Monday, September 24, 2012

Google Translate and Transliterate

One of the many challenges we face as Educators is that there are so many languages spoken in the classroom and even if the student speaks English at school that is not always an good indiction that their parents also speak English.  There are many tools out there that help teachers and administrators to communicate with students and parents.  I have found that most of these tools are free from Google.  While none of these tools are perfect, the translation "mistakes" will be out weighed by the effort you took to communicate with the parent.

Google Translate: 
Google Translate will instantly translate text from one language to another.  It currently supports 67 languages.  Need help with pronouncing a word,  many any of the languages have spoken word translation.   Go check it out... Google Translate.

Google Transliterate:
Here is Google's description of Transliterate, "Google Translator Toolkit offers an automatic transliteration option for converting Roman characters to Arabic or the Indic characters used in Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Punjabi (Gurmukhi), Tamil, and Telugu. This lets you type these languages phonetically in English script and still have them appear in their correct alphabet. Note that this is not the same as translation -- the sound of the words is converted from one alphabet to the other, not the meaning." Go check it out here...  Google Transliterate.

There is an App for That:
Are you struggling to communicate with a student and dont have time to go to your computer and type something out?  Take out your Android or iOS device and download the Google Translate App.  What I like about the app is that you dont even have to type.  Just speak into your phone and Google will translate it in to text and audio.

Download App here

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Enable Single App Mode for iOS 6

How to turn on Single App Mode in iOS 6
Single app mode allows for teachers or parents to lock down their iPhone, iPad or iPod so that students or children cannot wonder to different apps and "forces" them stay on task.  

Setttings ----> General ---->  Accessibility ----> Guided Access  ----> ON

"Guided Access keeps the iPhone on a single app, and allows you to control which features are available.  To start Guided Access, triple- click the Home button in the app you want to use."

Friday, September 7, 2012

Communication, Communication, Communication

Did you know that 90% of text messages are read within the first three minutes of being sent?  What a great way to communicate with students and parents!  A simple alert to let them know of upcoming events like field trips, projects, or test.  Here are three ways teachers can send text messages to students without using there cell phone number.

How to send a text through your email client such as Outlook:

You simply need their cell phone number and mobile service provider such as AT&T, Sprint, Altel, etc...

Parents and students need to know the standard disclaimer "standard text message rates will apply"

Here is the formula you need [10 digit telphone number]@


How to send a text through Twitter:

In the last six months Twitter has introduced "Twitter Fast Follow."  This service allows anyone with a cell phone to receive your tweets as text message.  Teachers would need to create a twitter account and then parents and students could subscribe by texting Follow @teachersname to 404-04.  Here is a link to Twitter's easy to set up guidelines. Twitter Fast Follow

There is an APP for that: 

Remind 101 will actually work with any phone but there is a dedicated iPhone app specifically for Remind 101.  Teachers can sign up and receive a code for students and parents to input and receive text messages. No personal information is ever exchanged.  Go check it out. Remind 101