Tuesday, February 26, 2013

17 Apps my teachers are using right now...

Below, you will find various resources my faculty of teachers have found helpful with regard to apps for classroom use. Many of these are associated with the teacher who recommends it. If you have questions, feel free to shoot them a Direct Message. They are very helpful!

1). Appitic (Thanks to @amsd2dth)

2). edmodo - Social Networking for the classroom (Thanks to @ams2dth)

3). Prezi - the new way to present

4). Pick Me for iPhone (Thanks to @wcsSSTMSkes)- a techy way to implement "equity sticks' for classroom mangament.

5). Dragon dictation - use this for struggling readers. (Thanks to @wcsSSTMSskd)

6). Too Noisy - a noise level meter for the classroom. Good for classroom management. (Thanks to @wcsSSTMStan)

7). What's the Word - fun word game.

8). Mad Libs - You know you love this childhood game!!! (Thanks to @wcsSSTMSkll)

9). Evernote - a great way to stay organized with reagrd to documents, note-taking, etc.

10). iStudiezlite (free homework app and a sophisticated student planner)

11). Auto Rap - great for review or warm-ups in order to maximize classroom culture. (Thanks to @wcsSSTMSafh and @bandteachergirl

12). These two are for video editing: 1). StoryCreator 2). Animoto

13). Splashtop2 - maximizes your desktop by allowing you to display your desktop computer straight to your tablet (TIP: SplashTop2 for Whiteboards, you will need to download the file to your laptop to get the app to work wiht your iPad and Promethean board.) ***Thanks to @wcsSSTMSbsd and @bsbailey

14). Scratch - great for jotting down notes when on the go

15). Teacherkit -  the ultimate classroom teacher's helpful resource

16). Teach

17). Sock Puppets - great and entertaining way to get student's attention and maintain it. (Thanks to  @wcsSSTMSkll)

What are some other apps you have found helpful? Please, list them below so we can all learn from one another.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Apps for personal and professional growth...

"I've got an app for that." This phrase has been uttered by thousands of people over the last few years.

I have been increasingly amazed over the last three years specifically, since late 2009, when apps (not these kind of apps... but real applications for tablets such as the iPad or kindleFire, smartphones such as android and iPhone, and Google apps) really started to take over the personal and professional landscape for many of us.

In fact, there have even been App Store Wars (based off of STAR WARS) that have even made us more aware of the more competitive side of the tech. industry.

Some of my favorite apps that straddle the line of my personal and professional life; giving way to productivity and/or learning in each phase are listed here:

1. Evernote
2. Twitter
3. Stopwatch
4. QRReader

Some other resources which contain lists of many apps for the #edtech classroom for which I utilize are listed here:

1. All the Good Apps Fit on One Screen
2. The 16 Apps and Tools worth Trying this Year
3. 10 iPad Apps to Enhance Critical Thinking teachers should not Miss
4. 25 Minecraft Creations that will Blow Your Mind

Some apps I have recently discovered that show great potential for the classroom are:

1. Vine
2. Minecraft
3. Whirly Word
4. Ruzzle

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Learning technology is like the Super Bowl

Do you want to laugh? Watch the commercials. Do you want to be entertained? Watch the halftime show. Do you want to cheer? Watch the game.

The largest viewing audience in the history of American television, known as the Super Bowl, comes into living rooms each winter with one thing in mind... to suck you in. To absorb you into the NFL's marketing plan. And... guess what, just like over a third of the United States (over 100 million people nationwide), I am just as guilty. Why? Because I, just like most of us, enjoy being "part of the game." The innovators, the leaders, the movers and shakers jump into the game, into the action, into the conversation.

In schools today, we need these same individuals to jump into the game of technology. We need to become absorbed into the facets of social media, gamification, digital learning, and the fast-moving world that technology has created. Why? Our students are depending on it. Our future depends on it.

I am amazed each time I encourage, teach, tutor my teachers in the form of a new technology. Specifically, I am amazed at the teachers who "jump into the game" and self-teach themselves to tweet, to post, to blog, to search, to create, to discover something new in terms of how to deliver content. These teachers do not allow fear to rule the day. These educators take risks, they "punch fear in the face" and dive in, they leap, they fail only to learn from the failures and mistakes. I love it!

Gone are the days of sit-n-get technology instruction. Technology is coming in the form of user-friendly apps that one just needs to start using. I tell several of my colleagues to just start using... assimilate... that is the best teacher. If you are an educator, I implore you to learn a new technology medium and learn on a frequent basis. I try to choose one technology per month. I am not an expert. However, I refuse to be left behind. My recipe is very simple. The way to learn is easy as 1-2-3. Here is my recommendation:

1). Choose a technology medium (twitter, QR codes, blogging, instagram, prezi, pinterest, Vine, or anything else you see that has potential in the classroom)

2). Now... sign up for the one you choose and start using it. Do not fear it... you will probably mess up a few times, but who is keeping count? Just keep using it. You will get the hang of it.

3). Ask questions. Let down your guard and ask other users of the medium you chose for suggestions, recommendations, or tips. The hundreds, thousands, millions of users can help you out. You'd be amazed at the amount of help that is out there.

Go ahead... try it. What are you waiting for? What is getting in your way?