Monday, 8 September 2014

Remind app

Do you need an easy way to send out mass emails or text messages as reminders for students?  From the creators of what was formerly known as Remind 101 (the web app), the Remind app allows you to create an account within a few minutes and set up contact lists quickly and easily.  You are able to hide the personal contact email addresses, protecting the privacy of student information.  It is available for free on iTunes.  Check out BridgingApps' review on the app for further information.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Assistive Writing with Proloquo2Go and Pictello

In my search for a symbol supported writing option, I came across a wonderful written tutorial on how to pair Proloquo2Go with Pictello for writing purposes.  If you have a student at the beginning stages of written composition, you might consider having the student compose sentences using Proloquo2Go and copying them over to Pictello, in Wizard Mode.  SET-BC has a step-by-step set of instructions to create a digital book using Proloquo2Go and then transferring it over to Pictello. You can find the instructions here.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Using Dropbox to Share Backups of Proloquo2Go

I have created a document that will provide some information about how to send backups of Proloquo2Go from one device to another.  All that is needed is a free Dropbox account and a saved backup of Proloquo2Go.  Here is a link to an info sheet, or if you are a visual learner, here is a link to a great video by AssistiveWare, the developers of Proloquo2go.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Big Mac Math

Looking for something to spice up your math lesson plan? has some interesting, real-world math activities that could easily be integrated into a variety of curricular areas.  If you are teaching a Foods and Nutrition class, you might want to take a look at this math lesson that has students determine how long it would take celebrities in differing weight categories to burn off items like a McDonald's Big Mac, while performing different physical activities.  All the lessons I perused dealt with topics that would apply to teens, texting while driving, relationships, movies, sports statistics, all while pulling in a variety of math concepts.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Quick Tips for Managing Student iPads in the Classroom

If you have ever hesitated to use iPads in the classroom because you have feared that it would become a classroom management nightmare, then I have a few hints and tricks to enable you to manage and control the content that students are accessing in the classroom.  

NearPod- this free app allows the teacher to control the content that appears on student devices.  Teachers sign up for a free account, create presentations using a variety of content from the web, and have students sign into a student account and enter a PIN to view the teachers created presentation.  There is a video preview of this app available here

Guided Access- In the Apple iOS software, the option to lock a student into an app is as easy as activating guided access.  Go into Settings>General>Accessibility and under Learning, turn on Guided Access.  You will be prompted to enter a passcode, which you should keep to yourself.  When you would like to have students work in one specific app for a particular amount of time, triple click the home screen button and select START at the top right hand side of the window that appears.  You will see a notification that Guided Access has been enabled.  Students will not be able to exit the application, unless they have the passcode. You can end Guided Access by triple clicking the home screen button and selecting END.  

Air Drop- With an iPad 4, a WIFI connection, and the latest edition of the iOS7 software, you can push content such as photos or webpages to students.  To activate AirDrop, swipe from the bottom of your device's screen until the control panel appears.  Here, you can tap on AirDrop, select the people to whom you would like to be discoverable, and then decide what you would like to share with students.  In apps that you see the option to share, you can then determine the people you would like to push the content out to based on the name of the device.  This could include photos in your photo app, webpages you have searched out in Safari, or other apps that have the following logo:

Apps to Explore the Human Body

Learning all the different body parts and the functions of the human body systems is essential knowledge for all students.  As our Manitoba Curriculum covers aspects of the human body in both Science, Phys. Ed. and Health courses, presenting this content in a visual and interactive way makes it more engaging for students.   Here are a few of my favourite human anatomy apps:

My Incredible Body (Free for today! Regularly $2.99)
Allows the user to view 3D perspectives of the different human body systems.  It is free today in the app store, down from $2.99.

Human Body by Tiny Bop ($2.99)
Allows students to interact with the human body systems.  You can layer the muscular system over the digestive system and view respiration in action as the diaphragm pushes air out of the lungs.  This could be used as a student station in science as it actually allows the teacher to audio record content about the different parts of the body for students to play while exploring the different systems. This one has appeared in Apps Gone Free, but is regularly priced at $2.99.

Build-A-Body by Sponge Labs (Free)
This app allows the user to build 6 different human body systems.  It will not allow the student to add organs in the incorrect spot or order, the systems need to be build anatomically correct in order to move onto the next system.  This app is available for free in the App store.

Powers of Minus Ten- Bone (Free)
Available for free in the App store, the Powers of Minus Ten- Bone app allows the user to view normal and broken bones in the hand, and slide along an arrow to view the healing process.  You can zoom in and out to see the bone magnified down to the cytoplasm contained within the bone.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Apps for Student Collaboration

It often happens that while I am searching for apps to suit a particular need, I encounter a new app that does something more exciting and engaging than the one for which I am searching.  Can you tell I love tech? Such was my experience this morning.  There are countless blogs that have wonderful suggestions on how to create a workflow, having students use a series of apps to create a product or complete a learning outcome. This morning, I found a few apps that could be used to have students collaborate on a project.

I've previously posted about using Google docs for student collaboration.  I feel like this is still the best way to collaborate on a document in real-time.  If you are looking for a way to work together on a presentation, adding pictures, text, links to video content, annotations, and files, all while having the capability of video chatting, adding comments, and sharing your screen with others, then Real Time Board is the tool for you. There are many similarities to the way that Prezi operates, but the collaborative aspect adds another dimension to this tool.  You can invite others by email, Google+, and Facebook to view and collaborate on your board.  You also have the capability of saving your board as an image or PDF, or embedding your link on a blog.  This could be a powerful tool to have students collaboratively produce presentations and share and save in amazing ways!  I've shared a quick board that I had created when I first signed up for the account.  You can view a basic example I created on the human heart and circulatory system here.

I came across an app that I think would do some of the same things as Real Time Board called SyncShare. SyncShare shares drawings between participants that are invited via email, Twitter, or iMessage.  This app allows two iPad users to collaborate on a drawing or annotate on a photograph.  I thought that the free app was the only version available, but I soon discovered that the paid version allows the student to share drawings without limits.  You could take screenshots of content from the web on which you would like to annotate or include as part of the drawing.  The only disadvantage is the $10 price tag.  The Aww app is a scaled down web-version similar to SyncShare, which can be used, for free, quickly between users.

Subtext is another app that I would like to mention, although it appears that we do not currently have access to the app in Canada.  What is superb about Subtext is that you can load PDFs, articles, and eBooks and highlight sections within the text to have students engage in a discussion. There are too many features to mention, but I was presented with this app at a conference in the States and it has incredible potential for use in the classrooms.  Bring it our way, app developer!

Educators and students alike have the potential to extend education beyond the classroom walls, making learning a continuous, collaborative, and engaging process.