A New View for the Classroom

Going along with last weeks overview of what a screencast is, this weeks task was to create a screencast. The screencast I created was on an app called Nearpod. This app allows a user to create a powerpoint and present it to others devices with a given pin. Nearpod is a very useful app. Instead of teachers just presenting a powerpoint, students would be able to view the powerpoint on their own personal device and be able to clearly see it if they do not have a good view of the projection screen.

 

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Stay Ahead of the Game

In the tech world, there is always new trending topics. From mp3s to the iPad, new technology is always be created. One of the trending topics is the screencast. A screencast is a recording of computer screen , also known as a video screen capture, often containing an audio narration voice over. Screencast are helpful tutorials of apps or software that can be made by anyone with a computer and a camera.  To make a screencast, you would need a video camera, or a device that will take a video(i.e. an iPad or iPhone), software/ app to edit the video, a topic to up do the screencast on,  and a script. Having a script is very important. Knowing what to say and when to say it will make the screencast pleasing to watch and listen to. No one wants to watch someone struggle through a video to get a point across. Practicing your prewritten script and being comfortable with what you are saying will help make your screencast a high quality.

To make a high quality screen cast, the person making the cast must prepare and feel confident while recording. Knowing what you are talking about will ensure that it will be a high quality screencast.  Speaking clearly, loudly and on topic is imperative. You do not want to start talking about one particular app and then by the end be talking about the weather. Talking about something that is not only interesting to you but also interesting to others will result in more and more viewers. One person, Coleen Stanley, created a screencast about the basics of a very common app called Notability. In this screencast, the basics of notability. This screencast is very well made and very informative. The creator fully explained the basic information of notability, an note taking app that is very popular at Burlington High School. This app cleanly organizes your notes into different notebooks that you can label anything you want. I use this app in all my classes because of it’s efficiency.

To watch this high quality screencast on a popular app, click on the video below.

Battle of the Sites

 

image It is that time of the year again. The leaves are changing, the pumpkins are growing and   school is back in session. Just over a month ago, Google released their newest app, Google Classroom. This app allows students to log on using a Google account and join virtual classrooms that their teachers have set up. Teachers can post assignments, updates, or anything else they want. Students can submit their homework and assignments by uploading a Google Doc that will be turned in to the teacher. Before Google released this app, many teachers have been using an app called Edmodo. This app, like Google Classroom, allows students to join their teacher’s page in order to view assignments posted. But which do students prefer? A poll was taken, and out of the thirty anonymous participants, twenty-four of them said they preferred Google Classroom over Edmodo(see graph below created using NCES)One participant who voted for Google Classroom said, “Things are easily accessible on Google Classroom, as opposed to Edmodo which includes several different miscellaneous folders and seems a bit convoluted”.  This particular person and multiple others strong opinions against Edmodo. The main aspect that users liked more about Google Classroom was it’s organization. With Google Classroom, all the classes that a user is enrolled in is easily displayed on the home page with any upcoming assignments posted under the corresponding course. In order to view different classes with Edmodo, a user would have to click through multiple tabs in order to get the desired information. Many high school students participate in a sport, extra curricular activities or work on top of school. In order to successfully manage the busy lifestyle of a student, organization is a very important factor. With Google Classroom, students can easily find out what their assignments are and can turn them in virtually. With Edmodo, students would have to navigate around multiple different pages and can not turn in their assignments. At the Burlington schools, every student is given a Google email which is automatically linked with Google Classroom. Students just need to simply log in and their account is already set up. All of the work that is turned it is automatically saved into a folder properly named “Classroom” in their Google Drive. Personally, I prefer using Google Classroom over Edmodo because of its simplicity and sleek appearance. This app makes keeping on task relatively easier and more efficient. With the new year only at its beginning, everyone’s ultimate goal is to do the best they possibly can. Whether it is with Google Classroom, Edmodo or even a completely different app is up to you.

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The effect of 10 seconds.

SnapchatWe all do it. We all have some form of one, social media that is. The latest trends in the social media world include Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook (yes this is still around), and now the newest member of the social media world, YikYak. These apps, mostly a fun way to show the world what you are up to, have started to become a new way of bullying. Once a harmless, enjoyable app, Snapchat and YikYak have become easy ways for people to write degrading comments about other people. The app YikYak, developed by Yik Yak, LLC, is an app that allows users to “Get a live feed of what everyone’s saying around you”. Each user is anonymous but only allows you to see the post of people that are in a 1.5 mile radius of your current location. Originally, this app was created for college students but because there is no formal sign up, people of all ages are able to use it (when downloaded from the App store, a warning that the app is for people of the ages of 17+ is displayed but easily dismissed) . When a ‘Yak’ is posted, other users are able to either “upvote” or “downvote” it. The number of votes a ‘Yak’ receives either increases or decreases the amount of time it will be posted. Because each post is anonymous, there is no way of knowing who posted the comment, meaning a user can post a comment about another person, whether it is true or not, and get away with it. With a single comment, someone’s life can be easily hurt. Most people do not realize the effect that one cruel comment can do to a person. Sure, this app has the potential to be a way to communicate with others in your area about events that are occurring, but from what I have personally seen, this app is only being used to hurt others reputation or making fun of people.

Halloween is coming up, and you know what that means, Snapchat will be sending out a Snap to each of its users. Evan Spiegel released this app in July 2011, changing the social media world. For up to ten seconds, a user can send a picture or video to one of their “Snapchat Friends” and then it disappears. Or so people thought. What many users do not know is that each and every Snap that is taken and sent is stored in the company’s servers. In the company’s servers? Well that does not sound too bad, it’s not like someone has to time to go threw all of them and see everyone’s pictures or videos, and no one could hack it because it must be a secured thing, right? Sadly, that is not true. With a simple search on the Google machine, I found a site that allows you to create an account, if you are 13 or older of course, that will hack you into Snapchat’s server, allowing you to see any pictures that have been sent. Makes you question every picture you have ever sent? That ‘ugly selfie’ you sent to your best friends or a promiscuous picture that you sent to your significant other has probably been viewed by countless others.  Nothing on the internet is temporary. Even if every trace is deleted, there is a way to find it. Next time you are about to Yak negatively about someone, or take a snap of someone and write a negative comment, remember that even if it is anonymous, or only last for ten seconds at most, there is a way to find it or trace it back to the original writer.

 

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Getting in the swing of things

The second week has come to an end and everything is starting to fall into place. The group has been getting along quite nicely and having Digital Literature with us makes it even better. The people that have come in are still routine problems like WiFi not connecting, certain apps crashing and other various minor problems. This upcoming week, the Help Desk is focusing on Screencasting and the basics of it.

Week One

At the end of the first week it Help Desk is already feeling like home. This is my second year in Help Desk and I am loving it already. Within the first week, so much have already happened. Countless students have come in, some with iPad problems or questions, others with app problems. Comparing this year to my previous year, it is a lot more independent. Myself and the three other students in my period are the only ones who help students and teachers that come  in. We do not require the assistance from our teacher, Mrs. Scheffer. It is a great feeling to be able to help someone understand that is wrong with their device and show them how to fix the problem incase it were to arise again. Now that the school year is really starting up, more and more students have been coming. Teachers have already asked for my assistance on an app or their blog. I look forward to the weeks that will come and getting to do what I love everyday.