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Posts from the ‘handhelds’ Category

Tip of the Week: Social Studies Simulations for Sharing list

I’m not exactly clear on how and where I ran across the Social Studies Simulations for Sharing Google Doc. I’m pretty sure that Shawn McCusker, one of the original founders of the awesome #sschat hashtag / website and social studies edtech guru, created the document back in 2012. The list splashed back on the interwebs just before the 2015 holiday break and, after apparently spending the last few years watching reruns of the West Wing, I finally became aware of it.

The research behind the use of engaging learning activities such as video games and online simulations is pretty clear. More and more teachers are using these types of tools as part of their instructional design. Read more

Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery

The Smithsonian has always been one of my favorite museum / museums. I suppose a person could add up how many museums, exhibits, and collections they have but who has that kind of time?

There is just so much you can interact with onsite but they also have an incredible online presence. And now, via a handy email from the iTunes people, I just found out that they’ve entered the mobile app world.

The iTunes App Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery is their latest cool tool. From the app description:

Ever wondered what it’s like to work at the Smithsonian? With the sudden and curious departure of her last intern, Museum Curator Isabella Wagner needs your help solving a mystery dating back to the Civil War. Could there be ghosts trapped in the basement of the National Museum of American History? Read more

Free Library of Congress eBooks for students

As more and more schools are moving away from paper textbooks and materials, teachers are working to answer the obvious question:

where can I find digital resources appropriate for kids?

If you and your building are using Mac computers or IOS devices such as iPads or iPods, at least part of the answer is the Library of Congress. The folks over there recently released six free iBooks that can be quickly downloaded and are perfect for having students interact with primary source evidence.

The Student Discovery Sets bring together historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind documents on a wide range of topics, from history to science to literature. Based on the Library’s Primary Source Sets, these new iBooks have built-in interactive tools that let students zoom in, draw to highlight details, and conduct open-ended primary source analysis.

(Aren’t an Apple school? The LOC is still an awesome place to find online and digital resources.)

The six books, Read more

You’re bringing whiteboard markers to a gun fight

I’ve talked about this in the past. Both the positive impact of technology on learning and the ability of tech to create distracted students who have difficulty thinking deeply.

I admit I’m still torn. I get it from both sides – many of my colleagues are strong supporters of tech in the classroom, of back channels, of hashtags during instruction.  And I would probably fall on that side of the argument. I do multiple tech integration workshops every semester. I’m planning a Chromebook / GAFE mini-conference. I worked with a group of folks this morning learning how to best use the Adobe Voice iPad app. I’m writing a blog post on a site titled History Tech for heaven’s sake.

But I’m running into more and more classroom teachers who are starting to be wary of the tech. There has been some interesting research about how the misuse of technology can screw with deep thinking skills and how the use of social media can be addictive. And a recent article by Clay Shirkey lays out a pretty persuasive argument for a tech naked learning environment.

So I’m torn. 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

The perfect iPad creation trifecta: iMovie, Storehouse, and Voice

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.

Yet.

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