Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Appy Hour

I have been asked to attend our district's monthly Leadership meetings to help present an "Appy Hour" time of the meeting. The hour in the title is a little misleading. We have 15 minutes and Appy Quarter-hour just didn't have the same ring to it.

The first month we were asked to present Google Apps for Education as it is new to most of our leadership team. So we did. It seemed to go over well and we are seeing an increase in GAFE usage with teachers and students. Not really an app, but useful.

The second month we were asked to present the SAMR model. Ok, I know you are asking when are we getting to the Apps of Appy hour. Because we were. SAMR is rushing through education at the moment as a model for helping teachers take a look at their classroom assignment and help layer technology to either enhance the lesson or transform the lesson.

A pretty good video explaing the SAMR model.

So, the third month, a review of SAMR with a look at some TEKS and some substitution and augmentation examples, and finally some apps.

So we decided on these three apps to mention.

Mastery Connect TEKS - displays core content TEKS. There is an iOS and Android app 

Then we did a small App Smash with the next two.

DocScan HD - take a picture of a document and turn it into a PDF or JPEG. The free version allows you to save to your iPad and email the document. The paid version allows you to upload to cloud services like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive. has in App purchase of $3.99 to upload to cloud services.

Since we can upload to Google Drive, the third app we showed as Drive.
Basically we showed the same functionality of the web version with creating, editing, and sharing documents.

Not sure what the fourth meeting will hold yet. It will be in December, so I am thinking some photo and video editing apps since the holidays are times for taking pictures.
Any suggestions?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Google Drive

With the recent announcement of unlimited Drive storage for Google Apps for Education accounts, many will be jumping in and could possibly get a little lost or overwhelmed.

From Google comes a great starting part to learn about Drive.

The interactive tour requires Flash, but the other two links are PDF documents. The share and collaborate document is especially important and seem to confuse people the most, in my experience.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tips for iPads as Centers From Teq is a wonderful resource you need to explore. They offer trainings in the NY area mainly, but are expanding their reach to deliver more online Professional Development content.

Their blog is a great one to follow and their news letter comes in handy. In fact, this comes directly from their last newsletter that I received.

3 Tips for Using an iPad as a Center in Your Classroom
One of today’s best classroom technologies is the iPad, however many times schools don't have enough for each individual student. One great way to address this issue is to use your iPad as a center in your classroom. Check out our 3 favorite tips for using an iPad as a center in you classroom below!

1. Be clear and concise with the goal at each iPad center.
Provide written instructions at each iPad center that include the expectations of the student for each app the student should be using. If possible, provide a QR code that connects to a video or written instructions explaining the center’s activity. This is great because at any time the student can refer back to the directions without having to ask the teacher.

2. Organize apps in folders appropriate for each iPad station.
If you expect a student to use 3 specific apps for a center, put those 3 apps together in a folder. This is a great visual cue for the student to find that center’s appropriate apps as well as cut down time locating the apps on the iPad.

3. Use the Guided Access that is built into iOS on the iPad.
Guided Access allows you to “lock” a student into an app by disabling the home button. This is great to keep the students on task and stop them from exploring whatever else is on the iPad. Guided Access also lets you customize what parts of the iPad screen the student is able to interact with. If there is a part of an app that you do not want the student to be able to touch (like for in-app purchases), you have that ability.

Make sure to check out the Community resource page . There you can follow their blog, download lessons and SMART resources from the Educator Resource Center, view previous webinars and tutorials in their Video Archive, and pick up some eBooks and How-tos in their Teq Resources.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Physics Simulations

Two really good sites for Physics simulations online.

PhET Interactive Simulations -
 Click the Play with Sims button  to see the list of Simulations. Make sure to look at the broken out list of sims.

CK-12 Exploration Series -

Over 60 simulations and looks like a lot more coming soon. Students and teachers do have to sign in, but you can sign in with your Google account so that is helpful in our district since we are a GAfE district.