What it is: Kids Picture Dictionary is just what you would imagine it to be: a dictionary, for kids, with pictures. This picture dictionary has something extra special built in, it includes a self record feature so that kids (teachers or parents) can record their own voice to record sentence examples. Each word includes a picture, an audio recording of the word, and the ability for kids (teachers or parents) to record their own sentence.
How to use the Kids Picture Dictionary App in your classroom: This is a very simple dictionary app for young students. It is organized well so that they can search words by letter and picture. The words included are pretty basic, but would be perfect for an emerging reader/writer. Students could use the dictionary to help them with spelling during writing time. I’ve often seen kids who can tell a fantastic story, but their writing is limited because they don’t want to spell a word that they aren’t sure of. Kids Picture Dictionary app could be just the confidence they need to let their ideas soar.
The Kids Picture Dictionary app could also be really helpful for ELL/ESL students who are learning vocabulary. Each word not only includes a picture, but also a sample sentence. Students can listen to the word used in context and then practice recording their own sentence using the new vocabulary. The recording is saved within the app so students can work independently, and teachers can go back through the app to assess understanding later.
Tips: The Kids Picture Dictionary app is free; however, it does include advertisements at the bottom of each page. For $1.99 you can get the app without the ads. A strong suggestion for educational app developers: It is RIDICULOUS to put an in-app purchase option on an educational app. If a school is going to buy your app, they will want to do it through the Volume Purchase program. In app purchases are NOT education friendly! (If you are purchasing this for school, the app exists in the app store twice, the free version always comes up first and if you dig, you can find the $1.99 ad free version.)
Device: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad with iOS 4.3 or later.
What it is: I found Daft Doggy several months ago and put it in my “explore more” folder. The Daft Doggy site is in beta version and it isn’t obvious upon first visit what exactly it does. Today I had a little bit of time to go and explore the site more and I am glad I did! Daft Doggy is a free service that lets you record web browsing sessions, play them back, and share recorded sessions with others. It is very simple to use (only 2 clicks to start recording!) You type in the starting point URL and Daft Doggy keeps track of all subsequent URL’s along the way. Daft Doggy doesn’t record everything you do, it only remembers each separate URL you visit in a sequence, it does this both within the site or a separate external site. When students or teachers view the session, a blue bar at the top of the page shows the URL along with reverse and next navigation. Each recorded session is assigned a unique link making it easy to share with students or other staff. After you have recorded the sequence of sites, you have the option of labeling each site and even adding a voice recording that will play when that site is being viewed.
How to integrate Daft Doggy into the classroom: Daft Doggy is a great way to lead students through a series of activities on the web. Younger students especially who would have trouble keeping track of and typing mulitiple URL’s would benefit from a lesson recorded with Daft Doggy. Daft Doggy is also perfect for whole class instruction with a projector when mulitiple sites will be visited. The recorded session will keep you on track and keep you from having to type in multiple URL’s while teaching. As a computer teacher and technology integration specialist, I like Daft Doggy for the ability to make quick guides for students and teachers as well as tutorials. The Daft Doggy recordings are quick and easy to create making them ideal for quickly answering web questions or leading colleagues/students through websites. Make your own online virtual field trips or webquests for students using Daft Doggy. Student projects can also be enhanced with Daft Doggy. Students can create web presentations with site to share with peers. This would also be a great site to use as students are researching. Instead of trying to remember the exact search words and links they used to find a site, they can record their research so that they can re-trace their steps at a later time if needed. So cool!
Tips: This beta site definitely doesn’t have any frills, it is very basic but it gets the job done easily and quickly. To get started just create a login and you are ready to go!
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Daft Doggy in your classroom.