Bigsaw Designer – Puzzle Maker for iPads

18 Nov

BigsawDesigner-icon100 BigsawDesigner-ipad-ss4Bigsaw Designer is a picture puzzle maker for iPads that lets users create their own interactive games.  Students and teachers can snap pictures with their iPad, use a picture saved in Photos, or select a picture they have found online.  Once you’ve created your puzzles you don’t have to worry about being connected to the Internet because all puzzles are available offline.

This app uses tap-based gameplay and gives teachers and students the ability to create hundreds of puzzles.  You might create puzzles for a station in your own iPad classroom or have students work together to solve puzzles together on one device.  It’s also an interesting way to show off and celebrate student artwork that you’ve snapped a picture of with your iPad.  If you’re working with younger students you’ll love the options to use a smaller number of puzzle pieces.

Learn more about Bigsaw Designer by visiting the Apple App Store!

10 Totally Terrific Current Events Resources

17 Nov

10I love using current events with students as a high interest informational text.  There are tons of video and print news stories that can be accessed from terrific websites and iPad apps.  Here are a few of my favorites, add your picks in the comments section below!

  1. News-O-Matic
  2. Scholastic News
  3. Newsela
  4. Smithsonian Tween Tribune
  5. The Wilson Center
  6. NBC Nightly News
  7. TED
  8. Watchup
  9. NPR
  10. USA Today

Top Techy Gifts for Your Favorite Teacher

16 Nov

Top Techy Gifts for Your FavoriteHere’s a preview of my new post for Edutopia – click on the link below to read more!

As 2014 draws to a close, it’s that time of year to pick out a gift for your favorite teacher. From simple and sweet to thoughtful and elaborate, there are plenty of techy choices to add to your list. We’ve compiled a list of our own that you can use to meet your budget while showing your appreciation. Whether your favorite teacher is an iPad guru or just starting to play around with technology in the classroom, here are some ideas for presents they are sure to love.

Personalized Gift Cards

Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store have gift cards that you can purchase for your teacher. This is a great choice if you know that they’re always searching for new applications to try out in their classroom. Instead of handing over just the gift card, you can add some personalized recommendations for apps to try out…

…Click HERE to read more!

News-O-Matic is Now Bilingual

15 Nov

ipad-smph-Su8XLANews-O-Matic is an app I absolutely love!  It is fantastic for placing current events in the hands of your students and makes reading the news an engaging and exciting experience for children.  News-O-Matic provides daily news stories for students and now they offer each one of their five articles in both English and Spanish every day.  This translation is done by a native Spanish-speaking translator and there is even the option to listen to each article read aloud in Spanish.  

ipad-smph-QYZiqKStudents in a bilingual classroom and Spanish speaking children who are struggling to read English will absolutely love this new feature.  It’s a powerful option for students learning English and students who are learning Spanish. As the very first bilingual news app for children it is a wonderful option for classrooms where students have a variety of needs.  News-O-Matic is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.

Enter to win a full free year of News-O-Matic promotion by tweeting: “Hey @ClassTechTips! I want to try out @News_O_Matic in my classroom because ___________”   

*make sure to follow @ClassTechTips to enter – a winner will be announced on 12/15/14




Augmented Reality Read Aloud Stations (with QR codes too!)

14 Nov

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 3.50.31 PMIMG_8013If you’re a regular reader of you know how much I love scannable technology!  I’ve had the opportunity this past year to work with LitWorld as they’ve developed iPad literacy programing for children and families.  One super fun set of posters we’re using this fall let’s students scan a poster to access a video of a read aloud.

At this read aloud station kids can scan the poster using Layar to access an augmented reality trigger or scan the QR code.  They’re taken to one of my favorite online video collections of celebrity read alouds.  Students can then sit and listen to a story.

This is a great option for stations in an elementary school classroom or bulletin board in a library!

Create your own using your favorite poster making tool or download mine from Syllauby!

NPR for Audio Informational Text

13 Nov


screen480x480 Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 9.30.25 AM

There are lots of great apps for gathering information about current events and finding stories that are of high interest to your students.  NPR has an easy to navigate website and high quality iPad app that makes it easy to find articles and interviews.  In addition to accessing print content that you might find in other newspapers, NPR has audio recordings that students can listen to straight from their device.  Not only is this a great option for students who may struggle to follow along with the vocabulary in a news story but it also helps students grow as listeners.

Try out NPR on your iPad or Android tablet and give students a chance to listen and read to informational text!

Check out my lesson plans for ELA and current events!

MONKEYmount for iPad Classrooms

12 Nov

MONKEYmount bookClassrooms looking to use their iPad as a document camera will absolutely love MONKEYmount 280 by GORILLAdigital.  MONKEYmount turns your iPad (or any tablet) into a document camera that works in both portrait and landscape mode.  It lets teachers make a 360° pivot and 360° rotation.  The MONKEYmount also has a vertical adjustment arm and can be attached to a mic stand if you’re reading music straight from your iPad.

The MONKEYmount includes a 12” long solid metal arm with grooves in two places that act as rest stops for the tablet and make it easy to rotate around the arm.  It’s durable and can be Swivel Frontattached to a desk, shelf or cart and comes with a six year warranty.  This is a great choice for classrooms who want to combine the features of annotation or screencasting apps with a document camera.

Learn more by visiting their website!

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