use in your blog posting has been transferred to the iPad you can begin to interact with Blogsy. Before you create your first blog you will need to customize Blogsy. It doesn’t mater which of the three main blogging platforms you use, WordPress, Blogger, or Posterous. You will be able to use Blogsy’s easy to use interface to post content to your blog. Here is a useful video that explains how to complete Blogsy’s ont-time set up for your blogging platform:

Assuming, when about to blog on the go, that you don’t have access to cloud photo albums, Flickr and Picasa Web Albums, you will to transfer media (both still pictures and video) from your SD card to your iPad. This short video explains how to do this with the aid of Apple’s Camera Connect Kit:

Once you have transfered all your media to the iPad, you can write your post in full and publish to your favourite blogging platform. This short video explains how to add media to your post, apply appropriate categories and tags, and publish to the Internet:

I recently created a blog on the iPad using Blogsy. It’s as easy to blog on the iPad as it is on a laptop or desktop. By clicking on the link you can see the quality and variety of the postings on my summer cycle tour along northwestern coast of the U.S.A. All posts were created and published on the iPad.

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