Who doesn’t love a Winter Break? Give us all time to relax and pause for a moment and energize for the second half of the year. In my family, we just stayed in Austin and maxed and relaxed. We didn’t go and visit anyone, no one came to visit us, just did what we wanted to do. I wanted to get some things done that I couldn’t normally do while school was going on so I decided to start a podcast. I had been shaping what I would say in my podcast, names, hosting sites, all that jazz before break started. With the help of @classroom_tech and @marniemoose, we decided on the title of Techlandia. My partner in crime would be @tedrosececi, who, I am sure, didn’t know what she was getting herself into. We decided on a format and just decided to keep it simple. Three apps, three people we love on Twitter, and things we enjoy at the time. We also leave ourselves room to vent a little at the end, and there you go! Podcast! It has been so much more fun than I thought it would be. We are on even on New & Noteworthy in the iTunes store! (you have to dig, education-scroll down on the bottom right-click educational technology- but we are there) We even got permission from Washed Out to use the Portlandia theme song as our music for the rest of our episodes this year. So if you have a chance, start a podcast, it isn’t as hard as you think. Once things are set up, you are golden! If you have any of the technical questions, I am happy to answer to the best of my limited abilities.
You can find the Podcast in iTunes, or at my NEW, UPDATED website ipadsammy.com the Official Techlandia Podcast page is here.
We also feature a Zeen magazine that has ALL THE LINKS to what we talk about on that page. You don’t even need to jot stuff down, we have that covered for you. If you have any suggestions we even use the app Answer Underground for a question and answer forum. Just download the app and search for Techlandia Podcast Question Group. We may even have in the works a LIVE podcast from the Answer Underground booth at FETC on January 29!!
I stumbled across a great free app the other day. Haiku Deck bills itself as the alternative to Keynote and Powerpoint. After trying it out, it was very easy to use. I will be sure to use it the next time I present at a conference or professional development session. I immediately tried it out in a classroom of fourth graders who thought it was a slick app to make vocabulary cards with a little encouragement.
Using Haiku Deck is very simple. Pick a one of the six themes that come free with the app. The theme basically changes the font of what you are typing. You can buy more themes from within the app if you choose. There are three main control buttons to create your slides. The top button is the typing control. The middle button lets you choose from your camera roll, or from the Creative Commons images that Haiku Deck has available. Finally, when you have decided what you want to say, and what image to use, you simply select from one of the 14 layouts available. It simply moves your main title and your longer line of text around the photo background. You can also just have a main title, or just a line of text. Add as many slides as you like, and you are ready to present.
The fourth grade class that I used Haiku Deck with were taking a geometry test with plenty of vocabulary terms. We made the sample slides below together as a class. Next week, we are going to use the photos that they took on a walk around the school and have them start creating their own individually. I will post some of the student work later. I think Haiku Deck can be a valuable presentation tool for the upcoming school year.