Blooms Taxonomy – in student friendly terms

Encouraging higher order thinking is something we can foster when students are reading.  The following graphic is one which explains the ‘higher order’ and provides kid-friendly synonyms for each level.  Consider introducing this in your classroom as a way of highlighting these ideas to students and getting them to dive deeper in their thinking as they discuss and write about the books or subject material they are reading.


iPads, the 5 C’s, and Blooms Taxonomy

The iPad changes the way teachers and students access the web, share media, and learn with portable devices. Explore apps through the lens of the 5 C’s of integration, moving beyond using the device for consumerism, to higher level blooms.

  • Consumers: Using  eReaders such as Kindle or iBooks, online video through apps such as BrainPop, browsing the web for curriculum relevant content, or learning content from curriculum specific apps
  • Curators: taking notes, managing photos and videos and web sites using apps such as Evernote or Notability
  • Contributors: Using apps to comment and participate with others such as Voicethread, WordPress, blogs, and Google Docs
  • Collaborators: Interact and learn with others using apps such as Whiteboard lite,  Educreations Whiteboard, Google Docs, and Socrative or InfuseLearning
  • Creators: Work with apps to create content, such as Videolicious,  iMovie, Pages, Keynote, or Google Docs

There are several iPad integration models:  the one iPad classroom, multiple iPad stations, 2:1 and 1:1. Each offers benefits and drawbacks –  how do you manage these resources in your technology rich classroom?

Another way to look at using iPads is through the lens of Blooms Taxonomy. Take a look at Kathy Schrock’s Blooin’ Apps site for a list of apps that can be used at each of the levels.

Another great site for finding iPad apps

APPitic is a directory of apps for education created by Apple Distinguished Educators. These apps have been tested in a variety of different grade levels,

instructional strategies and classroom settings, helping you narrow down your search.

This a rich resource, listing apps for Special Ed, STEM, CBL, PreSchool, the Flipped Classroom, along with a huge listing of Teacher Resources and Webcasts.  This one is worth checking out.

This is a “must have” – Controlling access to your Classroom’s iPad apps

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to have a student use an iPad or iPod without being able to get out of the app you wanted them to use?  Would you like to disable certain buttons in the app, such as links to Facebook or advertisements?  You can with Guided Access in iOS6.

Controlling access to the iPad is easy with this new feature and there’s a great video tutorial on how to use it on YouTube by the folks at

Take a look at this video – Guided Access for iOS 6 is a great feature on the iPad/iPod that you will want to use with your students.

Reflector – show you iPad screen on your computer

I’ve been looking at ways to show my iPad screen on my computer and on the wall via the digital projector.  I’ve had the Apple VGA dongle ($29) for a while and it works fine – yet movement around the room is restricted by the physical connection to the projects cable. There are programs available so you can be wireless – a more elegant solution!

Reflector (previously named ‘Refection’) is the program I’ve come to favor. It costs $14.99 and runs on either a PC or a Mac.  It shows your iPads screen on your computer, which when connected to your classroom projector, displays the iPad screen on the wall.  It will also record what you are showing in the iPad, allowing you to have a movie file of your actions (and sounds) for posting on your web site or showing to kids later on.

There is another program called AirServer that costs the same, yet it does not have the recording capability, and would not run on my computer until I updated the Direct X program a couple of times. You can also mirror your iPad to the classroom projector using Apples Apple TV hardware product ($99), yet Reflector is much less expensive and does not need to be installed in your classroom.

Limit your iPad or iPod to Running a Single App

Apple has introduced Guided Access in iOS 6. It keeps your iPad in a single app and allows you to control which features are available.  This is great when handing an iPad to a student and having them work independently and remain on task and focused. It is also nice for young students who might accidentally click the Home button.

To start Guided Access: 

  1. Launch the Settings App.
  2. Go to General and choose Accessibility.
  3. Turn Guided Access On.
  4. Set a passcode.
  5. Launch the app you want lock the device into.
  6. Triple-click the Home button.
  7. You can choose to disable touch or motion in addition to disabling the Home and volume buttons.
  8. Tap the Start button.
  9. To exit the app, triple-click the Home button and enter the Guided Access passcode.



What are your Tech Goals for the new year?

As we begin the new year we all set goals for ourselves. We learned from our experiences last year – trying out new ideas and keeping with what has worked well over the years.  What will we do differently this year – what will we do that is new and innovative?

The use of technology in the classroom is not only becoming more prevalent, it’s becoming more relevant. Our students are living in a technological age unknown to us when we were in school and we must teach them the skills they need to have in order to learn and work in the 21st Century.

Having a few new goals each year keeps us challenged and active as life-long learners. What Tech Goals can you set for yourself this year – and for your students?

Here is an article to inspire you and give you some ideas for keeping the bar high and your teaching even more relevant to your 21st Century students!

Word Clouds are a simple way to visualize class discussions

Word Clouds are a graphic display of words giving a visual presentation of not only the words selected but also their frequency. The words may be cut and pasted from a document or website, or entered individually as a class activity.

There are so many ways to use a Word Cloud with your class – reflections on a topic, a reading or a book; classroom discussions; vocabulary lists; a list of favorites (you name the topic!); a list of characters in a timeline, event, or book.  Here’s a list from another blog that offers 108 ways to use word clouds! 

There are many Word Cloud sites on the web, and most require Adobe Flash to work, which presents a problem to iPads.  Give Tagul a try – it has an option for non-flash devices and allows your students to login using their Google Apps account.