March Break Reading: iPads in the Classroom by Annalisa Kelly

Via Lisa Johnson’s page

Forget that new thriller, or the steamy new fifty shades book. Whether you or lying on a beach or cuddling up by a nice fire in a chalet or simply camping out on your couch this March Break, why not cozy up with the ibook, iPads in the Classroom by Annalisa Kelly?

“This publication is an essential beginner’s reference for teachers at all levels of primary and secondary schooling, inclusive of special needs, regular stream and gifted students, who are intending to use, or are currently using, iPads and other iOS devices (iPods, etc) to augment their lessons. ” iTunes description

photoThe beginning chapters focus more on the whys and whats of iPads in the classroom, citing studies about student and iPad. However, there are a few interesting tidbits that I want to look into, such as the volume purchase program and this neat feature of ibooks which I had no idea about:



Check it out!

rAPPido Review: Sound Uncovered

Attention all science and music teachers (and other scientifically curious individuals: You have to check Sound Uncovered out!

Price: free

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 9.19.06 AMI was scanning the email from the itunes app store to see if there was anything new and interesting and I cam across this app created by the San Francisco Exploratorium (and if winter is not enough to make you want to go to the west coast right now, this interactive museum of science and art would be enough to get you to browse airline tickets).

I learned two new things in the couple of minutes I spent browsing and playing around with their well-designed activities.

Here are a few screenshots:



So I spent a couple of minutes pressing each key and marvelling how the notes seemed to keep on rising. Here is the explanation:



Here is the Table of Contents:



Easy- to use, uncluttered interface, accessible explanations and fun interactive exercises, this is an amazing app with a lot of potential for some fun in-class exercises!

Lesson Plan: Embedding Visuals Into Teaching and Learning

Via Langwitches

As the teacher advisor for the school’s online magazine, I encounter certain perennial issues (and yes, quality of the writing is one of them and no that is not what I am going to talk about right now). My writer’s send me a large block of text and think they are done.  They don’t take advantage of the advantages of an online form: they don’t hyperlink text that could be linked to more information. And they hardly ever add visuals. I was talking to the teacher in charge of the grade eleven integrative project and she was telling me the same thing about the students who chose to start blogs- they think they are done once they plug in their text.

It just occurred to me that this problem might stem from the fact that they view articles as static pieces, as assignments to give to their teachers.

So when I read this article from Ed Tech Guru Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano it struck a chord:

Screen shot 2013-02-22 at 8.09.32 AM


This is not the first time I hear about Haiku Deck– am most definitely going to give it a try!


Food for Thought Wednesday: Seth Godin and 10,000 Kinds of Education

I am a big fan of Seth Godin. I subscribe to his blog and even use one of his quotes as a guideline for my own professional life. The following Ted Talk is worth watching if only for some of his more controversial statements: “open book, open notes all the time. Anything worth memorizing is worth looking up.” But really he asks the main question: What is school for?

Although he spends the first half talking about the same timeline Sir Ken Robinson does in his amazing Changing Education Paradigms, the second half of Godin’s talk is devoted to his prescriptions for the future of education.

Check it out and let the conversation begin!

Learnflow? A thoughtful article musing on the journey to fluency

Via Langwitches

Just came across this thoughtful exploration of the process by which we learn a new skill:

I have been intrigued with the relationship of being skilled, literate and fluent in the Digital World for a while. We are focusing at school to look through the lens of fluency using technology as tools (e.g. using the iPad as the device and apps as the tool to achieve fluency), not as the end. I am wondering if the word “fluency” in the digital world, sparks the same thoughts or activates the background definition in other educators? I have heard others in the edubloggersphere use the word “workflow” instead of “fluency”.

Workflow is defined by Wikipedia as:

The sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.

The world “workflow” c-o-u-l-d work, but still does not sound right. What about a LEARNflow? The goal in education is for our students to learn, to become life long learners and do do so unconsciously, smoothly and [as] effortlessly [as possible]… I am still mulling over the semantics here… Your input is appreciated… Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

The main point is that our end goal is not simply literacy but fluency. She also has a pretty darn fancy slideshow to go with this:

Check it out!