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Simplicity for International Teaching

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Comprehending a new language can be difficult, but luckily there is a tool that can help anyone pick it up.

The University of Washington Bothell has been building a large and diverse campus over the years and provides hundreds of types of courses to its students. English language classes are even offered to international students as well. But how are these classes being taught? Is there a more effective way?

The answer is yes! And the Voki app is the right tool to use for these situations. Voki allows the teachers and students to make avatars that can be used to help them with their education. Students are able to design their own Avatars to speak the language they are currently trying to learn. A set of instructions can also be provided to help students understand the meaning of the words and guidance on how they are pronounced. That is only the beginning of what Voki is capable of.

Voki is a great program and has multiple purposes, speaking another language is just one of them. The best thing about Voki is that it is great to use in front of a large class, when one on one with a student, or even by one’s self when alone studying. It is definitely a strong tool and can be used to help students everywhere comprehend things in a different and technical way.

To find out more about what Voki can do and how it can be used, click the link at the top of the page and find out something new and amazing you could have missed.

The Stylus is Mightier than the Sword

Let’s say you’re having one of those days where you bring in your tablet to class and nothing else. You think it is going to be alright- I mean, you have your textbook and notebook in that magical box right in front of you, so nothing can go wrong.

That is, until you feel that sense of nostalgia kicking into the pit of your stomach. The tapping and snapping of classmates’ pens around you make you feel the urge to join in on the sweet feel of the oh so vintage pen rubbing through your fingertips. You miss the smell of it’s ink, and even the marks they used to leave on the palm of your hand. But it’s too late, nothing can be done now as you have already made the transition into the modern world by purchasing your tablet.

That my friend, is where you are wrong. You are forgetting that modern companies have created the new modern pen: the stylus. While the stylus may not replicate the old pen in it’s entirety, the look and feel are irresistible.

Here are some stylus’ reviewers from the Verge thought were useful:

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Back-to-School Apps for Instructors and Students

In the spirit of back-to-school season, onlinecolleges.net recently published lists of recommended smartphone apps for students and instructors. We’ve decided to share a few of their favorites–as well as some of ours–with you here:

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iPad + Dropbox + Airsketch = Cheap & Easy Interactive Whiteboard

Have you ever wanted to annotate pictures, slideshow presentations, class readings, or any other files during a lecture? For example, say you’re examining a work of art that is full of visual symbolism. When discussing this art work, it would be helpful to highlight the symbolic objects in the painting for the whole class to see, right? Now, using only an iPad, ePodium, and two apps…you can very easily do this!

The video below shows the process of turning your iPad and projector into an interactive whiteboard. Before you get started following the tutorial, you will need to download two apps to your iPad: Dropbox and Airsketch. Note that you will need to create a Dropbox account. You will also need to convert the file you wish to annotate to PDF format and upload the file to Dropbox. Here are links to tutorials from the Learning Technologies website that will guide you through this process:

Full transcript available here via Google Docs

Photoshop App Now Available

Big news for tablet users: Adobe has just released a Photoshop app, now available from the App Store and Android Market. The App, called Photoshop Touch, is a simplified version of the advanced computer software. It also is available at a fraction of the cost: only $9.99.

This is Adobe’s first Photoshop app, and from the video below, it looks like they pulled it off. Although you may not want to use it for advanced photo projects, the simple tools and clean interface seem great for portable photo editing and for those with little experience with Photoshop.

Perhaps in the near future, Photoshop Touch will be a popular cheap alternative to the classic Photoshop software. Provided that they have the hardware, this app also has the potential to save schools money. Take a look: