Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Soundtrap for Storytellers, New Podcast Creation Tool Launches Globally- Classroom-appropriate Version to Be Made Available to Schools

Soundtrap, a favorite online audio editing tool, has announced that an education version of its new Soundtrap for Storytellers podcast creation tool introduced today will be available to teachers and students for use in the classroom. Like the Soundtrap online music recording studio, this simple tool supports STEAM (Science, Math, Engineering, Arts and Math) education initiatives while amplifying student voice and developing essential skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.

This new solution has some great features, which are a first -- automatic transcribing and synched editing, which will make a difference for teachers - they’ll be able to add variety to a class, yet meet core curriculum standards as well as teach students both with an IEP and high flyers in the same class lesson.

This is a Powerful, All-in-One Solution Enhances Student Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration

Here is a video with more information: Education Video

Soundtrap: https://www.soundtrap.com/

Equipped with a wide range of intuitive features, Soundtrap for Storytellers allows podcasters to focus on the art of storytelling by significantly reducing the time and investment typically needed to make podcasts sound professional. The full suite of services can be accessed via desktop, and a select set of recording and editing features is available on iOS and Android. Tools available include:

Interactive Transcripts/Editing Studio: Soundtrap for Storytellers saves hours of time by enabling users to transcribe and edit the spoken-word audio file as you would in a text document, eliminating the need to listen to the podcast over and over again. Automatic transcripts, at the click of a button, will differentiate instruction for all ages, abilities and individualized education plans. This tool allows learners to see their spoken word, easily edit the text and tell the story of their learning.

Communication and Collaboration: While this education version is compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) there is the ability for older learners, outside the COPPA environment, to invite family and friends to remotely join a podcast without requiring the invitees to sign up for Soundtrap. They can also upload a podcast and English transcript directly to Spotify.

Creativity: Soundtrap for Education schools now have access to Soundtrap for Storytellers added features which let students tell their story, create their personal jingles and complete the audio production process using Soundtrap’s built-in instruments and loops. Students will have access to 1,100+ classroom-appropriate sounds from freesound.org that could be used to punctuate their story and adds atmospheric sound to the podcast project.

According to Per Emanuelsson, CEO of Soundtrap, "This educational tool helps teachers differentiate instruction for students of all abilities within one classroom, giving students a compelling way to channel their thoughts and perspectives. While students will be utterly engaged, teachers get an inspiring vehicle for meeting core curriculum requirements."

Soundtrap for Storytellers was built around solving some of the biggest pain points for podcasters -- editing, transcribing, remote interviewing and adding sound effects -- and providing one, streamlined platform that contains every part of the podcast creation process. Equipped with a wide range of intuitive features, the education version of Soundtrap for Storytellers allows students to focus on the art of storytelling by significantly reducing the time and investment typically needed to make podcasts sound professional. The full suite of services can be accessed via desktop and a select set of recording and editing features is available on iOS and Android.

Access to the education version of Soundtrap for Storytellers will be available June 2019 without any additional subscription cost. Annual subscription pricing for Soundtrap for Education begins at $249 USD for 50 users. 


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Google Dynamic Learning Project Strategy Menu - thought-starters for instructional strategies, explore tech tools and start tackling your challenges as an educator.

The Google Dynamic Learning Project is a great resource for educators and educational leaders. It helps schools create sustained, system change with support, resources, consulting and coaching and more.

One of the components that is very useful to teachers is the Project Strategy Menu. With the PSM, you can review thought-starters for instructional strategies, explore tech tools and start tackling your challenges as an educator.

You can search for resources and tools by Challenge Area, Strategy or Tool, and then filter by Challenge.

Each area has resources, links and tools to help educators.

These are excellent, free resources to help educators and educational leaders.

Google for Education Resources


Microsoft Education Resources

Microsoft Education Resources

"Empower students today to be the creators of tomorrow and to achieve more"

Image result for microsoft education

Flexible platform for education transformation
Microsoft Education Resource Center
implement the Education Transformation Framework in your school or district.

Intune for Education - advanced configuration and management of devices, apps and users.
Microsoft 365 -
A complete, intelligent solution; including Office 365, Windows 10,
and Enterprise Mobility + Security, that empowers everyone to be creative
and work together, securely.

“The Innovative Schools Toolkit is an accessible and practical guide for you
and your school community to begin the journey of innovation. It is intended to
be a starting point rather than a complete solution and it offers a process that
can be customized based on your unique needs.”

Branching in Forms; Differentiation Tool How-To Guide
Grading Features - Automatic Grading, Export data to Excel




Learning Tools



The Future Of Education With Augmented Reality Infographic

The Future Of Education With Augmented Reality Infographic

Technology in education has made it possible to add a layer of enhanced reality and interactivity, this gives Teachers/tutors opportunity to make learning more realistic and immersive improving retention and deep learning.

In a generation where individuals from all age brackets have their personal mobile device, using augmented reality is a cost-effective alternative where the effectiveness of subject content can be amplified by adding relevant visuals; created using 3d models; visible through mobile devices when scanned. Which makes the subject matter more circumstantial and authentic stimulating the imagination of the learner, and makes the learning immersive and engaging.

The Infographic shows how Augmented Reality will change the traditional system of delivering Education.

The Future Of Education With AR


Monday, May 6, 2019

Airtame wireless streaming announces Power over Ethernet adapter

Airtame is an HDMI device that plugs into a display or projector and allows you to wirelessly display to that device. You can share your screen from any device, on any platform. It includes full screen mirroring on Mac, iOS (Airplay), Windows, Chrome and Linux. They are partnered with many other companies, including Google, Trello, Zoho and more to setup dashboards.

They just announced a new product:  Power over Ethernet 

Wireless screen sharing requires power and a constant, stable network connection. Power over Ethernet (PoE) can provide both through the same cable when you use the Airtame PoE Adapter.

It’s an accessory that provides power as well as an Ethernet connection over USB to the Airtame. When a user’s network is set up accordingly to provide Power over Ethernet, the Airtame only needs a network connection as it will receive power from the same cable. It removes the need for an AC power adapter and plug, something that can end up saving a lot of money.

A wired Ethernet connection with the Airtame PoE Adapter is much more stable than a regular WiFi connection - and faster too. It gives users a cleaner and more reliable setup. 

“If your Airtame is placed somewhere that’s hard to reach with no power outlet near or if you’ve simply got too much WiFi traffic, then a PoE-enabled setup could really help you out,” says Simon Hangaard Hansen, Product Manager of Airtame.

Another great resource for schools. 


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

New Analytics Tool From CDW, Lightspeed Systems Helps Schools Optimize Tech Use

New Analytics Tool From CDW, Lightspeed Systems Helps Schools Optimize Tech Use

Today at COSN 2019, CDW, in partnership with Lightspeed Systems, introduced Analytics Powered by Relay, a dashboard solution enabling K-12 schools to make informed decisions about their use of educational technology devices, applications and websites.

With mobile device use on the rise – 74 percent of K-12 schools say they have more than one device per student – schools are challenged to optimize their technology use, manage device data across numerous platforms, maintain policy compliance and ensure student safety online. With Analytics Powered by Relay, schools have access to an easy-to-use dashboard that helps them:
  • Determine if purchased tools and applications are being utilized as intended – and eliminate unused or redundant tools
  • Explore educational technology adoption rates and identify opportunities for professional development
  • Ensure technology tools align with relevant data privacy laws and frameworks
  • Monitor how often devices are used and what they are being used for
  • Ensure digital equity district-wide

“With Analytics Powered by Relay, schools can move from descriptive analytics to prescriptive advice that empowers them to take action,” said David Hutchins, vice president, education sales, CDW-G. “We’re pleased to partner with Lightspeed Systems to help schools harness their device data – rather than be burdened by it – so they can make better decisions about their technology investments, optimize technology use and protect their students’ safety.”

“Every school we talk to has challenges with data analytics. Until now, they have had to build complex processes and systems to piece together data from separate solutions. We’re excited to partner with CDW to bring schools a better student data portal that provides a holistic view of all activity and usage across every operating system, device, app and software license, everywhere the device goes,” said Brian Thomas, president and chief executive officer, Lightspeed Systems. “Analytics Powered by Relay will save schools time, maximize the return on technology and instructional investments, and drive smarter data-driven decisions that keep students safer and raise achievement.”

Lightspeed Systems has served K-12 schools since 1999. Its solution runs on Amazon Web Services, so schools do not need to invest in additional hardware or third-party tools to support it.

Analytics Powered by Relay customers will have access to CDW-G’s educational strategist team, which can provide an initial technology assessment, as well as ongoing coaching to drive innovation through data-based decision making. CDW-G educational strategists have advanced degrees in education and deep experience in classroom technology best practices.

Analytics Powered by Relay is scheduled to be generally available to CDW’s K-12 education customers in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and to schools globally in May 2019. To schedule a demo, or to connect with a CDW-G educational strategist, email EduAnalytics@cdwg.com or visit www.cdwg.com/CDWanalytics.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Creating an Accessibility-Friendly Environment

Accessibility is an important topic in education and encompasses the classroom space, digital tools and resources and much more.

Creating an Accessibility-Friendly Classroom Environment
  • Is the classroom bursting with patterned borders on the bulletin boards and bright colorful posters/word walls/anchor charts? Many teachers follow this trend because they believe more is better (it is touted as best practice on Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers), but the research shows that this is detrimental for student focus and ability to retain information.
    • For all students, but consider those with ADD/ADHD
    • Bring this back to decluttering and focusing on the room being as open as possible – an empty canvas for the students to paint every day based on the lessons and activities that will be happening.
      • This then returns to the furniture needing to facilitate the day’s tasks by being flexible, and active learning environments.
  • How can seating support a student who learns best with movement?
    • i.e. MooreCo’s Grow stools and sit/stand workspaces
      • Making this an option for all students, not just those with an IEP or 504, otherwise they may feel “different” and not want to use the tools available to them
Creating an Accessibility-Friendly Digital Environment
  • Going back to decluttering the barrage of bright colors and patterns in the physical space, the same holds true for a digital classroom environment and assignments. If a teacher has created a presentation or assignment that is bursting with unnecessary Clip Art, distracting transitions between slides, and heavy text/unreadable “fancy” fonts, they have just made that information less accessible to their students.
    • Also, if they have a class website that is cluttered with images and hard-to-read fonts, they are making it challenging for students who already have difficulty concentrating or reading to access the information
    • Consider – if they are embedding links in assignments online, are they including alt-text for students who use a screen reader?
  • How is the physical and digital classroom layout supporting English Language Learners?
    • All of this is not to say to get rid of visuals on the walls of the classroom – make sure they are intentional
    • For a classroom with ELL students, labels that include a picture of an object along with the word in English and their native language can be helpful for language acquisition

  • Make use of accessibility tools to support personalized learning in the digital environment
    • Microsoft Accessibility Blog
    • Google Chrome Accessibility Tools Slide Deck (covers native accessibility Chromebook settings and extensions/apps)
    • Consider native accessibility settings that can assist students reading below-grade level access articles and text that are appropriate for their grade level, as so often they are given books written for younger grades and miss out on the rich content

Here is a resource document that has resoures on Assistive Technology and Accessibility:


More Accessibility Resources

Google Accessibility Features and Resources



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