Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mindomo



Mindomo is a lot like using Popplet. It is a mind mapping tool that also includes the features of a presentation tool. Students could use it for any subject. They can use it for presentations on any topic, or just merely use it to organize their thoughts.

I see two disadvantages of using Mindomo over Popplet:

  1. It does not import images from the camera roll. (As of the date of this post.)

  2. It is not quite as simple to use. (Although, it makes a "cleaner" product.)

I also see three major advantages: (This is comparing to Popplet's free version. The paid version will run close to five dollars.)

  1. You can save multiple mind maps on your device.

  2. You can use it as a presentation tool much like using Prezi.

  3. You can export your mind map as a picture or a pdf file.

Sell Lemonade

Sell Lemonade

Sell Lemonade for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store.


When I taught fourth grade, I did an entire math unit on Coffee Shop from coolmath-games.com. Students had to figure out how much it cost them per cup based upon the recipe they set for their coffee shop.  They would determine what price they could set based upon the recipe to maximize their profits. They had to also consider factors such as the weather. The kids really enjoyed this activity, and for many of them it really stretched their thinking to crunch the numbers rather than just play the game itself.

Setting a specific purpose for a game is powerful. Yes, the students could have very well played the game just for entertainment value. However, that would defeat the purpose of school now wouldn't it? I'm all for teaching the students to use these devices as tools instead of toys. I'm sure if you implement this sort of activity, you will have some students just want to play the game. Make it the reward for their achievement. Create a competition. Have the students use these critical thinking skills to figure out how to maximize their profits. There are lots of ways you can promote the activity to produce great results from your students.

Now, this whole time I have been focusing on the Coffee Shop from Cool Math. (I only used the coffee shop over the lemonade stand on Cool Math because the graphics were better.) I bring before you alternative for the iPod and iPad that uses a lemonade stand as the platform. 

This activity could also fall under Social Studies as it would meet multiple levels of elementary economics standards.

Doodle Buddy, Bill Atkinson Photocard, and Kidblog...Oh My!


I recently posted about a video tutorial that I had made for Bill Atkinson Photocard. I love the products that this application produces. Sure the kids can make their own postcards, but once the students have the steps down in this application, they can create it at a much faster rate than ever before.

The image posted here is of Mrs. Yoder's blog. Students are merely using it as a digital portfolio. This process was extremely impressive as first graders used their iPods to send a thank you note to a guest reader in their class. (Based upon the image, I bet you can guess what book was read by Mrs. Leman.) The students first made their illustration inDoodle Buddy, saved the image to their camera roll, imporated it into Photocard, saved their project into their camera roll, and finally either uploaded it to Kidblog or emailed it. These first graders used three different applications to create this project. A set of tasks that would even have the majority of adults' heads spinning.

The one drawback that Mrs. Yoder mentioned was that it would have been helpful just to have an extra set of hands present to field any problems that arose. Unfortunately, I was not able to be present for the project. (Hence the need for the video.)

If you are an East Noble School Corporation teacher, and you just need an extra set of hands, let me know!

Free Technology for Teachers: Shmoop Now Offers History, Math, andLiterature Videos

Free Technology for Teachers: Shmoop Now Offers History, Math, and Literature Videos.



Shmoop is a resource that is more geared toward upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. They now have short videos about various mathematics, historical, and literature topics.

The link I provided is to another blog post about the topic. I have to agree with the author that the videos are not very comprehensive. Sometimes the videos are just plain silly. However, I think they would be a fun way to introduce a topic to the class.

As always, make sure you view the content first before showing it to your class. :)

via Free Technology for Teachers: Shmoop Now Offers History, Math, and Literature Videos.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jumbled Sentences – A Series of Free Writing Apps for iPads | iPad Apps for School

Jumbled Sentences – A Series of Free Writing Apps for iPads | iPad Apps for School.

via Jumbled Sentences – A Series of Free Writing Apps for iPads | iPad Apps for School.

Great blogpost by Mr. Richard Byrne that is worth a read. One thing I appreciate about his posts is that they are typically to the point, and extremely relevant to the classroom.

One drawback on the Jumbled Sentences lineup is that it is only available on the iPad. The iPod touch is a great device for students to use in a classroom. Primary students can benefit from a device the size of an iPod touch because of the durability and portability.

Create a Symbaloo EDU Page

Bill Atkinson Photocard Tutorial

Bill Atkinson Photocard is an application that I had posted about previously in the Presentation Tools section of the blog. It is a great tool for anyone, teachers and students alike, to create postcards. Students could make postcards for almost any topic. I love finding applications that are extremely flexible and cross-curricular. If you have not heard of the application before, please check out the link I posted above. The video I am posting here is just a tutorial I made for a first grade teacher. I was not able to make it to her class due to conflict in our schedules so I did what is second best; I cloned myself  by making a video. This video should give students enough information about how to use the application that they will be able to successfully create a postcard, upload it to Kidblog, or send it by email through an iPod touch. (It is the same procedure for the iPad.)


Thursday, February 21, 2013

ISTEP Stress Test




This week has been an interesting one. My schedule has been completely demolished as we have been preparing student devices for ISTEP. It is one of those necessary things that has to take place. A lot like visits to the dentist. You need to go, and usually you're glad you have it taken care of when it is all said and done.
The technology coaches, technology staff, and teachers all worked together to clean off malware, install updates, and install the testing application. In many classrooms, this took well over an hour or two to accomplish.
The number one priority for the future is that we keep the devices clean of useless downloads and that they are always updated. Laura Sibert (middle school technology peer coach) put together this presentation along with a few annotated screenshots from myself. Please review the information as these are the steps taken in order to successfully prepare the devices.

You can find the presentation linked here. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Diigo

Blogging About The Web 2.0 Connected Classroom: Why Diigo Rocks!.

Diigo happens to be one of my favorite bookmarking tools. I have yet to use it very "socially." However, I do love the annotation tools it provides. I can sticky note, highlight, and write about specific sites on the internet. The blog-post linked above goes in much greater detail than what I am doing now. However, I always have to throw my two-cents in.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/i9khBCRby1s]

Animoto - Education Video Slideshows

Animoto - Education Video Slideshows.

Animoto is a video creation tool so that you can input text, pictures, and videos to make quick and easy slideshows. If approved, which only took about 30 seconds for me, you will be given a six-month subscription so that your students can also have accounts. You can add up to 50 student accounts associated with your education account. This is great news because it is available for iPods, iPads, and laptop devices.

Animoto

To get through the process of creating accounts for your students, it actually quite time consuming. You can find the specific details here. To give you a quick overview, because the teachers I work with have students that are under the age of 13, you have to work through a loophole using a gmail account. Gmail has this little trick that you can use your account, add a plus sign, and add a number for students to register and login using the application/website. All those accounts that are created are somehow linked to the one gmail account. So it would go something like this: yourusername+1@gmail.com. I have done the same process before creating Edublog accounts for a teacher. Yes, it took forever!

If you want someone to help you with making accounts, ask Zack Linson. :)

All kidding aside, we are always willing to help you with this process if you believe that Animoto is a resource you would like to utilize.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/FIGF5zLkPmQ]

Writing How-To Pieces with Story Kit

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that you already know about Story Kit. It is old news. Your kids already use it. Though those things are true, I thought I would throw out how it was used today. This morning I worked with two first grade classrooms. The students had a sheet of paper had several boxes for illustrations and spaces for written text. The students made a how-to draft on this sheet of paper, and used the illustrations for use in StoryKit. Instead of using multiple pieces of paper for publishing, students used Story Kit and took pictures of their illustrations using the iPod touch. Check it out for yourself!

[caption id="attachment_1142" align="aligncenter" width="632"]First grade students publishing with Story Kit First grade students publishing with Story Kit[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1143" align="aligncenter" width="632"]Publishing from the draft. This process took 30 minutes. Publishing from the draft. This process took 30 minutes.[/caption]

Examples:
http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=5vtcrfpj46wp6laftokj
http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=fkcney5bqjzyecuoa4xz
http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=7sms4hhdsi7hveoitepj
http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=c3jen374ugwsc2hchyuc

Skitch

Skitch can be used in the classroom to demonstrate knowledge of a subject. Students can take pictures of an event and caption each step that took place. Once the pictures are saved in the camera roll, the pictures can be imported into other applications (PixnTell) to actually make a presentation.

This application is actually intended to work with an Evernote account. However, you can bypass the log-in screen, and save the captioned photos to the camera roll. Evernote provides a great opportunity for switching between devices. When I make screen captures on my iPad or iPod, I prefer annotating them with Skitch because it automatically loads straight to my computer through my Evernote account. This makes the transition between my iPad and laptop seamless.

For East Noble Employees Only:
Evernote is currently blocked for mobile devices on the East Noble School Corporation network. You will still be able to use Skitch. Also, giving students Evernote accounts would require a parent permission form. We will be working on a permission form in the future to address accounts to be made for the numerous online services that are available.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

infogr.am



infogr.am is an easy-to-use infographic builder. Students can take data that they have collected, put it into an excel sheet, and upload it to their very own infographic. "What is an infographic," you ask? Click here to see an infographic on the definition of an infographic. (I know, it is confusing.)

Students will need to create accounts. Please also keep in mind that students under the age of 13 will need parent permission to participate. So if you want to use it, please send a permission form home so that your class can use it with utmost integrity.

I apologize for the length of video. I try to keep my videos under five minutes. However, I spent some time looking over the privacy policy to show where it discusses how students under the age of 13 can use the service. Ultimately, the best way to learn how to use it is to just try it yourself. If technology does not come naturally to you, the nine-minute video may actually save you some time.

Lastly, I have tried this on an iPad. Since it is still in beta, the functionality is somewhat limited. Try it for yourself on a tablet, but I think you will find some of the limitations frustrating. Hopefully they will work out the bugs in the near future. However, it is a step in the right direction for mobile devices like the iPad for a web-based service.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Weebly Student Tutorial




I recently posted about Weebly in Education. I quickly created a tutorial just to orient students around making their own Weebly site. Feel free to use as you wish. It should give the students a good enough foundation to be able to get a page up and running.

Remember, students must login using the following link:
http://students.weebly.com

Monday, February 11, 2013

What is 21st Century Education?

http://youtu.be/Ax5cNlutAys

Our world is changing at an extremely rapid pace. Everywhere you go you would be hard-pressed to not find someone with an iPhone in their hand. Six years ago the iPhone was still in development.

The posted video helps us as educators put into perspective how different our future will be based upon today's statistics. How do we prepare our students for this world? How do we keep the classroom relevant to the future market? These are questions we must consider as we attempt to meet the needs of our students. Certainly this affects how we integrate technology in the classroom.

Weebly for Education



http://education.weebly.com provides teachers with the opportunity to give students their very own website. Teachers are able to create up to 40 student accounts for free, and they can have complete control over all the site the students create. Teachers also have the option of keeping the sites public or private. However, even if a site is private, students within the class can see each other's site.

I see real possibilities with Weebly. Students could use it in any subject area to report about their learning in a fun and exciting manner. Instead of using a reading journal, give them a Weebly site. Instead of having them turn in a worksheet about science vocabulary, have the students create a website with links, pictures, text, and videos about the terms they need to learn. How about having them report about their science lab work right on their very own website?

A+ Spelling Test




A+ Spelling Test gives student the opportunity to input their spelling words, perform a few practice games, and submit a spelling test through email. These tasks typically require quite a few sheets of paper; however, if the teacher posts the words on the board or through a LCD projector, the students can just input the words into the device for the entire week. Once the students take the final test the teacher can forward the results onto the parents so that they receive a copy.

If your school is part of a 1:1 technology initiative, might as well take advantage of the paperless possibilities.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ideas Matter Contest

image

I am sorry this is such short notice, but I just received a notice from our assistant superintendent about this opportunity today.
Here is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills as a Prezi builder. You watch a TED talk video, and make a Prezi presentation that effectively communicates the ideas of the video. It is worth a look if a few of your students need a challenge.
Check it out!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

he...

he

Looking back, Magiera says the issue wasn’t that she didn’t know how to use the technology, but that she was not sure how to use the devices to teach differently. She was digitizing the same old pedagogy. Instead of playing a math game with a deck of cards and a set of dice, students played a math app on the iPad. Students also annotated PDFs instead of working in curriculum workbooks, but this slight change did little to elevate the rigor or learning.

via From Digital Doubter to Tech Guru | ED.gov Blog.

From Digital Doubter to Tech Guru

From Digital Doubter to Tech Guru

(Click picture to access link)

"The tool is only as powerful as the user."

Jennie Margiera was skeptical about the use of technology in the classroom. As you read through the article, you'll see an example of how she went from looking for apps to cover state standards to having the students become creative, critical thinkers.

This article confirms my belief that technology is not something extra to do in your day. For it to work, it has to transform your teaching.

Endless Alphabet

Endless Alphabet – An iPad App To Help Students Spell and Learn New Words | iPad Apps for School.

This is a blogpost by Mr. Richard Byrne on his "iPad Apps for School" website. I had actually planned on reviewing this application soon. However, since he did such a find job, I thought I would just piggyback off of what he has already done.

This app is for both iPod and iPad. I see it as a good resource for building vocabulary in our primary students. This is a free application that is well worth your time.

Grammar Wonderland

American History Time Line for iPad on the iTunes App Store

American History Time Line for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

via American History Time Line for iPad on the iTunes App Store.

This interactive timeline provides a great resource for students to view the events in American history. Students can scroll along the timeline to view icons of different events, tap on the icons to read about the events, and also compare it to the major world events that have taken place along the bottom of the timeline.

The app helps to put history into perspective for our young students. I recall timelines as one of my favorite things when looking at a history book. Imagine how much I would have enjoyed it had I been using an iPad with this application?


Like Adding a 2nd Teacher to the Class

Like Adding a 2nd Teacher to the Class. (Click the link to hear the interview.)

I recently had the opportunity to meet over Skype with Mr. Troy Stein. He is a product manager with Tech Smith. He wanted to do a quick interview about their product, Ask3. (I did a blog post about it here.)

This all came about due to a training for Camtasia/Snagit that took place in January at the East Noble High School. Teachers were learning about the software for the purpose of "flipping the classroom." While we were there, the presenter brought up the app. Since then, it has been downloaded on to all student accounts. (If it is not on your student iPads, it is at least on your accounts.)

I will be doing future interviews with Mr. Stein. He would like to also meet with some teachers that are using it. If you are curious about the application and its use, check with the fourth grade teachers over at South Side Elementary or one of your friendly peer coaches. :)

Oh No Fractions - YouTube



via Oh No Fractions - YouTube.

Oh No Fractions provides students with practice determining the equivalencies between fractions. Students decide which fractions are greater than or less than. After they decide, the students can prove it using virtual fraction bars.

Students can also change the maximum denominators to provide a greater challenge to students that have developed a better sense of fractional concepts.

This application is available on iPod Touch and iPad.

via Oh No Fractions - YouTube.

Puppet Pals 2

Puppet Pals 2 provides students with two minutes to record and share their knowledge about anything. They could do book reviews, summarize, reenact a favorite scene, speak from a character's perspective, share knowledge about any subject, etc. The list of possibilities goes on and on, and students will be excited to share when using this application.

This application is available on iPod Touch and iPad.

Within Puppet Pals 2, there is also a suggestion guide. I went ahead and made a PDF version of the screen shots so that you can read it yourself. There is will give ideas of how to teach the students to use it, and any suggestions on how it could be used as a learning tool for you. Below you will also find a tutorial/review on the application. Check it out!