Tips, Tricks, & Tools

Looking for ways to engage your students? This article by Robert Wards talks about the 10 C's of Engagement. Bring some new life into your classrooms.

Previous Tips of the Week:

Need a way for a student to demonstrate what he/she knows? Need yet another way to deliver content to your class? Videolicious is designed to make high quality video creation even easier and faster! Instantly weave together interviews, videos, photos, music and more into a sophisticated video production—in seconds. Just talk and tap—or watch and tap—to make the perfect video.

Time for Kids Classroom App (Free App)
Time for Kids brings exclusive current event content to life through interactive images, videos, animations, polls, maps and more. The app lets teachers integrate multimedia and real-world connections into their k-6 classrooms, address students' individual abilities with leveled content, and put current events into context for young learners. The app offers audio text and vocabulary definitions to support learners, as well as a version of select articles for the grade level below.

SASReading Records 
SAS Curriculum Pathways has added Reading Records to its family of FREE Mobile education apps. The app lets students practice reading skills in or out of the classroom and enables teachers to monitor results from anywhere. Educators can assign, evaluate, and analyze reading performance without being one-on-one with a student.

Adobe Spark Video
Adobe has released a free animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporates a combination of the user's recorded voice, imagery, music and motion graphics and effects. Animated videos can be quickly shared via social media, email, personal blogs, and websites, by posting a single link, and can be viewed on virtually any device. Each slide can be customized with photos, audio, and background choices.

Kids Time Tube
Kids Time Tube, provides safe video watching with easy-to-use time limits, protected by your personal password. Kids Time Tube is the only app that both limits viewing time and automatically turns on YouTube’s Safety mode to block inappropriate content. The app is only $1.99.

Learn Out Loud
Learn Out Loud is your FREE one-stop destination for audio and video Learning. Browse over 40,000 educational audio books, MP3 downloads, podcasts, and videos.

60 Second Recap
Need to motivate your students to read those classics? Check out. This site offers 60-second videos on a number of topics related to the book as well as other resources.

Rewordify is powerful, free, online reading comprehension software. It helps people understand difficult English faster and helps them learn words in new ways.

iOS Accessibility Videos
Need to brush up on the Accessibility Features of your IOS device? Voice Over, Assistive Touch or even Guided Access giving you some problems? Check out these short videos explaining how to use these features effectively with your IOS devices. 

Taking Control of Your Web Browser on an iPad
Ever wish that you could change the font size in your iPad web browser? Well, with NaviDys you totally can. You can also switch up the font, and adjust letter spacing and line spacing and even change the font itself. It’s designed to make things easier for the visually impaired. The NaviDys app costs $2.99

AT Help Desk
Find implementation of AT difficult? This application is provided to help you think about and identify the specific causes of AT Implementation breakdowns and to identify actions you can take to improve your assistive technology services.

Looking for a FREE online, standards-based lesson planner? Try LearnBoost.

Cloud FTP
Make ANY USB Storage Device Wireless! The easiest way to share any USB data with Apple iPad, iPhone, & the Cloud. Just connect and share with up to 3 iDevices at the same time. CloudFTP is a pocket size adapter that can turn any USB storage device into a wireless file server, sharing files with WiFi-enabled devices (iIOS or Android, computer etc). It can also automatically connect to the Internet to backup and synchronize your USB data with popular online Cloud storage services like iCloud, Dropbox and 

Symbaloo is a free site that allows you to create a customized dashboard for the Internet. You can also create “web mixes” that you can choose to publish and share.

Searching for an eBook?
Here is a compilation of eBook sites that can assist you in your search. This great resource was created by Dinnel Stuckey from the Kansas Deaf Blind Project. 

Busting some myths about your iPad
Please visit Macworld to learn about apps running in the background of your iDevice and the effect it has on your battery life. 

You can find a listing of apps sorted by grade level and subject level at the Palm Beach County Schools Wiki.  

Ribbon Hero 2
Help your students learn of features of Microsoft Office in a fun game format. If you're going to spend time immersed in the inner workings of Office, by golly it should be fun. In Ribbon Hero 2, the player will hop on board Clippy's stolen time machine and explore different time periods. With each time period, they get to explore a new game board with challenges they must complete to get to the next level. Each challenge takes the player into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote to complete a task. Discover new Office features by actually using them, with a hint button to fall back on in case you get stuck. Race for a high score with colleagues, classmates and friends, or even put your score on your resume´ to show off your Office skills! 

For those of you who have been paying attention, we've done this before. That's how we got the “2” on the end of the title. So what's different? *deep breath* Clippy, comic strips, colorful graphics, surprise animations, multiple levels, time travel, upside-down Clippy, space ships, Greek Gods, bow-and-arrow battles, and a ton of useful Office features.

Labeling Diagrams 
Diagrams can be used to provide study guides, reinforce concepts or even pair with interactive whiteboards to bring the activity to life. Learn how to label diagrams with text boxes in Word with these instructions.

This week's tip comes from the folks at Lab Resources and deals with creating shortcuts with Dragon Naturally Speaking.

What is a shortcut and how do I create one in Dragon?

A shortcut is the use of two or three words to bring up a phrase or sentence that you frequently use. For example, a shortcut could insert the name of your school when you say “school name” or bring up your email address when you say “email address line”. Here are the steps to create a shortcut to insert your email address into a document.

1. Click Vocabulary, then Add new word or phrase.

2. Type in the word or words you would like Dragon to type. Try typing in your e-mail address.

3. Under Spoken form, type 2 or 3 words you would like to say to bring up this phrase. Type or say email address line for the spoken form.

4. Click Add.

5. Train this short cut. Click Go and say email address line. Repeat 2 times. Dragon is more accurate if a word or phrase is trained several times. Click Done.

6. Try dictating email address line into your document. Did Dragon type your actual e-mail address?

Dragon comes with a number of pre-made shortcuts.  

Science With Me!
Science With Me is a free educational science website for elementary age children. The website offers science movies and songs, free coloring sheets, free science worksheets, fun science projects for kids and stories to help young children learn scientific principles and science the fun way.


NeoK12 offers a FREE collection of educational videos, lessons and games for k-12 students. All videos and lessons have been screened by K-12 teachers.

FreeConversion Tools for MP3's

PDF's and iBooks
Slater Software has an excellent tutorial on how to bring PDF's into an iPhone, iTouch or iPad. They also have some ready made activities that can be easily be used with iProducts.

There's an App for That!
iPads and iTouch's are certainly changing the face of education. And it is becoming difficult to keep up with all the new apps and information on how to use these devices. Here are some sites that can assist.