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Posts tagged ‘apps’

8 tech tools that encourage literacy skills

Some of them are low tech. Some are more sophisticated. Some are mobile apps. Some are not. Some are completely free. Some start free and allow for upgrades. None of them are silver bullets. None of them are going to save the world.

But I think we need to be using them more. These eight tools, and others like them, can change how we teach and how students learn. And I think any tool that does that – whether it’s paper and pencil or a mobile app – is a good thing.

In a recent article over at Huffinton Post, Dylan Arena, Ph.D., co-founder and chief learning scientist at Kidaptive states that

Technology by itself will almost never change education. The only way to change educational practices is to change the beliefs and values of teachers, administrators, parents and other educational stakeholders–and that’s a cultural issue, not a technological one . . . It’s about processes and people rather than bits and bytes.

These eight tools seem particularly effective at encouraging and supporting literacy skills. I’ve talked about many of these before but I think when they are clumped together, they become especially powerful in helping kids read and write in new and impactful ways.

There has been, and continues to be, a lot of conversation about reading, writing, and communicating skills. When I get to be a part of those conversations, I share the following lists with social studies folks. Pretty sure they’ll work across a lot of other content areas as well. Read more

iTunes U update: It’s now push AND pull

Okay.

It’s a Monday, it’s summer, and my brain is still working to wake up. So much of what you’ll read below is from an official Apple press release concerning the recent update to the mobile iTunes U app.

My own words on the subject?

If you have Apple devices in your building, you need to be using iTunes U as an instructional and learning tool. It’s a great way to push content out to students and, now with the recent update, pul content in from kids.

iTunes U – together with the free iTunes U Course Manager – helps you create courses including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and more for your face-to-face students as well as students outside your classroom. With over 750,000 individual learning materials available on the iTunes U app, iTunes U is the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content from top schools and prominent organizations. You can access the work from thousands of educational institutions hosting over 7,500 public courses.

The new in-app updates Read more

iPad App Task Challenges – Alpha versions

It’s Podstock week. I’m sure you’re all coming, right? I mean, it’s Podstock. Nobody wants to miss that. Part of what I’m doing for the conference is to present a quick three-hour iPad 101 workshop during the pre-con and then host a digital make-it, take-it session.

The idea is that we review the basics of the iPad – the settings, buttons, multi-finger gestures, App Store, default apps, etc – in the morning and then facilitate a fun, supportive sandbox where participants can work together to actually use their iPads to create stuff. Stuff they can use at a personal level and in their classrooms.

We’re calling the afternoon sessions iPad Learning Labs and decided that we would provide a series of challenges as a starting point for participants. By working with a bit of structure and with others, teachers can practice hands on learning in a safe environment.

The cool thing? Read more

The 7 best places for finding iOS apps

I get the chance to spend a lot of my time working with Apple products and how they can be integrated into instruction. This means, obviously, I also get the chance to work with lots of educators who are looking for just the right tool and just the right app. And we always memorize together the mantra – “it’s not about the app, it’s about what kids do with the app. It’s not about the app, it’s about what kids do with the app.”

But there is still a need to know what sorts of things are out there. So today, seven of my favorite places to go to find just the right tool for what you want kids to do. Read more

10 tasks every iPad classroom should be able to do

The Educational and Mobile Learning site highlighted a great step by step iPad task tutorial by the folks over at iSupport. They outline five tasks that “every modern teacher” should be able to do and use in their classrooms.

It’s a great list:

  • A PDF
  • A presentation
  • An interactive book
  • A podcast
  • A movie

I really like how they put together an easy way to see how using iPad tools can lead kids through low level to high levels of thinking and doing.

But the list isn’t comprehensive. And it might start past the point where some teachers are right now.

So I’ve added five extra iPad basic skills that I think every teacher using iPads needs to have: Read more

5 things to remember when using educational apps

June used to be the slow month. School got out. I’d grab a book and a cool beverage. Play some softball. Do a little life guarding at the pool. Drive to the mountains for a week. If you’re old enough, you probably remember that sort of summer.

Now?

June is a busy month for many educators. Conferences. End of the year professional learning. Curriculum alignment. Standards training. In my case, June is full of mobile devices training. Over the next six weeks or so, I get the chance to spend time with a variety of folks around the country, working with schools that have latched onto the idea of tablets, clouding computing, and educational apps.

But in the rush to get the latest shiny tools, I think it’s easy sometimes to forget that the end in mind is teaching and learning, not the gadgets. So today a few things to remember when using apps in the classroom: Read more

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