The race to be the go-to technology in your classroom is more than heating up. It’s on fire. Like, someone grab a fire extinguisher because the race is ablaze. The two biggest contestants in this race are, not surprisingly, products from Apple and Google.
Both Apple and Google are in a high-stakes race to own the education ecosystem. They’re going about it in different ways but their goals are the same: to have their products used by the next generation.
My job as a technology integration specialist for a PreK-12 public school district became a whole lot more interesting this year as the schools I support implemented a 1-to-1 iPad program in grades K-12. It’s been especially exciting to see the creative things the teachers and students are doing in the arts.
"PowToon is a free web app that lets you create presentations and animated videos. PowToon Edu is a free Chrome app extension that does the same on Chromebooks and Chrome browsers. There is also an education page.
It's easy to use and there are some great resources on the site to help you learn how to use it. It can be used by teachers to make their presentations more engaging, and by students to create presentations for their projects."
Could a recent study by neuroscientist Simone Kühn reveal new ways of stimulating early brain development as well as a cure for the aging brain in later life? A study conducted at Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine in Berlin unveils the latest findings for video gaming.
Instead of paying ridiculous sums or taking time to create your own images, use some of the below, high quality stock photo websites. Here is a list of some of the better stock photo sites I’ve come across. Best of all, they are completely free!
It’s often the smallest spark that ignites the flames of inspiration and lifelong learning. The right balance between fascination and education, Star Chart is the perfect example of an app that can provide that spark for students. Overlaying a stunningly detailed view of the night sky on students’ phones or tablet devices, the app can become your classes virtual telescope to explore the whole visible universe.
Apps are big business, and they're one of the main reasons for the success of iOS.
Android may shift more units than Apple's mobile platform, but the App Store still tends to get the lion’s share of the best apps, from high-end audio tools through to cutting-edge education offerings.
But what can you get if you’re not willing to spend anything at all? Surprisingly, quite a lot; as our selection shows, fantastic free iPhone and iPad apps are available for all manner of tasks, from sprucing up photos and composing music through to keeping fit and exploring the world.
The dance of printing a document, taking a pen and signing it, then scanning and emailing it to a banker or client is one I think we’ve all done. It’s also extremely inefficient, not to mention annoying.
The Mac’s handy-dandy Preview app makes it possible to fill out and digitally sign a document, but it’s just as easy to sign from an iOS device, and of course there is no shortage of apps for that. I’ve whittled that selection down to these five that cover all the bases, letting you sign, fill out forms, connect to your cloud storage accounts, and use’s iOS 8’s share extension, among other features. The differences between them boil down to aesthetics, workflow, and pricing—which means one of them is probably just right for you.
Creating flipped video lessons is one of the topics that I frequently receive questions about in my email inbox. I've started putting together some videos about how to use various tools for creating and sharing flipped video lessons. In the videos embedded below I demonstrate how use EduCanon, VideoNotes, EDpuzzle, Versal, and Otus to create and distribute flipped video lessons.
"Earlier this week I featured some tools for creating podcasts across on a variety of platforms. An audio recording doesn't have to go through the full-fledged production process of creating an a podcast in order for it to be a valuable activity for students. Creating short, unedited audio recordings is a good way for students to record and share their reflections on things that they have learned and observed in your classroom. The following five tools can all be used for creating and sharing short audio recordings."
Edynco is an online tool for creating learning maps. A learning map is a version of a mind map specially designed for teachers and students. Learning maps can include several elements (called nodes) including: title, instruction/summary and an attached resource, which can be a website, quiz, video, audio, PDF, image or document. Nodes are placed on an endless canvas and are connected to each other with branches that help visualize a learning path to follow.
"Coding is becoming one of the essential literacies in the 21st century education. There is a growing demand now for teaching students how to code. In his wonderful TED talk titled "Let's teach kids to code", Scientist Mitch Resnick made this beautiful analogy :
"When kids learn to code , it enables them to learn many other things, opens up many new opportunities for learning. It's useful to make an analogy to reading and writing, when you learn to read and write it opens up opportunities for you to learn so many other things, when you learn to read you can then read to learn, which is the same thing with coding, if you learn to code you can code to learn.""
The following example is a piece of work about simplifying algebraic fractions that illustrates the value of student explanations. The task was to make a video explaining how to simplify the three fractions below, complete with full explanations. No training was given on how to do this, and no apps were recommended.
This was my first attempt at asking this particular group of students to create a video. It follows that after years of simply writing down answers and them either being right or wrong, several students decided to assume that I was joking with this task and simply handed me in a copy of the answers. Job done. Or was it Wolfram Alpha’s job done?
Anyway, here is what a few responses to the task looked like
Dinosaur Hook HD: iDinoBook is a nice iPad app all about dinosaurs. The app features a map depicting many of the places that dinosaur fossils have been found around the world. Tap on the placemarks on the map to see an index of the dinosaurs found in that location. After opening the index you can select a dinosaur and read more about it. Images of fossils and artistic renderings of each dinosaur are included throughout the app.
With its integrated Creative Commons image search, one-touch formatting, and streamlined layout options, Haiku Deck already saves you ridiculous amounts of time. The brand-new presentation template gallery jump-starts your creative process even more — now it’s easy to save a template to your account and edit it, instead of starting from scratch.
"The National Hockey League (NHL®), the National Hockey League Players' Association, and the 30 NHL Club Teams have partnered to launch Future Goals - Hockey ScholarTM, an online learning course that brings science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts to life through the exciting, fast-paced game of hockey. This course is available to schools and districts across North America at no cost."Click here to edit the title
I’ve shared some of the reasons why I think News-O-Matic is a great choice for integrating informational text into your everyday instruction. Not only is nonfiction reading an important skill, but students can learn how to become informed citizens by interacting with news stories on a daily basis. News-O-Matic has developed a list of different ways to use this tool in the classroom, check out their top seven:
As many people with dyslexia already know, the iPad has developed into an indispensable tool for various language-based activities.
During the last five years, Apple has put a great deal of effort into steadily improving the accessibility features of its mobile operating system, iOS. Currently, users can take advantage of built-in dictation, word prediction, and multiple text-to-speech options. In addition, the newest version of the operating system, iOS 8, allows for the installation of third-party keyboards. These mark an increase in the amount of assistive technology (AT) that can be used universally with iPad apps involving reading and writing.
This evening I hosted a webinar for a school district in Florida. One of the many topics that we covered was building a custom search engine for elementary school students to use. If you have ever wanted to build your own search engine, the directions contained in the slides and videos below will get you started on the right path.
- Moving at the Speed of Creativity"In my continuing quest to find streamlined ways to audio record and share conference presentations at professional development events, today I used the free iOS app Voice Recorder Pro to record my three sessions at the Oklahoma EdTechTeam’s Google Summit, as well as Jake Heister’s session (with permission, of course) on Google Search. Normally I would publish audio recordings like this to my “Fuel for Educational Change Agents” secondary podcast channel, and I may still do that, but for now this workflow worked very smoothly and was MUCH less time consuming. It took 38 minutes from start to finish to publish these 4 audio recordings to YouTube, using my iPhone. The workflow I used was:
1. Audio record with the iOS app Voice Record Pro (free). 2. In the app, rename the file with the name of the presentation and add a photo to the file. 3. Save the audio recording as a video to your camera roll, first selecting the desired “template” for your accompanying image. 4. Upload the video to YouTube with the free iOS app, “YouTube Capture.”
In 2013, several University of Greenwich lecturers from the Primary and Secondary Education departments participated in a project called “Development of the use of ICT in PE and Sport: iPad”. The project team consisted of Dr. Jackie Farr, Andrew Flynn, Andy Freeman, Alex Gibson, and Roz Hornsby. They were given iPads to use within their teaching to assist with giving formative feedback. The group identified five project aims:
To develop students knowledge and understanding of the use of ICT in PE across key stages 1-4 (Primary and Secondary Education). To enable students to become more confident and effective users of technology and PE in sport. To research, build and test a portfolio of apps that could be important in the development of course assessment and for use with pupils in schools. To develop students’ ability to observe, analyse, fault find and correct in a range of sports and physical activities. To use the iPad in Physical Education taught sessions. For each of those aims benefits, challenges, and specific tools were highlighted. Following are two of the main benefits described. The first reflects an advantage of using iPads in teaching for learners and the second reflects an advantage for lecturers.
Apple has released another video in their ongoing creative series — "Make a film with iPad". It features student directors from the Los Angeles County High School, including Juliet Chin, Miu Jun, and Chester Milton, as well as excerpts from Martin Scorsese's commencement speech to the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Class of 2014.
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