App of the Week: tlk.io

app of the week image

In this weekly blog, our own Emily Jeanes gives readers the lowdown on web apps that educators can use inside Haiku Learning. Emily is the very first Haiku Learning Sales Engineer. Edtech ninja, sci-fi writer, and proud transfer from our award-winning Client Services team, she brings with her a passion for researching, playing with and integrating awesome educational tools into Haiku Learning. Like Haiku Learning, she likes to think she plays well with others.

What is tlk.io?

From their site: tlk.io is "a simple web chat."

In Haiku Learning: Use Embed the Web to embed the an adorable, simple chat widget onto a Page. Students connect via name or Twitter handle, then start chatting in their browser, in Haiku Learning.

tlk.io embedded into Haiku Learning
A tlk.io chat embedded into a content block in Haiku Learning.

Quick Facts

How do I get the embed code?

Scroll down to the Embed area of the tlk.io site, then enter any custom channel name you'd like to use. Set custom height, width and even a CSS theme if you'd like...or just keep it simple and copy their itty-bitty javascript code. As a head's up, this embed does use HTTP, so it will likely cause a mixed-content warning in some browsers, like Chrome and Firefox.

Why should I try it?

Here's a resized tlk.io chat

There are a lot of synchronous chat tools out there with complex video, white-boarding, file uploads, and other fancy capabilities.

But sometimes, you just want to see who's on and have a chat, or ask a quick question and get an answer.

And that's where tlk.io is perfectly simple.

Sure, you can change the widget's colors or link out to some custom CSS, adjust your notification and sound settings, or even connect via Twitter to "claim" a channel as your own.

And yeah, tlk.io is super-duper responsive (it even looks great in the narrowest column in Haiku Learning!), free, and easy.

But for some casual office hours or students co-working on a WikiProject from different locations, or for when a Discussion is just too formal or Comments are just to permanent...I think that's where tlk.io could really start to shine.

So give it a try!

We think tlk.io is pretty great, simple, and frankly - it's gosh-darned pretty to look at, too!

Until next time, embed ALL the things!

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EdTech Weekly News Roundup - July 24, 2015

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Being an educator means you probably have very little time to read the news during the week. Here are some interesting edtech articles from this past week that you might find useful.

"15 Tips for New Teachers From a Technology Facilitator” — edSurge

Here’s some help from someone who works teachers across disciplines to integrate technology. Because let’s be honest—it’s easy to get sucked into your own subject-world. But when it comes to integrating technology, there are common challenges for all teachers. Plus, this author offers up some tips that you may not think of, such as using Donor’s Choose to fund some of your projects.

"Teachers as Learners: 6 Great Professional Development Ideas” — Edudemic

While personalized PD isn’t new - every teacher has probably sat down with their supervisor to discuss their unique challenges and goals and how to meet or overcome them—there are so many other ways out there that teachers can access nowadays that can make the entire PD experience more meaningful and open them up to new ways of thinking. Some of the suggestions, like creating their own portfolios, are borrowed from the classroom and tweaked for teachers!

"A Look Inside the Classroom of the Future” — Edutopia

Most of today’s students will find themselves being a part of global teams in some capacity. Based on the author's work with more than 2,000 U.S. middle and high school educators on building global competence, they’ve come up with five core strategies that that they’ve seen educators adopt to effectively create the classroom of the future. One of the author’s suggestions is to leverage real-world case studies. A twist on that in Haiku Learning? Use WikiProjects to give your students some authentic, real-world projects that challenge them to brainstorm collaboratively online, solve problems together, show their work, and create something new. All of these things can be done inside WikiProjects using all the digital tools available there plus all those interactive apps inside our Embed the Web library!

"9 Way to Get Your Grammar Game On: A Playlist” — GettingSmart

If you’re an English teacher hoping to find some fun apps to make grammar feel less like going to the dentist (you don’t want to do it but you have to), you should check out this article. This teacher was inspired to put it together after being asked by parents for recommendations for websites or apps to help their children review grammar over the summer.

"Webinar Spotlight: Do's and Don'ts of Integrating Tech in Schools” — Common Sense Graphite

Here’s a video of a webinar on integrating technology from the experts in digital citizenship, Common Sense. These “do’s” and “don’ts” come from lessons learned from a computer specialist in California's Fremont Unified School District.

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App of the Week: 39 - No, 42! - New Apps in our Embed the Web Library: Part 4

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In this weekly blog, our own Emily Jeanes gives readers the lowdown on web apps that educators can use inside Haiku Learning. Emily is the very first Haiku Learning Sales Engineer. Edtech ninja, sci-fi writer, and proud transfer from our award-winning Client Services team, she brings with her a passion for researching, playing with and integrating awesome educational tools into Haiku Learning. Like Haiku Learning, she likes to think she plays well with others.

Last month we announced that we added 39 new apps to our Embed the Web Library. However, it turns out that number ended up being 42! Catch up by reading Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. And now, here is the final chapter!

12 New Apps in our Embed the Web Library

  • 7th Space iFrame Generator: Looking to embed a site that doesn't provide their own embed code? 7thSpace quickly and easily creates an iframe for you. Just paste your url, and they'll make the code. Haiku may "not recognize" your custom code, but that doesn't mean it won't work great!
  • 99 Chats: 99Chats offers a quick and simple, text-based chat room that can embedded right into your class.
  • Chatango: Engage students synchronously by hosting a live, text-based chat widget right in your class page!
  • Credo Reference: Search text for over 1200 published reference works from a variety of publishers, or connect to your local Library search using the Credo Reference search widget.
  • BitStrips: Help students use their "own personal emoji" to design custom comic strips, or search the Bitstrips inventory of witty user-generated content.
  • Sweet Search: Sweet Search is a search engine designed just for students! All web sites returned by this cute little search widget have been evaluated for inclusion by their research experts.
  • Tagul: Tagul allows you to create beautiful word clouds, then embed them into your class.
  • VocabAhead: Create a custom-curated list of VocabAhead's engaging vocabulary word videos, and embed their widget (with up to 50 videos!) into any class.
  • Website Toolbox Chat: WebsiteToolbox provides simple Forums, Chat Rooms, Polls and Guestbooks for your class with "no coding, software or servers" necessary!
  • Wideo: Create, share and edit animated videos online using Wideo. They have lots of great templates, or choose your own custom background, images, music, and more.
  • Wonderopolis: Share the Wonder with this daily-updating widget from Wonderopolis, home to thousands of explanations of areas of our everyday lives.
  • WordItOut: WordItOut is a word cloud generator with great styling and customization options, easy word uploads from the web, documents, or even copy/paste.

Keep an eye out for more updates like this on all of the new goodies in our Embed the Web Library!

Don't miss Emily's next app review! Subscribe to the Haiku Learning blog to keep up with all the latest from Haiku Learning.

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EdTech Weekly News Roundup - July 17, 2015

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Being an educator means you probably have very little time to read the news during the week. Here are some interesting edtech articles from this past week that you might find useful.

"How Twitter Can Power Your Professional Learning” – EdTech: Focus on K-12

Following ISTE 2015, an elementary school principal in Wisconsin noticed a lot more educators using twitter to express their feelings about the overwhelming experience, many on Twitter for the first time. Remembering his own initial use of Twitter, he offers some tips for educators to manage their professional learning with Twitter, so they don't feel like they're "drinking from an open fire hydrant."

"100+ Education Twitter Accounts to Follow” – Getting Smart

Perfect follow up to the above article. Looking to get a head start on who to follow? This list breaks it down for you by categories such as education bloggers, news and media, thought leaders, foundations, cool schools, and more!

"21st-Century PD: Retention, Reflection, and Redistribution of Knowledge” – Edutopia

Educators go to conferences all the time, but what do they do with all that information? Some of our customers have Haiku Learning classes devoted to sharing best practices. Imagine a page in one of those classes devoted to sharing conference notes, reflections, creations? And how about Discussions to continue the conversation? As the article says, it's important to retain, reflect, and redistribute!

"Forty Educational Websites For Your Summer 2015 Toolkit, Part 2” – Tech & Learning

We missed Part 1 of this series, so check that out too! Part 2 has everything from puzzle apps to presentation apps, and there’s something here for everyone, as most all disciplines are covered here. Some of these apps are also featured in our Embed the Web library!

"How a 21st Century Librarian Enhances Student Learning” – THE Journal

Apparently, librarians are getting written out of many school budgets and need to be their own “PR ninjas”. This librarian, who was awarded the 2014 School Library Media Specialist Award from the Louisiana Association of School Librarians, offers some great suggestions on what librarians can do to work with teachers and students and show administrators how valuable they are to improving student success.

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App of the Week: buncee

app of the week image

In this weekly blog, our own Emily Jeanes gives readers the lowdown on web apps that educators can use inside Haiku Learning. Emily is the very first Haiku Learning Sales Engineer. Edtech ninja, sci-fi writer, and proud transfer from our award-winning Client Services team, she brings with her a passion for researching, playing with and integrating awesome educational tools into Haiku Learning. Like Haiku Learning, she likes to think she plays well with others.

What is buncee?

From their site: buncee "is your creation and presentation tool, simplified. It’s a fun and easy to use web-based tool that’s been helping students & educators across the world create and learn — both within and outside of the classroom...buncee enables you to easily bring together all kinds of content (buncee artwork, photos, videos, drawings, audio, and links) onto one digital canvas, making a cloud-based, shareable creation."

In Haiku Learning: Use Embed the Web to embed any buncee presentation easily into a page in your Class or WikiProject. Scroll through slides and watch as animations, embedded video and audio play right inside the embedded block. It's pretty elegant, pretty seamless, and pretty good looking to boot!

buncee embedded into Haiku Learning
A buncee embedded into a content block in Haiku Learning.

Quick Facts

How do I get the embed code?

Check out the Share area of buncee when viewing any presentation to see some helpful sharing options! From there, select the Code tab and copy the embed code that's provided. Don't worry too much about the size of the embed because buncee is super responsive, and will adjust well to pretty much any column size in Haiku Learning!

How to get the embed code for buncee
How to get the embed code for buncee.

Why should I try it?

Okay, I know what you're thinking...another presentation tool? We can't get enough of 'em over here at Haiku Learning, can we? It's true. We're a little addicted, but I promise that buncee is worth checking out. These guys are crafting an elegant tool, and will not disappoint! Plus, they're really, really nice...we met them at ISTE and hit it off, fast.

So what makes buncee so awesome? Maybe it's their silly-easy "Click here to add a new item!" button that reminds me of home. Or, it could be the sheer variety of items you can add to your slides: text, lists, images, recorded audio, embedded YouTube videos (check, check, check, check!), but also custom QR codes, hand drawings, and stickers and animations pulled from their robust library of adorable, school-friendly items.

Or maybe I have a soft spot for tools that play well with others, and smile anytime I see options to add Vimeo, SoundCloud, Dropbox, and content from our friends at Gooru Learning just as easily as a simple image from the web.

The variety of items you can add to a buncee
Check out all the different items you can choose from inside of buncee!

Can we talk for a moment about that art style, too? Do a quick search for robot stickers in buncee, and you'll get what I mean. Their default backgrounds, layouts, and color palette feel modern but also education-savvy. I have a feeling students and teachers (and some children's book illustrators, too!) will find it is easy to make slides that are interactive and look good, fast.

A search for robot stickers in buncee
Here's what showed up after my search for robot stickers in buncee!

Be sure to check out the buncee gallery for some great example decks, and this YouTube video for a super-quick walkthrough of creating a buncee!

Until next time, embed ALL the things!

Don't miss Emily's next app review! Subscribe to the Haiku Learning blog to keep up with all the latest from Haiku Learning.

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