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Online Resource: Scholastic News

22 Jul

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 10.46.02 PMOne of my favorite online resources is Scholastic News.  This website is perfect for finding high quality informational texts about current events.  Each article contains nonfiction text features including captions, maps, sections headings and more.  It’s a great resource for connecting current events issues to English Language Arts instruction or extending a lesson in the content areas.

Teaching with iPads this year?  Check out my ELA lesson plans!

Flickr: Creative Commons

21 Jul

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 9.09.33 AMWhether you are teaching your students about digital citizenship or looking for images to use on your own, Flickr is a fantastic resource.  This website gives users the ability to search for images that can be used for a variety of purposes without infringing on copyright.  It’s a fantastic best practice for students conducting research and can come in handy for teachers looking for images to use in a iBook they are creating.  If you design your own iBook using iBooks Author you’ll want to use images under Creative Commons licensing in case you decide to share your creation with the world.

Search through Flickr and learn more about using Creative Commons.

Want students to design their own content for an eBook?  Check out this lesson plan!

DIY Sun Science on iPads

20 Jul

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Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 5.07.40 PMDIY Sun Science is a fantastic app for letting students explore the natural world.  Full of activities and information, this free app lets users check out the solar system.  It’s a great choice for teachers looking to bring more hands on instruction into a science unit or locate informational text to supplement a lesson.

Teaching science with iPads? Check out my lesson plans!

Engage and Collaborate with Chalkup

17 Jul

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 10.38.57 AMChalkup is a powerful tool for changing the way you teach and interact with students.  This online platform lets teachers take their classes to the next level by providing a way for teachers to engage their students.  Classes of students can collaborate on shared files to complete projects and study in groups.   Both teachers and students can track upcoming assignments and participate in discussions on course material.

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Chalkup is being used in classrooms across the country including Texas A&M University, UCLA, and in K-12 learning environments.  It’s a fantastic way to support students in the time they are outside of the classroom.  You’ll give them a space to work through assignments with their classmates and give you the opportunity to easily grade assignments submitted through the platform.

Check out their website and video to learn more!

Fotor App for Easy Photo Editing

16 Jul
Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 10.03.01 AMFotor Photo Editor gives users the power to edit photos easily.  Students can resize, crop, and rotate photos.  There is also the option to add effects, frames, texts and stickers to an image.  You could use this app to have students edit pictures that they took using their device during a school trip or after completing a science experiment.
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Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 10.02.49 AMInstead of just snapping a handful of pictures during a school event, ask children to pick their favorite two or three images to tell a story.  Using Fotor Photo Editor your students can enhance each picture before sharing it with their class or placing it in a digital portfolio.  This app is easy to use and gives students lots of options.
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Fotor Photo Editor is free to download and contains in-app purchases for extra effects.  It is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch but optimized for iPhone.  Check out their iOS or Android apps or visit their website to learn more!

Students Can Get Expert Advice from Academic Help

15 Jul

academichelp.net-logoEarlier this year I shared Academic Help, a website that gives students and teachers access to free writing guides.  The site has been completely redesigned making it simple to search for exactly what you need.  On the homepage you’ll easily be able to click on keywords like bibliography, admission essay, or job application letter.  Kids can scan the different choices at the top of the screen or dive into one of the main categories Guides, Samples, or Expert Help.

One new feature that Academic Help has launched is free paper editing by their experts.  Anyone can submit a piece of writing –  business proposal, scholarship essay – and receive feedback from experts in the field.  If you or your students don’t have a finished piece of writing to share users can also ask questions.  They can post a question and receive an answer, then check out the responses to other students questions.  academichelp.net-chapters

Academic Help is a great web tool that can be accessed on any device with an Internet browser.  It provides individualized help to teachers and students in addition to great resources and guides for writers of any age.

Visit their website to learn more – and start asking your own questions!

QR Code Reader for All Devices!

12 Jul

The App Store is full of QR code readers – most of which are free.  My go-to QR code scanner is i-nigma.  One reason I recommend this app at workshops and conferences is because it can be used on lots of different devices.  If you visit their homepage you can see links for the Apple App Store, Android Market, BlackBerry App World and WindowsPhone Marketplace.  Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 9.04.25 AM

This means that i-nigma is perfect for schools rolling out a BYOD (bring your own device) program.  It’s also great for teachers recommending a QR reader app to parents so that they’ll be able to read the information posted on a QR code attached to a newsletter or homework assignment.

Looking to learn more about QR codes?  Check out my take at your own pace online course! (50% off)

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