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Friday, November 30, 2012

Jim Knight Rocks!

The title of my post pretty much encompasses what I want to say. I spent the day in a workshop with Jim Knight. He is known for his amazing work with instructional coaching, but the materials I got can be helpful to all in education.

Here is a link to my notes from the day:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Some Apps I Love

I'm relieved that I do not receive a grade for the regularity of my blog posts. The fact that tomorrow begins the month of December is hard to believe.

"Blog about new apps" has been on my to-do list for some time now, so here we go...

Show Me: This probably the favorite of the apps I've tested recently. It is an interactive whiteboard, basically. The layout of it all reminds me of the Windows Paint program, but there are fewer tools. You can record short tutorials and then share the link through email or on a website. I think this would be a great tool for teachers or students to create 2-3 minute tutorials to keep on a class website for parent or student access. You can check out my very first Show Me at this link:

Skitch: Skitch is part of the Evernote "group" of apps; all of the notes you create in Skitch will show up in a folder in Evernote (If you haven't used Evernote, you should. It is awesome, and it sincs between all of your devices, including PCs. Skitch is a great way to create picture annotated notes. You can add shapes, icons, images, etc. You can even capture a web page image and then use the tools to annotate on that image. What I love most is that I can save these "Skitches" as image files to place into presentations--like on Show Me.

Toontastic: This is a free app that allows you to create your own cartoons. It has some included settings and characters, and there are others available for purchase. The cartoons are very easy to make. They are constructed through a story arc, which requires students to keep the story structure in mind when creating. The cartoons are saved in the device where they are created, or they can be published to a Toon Tube with an adult-created account. You can check out my random Toontastic Cartoon:

Vocabulary Spelling City: What made this app a keeper for me was the ability to create accounts and load in customized lists. There are already some pre-set lists included. This app includes several games that students can play with their selected word lists. I have not created an account yet, so I'm not sure about the difficulty of that process. However, the app seems easy to use and looks like a good option for allowing students to see some of their vocabulary words as they play games.

MeteorMath: I've actually tested several math apps that have been not-too-bad. This one was actually fun, though. It gives students the opportunity to work on number combinations in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. When doing app tests, I typically on take 5-10 minutes to play the games; I think I played this game for almost 30 minutes. Maybe it was my old love for the 80s Asteroid game. Who knows?!

Other math apps I've tested and kept: Find Sums, Braintrainer, Multiples, NumberLine, Equivalents, ClockMaster, Fractions, Zoom, Hungry Fish, Wings

Visit soon for more!