Sphero Launches SPRK Program for Classrooms

9 Apr

 

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Have you heard of a Sphero? This interactive robot brings game play to life with a smart toy that rolls, spins and races based on moves programmed by the user.  Sphero is both iOS and Android friendly thanks to the dozens of apps that help users send instructions to this smart toy.  If you haven’t seen it in action, check out this video.  Teachers are finding ways to use this engaging robot in their classrooms with the help of Orbotix, the team behind Sphero.

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Orbotix created the SPRK program because they understand that connected toys like the Sphero can grab the attention of students and help them explore the world around them.  SPRK lessons teach kids the basic concepts of programming, robotics, and math.  There are five plug and play lessons available for teachers and parents to use with children.  They’ll help kids understand foundational STEM concepts while playing games.  Learn more about this smart toy and see how a Sphero can be used in your classroom!

 

YoouKids to Manage Videos for Students

8 Apr

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YouTube is a terrific resource for teachers looking for content to share with students.  There are tons of videos that will reinforce key concepts and help kids get excited about what they are learning in the classroom.  Since there are plenty of videos on YouTube that are not kid-friendly, YoouKids has developed an iPad app that helps teachers organize which clips they want to share with their students.

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Teachers use their existing Google/YouTube account to create and maintain playlists directly on YouTube, that contain only the educational videos they want their students to see.  With a one-time set up, kids can open up their YoouKids app on their iPad and access only the videos that have been hand picked by their teachers.  This app provides a safe space for students to watch educational videos chosen by their teachers.  Instead of sharing links of YouTube videos with students, teachers can simply add new videos to their own playlists on YouTube.  The video clips will sync automatically to student’s iPads. Learn more about YoouKids by visiting their website and watching this video!

K-12 teachers or school technology directors who are implementing 1:1 iPad programs, can contact YoouKids at hello@yooukids.com to receive help with starting a pilot program at their schools.

Word Clouds for Predictions

7 Apr
Check out this word cloud for ClassTechTips.com

Check out this word cloud for ClassTechTips.com

I’ve shared some ways that word clouds can be used in the classroom, and here’s another activity that works for all ages and subject areas.  Find a website that you are planning on sharing with students.  This could be an informational text on a science topic or simply a current events article.  Copy and paste the website URL into the online tool Tagxedo.  This website will create a word cloud using text from that website.

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Early Elementary Math with Dexteria Dots

4 Apr

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 3.05.00 PMA fantastic app for early math education, Dexteria Dots is bright, colorful and teaches important basic math concepts.  With this iPad app your students will be asked to combine and separate numbers on their screen to practice addition and subtraction.  Dexteria Dots has four levels and when students start off they’ll be given a target number they need to reach.  Kids will then be asked to combine the numbers on their screen to count up to that number.  As students move up in each level the activites become more challenging.
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The high-quality, kid-friendly user interface introduces each number in a different color surrounded by dots.  Students will have to slice the dots to split the number into smaller pieces or draw a line to combine numbers.  The diameter of the dots is also proportional to the number value.  For example, a 4-dot is twice the diameter of a 2-dot, and so on. Dexteria Dots is a fantastic choice for teachers looking to help their students build number sense as they count, add and subtract.  Check out this visually pleasing, educational app for iPads on the App Store!

Avokiddo ABC Ride for Alphabet Practice

3 Apr

Avokiddo-abc-ride-mainMore than just an alphabet app, Avokiddo ABC Ride is an original A-Z puzzle adventure that builds early literacy and letter recognition skills.  Children will have to use problem solving skills to make their way through this virtual world.  Kids will use their imagination and logic to find the hidden letters and set them free to spell a word.  Avokiddo ABC Ride is interactive and definitely educational.

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As kids move their bicycle across the screen they’ll reach a new puzzle waiting to be solved.  Children will have to work through each one that highlights a different set of early literacy skills. There are 26 unique scenes one for each letter of the alphabet that all include an interactive spelling activity for a new word.  This app has high quality animations that make it a great choice for the large screen of an iPad.  Check out their website or watch this video to learn more about Avokiddo ABC Ride!

Math Vocabulary Cards

2 Apr
Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 3.43.10 PMThe Math Learning Center has some fantastic free apps (Geoboard and Number Line) including the newly released Math Vocabulary Cards. This app includes card sets for grades K-2 and 3-5. Users can select which cards they want to study by category or individually.  The cards are automatically sorted in random order and users can hide and reveal one or more sections of each card.  This means that they can practice quizzing themselves using the math term, example or definition.

VocabCard1Math Vocabulary Cards is easy to navigate and definitely kid-friendly.  With this app your students can review definitions for geometry, measurement, and money terms – just to name a few.  Kids can also view terms and definitions in English or Spanish.  The Common Core State Standards expects that students are able to use math vocabulary to explain their thinking.  Math Vocabulary Cards is the perfect choice for helping students become stronger math students.  Visit their website to learn more.

This app is also Android friendly since it can be accessed online using an Internet browser.

Microsoft Office is FREE for iPads

1 Apr

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You know how much I love high quality free iPad apps and there are a few new additions to the App Store that are worth downloading today!  Microsoft Office has released three new apps – Excel, Word, and PowerPoint completely free to download.  I’m a huge fan of Pages and Keynote but it’s great to have some new options available that will help bring all of your documents straight to your iPad.  If you use Dropbox or another file storing app on your iPad you can now open Microsoft Office files using one of their three new apps – this goes for opening documents sent as an email attachment too.  These apps are great for teachers working on the go or for students looking to access their work.  In order to create and edit new documents you’ll have to sign up for a subscription.  I don’t know if I’ll sign up for the full access since I’m such a fan of other iPad publishing options, but it’s nice to have a quick, free and easy way to open and review documents on the go – especially PowerPoint presentations.

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Looking for lesson plans to teach with mobile devices? Follow this link!

Read this post in Spanish!