Hi. My name is Glenn and I’m an Apple nerd.
I haven’t yet crossed the line to join the semi-crazed, standing in line for days to get the latest Apple shiny tool, Cupertino logo t-shirt wearing, sweat-stained towel thrown to the audience during Apple WWDC by the late Steve Jobs owning, theme song singing Apple cult.
I’m not saying it won’t happen. But so far . . . I haven’t jumped on the loony Apple fan train.
But I really do love my iPad / iPhone / Macbook combo and how they all work together. The ease of use, the simple flow of information, the look and feel. It’s all pretty sweet.
And no. I have not played much with the Surface or other tablet options. Or spent a ton of time with Chromebooks. But I am open to the idea that other options and choices are available. And next week, I’ll share some device agnostic tools that work across platforms. But today . . . it’s all Apple. Because I’m convinced that I’ve found the perfect trifecta of iOS creation tools.
So if you’re not an iPad user or thinking about using iPads, feel free to move along. Nothing to see here.
If you’re an Apple nerd and still hanging around, you know that the perfect trifecta should include creation tools that focus on visual, textual, and auditory elements. And yes. All three of the trifecta are able to combine video, text, and audio into a final product. But each of the following tools focus on a particular element – providing you and students to select just the right tool for the required task.
So here ya go . . . Read more
You gotta love the Twitter. Seriously. Even you choose to not use it at a personal level, there’s just too much stuff you and students can do with it.
Historical re-creations. Tweets as historical characters. Exit card activities. Assign homework. Virtual study rooms. Question and answer sessions with students. Connect with parents. With other teachers. With other classrooms. Provide study tips. Ask questions. Share ideas. Real time chats. Follow breaking news and current events.
History as haiku. Read more
Okay. I know that movies about teachers rarely tell the whole story. You know the ones I’m talking about – movies like:
- Stand and Deliver
- Freedom Writers
- Dangerous Minds
- Mr. Holland’s Opus
- Lean On Me
They rarely show the hours of grading, the phone calls from parents, IEP meetings, kids throwing up on your shoes, music program practice, endless committees, extra duties, coaching – though there does always seem to be some sort of happy ending.
But ya know . . . I still enjoy ‘em. My favorite? Dead Poets Society. Maybe because the ending is not quite as sugar-coated as the others. But what really sells it is Robin Williams’ poetry speech. You remember. Apple recently came out with a sweet commercial that uses the speech to see iPads.
I’ve been pushing the use of poetry as a high-quality instructional tool for a while now. Poetry incorporates much of what we know encourages high levels of learning – emotion, stories, word pictures, connection to content. And it hits tons of the Common Core literacy standards for History/Government. So Williams’ Dead Poets speech resonates.
One idea that I’ve been sharing with teachers but never really written about before is the concept of Blackout Poetry. But a recent post by Larry Ferlazzo describing The New York Times new online version of the strategy was a sign.
So. Here we are. Read more
I’ve been planning to talk about Thinglink for months. I had the chance to learn more about this last spring and, well . . . I just haven’t gotten to it. I’ve been busy. The dog ate my homework. The internet was down. There was football to watch. There was basketball to watch.
Basically I pushed it to a back burner, told myself that I would play with it some more, and never did.
But I was reminded today at MACE 14 about how cool Thinglink is and all of the awesome stuff you can do with it. So today a quick review and sample.
Thinglink is an online tool that lets you and your students Read more
it’s the first morning of the Presidential Timeline’s Ford Institute and I am pumped! There are 20 of us here in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the Gerald Ford Presidential Library. Our task for the next four days? Working to share ideas and strategies to improve the teaching of social studies.
A few goals during the institute:
- gaining historical content knowledge
- strengthening our pedagogical skills
- getting better at the use of technology
And we started with a couple of basic overarching questions:
- How is knowledge constructed in social studies?
- What strategies work?
So . . . as I’m working to create curriculum and learning more about how to use it, I’ll also try and share what us history geeks come up with.
Head over to the institute’s resource page. We’ll be adding to this as we go along. So be sure to refresh the page often. Let the fun begin!
We started with a simple knowledge activation exercise using Prezi. Ryan Crowley, part of the Presidential Timeline team, created a shared Prezi and asked us to add content to it. His guiding questions? Read more