Round Up: iPad Lesson Plan Ideas and Templates continued…

The weather sucks and March Break is a distant memory. The time worm hole that is the last three months of school has begun in earnest and all the activities are converging like piranhas on an unsuspecting swimmer. So you can be forgiven for not having time to think up ideas of how you can use the iPad effectively in your classroom.

But never fear, oh tired and overworked teachers! I have gathered on this here blog a webliography of blogs,!s, websites, podcasts, interests and all other weird and wonderful social media with tons of ideas for you.

  1. Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything

Holy moly. Ms. Schrock has a comprehensive (or as comprehensive as you can get in this weird and wonderful web world)

on everything iPads  in the Classroom. From lesson plans, to Bloom’s taxonomy, from iPad tips and tricks to how to evaluate an app, this site has many, many useful links. Have a look.

Sidenote: Bloom. Now, not being a teacher, I have never heard of this until I started researching iPads in Education. But in terms of guidelines for planning an iPad lesson, this seems very useful: Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, Creating. RUAAEC. Hmmm. We might have to work on the acronym…

2. Lisa Johnson’s iPad lesson Pinterest


Now, I have reposted many of Lisa Johnson’s ideas on this blog before. The nice thing about her pinterest, or pinterest in general, is that you can browse the images of the lesson plans, and the brief text. If you want to know more, you can click on the link below the image.

3. iPad lesson ideas:! Curated by Lisa Nash!s are a great idea. I might even one day make one, if ever I can get my act together… but then again, why re-invent the wheel when people like Ms. Nash are doing such a great job! Here you will find a gallery of ideas taken from different blogs and websites, all describing different iPad lesson plans!

Of special interest is a collection of links on iPad lesson templates:

One of the more useful links, if you want a more simple template is on John Larkin’s blog in the Resources section. However it is a PDF so you have no choice but to print it out to use it. Here is how it looks like:

4. iPad in Education Sample Lessons

Here is a very basic google.sites page to compliment a series of workshops on the iPad in education. This is how the sample lessons look like:

I like these because the ideas are simple and easy to implement. This one especially would work very well for the French project about famous people.

Hope this gets the brain juices stirring! And as always, if you have any questions, concerns, threat of mental breakdowns due to technical problems, please don’t hesitate to contact me!


iPad Lesson Rubric

To help you with your iPad lesson needs, here is a rubric template I found for an iPad lesson:

Or, in other words, to  help get you in the iPad lesson “frame” of mind.

Here’s another one:

I know. I crack myself up, I really do…


rAPPido Review: Apps for the Music Dunce

Which would be me. In an attempt to correct my youthful folly of never practising my piano, I have availed myself of a grouping that gave my 4 piano lessons for cheap. Now the only reasons why I bought this is an unrealistic fit of optimism regarding time and the fact that the music studio was literally five minutes away on foot.

To my surprise though I am enjoying it. Though I don’t have much time to practise, I relish the ties I do. However, I am quickly realizing the large, crater-sized gaps in my knowledge when it comes to, well, anything related to actually understanding how music works. Oh, I can still read notes (though barely) but timing, the niceties of articulation, any music terminology and theory has been wiped out of my brain in the twenty or so odd years of doing other things.

Pro Metronome

You will not be surprised to hear that the iPad has proved invaluable to me during this re-introduction. I use this metronome app to help me keep time. It is free and you have the choice of several time signatures. If you were to use the full version you could also change the tone and the flash, but I don’t care enough. I just want to figure out how to not speed up…

I also use youtube on my iPad so that I can stop and hear someone who knows what they are doing play the song I am massacring. What did people ever do without youtube? The great thing about the iPad is that I can proper it right beside my music and play along… here is the piece I am currently working on (and yes, poor Tchaikovsky writhes in his grave every time my indelicate fingers touch the keyboard):

My music teacher is also trying to feed me a steady diet of music theory with terms  that invoke rings of power and magical geometries such as the Circle of fifths, and relative minors. I nod and try to look as if he isn’t speaking an ancient dialect of Vulcan, but I don’t think I succeed. I am not a very good actor.

So, in order to prepare for my last lesson tonight (I would continue, but it so happens my teacher is moving to Toronto, the Quebec bureaucracy having claimed another victim) I have bought two apps to help me with music theory.

The first, Wolfram Music Theory Course Assistant, will probably help in the future when I know enough to even use the reference. However, because it is neatly arranged in categories, and does not have a search field, it is a little too advanced for me.

Price: $1.99

Terms such as accidentals. interval inversions, and I could go on and on and on, are not explained so I don’t even know where to look. However, I aspire to have this app be useful once I know a little more.

However, there are certain aspects of the app that are useful. For example, in the chords section, they show you a visual of what notes belong to what chords or scale, and you can even listen to how it sounds:

But alas, I have no idea what the four means. You see? It is like attempting to write a speech in Russian…

As well, there is no glossary of symbols. If I see a squiggly line on the page, or a note with a dot to the side and not on the top, I won’t know what that means, or even what section to look in. I don’t know if it for articulation, or tempo or if it is just some insane whim of the composer, the way testers like to use emoticons when clearly one is not needed.

So, given my very beginning level, this app is of limited use to me.

Theory Lessons

So, on went my search for a more basic theory app. I stumbled upon music’s Theory Lessons.

Price: $1.99

With a very simple interface, where the Table of Contents scrolls down from very basic to more advanced, this is what I am looking for- somebody to explain to me in very clear terms what an accidental is. Oh!!!!

I just figure it out! They are just talking about either a flat or a sharp! Why didn’t they just say so?

I also bought a ukelele for my daughters during the break, and we use the iPad to help us tune it and show us the chords with these two apps:

Price: free

Tuner! Price: Free

Here’s to the iPad helping me get some music in my life- hopefully it will stick this time.

What’s New in the iPad in Education World


2. iPad in Education: Sample Lessons: hear are a few sample lessons to get you started using the iPad in the classroom.

3. To compliment the photo essay post:

Stories through images

View more PowerPoint from Ben Grey
Most have already been reviewed on this blog, but it is good the reminded of them, just in case you haven’t looked at them yet!

In Honour of the Hunger Games

My daughter turns eleven tomorrow ( I know. I am old.) As her luck would have it, her birthday coincides with the biggest movie buzz of the year so far, the Hunger Games. We’ve listened to the book as a family (road trips and audio books are a great match- just saying) and she just finished reading it on her own.

Tonight she is having a couple friends come to sleep over and tomorrow we are going to see the movie. Of course, her party is a Hunger Games theme. The girls are going to dress up as characters from the book. I am going to recreate the training arena with a few stations of my own.

But in my preparations, I realized my iPad will play a big part.

Use #1: One of the training stations in the book is a plant identification station where the tributes must identify edible plants and poisonous plants. Though I couldn’t really do that (none of the girls would be able to ID any of the plants) I did find a survival test app as well as a more in depth survival quiz on the internet. Apparently, if I ever find myself stranded in a desert, I would surely die….

Use #2: In the book, all Tributes must be interviewed on television. They are dressed up all fancy like little killer puppets and paraded around. I plan to give the girls some time to dress up and then will interview them after their training sessions. Obviously, I will use the iPad for this. And, of course, I couldn’t call myself a mother if I didn’t document the whole event with photos and video! When the party is over and I have all the footage and images, I will refer to yesterday’s post and put them all to ether for a Tribute souvenir!

Use #3: I just found a Hunger Games Trivia app (price $0.99). Because there are only four girls, I will buy some chocolate eggs or other treats that will rain down on them like the gifts from sponsors every time they get a question right. It is a three strikes you’re out sort of deal… (I was out very soon- I need to re-read the books.


Use #4: The sleepover takes place in our living room, which means my husband and I won’t have access to the computer where we watch most of our media. Which means my husband and I will be holed up in our room, avoiding the crazy pre-pubescent energy and chick flicks, and watching Jon Stewart on the iPad through the CTV app (price: free) or perhaps a movie on our Netflix (Price: free if you have an account).

May the odds be ever in your favour this weekend!


Lesson Plan: How to make a Photo Essay on the iPad

A couple of days ago I was having a conversation with Ms. English Teacher, who was asking about the possibility of using the iPads for her photo essay unit for her Grade 9 class.

Now, it just so happens that this March Break, my kids and I went around our neighbourhood taking photos for our own photo essays. One daughter used her iPod touch, the other used a digital camera and her phone, and I used my iPad.

Which meant that I had the perfect batch of photos sitting in my camera roll ready to be put in an essay!

Of course, the problem is finding just the right app for such a project.

I wanted to find something that resembled this:

Katrina Photo essay App

The criteria:

1. That you should be able to import from the camera roll.

2. That there isn’t any maximum number of photos you can plug into your essay.

3. You should be able to add photo descriptions to the images that will be visible in slideshow mode.

4. That you can either import it into iMovie, or directly to youtube. Or alternatively, make it into an epub that you could then email your teacher.

5. Editing capabilities,and sound options would be an asset, though not totally necessary for this project (you can edit your photos in the camera roll and there is no sound component to this project.)


So. After way too long looking for the perfect tool, then enlisting the help of Miss tech Guru, we (okay. she.) found ReelDirector. As its name suggests, it is used for editing videos, but works nicely for our purposes.

Price: $1.99

ReelDirector imports your photos from your Photo Library and then allows you to add text directly to the photo:

Although you don’t have many options in terms of style, you do have a few:

You can add as many photos if you want, though you can’t edit them in ReelDirector. Once you are done you can upload it to youtube, save to camera roll or email it, though it might be too large a file for that). But you also have the option to compress your file if you want,

so that might help.

Miss English Teacher also wanted her students to be able to add effects to their photos. Though you can’t do that in Reeldirector, you can use Pixlromatic which has a wide array of special effects, from turning your photo black and white to a sort of retro 70s polaroid, to overlaying themes and choosing funky borders:

However, I didn’t want to use any special effects for my photo essay so the above is just an example.

Here is the final product. I only described a few photos due to the fact that this took way longer than I would have liked (mostly finding the app- not the actual plugging in the photos), but I wanted to give you an idea of how it looks.

There you go! Easy as pie once you find the right tool.

rAPPido Review: Khan Academy App

Have you heard about the Khan academy? If not, you are either a luddite, or too distracted by images of snookie in a bathing suit to pay attention to the educational video phenomena sweeping the internet.

Price: free

Here is a TED talk with Salman Khan:

And in a related digression, our favourite Traf Reads author John Green is also in the middle of extending his youtube dominion to educational videos on their youtube channel, Crash Course.

Okay. But back to the Khan Academy. Do your students need a pithy little reminder about the basics of trigonometry? Send them the Khan app (or you can do it the old school way through the computer and youtube:

All of his videos are available on this app which is  packaged in neat little categories:

And subcategories:

And sub subcategories:

The app is accessible, intuitive, nicely designed and most importantly of all, free, so check it out and tell your students!



BREAKING NEWS! Garageband now talks to iMovie!

What a wonderful Spring surprise! The weather is beautiful, we are all rested from our two weeks off and the good people at Apple have applied some therapeutic pressure to the relationship between imovie and garageband on the iPad! Do you think they read my open letter?

I choose to believe it is all my doing.

Here is the new lowdown on the updated Garageband on the Apple website.

And here is my very, very shoddy little movie using a recording from garageband. I will have to play around with it more to understand it, but for right now I just wanted to show that making a track in Garageband and  sticking it into your iMovie is now EASY PEASY!

I am so happy now I could cartwheel home.

I won’t though, ’cause I’m old. And there is a lot of dog poo on the sidewalk.

rAppido Review: Activity Snack

Along with the crisis in Syria, Global Warming, the political climate of our fair country, my children, the skinny jean fashion, etc. I worry a lot about my sedentary job and how it is negatively affecting my health, and consequently and worse, my productivity. I am all about productivity, yo. I have lists and feel an inchoate joy when I get to cross things off of it.  But my work takes place mostly on the computer, which means I am sitting for the better part of the day.

Now, this is a new anxiety, born out of articles like this one and this one that claim our sedentary life styles are killing us. And, as if the experts were speaking directly to me, they say that even if you exercise like a maniac in the morning, but then sit down at a desk all day, you are taking years off your life.

Huh. There goes my smugness.

But I think I knew this. At the end of most days, my legs are as swollen as a juicebox left out in the sun (you will know this phenomena if you have ever had young kids). I am sluggish. And lately, I can barely stay awake after lunch.

I am sure that many of you are undergoing the same thing, with your hours and hours of grading and comment-making.


My first stop? the iPad! I have a couple of friends who have installed on their computer an application that shuts it down at different periods of the day as a forced reminder to get up and do some exercises for a few minutes.

Now that is kind of drastic, so I thought I would see if there is anything similar for the iPad. You know- a gentle little ding ding?

And that is where I found Activity Snack.

Although it is more then just a tool to remind you when to get up and move around (tear yourself away from that screen! tear yourself away from it, I say!), that is the one I am more interested in for work.

But as you can see, you can keep track of all your activities, as well as map them (I really never understood this-I know where I am for the most part, why does my ipad need to know?). To set your reminders, tap on Settings, then on Days and choose the days you want to be reminded to get your butt out of the chair:


Then set the time you want to be reminded and save:

Unfortunately, each time you set a reminder, you have to re-do the days.

So I set a reminder for 9:20 and got a little ping. I decided to walk around the school, doing all of the stairs and all of the hallways. I chose walking from the menu:

I timed myself:

It took me four and a half minutes, which they rounded out to five. I also tried the submit a past exercise:

And voilà!

My only critique would be that you can’t change the sound of the alarm for the reminders- it would be helpful if it was different from the others so that you can’t ignore it. As it is now, the reminder is small and the sound unobtrusive:

See? The reminder might not be enough…