Duolingo: Apple’s choice for App of the Year

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 9.04.50 AMI agree with Apple- I downloaded Duolingo last year when I was searching for language learning resources, and love it. I am using it on my phone and take advantage of its easy interface and fun game style to learn a bit more Spanish.

The app has several levels as well as different types of exercises, from filling in the right word to speaking the right word into the microphone. Once you have completed a level you get a badge!

It really helps that there is an audio component- you need to speak, but the app speaks to you as well so you can hear how the word is supposed to sound.

It is a great recommendation for students who need extra practice. Oh and bonus- it is free!!!!

You can also use it for learning French, German, Portuguese English and Italian.

See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

At Carnegie Mellon University, where he teaches computer science, Luis von Ahn and student David Klionsky thought there should be a way to use smartphones to teach new languages.

See on www.usatoday.com

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iPad Journals as an Exit Ticket

I learned a new concept today and it isn’t even 8:00 am in the morning! Woohoo, me!

Of course, it is all due to the fact that I periodically get emails notifying me of a new article from the intrepid Lisa Johnson, who posted an article about Ipad journals as an Exit Ticket.

I looked at the beautiful interactive image she created below (which I have made a mental note to check out)  and it looked great, but I didn’t understand- what the heck is an exit ticket. So I did what any red-blooded librarian would do (Okay, what any red-blooded, capable of googling human would do) and googled exit ticket.

I bet this is not a new concept to you actual teachers, so bare with me.

I found this article that laid it all out for me- admit and exit tickets are activities used for the purpose of leveraging the time usually wasted between classes. Then I thought of the English class I was in the other day that begins each class with a writing prompt. Admit ticket?

Now the article below makes sense…I like the Exit ticket strategy below, because it is a way of summarizing the information learned that day. The iPad is well suited to this purpose as the student can quickly log a journal entry in their iPad, snap a quick photo of a relevant image for that day’s class and quickly send it to their teacher. ideal!

I would be curious to know- is the idea of an admin and exit ticket a new idea? Does anybody use them?

See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

» iPad Journals as an Exit Ticket |

See on www.techchef4u.com

More Challenges: English & French Keyboards, Accents, Spelling and Caps

Okay. I thought I would try to do this first thing in the morning instead of late afternoon when I am falling asleep in my soothing herbal tea ( I hate afternoons – it has been scientifically proven that people become more pessimistic in the afternoon). So. In order to curb some desultory writing I will write this post with the benefit of freshly administered caffeine and the bright optimism of a day just begun.

Today, my little padawan learners, we will see how we can navigate oh so smoothly on the ipad in different languages. We will go from changing the whole language of the ipad to switching keyboards in Pages. And for you advance jedi trainees in the ipad arts, we will also show the ease with which you can find the accents for all those pesky French words. And for all of you who rely on the correct spelling tool to produce an error-free text, you will learn how to turn it on in Pages. It is as easy as constructing a light saber with the force. (See picture).

How to switch languages on your ipad OR (comment changer de langage sur votre ipad):
Settings–> General–> International–> Language–> choose your language of choice. It will automatically change the language of your ipad.

Here is the screen you get-tap your language of choice and then tap done.

You will see this black screen while it switches gears…
See? Settings is now réglages!

I know, I know. That was so easy! The force is with us today my fellow jedis!

Now. Pages. As Montrealers, we tend to switch seamlessly between French and English and would love our devices to do the same. How fortunate we are that it is as easy as tapping a button in Pages!

But first we must go to our homebase, the Tattouine of the ipad (without the two moons of course), Settings–>keyboard–>international keyboards.

If you only have English as an option,  tap the  Add a New Keyboard option. Choose the language you want to add (I assume it will be French but you might want to try out your chinese).

To delete a keyboard, tap the edit button and the little red dot with the minus sign shows up.

Now we must board our Millenium Falcon and travel at warp speed to the planet Pages where our two keyboards will be waiting for us.

Pages
Once in Pages, tap the Globe icon on the keyboard:

Tap it until the language you want appears on the space bar. The start typing! But honestly- there isn’t much difference between the French and the English keyboard. Although I did try Finnish and the umlaut did appear…And I am not sure if the spelling correction tool works with anything but English. Hang on while I try…Nope. No French spelling corrections even with the French Keyboard. Only English. WAIT! IT DOES WORK A LITTLE! I just spelled “the” with the French keyboard and it auto-corrected it to thé! Auto-correct: annoying in all languages.

Pour les accents, c’est très simple: pesez sur la lettre qui vaut un accent jusqu’à temps que vous voyez ces options:

Maintenant, sans lever votre doigt de l’écran, glisser votre doigt sure la lettre avec l’accent que vous avez besoin.

Now, I wonder if they have a jawa keyboard?

I have already mentioned in a previous post how to turn the auto-correct off for the ipad. (A note about that- the check spelling for the whole ipad is automatically disabled of you disable auto-correct. You can only check spelling when the auto-correct is on).

On the planet Pages, it is as simple:

Make sure the Check spelling option is on.

Now for our final adventure on the planet Pages (for today!)- CAPS!

TO WRITE IN ALL CAPS SO IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING ALL THE TIME DOUBLE CLICK THE ARROW ON YOUR KEYBOARD UNTIL IT TURNS BLUE.

Thus concludes Part 3 of our epic ipad challenge. Like Lucas, I might decided to write a an atrocious prequel trilogy though, so stay tuned.

Oh and in parting, we cannot let this day go by without a fitting adieu to Mr. Jobs, the man who made this blog necessary. Despite beginning my computing journey with a Commodore 64 back in 1984, all my subsequent computers have been Macs. I have grown up with the little icon and can’t imagine using anything else.

Thanks, Steve.