2013-04-26 Weekly IT Update

This Week

Web Page – Live May 3rd

Training – Coming Soon

It’s Not Too Early – Backup, Backup, Backup

Blubbr – Create Video Trivia

Why (Not How) – iPads in Education

MOOC – 1 Year to a 4-Year College Education?


Top 20 iPad Apps – My Suggestions


Web Page – Yes, you’ve heard it several times now but the new web page will be going LIVE on May 3rd. There will be a point in time on May 2nd where you will be unable to edit your own pages in preparation for the change. In the meanwhile, take a look at http://www-dev.asd20.org/Schools/pchs/Pages/default.aspx and see if there is anything that is glaringly obvious that is missing. As I have mentioned before, the page is a work in progress and will be updated until the end of the year. If you have the wrong information under your name, your site isn’t linking, or other please let me know and I’ll get it fixed up ASAP! Right now the structure is in place, making it pretty comes with time.

Training – As I’ve been working on the web page I haven’t had the time to organize training for it that I would like. This should change after the May 3rd rollout so I hope to have something ready for you before the end of the semester. As the site is very non-intuitive it will, most likely, require a dedicated training time along with supporting documents. Rest assured, I will do my best to get this to you in a timely manner. In the meantime, if there is something that absolutely needs to be on the site with the May 3rd rollout just let me know and I’ll get it put up there.

It’s Not Too Early – With the end of the semester coming up rapidly it is easy to get into patterns with technology. One thing to remember and keep in mind as more important documents, notes, quizzes, and tests happen, backing up in multiple places is highly recommended! An easy place to find many of your documents would be under the C: drive. If you go from there to the Users directory you should be able to find your name. This is where the majority of your documents should be stored. There are multiple ways to back up your information including the H: drive, Dropbox, external hard drives, and blank DVDs. Personally, I back up almost all of my stuff to my Dropbox account as you get 2GB of free space and can increase it by referring friends. Check out http://db.tt/ypmLIWzm to sign up. Dropbox also allows you to access you material from any computer or smart device. I keep everything from lesson plans to recipes on the site and it is all cloud based. Just a friendly reminder to back up as the end of the semester brings a lot of important documents to the forefront.

Blubbr – I almost sent off the Weekly IT Update this week without including this. I found a somewhat fun site which can be used for educational trivia or just any trivia should you choose to do so. Check out: https://www.blubbr.tv/ . Keep in mind this site is still in beta so there are some things about it that don’t work quite the way you might expect, but the overall use of the site is pretty cool and easy. Check out this one I made that didn’t take me very long. (The biggest quirk is the videos show BEFORE the questions). https://www.blubbr.tv/game/index.php?game_id=10379&org=3

Why (Not How) – When running across this article “Why (Not How) We Should Use iPads in Education,” I took a lot from the following. “On a basic level, there is one concept to keep in mind that does not involve technical know-how of apps or an iPad. “Verbs not nouns” is the mantra that can keep the iPad classroom from turning into a classroom about iPads rather than a classroom with iPads.” One big thing to keep in mind is, no matter how technically proficient you are or how you could ever even think about using iPads in your classrooms, there are ways. It’s all about what works for you and I, like the blogger, believe that it should be about turning the classroom into a classroom ABOUT iPads. Take a look at the article here: http://edudemic.com/2013/04/ipads-in-education/

MOOC – Massive Open Online Content (MOOC), you may have heard the term but do you know what they are? Basically, think of it as a free online course covering any topic. (I actually plan on building a MOOC this summer for both U.S. and World Histories for my own purposes) Anyhow, there is a guy named Jonathan Haber who is attempting to get the equivalent of a 4-year college education in 1 year by only using MOOCs. It’s a pretty grand idea and a really interesting way of seeing how effective the free education can be. Check out his latest blog posts at: http://degreeoffreedom.org/



Top 20 iPad Apps

Here is a list of iPad Apps I would recommend for any discipline as general tools for the iPad.


Dropbox lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Access any file you save to your Dropbox from all your computers, iPhone, iPad and even the Dropbox website!

Evernote https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote/id281796108?mt=8

Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.

Penultimate https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/penultimate/id354098826?mt=8

The original and most popular handwriting app for iPad. Penultimate gives you the natural experience of writing on paper, with the added power and availability of Evernote. Take notes, keep sketches, or share your next breakthrough idea — in the office, on the go, or at home on the sofa.

iTunes U https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/itunes-u/id490217893?mt=8

The iTunes U app gives you access to complete courses from leading universities and other schools — plus the world’s largest digital catalog of free education content — right on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Whether you’re majoring in molecular biology at a university, taking Spanish in high school, or just interested in European history, you now have a valuable tool to help you learn anytime, anywhere.

Socrative (Teacher)https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/teacher-clicker-socrative/id477620120?mt=8

Socrative brings smart clickers, student response and ease of use to a whole new level. Engage the entire classroom with educational exercises and games while capturing student results in real-time. Interact with the data to further student understanding in the moment, and review the reports to prepare for future classes. Socrative will even aggregate and grade your pre-made activities! Saving you time, so you can engage more with your students on an individual level. Create a library of activities and share them with your colleagues and learning community. Not a 1:1 school? That’s okay! Have students bring their own devices and join in the learning!

Socrative (Student)https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/student-clicker-socrative/id477618130?mt=8

Wunderlist https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wunderlist/id406644151?mt=8

Wunderlist 2 is the easiest way to manage and share your daily to-do lists. Whether you’re planning an overseas adventure, sharing a shopping list with a loved one, or simply keeping track of your daily to-dos, Wunderlist is here to help you get things done.

VoiceThread https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/voicethread/id465159110?mt=8

Create and share dynamic conversations around documents, snapshots, diagrams and videos — basically anything there is to talk about. You can talk, type, and draw right on the screen. VoiceThread takes your conversations to the next level, capturing your presence, not just your comments. Anyone can join the discussion from their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC — anytime, anywhere.

Stitcher https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stitcher-radio/id288087905?mt=8

Listen to your favorite news, comedy, sports and talk radio shows ON DEMAND from your mobile device. Discover the best of NPR, CNN, Fox, BBC, WSJ, Adam Carolla, Joe Rogan, Rachel Maddow, Rush Limbaugh, Fresh Air, Freakonomics, Radiolab and over 15,000+ shows, podcasts and live stations. Change the way you listen to radio – on your schedule, not the schedule of traditional stations.

Haiku Deckhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/haiku-deck/id536328724?mt=8

Haiku Deck is the simple and fun new way to create stunning presentations – whether you’re pitching an idea, teaching a lesson, telling a story, or igniting a movement. Featured on the iTunes “New and Noteworthy” and “What’s Hot” lists, Haiku Deck makes it fast and fun to create beautifully designed slideshows you’ll be proud to share.

PixnTell https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pixntell/id532075424?mt=8

Pixntell adds your voice to your pictures and creates a personalized video you can share on Dropbox, Facebook, YouTube or email!

ScreenChomp https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/screenchomp/id442415881?mt=8

Share a great idea… Explain a tricky concept… Help kids with their homework…ScreenChomp for iPad helps you do it all. A simple doodling board, markers, and one-click sharing tools make spreading your ideas and know-how easy and fun!

Mindmeister https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mindmeister-mind-mapping/id381073026?mt=8

MindMeister is the one and only mobile mind mapping app you’ll ever need. Whether you’re using it in the boardroom, the classroom, the presentation hall, or the lunch meeting, MindMeister can help you organize, prioritize, and even generate new thoughts.


ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/showme-interactive-whiteboard/id445066279?mt=8

ShowMe allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online. It’s an amazingly simple app that anyone can use, no matter how young or old!

Flashcards* https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flashcards*/id403199818?mt=8

Flashcardlet is a free, easy-to-use studying application with material for any class or standardized test. You can also create and share your own. It is the best way to study on any iOS device.

Khan Academyhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/khan-academy/id469863705?mt=8

Khan Academy allows you to learn almost anything for free. Our iOS app is the best way to view Khan Academy’s complete library of over 3,500 videos. We cover a massive number of topics, including K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even the humanities with playlists on finance and history.

Encyclopaedia Britannicahttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/encyclop-dia-britannica/id447919187?mt=8

The complete Encyclopaedia Britannica – the world’s most trusted reference source, enhanced for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

Class Dojohttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/classdojo-for-teachers/id552602056?mt=8

ClassDojo helps teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. It also captures and generates data on behavior that teachers can share with parents and administrators. Teachers can use this app to give students realtime feedback while in class – it will sync with the main ClassDojo website.

NearPod https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nearpod/id523540409?mt=8

The Nearpod platform enables teachers to use their iPads to manage content on students’ iPads, iPhones or iPods. It combines presentation, collaboration, and real-time assessment tools into one integrated solution.

Skype https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skype-for-ipad/id442012681?mt=8

Say “hello” to friends and family with an instant message, voice or video call on Skype for free. There’s so much you can do, right from the palm of your hand.

AppsGoneFree https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/apps-gone-free-best-daily/id470693788?mt=8

Find great apps without spending a dime! Get high quality paid apps for free each day. Unlike other apps, we offer no paid listings – these are expert-picked top-ranked apps, for FREE!



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