Resource Wednesday: Sway-online presentation creator from Microsoft


Reimagine the way your ideas come to life

A new online presentation creator from Microsoft that is getting attention from the education community.  I am not a big Microsoft fan, but this actually look excellent.  For me to recommend a Microsoft project mean I must be pretty darn impressed, I am even surprised myself.  It’s free, doesn't require installation and works on all browsers and devices.

Sway by Microsoft is an intelligent app that helps you express your ideas on an interactive, web-based canvas. It’s integrated with the web, social networks and your devices, making it easy to drag and drop your content from a variety of sources right onto your canvas. The built-in design engine integrates that content into a cohesive layout without any hassles. From there, you can easily modify the design to create a look and feel unique to you. The results will look great on any screen and can be sent to coworkers or friends as effortlessly as sharing a link.

Checkout the video and see how it works:  

Eventually you will be able to sign in using your eID, but that is not possible at the moment, so you need to create an account.

10 ways to use Sway

Sway is 100% teacher friendly and can be used in variety of different ways. Check out Pip Cleaves form the Australian Teachers Blog top ten ideas to get you thinking of ways to use Sway in your teaching.

  1. Presentations – Teachers and students can use Sway as a presentation tool for learning
  2. eTextbooks – create your own eTextbook with links, information, videos, images and questions. You can then direct students to different website, using Sway as the base learning pathway
  3. Picture Books – get students to create a storybook using Sway
  4. Experiment and Research Reports – use sway to show research, experiment videos and results. You could even make your next science report using Sway
  5. Artwork or Multimedia Portfolio – Use Sway as a product portfolio to show a number of your own creations. Spend some time to explain what your project was, and why you created it
  6. Dictionary – Sway would make n awesome picture dictionary for English as Another Language or Language Other Than English students. Set groups the task to create dictionaries complete with audio tracks (uploaded to sound cloud)
  7. Book and Film Reviews – This multimodal tool makes a wonderful platform for students to create literacy focussed tasks such as reviews and analysis pieces
  8. Professional Learning Resource – Create a Sway for professional learning by bringing together links, help, examples and advice for teacher colleagues with which you are working
  9. Flipped Learning content delivery – use Sway to deliver your unit of study. Bring all the content together and allow students to view it at home in one space. Share the link, and you’re done
  10. School Showcases – Bring the best of your school together, simply choose images, text and video then embed your Sway on the front page of your school website. What a cool new way to share your school’s success.

Friday Resource: Ignite Teaching: Collaborate on Multimedia Projects


Ignite TeachingFREE APP:  The perfect tool for collaborative Project Based Learning through digital projects. Best of all, Ignite Teaching features detailed analytics that will allow you to assess individual student contributions in every group project. 

Students can finally collaborate on multimedia projects. Create the project titles and share with your students with an invitation code. Students join the project and build their slides that can include pictures, text, and video. 

Students can work on their part of the project on their own device and at their own pace. When the team is finished, they submit their work and you can see it from your account and know exactly who did what. You'll be able to see qualitative and quantitative analytics on individual student contributions in a group project through the assessment tools.

It also gives a link to view on the web.

Ignite Teaching allows you to have multiple projects running at the same time but, it is also possible to have students work on independent projects. 

It even has a browser version, but there are limitations and it warns you about accessing all features, to use the iPad app. 

  • Add text, images, and videos
  • Drag and drop content
  • Leverage layers and effects like transparencies, rotation, colors and border to customize content
  • Projects can be multiple pages
Getting Started on the iPad GUIDE:
Getting Started on the web version: 

iPad Resource Fiday: WordBrain

Just a bit fun for Friday…..yet challenging and could be used in the classroom with vocabulary.  If you like word game challenges, you will love WordBrain.

  WordBrain: TOP-1 Word Game in 57 countries!  WordBrain is a game for the true Word Genius! Easy at first. Insanely hard to complete! WordBrain is a game for the true Word Genius! It starts very easy but gets challenging quickly. Be prepared for a quick-paced puzzle game – sort of a Soduko and Candy Crush Saga twist on Ruzzle & Scramble – with hours of fun ahead. How far will you get? WordBrain was carefully crafted with love!

You can even create your own puzzles with your vocabulary!!

iPhone App, but works on your iPad:

iPad Resource Tuesday: Digitize Handwritten Notes and Diagrams with Office Lens

Office Lens -  Makes pictures of whiteboards and documents readable & editable. FREE

Office Lens,  is for converting pictures you take of notes on whiteboards or paper into notes that can be edited in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. 

Office Lens can scan documents “from any angle” and fix its perspective, crop it, and clean it up. It can also do other tricks like pulling contact info off a business card and more.

Office Lens exports your notes in plenty of formats including JPEG, PDF, and even Office files like Word or Powerpoint.  Probably one of the best features of Office Lens  is that hand-written work can be captured through the app and separated from the text to move and edit as individual objects in PowerPoint slides.  Then you can export right to OneDrive.  We now have access to through our new Office 365 at KSU. 

 With Office 365 and the new Office iPad apps , Office Lens should be very useful. 

An Overview of Office Lens.   

Office Lens could be a great app for students to use to snap a picture of something on a whiteboard then add their own comments to it through word or powerpoint or right inside the app.  I think this new app is worth a try.  

And it’s FREE, so why not give it a try!!

Friday iPad Resouce: Bring documents to life with Slate

Adobe just released Slate and it is FREE.  Take documents and bring them to life!

Wow, this is an amazing tool. Of course I am an Adobe fan for years,  but Slate is simple,  add text, photos, layout and apply style & motion.  Scrolling transitions make words and images move for an engaging & compelling read.  If you’ve used Adobe Voice,  also Free,  you’ll find similarities.   

Adobe Slate is a fun and easy way to turn any document – a lesson, newsletter, book report or presentation – into a stunning visual story, in just minutes.  Clearly, an exciting way to present information!!

Just type or talk to add text and use your favorite photos. Choose one of the awesome themes and gorgeous fonts, magazine-style designs and motion automatically transforms your story – guaranteeing a marvelous read on any device.  

Each Slate story you publish is simply a link.  No unrelated content, no random ads — just your story. You can share it via text message, email, social media or embed it where you want on your own website.  Anyone can view your Slate and it will look great, whether they're using a phone, and iPad, a tablet, or computer.

Find out more on the Slate website.

Learn more about Slate:  

A few stunning EXAMPLES
Find more examples at Tweets #madewithSlate 

Slate, is an extremely powerful communication tool — An easy way to share your knowledge and express creativity in visual essays, reports, journal entries, portfolios, book reports, science projects and more.  Ditch that Powerpoint! Through a simple link to the web, you can share your ideas and knowledge with the world.

Slate is free, which is kinda of unusual for Adobe, it makes me wonder if it will eventually be a paid app. So, install it on your iPad now, while it is free. Check Slate out, you will not be disappointed.  

By the way, we will be learning Slate in the DED318 class this semester!!

Tuesday iPad Resource: instaGrok RESEARCH tool


Scour the web with this research engine to look for pedagogically sound digital materials. 

Research any topic with an interactive concept map that you can customize and share.  instaGrok is an interactive research engine, that lets you learn about any topic.  It is free for everyone and works on your computer and iPad. Create an account to customize, save and share concept maps of your research. 

Official Description

instaGrok is an educational (re)search engine that lets students (any anyone else) research any topic in an engaging, visual way. instaGrok finds the best information on the topic and presents it as interactive concept map ("grok"), showing key facts, concepts and relationships, videos, images and more. Users can pin their favorite materials to their grok and take notes in the built-in journals.

Kinda of tough tool to explain, so give it a try. A green button on the top right of the website is a tutorial ...Teacher, Start Tutorial. But, just watch the short demo video below, I believe you will understand how awesome instaGrok is for research!!  Make sure you create a free account so that you can customize, save & share. 

iPad Resource Monday: Quick Key for Formative Assessment

Quick Key is an app that turns your iPhone/iPad into a bubble sheet scanner. Quick Key, the mobile app that puts a digital classroom into the palm of your hand, no network required! Scan paper quizzes, tests, and surveys with your mobile device.

Quick Key  makes it very easy for you to quickly grade multiple choice and true/false quizzes. Basically, create your quiz on the Quick Key website then print and distribute your bubble sheet. After your students have completed the bubble sheet you simply scan the sheets with your iPhone or iPad, (resolution on an iPad is bit grainy) and the grading is wrapped up for you. 

From the app you can send grades to the classes that you have created on the Quick Key website. If you enter students’ email addresses into your class rosters on Quick Key, you can have grades emailed to students.  Teachers are already over worked, most have created many great formative and summative assessments over the years. Quick Key allows teachers to use the assessments that they have already created. Not reinventing the wheel!

So, if you use Formative Assessments & bubble sheets, this may be the solution you have been needing.  I hate to admit it, but I have no idea where a “Scranton Bubble Sheet Reader” is even located.  Quick Key would totally solve that problem, it is in my hand!!

iPad Resource for Wednesday: Receiving & Making calls on your iPad

Receiving & Making phone calls on your iPad

Easy Peasy!! And very helpful for those times when you hear your iPhone ringing, and your phone is someplace else.   As long as your iPad & iPhone are both running iOS 8, and are on the same Wi-fi connection, making and receiving calls on your iPad is a breeze.

Incoming calls show the caller name, their phone number and their profile picture–assuming there i a profile picture in your contacts.  Just click or swipe on the notification to answer the call.  And the best part is that you can even respond with a quick text message if it is inconvenient to take the call.  

To make a call on your iPad, just tap on a phone number from your contacts list or any phone number displayed in Safari.

To set-up your iPad so that you can make and receive calls go to Settings 

FaceTime and select iPhone Cellular calls to the “on” position.  

You can also choose to receive FaceTime calls. And choose which of your connected phone numbers and email addresses will share your cellular connection between your iPad to your iPhone when on the same Wi-fi connection. In other words, you can be selective.

iPad Resource for Tuesday - Zaption

Zaption lets you embed questions within the video


Flipping your class and using videos. We all know that it is better to ask questions throughout the text rather than only at the end of the chapter, so asking questions after a topic is covered in the video and not waiting until the end is a better plan as well. Although that’s what we do most of the time because there is not easy way to do to ask question during the video.  

Whoo Hoo….Problem solved with Zaption!  If you want to create your first Zaption and share interactive video lessons, head over to on your computer. Your students will use the app to access your video creation. This is a new way to do assessment!

Zaption lets you embed questions within the video. Students can't move forward in the video until they can correctly answer the question. 

Whether you’re flipping your classroom or in-flipping, this is a powerful tool.  Go to the Zaption Gallery and check out examples from a huge variety of content areas and grade levels: 

Official Description: Zaption allows teachers to easily create interactive video lessons by adding images, text, quizzes, and discussions to existing videos from YouTube or Vimeo. These “learning tours” can be shared privately with a simple link, or embedded in any learning management system -- making Zaption perfect for blended learning, flipped classrooms & online classes in K12 as well as Higher Ed and training. Zaption’s Analytics also track all learner activity, so teachers get immediate and actionable data to improve instruction and personalize learning.

Here is a good tutorial by teacher Klista Rader: 

Link to all the tutorials for using Zaption: