FETC: Office Mix

I downloaded Office Mix a while ago, but I did not really play around with it too much. I should have. While still technically in preview mode, Mix is an add-in to Microsoft PowerPoint, that gives the ability to make PowerPoint presentations quickly and easily.

Whereas sometimes my experience with PowerPoint is that it could be a “black hole of time”, with Mix I found it very easy to make interactive presentations with a minimal amount of time. Below is a little introduction to Mix.

FETC: Office 365 Apps You May Not Know About

The DePorres Pages just returned from the FETC Conference in Orlando, and boy did we learn a lot. Over the next few days there will be updates as to some of the highlights of our time there. While we certainly cannot present everything, we will try to organize things to make what we liked easier for you to read.

One app we really liked was Office Mix. Technically a plug in for PowerPoint, this makes animating PowerPoint presentations easy, especially for online learning. Most of the highlights will be presented using this program.

Education Website of the Week: Busted Halo

If you are looking for information as a theology teacher, you know that most likely multiple sources of information and resources are necessary for effective teaching. One helpful source for Catholic theology is Busted Halo. Designed for young adults, the web site also provides information that is appropriate for high school students too.

Billed as an online site for spiritual seekers, Busted Halo is named because, in the words of the website, “Each of us sports a Halo that is either dented, scratched, tarnished… in some way Busted. Yet God loves us anyway and continually calls to bang out the dents and polish our halos up to a nice golden shine.”

Rich in social media connections, there is a wide variety of information on this site. Maintained by “Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, Busted Halo® Ministries helps young adults explore their spirituality, listen to and encourage one another, discover (or re-discover) the rich depths of Catholic tradition, and connect to communities of faith where their unique gifts will be respected and used, and where they will find support on their journey towards God.”

The site also strives to connect with ministries that are happening in parishes already, or to begin new ministries where such sites may not exist.

Educational App of the Week: Teacher Kit

If you are a teacher, there are certain routine things that can consume too much time, and keep you from the task of facilitating learning. Taking attendance, tracking participation, being on top of positive and negative behavior. Fortunately, there is a free alternative where these tasks become easier.

Teacher Kit is an app that creates seating charts (including allowing you to add pictures of your students), and by tapping on the picture attendance is easily taken. The same method is used to note positive or negative behavior, and participation by the student. This provides a way to document situations that are not always easy to document.

There is a version of the app for Apple, Android, and Windows 8 and 10. (Unfortunately who are using Windows 7 or earlier versions, the app is not available.) The helpful part of this is that if you are using an iPhone or iPad, or an Android or Windows 8 or 10 tablet, if you are a teacher that moves around the classroom a lot.

There is a paid versions as well, which adds more rich reporting, and better online access. Either way, whether free with in-app purchases, or with a paid subscription, this is an app worth exploring.

Education App of the Week: WordPress

Education App of the Week: WordPress
Education App of the Week

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It might seem strange that the education app and the education website are the same, but there is a reason for this. First, we are considering the ability to download and install WordPress on your own server to be different than a website. But by going to wordpress.org, you can do just that. Also, there are apps to update your blog, either on wordpress.com or wordpress.org that are available for various platforms.

There is some advantage to hosting WordPress on your own server, or to pay someone to host it. Primary among them is having a unique domain name, instead of relying on the wordpress.com site to host and name your site. There can also be advantages to customizing your installation of the site as well.

The advantages mentioned in the website of the week feature are all available if you choose to host your own copy of the WordPress codex. There are many free templates and plugins to enhance your site. Whether you host it or not, WordPress is worth the mention twice in our education apps and websites of the week.

Education Website of the Week: Funbrain


From their website:

About Funbrain

Since 1997, kids, teachers, librarians, and parents have enthusiastically turned to Funbrain for its free educational games, online books, and comics. Funbrain, created for kids ages preschool through grade 8, offers more than 100 fun, interactive games that develop skills in math, reading, and literacy. Plus, kids can read a variety of popular books and comics on the site, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amelia Writes Again, and Brewster Rocket.

Teachers and librarians can confidently encourage students to use Funbrain during their free time in class, assured that kids will enjoy an educational, safe online learning experience. Funbrain’s games help students build on what they have learned in class and acquire new skills in reading, math, and problem solving.

Parents can trust Funbrain to deliver a fun and safe experience for even the youngest children. The Playground helps parents introduce their preschoolers to the Internet and teaches them how to manipulate the mouse and keyboard. Selected by FamilyFun magazine in its September 2010 issue as one of the top ten websites for kids, Funbrain is committed to providing a safe gaming environment that bridges learning and entertainment.

Funbrain never collects personally identifiable information from kids. For more information please see our Privacy Policy.

Funbrain is published by Family Education Network, a part of Pearson, the education, services and technology company. Pearson’s other primary operations include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

Education App of the Week: Replay

Replay App.

The iTunes description says it all. “Make amazing videos! Super easy, really fast. Add up to 200 photos/videos. 24 beautiful Video Styles. Join 6M people who love making videos with Replay, to share memories, tell stories or impress their Instagram fans.”  This app, for iPhone and iPad allows anyone to make a nice quality video.

Unlike iMovie or Animoto, this app is free. There are a number of styles to use in creating the video, and the interface is easy. The only downside is that this app is only for Apple. There is another app, Animoto, that used to be free but is now a paid product that is available for Google, Apple and Windows. It also has an easy interface that makes creating great looking videos a snap.

Education App of the Week: Duolingo

Duolingo is changing the way people learn languages. Duolingo is Apple’s 2013 App of the Year!

Learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and English. Totally fun.

With Duolingo, you learn a language completely free, without ads or hidden charges. You have fun while you learn, leveling up and competing with friends.

Yeah, it’s pretty sweet. There are

Duolingo is available for PC, Apple, and Android.

Education App of the Week: Storehouse

Storehouse lets you tell stories with your photos and videos.

• Combine photos, videos, and text into one beautiful story.
• Import photos and videos from your Camera Roll, Instagram, Flickr, Dropbox, and Lightroom.
• Share stories with your Storehouse friends and followers
• Embed stories on your blog or share them to other social networks.
• Explore stories created by your friends and our diverse community of storytellers from all around the world.
• Comment, Like, or Republish your favorite stories.

It’s never been easier or more fun to create stories and connect with others.

Need support? Just send us a message at: support@storehouse.co or get in touch on Twitter @storehousehq

For now, Storehouse is only available at iTunes.

Education App of the Week: MathSpace

Mathspace is a free app (there are in app ads) that allows students to write on tablets to solve math problems, and to revive feedback right away about how they are doing. In the United States the problems are suited to the Common Core for Middle School math, pre-algebra and algebra I. With over 10,000 problems, students can practice Math, get help and receive instant feedback.

Mathspace basis the problems in the performance of the student, so the next question, problem or skill is uniquely based to the performance of each student. It is available for Windows, Android and Apple devices.