Pinewood December Tech Newsletter

Tech Resources That Bring Holiday Cheer!

Show Me The Resources!!!!

In the movie Jerry Maguire, up and coming football star Rod Tidwell danced around yelling at his agent, "Show me the money!" Here at Pinewood, we have teachers dancing around chanting, "Show me the apps!" ;-)


The best way to start is to not look for an app, but to ask yourself what you want the students to do. What is the learning outcome you are guiding them towards?


I will highlight some apps in this newsletter, but for those who want a good starting point, you can take a look at the iPad Primer I put together for a full writeup of some websites to help you find apps for your class.


Finding Apps, Where Do I Start?


If you want the quick version, try one of these two websites:


EdShelf

http://edshelf.com/


EdShelf is sort of like a Pinterest for Apps. I like the graphical way this website presents the apps as well as links to tutorials and ratings by other teachers.


EdTechTeacher

http://edtechteacher.org/apps/


I like the way that EdTechTeacher presents apps. They begin by asking what you want your students to be able to do. From there, they guide you to decent apps to take a look at.

Pinewood K-6 Resources

If you haven't seen the website EdShelf, you may want to go check it out. It is a great place to start your search for good iPad apps for the classroom. I have created a few different shelves for Pinewood, the most recent being Pinewood K-6 Resources.


My hope is that many teachers will add iPad apps that they like as well as website that have been successful in the classroom. These could be resources that were used with students or that have made teaching easier.


If you would like to help me add resources to our EdShelf, let me know. You will need to create a free EdShelf account and then I can add you as a curator!


Upper Campus: I will make one for you as well. Stay tuned!

App Spotlight of the Month: Book Creator (Grades K-12)

Book Creator

You probably have heard of Book Creator, you may have even used Book Creator, but have you seen it lately? This is an app that can be used at every level of K-12. Don't let the app name fool you, Book Creator is not just for creating books. Some examples: It is great for demonstrating understanding, collecting and publishing student work (audio, video, documents, artwork and so on), student collaboration, and more.


Book Creator has recently added some much needed features.


  • It is now MUCH easier to share books
  • Books can be saved as PDFs and movies
  • Comic book style tiles are now an option!


I was at a conference the week before Thanksgiving and spent quality one-on-one time with Dan & Dan the developers of Book Creator. They were really interested in how we are using their app at Pinewood and wanted to hear our feature requests and needs.


Book Creator Resources


K-6 Apps in Action: Padlet & KWL Charts

Padlet is a collaborative digital wall that allows students to post comments or questions on a topic. It basically works like an virtual sheet of butcher paper where students can put any content such as, images, videos, documents and text. The Padlet can be viewed or edited from both a computer or an iPad.


Padlet is free. There are paid versions of Padlet for both education and business, but you don't need the paid versions to use it with your class.


Padlet Examples



Have you ever used a KWL Chart? For those not familiar, it is a document that students fill out, typically with the whole class or in groups, that pertain to a particular topic. The put down what they KNOW (K), what they WANT (W) to learn, and what they LEARNED (L).


"Teachers use K-W-L charts during thematic units to activate students’ background knowledge about a topic and to scaffold them as they ask questions and organize the information they’re learning." (From Education.Com)


You can see KWL charts using Padlet here: Using Padlet, QR Codes and iPads, Oh My!


Side note: If you have never been to Mrs. Wideen's Blog before, it is a tremendous resource for using technology ion the classroom. I have had the pleasure of meeting Kristen a few times and she is a great presenter, instructor and a wealth of ideas.

Show Me The Apps Quick List

Here are some apps that I will give full reviews of later, but might be good to take a look at now.

Questions, Comments, Feedback?

Please contact me if you have questions. I would be happy to sit down with you and look at any of these apps, or others, with you. Just shoot me an email and we can setup a time. I would also be more than happy to visit your classroom when you are using technology to observe and lend a helping hand!


I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!!!


Bill