Sometimes A Little EdTech Can Make A Big Difference

disruptI met Melissa Killion at an EdCamp session on the Flipped Classroom two years ago. Afterward, we talked for a while about our experiences on what had been working and what hadn’t in our classrooms. We’ve kept in touch ever since. A couple months ago, I went to Melissa’s school as part of our state’s new innovation initiative. I snuck away from the pack to go visit Melissa and got to see her amazing blended classroom in action. As an iPad school, she had been using Explain Everything to make her videos. I’ve been using Explain Everything for years, and I showed her a neat trick where you can put a video inside of a video. I didn’t think anything of it and until Melissa reached out on Twitter and showed me the amazing way that she had used my trick. I was blown away by what Melissa did and asked her to share it here as an example of transforming the learning experience for a student using edtech. She did one better and included not only her own words, but also asked her student, Anna, and her sign language interpreter to share as well. Check this out!

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Google Drive’s Best Kept Secret

innovationstationsAs I was planning out our Innovation Lab, I knew I wanted my kids to experience the digital arts. Video, photo, and audio editing are important skills our kids should be familiar with. I also know that for the Innovation Lab to remain viable for years to come, I have to keep the cost down; if it’s free, it’s for me.

For photo editing, I knew about GIMP, a free photo editing program similar to Photoshop, and the web-based Pixlr which is even built into Drive (go to Drive, then New, More, Connect more apps, Pixlr). For video editing, the awesome folks a Tech Smith donated Camtasia. It was the audio piece that was tough. I knew I wanted to teach audio editing through podcasting and I knew Audacity was the best, free audio editing program out there. The one area I wasn’t sure how to do for free was the hosting of the podcasts. I didn’t want to pay for a server to host my kids podcasts, so I started to do some research and that’s when I found out Google Drive’s best kept secret: you can turn a Google Drive folder into a makeshift server!

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