Tips for Using Siri Dictation


I am not one for dictation, at least not while I type faster than I talk ( and tend to be more coherent that way) but here is another awesome video by the people at with great tips on how to use siri dictation:

If you would rather just see the transcript of the tips, you click here for the original article.Still, I recommend you watch the video to see how you can incorporate the tips into your dictation!

Privacy Commissioner Launches Privacy Mobile Application

Via Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada 

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) today launched myPRIVACYapp, a mobile application designed to educate users on how to better protect personal information on their mobile devices.

Mobile devices such as smart phones, laptops and tablets have rapidly become part of daily life. And while these tools offer tremendous convenience and keep us connected, they can hold massive amounts of our personal information.

The myPRIVACYapp is free and available for download on Apple, Android and Blackberry devices.

This is a nice effort on the part of the privacy commissioner to address the need for education when it comes to privacy and our mobile devices. It is extremely basic though as the following screenshots will show:

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 9.10.57 AM

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 9.11.21 AM


Notye: the app is made for mobile phones so when you are in the app store, make sure you are looking in the iphone section not the iPad section- it won’t show up if you do.

Still, in terms of educating our young ones, this would be an excellent app to use in terms of getting them to take some basic, practical steps in thinking about their privacy.

Oh and they also sent me a graphic novel about privacy- come check it out! And they have a video which pretty much sums up what we have been talking about in terms of mindful use of technology:

All this Privacy commissioner stuff is making me think it is time to revisit this issue with our students. Although I know they’ve heard it before (I know because I told them) I think it is like telling your kids they need to clean their room- repetition is key to success…

The Infinite Possibility of Trading Cards

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 8.16.55 AMVia Techchef4u

Lisa Johnson reviews the app Trading Cards in this post:

I have been a huge fan of Read Write Think’s interactives for some time. Naturally, I was ecstatic when they started releasing app versions of them. One of my favorites is the FREE Trading Card app. The app allows for multiple student logins (which is perfect for classrooms using a shared iClassroom model) and boasts 7 different templates (fictional person, real person, fictional place, real place, object, event, and vocabulary.) Naturally, one can see the potential for this app across the curriculum and with multiple grade levels.Techchef4u

Although she focuses on how one of her teacher’s used it for a lesson plan in vocabulary, it occurs to me you could use the fictional character template for the novels you are reading or the “real place” template for Geography.

Here are your options:

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 8.21.28 AM

And here is a template for a real person:


The App is free and the cards can be saved to photos and sent by email.

Five Best iPad Keyboards

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 11.09.39 AMVia lifehacker

Although it is not necessary to attach a keyboard to your iPad, many students find it easier to use. Although my daughter spent most of last year without one, she finally did ask if we could purchase a keyboard for her this year. The assignments are a little longer, there is more writing and well, a keyboard was just easier for her.

So I went to Best Buy and Future shop and was confronted with a whole bunch of different keyboards and no idea which one to choose (we ended up getting on that was not on this list but is solar powered- it seems to be working fine).


If you are in the same position, here are a five keyboards with excellent reviews :

The iPad is a great tablet for many things, but not all of us consider it a solid productivity tool. Nothing is further from the truth: you can get some real work done with the right tools, and a decent wireless keyboard or keyboard case can help. This week, we’re going to take a look at five of the best iPad keyboards, based on your nominations.

Earlier in the week, we asked you to nominate the best iPad keyboards out there, whether they connect directly to the iPad, form a case around the iPad that can be used while the tablet is still inside, or an external dock and case that charges your device while you use it. You gave us a ton of great nominees, but we only have room for the top five. – Lifehacker



How to Overcome the iPad Learning Curve

Via Edudemic

A brief article for those of you who still feel lost in this wobbulous iPad world:

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 8.32.00 AM

Read more…

This article gives you only a couple of links, but they are all good resources to get you started. From an evaluation rubric, to an eBOok guide to iPads in the classroom, if you still haven’t managed to explore the iPad world, this article will give you some good places to start!


The Search for the Perfect Student Agenda App Continued…



This morning while following up on the student agenda app quest, I stumbled upon another option: Euridio. Because Erudio has a free version, I was able to download it and try it out…

Once again, here is my criteria:

  • Easy to use
  • Clean, intuitive interface
  • easy to import schedules
  • It would be great if it could talk to our intranet, but that might be too much to ask.
  • Easy to input assignments
  • Different colours for different classes
  • Alerts for assignments
  • If not free, then cheap
  • Easily synced with your other devices

Easy to use

Yes and No. It took me a while to figure out the hierarchy you need to follow so that it works well. In case you are wondering that hierarchy would be to plug in your academic term –>courses–>then finally, tasks. However, it didn’t take me long to figure it out and once I did things went swimmingly.

Clean, intuitive interface

Yes! Take the Timeline option, for example:



Lovely, warm wood panelling as a background with some nice clean white space for each week. The icons on the left remain no matter what mode you are in.

Easy to import schedules

Here is where Euridio will not do. There is no way to import your schedule that I can find though you can sync your classes with your ical. However the problem is larger than that- when you are plugging in your schedule manually, it only allows you to add a class per day. As we work on a two week schedule, where students have say science on different days during that week, this is a huge problem:



It would be great if it could talk to our intranet, but that might be too much to ask.

Yeah. Not even gonna touch that one…

Different colours for different classes?


Alerts for assignments?

Check. Though you can turn them off. Mr. P was checking out iStudiezpro and found the notifications annoying. But I think this might be a personal preference more than anything….

If not free, then cheap

Yes- there is a free version as I mentioned above which only allows you to manage ten tasks at a time. The paid version is $2.99.

Easily synced with your other devices

Yes- you can sync via iCloud.

Something I have not added to my criteria but is very useful, is the feature available in iStudiezPro and iHomework to add the contact info of your instructors as well as be able to see your iCal in the planner along with what assignments are due that day.

All in all, iStudiezPro is a better option so far…

College students develop apps to help kids with algebra

Via USA Today

Here’s an interesting article about apps designed by college students to help 8th graders get over the algebra stump…

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 8.50.06 AM

Read more

Includes mention of the following apps:

I would love to have the input of a math teacher on this- are these apps helpful? Would you recommend them to your students struggling with algebra?

Let me know!


Check out this collection of Web 2.0 Revising and Editing Tools

Via Lisa Johnson’s

Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 7.56.31 AMMy favourite tech lady has put together this great collection of tools “that can be used for secondary students to support various stages of the writing process: brainstorming, note-taking, revising, and editing”.

It includes cognitive mapping tools such as exploratree (which is web-based and not an app) and popplet (which is an app for the iPad and that I have reviewed here), grammar checking sites, Pdf readers and more.

Check it out!


7 Useful Free eGuides for Your iPad

Screen Shot 2013-01-21 at 9.08.22 AMvia Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

The good people at the  Educational Technology and Mobile Learning have put together this wonderful, annotated list of free eGuides for your iPad.

I have already written about one of them, The Student Guide to Screen Shot 2013-01-21 at 9.08.36 AMiPads and iOS 6, but this list also includes books on Reference guides for students, publishing students’ writing, changing student engagement, lecturing with an iPad and flipping the classroom with the iPad.

Check it out!


Youtube on the iPad: Two Choices

When you downloaded the new ios6 software, you might have noticed that the youtube app that used to come with the ipad disappeared. Poof! Right into thin air.

Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 8.36.03 AM Mr. Dan has sent us a link to an alternative. It is called Jasmine and will let you watch videos full screen. Here is the description from the itunes page:



Jasmine is a full-featured YouTube client for iOS.

★ Retina iPad ★ iPhone 5 Ready ★


– Smooth and responsive interface
– Night theme & dimming support for browsing in low light
– Full support for managing playlists
– Remembers your position when returning to long videos
– Parental Controls to curate content and restrict video discovery (PRO)
– Browse and discover channels
– Post comments and replies
– Aggressive filtering for comment spam and channel promotions
– Supports AirPlay
– Share videos via Twitter & Facebook


Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 8.38.27 AMOr, you could do what I did when I realised my youtube app was missing, and, download the youtube app. Here is the description from iTunes:

Watch the world’s videos and keep up with your favorite YouTube channels with the official YouTube app for iOS. Sign in to access your subscriptions, playlists, uploads and more.

✓ Enjoy YouTube’s vast video catalog
✓ Find videos and channels more easily with voice search and query autocomplete
✓ Subscribe to channels and instantly access your subscriptions with the channel guide UI
✓ Read comments, browse related videos, enable subtitles and more – all while watching
✓ Easy video sharing to Google+, E-mail, Facebook and Twitter

I do like Jasmine’s interface better, but I am a sucker for nice, clean white space. It is easy to use.