A test kitchen in which working with iPads, (their Apps and applications) are the main item on the menu. I intentionally play with the iPads to discover what they can do and how they can help myself and other teachers better reach and engage their students. I report on what I discover and keep my eyes and ears open for content that might be helpful to other teachers wanting to do the same in their classrooms.
"No one likes failure, the F-word, no matter how you sugarcoat it. But failure is a part of life. Sometimes things don't work out. Sometimes you don't get what you want. Stuff happens. But if we recast these situations right, we learn to create a new normal, to persevere, to learn to be more flexible, or to redirect our energies."
Via John Evans
Apps Playground is the UK's leading website reviewing children's apps, and this is a hand-picked selection of our favourite iPad apps from 2013. Discover the best apps from famous children's brands and new developers alike. We've sorted them by category and age level, and if they use in-app purchases, we've clearly explained how they work.
"So, what are QR Codes, you ask? Well, you know what barcodes are, like when you buy something at the store and the clerk scans a code to enter the item and amount into the till? The QR (Quick Response) Code is kind of like that, except that it offers much more information. Quite often the QR Code will give you a link to a website, or a text message, image, etc. To read the QR Code, you need to install a QR Code Reader onto your device. There are many available for free. I like using i-nigma, seen below. Simply open the app, point it at a QR Code and your device will do the rest. Try it with the code above. It should take you back to this blog."
"Fizzy’s Lunch Lab Fresh Pick is a free iPad app from PBS Kids. The app is based on the popular PBS web series Fizzy’s Lunch Lab. The purpose of the app is to challenge students’ math and problem solving skills. The app contains eight challenges for students to try. Students can go through the challenges in any order that they like. The eight challenges for students are Buying Groceries, Grocery Mapping, Neighborhood Mapping, Pantry Hunt, Fizzy’s Invention, Customer Change, Find Freddy, and Food Matcher."
"This week’s pick is Journeys of Invention, a wonderful celebration of some of the most important scientific inventions throughout history. Here’s just a little excerpt from its App Store introduction:
"Imagine if you were allowed to pick up and play with some of the most priceless objects in the history of science and technology. Journeys of Invention brings to life over 80 extraordinary objects from the Science Museum in London in 14 interactive stories written by the curators. …
The app features original and insightful history specially written by Science Museum curators with a rich collection of historic photographs, rarely seen contemporary artworks, archive film footage and video.""
"If you are looking for unique and innovative ways to use the iPad in your classroom, then you have come to the right place. In this post I teamed up with Stephen Lai and Meg Wilson to bring you 15 ideas that will help you think outside the box and bring new levels of creativity to your iPad classro"
"Creative Commons has recently rolled out its new 4.0 licenses and made it available for adoption worldwide. This is a fruit of two years of hard work to overcome some of the weaknesses that marked the 2011 version CC licenses .Some of the features and improvements included in 4.0 licences which make them easily shared and re-used include : improved readability and organization and common-sense attribution."
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
Chris Walton's insight:
Up till now, I thought the main difference between 'tablet' readers and 'ink & paper books' was mostly that the 'tablet' format offers it's readers an extra layer of audio/visual features. This study, however, suggests that the new media of 'tablet' readers may, in fact, possess significant, legitimate pedagogical advantages over ink & paper texts.
One of my relatives is an elementary educator in a public school. The town she teaches in is well-known locally for having heavily integrated classrooms and offering a lot of help to students with differing abilities.
"Mobile devices have been making in-roads into the learning space since their debut. The mobile tablet, especially, will continue to progress to the head of the class. To salute this ongoing trend, we aim to acknowledge outstanding apps and app developers in the education app industry that go above and beyond excellent.
Teachers With Apps is pleased to unveil their Teachers With Apps Certified Apps program. This Certification was designed to recognize and applaud Apps that are exemplary. The Teachers With Apps Certified badge of approval is awarded, on a quarterly basis, to education apps that prove exemplary in the following areas: content, presentation, and execution, as well as overall user experience."
"There’s lots of talk of the SAMR model, which simplifies the common process that people go through when introducing any technology, designed by Ruben R. Puentedura. This of course applies to introducing iPads too. There are 1000s of great examples of iPad use in primary / elementary schools but not as many in high schools. I thought I would produce a version of this process that is common with many teachers in secondary / high schools. It’s a little tongue-in-cheek but might give some people ideas about how it relates directly to pedagogy."
"I recently bought my 88-year-old Uncle Leonard his first iPad as a gift and had it mailed directly to him. It seemed like a good idea until I realized — wait a minute — he doesn't know how to set it up.
So I quickly dashed out instructions, along with suggestions for 10 great apps to download, to begin his iPad experience.
It's a good list, so I'd like to share it with all of you who might have a new tablet in your life this holiday season. All the below apps are free."
Teachers really like the ability to display their iPad or their students' iPads on a projector screen. Projecting on a large screen is great for demonstrations, simulations, explanations, and showing examples. There are several ways this can be done in the classroom.
This article covers a lot of ground in the discussion of how to effectively implement iPads in a classroom -- from an explanation of the SAMR model, to a potential plan of action for communicating this model to others at your school, and some helpful resource links.
The choices we make are our own. We’re as smart as we want to be.
Chris Walton's insight:
I like the way this article looks at this issue. When a new technology is introduced (say the ballpoint pen) something may be lost but, conversely, something new is also gained. People seem to forget that even the 'book' was a new technology at one time. The problem is -- when a game changing technology is introduced -- people don't really know what to make of it; fear often rises to the surface.
After months of leaks, testing and teasing from Apple, iOS 7 is finally available for all to download. The new OS is a big change, packed full of new features to compliment the new look. We walk you through them.
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