"I’m about to say something totally unbelievable and completely ridiculous: I love Star Wars. There. It’s good to get that bombshell off my chest. I’m a huge fan of the series and eagerly await the upcoming film by J.J. Abrams and the new Disney ownership.
After going through all of the trailers, both foreign and domestic, it occurs to me that there is one thing in particular that is a true standout. Is it the 3-pronged lightsaber? No. Is it the lack of Jar-Jar Binks? Potentially, but not really.
It’s the BB-8 droid that is taking the world by storm. Better still, it’s actually something you can now purchase (if you’re lucky to find one) in real life. How cool is that?"
As someone who primarily taught math and science when I was a classroom teacher, I associated robots, robotics curriculum, and robot apps as things that were only used in those subjects. However, this past year my school received a robot grant that provided ten robots for us from the company Sphero. Sphero emphasizes the power of play in education and has a variety of lessons that are aligned to the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards on their website. They also have a number of STEM challenges in the form pre-designed engineering projects designed for collaborative group work with students and are helpful for teachers using the robots in their classes.
Sphero is a robotic ball that can pair with an iPad, tablet, iPhone, or smartphone through Bluetooth, and getting started is relatively easy. Once you are ready to use Sphero, you take it off the charger stand and give it a “tap-tap” to “wake it up.” When the robot wakes up, it starts to flash three different colors until it pairs with the device you are using it with via Bluetooth. Once it turns blue, then you know that it is paired and ready to go. There are at least 14 different education related apps that are available with Sphero: some of them use augmented reality technology, some of them teach the basics of coding, while others allow students to draw on a tablet to manipulate the color and movement of the robot.
During the last week of June, I did a presentation at the ISTE conference with many other educators from all over the country who also received the robot grant. What amazed me was that people who taught subjects like language arts and social studies found incredible ways to integrate robotics into their curriculum to create some really engaging lessons for their students.
Two schools are both alike in dignity. Part of our story takes place in Jersey City, NJ while the other part takes place 32 miles away in Roslyn, NY. Some would argue that this is the best of times and the worst of times in education. This case study will celebrate what is good about education today by presenting two stories that illustrate how Green Screen technology on iPad can be used to support authentic student voice in learning environments on different ends of the educational spectrum.
One post that I have been meaning to write for these 2 (almost 3…yikes!) years is a review of my favorite apps. Shelley Tomich over at PitchHill.com is doing a Tech Talk Tuesday and encourages other music teachers to also blog about something techy. Here's my chance! Thanks Shelley for getting me writing again! She is also is a mom of little kids so we're in the same busy boat…however, I think she is able to find more hours in the day than me!! Good going, Shelley!
So here goes my top 5 Favorite iPad Apps for Music Class
Earlier this month I decided to participate in the Thinglink App Smash Challenge, facilitated by Susan Oxnevad. The goal is to use ThingLink as a presentation tool to demonstrate how to combine the functionality of two or more apps to create, publish and share content. It was more difficult than I thought because I had a hard time narrowing down which apps I wanted to use in my submission. I finally decided on Book Creator because of its cross-curricular nature, and its ability to include various types of media. Here is the flow of the lesson:
Students choose a scene maker app to create an original visual writing prompt Students upload their image to Book Creator Add original composition using the text feature Add narration by recording Publish final project as e Book or movie
At this point, most people have downloaded Spotify, Pandora and Shazam on their smartphones. They are the three basic apps needed to stay musically relevant. But for the true music lovers out there, those who visit blog after blog on the daily, there...
Can you imagine not being able to read printed words? What would your life be like if books, newspapers, websites, email, and even signs were all virtually incomprehensible to you? How would you get through the day? For up to one in five people like me with dyslexia these are not hypothetical questions, they are our reality. Yet, thanks to accessibility technologies built into Apple...
"Fueled by an incredible demand in the workforce for proficient programmers and the need to teach critical thinking skills, the coding movement in schools has exploded. Furthermore, we all communicate through technology, so we should at least know the basic premise of coding because the gadget sitting in our pocket, or on our desk, should not be a mysterious black box to us or our students. Just like writing, multimedia, art, and music are mediums to show ideas, coding can be another form of expression.``
Via John Evans
"Technology integration in instruction is a process that starts with setting out clearly defined objectives and ends with assessing learning outcomes against these objectives, and all along the way several tools and strategies are employed to attend to the overall performance of this process. Hence, the first question teachers need to ponder when thinking about using technology in class is not what kind of technology to use but what do they want to achieve behind using this technology? On a deeper level, they need to find answers to questions such as: Does this technology constitute a a good addition to the learning task ? Can the same learning task be performed without using technology? These and several other questions should come to the forefront when you start planning a technology-based learning activity.
We recently received a few requests from music teachers asking for some suggestions on music accessories to use with their iPads. Here are some of our recommendations based on what some geeky music teachers are actually using in their classrooms. If you are looking for some good educational apps to use in your music lessons, check out this page. Apple music store also features a wide range of options to choose from. Enjoy
Common Sense Media’s service Graphite, which offers independent ratings and reviews of learning apps and websites, has compiled this list of apps to get young students started on the road to coding. For complete reviews, and for each app’s "Learning Rating," visit the Graphite website.
Explain Everything Lesson Ideas is a free eBook created and provided for free by Apple. This work is part of Apple's" Apps in the Classroom" project that aims at helping teachers make the best of educational apps in their instruction. Each of the guides included in this project centres around a popular educational app and provides examples and ideas on how teachers can use it with their students in class. Today's guide is on the popular screencasting and whiteboard app Explain Everything.
The value of computer programming has been rising exponentially for decades. To the point where now coding has gained traction in mainstream media. TV shows like CBS’s The Big Bang Theory or HBO’s Silicon Valley are good indicators of computer science careers are taking center stage. The domino effect created by the demand for amazing technology is likewise leading to a demand for skilled workers to engineer and program. Whether training comes through a high school certificate program, or a degree in computer science, the need for project-ready coders is only increasing. The bottom-line: All schools at all levels are kicking coding into overdrive.
Computer science skills are becoming more and more important to success in today’s economy, and this importance is highlighted during the annual Hour of Code. A number of resources on Code.org and other sites can help students of all ages and skill levels develop coding skills.
In social media, we're all increasingly thinking about visual content. But there's one question we get asked quite often: Where can you find free, good quality images that are cleared to use for your blog posts or social media content?...
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
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Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
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Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.