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Monday, March 24, 2014

Introduction to Sound Gecko a website that enables the user to listen to urls such as websites, news outlets, articles and other online resources

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices, and demonstrate how these best practices can be applied in the real (i.e. physical) and virtual (i.e. online) classroom for both teaching and teacher training. The combination of face to face instruction in a physical setting and online learning is called blended learning. In this section of the blog we will describe how the internet can serve as a supplemental resource for instruction and the mentoring of pre-service and in-service Jewish educators. In this post we will begin our discussion on how Sound Gecko, a web tool that can assist teachers with their administrative (e.g. grading student work) and professional duties, can be used to facilitate secular and Judaic Studies instruction.

Assumption: The teacher or mentor teacher has an interactive white board (i.e. SMART Board, Promethean, etc.), a Tablet PC (also called a Slate or Blade), a computer presenter or computer with internet access attached to an LCD projector in the classroom. It would be ideal if students or mentees had access to their own laptop computers or Ipads. Given parental and school approval, and the development of specific guidelines, smartphones can be used to enhance instruction as well.

Note: Although Sound Gecko can be applied in the Judaic Studies blended learning classroom, it can be also be used for training pre-service and in-service Jewish educators for professional or staff development. It is our hope that Jewish educators around the globe will form an online community of practice, a CoP, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession, to enhance the delivery of instruction and training of Jewish educators. For example, here is a CoP you might want to join. 

What is Sound Gecko?

Sound Gecko is  a website that enables the user to listen to urls such as websites, news outlets, articles and other online resources.

Why would a Judaic or secular educator want to use a website like Sound Gecko which converts text to speech?

Click on the links below to find web resources that explain the rationale for websites or tools that convert text to speech:

Where is Sound Gecko located on the internet?

Where can I find tutorials explaining how to use Sound Gecko?

On the next post we will discuss how the website/tool, Sound Gecko, can be used to facilitate instruction in the blended learning classroom.

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