Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to the QAIS Easy Tech 101 Conference. The day started out with a Keynote address by Pierre Poulin and François Bourdon from iClasse, a company that specializes in technological professional development training for teachers.

Then we had a short panel with a few students from LCC who talked about how they use the iPad in their classes. Their favourite tool seemed to be iMovie…HUh.

Then we began with the workshops. I attended 3 of them and each gave me something to think about. However, it was a lot of information all at once, so I am going to start with showcasing one new tool at a time.

The first one I want to discuss was presented to me by a sixth grade boy from Selwyn House, during a “speed dating” of applications ( I love the formula of having students present certain tools they’ve been using in the classroom and hope to do something of the kind in our school, so watch out for it!).

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 10.24.07 AMPic Collage

Price: Free

What’s it for: Masking quick and dirty collages on your iPad!

The student had 4 minutes to present the app to us. I was able to follow along with him and in that 4 minutes make my own collage:


Yep. 4 minutes. Now if only I would take my own advice…

It is super easy to use. To begin just tap:

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You can also choose a template, or what I would call a layout…


I chose the template for six photos. Then I have the option to either create text, insert photos or choose a background.


I started with my text:


You have many fun fonts to choose from as well as font colour and background colour. Added options include alignment and size.


Then I added my photos:


You can select several at a time and then move them around with your finger. The template I chose automatically fits the photos into the box. You can choose how it will be cropped, or you can make the image smaller so that the whole thing shows.

Last but not least, I chose a funky background:


Here is the finished product:


You can either share it, or save it to your library and then share it with any app you would like or email it!


Now, obviously, I am using it for something a tad frivolous as an example, but I think this could be a useful tool for visual presentations in any subject

It is EXTREMELY useful to use and super fun!

What do you think you could use it for? Let me know!

Could This Chicago Teen’s App Put an End to Cyberbullying? | Edudemic

This is so brilliant I have shivers. And is the CASE IN POINT of why I think teaching kids to program is so important. This 8th grade student used basic information about the teenage brain, as well as her passion for programming to create an app that scans what you are writing (without violating your privacy no less) and sending you a pop up message whenever one of the cyber-bullying trigger words appears.

Read more about this amazing student and unique idea. And if possible, share with your students. It is a shining example of how you can use computer science to make the world better.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

Paperless Classroom does not mean no paper?

I think I have been thinking about the paperless classroom all wrong. In my head, I envisioned a class where everything was done on the computer, no pencil and notebook in sight. And though I felt like this was the line I had to tow, as a promoter of technology in the classroom and someone who is acutely aware of the amount of paper waste that happens in my library, I never felt very comfortable with the idea.


I guess because for something to enter my brain, I need to take the time to write it down. Then I need to make arrows that lead to following ideas. Then I have to circle things and make more arrows and then write notes in the margin.

My day to day management also requires paper. Every week I begin with writing a list on graph paper. I keep it by my computer and when I get distracted I take my eyes away from the screen and look at my list. Just the fact of writing it down by hand means that I will remember I have to do it – the looking at the list is only secondary.

The results of this study by the Association for Psychological Science, which shows that writing notes by hand is better for long-term comprehension, as well as the article below about the benefits of doodling, demonstrates that I am not the only one who finds taking notes beneficial.

Then it occurred to me that I was getting the wrong idea – the paperless classroom does not mean no paper. It doesn’t mean that students should not take notes in whatever way they feel is more advantageous to them.

I have to take off my literal hat and think of it more as a workflow idea. That is, the teacher gives the assignment electronically (via email, Showbie, dropbox, google drive). The student completes their assignment, sending the finished project via the chosen method. The student is not burdened with a whole bunch of loose papers, and the teacher can choose an efficient, electronic way of receiving their submissions. Simple. Elegant. Still allows for the diversity of styles and preferences.

Sometimes I am slow on the uptake…

Check out the article about the benefits of doodling below!


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

Creative Commons from a Student’s Perspective | Edudemic

A very interesting article by a student who is not happy with the current state of citation demands.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

I would have to say I agree. It is complicated citing things on the web, especially for something informal like a blog post.

Of interest is also an article that the student cites in his article, that gives a nice info graphical guide to creative commons:


Thank you Katie Lepi for sharing and Thank you for a great infographic!

Trafalgar doesn’t shy away from social media – Montreal Families – November 2014 – Montreal

Check out this wonderful article Alissa Sklar wrote about our social media policy (ok, ok, it is a bit of shameless promotion. So sue me…) And since I am already on that bandwagon, let me share with you a link to a reblog on our PD Gamification (It is a bit meta, but hey. It’s Friday We can get away with anything, right?). The wonderful mugs of Ms. Loupelle and Ms. Brown feature prominently on the Showbie website!

Trafalgar School for Girls in Montreal shares its social media policy for students.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

5 Ways to Use Integrated Google Drive Apps for Group Projects | Edudemic

After yesterday’s iPad challenge, I realized how much potential Google Drive has in terms of sharing with other apps. Although there are many issues with it (the fact that the iPad app has only a fraction of the desktop functionality being the main one) the collaboration feature, the fact that it is free, the fact that you can open and upload Google documents in many different apps, the fact that it is free, and being able to access your documents across platforms makes it invaluable for teachers and students. Oh and it is free. Did I mention that?

Here is a great article describing a few apps that are compatible with Google Drive and that would be helpful for group projects. I am especially interested in Trello. It looks like it is a nice forum for all aspects of group work and also has a free iPad app (which I have downloaded but not yet looked at). I think I heard the Yearbook teacher mention it- I am going to track her down and ask all about it. Stay Tuned!

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See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

rAPPido Review: Future of Food from National Geographic

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 10.34.48 AMWorld Food day happened last week on October 16th. I meant to share this with you then, but well, I forgot. In light of the environmental message we heard from the amazing Maude Barlow on Friday, as well as the salient comment about the amounts of water wasted by inefficient agricultural practices, I am going to share this amazing app from National Geographic with you anyways. better late than never, right?

Yeah. Tell that to our environment…

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See typical meals from around the world:

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See an amazing, National Geographic quality video about food production around the world:

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(Sorry this is just a screenshot…) There are also many other videos on different aspects of the food issue:

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As well as an 8 part series (articles and photos, sort of like what you would get in the print magazine):

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This is a beautifully designed, easy to use, free app that gives you all the photographic beauty and depth of National Geographic publications. This could be used in ethics classes, science and any health units.

Or just check it out for your own personal edification.Guaranteed you will learn something new!

Health Hack: Want to Ace That Test? Get the Right Kind of Sleep

It is past mid-October and like always the school year continues at break-neck speed. This is about the time where the circles under the eyes begin to take on a bluish/charcoal colour. Noses start running. Stomachs cramp up.

Okay, maybe that’s just me. But still, I think it is good to remind our students (and ourselves) of the importance of sleep. Below is an interesting article that links different parts of the sleep cycle to different “sleep study skills”. Intrigued? Read on!

Sleep is learning, of a very specific kind. “Sleep Study Skills” can help our teenagers game the system — and get enough sleep.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

11 Useful Tips for Managing iPads in the Classroom

I feel pretty good right now. Taking a look at my hero Lisa Johnson’s recommendations for managing your iPad classroom, I feel like we are doing pretty well. However there is always room for improvement. I like her suggestions for visual cues, guidelines and student roles.

Check it out!

» 11 Useful Tips for Managing iPads in the Classroom |


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

iOS8: Heart your Favourite Photos

Yep. I’m still perusing the new iOS8 tips, in an effort to get to know this finicky new operating system.

This is a tiny tip, but could be helpful in terms of quick selection. For instance, say you want to choose some images from student artwork for a slide show, all you would have to do is scroll through your photos, heart the images you would like to use and they will automatically go into a “Favourites” album.

Here are a few screenshots of the process:

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Simple, but could be handy?