The Best 30 Educational iPad Apps in 2014

November 28, 2014
I am not sure if you have seen this or not, but our colleagues in Teachthought have created this wonderful list featuring some of the best educational iPad apps in the year 2014. The selection attempts to provide teachers and educators with powerful apps to help them perform a variety of digital tasks including : note taking, PDF marking, file sharing, video and presentations creating and many more. I have actually spent some time sifting through its content and found it really worth bringing to your attention. Have a look and share with us what you think of it. Enjoy

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The Popular Math App 'Zombie Fish' Is Now Free

November, 2014
The popular Math game Zombie Fish Bits is free today for a limited time. It used to cost $5. This game is particularly designed for ages 5 and up. It is built in such a way as to empower kids' natural ability to think mathematically as they try to save 'Icy Bits" before they are eaten by Zombie Fish.

Zombie Fish covers a wide variety of mathematical concepts including: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, composing and decomposing qualities.Through the imaginative world of Zombie Fish, each learner will explore, discover, and build. They acquire a logical and meaningful understanding of the most important math fundamentals.

I learned about this deal from My Hullabaloo.

An Important YouTube Tip for Teachers and Educators

November 28, 2014
Here is a nifty little trick that is often overlooked by many teachers. I got an email the other day from a teacher asking about some tools to crop YouTube videos. I thought, why would you use a third party tool when YouTube has a very powerful built-in cropping functionality. Unless you want to use a tool that both crops and removes surrounding content, I think YouTube's cropping service is what you definitely need. The only inconvenience with this tool is that it allows you to specify only the start time  of the portion you want to crop.

 For instance, you watched a YouTube video and you want to share the part of the video that starts at minute 10. Just click on the "share button then select "embed"  under the video as shown in the picture below

Then tick the "start time" box and set the start time to 10. Then copy and share the link through email or via social media websites.

The video will automatically play at the exact moment you have set. Try out this link to see this example.

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A Beautiful Visual Explaining The Internet of Things

November 27, 2014
Internet of Things (IoT) is a relatively new concept that is making such a buzz online. I have come across it in several instances but never really inquired deeply about its meaning. However, today I read a really interesting article by Jacob Morgan entitled " A Simple Explanation of 'The Internet of Things'. In this article, Jacob defined IoT as "the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.  This also applies to components of machines, for example a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig."

Jacob cited Gartner's prediction that by the year 2020 there will be more than 26 billion connected devices. With this huge number of connections the question of the impact of IoT comes to the forefront. Jacob provided a simple answer in the form of subtle examples. He said:

There are many examples for what this might look like or what the potential value might be.  Say for example you are on your way to a meeting, your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take, if the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late.  What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 am and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more?  What if the wearable device you used in the workplace could tell you when and where you were most active and productive and shared that information with other devices that you used while working?
In a recent article entitled "Everything You Need to Know about Internet of Things", author Jacob provides even more enlightened examples of how the concept of IoT works . He also featured  this excellent infographic which I am sharing with you. This visual is created by FOW Community.

Internet of Things Explained for Teachers

A Wonderful Note Taking App from Google

November 27, 2014
Google Keep is an excellent tool to use for creating digital sticky notes. You can use both text and images to capture and share your notes.  You can also use it   to create to-do lists and bookmark content from the web.It has an intuitive and user friendly interface that makes it way simpler to navigate and control than is the case with several other note-taking apps out there.

 Since its update a few weeks ago, Google Keep added a wide variety of new features. Here are some of them:
  • You can now color-code your notes and lists so you can easily find and edit them.
  • Google Keep now supports collaborative editing. You can  share your notes or to-do lists and assign privileges to your collaborators so that they can view, edit, and even invite further collaborators. All edits can be seen in real time in each collaborator's account.
  • You can now add reminders in your notes and to-do lists
  • Google Keep has a search function that facilitates looking for notes and content. You can filter your Keep content by  list, image, audio, or shared content.
  • Finally Google keep is available for the web, as a Chrome app, and as Android app.
Watch the video to learn more about Google Keep

A Useful Edmodo Cheat Sheet for Teachers

November, 2014
Edmodo is a web-based platform that provides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices. It is like Facebook but in a safe and  controlled environment appropriate for school.
Edmodo provides you with a secure environment where you can create a classroom group for your students. In this virtual group you can :

  • Place digital resources on Edmodo for students to access or download,
  •  Create polls for students to vote online.
  • Write short summaries of lessons for students who were absent from class (better yet: get your students to write the summary).
  •  Post homework information
If you are new to Edmodo and want a quick visual guide of the different features Edmodo provides to its users, this cheat sheet created by Monique Dalli is a good place to start with. This visual is available in PDF format  for free download from Dalli's webpage where you will also find some good resources on Edmodo.


New Poster: Explaining SAMR Model Through Google Apps

November 27, 2014
Here is another great find today from Google Apps Action. Davis created this excellent visual illustrating how to integrated SAMR model using Google Apps. She made use of two main apps: Google Docs and Google Hangout, and for each of the SAMR levels (substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) she provided an example of a task together with the app to do it. To me, the strength of this work lies in the task samples mentioned here. Teachers can repurpose them and try them with their own students in class. I also find the simple explanation of each of the SAMR levels quite helpful and  would help those new to SAMR better understand the philosophy underlying this conceptual framework. Here is how Davis defines it:

Substitution: Using new technology for an old task
Augmentation: Using additional new technology for an old task
Modification: Using new technology to change and old task
Redefinition: Using new technology to create tasks.

Explaining SAMR Model Using Google Apps
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