Tech Tools to Enhance Remote Teaching
Tech Tools was a regular column of excellent technology tips to inspire you and add creativity to your teaching. Written by Debbie Harris, Director of Educational Technology at Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago, the column ran in the Behrman House News in 2018-19. Here are a few of those simple tools to enhance remote teaching.
Online Voice Recorder
OnlineVoiceRecorder is a website that allows you to record your voice using your computer’s microphone and save the recording as an .mp3 file. It requires no downloads, no login, no password, and no payment. It doesn’t even require Flash, so it’s compatible with any browser.
Begin by clicking the microphone icon on the site. The website may ask you to authorize access to the computer microphone. Once you agree, it will immediately begin recording. Click the stop icon when you’re finished. Once you have completed your recording, you can choose to play the recording back or save the file to your computer.
Note: Nothing is saved to the site’s server; everything you save will be stored on your own computer, or, you can choose to save the recordings to a USB drive.
Ideas for Use
• Invite your students to record themselves practicing Hebrew words and share them with you.
• Student having a birthday? Record a birthday message and email the recording to the student.
• Record yourself saying a blessing or chanting a trope that your students are learning and share the files with them so they can practice it at home.
Create your own interactive games and share them with your students to play. To create a game, first download the Make It application to your device.
You’ll also want to create an account so that you’ll be able to save your game. (Your students will not need to create accounts.) To create a game:
- - Click on “Create New”
- - Name your project
- - Select a theme
- - Choose what type of game you’d like to create: For example, you can choose to make a sorting game, a matching game, or a quiz, among others.
- - Customize your game: You can add sound, text, images or video to your game’s design
- - Hebrew is supported, so you can also choose to add Hebrew text
Once you’ve created your game, share it with your students to play. Simply click on “Share” and upload your game to the Make It server. Make It will then provide you with a code for you to give to your students so that they can enter it into the Make It server, and play.
Make It is free to use, but if you’d like to track your student’s progress, you need to purchase a premium account. Information about the various subscription plans can be found under the “Subscribe” link in the app.
Ideas for Use
- -Create a Make It game to help your students review holiday terms or prayer text.
- -Kids will enjoy creating their own games, too. Ask them to create their own Passover game. Then, suggest that they trade, and play each other’s games.
Toontastic is a free app that allows your students to draw, animate, and narrate their own animations. It’s free, requires no login, and is super simple to use, on either iOS or Android.
Students can choose to make their animation in one of three types of formats: a short story (3-part story), classic (5-part story), or a science report.
The app walks students through the story arc, prompting them to choose a setting, characters, and accompanying music to set the mood. (spunky, anyone?) They can also record themselves narrating the plot, which will play as a voiceover to their visuals. Students can opt to use the apps pre-loaded characters and backgrounds or draw their own.
Once they have completed their animation, students can save it to their device’s camera roll, and share it from there.
- Download the iOS app here
- Download the Android app here
Ideas for Use
- Invite your students to create a cartoon that retells a story from the weekly parsha.
- Invite students to make an “all about me” animation to help them share something about themselves with the you and with other students.
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