MIT and partners, for example, recently released a free iPad app with its visual programming language ScratchJr., so kindergartners could use it to code stories and games even before knowing how to read. Vikas Gupta, a former Google executive who founded the startup Wonder Workshop (formerly called Play-i), has taken a slightly different path. "We learned that in order to make programming of interest to young children, it has to be a tangible product. It can’t be just software," he told Co.Exist last year.
Enter Dot and Dash—Wonder Workshop’s two new robots that teach coding skills to children as young as five that are now being field tested in a few dozen elementary school classrooms nationally. And they are definitely tangible: Dash hears and responds to sounds, navigates around a room and avoid obstacles, and comes to life with sound and lights. He can even play the xylophone. Dot, on the other hand, doesn't have wheels and is meant to interact with Dash via Bluetooth and act as a controller. Both have their own customizable "personalities." On the back end, through four apps that control both robots, they are secretly teaching coding skills such as "event-based programming, sequencing, conditionals, and loops."
Game-based learning is an educational trend that has gained so much popularity in recent years. At its core, game-based learning involves the use of the learning principles underlying games' play in learning situations. In his book “ What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy”, James Paul Gee mentioned a number of these principles all of which are geared towards improving learners’ critical thinking skills and enhancing their problem solving competencies. Marc Prensky is another thought leader in this field and his book “Digital Game Based Learning” provides a very good explanation of the basics of game based learning.
For those of you using iPad in their teaching, here is a set of interesting apps you can use to incorporate the ethos of game-based learning in your classroom. These are some excellent educational games to engage students in different learning scenarios. We invite you to check them out and share with us what you think of them. Enjoy
Google Cultural Institute is a great resource with huge educational potential. We have already reviewed it when it was first launched a couple of years ago and since then new features and materials have been added to the platform. Google Cultural Institute puts ‘the world’s cultural treasures at your fingerprints’ allowing you to explore the historical museums and monuments right from the comfort of your own place.
Note: Welcome to this new series on the iPad to transform how we approach writing in the classroom (or anywhere)! In this new series, the focus is on 6 actions you can take to iPadify the Writer's Process. Yes, that's right. The Writer's process. Maybe we've gone a bit astray with our focus on the writing process. As a writer, what do you do? That's what this series focuses on.
By the way, if you haven't read the previous series, iPadifying the Writing Workshop, you'll definitely want to in this convenient post that combines all the sections into one.
The Planeta Imaginario Foundation has launched an enhanced version of iSEQUENCES. This educational app for children with Autism and Asperger's syndrome enables them to practice 100 different sequences about everyday situations.
"Further recognition of the massive adoption of iPad by so many schools around the world, Apple have just launched two new sections on their iPad App Store. One section is aimed at teachers and parents with apps for the children, broken down in to different age groups and learning activities. "
"If students were doing awesome things with an iPad, what would that look like? Here's another way of putting it: How does an iPad align with a vision of meaningful and purposeful learning?
Bereft of examples and inspiration, many educators struggle to conceive of iPad integration beyond mere substitution for whatever came before. Educators need guidance on how to leverage iPads as hubs of innovation that nurture the learning skills, competencies, and habits of mind that help students develop skills for today's world.
With that in mind, here's a look at two teachers and their iPad-infused classrooms."
Until recently, I was like Jane, but with technology. I used tech tools all day with little knowledge of their workings. And, despite my interactions with Jane, I had a typical fixed-mindset explanation for this: "I'm an English teacher. My brain doesn't work that way." What I was really saying was, "I forget how to be a beginner."
A year ago, though, I became a beginner, an apprentice, a struggling learner. I decided to learn how to code.
Immediately, the experience became less about designing websites and more about experiencing the growth mindset, improving confidence with technology, and learning that failure is part of the process.
Code and programming may not be the most important topics on the planet but it is an area of study that sufferers two major problems. one: an industry with millions of unfilled job positions and two: a world where not enough teachers feel confident to run programming projects. The iPad can offer a solution in these situations.
Edueto is a free service that allows teachers to create their own online activities for students. Teachers can create exercises such as quizzes, matching, writing, sorting, equations, sequences and more and assign them to their students to complete. Student progress is tracked. There are also exercises created by other teachers that you can use and even edit.
"I enjoy discussing iPad and other edtech resources with my colleague and friend Sylvia Duckworth almost every week through Twitter. Sylvia is a leader in the French teaching community in Canada, and has created an enormous amount of resources for language teachers to use. I asked her if she wanted to collaborate on this post, and she quickly agreed to do so. Below is a list of iPad apps that we both use in our language classrooms. The ones marked with an * are the essential, must-have ones. We have divided the list into two categories: Content consumption apps and content creation apps."
"A couple of days ago I posted here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning about iPad apps for playing math games and I received several other suggestions of new apps which I will compile in a new list to be published this week. One of the readers has also sent me a link to this wonderful symbaloo page full of math web games for young kids. It features over 40 math games covering a wide range of mathematical topics including : "counting, sorting, matching, and number identification". This resource is first shared by Mattbgomez which is one of my favourite edtech blogs."
"Teachers across the nation are already tweeting class lesson plans and hosting guest speakers in Google Hangouts.
However, many teachers are looking for more ways to engage their students on social media platforms. Enter a new generation of video apps that make it easy for teachers and students alike to not only communicate in the social media realm but create in it too.
Here are 6 easy apps that you and your students can use to supplement presentations, film multimedia reports and engage with one another at a level not possible in 140 characters."
Penxy is the easiest way to control and deliver your presentations from your iPad or iPhone during a real event. You can seamlessly stream your presentations (including your voice) online. Better yet, you can record your presentation so that you can share it with your social networks.
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