iPhone 4 – Read to me feature

I recently came across a little gem of a feature found within the preferences of iOS (the operating software of Apple wireless devices such as iPhone and iPad) called Speak Selection. As the name suggests, Speak Selection will speak any selected text that is highlighted on your device. All you have to do is enable the setting, select or highlight the text and press speak. This has multiple classroom applications and I’m sure you’ll enjoy thinking up new and interesting ways to use this feature in your classroom or personal life such as listening to a bunch of emails or student writing samples on your way into school.

To enable the Speak Selection feature
1.Go to Settings – General – Accessibility

2. Enable Speak Selection

3. Be sure to turn the speaking rate down as the device reads quite quickly.

4. Highlight a selection of text by holding your finger down on the text, you will notice that a new option appears called Speak.


Gallipoli – The First Day – The full 3D interactive site

Here is a great resource to help students understand why ANZAC day is an important day for Australians and New Zealanders.
Gallipoli – The First Day – The full 3D interactive site

It has created by the ABC and it is one of the best resources on this topic that I have ever seen. The game like graphics instantly engage students and the easy to navigate chapters deliver bite size content that allow for frequent breaks to unpack the information presented in the animation.

There are also a bunch of great teaching resource material available to provide you with interesting classroom ideas.

SelfControl application for OSX

So here’s a nifty little piece of software that you might find useful if, like me, you find yourself wasting hours on Facebook or similar websites when you’ve got more important things you should be doing. This application is a great way to help you manage your time and become more time efficient.

This software also has some educational value and can be used within the classroom to help teach students to become effective managers of their own time. Let’s say you have a certain website that your students use frequently and you notice that they’re not being quite as productive as you would have liked, with SelfControl you can restrict access to any defined website for a specified amount of time rather than have the whole website restricted. Often educational filters within schools apply a black and white approach to restricting websites, SelfControl provides greater flexibility by turning over the “control” to you and your students to assist in the understanding of self regulation.

Imagine how happy parents will be when they know that their child will not be wasting time on social networking or gaming sites instead working on their homework. Now imagine how happy they will be to find out that the software is free!

SelfControl is a free application that can be downloaded by visiting the following site and following the download instructions