Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Web of the Week Wednesday: Socrative

Web Address:

With more and more students bringing mobile devices to class it's nice to have a use for them that is engaging instead of distracting. Enter Socrative.  Socrative is a clicker App with a twist. Many physical clickers require some kind of local network, often via bluetooth. This requires software, hardware and drivers on your local computer. Socrative eliminates that with a cloud based tool. Teachers create an account and then as long as the site is not blocked users login to the the site on any browser. Mobile browsers work best, but it works fine on a desktop machine too. There are apps for Android and iPhone. It is also compatible with any device with a browser especially a mobile browser. Teachers and students can access Socrative in their browser and then choose the correct portal Teacher or Student. This makes Socrative work even on older devices that you can't install the app on.

Socrative routes the teachers questions to each student and the responses back to their teacher through their website. This makes the tool really great. There is no need for all the devices to be on the same network, no need for purchasing hardware or  for all students to have the same device even students in a distance learning situation could respond  through the Socrative system greatly heightening the effectiveness and engagement available.  Socrative will also deliver your data to you so you can analyze it or import it into your Grading Software.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tech Tip Tuesday: Androidify your Education

Much is being said about tablet computing today in education, but let's be honest, people aren't calling it tablet computing. They aren't calling them tablets, they aren't discussing mobile devices in education, not in a genuine way. Educators are talking about the iPad in education, and who can blame them. With an overwhelming majority of the market for tablets and Apps for everything why would you look at the major competitor? Here are some reasons:

  1. Android works with Google Apps for Education You can use your current Google Apps login to access the features of an Android device and with the Google Device Policy App you can even set security features.

  2. Android Devices have GPS. Several devices including the Samsung Galaxy Player and the Creative Zen Touch 2. This allows the device to be used for all sorts of GeoSpatial Learning activities.

  3. Seamless integration with your current Google Account. If you already have a Google Account it is the key to opening up the device and all the resources. Also, most of your current online tools have a mobile counterpart including: Picasa, Google Drive (Formerly GoogleDocs) and the Play.Google store

  4. People might already know Android. Android phones are outselling iPhones in the Global Market (Apple still seems to edging out Android in U.S. markets) but chances increasing that people know Android.

  5. Lots of options! This can be both a boon and a bane of Android. Following the Model of Microsoft, Google bought and then developed and marketed the Android OS and let others build hardware.  Google also opted to make Android OpenSource this means that manufacturers can essentially rewrite Android's internal workings to match up to their device. Sometimes this is great, sometimes this falls flat and you get a much less consistent ecosystem where Apps will work on one device but not on another. The boon is there are some 7 inch tablets selling for under $100.00 and as noted above there are some pocketable devices for under $150.00 that incorporate GPS and Cameras, media players, media creation, email, and a wide variety of features available through the Apps on Options aren't limited to just the devices either. There is a lot more flexibility about what Apps ca

As true competition begins to develop in the tablet environment there could be some really good reasons to adopt Android.  When you are fully onboard just Androidify

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I really am learning and this blog is maintained both as a record of some of what I am doing as well as a place for me to train and teach others about creating an online presence. So please don't mind the dust. We aren't remodeling we are learning!

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