Thoughts on Apps/Software

Some apps/software that have made my teaching/learning more fun and effective this year:

  • Tourwrist app: got into an even deeper New York State of Mind (book and song by Billy Joel) during grade 1 “Music and Books” unit. After enjoying the book/song, students used the Tourwrist app to get a panoramic view and interactive experience of places in New York. When Latin Gamma students came in to the library to research the Pantheon, we started off research viewing the Pantheon up close thanks to Tourwrist.
  • Nearpod app: deliver presentations (with interactive slides) to every device get immediate feedback from participants; get reports of participants’ responses; control their devices during the presentation.
  • EasyBib School Edition: students create projects, add citations, notes, and outlines all in one place; the LearnCite feature and evaluating sources feature are helpful tools to teach information literacy.
  • Edmodo: join professional groups and/or communities within Edmodo; create a group for each class; powerful and safe way to keep class organized; communicate with students individually through posts or allow them to post to the group (students cannot post directly to each other only to the whole class); attach links and documents to posts; assign projects; give out badges and so much more!

Film Use in Classroom and Copyright

Meris Stansbury’s “New copyright law affects educators”

“Higher-ed film students get exemption; K-12, other studies left out”

If you don’t have time to read Stansbury’s whole article, here’s how the new ruling affects K-12 teachers/students:

“Students can rip movie excerpts legally, but only if they are film/media studies majors–meaning students in subjects like history and sociology still won’t have the exemption. K-12 students and teachers are still also at a disadvantage.

The Copyright Office deemed K-12 teachers and students ineligible for exemption, and indicated that they should instead use only screen captures of a film, because K-12 doesn’t need access to visually high-quality clips.” Not so sure that I agree with the Copyright Office’s logic.

To clarify, what K-12 teachers and students can legally do with film:

“According to Hobbs, if K-12 students or teachers are using clips to create a new work for purposes of comment and criticism, and they have a real need for higher-quality clips, they can legally rip video excerpts as long as they are for noncommercial purposes. This non-commercial exemption will enable elementary and secondary students and teachers to create and remix videos legally under these limitations.”

The article also mentions screen capture tools such as Camtasia and Jing (has a free version).

In order to read the full article at the link above, you will need to create an account (free) at eschoolnews.com. e School News is an excellent site that provides “Technology News for Today’s K-20 Educator.