4 Apps to Keep Your Community Informed

  Click here to read my second blog post for Remind101
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Scrawlar - An App Review

  One thing I miss about being a learning technologies coordinator is the time spent looking at new pieces of software, testing them out and then eventually piloting them with a classroom to see if they would be a good addition to our software library. I first came across Brian Aspinall's name about a year ago on Twitter from a #ff recommendation from @dougpete . After giving him a follow I quickly realized from his Twitter feed that we had many of the same interests but he had one amazing skill that I wanted and sadly still don't have...but I'm working on it! He has coding skills. Using those skills he has developed a number of web-based applications, one of which I am going to review for you here today called Scrawlar. You can read more about Brian and his web applications here  and follow him on Twitter @mraspinall A...
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An App to Catalogue Your Books

  You can not open a book without learning something ~ Confucius   If you're anything like me you've probably loaned a book to a friend or colleague, forgotten who you loaned it to, never to see it again. While I love sharing my professional library to those that want to read a book of mine, I would also like to have it back! Last week I came across an iPhone app that solved my problem. It's called BooksApp 2 . There is a free version, and an in-app purchase option to go pro for $3.99. I splurged and went for the pro version which I'll explain why later. The app basically allows you to catalogue your entire library collection with a scan of a barcode or a manual entry of the ISBN number. Below are the features of BooksApp: Create Series of books Create Collections Lists of books by...
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GAFE You Have Me Convinced

 It is the framework which changes with each new technology and not just the picture within the frame ~ Marshall McLuhan There was a time when I was unconvinced about the power of web 2.0 apps and in particular Google Apps for Education (GAFE). Over the years I became more and more comfortable working with web 2.0 apps such as Evernote, Animoto, and Diigo. But for some reason the suite of Google Apps just didn't do it for me. It wasn't because they didn't work as advertised. I was impressed with the ability to collaborate on projects and share documents with a group. I just had this niggling voice in the back of my head that kept saying "What if your work disappears? Stick with Word, it will always be there." Well this week that all changed for me for two reasons. The first reason came to me as I...
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12 Apps for School Administrators

12 Apps for School Administrators
Flickr CC image courtsey of Sean Macentee  "There's a mobile app for almost anything you may want to do, any situation you confront." ~ Jacqueline Leo     As the start of the school year draws near I thought it would be a good idea to blog about the apps that I will be using frequently throughout the year. Most of the apps listed below I'll use on both my iPhone and iPad. Although not an exhaustive list of apps for administrators, they are my favourites to use. Of course I will still occasionally utilize apps such as Google +, LinkedIn, Foursquare, About Me and FlipBook, but the apps below are the pillars of my day. I'd love to hear about your favourite apps.   I primarily use Hootsuite to manage my Twitter feed. It allows me to create a number of tabs, streams and lists to keep the flow of...
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App Smashing

App smashing is simply defined as the process of using multiple apps with each other to complete a task. App smashing could be completed on a smartphone or tablet like an iPad where students may be completing a project. As part of my annual growth plan I made the commitment to not only make my own learning visible but also make the learning activities of our school visible to the parents and community at large. One way that I do that is provide regular daily tweets accompanied with pictures and short descriptions. Here is an example of a daily tweet.   Awesome writing this morning in kindergarten ow.ly/i/1wRUy #tweedsmuirps #writing — David Fife (@DavidFifeVP) February 15, 2013 The culmination of a month of learning is a video I produce and post for our community to watch and enjoy using Animoto. I get lots of feedback from parents that not only...
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A View into a 1:1 iPad Classroom - Part 2

"Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them." ~ Steve Jobs     After interviewing Michelle Cordy ( @cordym) and visiting her classroom it's taken me a couple of weeks to reflect on what I saw in Michelle's class and to form my own opinions about the impact of a 1:1 iPad classroom. While not many teachers will have the opportunity to teach in a 1:1 environment there are lessons to be learned that can help support any method of technology use in the classroom. If you read the interview with Michelle you will note that she has experienced challenges with the implementation of a 1:1 program. This should give everyone pause for thought. Regardless of your experience with integrating technology instructional design needs to be purposeful. You...
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A View into a 1:1 iPad Classroom

I met Michelle Cordy ( @cordym ) around 2004 when I was a learning technologies coordinator and she was a young, energetic teacher looking to make her mark in the classroom. I knew at that moment in the computer lab at Althouse College that we would cross paths again. Since that first meeting I have watched Michelle grow into a fantastic teacher who integrates technology into her classrooms providing her students with amazing opportunities. I recently learned that she was successful in obtaining a grant that started with investigating the use of ePortfolios and then evolved into a 1:1 iPad classroom. With my own school moving to purchase more iPads I was keen to see how a master teacher utilizes iPads to engage students. Before making a visit to her classroom I decided to ask her a few questions to get a deeper understanding of her experiences plus I thought...
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A Great iPad Blogging App

Today I wanted to create a blog post demonstrating the power of a great blogging app I've recently discovered called Blogsy. Now I realize the argument that is out there that the iPad is a completely different tool from a laptop, or desktop for that matter, but there have been times where I have found myself wanting to create a post but I didn't have access to my laptop or desktop. At $4.99 some people might take a pass on the app but once you see it in action you might change your mind. By the way everything in this blog post has been created using Blogsy as well as Siri. There has been no typing on my part (well other than clearing up a few formatting issues). I must say that when I first read about Blogsy I was a little skeptical on the ease of which it could...
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