Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘apps’

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

Holiday Goodie Rerun VIIII: 8 tech tools that encourage literacy skills

I’m sure most of you are doing the same thing I’m doing right now. Spending time with family and friends, watching football, catching up on that book you’ve been dying to read, eating too much, and enjoying the occasional nap.

Between now and the first week in January, you’ll get a chance to re-read some of the top posts of 2014. I may decide to jump in with something current but if I don’t, enjoy this Holiday Goodie rerun.

————-

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.

Reading so it’s possible to

  • evaluate an argument or claim
  • determine the main idea, identifying and analyzing evidence, relationships, and supporting details
  • comprehend complex and difficult text
  • identify and evaluate critical information communicated in multiple forms of media

Writing clearly and coherently

  • to make an argument using evidence, logic, and reasoning
  • to tell a story
  • by applying the appropriate technologies for the purpose and audience
  • by gathering multiple sources of information and integrating them into short and long term 
projects

Communicating effectively by

  • preparing and collaborating with diverse partners
  • designing and delivering a presentation on a specific topic
  • presenting information and evaluation to others in a manner that is not totally written text
  • using multiple modes of communication

I know that these lists don’t include the entire package of skills that some states and districts are asking us to check off. But they cover a lot of ground. And the following tools Read more

Graphite: Your search is over

Looking for a handy site that helps you locate useful apps, games, and websites that also provides ratings and reviews? That also includes teacher feedback? That has awesome search and sorting functions? That organizes all of its goodies by Common Core – giving you the chance to find activities aligned to ELA literacy standards for history?

Then, yes. You are in the right place.

What you’re looking for is called Graphite

. . . a free service from nonprofit Common Sense Education designed to help preK-12 educators discover, use, and share the best apps, games, websites, and digital curricula for their students by providing unbiased, rigorous ratings and practical insights from our active community of teachers.

 Their team of professional educators – early childhood development experts, doctorates in education, and teachers with hands-on classroom experience – rates each website, game, and app on Graphite based on their detailed rubric. Every product on Graphite is rigorously reviewed to dig deeper into what and how your students will learn with it.

Start with the basics. Head straight to their Top Picks for Social Studies.

graphite top picks

Reviews & Ratings

After the basics, try it yourself. Head to the Reviews & Ratings, adjust your search parameters, and find useful stuff. Be sure to also check out the Field Notes – specific feedback by teachers who’ve use the tool.

Common Core

Get Graphite’s aligned to Common Core ELA literacy standards by grade and content here.

App Flows

An App Flow is an interactive framework tool that enables teachers to seamlessly flow apps, websites, and games throughout lessons. Starting with the familiar five-part lesson plan, an App Flow provides scaffolding to think with purpose about where, why, and how to integrate digital tools for learning into the curriculum.

The flow follows five teaching components:

  • Hook
  • Direct Instruction
  • Guided Practice
  • Independent Practice
  • Wrap Up

Teachers choose individual apps, games, or websites that match each component. Find the social studies App Flow here.

Webinars

Want to hear from teachers about the best apps, websites, and games for learning? Join Graphite for Appy Hour, a monthly series where they discuss their favorites from Top Picks Lists, have teachers demonstrate a selection of tools, and share ideas on how to use them with students.

And when you’re done all of that, start over. Cause there’s sure to be something new by then.

 

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,179 other followers