TeachersFirst Edge - Audio

 

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Lalo.li - Franz Enzenhofer

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Type a message and Lalo.li will read it aloud using a voice synthesizer. Adjust message quality using the word gap, speed, amplitude, and pitch icons. Just click on the circle ...more
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Type a message and Lalo.li will read it aloud using a voice synthesizer. Adjust message quality using the word gap, speed, amplitude, and pitch icons. Just click on the circle and turn to change the quality. Copy and paste the URL to share your audio message or use links to share via social networking such as Facebook and Twitter. Here is a sample . At the time of this review, the site only worked using Firefox or Chrome.

tag(s): text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

This would be great for ESL/ELL learners; have them type a short sentence and listen to the playback to verify that the sentence is correct. It would also be a great practice for beginning readers. Use your interactive whiteboard and have the class tell a very brief story or say a sentence. After typing the sentence into the program, user a pointer for each word as the synthesizer reads it, or have students take turns pointing out the words. Share tonight's homework on your class web page as a link to an audio reminder simply by typing or pasting in the assignment and copying the link to place it on your web page.

Comments

When I tried to use it with Safari on a new Mac in 10.7, it said I needed to use only Firefox or Chrome Too bad.

Note from the editorial staff: thank you for your comment. We have added this information to the review.
Constance, RI, Grades: 0 - 12

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Spreaker - Spreaker Online Radio

Grades
1 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create a live Internet radio show -- free -- with Spreaker! This super easy online tool creates podcasts instantly for you to share with your own URL, on Facebook, Google ...more
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Create a live Internet radio show -- free -- with Spreaker! This super easy online tool creates podcasts instantly for you to share with your own URL, on Facebook, Google +, Soundcloud, Twitter, or add to the Spreaker website. Follow others, or invite others to follow your podcasts. With a click of a button you are creating a live podcast. To create a podcast you do not need Flash. However, there are several tutorials, and these tutorials require flash. There is a free version and a more deluxe premium version. This review is for the free version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): podcasts (58), radio (27)

In the Classroom

Enjoy a live radio show from your classroom! Publish written pieces of writing, science reports, social studies reports, and any other reports you would like to share. Create a New Book or Book Review podcast for the media center. Link to your podcast URL on your class website. Publish directions to projects, explanations for difficult concepts, or even a radio show of you reading your favorite books for your students. Have upper elementary students take turns reading aloud for a podcast aimed at little reading buddies in kindergarten. Allow students to podcast to "pen pals" in faraway places. Record your school choir, orchestra group, poetry club, or drama club doing their best work or dramatic readings of Shakespeare soliloquies. Take your school newspaper to a new level with recorded radio articles. Be sure to include interviews with students, teachers, principals, parents, authors, artists, and almost anyone. In younger grades, use to save an audio portfolio of reading fluency, expression, or to aid with running records or even include writing. Be sure do this regularly throughout the year to analyze growth. Have fun at Halloween with your Halloween station filled with favorite spooky stories! Welcome your students to a new school year by sending them your message. Create messages for classmates who move away. Bring your foreign language classes an extra resource of your pronunciations whenever they need more practice. ESL/ELL, special education classes can often benefit from the extra explanations, practice, and elaborated instructions given at their own pace. The possibilities are endless! The site itself is a "web 2.0," social networking style site, so some schools may have it blocked. Ask about unblocking just YOUR teacher account so you can have students access it while at school and under your supervision.

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Sound Cloud - SoundCloud Ltd.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
SoundCloud is a sound sharing site. Upload your favorite sounds and share using your sound cloud free account. Share via a link or a choice of embed widgets to add ...more
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SoundCloud is a sound sharing site. Upload your favorite sounds and share using your sound cloud free account. Share via a link or a choice of embed widgets to add into a website, blog, podcast, Wordpress, email, instant message, or social network. You can choose to use previously recorded sounds or record your own sounds using this site. Share the sounds on the web, with your group, or privately between users. Use your drop box to receive recorded material from others.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (160), descriptive writing (40), expository writing (37), sound (105), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Add the dimension of sound into your language arts classes with SoundCloud! Turn written stories or poetry into works of spoken art. Use SoundCloud recordings of places such as; the city, the forest, the beach, or a cafeteria to bring settings to life. Make and share audio writing prompts. Challenge students to create their own story using sounds. Add sound into projects such as webquests, PowerPoints, podcasts, or blogging to hear the results! Emphasize important messages to your parent or student emails using sound. What a practical solution for ESL/ELL learners. Record and share poetry readings during Poetry Month. Save quarterly recordings of speech articulation students s they can hear their own progress (and you can share it with parents). Check school policies, of course, before uploading any student recordings to the web. Instrumental music teachers can share clips of musical pieces for students to emulate during at-home practice.

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Soundation - Power FX Systems AB

Grades
5 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Soundation is an online tool to create music. No download or installation is needed to use this tool. It has the raw materials: sounds loops, effects, and virtual instruments, ready...more
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Soundation is an online tool to create music. No download or installation is needed to use this tool. It has the raw materials: sounds loops, effects, and virtual instruments, ready to be use. Experienced music creators could probably learn how to use this tool by playing around with it. For those who are little less musically trained or inclined, there is a great how-to section of the site that gives a play by play of how to make your own music. There are FREE and FEE based versions of this site. The FREE version allows you to record music in one session; however you cannot save to return later. You can use the free version to record and edit what you have recorded. You can download the file in .wav format and save it on your own computer. You can also "publish and share" via url or on Facebook. The down arrow offers both options.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): energy (212), lyrics (19), musical instruments (50), musical notation (37), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

This would be fantastic for teaching how to mix music and create interesting sounds without taking up space in permanent files on the computer. If it is used for practice, the jumbles of sounds "go away" when closing the website. Try using this in music class to show students how to mix up sounds, practice with rhythms, and play with tools. Allow students to try their hand at creating their own music. Create sound files to use as "bumpers" or backgrounds in podcasts and videos. The music you create is not copyrighted, so there is no concern about "rights." As a new angle on digital storytelling, why not challenge students to tell a story through sound effects and music? Create sound sequences then as audio writing prompts for stories or poetry. In science or physics classes, this tool could be displayed on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to show what the frequencies of sound and different pitches of voices look like when represented graphically. Use this site to demonstrate how a sound wave is actually a wave of energy. Another use would be for classroom management. Have this tool displayed on the interactive whiteboard, as student become to noisy point out what their sound looks like on the board, and show them parameters of sound that they have to meet in your classroom. For younger students, this will give the visual message that their sound is "big" because they often lack that perspective.

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Huffduffer - Huffduffer.com

Grades
9 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create a podcast out of any audio file on the web. Signing up is easy. Find an audio file online. Enter the URL, title, description of the site, and enter ...more
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Create a podcast out of any audio file on the web. Signing up is easy. Find an audio file online. Enter the URL, title, description of the site, and enter tags. Separate podcasts are created for the different tags that you use. Search the tags that are on Huffduffer to find specific audio files. Add the Huffduffer bookmarklet to Firefox or Chrome to instantly create a podcast from audio files you find online.

tag(s): listening (83), podcasts (58), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

When finding incredible audio files, be sure to huffduff them in order to share by specific tags. The most popular Huffduffer users are featured on the site, and many interesting podcasts can be found that way. Create podcasts of your own to host online and huffduff those to be tagged and listened to. Find podcasts to share with your students (or parents) on your website. Huffduff audio files from foreign language sites as a listening assignment in your world language class. Share the podcast url to assign the task. Have students create their own Huffduff podcasts of politician soundbytes, poetry readings, or music samplers.

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Font de Music - Rightwork, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Font de Music lets you add sound and movement to words. You write your text, select font, choose color, and add movement to your words by moving your mouse up ...more
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Font de Music lets you add sound and movement to words. You write your text, select font, choose color, and add movement to your words by moving your mouse up and down. Creations can be shared via a link or through Twitter. No limit on words is stated on the site, but it appears that you can put in a few words. Note: this site loads more slowly at high traffic times. You will notice that the site creators are not very good at spelling in English. Some directions are misspelled, but the tool works. Here is an example of a musical vocab word created by TeachersFirst.

tag(s): animation (60), firstday (23), vocabulary (311), word study (74)

In the Classroom

Use this site to spice up some lessons around vocabulary -- what "mood" would you choose for an individual word? Or, if students were to create one of these musical pieces around their name, what decisions would they make for font, color and music? Students can use the site to make online presentations interesting, just link to their creation for inclusion in reports in Prezi reviewed here or other presentations. Use the site as an interesting way to begin a lesson and capture students' attention. Use this site as a first week of school activity. Have students write in their names and favorite hobby or color and put it to music!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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podOmatic - podOmatic

Grades
1 to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen ...more
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Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen to and/or download from the web. There are MANY free podcasts in a variety of subject areas (art, health, technology, music, business, and more.) We have linked this review directly to the K-12 area within the site. The site includes some social networking tools, so some schools may have it blocked. The site is a "general public" site, so the home page has links to recent podcasts that may not be appropriate for young people. Attach a mike or use your built-in computer mike; create the podcast by clicking a record button, (you may have to tell your computer to "allow" the site to access your mike). Choose a background for your podcast page. Share it with others using one of several sharing options on the "My Podcast" tab, including copying the link. Listeners can listen to it online or download to their MP3 player. See and hear a sample we made for you.. You can also create a "minicast" with a simple upload of images and audio that turns your images into a short video. Transitions are also available for your minicast. Share through a blog, twitter, a link or directly to Facebook. There are limits to the amount of file storage for free accounts. The site will tell you how much space each podcast takes and how much you have left. Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Podomatic now has a free iOS and Android apps.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), podcasts (58)

In the Classroom

Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a mini cast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: record class assignments or directions, record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events, Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News." Have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!), Have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person.

If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini casts without needing a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.

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JamStudio - The Online Music Factory - Chord Studio, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
JamStudio allows for the creation of original music compositions in an easy, time effective manner. It is an easy process. Anyone could play with this website and make music, however...more
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JamStudio allows for the creation of original music compositions in an easy, time effective manner. It is an easy process. Anyone could play with this website and make music, however those that have musical backgrounds and expertise could use this to create compositions that are spectacular. A login does not really enhance the capabilities of the site. The only advantage of a user name is that you can post music publicly and both you and other users can comment on it. Music is not automatically saved, in fact to share music as a mp3, an "All Access" pass is needed. Thus the paid membership to the site. There is a link to apply for a grant to an "All Access" pass. The process is simple and the pass would allow for the saving of files. However, this site could be used without saving music to their server. There is the possibility of using a program such as GarageBand or any sound recording device on the computer to save the composition.

tag(s): composers (21), music theory (44), songs (52), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Musical skills are not a "must" for this site, however would make its use more productive. Beyond listening and clicking ability, the instructions are on screen. It's a great site to creatively "dabble."

If students do create user names, encourage them to use non-identifying names as the posts with their user names are open to the public. Sharing student work may be a safety risk as your students are probably minors.

This tool would be great for independent music studies and/or performance class. Have students compose their own accompaniments to be used as they play for the class. Or, in a less advanced music class or general music class have small groups of students create music using the interactive whiteboard and share with the class. Try using computer programs such as Garage Band or Windows Media Player to record the music to your computer. Students could then share files with each other and listen to a variety of different student created music.

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ccMixter - ArtisTech Media

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site allows users the opportunity to sample, interact, and mash-up music that is posted as well as upload original works. Users are also given a URL where uploaded works ...more
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This site allows users the opportunity to sample, interact, and mash-up music that is posted as well as upload original works. Users are also given a URL where uploaded works and remixes can be located and shared. Note that the public can submit works, so -- although our editors have not seen any-- the submissions could include lyrics not appropriate for listening in school.

tag(s): podcasts (58), sound (105), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to record music on their own computer, locate files on their computer, and follow onscreen instructions. Parents and family can hear their student's work as long as the student shares the URL with them.

Have musically gifted students use this to create school sound tracks for the school television show or announcements. Have students create their own drama club or musical interludes for performances. In music clubs, have students record their music to their artist page, share the URL with others in the club, and remix each other's work. In music class, use as a submission space. Have students upload work to their artist page and check work digitally.

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Audio Pal - Oddcast

Grades
1 to 12
11 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Use this free site to create audio files easily for use in or out of the class. Record your own voice using phone or microphone, upload an audio file, or ...more
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Use this free site to create audio files easily for use in or out of the class. Record your own voice using phone or microphone, upload an audio file, or create audio from text to speech. Choose different voices, use the playback options, and update audio at anytime. Use your email to receive a link to your new audio file. Click here to play an example (you will have to click the Play button).

tag(s): speech (87), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

If using a phone, understanding calling plans and additional charges is needed. You must know how to use embed codes to place audio files within your blog, wiki, or website. No login is required! Simply click the "Get Yours It's Free" button. Choose the method to create the audio and preview and edit the file. Enter your email address to receive a link to your file. Click on the link to grab widgets. Copy the code and place in your blog or website.

The tool does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students mark their contributions in order to get credit. Consider using a class email account set up for this purpose. Be sure students understand the appropriate use of this email account.

Classroom use: Use this service to record audio of passages used in class, homework assignments, and other written material. Young students can practice reading aloud at this site (and listen to themselves), showing improvement in fluency as the year goes on. Have students use this site in place of a traditional book report. Have cooperative learning groups create a news broadcast and share it using this site. Use this site with ESL/ELL students just learning the English language. Use this site in world language classes for students to hear and learn the pronunciations. Place the embed code in a site that students can access outside of class for review, identifying directions, and listening to text. Speech and language teachers can use this tool to record student articulation and demonstrate progress through the year.

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Chirbit - Chirbit

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Upload an mp3 or wmv audio file, record your own voice, or enter text for the site to provide a text-to-speech recording. Here is an example of...more
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Upload an mp3 or wmv audio file, record your own voice, or enter text for the site to provide a text-to-speech recording. Here is an example of the site reading the TeachersFirst home page text. (The audio quality is not terrific for this tool feature).

tag(s): speech (87), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Recording of voice requires knowledge of internal and external microphones. Use the "text to speech" option for an easy way to record using a computerized voice. You do need a microphone either attached or built in to your computer to record chirbits.

Categories shown include Confessions, Jokes, and Pickup lines, among others. Though these are quite humorous, they may be inappropriate. Chirbits created become public, however by choosing "Settings" across the top, check the box to protect your chirbits and make them private. Consider creating a class chirbit with a global email. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. Accounts have an RSS feed where you can follow others to keep up with the chirbits created. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." Click on "Profile" and then the gear symbol to copy a link to share. You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there.

Use chirbit to record quick assignments or responses. Create prompts which require clever answers such as viewpoints of famous people in your subject area. Use chirbits to record thoughts or facts of the day. Use chirbits to record how to solve problems, define vocabulary, or to understand class material. As closure at the end of class, ask a student to record a "chirbit" summary of the most important concept for the day's lesson. You could even have a competition to decide which group/pair has composed the best sentence for a chirbit recording and have them make the recording on the spot.

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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share, for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of ...more
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share, for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of the recipient. Recording the message is easy and embedding into a site such as a wiki or blog has never been simpler! No login or registration is needed. Although, if you choose to send a message via email, you must choose a password to use at the site. Vocaroos are stored on their server. Created messages can also be downloaded to individual computers. Visit their FAQ's for frequent questions and responses.

tag(s): speech (87)

In the Classroom

You need to be able to navigate controls on the website and sound levels on your computer. Copy/pasting embed codes is also a necessary skill for insertion in a website. Email the sound clip very easily.

Future saving of Vocaroos is unsure depending upon server space. Before using with students, you may wish to obtain permission from administration and/or parents. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be made aware of acceptable use and consequences of misuse of the service.

Vocaroo has a wide variety of applications in any type of classroom! For basic technology integration extend and enhance learning with this tool. Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Vocaroo, and have student follow along using a picture book. Or have the students read their own stories into Vocaroo and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Vocaroos for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Vocaroos of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection.

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Screencast-o-matic - Big Nerd Software

Grades
4 to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this simple and free tool to create a video recording of your screen to upload and share on a teacher web page, wiki. blog, etc.. This is an easy ...more
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Use this simple and free tool to create a video recording of your screen to upload and share on a teacher web page, wiki. blog, etc.. This is an easy way to create a tutorial from your own computer screen. When you visit sites that have tutorials on how to use their software, you are looking at a screencast. Use this site to give specific directions on how to use different applications in and out of the classroom. Audio is not necessary for the screencasts but may be beneficial, depending upon the tutorial.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): tutorials (46), video (262)

In the Classroom

Users will need to know how to use whatever computer software, website, or skill they are demonstrating. Following basic directions and managing browser windows or tabs are a must, as well as the managing settings of the computer being used. The site demonstrates how to troubleshoot problems on both PC's and Mac's.

Click "create" to start. As the screencast is being created, files will need to be written temporarily to the desktop. A security screen will pop up that asks to run the application. You will be asked to "trust" or "not trust" the security certificate. Depending upon your school's Acceptable Use Policy and computer security settings, you may not be able to complete these steps. Choose the screen size when played and whether audio will be needed (audio can be tested here as well, which is recommended: settings may need to be adjusted for different microphones.) Open a new tab or browser window and enter the web address of the site (or software) that will be the subject of your screencast. Drag the black frame by clicking the line and dragging it in order to choose what will be recorded during the screencast. The microphone icon has a green bar that shows recording levels. A green arrow showing instead of a green bar denotes that sound is not being captured. The red button is used to start recording while the black "X" stops the recording. Once you stop recording, click on your screencast tab or browser window and preview your recording. You can then either upload or discard your screencast. At this point you can create an account easily. Save your screencast to a channel of your own. Use the embed code to place your screencast into a blog, wiki, or other site. You can also use a widget code to embed the screencast player into a website. Screencasts can then be made from your other site and will save directly to your screencast channel. Screencasts can be set to different levels of privacy and comments can be turned on or off.

Teachers who must request certificate approval by tech staff may want to try this tool at home and create some sample projects to convince administration of its educational value. Unless checked to turn off comments, this site will allow comments on your work. Many districts prohibit such interaction and steps should be taken to prohibit commenting from others. When using the widget, the tool does not attribute work to specific students. You may wish to have the students identify their work while creating the screencast. Screencasts will only be able to be viewed when using an embed code in a site, wiki, or blog. By marking the screencast "searchable," it can be available to the public. Recently created screencasts do not appear on the home page of screencast-o-matic. Students are able to self-register, but you may want to keep a record of logins and passwords for students who forget.

Make how-to demos for instructions on using and navigating your class home page, class wiki or blog, or other applications you wish the students to use in creation of classroom content. By narrating how you want students to navigate through a certain site or section, you can eliminate confusion, provide an opportunity for students to use the information as a refresher for the future, and maintain a record for absent students. Software demonstrations add an increased flexibility with helping students who need it while allowing students to begin and work at their own pace. Added audio is a great asset for many students including learning support and those who might need to access the material in smaller "chunks." Use this site for students to give "tours" of their own wiki or blog page. The presentation of their web-based projects and resources can be more engaging. Use screencasts to critique or show the validity of websites, identify a resource site they believe is most valuable, or explain how to navigate an online game. Challenge your gifted students to create a screencast as a final project rather than a more traditional project. Social studies teachers could assign students to critique a political candidate's web page using a screencast. Reading/language arts teachers could have student teams analyze a web site to show biased language, etc. For a powerful writing experience, have students "think aloud" their writing choices as the record a screencast of a revision or writing session. You will probably need to model this process, but writing will NEVER be the same! Math teachers using software such as Geometer's Sketchpad could have students create their own narrated demonstrations of geometry concepts as review (and to save as future learning aids). Teachers at any level can create screencasts to demonstrate a computer skill or assignment, such as for a center in your classroom or in a computer lab. Students can replay the "tutorial" on their own from your class web page and follow the directions.

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