"It’s almost inevitable: I encounter Minecraft somewhere online—it’s easy to do, because there’s a lot of Minecraft out there—and I end up convinced I’m doing the wrong thing with my life. Let me explain. Briefly, for the uninitiated: Minecraft is a video game, first released in 2009 as a buggy prototype by a solo Swedish programmer named Markus Persson. The complete game was released in 2011, and in the years since, Minecraft has matured, expanded, and sold tens of millions of copies. Oh, and there’s a documentary. Also, T-shirts."
"It’s been more than three years since Caine Monroy’s elaborate cardboard arcade in front of his dad’s used auto parts shop was catapulted to fame by Nirvan Mullick’s short film. But last summer, after two years and tens-of-thousands of customers, Cain “retired” on his eleventh birthday and closed Caine’s Arcade to the public.
The last day was probably a first step for Caine, though. The film has been seen 8 million times and counting, and it has spun into a movement that’s spawned numerous think pieces, a scholarship fund, and a TEDx talk. Most notably, it spurred the creation of the Imagination Foundation, which aims to find, foster, and fund creativity in kids through programs such as the Global Cardboard Challenge and pop-up learning spaces called Imagination Chapters."
"Back in primary school I remember learning about the internals of the human body by constructing a digestive system out of toilet rolls. Needless to say, that summer I probably used more toilet tissue than I needed too in an effort to get enough toilet rolls together. The results were awesome though. I plonked a marble through the cardboard oesophagus and proudly demonstrated to my parents the wonders of the human digestive system. I’m assuming my model had the equivalent of the runs as my marble got through in about 5 seconds. Now, the days of such eco-unfriendly learning are behind us and Zybright have released a great app called My Incredible Body, which I would say is aimed at ages 4-13."
"iCloud Activation Lock is a feature that allows users to lock down an iPhone (or iPad) and require the entry of an Apple ID before the device becomes usable again. It’s part of the excellent Find My iPhone service and is extremely useful for many reasons, but it can also be a real pain if you or someone else obtained an iPhone that has another Apple ID attached to it and is then ‘locked’ to that account with an activate request, because until that activation lock is removed it will be prevented from general usage or login with another Apple ID."
"A few weeks ago Digital Inspiration posted a very informative article outlining the different web tools that can be used to send large files online. He also created this handy chart where he compared between the different services that you can use to send large files."
"Whether you are teaching your students about digital citizenship or looking for images to use on your own, Flickr is a fantastic resource. This website gives users the ability to search for images that can be used for a variety of purposes without infringing on copyright. It’s a fantastic best practice for students conducting research and can come in handy for teachers looking for images to use in a iBook they are creating. If you design your own iBook using iBooks Author you’ll want to use images under Creative Commons licensing in case you decide to share your creation with the world."
'Sometimes you're shooting a video with the built-in iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad Camera app and you find yourself wanting to take a still photo at the same time. Whether it's an amazing moment amid the action, or just a great composition you want to capture in its won right, there are times when you'll want to have your video and photo too! Luckily, Apple makes it easy to do"
"A few days ago, I tweeted out this image of our future Makerspace that I created in Skitch on my iPad. I was inspired by The Nerdy Teacher’s post on rethinking his classroom setup, and I wanted to create a visual that could show what our space will be like when it all comes together. I got a really positive response to my tweet, so I decided to write a more detailed post to help explain what we’ll be doing. I’ll keep posting more updates as everything comes together."
"Below are 22 apps we’ve handpicked as powerful teaching and learning tools to work with digital media in your classroom. Like almost anything, these are more potent in the hands of students than teachers, so start there and work backwards–audience and purpose: What’s possible? What needs communicating through video, and who needs to hear/see it?"
"n less than a decade, mobile technology has spread to the furthest corners of the planet. Of the estimated 7 billion people on Earth, 6 billion now have access to a working mobile phone. Africa, which had a mobile penetration rate of just 5% in the 1990s, is now the second largest and fastest growing mobile phone market in the world, with a penetration rate of over 60% and climbing."
" The scene in a cavernous building atop a forested hill here resembles a brainy, free-form summer camp, or a loft where twentysomethings meet to pursue esoteric dreams. It does not look like the usual notion of college.
A few Lehigh University students turn out prosthetic hands on a 3-D printer. Yards away, another group studies the breeding habits of endangered fish darting around wading pools, and yet another pieces together a film about a Polish poet. Most of the students here are pursuing their own projects — about 30 in all — and finding their own way, with little faculty input and with nothing more at stake than testing their own ambition, skills and curiosity.
“We got a group together and said what we wanted to do, and the administration just said, ‘O.K., ask for any equipment or advice you need,’ ” said Colleen Perry, who is studying bioengineering. “We’ve definitely made mistakes, but it’s probably the first time in our lives that we’re not getting a grade and we don’t have anyone telling us what to do.”"
"The Maker movement is spreading through schools. You'll see many tools becoming part of unique maker ecosystems in schools based upon teacher expertise and student interests. (For more about the Maker movement read How the Maker Movement is Moving into Classrooms.)
Let’s look at the most common tools being used in makerspaces."
"Adding pictures to the contacts in your iPhone or iPad is a great way to make the people in your life more recognizable. You can add them using the Photos app, the Contacts app, and even import them from social networks like Facebook. Once you've added the photos, you'll see them in iMessage, in phone favorites, and more!"
"Disneynature Explore is a free iPad app designed to help children learn about bear, butterflies, lions, chimpanzees, and sea turtles. The activities for learning about each animal include augmented reality components. Students can use their iPads to take pictures to put animals into settings that they photograph.
The app encourages students to go on nature walks with their parents. On the nature walks students can take pictures and record observations in their digital field journals."
"So when stodgy Microsoft ditched transformed (for legal reasons as much as anything else) SkyDrive to OneDrive, things in the cloud (for teachers, especially) got interesting.
Because they didn’t stop at the name change. They uncharacteristically opened up.
They changed their name, upped the free storage, added browser functionality, deeper integration into Windows 8, Windows Phone integration, and even support for iPad and iOS. This represents an interesting shift for Microsoft, who has learned to play nice with others or risk losing relevance in a sector (productivity) they helped build."
"If last year offered iOS users a lick of paint, this year provides far more changes under the hood that are set to shake up the Apple ecosystem for the better. This is evident from the company providing more tools and APIs to developers than ever before, the ability to replace some core OS components with third party ones and a proper (if simplified) file system at last."
"One of the biggest stumbling blocks on our road to successful iPad implementation was WiFi coverage and bandwidth. The Information Services department had to install new access points and optimize the access points we already had. We also found that we did not have enough bandwidth. Every time I launched a new App to the 200+ iPads on campus we exceeded our bandwidth and took every other Internet based function off line. Eventually though we did get our bandwidth more than doubled and that was very helpful."
"We will have two students be responsible for this role each week. Together they will be given a few minutes each day to record a few notes to remind them of the key ideas that they learned that day. We will also allow them to take photos to document lessons and their learning that they can then use at the end of the week to aid them in writing a blog post about what the class learned over the week. In order to make the most of these photos, we are going to teach them to use a few of the photo apps we have available to us on our class iPads."
It took a little while for the apps to come into their own, but we're at a place now where the iPad has nearly as good of a selection of apps as the iPhone. Now, it's harder than ever to find apps that are worthwhile. Let us save you some time with this collection of the best iPad apps.