Some News from Apple

So Apple made their big reveal earlier this week regarding their new iOS and where they will  be focusing their energy.

I was particularly intrigued to hear about their new Swift Playgrounds, an iPad app to learn Apple’s programming language.

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If you want the lowdown, here are a couple of good articles that synthesize the relevant stuff:

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Let’s start 2016 off with a laugh…

Via The New Yorker

Apps to Download in 2016

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Here is one to get you started:


Isn’t human eye contact gross? Looky streams a video of the person right in front of you in the corner of your screen. Use it while ordering your pour-over coffee, testifying in court, walking down the street, or even watching live theatre. You’ll never have to look up from your phone again!

Some of The Best Gradebook Tools for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Has any of our staff tried any of these? The only that I can see that is an app is Gradebook which is $19.99. The others seemed to be online platform…

I would be curious to know if an online grade book would be useful for you and if you have tested a few out!

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How Meditation Can Help Students Master Life | Edudemic

Worth a try? I think that as the pace of our world tends to increase exponentially and time is our one major scarcity, it is scary to set aside some mental space for what seems to be the indulgent practice of simply calming ourselves down. But the article below cites studies that prove that in effect, taking this time to get more in touch with ourselves actually saves us time in the form of reduced stress, clarity of mind, more energy and better immune system.

It also gives three simple tricks on how you can implement this in the classroom. What would happen if we asked the students to arrive a few minutes before an exam (or started five minutes later) and took a minute to practice some mindfulness? I wonder if the results would not reflect the calmer state of mind…

Students benefit from meditation & the methods that they can use to excel in school, perform well in sports and activities, and have more emotional control.

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New Poster- 15 Useful Tips to Help Students Overcome Procrastination ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

“…Procrastination doesn’t necessarily equal lazy. Inaction is often caused by anxiety, fear of failure, or negative perfectionism.”

During this, the last week of exams, it might be useful to show this infographic to certain students. I have never given procrastination much thought , but the above quote struck me, as did the  concluding thought:

“Procrastination is more than putting off tasks; it’s a fear of action.”

The infographic gives simple , yet clear advice on how to avoid getting in our own way.

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How hip hop can teach you to code

Sometimes, it is just in the way something is explained for it to finally click. Although I have never written a hip hop song in my life, I have written a lot of poetry, preferring the kind with severe constraints such as sestinas or villanelles. When I translate the idea of the template of a poem into programming, it makes perfect sense! Now I want to make a programming template for poem formats…

I just gave away too much information about how my brain works didn’t I?

Oh well…

The artist may change, but the template remains the same

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3 Powerful Apps for Creating Green Screen Videos with Students ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

I am thinking off setting challenges for my kids this summer and one of the challenges I was thinking of giving them is to make a movie – either an original script, or do like the main characters in the great book (and now movie) Me, Earl and the Dying Girl, where they make cheesy re-creations of classic movies and are hugely influenced by Werner Herzog (you gotta love that.)

Although I doubt they will build a huge boat and try to carry it over a mountain, I think they might need a green screen app, don’t you?

Although the first two of the apps mentioned in this article cost money, I think the most expensive is $2.99. I am definitely going to try them out!

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