Friday, June 20, 2014

Voxer and Ted Ed

Happy Friday!  I am so excited to share two technology tools this week.  Both are new to me and have my head spinning with ideas for application AND both originated from summer collaborations (which is why I love making connections through online platforms). My first find...Voxer. I stumbled upon Voxer quite by accident.  When I signed up for a #PTcamp online book study (Beyond the Bakesale: The Essential Guide to Family/School Relationships) with Joe Mazza. I eagerly began searching for details about the book, the study, and the people involved. I heard Joe talking about Voxer on  iPadSammy's Techlandia podcast (okay, I admit...I thought that they kept saying Boxer, Boxer.  I googled and I couldn't figure out what the heck they were talking about that was going to help with a book study.) Voxer has been around awhile.  One of my favorite bloggers, Erin, even wrote a great post about how it can be used in the classroom. How I have missed it, I'm not sure.  I downloaded it, started playing and quickly saw a solution to a problem in our building - emergency notification.  We have tried different walkie talkies for the past several years and none seem to get the job done.  We have cell signal on our phones, but we can't seem to communicate via the school's walkie talkies. Go figure!
Anyway, long story short, enter Voxer, an instant messaging system that I think would be a much easier tool to use in time of emergency.  Truly with a push of the button inside the app, you can send a voice message, photo or video to others on the service.  Even if the recipient's app is not opened, they are notified that you have sent a message.  Love, love, love this!  I would think you would get more info from the sender than you would by text if it were a real emergency or during a classroom disruption.  I am back at work on Monday and I can't wait to try it out.
Second find...Ted Ed.  Being a total geek who absolutely loves learning, I have also signed up for a summer course, an online MOOC on Flipping the Classroom in hopes of flipping PD next year. In the course discussion forum, someone mentioned TedEd. Now, this may be like Voxer in that it has been around a while(not sure), but it is new to me and oh so exciting! Ted Ed allows lessons to be built around any You Tube, Ted Talk, or Ted Ed original video. You can insert directions and info for students prior to viewing, questions and quizzes for after they view it, and so much more!  I've included the video tour so that you see for to get IT to unblock You Tube (heavy sigh). Until then, off to find more :D

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