Tag Archives: dance ed

SaveFrom, a website creating downloadable Youtube videos

Name of the website: SaveFrom

Cost: Free!

About the website: the sole purpose of the website is to reformat web videos from Youtube into a downloadable format. After copying the link into a text box, the video can be uploaded to your portable or hard drive in WebM, MP4, FLV, 3GP (2 sizes), and audio MP4 format.

Possible classroom applications: many educational institutions have blocked video websites like YouTube. By using this web page educators can upload video texts off-site and use them during their lessons.

Pros: Providing students with video texts has become an essential aspect of contemporary American education. Using video enables ELLs and visual learners to deepen their understanding of the lesson material. This websites makes this a possibility.

Cons: The site (understandably) doesn’t work on subscription websites like Netflix and Amazon Prime which are often blocked in schools. SaveFrom also doesn’t work on Youtube alternatives like Vimeo.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ballet Index- one of many language tools for dance.

Name of Application: Ballet Index

Cost: 99 Cents

Pros: Gives both the literal translation of ballet vocabulary and also what it refers to in terms of ballet class and terminology. Gives phonetic pronunciations.

Cons: Not many photos of what things look like, though entries like ballerina have cheesy photos of a “ballerina.”

I use this app for my own knowledge of how to exactly translate and spell terms in ballet and in other styles of dance as we use ballet vocabulary throughout many dance forms. I use these terms with my pre-K students and my Middle School students. Using terms based in the French language is helpful at my job because many of my students are bi-lingual in French and English or are English Language Learners. This allows us to discuss cross-cultural use of language and other uses for their mother tongue.

I recommend this App, it is a clear interface and very well laid out and very clear. However, I think that the free ballet dictionary that is available through the American Ballet Theater, (http://www.abt.org/education/dictionary/), is a bit more comprehensive and clear. This website would be more useable by students on their own for defining and spelling ballet vocabulary because of its accessibility on the computer as well as the fact that it is free. Ballet Index is only 99 cents, but not all students have their own iPad or iPhone access or want to/can afford to buy an app for dance class (students would also need parental permission to buy their own version of applications).

Number of Stars * * * (3/5 stars)

Blackboard Mobile

Cost: Free for basic access, $1.99 for full use.

Pros: Easily access assignments, grades, and updates for all courses. Favorites button.

Cons: Log in every time you open, mixed between platforms.

I have been using the Blackboard Mobile App on my iPad, and iPhone regularly since January 30, 2015. I use it for easy access to my course work and assignments on the go. I am often on the go and this app is much better and more organized than going to the Blackboard site on my mobile devices.

This application allows me to check my assignments, course updates, grades, and course documents on the go. It allows me to read important assignments when I am out and about, as well as having full access to Blackboard without using my web browser all the time. The favorites feature is key for me; I can keep favorites for tabs I often visit within my Blackboard site. This feature is also good for keeping track of assignments: I can pick my favorites to be assignments due that week, or upcoming soon!

Number of Stars: 4 stars/5 stars (* * * * )

Great app to connect Dance to ELA: Dance Writer!

My first unit plan for a recent set of students in the Bronx focused on devising movement. Since many students never had dance before being in my classroom, I wanted to create an experience that made them feel accomplished while building on their prior knowledge. Many of these students had expressed their passion for ELA and mobile devices during my initial assessment of their interests, so for my first few lessons I focused on connecting dance to writing words in both cursive as well as typed font.

I found a terrific app that provided my pupils with confidence and excitement. The app, called Dance Writer, is an easy-to-use app designed by Typotheque that functions on both iPad and iPhone platforms. Simply put, the app converts text into a choreographed sequence of poses based on the shapes of the letters, enabling users to send animated messages to their friends via email, or just enjoy the graceful movement on their own displays.

The app has limitations, and only can change fourteen characters at a time into movement. A second less exciting aspect is the fact that the virtual dancer returns to the neutral position after each executed letter. Conversely, this could provide the class with a worthy scaffolding opportunity into choreographing their own transitions between “movement letters.”

The app costs $2.99, and is definitely worth every penny. If you’re not convinced, or just wish to use it on a less frequent basis, you can also use the application online by clicking here. This free online version allows more than fourteen characters at a time, and offers the user to make changes while the letters are being executed. The online platform is also the best way to use the application on your smart-board.

I give Dance Writer 4 out of 5 stars, since it provided my students with an interesting and enriching experience. This app has a lot of potential, but should definitely be cheaper than the offered price, especially considering it’s offered for free online.

All Dancers Need the KineScribe App

I will admit, as many times as I have looked at the dance symbols and notations for dance, I sometimes still have a tendency to forget or get some confused. The KineScribe app is able to upload all relevant dance symbol notations at any time, which is great and very necessary for students. This app is a great on-hand device for both teaching and choreographing. You can show your students the charts as well as create new ones and choreograph different paths of movements and tasks.