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Image Chef

What it is: Image Chef is a great little web tool that takes words and transforms them into a graphical image.  Image Chef is similar in look to Wordle but works a little differently.  In Wordle, the size of the word changes based on how frequently the word was used in the text.  In Image Chef, the word size doesn’t change based on how frequently it is used in the text.  Image Chef takes the words typed in a text box, and displays them in a word mosaic.  Image Chef has a variety of shapes and symbols to choose from.  Any text entered will be displayed in the shape selected.  Registered users can also create their own shapes to display text graphically.  Image Chef has the added bonus of graphically displaying text inside letters.  The look of the image can be changed by adjusting font, text color, background color, and symbol or initial.  Individual words can be highlighted by changing the color and clicking on a word in the mosaic.  Word mosaics can be shared on blogs, emailed, printed, or saved on Image Chef. How to integrate Image Chef into the classroom: Image Chef is a fun web tool for displaying words in new and interesting ways.  My favorite feature of Image Chef is the ability to create word mosaics inside letters.  This feature would be a good way for students to practice phonics.  For example, students could create a letter “a” word mosaic filled with short a words (see my example above).  Students could type blends inside of the blend letters, long and short vowel words, r-conrolled words, etc.  These word mosaics could be printed out and bound into a phonics booklet for students, or displayed on a word wall.  Image Chef mosaics would also be a great way for students to explore synonyms.  Students can type synonyms into the text box and find or create an appropriate symbol to represent the words.  Image Chef would make for a fun first week of school activity.  Students could type in their initials as the shape for the word mosaic.  In the text field, they can type in words that represent them.  Print these out and display on a bulletin board next to student pictures.  For older students, Image Chef could be used to create a large periodic table of elements.  Choose the initials that represent the element on the periodic table and type the name of the element in the text box to fill the initials.  Create a large periodic table for the classroom with the printed elements. Tips: I learned about this awesome web tool from a tweet by @njtechteacher, definitely a teacher to follow this #teachertuesday!  When you click on the Image Chef Link you will be taken to the Image Chef homepage (the site contains much more than just the word mosaic)  To create a word mosaic click on “Word Mosaic” under “Create” in the left column of the website. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Image Chef in your classroom.

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Meraki: Manage Mobile Devices from the Cloud…FREE

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, iPod, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Technology, web tools, Websites | Posted on 20-11-2012

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What it is: Meraki lets you centrally manage mobile devices, macs and PC’s from the cloud based dashboard.  The systems manager makes it simple to centrally manage applications on iOS, Android, Mac and PC devices.  It integrates with Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store and Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.  In addition to being able to manage apps, Meraki makes it easy to enforce and deploy restrictions on mobile devices. Choose how your students access the app store, gaming and content, how they connect wirelessly, security settings and remote VPN access.  Meraki has a virtual backpack where content can be shared with devices.  Files and documents can be added and sent wirelessly.  Separate backpacks can be delivered to different classrooms so that the correct documents are shared with the students who need it.  The cloud platform makes 1 to 1 projects and BYOD (bring your own device) roll outs manageable.  The best part?  Meraki is 100% free.  You just can’t beat that!

How to integrate Meraki into the classroom: This is one of those tools that I WISH I had seen before I spent $3,000 on another solution.  Blerg.  Live and learn, right?  Next year, this is the solution I will be using to manage all of our BYOD iPads at Anastasis.  It has everything that we need.  The integration with Apple’s Volume Purchase Program is pretty fantastic.  This is a great way for the school to purchase and manage educational apps that we want to share with students.  The cloud management means that we can manage devices from anywhere and we don’t have to have a dedicated server to do it.  I can do a lot of things, but managing servers is not one of those things that I want to spend my time doing!

Meraki is a great solution for whole schools or single classrooms that need to manage devices.  I love that Meraki can be used for a school initiated roll-out or in a single classroom BYOD initiative.  Either way the tools are easy to use and will make the integration of technology in the classroom run smoother.

Tips: Check out the FAQ page to learn more about how Meraki gets installed on the student devices.  The installation changes based on device.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Meraki in your classroom.

Comments (2)

I passed this along to our district folks today, but it looks like Meraki just got bought by Cisco: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2412479,00.asp. Hope that doesn’t change this free MDM option . . .

This is true, I am hoping for the same!

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