CamScanner for Android

I just wanted to add a quick post about a very useful and free tool for people who have Android operating system based devices.  The device is called CamScanner.  This app has both a free version and paid version, I continue to use the free version.  This versatile app allows me to take quick photos of items with my device, then turn them into full blown .pdfs to be uploaded to the Internet.

CamScanner enables me to take a physical document and upload to my Edmodo online classroom without leaving my students unattended.  It allows users to create files on the fly.  My students will use the app to turn their work on paper into computer-ready documents that can be saved on the Internet.  I used the app to scan and store my daughter’s pre-school and kindergarten art portfolios online.

You can access this free and useful app in the Google Play Store.

Lucky 2013 Class Expectations

Well, it is a new school year and time for a new set of class expectations for 2013/2014.  Every year my students begin blogging and I attempt to blog more; sometimes with success sometimes without.   I have several goals that I have been unofficially building towards the last several years.  They cover course content and classroom technology use.

My expectations for class content and topics is to cover as much of the 20th Century with my history class as possible.  I am also in the process of flipping all of my classes, so I must continue to build and revise the class resources.  These goals dovetail nicely together, creating a dynamic that should play out well into the future. As our department builds towards expanding 20th Century US History into a two year course, the resources we use need to grow and adapt.  No longer will we need to rely on textbooks, but rather primary sources for the students to interact with.  The focus also needs to be pushed for more higher level activities to be completed in class, while the more basic tasks can be done on the students’ own time.  This reversal of tasks will give students more support for actually understanding the concepts we will cover.  By refining and adding to my resource library there will be more options for students to pull from when comes to finding the right type of material to work with.  We need resources that fit every type of learners needs and ability.

When it comes to new technology and tools this year, I plan to learn and teach the tools we use more in depth.  I also hope you o get my students more involved with collaborative projects outside of my classroom.  I have been using many tools for many years with my classes.  It does sound trite, but it is what it is…true.  The students need to see these tools integrated with each other and see how powerful they can be when used together.  I can start the process through modeling, but my hope is that the students’ imaginations will run with the concepts.  My students collaborate well within the class and within the school.  They now need to collaborate and participate outside of that small sphere.  I am hoping to have a number of students voluntarily participate in either the Flat Classroom Project or the Edublogs Challenges.  I will offer full support, but the goal is for them to want to participate in this new realm.

I will keep blogging about the progress of these goals and expectations as the school year plays out.  Hopefully they will be success stories, or learning experiences at the minimum.