3 – Moby-Maximize Computer Lab Experience

If you are a teacher, you know what the computer lab can represent, a mess. Imagine asking them, in front of their computer, to go complete some worksheets or exercises over the web, you probably lost the half of them already fooling on the World Wide Web caring of a pony or being a skateboarder, right? However, remember, your computer is a tool!

Think about it, if you can get your computer into a library, a mailbox, or a studio, there probably a way to use it for teaching. MobyMax is what you could call a learning converter. It is a web application that can help you and your students use the computer as a learning ‘’ecosystem’’.

MobyMax

MobyMax is designed for Maths and English in primary and middle school, but first, it is designed to get students interested.

The Teacher environment:

You add your students and create their Usernames and Passwords, after that you can use teacher’s apps
– Messaging
– Teacher’s Posts Wall
– Students Managing and Statistics
– Control MobyMax options for Students.
– Contest Creator

The Students environment:

Students have the possibility to do some Exercises in Math, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary, etc. What is great is that their results are compiled to show you their weaknesses, and propose them, if you want so, the right exercises after.

Motivation

They can access to a simple presentation of their progress and results. You can create contests where they are in active competition. It includes Flash games for which they need to complete exercises in order to unlock playing time. It also give them badges for reaching some level. They can access it from home also! The MobyMax Company offers prizes that they send to classrooms with the highest number of exercises! This create a team spirit between students and with the teacher of the classroom.


 

MobyMax becomes relevant to the learning process as it is an instant tool of feedback. With the graphic tool, students, even of young age understand that they have difficulties to work to, if they want to perform or earn gaming time. It is also good for younger to be able to visualize their level and progression. It allows them to perceive themselves as improving learner, something such as grades would not do by their own. The website compiles grades for them and makes them clear. They could compare themselves with paper report cards but it does not have the same impact. MobyMax also visualize what they already know and master, giving them confidence and giving them a learner portait. 


 

The access to the complete web app is in Free-Trial for the first 30 days, but if you want to keep all features after that time you will have to pay 59.99$. Anyway, the free trial is worth it. It has proven results and there Is a lot of good comments about it. Even if you are not planning to use it for your class, to check how it works is really interesting and FREE !

Monsieur Blanchet

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2 – Being a Teacher? There’s an App for That!

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If you expect a child to draw something, you have more chances to get you are piece of art giving him those big Crayola markers than a quill pen. It is the same when you expect students to use an IPad in class for a learning experience; you have to use the right tool.

 

ApiKa for That

 

ApiKa (official page) is designed and taught for teaching. It is a multimedia laboratory for iPad. A free IPad App that allows teachers to keep control, work and interact, in an impressive and brilliant number of ways, with all IPads of the class from one Mac computer with the ApiKa Manager software.

 

IPads in Class, a Place for That?

 

From BBC to National Geographic, possible benefits of IPads in the classroom are topical. What is unsure is how to optimize that use. ApiKa promises. People from Kallysta, a French developmental society in technologies for education (KSync, KallyLang), wanted to make it easier for those classrooms. The purpose of ApiKa is to take the experience with IPads to another level.

 

ApiKa Can Do That!

 

The ApiKa Manager can be downloaded from the Kallysta Website and installed on your Mac for free. It creates an environment regrouping all IPads with ApiKa and enables you to manage them, organize Files and use teacher functions (see video):

 

Monitoring:

 

–          Stopwatch and count-down

 

–          Binocular: (See what’s on their screen)

 

–          Controlled Internet Access

 

Interactive activities:

 

–          Textual Exercises: questions and answers, cloze tests, etc.

 

–          Audio/Video Exercises: Video segment analysis.

 

–          Quizzes

 

Direct Interaction:

 

–          Controlled instant messaging between IPads and with the teacher

 

–          Sharing information, images, links, work instantly.

 

What I Can Do With That

With those functions iPads can be used to motivate students with special activities such as team working contests where each team as an IPad and race to find the answer, team projects to create  mind maps to link together as a class, etc. If the Mac is connected to an interactive whiteboard, pupils’ work can be shared with the rest of the class on it. If you want to improve yourself with the use of it and get new ideas, there is even the possibility to take training class for Anaïtis.


 

This app is able to bring learners to higher thinking with it’s main strenght; instant collaboration. Collaborative work allows students to manipulate small pieces of information and to create small links (individually or in small team) to afterward share together and ”connect the dots”. This type of manipulation gets students to learn actively. ApiKa allows to set up the classroom easily without much time and complicated physical organization and allows to do the sharing instantly with an easy and educationally concepted interface. The IPads (by themselves) also consist of endless resource of information and elements to visualize concepts and help students understanding.


 

Little ApiKa is a new promising concept that is certainly worth a look

Monsieur Blanchet

 

 

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1 – Facebook in my classroom? Seriously? Well, why not!

Facebook-For-Teachers

As a teacher, you may know what social networks can represent in a classroom environment: distraction. However, this is exactly why they are, for teachers who know how to use them, powerful and useful tools.

FACEWHAT?

Facebook is a completely free social network available on the web for, computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. with impressive possibilities. Every one of 13+ can get an account. You can choose to upload pictures and information that you want to create your profile or web identity. You can; add friends to follow their Facebook activity, join groups, share information and files to whomever you want and have private messaging. For more details, click here.

INSTANTLY INTERESTING

Facebook has a great importance in students’ life. It has become an actual part of their social life. It is on every of their electronic devices and they are able to access it everywhere. Considering using it for educational purposes is considering taking education to the core of what they estimate. It improves their learning experience by making it concrete to them. Not only does it take teaching trough pupil’s interests, but it also gives you instant access with them. (Discussed with Mark Miller (pro-tic) during a lecture)

MY CLASSROOM ON FACEBOOK?

Actually yes! Many teachers claim Facebook’s efficiency in teaching and use it to share their experience with other teachers online (https://www.facebook.com/education). Facebook features allow you to create a special and private environment for your own classroom including only you and your students.

DO I CLICK ON THIS? or HOW?

Creating a Facebook group is a great idea. (Find out how here)

Over it, you can have a class forum hosted by the teacher for pupils to help each other’s and interact. You can share files, links, information for assignments, etc. It can become a formative or evaluative tool about their post. There are plenty of ideas to help teachers use it creatively.

CAREFULLY

Facebook is a person based social network and by having a Facebook relation with your students you should keep in mind you have to be professional. (Public image, privacy). The teacher has responsibilities towards what he sees on Facebook and the interactions that he has and hosts. School information (like grades) should remain a school thing and teachers and students should not become friends to limit privacy. It is also important to set rules with students about the Facebook experience and to educate pupils for a right cyber life.  For more information on how to be a safe teacher on Facebook, please see this

FACEBOOK USERS, LIFE USERS

The education through Facebook give students a great experience in many aspects of their lives. It shows them to construct their identity (profile), to exercise critical judgement (what they post, what they trust or not from others), to cooperate with other’s (teamwork, sharing and mutual help on forum), to communicate appropriately (public posts) and to be creative and discover new things. That is why I say, if a Facebook classroom is well led, why not do it?

-W-B-

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