Personalized Learning Visually Explained for Teachers

November 23, 2014
One of the biggest affordances of technology is towards the enhancement of the concept of personalized learning. Internet and more particularly web 2.0 technologies and mobile apps have provided learners with unprecedented opportunities to learn whenever, wherever, and however they want. At its core, personalized learning is all about tailoring the available resources in order to meet personal learning needs. On a macro educational scale, personalized learning addresses different teaching strategies and instructional methods that focus on the adjustment and leverage of the curricula and teaching materials to help meet a diverse set of students learning needs and interests.

The visual I am sharing with you today sheds more light on this concept and walks you  through the whats and hows of personalized learning. Mia MacMeekin did a great job explaining personalized learning in three easy steps: First, she provides a short succinct definition of what personalized learning is, then she moves on to talk about different ways to go about creating a personalized learning experience, and in the last section she features some interesting examples of PL. Read on to learn more..

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2 Good iPad Apps to Teach Kids Handwriting

November 23, 2014
Below are some excellent iPad apps that you can use with your kids to teach them handwriting. The apps simulate the paper and pen writing in that they provide a large white paper where kids can trace, draw and write letters and numbers.Check them out below and share with us if you have other suggestions to add to this list.

1- School Writing

As a kindergarten teacher, and parent of a kindergarten and preschool child, I love this app! It teaches D'Nealian, which is an introduction to learning cursive. I love that there are thoroughly thought through lessons to break writing into chunks for students. Leaves that student in the exact place they left off, awards the student stars for job well done on each part of the lesson, and gives immediate feedback if a student needs improvement. Brought this to my Assistant Principal to use school wide.
2- Home KG
Home KG is an amazing free learning app for preschoolers to teach your children how to write alphabets, numbers and recognize shapes. This Kids app is a free teaching tool for toddlers and young children. It includes all English alphabets, digits from 0 to 9 and 10 different shapes. This preschool learning app works as a training guide where children can explore their creativity while learning at the same time.

4 Excellent iPad Apps to Create 3D Models and Pictures on iPad

November 23, 2014
In today's post I am introducing you to a set of powerful free iPad apps to use with students to create 3D models and artefacts.Students can use these apps to sculpt and paint  3D shapes, make 3D printable designs, transform pictures and images into interactive 3D models, and create 3D characters. The digital artefacts students create through these apps can be used for a variety of scholastic tasks from creating 3D models for  science experiments to designing 3D characters for digital storytelling. All of these apps are created by the popular Autodesk.

1- 123 Design

Create amazing 3D printable designs, right on your iPad! This is how it works:
  • Get started by choosing one of the basic shapes and then edit it to be just what you want. 
  • Easily connect one shape to another to make more detailed creations. Objects snap naturally to the centers of faces. 
  • The included parts and example projects are a fun way to play around with design ideas or get acclimated to design concepts. 
  • Chose from one of the example kits and start building. Each part is editable so you can try out different ideas and make them your own.
  • Save your creations to My Projects, where you can easily access them in the 123D Design web and desktop apps.
2- 123D Catch

Use your camera to capture the people, places and things around you as amazingly realistic 3D experiences. Capture friends, sculptures, buildings or anything else you can photograph. Automatically transform them into interactive 3D models that can be shared with friends, family, and an ever growing community of 3D photographers.
3- 123D Sculpt

It’s easy to get started. Choose a shape from the library of creatures, humans, vehicles, and more. Then push, pull and paint to make the sculpture your own. When you are done, take snapshots in the camera room or create animated QuickTime turntable movies to upload to YouTube or email to friends.
4- 123 D Creature
Create fantastic 3D characters like a pro with Autodesk 123D Creature. Design your creature, then sculpt detailed features and paint on skin, fur, feathers, or whatever you imagine. Export your finished creature as an image or 3D model, or have it 3D printed into a real sculpture!

6 Great iPad Apps to Grab Text From Pictures and Turn It to Digital Characters

November 22, 2014
Below are some good iPad apps for optical character recognition. Using these apps will allow you to convert the text contained in an image or photo into digital characters that you can then edit, copy, or/and share. The way this technology works is pretty similar in all of these apps. First you hold your camera towards the picture till the app recognizes the text then you can immediately extract text from it. There is also the possibility to translate text into different languages.

Google Drive also supports Optical Character Recognition(OCR). Here is a handy tip on how to convert scanned PDFs or any image that include text in it into text documents using automated computer algorithms in Google Docs. Once converted, you can then edit and annotate the text as you like.
1- Translate Photo Free
TranslatePhoto app extracts texts from any printed sources: documents, books, signs, instructions or announcements and allows to immediately translate them to any of 70 languages. Take a picture of the text and after the text is recognized, you can immediately edit, hear, translate, share it on Facebook, Dropbox or simply send by email.
2- PDF Pen Scan
With PDFpen Scan+, use your iPhone or iPad to scan and OCR multi-page documents to create searchable PDFs. Scan directly with your iPhone or iPad camera. Crop and enhance the scan. Perform OCR. Copy OCR text. Email, export, and share PDF documents.
3- Prizmo
Prizmo is a universal photo-based scanner app that lets you scan and recognize text documents, business cards, and images, and then export them as PDF/Text, vCard, or JPEG/PNG. Prizmo relies on state-of-the-art technologies, like a highly accurate OCR, real-time page detection, and beautiful image cleanup. Using iCloud, you can even shoot the picture on your iPhone, and finish editing on your iPad or Mac.

Pixter Scan OCR is a combination between Pixels (your pictures) and text (what you will get) by Optical character recognition usually abbreviated to OCR which is the mechanical or electronic conversion of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded text.

TextGrabber + Translator easily and quickly scans, translates and saves your chosen text from virtually any printed material. Simply take a picture of the text and immediately edit, hear it spoken aloud via VoiceOver, translate it into over 40 languages, send your text by SMS or e-mail, or share it quickly on Facebook, Twitter or Evernote.

CamScanner helps you scan, store, sync and collaborate on various contents across smartphones, iPads, tablets and computers. Some of its features include:scanning and digitize all kinds of paper documents, cropping and auto enhancing, printing and sharing documents in PDF or JPEG format with friends via various ways.

The Best 8 iPad Video Creation Apps for Teachers in 2014

November 21, 2014

We have reviewed and shared over 200 educational apps during this year. Based on your interactions with these posts together with the popularity of these apps among teachers and educators from around the world, we decided to compile a series of lists featuring the best iPad apps to use for doing a variety of digital tasks with students. We will start with the video apps category and share with what we think are  the top 10 iPad apps that you can use to create educational videos and instructional tutorials for your class.

1- WeVideo

WeVideo is an awesome video editor that allows you to both capture and edit videos on the go. Using weVideo will also enable you to create amazing photo-stories and slideshows using the images you have in your gallery or the ones you have captured by the app. WeVideo provides a slew of interesting tools to edit your creations including : adding effects to movies, a set of pre-made themes, add titles and captions, add music and audio. The finished product can be shared through popular social media websites.

2- Knowmia

Knowmia Teach is a new free lesson planning and recording tool for teachers and their students. It helps you create short video lessons on any subject and publish them on so students, other teachers and the public can find them. Knowmia Teach makes it easy to bring in visual aids from multiple sources, organize them in steps (like slides in a presentation) and use your own voice and fingers to bring your lesson to life. You can design each step in the lesson, record illustrations as you draw them, and create sophisticated animation sequences with a simple stroke of a finger. We also give you the ability to describe your lesson in a way that makes it simple for anyone who is interested in the subject to find your video.

3- YouTube Capture

YouTube Capture is definitely a must have iPad app for teachers and students. This app is developed by Google and, unlike the basic YouTube app, YouTube Capture allows users to record videos and upload them instantly and right from their iPad or phones and Instagram.
4- Explain Everything 

Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere. Using Explain Everything, you will be able to create slides, draw in any color, add shapes, add text, and use a laser pointer. Rotate, move, scale, copy, paste, clone, and lock any object added to the stage.

5-30 Hands

30hands Mobile focuses on the power of storytelling and ITERATIVE CREATIVITY. Drag photos, images or video clips around the desktop into the order of the story. Next, record audio over each image. Easy editing allows students to take learning to a higher level and creates a better final video whether created by a student or teacher. Finally, the story or presentation can be published to the device’s photo area or uploaded to a 30hands Cloud collaborative learning site.

6- Animoto

Animoto allows you to create simple and beautiful videos that combine text, soundtrack and images. Animoto provides more than 1000 soundtracks from different musical genres which you can access in their music library and use in your videos. You can also use your iPad camera to take photos or use the ones already stored in your camera roll. Other features that Animoto provides to users include over 50 different video styles to choose from, the ability to add captions to your photos, trim video clips and create title cards.

7- Tellegami

Tellagami is a mobile app that lets you create and share a quick animated message called a Gami. A Gami can be an exciting tweet or status update. It can be a fun way to tell a story. It can be a thank you message or a vacation postcard. It can be a birthday greeting, party invite or cool way to share photos. Create a Gami in 3 easy steps.
  •  Customize a character and choose your background.
  •  Record your voice or type a message for your character to say. 
  • Share your Gami on Facebook, Twitter or send via text or email.

8- iMovie

iMovie lets you enjoy your videos and tell stories like never before. Browse your video library, share favorite moments, create beautiful movies, and watch them on all your devices in iMovie Theater. And with the iMovie extension, it’s fast and fun to make every video more memorable — right in the Photos app.

Resume Pro is Free Today: Easily Create Beautiful Resumes

November, 2014
Resume Mobile Pro is a powerful iPad app that allows you to create beautiful and professional looking resumes. This app is free today. It used to cost $2,99. Using Resume Mobile Pro will enable you to create your resume using a wide variety of styles and templates. You can customize it the way you want and there is also a place in where you can add your own photo.

Another good feature provided by this app is the ability to duplicate and edit your resumes so you can use them for different purposes and in multiple occasions. It also allows you to import your LinkedIn data right into your resume. The final resume you create can be converted to three main formats: PDF, JPG and RTF. To share your resume, you can use the emailing option or keep it in your Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote.

I learned about this app from Learning in Hand.

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A Great Task Manager App Is Now Free (Was $20)

November, 2014
The popular Things for iPad is an excellent task manager app that has gone free today. It used to cost  $20 and this deal is valid for one week (till November the 28th). Things for iPad allows you to enhance your productivity by giving you more control over the organization and management of your tasks and to-do lists. You can easily manage your tasks and to-do lists through an intuitive interface using a variety of powerful features.

To organize tasks for each day, use your "today list" which will automatically show you due and scheduled items you have set once their date arrives. And if you have tasks that you haven't decided when to work on them, you can add them to "Someday" and come back to them whenever you want. Things for iPad also allows for the use of tags to assign contexts, priorities and time. These tags help you in filtering through your lists of tasks and enhances your personal workflow.