Thursday, February 24, 2011

Google Translate App for Mobile Devices

My school district has a class for new students coming into the district from foreign countries that speak little or no English.  These students speak languages from French to Arabic to Swahili.  Yesterday I showed the teachers Google Translate on my iPhone.  Teachers or Students select the language spoken or written and the language they would like to have it translated to.  They hit the microphone button and speak... Google Translate does the rest of the work for you.  Several languages will be translated verbally but all languages will be translated into the written language.  This app was like handing the teachers a magic wand.  Imagine what it would be like to speak Swahili and going through the entire day not being able to communicate with fellow classmates or teachers.  Then a device was handed to you where you could suddenly be able to communicate with everyone in the room.  I love what technology can do for us and our students.

For iphone / iPod Touch:

For Android:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Have Been Chromed: Google Chrome

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded Chrome because I was building a  mobile website and needed a browser built with webkit to see how the format would look.  The more I used it the more I liked it. One of the benefits I notice right from the beginning was when I right clicked and viewed the source code all other browsers left a lot of code out, but Google Chrome allowed you to see all of it.

As I used it I started to like the minimalistic view, but I really like to keep my favorite sites on the toolbar I eventually figured out how to do this in the settings.  I also liked the twitter integration that I had in FireFox.  I found everything I was looking for in the Chromed Bird extension.  I also liked the fact that it was multi-platform and open source.

The last feature was the deal breaker for all the other browsers.  The Chrome App store.  As an educator I started to look through the educational apps.  Here are the ones that I recommend:  PBSKids, Google Books (3 million books), Kid Mode for Chrome, Cramberry (make your own flashcards), and many more...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TCEA Conference 2011: No Limits

Last week I had the privilege of attending and the TCEA No Limits conference in Austin.  There were approximately 12,000 teachers, administrators, and educational technologist in attendance.  This is where the power of the TCEA conference lies... THE PEOPLE.  There were hundreds of concurrent sessions presented by educators showing off what works in their district. These presentations cannot help but to spur on the imagination of the attendees on how these same ideas can make a difference in the lives of students all over Texas. 
Knowledge Bank from TCEA

Birdville ITS Twitter and Blog Posts
Birdville Conference Blog
Birdville ITS Tweets

Birdville ISD ITS Presentations:
Twitter at TCEA:
Want to know more about what went on at TCEA.  Do a search on Twitter