I have a joke for you: The past, present, and future walk into a bar…
Want to know the punch line? 🙂 Continue reading. In this edition of TechToolThursday, I’m going to introduce you to the Smithsonian Channel app for iOS and Android devices. We’ll take a look at the Evernote Web Clipper extension, and the Chrome app Typing Club. As always, please let us know how you’ll use or are using these tech tools – we share because we care. (My 3 year old is currently obsessed with Monsters, Inc., so I’m “borrowing” their slogan.)
Does the fact that I only watch documentaries on our Netflix account make me a nerd? If so, oh well. I love learning, and I love watching shows that teach me something. My interests are varied and wide spread. This is what makes the Smithsonian Channel app so perfect for me and students like me. In the app, you choose topics that are of interest to you, maximum of three. Itthen generates a web of videos that speak to those interests. As you add more, your web gets bigger. At any time, you can deselect an interest to get rid of those videos. To view the videos, simply click on the thumbnail icon on your web. All videos are HD quality, and they are adding new videos and new shows all the time. Users have the option to search for videos, search for specific shows, favorite videos to view later, and to browse through playlists that have already been created. LOVE THIS APP!…and it’s FREE. Here’s a screenshot of my channel I created.
Evernote Web Clipper
If you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you may have discovered my love affair with Evernote. The Evernote Web Clipper extension is just one more reason why I use Evernote for all of my content curation and much of my note taking. When you find a website, online article, or anything online that you want to save, you can clip it directly into one of your Evernote notebooks simply by clicking the web clipper extension. Other options within the clipper include sharing an article, viewing a simplified version, clipping a full-page screenshot of the site, bookmarking a page, or taking a screenshot of what’s showing on your screen. If you choose to view a simplified article, you also have the ability to highlight and annotate on the article before saving it to your notebook. As with all Evernote notes, you can tag the clips in order to find them easily when you need them. Here’s a screenshot of what the Evernote Web Clipper looks like.
My job as an Instructional Technology Specialist allows me to visit many different classrooms across our district. We are currently deploying a good number of devices (Chromebooks, iPads, etc.) to achieve 1:1 status. As I’m observing and teaching in these classrooms, there is one thing that is glaringly holding our students back from getting the most out of technology. That’s keyboarding skills. I remember in 8th grade learning keyboarding from the flip book that focused on two different letters each lesson. Eventually we worked our way up to typing whole sentences. This just isn’t happening in schools today. Typing Club is a fun, easy way to expose your students to the invaluable skills of keyboarding. You are able to set up a free account (required only to save your progress), then work your way through learning home row keys, then the rest of the keyboard, eventually working your way up to timed tests with whole sentences. Although you’re encouraged to move sequentially through the lessons, students can move to the lesson that fits their current ability level. Here’s a screenshot of Lesson 1: f & j.
Now, back to the joke. The past, present, and future walk into a bar…it was very tense. 🙂