Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Voice translater

This is great for translating English words to other languages (like hebrew) using your voice. It can only be done using the Google Translate website on a Google Chrome browser, but that's not a problem. The only problem that I can find, is that so far the voice recognition is only in english so far. But I'm sure that will change. This was already available as a phone app, but it can now be done on any computer.

You have to try it, it feels like magic.

Here is a sample of one I just did, (by speaking into my computer's microphone) followed by an instruction video:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Networking in class: Idea 2

I started this as a way to have fun with my kids, but it could be fun for any literature or Bible class.

My kids and I are into H.P. Lovecraft stories, particularly the Cthulhu Mythos. (let's leave my dubious parental judgement out of the discussion, please) We created a Twitter feed for that evil high priest of the elder gods, Cthulhu.

All we do is post a few times a day, things that Cthulhu might say, or think, or comment on. It is fun trying to make them fun and creative in fewer that 140 characters. It can be done by individuals or groups. They would have to create an e-mail ID, (let's say TomSawyer@yahoo.com) and then create a Twitter profile to match.

You could also have two or three teams of students doing different characters in conversations. @TomSawyer could trade tweets with @HuckFinn and @Becky. The kids could show these off at home or with friends. They could be graded on how well they spoke in the character's voice.

It's super fun!

Networking in class: Idea 1

This was a lesson that turned out great. Youtube has a show that they call Worldview, where viewers submit question to world leaders. Then somebody chooses from those questions and Youtube broadcasts the individual answering it.

When Benjamin Netanyahu's turn came up, he received thousands of questions. I turned this into an opportunity for a lesson. Here's what I did with each of my classes:

1) Show the invitation to send in questions
2) Show samples of some questions already submitted
3) Begin a brainstorming session for questions to submit. This led to a great discussion about Israeli politics and current events, and was worth the whole project.
4) Have the students pick a spokesperson to ask the question, with others in the class in the background.
5) I submitted.

That was a great lesson! But now we can watch the answers and discuss them. This will work particularly well since a screenshot of seniors asking a question appears at 1:56, and an actual question is shown at 10:00 into the video, which the P.M. then answers!

This was a great experience for the kids, and got them to ask and answer all sorts of questions. Even if Mizrachi had not been chosen out of the thousands of questions, it would have been worth it, in my opinion.

Check it out! For some reason Youtube moved the video once, but if you click here on my personal blog, it will show you the embedded vide.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just so you know...

You might be interested to know that this blog has received hits from around the world. I really wonder how that works?

21st Century Education

I posted a couple of videos on my personal blog that I think are relevant to the discussion about tech in the classroom. They take a little time, but I think they may be worth a look.  Click the link in the first sentence to find them.