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A simple tool to create stunning video animations for your class

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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Biteable is a web-based tool that allows you to create beautiful explainer videos to share with your students. Explainer videos are short animated clips that make use of a wide variety of visuals and multimedia materials to communicate a message in a concise and comprehensible way. You probably have already seen some examples of Explainer videos on ads played on YouTube, several companies use this kind of videos to advertise their products.

However, as a teacher, you can create explainer videos to explain key concepts, create instructional guides and tutorials to share with students and many more. You don’t need advanced video editing skills to use Biteable. The process is simple and easy. You simply select an animation style from Biteable’s template gallery, edit the text and colours, the add photos and music. When your are done editing your video, click on ‘Email Me My Video’ and your video will be created in a matter of minutes.

Biteable is free to use. Videos created in the free version are watermarked. To remove the watermark you need to go premium.

Watch this video to see Biteable in action.

A Handy Periodic Table of the Elements for K12 teachers and students

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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K12 Periodic Table of the Elements is a great iPad app for Science teachers and students. As its name indicate, this app allows students to explore the elements together with their key attributes in a simple and easy to use way. K12 Periodic Table of the Elements, created by K12 Inc as part of its comprehensive Science curriculum, is particularly idea for helping students with their science homework.

Here is a quick overview of some of the main features provided by K12 Periodic Table of Elements.

  • Improved swipe and touch functions display element details such as name, symbol, atomic number, atomic mass, Lewis dots, and radius.
  • Colors change in the table to show classification, melting point, boiling point, outermost orbital, radius, ion radius, electronegativity, and ionization energy.
Temperatures are shown in Kelvin, Celsius, and Fahrenheit scales.
The table includes the newly named elements Darmstadtium (110), Roentgenium (111), Copernicium (112), and Ununhexium (116).
Both traditional and expanded views of the table are available on some tablet devices.
The table matches the style and format of the table in K12's award-winning Chemistry: Problems and Solutions textbook.

Stickyboard 2: a giant whiteboard with a never-ending stack of sticky notes

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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The popular whiteboard app Stickyboard 2 is free today and only for a limited period of time (its regular price is $9,99). Needless to mention that this sale is available at least here in Canada and the States. Stickyboard 2 is an excellent whiteboard app that enables you to easily capture your ideas and record your notes in sticky notes form. The app provides a bunch of versatile features that make iPad sticky note taking a simple and intuitive process.

To start adding notes on Stickyboard 2, you simply double-tap on its interface then start writing, outlining or sketching your notes. You can use different colours and sizes and in case you like drawing, you might want to use the marker tool to draw free form. Additionally, Stickyboard 2 offers a very large and zoombale board to record all of your notes. You can zoom by pinching and pan with 2 fingers. You can also select and drag notes around with your fingers. When you finish working on your sticky notes, you have the option to email them as PDF file or as textual content.

Stickyboard 2 has a wonderful organizing feature called 'Magic Arrange' which lets you arrange your notes in a neat and elegant way. "Just select a bunch of notes, then swipe with 3 fingers to instantly arrange them into neat piles, or fan them out into a grid, columns, or rows."

View, edit and share Word, PowerPoint and Excel docs on iPad

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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WPS Office Free is one of the best free iPad apps you can use to view, edit and create Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents. It is fully compatible with Microsoft Office, PDF and several other document formats. WPS Office also supports a number of file formats that include doc, docx, ppt, xls, xlsx, tif, rtf, pdf and zip.

Some of the features WPS Office provides for users include: supports wireless printing and Bluetooth keyboards, allows you to share presentations and documents with other devices using AirPlay, AirDrop, DLNA or WIFI, open and edit documents directly from popular cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and WebDAV, export office documents and presentations to a PDF and many more.

WPS Office supports 6 languages: English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese. And just recently, WPS Office becomes available for Apple Watch and even supports remote presentation control right from the Apple Watch! 

Zondle: a great web tool and mobile app to use in a game-based learning approach

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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zondle is another great web tool and mobile app to use in a game-based learning approach. zondle allows you to create, play and share educational games to support teaching, learning and assessment. Zondle works with different age groups and is available in many languages. As a teacher you can create a topic (sets of questions) to meet the learning needs of your students. There are over 20 different types of questions you can use and you can even include images, audio and video to support your teaching. Some of the things zondle offers to teachers include:

Zondle Team Play

Zondle Team Play sessions alternate between the teacher using PowerPoint-style teaching materials to introduce new concepts, and the students playing game rounds that enhance their understanding of those concepts. The game rounds exploit the neuroscientific principle of ‘uncertain rewards.

Assessment

In zondle, the same topics (sets of questions) can be set as formative assessment (for students to play in games, to consolidate their learning) and as summative assessment (in a plain question interface, to measure exactly what your students know). Assess exactly what you want to assess, view results for individual students or whole classes, and output results (to Excel and other systems) - all without any marking!

Behaviour Rewards

With zondle, you can easily reward good classroom behavior (even when students are not playing zondle games)!Rewarding good behavior helps promote a positive learning environment, can help focus students on their learning, and can add some extra fun to the classroom!

Gradebook

Monitoring student achievements and progress is easy with the zondle Gradebook. In one powerful tool, you can see what topics (sets of questions) that you’ve set, who has played those topics and when, what they achieved and what their progress has been over time (all without any marking!).

Check out zondle website for more features. Zondle is also available for iOS. While zondle is free, there is however, an updated notice in the site announcing that the folks in zondle are considering turning their platform into a low-priced subscription service at some point. 

Gianfranco D'Aversa

Rome // Foggia // Abu Dhabi

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