iBooks Textbooks in elementary, middle, and highschool classrooms

iBooks Textbooks are now available in the US. Apple’s version of the e-textbook is another reason why we need iPads in the classroom.

Senior vice president Phil Schiller led us through Apple’s special event for educators today at the Guggenheim Museum, New York City.

iBooks Textbooks have a lot of potential for the K-12 classroom:

Who Is That Girl? Using Photos on Blogs, Part 4

Who is that girl at the gym? Using internet tools to look up stock photosWho is that girl? Who is that guy? Is she a model? Are these real people or is this just stock photography?

This post is part of our series on using photos on blogs:

  • The first post was about where to get free photos for  your blog.
  • Next, we talked about stock photography and why we decided to go with Big Stock Photo for this site.
  • We also talked about how critical thinking images is an important media literacy skill that students need to develop. Just because a website or an advertisement shows happy people, it doesn’t necessarily mean that those people use the product mentioned on the website. (Heck, our site talks about Dragon NaturallySpeaking and shows images of children using headsets and laptops but our photos come from Big Stock Photo. For privacy reasons, they’re not students that we personally work with.)

Today will be talking about some internet tools that you can use to figure out who is that girl / person. That way, you can figure out whether the images used on a website are paid models, or real people. Teachers can find their own examples of websites that use stock photography (to teach critical thinking skills when viewing images on websites.)

This post was written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice-recognition software. Continue reading “Who Is That Girl? Using Photos on Blogs, Part 4”

Download Dragon NaturallySpeaking Software (Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5)

This post was written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 premium wireless using Windows 7 64-bit.

A few people have been searching this blog on classroom technology for information about how to download Dragon NaturallySpeaking and so I thought I would put all of the links in one spot.

Download Dragon NaturallySpeaking software links

Continue reading “Download Dragon NaturallySpeaking Software (Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5)”

Critical Thinking Images On Websites: Using Photos on Blogs Part 3

Critical Thinking Images on websites is our third episode in our series about using photos on blogs.

  • Use free photos on your classroom blog to make your writing (and your students’ writing) more interesting.
  • What is stock photography? Why did I decide to go with Big Stock Photo on this blog.
  • Today’s post is to help teachers get students critical thinking images, videos, and other content that we see on websites, brochures, advertisements, etc.
  • The next post is to give you two tools to tell if the people in any photo are professional models (i.e. is this a stock photograph?)

People use stock photography because it’s quicker, easier, and cheaper than hiring a photographer. Royalty-free stock photography is not exclusive, which means that anyone can buy that photo and use in their projects.

That’s why you sometimes see the same photo (like the one at the top of this post) appearing over and over again. We need our students to be critical thinking images that we see.

Using Photos on Blogs – Part 3: Critical Thinking Images on Websites

  • This post was written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 Premium Wireless. Find out more about Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
  • Continue reading “Critical Thinking Images On Websites: Using Photos on Blogs Part 3”

    Big Stock Photo: Promo Coupon – 2 Free Credits – Using Photos on Blogs Part 2

    This post about Big Stock Photo and stock photography is the second part of our series on using photos on blogs.

    • The first post was on finding free photos to use in your classroom blog using the creative Commons filter on Flickr.
    • Today’s post is about using stock photos on blogs. (I use Big Stock Photo on this blog.)
    • Our next post will be about how teachers can use stock photography in a lesson about media literacy and critical thinking

    Big Stock Photo sells stock images that you can use in commercial projects, including posters, T-shirts, and websites. (BigStockPhoto was rebranded as Bigstock when it was bought out by Shutterstock.)

    You can find a lot of great images using the Creative Commons filter on Flickr (and use these images legally for free on your blog.) The problem is, if you’re trying to create a professional looking website, sometimes, amateur photos look, well… amateur.

    Using Photos on Blogs – Part 2: Big Stock Photo

    Continue reading “Big Stock Photo: Promo Coupon – 2 Free Credits – Using Photos on Blogs Part 2”

    iPad Apps for Toddlers – Is the iPad A New Toy or a New Tool?

    When the iPad first made it’s way into our home, I was skeptical.  Exactly why did we need another piece of technology?  Within a few weeks, I was singing a different tune.  I was impressed by the quick start up and the ease of moving between applications. My daughter was impressed with the iPad apps for toddlers like herself.

    After a few months, I couldn’t imagine life without it.  Using “regular” computers irritated me because they weren’t as fast or user friendly as the touch sensitive tablet format of the iPad.  My husband grew tired of having to share and soon purchased a second one for me.

    Is the iPad a new toy or a new tool?

    ABC Alphabet Phonics - Preschool Kids Game Free Lite - GrasshopperApps.com

    Continue reading “iPad Apps for Toddlers – Is the iPad A New Toy or a New Tool?”

    Using Photos on Blogs Part 1: Find Great Free Photos

    This post is part of a series on Using Photos on Blogs

    • This is part 1: Using free photos on your classroom blog.
    • Coming up next is part 2: Using Stock Photos on your class website…

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Which would your students find easier to read:

    • a textbook filled with paragraphs and paragraphs of text, or
    • a textbook broken up with colorful photos, large font headings, and interesting graphics?

    The right picture can capture the reader’s attention. This is true whether you’re using photos on blogs, textbooks, or ads.

    (We haven’t done a very good job of using photos on blogs like this one. It was supposed to be a holiday goal during the winter school break, but some how we’ve run out of time! )

    More and more people are surfing the internet using a mobile device (i.e. iPads in the classroom.) There are some great apps out there (i.e. Flipboard) which you can use to collect articles from websites, social media feeds, etc. into one place. The articles where people used photos on their blogs tend to stop us (even if it’s just for a moment.)

    Our students are growing up in the digital age.

    • This is the generation where two-year-olds know that after you take a photo, you can instantly see it on the back of the camera.
    • We have a generation of students who have no problems cutting and pasting images online.

    I wonder how many students (and teachers) know that just because you find an image online using Google search, it doesn’t mean that you have permission to use that photo.

    Using Photos on Blogs – Part 1: Find Great Free Photos

    1. How to find great (and free) images to use on your class website or student blogs (using Flickr)
    2. Using Photos on Blogs Legally – Three important things to remember when finding free photos for your class website using Flickr and Creative Commons.
    3. This post was written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. (What is Dragon NaturallySpeaking?)

    Continue reading “Using Photos on Blogs Part 1: Find Great Free Photos”