Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Simplicity Supreme

Innovations in technology are changing so rapidly not only is it hard to stay current but it's very exciting.  Along with these innovations in hardware and software, the applications being designed for use on multiple devices are increasing by leaps and bounds.  Some are more complicated than others, providing more options, more sophistication.

When looking for web 2.0 services to use in the classroom, especially at the elementary level, the easier and simpler, the better.  Richard Byrne, educator and blogger at Free Technology for Teachers introduced an application a little more than two years ago called DropMocks.  It crossed my radar in a post on Twitter more recently.

DropMocks is a tool for presenting images in a gallery format.  There is no registration requirement unless you wish to save your work for future editing.  (I'm fairly confident if you use the same computer each time your mocklists are saved in your cookies without registration.) There is no charge for this service either.

While there are other services such as Flickr or Picasa (to name two of many) for sharing and/or editing of images, DropMocks produces results the quickest.  To use this application simply go to the site.
When you arrive, a screen appears asking you to drag your image files to the page.  The only other item on the page appears in the upper left-hand corner; Sign in and Your mocks.

Whether your images are on your desktop or in folders, simply click, drag and drop.  By using your control key you can bring multiple images to the screen at the same time.  Once an image is placed on the DropMocks window another item is added in the upper left-hand corner, a blue button with the word New on it.

An additional feature appears in the right-hand corner.  This box allows you to give your image or collection of images a title.  The small trash can is the option to remove the entire mocklist.  (The small square next to it opens and closes the list.) The x by each image is the deletion feature.  For every mocklist you create a unique URL is generated.  This is the only method for sharing your images with others.

As more images are brought to the window one is displayed front and center as the others fall back, smaller and blurry.  Click on any to move them to the same position. Images can be rearranged in the list be dragging them to new locations.

When selecting Your mocks a drop-down menu lists your titles.  By clicking on any of them you are taken to that mocklist.  Sign in takes you to a screen asking you to allow them access to your Google account for purposes of using your email only.  The New button takes you back to the original screen for the creation of a new mocklist.

I have yet to see an application as easy as DropMocks for creating a gallery of one or many so quickly and simply.  The uses are as endless as your imagination.  It could be used to feature a student of the week, student activities for each week of the year (one shot per day), booktalking genres, Mock Caldecott or Newbery units, highlighting award winning books, student book responses, as a portion of student explorations in any of the subject areas, images for writing prompts or teaching a new skill step by step.

Here is a link to my mocklist titled Caldecott 2013.  I created another titled Newbery 2013 linked here.  Using Jing (reviewed here) I generated another mocklist titled Newbery Award Winners 2013-Websites

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