iPads – It’s all about the Activity!

We all know that the key in using technology in the classroom is to use it to enhance student learning and provide opportunities for students to creatively express what they have learned.  Since the value of an app is in it’s application to learning, how can we find apps that match our learning objectives?  Here are two sites that may help you.

apptivitiesApptivities.org has a  list of activities – and the apps you can use – to get you started in the right direction.

 

 

edtechteacherThe EdTechTeacher.org site has a page where you can search by the kind of activity – and even device – not limiting you to the iPad.

Use Ted-Ed to create your own interactive lessons using a Youtube video

TedEd

 

 

Would you like to create a lesson based on a great YouTube video?  TED-Ed is a free educational website for teachers and learners.  You will find carefully curated educational videos created by other educators on just about any topic.   This platform also allows you to take any useful educational video, not just TED’s, and easily create a customized lesson around the video. You can distribute the lessons, publicly or privately, and track their impact a class, or an individual student.  Creating an account is free and no account is required for students to view your lessons.

STEM and UAV’s

UAV-legoAn exciting way to provide STEM and project-based learning opportunities in your classrom is to include a unit on UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).  Using ready to assemble kits you can introduce core STEM topics such as math, programming and engineering fundamentals through building and flying UAV’s (often referred to as  drones).  High Schools can also include  fundamental engineering and prototyping skills such as wood working, carbon fiber mold making, laser cutters, and 3D printers.  Kits are easy enough for elementary students to build while more complex units with GPS capabilities can be constructed by middle or high schools classes.

Step beyond passive learning and encourage your students to actively invent and build solutions to challenging problems, test hypotheses through hands-on experimentation, and to develop critical inquiry, analysis, technical, and motor skills.

There are many sources of information and UAV kits available online:

  • For kits, check out Hoverlabs, an Oregon company with a focus on education.  Hoverlabs.net
  • For general information on UAV’s you can go to DIY Drones www.dyidrones.com

UAV-Hoverlabskit

 

 

Animate your lessons with Stop Motion Video on your iPad

Lego MovieTurn your students into budding animators! There are a variety of easy to use animation apps, some of which are free, to capture and stitch together photos of characters and objects into seamless, fluent animated movies. Best of all, the process of designing, scripting and staging animations has tremendous educational potential, and can be a wonderful mix of art, science, history, language arts, and even math. Using these iPad apps, and materials such as clay, Lego’s, drawings, or toy figures, students can create short animated sequences illustrating or teaching a concept – all while involving student teams in collaborative discussion, collective imagination and creativity, problem solving, critical analysis and a lot of teamwork. Students will be completely engaged while you observe learning outcomes that they are not even aware of!
Here’s a few apps you can take a look at:

LEGO Movie Maker –  Free  (my favorite – can add sound effects, music overlay, and voice overlay, and save to photoroll)
Animate it 2.99
iStopmotion  9.99
StopMotion  Free
Stop Motion Studio  Free (has in-app purchases)
Stop Motion Recorder  .99
sMovie  6.99
Ostanovca   Free
Stop Motion Café  Free
Osnap  2.99  (Lite version is free)
MyCreate  4.99 (Lite version is free)

powermylearningLooking for digital content for your ipads or chromebooks? PowerMyLearning is a collection of engaging free activities including academic games, interactives, and videos that are searchable by subject, grade, and Common Core standard. Curated by a team of educators, PowerMyLearning also includes several sets of tools for creating a class site, such as playlists, a student dashboard, and other tools. Quiz Packs, available for select content areas and topics, focus on a specific Common Core State Standard and contain one of PowerMyLearning‘s top digital learning activities plus two short quizzes.

PowerMyLearning Resources come from a number of well-known educational content providers such as ReadWriteThink, PBS, BBC, and LearnZillion. Teachers can set up level and interest-appropriate activities, or students can direct their own learning by choosing activities of interest to them. Both adults and students also have access to reports that monitor progress.

Digital literacy is integrated into PowerMyLearning by providing students the ability to choose avatars, create profiles, and tackle special challenges to earn more power for their “Wizmos.”
The PowerMyLearning collection is constantly growing and adding new activities and features. Create a free login and explore activities for your students at at http://powermylearning.org/

http://coedtech.hdesd.org/2014/01/06/771/

Great STEM resource: STEM Central

sallyridescienceSTEM Central is a newly-launched website whose goal is to provide resources and materials on STEM-related topics to students and teachers. At STEM Central, which is part of the Sally Ride Science project, one can find links to videos, articles, apps, and many other resources on a variety of subjects  related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
Use the Advanced Search to select resources by category, topic, grade level, media type, tags, and ratings.
Resources listed on the site were vetted for quality then cataloged and rated by a specially-selected team of teachers, researchers, and STEM professionals. However, beginning in November, the portal will be opened for all teachers to contribute to the collection by submitting and reviewing links and resources on STEM topics and careers as well as to share classroom-tested tips and tricks on using those resources. Be sure to check out STEM resources for your school and classroom at stemcentral.sallyridescience.com

Find Free Apps for your iPad

smartappsforkidsIf you use and iPad and haven’t signed up yet for SmartAppsForKids, you might want to check here: http://www.smartappsforkids.com/Every day is has a list of “Featured Free and Reduced Apps of the Day” where you can see a list of apps that the developers are offering for Free – on that day only. This site tends to be focused on Pre-K and Elementary level apps, yet does have a very extensive listing with numerous categories to help narrow your search.

50 Free Online Tools for the classroom

50 Tools logoWith so many online tools available to teachers, where do you begin to look? This simple site with a list of some of the most popular tools is a good place to start. Created by the folks at eMints, there are two listing – one categorized by function and one categorized by blooms taxonomy.  50 Free Tools