Tag Archives: app

To GAFE? Or not to GAFE?

GAFE:  Google Apps for Education

Many school districts are jumping onto this bandwagon.  They want to be a part of the technological evolution that is occurring across the world.  Google, as anyone who is even remotely in the know already uses, began as a search engine, but now, is SO much more!  They are Microsoft’s arch nemesis–a competition among suites.

GAFE has so many features:  classroom, sheets, slides, forms…the list goes on for a bit!  But they are also user friendly and compatible with pretty much any electronic device and other popular tools out there, such as YouTube.  And, if you already have a gmail account, you have access!

I, myself, have been a gmail account holder for over a decade, and I’ve never wanted to part.  Gmail is easy to use, never has never issues, and I’ve never been hacked.  It simply makes sense.  And with access to so many of Google’s services, the deal is sweetened up a bit more.  So when my district offered workshops on GAFE, I did not hesitate to sign up.

We spent three long days doing a lightning introduction and review of everything, and today, we are given the opportunity to take the certification exam.  If my experiences and (short) training did its part, then I will be a Google Certified Teacher by the end of today!

Honestly, in terms of tactile rewards, the certification doesn’t give much.  (You can print out the digital certificate they email you.)  But, it does allow you a lot as an educator in this tech-driven world.  As we spent our days practicing, I was brainstorming lesson ideas in my mind.  I feel energized and excited to tackle the school year ahead!

My district is lucky enough go one-to-one with Chromebooks this school year, so we are most definitely supported to infuse as much technology as possible into our lessons.  And slowly, but surely, I am feeling equipped to take on that challenge!


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Word Mover

Anyone that appreciates the written word, especially poetry, can attest to the fact that it is sometimes, if not most of the time, very challenging to put together a piece that is not only cohesive and mechanically well written but also beautiful and representative.  But, now the process of writing poetry could not become any easier–with the help of the app “Word Mover.”

Word Mover simplifies the act of composing a poem.  The app has eight “canvas backgrounds” to illustrate their writing, each of which comeS with a word bank ready to use.  All the user has to do is drag the words over to compile their lines for the poems.  If there is a specific word that is not available in the word bank, s/he can add them manually.

From an educational stance, this can widen the students’ eyes to various forms of literature.  From my own personal experiences, poetry seems to be one of the more difficult forms of writing to comprehend for young readers.  They struggle with the idea of poetry and build up mental barriers before they even approach the work.  An app like Word Mover may be able to break those walls down and show them the simple facets of poetry.  Of course, this doesn’t make every child an Emily Dickinson or Edgar Allan Poe, but it adds an interesting element.  What exactly is considered poetry?

What do you think of this app?  Is it something that could open up another facet of literature for students?  Or is it turning a form of art into a game of mad libs?

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January 13, 2014 · 11:45 am

Smartphones Enhance Traveling


An app called Stray Boots is now enhancing the city tourist experience. The New York Times recently did a short video piece on the app while ‘test driving’ it. From the likes of it, it seemed like a fun little trivia/scavenger hunt type of activity.
The app asks you questions to test your knowledge base of the city you’re visiting and provides challenges or ‘dares’ to complete. It makes wandering around an area more enjoyable, whether you’re in a group or a solo traveler.
The app has many of the major cities in America, as well as the UK, available from its choices.
It’s definitely something you may want to engage in next time you find yourself in Boston, San Diego, or one of the other places provided. It certainly shows how far technology can go to enhance our lives in almost every way imaginable.

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October 7, 2013 · 9:58 am