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Posts tagged ‘ipad’

Google Classroom moves to mobile world

I’ve been toying with Google Classroom since it came out last fall. And despite a brief breakup with Google due a serious lapse on their part to send me a beta invite, I  really think that Classroom has a ton of uses and potential. Teachers apparently think the same thing – 30 million assignments have been uploaded to Classroom since it came out five months ago.

Much of my conversation with teachers concerning Classroom is that Google has a habit of releasing a tool and then upgrading as time goes along. they seem to be following the same pattern with Classroom. Yesterday they released mobile versions of Classroom for both iOS and Android and made a few minor adjustments to their web-based version.

There are some pretty sweet features that make the mobile app very handy, especially from the student side. 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.

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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

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

Robots, iPads, and museums. Oh my!

There’s nothing like a good history museum. Interactive displays. Interesting artifacts. Knowledgeable docents. Done well, a museum visit is not just a good time but can be an incredible learning experience.

That’s sort of the point, isn’t it? Especially if I’m a classroom teacher. Having students connect with evidence and explore possible theories in an environment specifically designed to support learning is something we all want for our kids.

And most history museums work very hard to find ways to get teachers and students into their buildings. The artifacts are there. The docents are there. The resources are there.

But more and more school districts are struggling to fund off-site field trips to history museums. Subs, entrance fees, fuel costs all add to make it difficult to get kids from schools into places like the Kansas History Museum. And so many museums,  have been forced to develop a variety of tools that attempt to replicate actual visits.

They create and ship out traveling trunks. Create and post lesson plans online. use photos and videos to give a sense of artifacts and displays. Many museums are experimenting with online chats using Skype or Google Hangout.

Museum and Education Director Mary Madden and her staff at the Kansas Museum of History have done all of that. Their Traveling Trunks are very cool. The Read Kansas cards are a great example of practical and aligned lesson plans that focus on literacy and social studies.

But two days ago, Mary stepped into a whole new world. Together with Curriculum Specialist Marcia Fox, Mary led Read more

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

Mobile Google upgrade: Slides for iOS completes the trifecta

Yeah, I know. Not the most engaging title. But it’s been a busy day so . . . just a little brain dead.

But not so dead that I can’t appreciate the coolness of the latest update from Google. Back in the day of the first iPad and even into the iPad 2, Google Docs wasn’t really an option. Stuff didn’t work well on the browser version and there wasn’t an usable app. But over time, you just knew Google would step it up.

And with the move from Google Docs to Google Drive and separate apps form Docs, Sheets, and Slides, Google is truly back in business on mobile devices. Yesterday, they added the Slides app to the iTunes App Store so that iPad and iPhone users now have access to all of the Google Drive Big Three. (You Android folks have had this for a few weeks.)

With the launch of the Slides app for iPhone & iPad and updates to the Docs and Sheets apps, they’re delivering on an earlier promise to make it possible for you to work with any file, on any device, any time.

Here’s the skinny from the Google folks on the latest update:

Read more

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