Friday, August 16, 2013

Graphite from Common Sense Media

Anyone who has spent any time teaching digital citizenship over the past few years has hopefully discovered the wonderful resources available for teachers, students and families that are available through Direct access to teacher oriented resources is here:

Recent additions to the Common Sense Media site include the Digital Passport, where teachers can set up accounts for students in grades 3-5. Digital Passport includes educational videos about digital citizenship issues and engaging games for students to play at home that reinforce the messages we are teaching at school. Teachers start here to setup your accounts:

Another new resource released early this summer is Graphite. Graphite is designed to assist teachers in selecting the best apps, games, websites, and digital curricula rated for learning. Watch this video for an introduction to Graphite and sign up for your free account! Don't forget to contribute ratings and reviews for your favorite digital resources so that this collection will grow in scope over time.

Monday, August 12, 2013

iPad Resources

It has been a very busy summer settling into my new job at Education Service Center, Region 20. I am loving the opportunities I have to meet teachers throughout our service area. I have been teaching a lot of different iPad Basics and iPad integration sessions as many districts are deploying iPads or going to 1:1 initiatives.

A constant question I get is "Where do you find your lesson ideas?" Honestly, I like to start with the educational goals, and then work into what type of student outcome/product I think will allow students to express their learning. At that point I pull upon my knowledge of various apps, and I have a list of my favorites that I turn to over and over because of their ease of use, intuitive design and flexibility (Popplet, Strip Designer, Educreations, Videolicious, Screen Chomp, Haiku Deck, Doodle Buddy, Trading Cards, Notability or PaperPort Notes, Puppet Pals, Scribble Press or Bookabi or Book Magic).

For teachers new to iPad lesson design, it is often helpful to see what other teachers have come up with. Here are some of my favorite resources:

Tech Chef 4U - Download the free App, and visit Lisa Johnson's blog for extensive blog postings with lesson ideas from a wide variety of teachers and content areas. I used to work with Lisa and she is an amazing enthusiast and advocate for all things iPad!

Lisa and Yolanda Barker (another former colleague - I have had the pleasure of working with some very talented folks over the years!) also wrote a free iBook called Hot Apps for HOTS (available for free in the iTunes store). This book provides lesson ideas aligned with Blooms Taxonomy to inspire teachers to use a variety of apps to support all levels of Blooms.

For the Pinterest fans out there (I must confess I'm not one of them!) Lisa Johnson also curates a huge collection of iPad lesson ideas here.

There is life outside of the tremendous resources Lisa has collected! Here are just a few of my other favorites:
  • Texas Computer Educator Association iPad Apps and eBooks listing, organized by content and grade levels. Even includes suggestions for administrator and productivity apps.
  • Kathy Schrock's iPads in the Classroom. You name it, this site has it, from recommended lists of apps to terrific app evaluation rubrics, how to create iBooks, and training materials from her many presentations around the country. You can spend endless hours benefiting from Kathy's resources.
  • Tony Vincent Learning in Hand. I've had the pleasure of learning with Tony at several conferences and he shares a tremendous amount through his website and Twitter.
  • Learn Moore Stuff Another former colleague, Laura Moore, blogs about a wide variety of technology topics. Check out her iPad task card resources and many other technology integration tips. Laura also curates a Listly list of Apptivity Task Cards, don't reinvent the wheel, start here!
  • Lisa Carnazzo is an incredible teacher who began with a 1 iPad classroom (and now has 8 iPads). Here is her class wiki to see what 2nd graders can accomplish with iPads.
  • APPitic list from Apple Distinguished Educators.
Feeling overwhelmed? Bite off what you can chew! Master a few of the basic project creation apps and be willing to learn from your students. Provide student choice in app and project use and you will be amazed at what they will create. 

Do you have any resources you found helpful as you began on the iPad educator journey? Share them through the comments!