Last year at this time, I was trying not to think about kindergarteners. I was still teaching ninth grade English and had just accepted a job teaching technology to K-5. I was excited about the challenge, and I knew that I'd bitten off more than I could chew.
Developing the tech curriculum challenged me to teach programming or at least computational thinking at each elementary grade level. Our school is mid-pivot in technology -- we're in our second year of a middle school 1:2 iPad program, our first year of having a cart of iPads available for elementary, and our last year of two PC labs for the students to use (next year we'll have only one lab). Knowing this, I wanted to design a program that mostly used tablet-based tools.
This term I have been working with upper Key Stage 2 pupils to develop interactive adventure style games in Book Creator. One of the features of the app is it allows you to link objects such as images and text to other pages within the book. For images, tap on the image to select it, then tap on the Info icon and use the hyperlink box to type in the page number. For text, highlight the text withIn the text box and you will see a hyperlink option.
This has enabled us to create games where choices, questions and decisions are asked of the user/player throughout. We have then used this as a stimulus for writing, not only creatively but also instruction and advertising. Above are a few screen shots of an example book I made but I didn't want to show the pupils too much as I wanted them to come up with their own ideas.
"Two weeks ago, we published a literary map of Brooklyn, highlighting the books we felt best represented the neighborhoods in which they were set. Compiling the list of books for that map had us thinking about what it means for a story to not just be from a place, but also of it, and why it is that some places have an abundance of literary riches (we’re looking at you, American South), while others, well, don’t. There are those stories that so beautifully evoke a time and a place and a way of life that it becomes close to impossible to separate the literary perception of a place from its reality—one winds up informing the other. All [books on this states list] are literary in voice and spirit; every last one will let you understand a time and place in a more profound way than you maybe thought possible.
If Minecraft has taken over your kids and you hardly know who they are or what they’re talking about anymore, you’re in good company. But, although you may love that the game helps build 21st-century skills such as creativity, innovation, and collaboration, your kids’ obsession can be overwhelming. Perhaps most puzzling is that every waking moment they’re not playing Minecraft, they’re in front of YouTube watching Minecraft.
For fans — and they are legion — Minecraft YouTube videos are a huge part of their enjoyment of the game. There are tutorials (for ideas on new things to create), “Let’s Play” videos (footage of people playing the game), challenges (new gameplay ideas to try), mod showcases (which show off cool thing kids can download to modify their Minecraft worlds), and more.
"The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 30 languages. No experience needed.Ages 4 to 104."
There are now a wide variety of iPad apps that you can use to organize your life and create an effective workflow. In this regard, I handpicked for you some really interesting apps that you should definitely consider to enhance your productivity. These apps provide a bunch of excellent features such as : easy ways to create to-do lists, scheduled notifications, reminders, notifications of upcoming tasks and events, and many more. Some of these apps are also integrated with Google and Google Apps accounts .
"Epic (iTunes link) was created because the developers noticed that when kids used iPads, they were often playing games or viewing videos. They wanted to make it easy for kids to access tons of great books without needing to ask their parents for permission and for money each time a new book is desired. After all, adults often use tablets for reading, why shouldn't kids have the same accessibility when wanting to read?
Epic streams thousands of books for kids to explore. Included are easy-readers for early readers. There are non-fiction books too. My son is toddler-aged, and enjoys reading books with simple text, rhyme and repetition."
"It seems like everywhere you look these days, a hot technology topic when it comes to kids is MINECRAFT. Considering all the gaming apps that are out there, it can be hard for parents to navigate the good from the bad and even harder to understand how best to monitor and manage their kids usage of them.
Okay, so here are the main points you want to know:"
Creating narrated slideshows is one of the easiest ways to introduce students to digital storytelling practices. Students can create narrated slideshows to illustrate and explain their research findings, to tell a personal story, or to outline the framework for a story that will written down later. The following three iPad apps all provide an easy way to create narrated slideshows.
The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning explains key ideas in game-based learning, pedagogy, implementation, and assessment. This guide makes sense of the available research and provides suggestions for practical use.
We believe that one of the most important challenges educators face today is to prepare kids for the world that awaits them after they leave the classroom -- those "21st century skills" you keep hearing about. We've created the free resources below to support and inspire you and your students in facing that challenge.
Also, be sure to visit the Collaborize Classroom Topic Library, where you'll find thousands of topics that have been created and successfully used by educators in their own Collaborize Classroom® sites.
Looking for some good iPad apps to teach STEAM in your classroom? This collection created by We Are Teachers is definitely a must see. It provides about 60 iPad apps categorized under different subject areas, all of which are geared towards enhancing your kids' STEAM knowledge. The app recommendations are also arranged in such a way that you will be able to access apps for different grade levels (k-12). I have spent sometime going through this collection and find it really worth sharing with you here. Have a look and share with us what you think of it.
"While more teachers are using digital games in the classroom, how they decide which games to use and why is less standardized, according to a teacher survey of 694 K-8 teachers by the Games and Learning Publishing Council called Level Up Learning: A National Survey on Teaching with Digital Games.
The report finds that teachers learn about games through informal means, such as peers within the school or school district, and could benefit from more explicit training programs. By not having a more formal process, the report finds that “teachers may not be getting exposure to the broader range of pedagogical strategies, resources, and types of games that can enhance and facilitate digital game integration.”
I am a proud geek and father of three young children. I taught myself to code Basic at the age of 12 on my father’s Commodore 64, and I actively encourage my children to be enthused by the notion of building with digital tools. But I don’t necessarily agree with the notion that every child must learn how to code.
Though more than two years into my school’s implementation of project based learning, yesterday, I found myself excited all over again. I was helping a second grade teacher enhance her landforms PBL by using Padlet as part of the KWL process and suddenly realized that this approach to student-centered learning has truly become a part of who we are as a school.
My adventures in combining PBLs and iPads began with a gift of two carts. I had just started taking the PBLU online courses when the head of our independent pre-k through eighth grade school challenged each grade-level team to teach one unit using the PBL approach while finding authentic ways to draw in iPads. As the lower school technology integration person, I immediately went on a quest to find a guinea pig willing to plan and co-teach a PBL unit incorporating iPads. This is the story of that first experience. . .
"Audio recordings can definitely support students who have trouble reading directions or need extra help with new vocabulary words. I’ve shared one way to make QR codes talk to students but if you’d like to add your own voice to a QR code, here’s how:"
As a language-based disorder, dyslexia is often associated with speech problems, word recognition and spelling difficulties. Dyslexic people are not abnormal people. They are like anybody else. They have learning capabilities and are able to achieve and perform better when provided with the necessary kind of help and the right environment to thrive in.
Technology now can do a lot towards helping dyslexic students learn better. In today's post I am sharing with you this excellent collection of iPad apps curated specifically for teachers and parents to use with their dyslexic kids. These apps are divided into different areas including: letter formation and identification, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, sentence structure, early reading, text to speech, handwriting recognition, story creation and many more. All of these apps are hyperlinked , clicking on the app icon will take you to its page on iTunes store. I am not really sure who is behind this wonderful work but I came across it on this Scoop.it page.
Here is a quick tool that I use with my iPad this week that was very effective for my younger grades.
We know that most kids learn better visually. With my vocabulary many lists within my curriculum, I was able to quickly search for images using Google images. I quickly went through each list, and found anything that I thought could have an image. Using Google search, all I did was type the words: “clipart” plus whatever image I was looking for (e.g. “clipart car”, “clipart pizza”). I went down the list and quickly came out with a gallery of probably 30 vocabulary words within ten minutes.