Book Review: Goodnight iPad

As a child, one of the many bedtime stories I heard (and eventually read myself) was Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. The basic premise is a bunny who is going to bed and looks around his room and sees different objects and then says good night to them, including the moon outside the window.

Goodnight Moon was originally published in 1947 (Wikipedia). And though it still is beloved by many parents as they read to their children at night, some children may not connect to the book the way the parents did when they were younger. Now, there’s a parody for that.

Goodnight iPad tells a similar story of the bunny family at night. However, this family has so many electronic gadgets that the mother bunny cannot sleep. She says, “okay, that’s it!” and start’s saying goodnight to all the electronics…by tossing them out the window! She then tucks the little bunnies into bed and reads “Goodnight Moon” via flashlight.

According to the back of the book, the parody was written by Ann Droyd (get it?…android!), a pseudonym for an IRA/Children’s Choices winner who has written over 25 books. A quick visit to www.anndroyd.com and I found that Goodnight iPad was the first book in the parody series. There is another…If You Give a Mouse an iPhone! I may have to get that one too…

I love the book. I thought it was cute, however, some of my younger tutoring students did not think the use of digital devices was all the clever or interesting. Perhaps they had not read Goodnight Moon or maybe I’m too old and still fascinated by technology rather than it being everyday objects. Or most likely, it was just below their reading level. We all go through a “that’s for babies” phase. Perhaps I caught them in it.

You decide….On Ann Droyd’s website there was an animation of Goodnight iPad. Watch it below and leave your thoughts on the book in the comments below.

The History of English…in 10 minutes

The Open University has brought us the History of English…in 10 Minutes.  It’s educational, concise, and entertaining.  What more could you ask for?

There are originally 10 videos and the 11th video is all 10 of them combined.  Thus, I’ve only embedded the 11th video.  If you are interested in a single chapter video, you can find it individually on YouTube, The Open University’s website and on iTunes U (with transcripts).

What Do Teacher’s Make?

Read more on Taylor Mali’s humor, philosophies, and teaching lessons in his book, What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World, available on Amazon in paperback, hardcover, Kindle edition, and audiobook.  He also has several other books on Amazon as well.

Guest Post: Audio Technology in the Flipped Classroom

Guest Post Written By: Katherine Verhoeven

Flipping classrooms is a trend that is sweeping through schools all over the world. As our technology advances and becomes easier to use, so teachers are getting the chance to introduce it as a helpful teaching aid. These advancements can especially be seen in classroom audio technology, which can play a large role in successfully flipping a classroom.

Flipping it

A flipped concept introduces students to course content before they even enter the class. This can be done through anything from textbooks to YouTube videos and even audio bites recorded on a classroom microphone.

Children then grapple with the content in class where they have access to a teacher’s help before going home and interacting with the content once again. Experts believe that these types of inclusion strategies help children engage with the content better.

Class audio technology can play a big role in making sure your flipped classroom works in the way you want it to. Teachers wanting to provide their students with quality presentations to take home with them can make use of lesson capture technology. This technology allows you to save and share your lessons. The wireless microphone records the teacher’s voice along with smartboard visuals to create video files to be uploaded later for learners to go over in their own time.

Nowadays, many teachers also visually record classes or lectures for their students to take home with them. For the majority of teachers, straining your voice to be heard on a video recording can be difficult, not to mention useless. It often results in a low quality video that does not help the student.

Again, making sure that you use proper audio technology will get rid of this problem. Advancements in technology now mean that you can simply wear a small wireless microphone to amplify your voice while presenting a class. Sound for Schools says “Recording class content means schools and academies can stop wasting precious lesson time, improve results and really include everyone!”

In the Classroom

Microphones not only help with recordings, but can also help inside the classroom environment. Classroom audio systems let teachers save their voices when giving a presentation and helps children concentrate. The wireless microphone is attached to a classroom sound system that makes sure that the teacher’s voice is heard above any classroom interference such as passing cars or chatting children.

Research has shown that high quality audio environments help children concentrate better, improve participation in class, and encourage good behaviour. This is because students are less distracted by their surroundings and are more focused on what the teacher is saying.

Flipped classrooms can come in many shapes and sizes. Some are interactive, while others can take the form of online lectures or sound clips. With anything you do in embracing technology, remember that a teacher’s voice is a crucial part of learning for any student. If they cannot hear properly, they cannot learn properly. This is why investing in proper audio technology should be one of your first steps on the road to a digitised classroom.

Submitted by Sound for Schools, leaders in classroom audio solutions.

Shorten YouTube Videos

According to a HuffingtonPost.com article, the longest video posted on YouTube is 571 hours and 101 seconds. That’s about 23 days and 19 hours. It’s about his trip to Chile. I wonder how long the trip was…is the video longer than the trip?

So what if you wanted to share just a small part of that video? Can you?

Med Kharbach, founder and author of Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, wrote a blog post naming four tools that a teacher can use to shorten videos for students: TubeChop, Splicd, EmbedPlus, and YouTube Time.

However, if you use WordPress, there are some shortcuts you can use. For reference, the base URL is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaNH56Vpg-A.

  • To start at a certain point in the video, convert the time of that point from minutes and seconds to all seconds, then add that number to the end of the link with the ampersand, the word start, an equal sign, and the time in seconds.  The end of the link looks like this: &start=75 (This is using an example start point of 1 minute 15 seconds):
  • To specify a start and end time for a video, do the same as the above but add the end time as well.  The end of the link will look like this: &start=75&end=85.

See more WordPress YouTube shortcodes.

There are probably more ways to shorten YouTube videos. What’s your favorite?