Too Noisy

image   My language class is often loud, and ordinarily I do not have a problem with this as learning a language obviously involves students speaking and communicating with each other. In fact, it is an absolute joy to see my students actively participating in speaking and language games and associated activities, however there are times when I do need to manage the noise level to a more comfortable level. This is where the Too Noisy app becomes a very useful addition to the teacher’s toolkit.

This cute iPad app has been designed to assist teachers keep the noise levels in the classroom under control in a fun and engaging way. It does take the negative focus away the teacher, which I quite appreciate, because as the noise levels increase in a classroom and reach an unacceptable level the background graphics change to reflect this and this gives a visual indication to the students that the classroom has become too noisy without teacher intervention. The background picture changes as the noise level lowers or rises. As some activities in a classroom can have a higher level of acceptable noise, the sensitivity of the app can be adjusted to suit. This app is free, however if you buy the paid version called Too Noisy Pro it has the same background but when the noise gets too loud it looks like the screen cracks and has a loud noise to get the attention of the children.

Splashtop 2

imageAgain the app I am reviewing is not a languages app, however, it is a very useful addition to add to your teacher’s repertoire.

I am increasingly becoming more reliant on my iPad in the classroom, not just for teaching but also for administrative tasks, so much so I no longer take my laptop to any of my classes and long gone are the days where I take a CD player to class.

I do my online roll marking with an app, all my sound files are stored in my iTunes library which I can access whenever I want and most of the student activities are done with various apps. However while I am enamoured with my iPad I still do use my laptop quite often, as both of these devices have their best uses. This is where I like using Splashtop 2.

Have you ever had the occasion where you are in class and about to start an activity only to realise that you have left the activity in your office? Or perhaps you want to show a DVD but forgot the actual DVD. As much as I don’t want to admit it, this has happened to me, thankfully not regularly, however I have found myself in that position. Splashtop 2 enables you to, from your ipad, access another computer, and then take control of the secondary device. You can project your manipulations to Apple TV or via a digital projector. While there are numerous ways to access your computer from anywhere, such as VNC or LogMeIn, Splashtop 2 is unique in that it emphasises multimedia, and is capable of streaming audio as well as video. That means, if I want to show a DVD, all I need to do is load the DVD into the DVD drive on my laptop, and when I am ready to show it, I can do so from any location providing it is on the same network.

To use this app you must first download the Splashtop Streamer for the computer(s) you would like to access. Once installed, you need to create a login for the Splashtop service.

As mentioned, you need to be on the same Wifi network as your computer in order to use the free version, however you do have the option to purchase the “Anywhere Access Pack” that provides connection regardless of the network.

I believe this is a great app in the teachers toolkit, as it gives you access to all your documents held on your laptop or PC, and for free you can access from anywhere within your school network at anytime.

Move and Match

moveandmatch This is an awesome app which I am using constantly in my classroom.  You can create simple practice word games and picture and word matching games. You create the games, share with your students, and your students can do the activities by simply moving the words or pictures around to match them together.

You can create your own projects and customise them to fit your classes specific needs.

Some ways I have used this app is to create

  • cloze activities
  • dialogue activities
  • word and picture match

The app does cost $1.99, which you need as a teacher, as this allows you to create or “make” projects and share your projects. However, students only need to download the free lite app.  This app is limited in functionality, however, they can open your shared projects and to use.