Great Learning Activities to Use with Pokémon Go

July 24, 2016
Pokémon Go is the top trending virtual reality game right now. It has been making news since its release a few weeks ago and for us in education, the game is already promising. Several teachers and educators have already been experimenting with it in educational settings and the results seem to be positive so far. For the uninitiated of you, Pokemon Go is ‘an augmented reality game that you can play through your smart phone. The app uses the coordinates of your GPS to determine your location in the real world and provides you with Pokémon characters to view and catch.Pokémon are out there, and you need to find them. As you walk around a neighbourhood, your smartphone will vibrate when there’s a Pokémon nearby. Take aim and throw a Poké Ball… You’ll have to stay alert, or it might get away!’. To learn more about the educational potential of Pokémon Go, check out this resource.

We are also sharing with you this awesome find to help you learn more about how you can make the best of Pokémon Go in your teaching. Explore Everything with Pokémon Go is an iTunes U course ‘ has been put together for families and individuals to explore ten learning activities guided by Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences to help you engage more fully with the world of Pokemon GO. Learning activities use the Tag Journal app as well as other iPad apps and workflows to explore creative outcomes that relate to the experience of playing this phenomenal new Augmented Reality game. Course created by Craig Smith, Deputy Principal of Aspect Hunter School, Autism Spectrum Australia.’

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7 Good Educational iPad Apps Free Today

July 17, 2016
Below is a collection of some good iPad apps that are free today and only for a limited period of time. Some of the things you can do with these apps include: a fully featured scientific calculator with hundreds of mathematical functions; save your kids artwork in different digital formats; view, read and annotate PDFs; turn your iPad or iPhone into a wireless remote control for your Mac or PC; scan documents and PDFs at a higher quality; easily record and share video clips and many more.

1- MathStudio Express

Whether you need a simple calculator to do your finances or a replacement for your TI graphing calculator, MathStudio Express is a full featured scientific calculator with hundreds of mathematical functions that cover Basic Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Trigonometry, Precalculus, Calculus, Statistics, Finite Math, Linear Algebra and Statistics.

2- Artkive

As featured on THE TODAY SHOW, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, and countless other parenting resources, Artkive is the leading and original app to chronologically store, share and print your child's artwork or schoolwork…Get rid of the clutter and start to enjoy your child's work. Turn your Artkive into a high quality, hard cover book or other great products (like phone cases, blankets, coasters, pillows and more) with little more than the touch of a button!

3- PDF Reader Premium

‘PDF Reader is the ideal app for anyone who works with PDFs in the office or at home. PDF Reader allows you to make notes and organize all annotated information with a few taps. You can quickly backup and send documents to your friends, classmates and colleagues via email and all the popular cloud storage services. Optimizing your work quality and productivity couldn’t be easier!’

4- Remote Mouse

‘Remote Mouse turns your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch into a wireless user-friendly remote control for your Mac / PC. It’ll surprise you with fully simulated touchpad, keyboard and featured remote panels which make your remote experience simple and efficient.’

5- SharpScan Pro

‘Perfect companion for busy users, SharpScan automatically produces small, clear, and legible standard PDF documents from any photos at a very high speed. Share documents as a tiny Black & White PDF. Convert them to Color, Grey or Original anytime with no pixel loss.’

6- Manifesto

‘Start recording in a snap! Take pictures, videos and voice recordings by starting the app...super-fast...everything. Never miss a moment anymore.’

7- Brain Wave Study Smart

‘Study Smart uses specially designed binaural brainwave entrainment programs that synchronize the frequency of your brainwaves with a those associated with focus, concentration, analytical thought, and memory retention.’

Source: Apps Gone Free

20+ Tools and Apps for Creating Visually Appealing Mind Maps

July 17, 2016
Mind maps are great organization tools that students can use to structure and visualize their ideas and thoughts. They can be used for a variety of educational purposes. For instance, students can utilize them in pre-writing tasks to brainstorm ideas around a given topic. They can also be used as synthesis tools to enhance reading comprehension. As we have argued elsewhere, Mind mapping is proved to boost a number of key thinking skills that include creating, synthesizing and analyzing information. In today’s post, we are re-sharing with you this handy chart comprising some of the best digital tools to use in class to create visually appealing mind maps. We have categorized these applications into tools that work on Google Drive and the web, iPad apps and Android apps. Check them out and share with us your feedback.

Google Drive Tools for Creating Mind Maps
Web Tools for Creating Mind Maps
iPad Mind Mapping Apps
Android Mind Mapping Apps

Digital Citizenship Explained for Teachers

July 17, 2016
Today’s students spend a tremendous amount of time navigating the web. Internet has become a central part of their everyday life; from socializing to doing research, digital natives are in a constant state of connectedness. Whether this has good or nefarious impact on students learning is out of the scope of this short post. What we are interested  in is how students can use their online (and offline) time in a responsibly ethical way, a concept at the core of what is now known as Digital Citizenship. In the visual below we created and shared a few years ago, we walk you through some key ideas in digital citizenship. This work is based on posts we have been publishing in ‘digital citizenship section’ here in EdTech and mLearning and  on Jason Ohler’s book "Digital Community, Digital Citizen".

digital citizenship

A Handy Chart Featuring Over 30 Educational YouTube Channels for Teachers

July 21, 2016
Below is a curated collection of some of the best YouTube channels created by teachers for teachers. This is a work we have published a few months ago and is meant to provide teachers with a handy resource where they can access a plethora of educational video materials to use in their instruction. We have arranged these channels into the following categories: channels for science teachers, channels for math teachers, channels for chemistry and physics teachers, channels for learning English, channels for educational documentaries, and channels that provide intelligent content for students. Enjoy

YouTube Channels
YouTube Channels for Science Teachers
YouTube Channels for Math Teachers
YouTube Channels for Chemistry and Physics Teachers
YouTube Channels for Learning English
YouTube Channels for Educational Documentaries
YouTube Channels That Provide Intelligent Content for Students

Everything Teachers Need to Know about Pokémon Go

July 21, 2016
Pokémon Go is a cultural phenomenon that has gained so much in popularity over the last few weeks. This is basically an augmented reality game that you can play through your smart phone. The app uses the coordinates of your GPS to determine your location in the real world and provides you with Pokémon characters to view and catch. 'Pokémon are out there, and you need to find them. As you walk around a neighbourhood, your smartphone will vibrate when there’s a Pokémon nearby. Take aim and throw a Poké Ball… You’ll have to stay alert, or it might get away!'

Since its introduction a few weeks ago, Pokémon Go has made such a huge buzz in the EdTech community with teachers and educators debating the different possibilities to integrate the game into learning and teaching. This Reddit thread titled ‘Can Pokemon Go Provide Educational Benefit’ captures part of the heated discussion surrounding the potential use of this game in education. EdTech bloggers like Kathy Schrok and Sherry Terrel talk about the various ways Pokemon Go can be adapted in education. In her interesting article ‘Pokemon Go in The Classroom’ Schrock shares her thoughts on ‘how to use the game to expand the learning and target some of the literacies we want students to attain.’ She suggested using the game to help kids learn about data literacy, create visually appealing infographics, create mapped Google Pokemon Go Trips based on real places students have visited while playing the game, and engage students in digital storytelling activities using screenshots from the game. Pokémon Go can also help language learners. In her post ‘ 9 Fun Ways to Practice English with Pokemon Go’, Terrel explains how language teachers can  use this game to help (ESl) students learn and develop their language skills.

As for Catherine Little from The Star, PokémonGo can be an effective tool to help kids develop mapping skills and learn about responsible use of GPS. And as she stated “Parents could use the game to help children learn mapping and responsible use of GPS. Even adults could use a refresher in not blindly following GPS instructions. There are also financial literacy lessons to be learned with respect to the use of mobile data plans and their limitations. Parents can help their children learn to balance the game with their other responsibilities.”

And because playing Pokémon Go requires players to go out and look for Pokemon characters in the real world, many perceive of the game as providing a strong incentive for kids to get out and move enhancing thus their overall physical health.

Pokémon Go is also ideal for autistic learners. In an interesting article published in the Independent, Australian autism expert Craig Smith talks about the numerous educational benefits of Pokémon Go for autistic students. He particularly stressed the importance of the game in improving  autistic students social skills and raising their motivation and engagement in learning.

For more resources on the educational potential of Pokemon Go, check out these links: