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Read the Words

What it is: Read the Words is a free website that offers an audio player that will read anything you want. The Reader on the audio player can be listened to online, downloaded to a mp3 player, broadcasted as a podcast, or posted on a website or blog. The first step to creating your reader is selecting what you want read, this can be uploaded from a PDF, MS Word, HTML file, or input manually, cut and pasted, through RSS or URL. Step 2 is selecting a reader for your purposes, there are 14 readers to choose from. The readers speak English, Spanish, and French. Each reader has unique voices and some have accents. You can control the reader’s speed and pitch. Best of all it takes approximately one minute to generate an hour long recording. How to integrate Read the Words into the classroom: Read the Words would be an excellent way to guide a webquest for students, create a reader to steer students through each activity in the webquest. If you have mp3 players available for checkout, create a reader for guided reading. These can be used in class during silent reading time or checked out for home use so that the student learning day can be extended. The readers would be excellent for history or science reading where vocabulary can be challenging. Read the Words is perfect for your auditory learners and because you can have text that is already in your lesson read, the differentiation for these students is short and sweet. Read the Words would also be great for English language learners or for English speakers learning Spanish or French. Tips: Take some time initially to listen to each of the readers. Choose the one that is easiest for your students to understand and best fits your purposes. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Read the Words in your classroom.

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Widbook: Online Collaborative ebook Creation

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Foreign Language, Government, History, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, web tools, Web2.0 | Posted on 15-06-2012

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Widbook – Write, read and share! from Widbook on Vimeo.

What it is:  Widbook is a new publishing platform for ebooks.  What makes this publishing platform so neat is the social aspect, it allows authors to collaborate and make suggestions.  Each user also gets their own bookshelf where they can subscribe to other author’s work.

When students start a new ebook, they can choose who can see the book when it is published, choose whether they will accept collaboration for the book, and choose if they want to accept comments for the book.  Actually writing the book is fabulously simple.  All of the onscreen tools are easy to use and intuitive as to their function.  The book can have a table of contents, multiple chapters, and pictures and video embedded right into the book.  When students are finished, they simply save the book and publish it.  The finished book gets a unique url that can be shared.

How to integrate Widbook into the classroom:  Widbook is a fantastic, simple tool for secondary students to use to create ebooks. Students can create individual published works that can be commented on by other students and the teacher.  Students can receive relevant-real time feedback not only from their teacher, but also from other students.  Students not only get practice writing their own works, they also get practice evaluating writing of their peers.

Students can use Widbook to write final drafts of any piece of writing be it an essay or creative writing assignment.  The ability to add video and images easily is wonderful.

Widbook would also be a great place for students to collaboratively create books about their learning.  Each student can add a chapter, or groups of students can create chapters together.  Instead of assigning students a textbook to read for the semester, include them in the creation of a collaborative textbook.  Provide students with a table of contents and put them to work creating a chapter for each topic/unit throughout the year.  At the end of the year, each student will have a book of their learning that they helped to create.  Much more useful than a textbook that one of the Big Six wrote that gets opened only before tests!

Are you having trouble finding a book that matches your classroom learning needs?  Create an ebook that perfectly meets your students right where they are.  Include videos and images relevant to learning.

 

***For younger students be sure to check out BoomWriter!

Tips: Older students who have Facebook accounts can choose to link their Facebook account for easy login (make sure you know your school’s policy on social networking sites being accessed at school, even if it is just to login with).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Widbook in  your classroom!

Comments (1)

Hi! I didn’t know this! and speaking of collaboration tools, I know one that has worked fine in my classes. It’s called nearpod and it’s a collaboration tool that synchronizes content in ipads and you can launch presentations, assess students live and add interactive activities. Anyone knows it? and it’s free :) I strongly recommend it! their website is http://www.nearpod.com
Good luck edtech teachers! :)

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