5 free mobile apps to improve media literacy
Media literacy and digital citizenship are trending focus areas when it comes to the intersection of education and technology. With so many media options bombarding students, teachers and parents on a daily basis, it’s vital to make sure everyone understands how to use digital media tools.
Most folks know about Flipboard for transforming social network updates into a personalized, digital magazine. Students can use this sensational service for researching pretty much any topic and following current events, and then apply their findings to a school project. All they need to do is search, subscribe and start curating content relevant to them. Students can then organize articles by subject for every class in which they’re enrolled. We are often compulsive in our usage of social media, which can sometimes feel like white noise. By using Flipboard, students can focus on the correlation between social networking and the germane content
Media fluency often begins and ends with knowing how to create and assemble content. With Animoto Video Maker, middle school and high school students can pluck photos from their camera roll and arrange a custom slideshow. The creation process is a snap, as you can pick a video style or music to complement the presentation, then add captions and title cards for deeper textual connections. From an educational standpoint, Animoto works really well for kids telling personal narratives that utilize the staples of multimedia. Students can become curators of not just content, but context.
Media literacy and digital citizenship go hand-in-hand with Skype. For starters, many teachers are familiar with Skype Classroom, an initiative from this Microsoft-owned company that allows educators to connect their classes with academic experts, register for virtual field trips, and match up with a random school from anywhere around the world by playing Mystery Skype. From a student perspective, these interactions will teach them how to behave when using video conferencing early in their academic careers, allowing them to meet people from all over planet Earth.
Tackk is a serviceable tool for creating visual designs that incorporate photos and text. After a painless sign up process (requiring an email address) users can pick from more than 20 categories, including Architecture, Education and Blogging. From there, they can connect with other Tackk community members, including folks from their contacts list or featured users. Tackk also partners with Google for Education and offers a demo video for teachers looking to use the curation service in the classroom. When used in conjunction with the Web version of Tackk, the company offers loads of templates useful in a classroom setting including presentations, class assignments, student book reports, lesson plans, essay writing and Skype collaboration.
TED Talks are among the best video venues for inspirational, intellectually stimulating, and enthusiastic experts from pretty much every educational field to share their academic findings and points of view. The TED mobile app continues the organization’s legacy of insight and imagination, providing amazing primary sources for student projects and research papers. While the app is geared toward middle school and high school students, there are plenty of appropriate videos for kids to watch at home with their parents or in the classroom. It includes playlists and downloads for offline viewing, plus compatibility with AirPlay and Chromecast. Students, and teachers can access TED’s entire library of videos; the majority fit nicely into lesson plans.
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