Monday, January 30, 2012

R U A Geek?

I'm a geek (or at least I think I am), are you? Do you want to become more of a geek or at least be in the know? How-To Geek is a neat little website that gives you "how-to" tricks and steps of being geek-y.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Future Me

Future Me is a neat little website where you write yourself a letter about goals you plan to accomplish for the future or whatever you want to write about. You set an email date and Future Me will email your letter to you. At that point, you can revisit the letter to check for any accomplished goals. Neat, huh? You can also get Future Me as an app on the iPhone.

Future Me can also be found on Facebook and Twitter too. To date, there have been almost 2 million Future Letters written. Click This now to start writing to your future.

I think it would be awesome for students to try this tool and have it emailed to them one or so years later. In the midst of trying to find a picture to go with this post, I stumbled across a young person who did this as a student in high school about 5 years ago. I read his post and found it funny that he thought the idea was pointless but still he compared what he had written to what was going on in his life right now.  Although at the time he really didn't want to do the assignment, I think it's a great tool to get students thinking about the future. I emailed Jacob with not much hopes from hearing from him but to my surprise, I got a reply in about an hour. I asked him a few questions in my email and his responses are a much-needed reminder for educators to make sure they are well-prepared for their classes and that we show as much enthusiasm as possible when teaching. If we aren't excited about a lesson than how can we expect are students to be?!?

Jacob wrote:

The only thing I remembered about the class: 1.) that I wrote the letter to myself, and 2.) I would have rather been in other classes. From what I can recall, I would say it had good intentions, but it was poorly implemented. I think if the teachers were more on-board with the idea, and the lessons were better prepared, I would have found it useful.

He continues to write:
I am glad I wrote the letter though, even though I think half of it was just garbage text I wrote to take up time and space ("remember Heroes?" for example). It made me remember the ambitions and goals I had back then. And even though my life didn't turn out like I had planned, I'm very happy with where I am now.

Thanks Jacob, for your time and input. I hope it's a simple reminder to us educators that it's also our attitude that matters and not just the kids.

Check out Jacob Low's Dear Future Me post here.
Image from Jacob. Please do not copy.

Bring Storytelling to Life in the Classroom...

Need great ways for students to create stories? Want to incorporate technology in the classwoom? Want the students enthused about what they are doing in school? Need FREE apps? Then check out these cool tools!

Try StoryLilnes for School! You start with a phrase (a quote, a famous proverb, a vocabulary word or whatever). The second student illustrates the phrase as best they can. The third student gives that picture a title but does not know what the original phrase. They fourth student illustrates that title and so on. Creativity and fun continues through this app and the final product can be shared via email on in a browser.

Try Storyrobe! The steps are super easy and simple to use and the product is grand. Simply select or take a photo within the app (or select a video which it will only show the thumbnail of the video). Arrange your photos in the order you want to tell the story by selecting the rows of lines next to the picture and moving your selection up or down. Once your storyboard is ready, press record, flick through the photos/videos to tell your story by doing a voiceover - "speak your mind". Simply press the create button and view it to be sure it's to your satisfaction. Now you can share your creation via YouTube or simply by emailing it to others.

While those are FREE and AWESOME I might add, here's another AWESOME but with a small price tag (which is a 30% discount for a limited time). I had to mention this little jewel because of it's feature to be submitted to the iTunes for the world to see.

Book Creator is perfect for little ones to step in the world of creating their own books and publishing for all to see with ease. Picture books, Photo Books, Cookbooks or Art Books are just a few types that kids could easily create with this handy app. You can directly record audio or import from your iPad's music library. You can also have background music - either per page or for the whole book.

Wanna sell your can! And there's no extra fee. You only pay the initial $4.99 for the app. It works both on iPad 1 and iPad 2 but can output a file to be viewed on some e-readers.

Pretty cool, huh? Click on over to Book Creator website and watch a video. I must say, if you see it, you'll go buy the app like I did. Don't say you weren't warned! :-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

iTunes U...all new!

If you’re an educator at a university, college, or K-12 school, now you have an easy way to design and distribute complete courses featuring audio, video, books, and other content. And students and lifelong learners can experience your courses for free through a powerful new app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

This is what apple is announcing via their the all new iTunes U page! With the recent launch of iBooks Author, this is a HUGE leap forward in the education world. I envision paperless classrooms and interactive learning at it's best. Although iTunes U has been around for a little bit, now the K-12 community can take advantage of this wonderful resource.

iTunes U is a free resource through iTunes and is available as a free download on iDevices through the App Store. The new "U" expands the experience for the classroom. All materials including audio, video, assignments, instructor posts, PDFs, presentations and more, can be uploaded to iTunes U and made readily available for students use by instructors.

Even if you a not an enrolled student of that college/course, you can still view courses and materials. Yes, you can! Click on over to the iTunes or go download the app on your iDevice and get to learning all your heart desires.

Apps for Teachers

If you haven't noticed, there's an Apps for Teachers section in the App Store. The nice little spot has it categorized for educators into:

  • Classroom Task
  • Curricula Support
  • Instructional Tools
  • Personal Organization
  • Reference
So if you're looking for apps to support your work day, then check out this little jewel today. Don't have iTunes, click this and get it free now.

Monday, January 23, 2012

PBS kids Labs

Be one of the first to check out PBS kids new launches and updates via their PBS KID lab. Here you'll find Home Activities, Classroom Activities, and plenty of games for the young and young at heart. There's Apple Picking for ages 3-5 that focuses on numbers and that's usable on the interactive whiteboard to Prankster Planet for ages 6-8 that focuses on words. You can view a listing of all games at once or click on one of the categories to view it by: skill, age, device, or even by show such as Curious George or Fetch!


Here's a great, monthly resource for those in education. This eSCHOOL News newsletter focuses on technology. Below is a picture-link to their newsletter for their current issue, January 2012, and a picture-link for their 2011: The Year in Review. Sign up for their free subscription to receive the newsletters to your inbox.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

iBooks...Get Creative!

Apple announced today iBooks Author, a free Mac app for authoring interactive e-books. With this powerful software, users will be able to do simple drop and drag operations to create e-books in minutes. This product has a focus on education but definetly can be broaden for use outside of the classroom.

As an educator and a technologist, I'm screaming "Oh yeah"! This is absolutely the direction I would like to see books move toward. Awesome job Apple!

Make any type of book with iBook Author. Start with a template or customize your own template and let your imagination run wild. Add photo galleries, videos, add text by typing or just drag and drop files from your desktop. Text flows smoothly as you add images and you can add widgets to enhance it even more. Full screen video, keynote presentations and 3D images are just a few key features that you can add to make your iBook interactive. Use chapter review widgets to create review sections in your book...perfect for students. Use it in portrait view or landscape view. Export it or submit it to iTunes. Anyone can create gorgeous interactive books made just for the iPad!

If you're "A Mac", go grab your free app of iBooks Author in the Mac Store today and start creating and publishing amazing mutli-touch books for the iPad.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Censor the Web...Please Don't!

Google, Pinterest and Tumblr are just a couple of huge names that are protesting against Congress. Read Google's "Take Action Page" to learn more about what you can do to end piracy.

Signing off for today in protest...see you tomorrow, hopefully.

Remember The Milk

Need a way to manage your task? Remember the Milk helps you remember so you won't forget. Available for Android and now for the iPad! you can sign up with your Google email or any  other account. It's Free! And you can even add tasks with Siri! What more can you ask for?

Remember the Milk has the following services:
iPad, iPhone, Siri, Android, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Blackberry, Twitter, Google Calendar, iGoogle, Gears, & Bookmarklet.

Eyejot - Video Mail

Eyejot is a an easy way to create and send video mail to others. Using any web browser or mobile device such as iPads or iPod Touches, eyejot lets your get a little more personable. It has both, desktop and mobile capabilities.

Check out the features!

Desktop (Browser-based) Features
  • Inbox and sent folders
  • Address book
  • Group sending support
  • Integration with your computer’s webcam
  • Ability to utilize pre-recorded video for PRO and PRO Plus users
  • Business-oriented features (attachments, view alerts, document library, branding) for PRO Plus users
  • Eyejot This! bookmark
Mobile (iPhone) Features
  • Inbox and sent folder views
  • Create new video messages using your device’s built-in camera
  • Support for both portrait and landscape recording
  • Ability to upload pre-recorded video from your photo gallery
  • Eyejot vCards providing an alternative to traditional business cards

Print Friendly Button

Got a Blog? Wanna add a PrintFriendly button so others can print only the important stuff and not waste paper? Wanna help the Earth? Then Click This to go grab the button for your blog posts. You'll feel better knowing you did something to help the earth and your readers too.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Click on Over to Rover

Rover is a must-get app for sure! I tweeted about this a couple of days ago but this little jewel deserves a nice little post. I learned about this free app from my friend Ron over at Smart Apps for Kids. He list a free app of the day and this made the list this week so be sure to check him out.

Now Over to Rover. This content-filtering, firewall-friendly, easy-to-use app that does not save personal data is the perfect solution for the education world that wants to visit online learning content on mobile device. It's the only FREE education browser for the iPad specifically designed for teachers and students of all ages. Want Flash content? Have to fear, Rover is here!
Rover is powered by the iSwifter platform (the world’s first cloud-based Flash streaming platform for mobile devices). We have specifically designed Rover based on feedback from teachers, IT directors and administrators from schools across the country. ~Taken from Smart Apps

Here are some screen shots I grabbed from my iPad as I browsed the Rover app. Grab it here in the iTunes today!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pinterest on the iPad

So you wanna pin on the iPad huh. Well I found a tutorial to allow you to do just that. It took me a minute to grasp the steps but by golly, I got it. Click This to link to the tutorial.

And here are the steps if you don't want to read through the tutorial:
1. Open Safari on your Pad.
2. Go to Pinterest.
3. Click the bookmark arrow at the top, and save it to the bookmark bar. You may change the name to whatever you want. I used just the word Pinterest but you can say Pin It or whatever.
4. Click Save.
5. Click on your Bookmarks icon which is next to the bookmark link. It's the open book.
6. The Pinterest bookmark will be at the end. You don't have to do this but it will make it so much easier. Click the Edit button next to the words Bookmarks Bar. Scroll down to the Pinterest Bookmark and using the the lines at the end of it, scroll it to the top of your bookmarks by pressing down and moving it upwards.
7. While still in "edit mode", click on the Pinterest bookmark and in the second box, delete the link that's there. Now copy and paste the following code.


8. Go back a step by clicking the Bookmark Bar word and click "Done"

Now it's ready. Let's give it a try.

1. Using Safari, go to a website of choice.
2. When you're ready to pin, click the Bookmark Bar icon, "the open book". If you moved Pinterest to the top,  you'll be glad you did because you won't have to scroll down through your list.
3. Click the Pinterest Bookmark and there you go. You should see the PIN IT screen as you do on a desktop/laptop.
4. Carry on as usual. :-)

Hope this helps.
I just LOVE Pinterest.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Got Two Minutes?

Then 2MT3 may be for you. 2MT3 are educators serving educators. They provide websites, tools & tips for the 21st Century Educator via their webiste: 2 Minute Teacher Tech Tips also known as 2MT3. They search out the best and put them in a 2 minute easy to understand video delivered directly to your email box. They keep it simple. Click play and the video plays in your web browser. While this one isn't free, it's fairly cheap with a year long subscription fee under $8 bucks. You'll receive 26 biweekly video episodes plus a e-newsletter of helpful hints on using the videos to engage students.

100th Day is Coming!

I mentioned Pinterest in the Classroom in an earlier post but with the 100th Day of School coming up for many districts, here is a Pinterest Board to get your creative mind going and geared up for the big celebration.

Other 100th Day Links you may find interesting are listed below:

Vicki Blackwell
SIEC k12
Enchanted Learning
Apples 4 the Teacher

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

ABC Mouse is a subscription-based website that is currently offered to U.S. and Canadian
public schools. Public school teachers and librarians qualify for free public school classroom accounts.

With that said, quickly go grab this offer and get you students involved in a journey of online learning. Teachers can customize up to FIVE learning groups. There is no advertising or links to other sites, which is rare for a free educational site and it the company does not ask for or require personal student information.

With 2000+ Activities and a Learning Path with 6 levels, your kids will be excited about using this great program. Best of all, kids will learn while having fun!

Also check out there mobile apps! The Grand Canyon App is FREE and the others apps are under a dollar.