Tag Archives: genius scan

5 Great Tech Tools to Prep for the School Year

It’s the end of July and the school year is just around the corner (T-minus 19 days for me). Here are some great apps to help you organize in preparation of the school year.

 

Courtesy of Pixabay

Courtesy of Pixabay

Evernote (Free & Paid) – A great tool to organize your lessons, resources, notes, to do lists, and more. Evernote is a highly versatile tool for organizing your life.

Google Calendar (Free) – If you have a Google Account, you can easily create a Google Calendar. With calendar you can organize your personal and professional life, create shared calendars for collaborative projects, and keep specialized calendars for your classes.

Socrative (Free) – Build great bell ringer activities and exit tickets with this student response system. With the release of Socrative 2 has come a series of robust upgrades including Google Drive integration, Common Core tagging, individual student reports, and so much more.

ShopSavvy (Free) –  A barcode and QR code scanner, ShopSavvy allows you to scan the barcode of an item in store and will return price checks of stores in the area as well as online deals. This is a great way to hunt down back to school deals!

Genius Scan (Free & Paid) – This is my favorite camera scanner app. If you are looking to digitize your handouts or reading lists, this tool will allow you to create digital documents (PDF, JPEG, etc) using only your camera and then transfer documents via email, DropBox, Google Drive, Evernote, and more.

There are a lot more tools out there that can help you organize and prep for the school year. However, don’t forget the most vital element in gearing up for Fall – rest up and recharge!

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Update – Conference Talk: From Enemy to Asset, Cell Phones in the Classroom

Today, I gave my talk “Cell Phones in the Classroom: From Enemy to Asset,” (see my previous post on preparing for it) for the Independent Curriculum Group at the beautiful campus of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, TX. Here was the published summary of my talk:

From Enemy to Asset: Cell Phones in the Classroom
Cell phones have replaced note-passing as the biggest distraction in the classroom. Schools have tried to attack the problem with blanket bans or restrictive policies. But what if instead of viewing cell phones as the enemy, we use them as teaching tools? Most students have more computing power in their pocket than was used by NASA to send men to the moon. This session will explore innovative classroom uses for cell phones.

I was quite nervous about this talk – my colleagues were entirely strangers, I was in a new environment, talking about a ‘controversial’ topic and at the last minute I found out two horrifying facts: that the session would be 75 minutes (I had anticipated 50-60) and that I would be presenting first! The night before, I spent a lot of time tossing and turning as well as frantically changing my content.

The day began and my room ended up being packed – we were dragging in extra chairs and for a time, it was standing room only. Seems like this was a topic that hit home for a lot of faculty – after all, cell phones are pervasive.

Turns out, I had a great audience. They were incredibly talkative and engaging. They asked pertinent questions, brought up legitimate concerns, and shared constructively. In fact, my problem wasn’t that I couldn’t fill up the time, I just didn’t have enough!

We spent most of our time playing with Poll Everywhere. I’ve posted previously about my very positive experiences with the software in previous blog posts. They liked its ease of use, the broad application, and moderator features. In fact, we spent probably 70% of the time talking about this particular piece. Here’s an example of one of our ‘back-channel’ chats

We next moved on to DropBox (if any conference attendees are reading this, remember this is the link that will get you 250mb of bonus space!) – I was surprised by the number of teachers that were unfamiliar with this program, but they all became excited quite quickly at its cross-platform capabilities, file storage and transfer, as well as means of distributing materials to students who now seem loathe to check their own emails (my students often ask me to text them when I email something important). I highlight DropBox in my post about using your Smart Phone to go paperless (or less paper-y).

By the time I finished both of these products, we had only a few minutes left. I showed them a few examples of other products, namely Scanner Applications (like Genius Scan Pro) that students can use in their process of research (and help organize with DropBox or Evernote).

A few of the conference goers stayed after ‘the bell’ to ask me about some of the creative suites (that I used for digital storytelling projects, which you can read about here). I also put out a stack of business cards that were collected up – hopefully to contact me in the future, but possibly to ensure they got the spelling right on their complaints.

I didn’t get a chance to distribute my handout (not sure what happened to my copies). But you can download a copy of it here: Austin Presentation (it includes all of the software I went over, or planned to go over, in the talk).