Nov 07

16 Websites and Apps for Making Videos and Animation

By:Ellen Holderman

apps3“For this week’s Top Picks List Friday, we are featuring websites and apps for making videos and animations. Teachers know that video making is a tried and true way to get kids engaged in building, demonstrating, and sharing knowledge. These apps and sites feature user-friendly tools and features that make it more fun than ever to get kids’ productions edited and polished.To see the rating of each app, game, or website, visit the Top Picks List, Websites and Apps for Making Videos and Animation.” To read further please click here:

Oct 27

How Autism Apps Help Kids on the Spectrum

By: Dina Roth Port

autismTechnology is helping children with autism master decidedly non-technical skills.

Children with an autism spectrum disorder can have a range of special needs, such as social or communication difficulties and restrictive or repetitive behaviors.While technology has always held promise as a therapeutic tool, the customization and personalization of the latest apps are helping children with autism learn to communicate, socialize and master routines in new ways.“Apps are transformative — they have been shown to improve communication skills, the effectiveness of behavioral therapy and learning and school performance among people with autism,” said Dan Smith, Ph.D., vice president of innovative technologies for Autism Speaks, a leading autism research and advocacy organization.” To read further please click here:

Oct 19

Best of Breed Tools for Learning 2015

By: Jane Hart

appps“Following the release of the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2015 (compiled from the votes of over 2,000 learning professionals worldwide), I have been working on this year’s Guidebook, and have now created a Best of Breed Tools for Learning 2015 list, where I classify the Top 1000 tools in 30 different categories. # is the position of the tool on the Top 100 Tools list.  So here it is …” To read further please click here:

Oct 18

Discover Educational Resources on Your iPad

By: Richard Byrne

pbs-students-1PBS Students is a new iPad app designed to showcase some of the best educational content for students. Through the app students and teachers can search for educational videos, articles, and diagrams. Some of the the video content can be downloaded directly to an iPad. The app was initially launched two weeks ago and it was updated this week. The update fixed an issue with some content shown in the app not being accessible when selected. The other update is the inclusion of a Puzzle Builder tool.”To read further please click here:

Oct 10

Explore the Solar System on iPads with Professor Astro Cat

By: Monica Burns

astro cat“Taking students on field trips around the solar system might not be an option at your school.  If that’s the case, you’ll want to check out Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System app for iPads.  This beautifully designed app was just released on the Apple App Store.  Based on the best-selling book, Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, students can use this powerful iPad app to learn about the solar system.Students will explore the planets in the solar system as they learn about celestial objects and space travel.” To read further please click here:

Sep 08

5 Easy Ways to Make Awesome Videos and Images Quickly

By: Justin Pot

videoss“Stop making memes: they haven’t been funny for years, and using them makes you seem out of touch at this point. Besides, there are way more creative tools out there for creating pure doses of Internet-related delight.

Today Cool Web Apps and Sites brings you five simple tools that let you quickly create something awesome to share with friends, loved ones, and even mortal enemies. Let’s get started.
Crumbles (Web, iPhone): Random Movie Characters Read Any Sentence
We begin with perhaps the easiest way to make a video that I’ve ever seen – all you need to do is type a sentence.” To read further please click here:

Aug 28

A Fun App for Learning to Classify Plants and Animals

By:Richard Byrne

classifyClassify It! is a free iPad app designed to help elementary school and middle school students learn to classify plants and animals. In the app students are given a question and shown a selection of plants and animals. Respond to the question students have to correctly identify the plants and animals that answer the question. For example, on the second level of the game students are asked to identify the animals that are mammals and they then have to select the mammals from a gallery of pictures. If students need help understanding the question or prompt on a level, they can tap the question mark icon to receive a bit of clarification.” To read further please click here:

Jul 31

14 Ways to Make Teachers, Students, AND Parents Happy with Just One Tool!

By: Erin Klein

parentts“As a classroom teacher, I’m always on the look out for resources that will help my students in class and support the work they do at home as well.  Over the years, I’ve gathered binders full of information, computer files full of information, and now Pinterest boards full of information.  I’m over the moon the FINALLY have a resource where I can curate ALL of my content under ONE place: appoLearning Collections.  ” To read further please click here:

Jul 07

23 Tools For Students To Publish What They Learn

By:Nadya Khoja

apps4“It’s no surprise that’s no surprise that there are so many tools available for students to publish their ideas to in the year 2015.

There was once a time when publishing thoughts to the web required considerable knowledge of HTML and CSS, however with the surge of online blogging and publication systems, the power of expression has never been easier. Students now have a well of opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas with the added chance of getting global feedback on those insights. Here is a list of some of the best online publication tools that students can post their creative impressions on.

23 Tools For Students To Publish What They Learn

1. Medium

Medium is a new blogging tool created by, Evan Williams, a co-founder at Blogger and Twitter. Medium is a great tool for those who wish to share their stories with the world. It is a very easy to use tool because unlike a lot of other blogging platforms, it doesn’t require much knowledge of implementing advanced widgets. There is also the added benefit of an annotation feature that lets students cite their source with ease. Although Medium does not allow for much customization, its clean and classic appearance makes for a simple navigation of the tool.” To read further please click here:

Jun 28

7 Apps for Student Creators

By: Monica Burns

appps” Creation-based tasks promote higher-order thinking, encourage collaboration, and connect students to real-world learning. Whether you’re teaching in a project-based learning classroom, engaging students with authentic assessments, or committed to pushing students to analyze and synthesize, providing opportunities for creation is a must.Students who are “making” to demonstrate their learning can produce content that is shareable and valuable. Their creations can be geared toward a specific audience and viewed outside of the classroom. The sense of purpose that students have as creators can be leveraged to increase engagement and get learners of all ages excited about content.

There are a handful of dynamic iPad apps that can turn your students into creators. This doesn’t happen magically when they launch the apps. Combined with thoughtful planning, rigorous tasks, and clear expectations, your students can create powerful products that show you — and the world — what they’ve learned.” To read further please click here:

Jun 23

The Ultimate Lesson Planning Tool


lessons“As many of you will know, every aspect of my teaching is completed in some form of digital manner. This includes everything from attendance and assessment,  to resource creation and collaboration. However until recently there was one aspect of my teaching, that I still used paper for and regardless of the systems I trailed, nothing could sway me over to making the jump.

What was I refusing to do electronically?…..Well the answer might surprise you…… It was…… Lesson Planning.

Now the reason behind my refusal to switch, was purely based on my belief that there simply wasn’t a tool out there for me that included the features I needed.  So after literally two years of planning, thinking, testing and consulting with other teachers I have finished work on an app that Im safe to say has resulted in me moving to a pure paperless existence has just been released.

Introducing Easy Planner

After two years of planing and development, my award winning Easy Planner app has finally been released. Essentially Easy Planner is a powerful lesson planning tool for the modern day teacher. Designed to work on ANY device with an internet connection. Plan all of your classes with ease with an intuitive interface designed to make lesson planning quick and efficient. Its also FREE.” To read further please click here:

May 26

5 Great Apps Students Can Use to Demonstrate Their Learning

Med Kharbach

classtech“Below are some of the best iPad apps students can use to demonstrate their learning across different subjects. Apple has recently released Apps in the Classroom series featuring the apps listed below (except Book Creator)  in separate visually explained guides for teachers to use with their students. All of these guides are available for free download with iBooks in Mac or iPad or with iTunes on your computer.” To read further please click here:

May 24

Best iPad apps for teachers: From planning to class participation, start the school year off right!

By:Alison Kazmucha

apps“Are you a teacher looking for the best iPad apps to help you not only stay on top of things, but enhance the entire classroom experience? App Store is full of educational apps that not only makes learning fun, but can help engage your students. For after class, there are lots of productivity apps that can help you stay on top of lesson plans, keep track of participation, and much more. Put them together and they can make for one of the best school years yet! No matter what grade you teach, these are the iPad apps we think no teacher should ever go without!” To read further please click here:

May 08

VideoScribe- Create Animated Videos with Handwritten Drawings

By: Med Kharbach

videoscribe“VideoScribe is a powerful whiteboard animation tool that enables you to add a variety of items to a whiteboard canvas. ‘You can move around the items, add voice-overs and soundtracks and create videos that use different animations and drawing effects to take your audience through your story or topic in a visually engaging way.’

The way VideoScribe works is pretty simple. You add your multimedia items to the whiteboard canvas and VideoScribe will do the rest and turn them into beautiful animated videos. Some of the features provided by this tool include: thousands of professional images to add to your animations, a library of royalty-free original soundtracks, voice recording, adjust drawing times and sequences, export videos to camera roll and many more.” To read further please click here:

May 08

4 Tips To Seeing If An Educational App Will Actually Help Your Child Learn

By: Jennifer M. Zosh

apps3“Imagine someone telling you that a new technology would be available in five years that has the potential to revolutionize childhood and early education. But the downside is that you will have to choose from among 80,000 possible options. This is the problem currently facing many parents. Following the invention of the iPad in 2010, by January 2015 there were 80,000 apps marketed as “educational” in the Apple App Store alone.

We recently published a large-scale review of more than 200 articles on the question of how we can put the education back in educational apps. We used several well-worn principles that parents, educators and app developers can use to determine what is truly educational and what is simply masquerading as such. Here is what we found.

1. Apps should be minds-on, not minds-off

Have you ever used a GPS to drive to a new location but realized you have no actual knowledge of where you are or how to get home even though you drove there? Instead of actively processing the direction you were travelling in and the composition of the neighborhood, you passively followed the instructions. Research tells us that these kinds of “minds-off” activities are precisely what you want to avoid when it comes to selecting educational apps for children.” To read further please click here:

Apr 27

5 Great Web Tools to Enhance Collaboration in Class

By: Med Kharbach

apps2“If anything, web technologies have redesigned the notion of collaboration and  rendered it an open construct independent of any conceivable spatio-temporal constraints. For instance, in our educational context,  possibilities for collaborative learning are bigger than ever before. Teachers and students have at their hands a variety of powerful softwares and web-based tools to help them engage in collaborative learning anytime, anywhere. From popular learning management  systems (LMS) such as Blackboard, Collaborate, and Moodle to social networking websites like Twitter and Google Plus, collaboration opportunities are limitless.

When we talk about collaborative tools we are basically referring to web tools that allow teachers and students to do the following: communicate either synchronously or asynchronously, collaborate in creative ways, engage in interactive discussions, easily share  and access learning resources (i.e documents, PDFs, files, calendars) and many more.To this end, we have curated this list to share with you what we think are some of the best web-based tools to enhance teachers-students collaboration and ultimately, boost students learning.” To read further please click here:

Apr 15

30 iPad Apps for Early Childhood Education

By:Amy Ahrmann

apps5“Being a child is hard. The world is new, and there are a lot of things to learn. And re-learn when we get it wrong. As we grow, sounds turn into words, words gain meaning. Then people start throwing numbers at us. First they’re small numbers, then they grow. They want you to do what with them? Understand their value, their order. Add them, subtract them. Now it’s back to words, which now come in clusters called sentences. Which we have to write stories with.

And that’s just the beginning. There’s a lot to learn in our early years on which our later years rely upon. Fortunately, today’s children have tablet computers like the iPad. In addition to the touch features being incredibly addictive, there are thousands of apps that making learning fun. In no particular order, here are 30 fun and educational iPad apps aimed children in the “early childhood education (ECE)” group. Definitions vary, though it covers kids about 3 to 9 years of age.”To read further please click here:

Mar 23

Mathspace: Step-by-Step Math Handwriting for iPad


mathspace“Students can now show every line of their math work on iPad and other tablets, writing all their steps by hand on screen. Mathspace digitizes each handwritten line and grades it automatically, giving students immediate, formative feedback at every step of the way – like having a teacher at their side. This is a huge step forward from multiple choice or single-input response math questions that most students and teachers are used to seeing on digital platforms.” To read further please click here:

Mar 20

50 Of The Best Video Games For Learning In 2015

By:  TeachThought Staff

code“We’ve discussed the merits and utility of video games in the classroom before, so we won’t beleaguer the point. If you’re interested in the possibility of video games for learning–that is, teaching and learning with video games to master both academic and non-academic content–than the following collection may be of interest to you.

We’ve discussed before the logistics of how to teach with video games (especially for non-mobile games). What exactly this looks like on a daily basis in your classroom depends on the reality of your classroom: Available technology, WiFi access and bandwidth, grade level, content area, your comfort level with games, and so on.

But if this an area you’re interested in learning more about, we thought a collection of the best video games for learning–that is, those we’d want our own children playing for their varied utility in teaching and/or learning–might be useful.


To select each of these games, we focused on 3 basic criteria:

1. Playability

This has to do with the quality of the game. There isn’t one, clear definition for what a “good” video game should be. Pong is universally-accepted as “good,” but is a simple game of digital ricochet. Other games are multi-million dollar projects with a myriad of brilliant ideas, but that come together all wrong.” To read further please click here:

Mar 19

Autodesk’s new app lets kids design their own toys

By: Mona Lalwani

autodesk“3D printers can build anything from prosthetics and musical instruments to Hershey chocolates. But, even as the technology continues to make strides with materials (metal, concrete, etc.) and takes on full-fledged architectural projects, it seems to move further away from the reach of children. Tinkerplay, a new kid-friendly 3D printing app, makes it quick and easy for all age groups to design and experiment with minimal assistance.

The app is the brainchild of Autodesk, the company best known for its flagship AutoCAD design software. It’s an evolution of Autodesk-acquired Modio, an iPad app that worked with desktop 3D printers. Like its predecessor, Tinkerplay eliminates the need for additional rafts and support materials which tend to complicate the process for at-home designs. But new features and functions allow kids (and older humans) to choose from the pre-loaded character templates or create their own versions from modifiable parts. Users can drag and drop parts to create characters or create their own complex little parts with customizable textures and colors for a new design. For the latter, connectors available with the larger Tinkercad family can be employed. In the end, the printer processes similar color parts that can be snapped up together for a ready-to-pose figurine.” To read further please click here :

Mar 18

The 32 Most Innovative Online Educational Tools to Use in 2015

By: Noodle Staff

apps“Want to be a better student? There are literally thousands of apps for that. Not to mention a wide array of other online learning tools.

They’re not all changing education — but a few innovative ones are. Among the wide-ranging apps, sites, learning management systems, flashcard creators, and content archives, there are a few dozen that promise to make an impact on how students learn this year.

Noodle’s team of education experts investigated the vast array of online learning tools to create this list of the 32 best, most innovative online tools that we think will change the education space in 2015.

We spoke with teachers, tutors, and leaders in the space. We sifted through reviews, awards, and profiles. As we evaluated the available resources to bring you the best, we maintained a strict set of criteria. The selections had to be: designed for high school or college students, user-friendly, in a strong design language, easy to use, and available for free. Among many other factors, each also had to have a solid base of users, a reputation for excellence, and big plans for 2015.” To read further please click here:

Feb 26

Websites and Apps for Making Videos and Animation

toontast“Teachers know that video making is a tried and true way to get kids engaged in building, demonstrating, and sharing knowledge. These apps and sites feature user-friendly tools and features that make it more fun than ever before to get kids’ productions edited and polished.” To read further please click here:

Feb 15

Excellent iPad App to Introduce your Kids to Coding

By: Med Kharbach

codess“Code Blast is an excellent coding app that has gone free today for a limited period of time. This app is designed to provide young learners and kids with a solid initiation into the world of programming concepts and problem solving.

Code Blast teaches kids coding through fun and engaging activities consisting of programming a rocket to reach its final destination without being damaged by UFOs and other electric barriers found in its course. In running the mission, kids get to develop a series of key programming concepts and thinking skills such as : precise and accurate programming, forward planning to solve anticipated problems, ordering instructions sequentially and many more.” To read further please click here:

Feb 06

Beyond the Chalkboard: 5 Apps That Will Change the Way Your Students Learn

By:Aiden Wolfe

ipad-2-review-44111-1024x678“Despite technology’s onward march, the fundamentals of teaching have remained relatively unchanged. Sure, phones are smarter and software is freakishly advanced, but the role of a well-informed, caring adult is more important than ever — someone who connects to the student on a human level, shepherding the often overwhelming path to subject comprehension.

In light of this, the mere notion of altering tried-and-true methods of teaching is met with skepticism, even outright hostility by many lifelong educators. Be that as it may, turning a blind eye to the unprecedented needs of digital natives benefits no one. We are, after all, talking about children that learn to use mobile apps before tying their own shoelaces.

Quality educational technology seeks to enhance, not obliterate, the role of teachers. Indeed, having an engaged classroom is half the battle, and the apps listed below assist brilliantly in accomplishing just that.” To read further please click here:

Jan 23

Study Habits: New App Helps Students Get Organized and Motivated

By:Ann Elliot

byood“After testing the app for a month with two classes of students, I can endorse Study Habits as the best student productivity app for iOS. Compared to its competitors, Study Habits provides the richest array of features and augments its planning capabilities with proven study aids.

The app enables students to manage their time, monitor their GPAs, and adopt effective study habits. Thanks to its educational-psychology-based learning and motivation strategies, Study Habits is unparalleled in the productivity app market. Read on to find out what Study Habits can do and why no other student planning app compares.” To read further please click here:

Jan 09

7 Good Grading iPad Apps for Teachers

By: Med Kharbach

grading apps“Today’s list features some interesting grading apps that you can use on your iPad to grade your students assignments. Some of these apps have also web based platforms where you can export and share your graded work with students. The apps will also enable you to  provide  feedback to your students and see what they are actually working on.”To read further please click here:

Nov 28

6 Apps To Build Algebra Skills

By: Laura Devaney

“These algebra tools could become students’ go-to resources

algebra-skillsMany students begin school with a love of math, but stumble when they reach algebra. With the increasing prevalence of mobile learning, though, on-demand apps and resources can help students stay on top of their algebra lessons.

Here, we’ve gathered a handful ofalgebra apps summarized on, an app resource site with more than 6,000 apps in more than 300 subcategories.

[Editor’s note: eSchool News has not reviewed these apps, which were originally curated by Apple Distinguished Educators, but has selected some that may help you meet your instructional needs.]

1. Factor Race, $0.99
Begin at the starting gate with a race car. Move around the track to the finish line as you factor equations correctly. When you complete each level you earn a better race car. Ready, Get it correct, Zoooooommmm!

Factor Race is a game where the player must identify the binomial factors of trinomial equations For example, factoring x2+x-2 into (x-1)(x+2). The game uses logic to develop cognitive math skills. The touch mechanic of the game engages children in a hand-on learning process, implementing kinesthetic learning. The game incorporates mathematical problems attuned to binomial and trinomial factoring, based upon problems from textbook materials.”To read further please click here:

Nov 23

Three iPad Apps for Creating Multimedia eBooks

By: Richard Byrne

story_creator“One of my favorite things about iPads and the web in general is the ease with which anyone can create a multimedia product. Teachers can create and organize multimedia reference materials for students and students can create multimedia products to show off their ideas. The following three iPad apps allow you and your students to create multimedia ebooks.

Story Creator is a free iPad app that makes it easy to create narrated picture books on your iPad. To create a narrated picture book on Story Creator start by inserting a picture as your book’s cover. To create a page just tap the “+” icon and import a picture, draw a picture, type some text, or do all three. After completing one or all three of those previous actions tap the microphone icon to record your narration. After making your recording you can quickly adjust it so that each word of text is highlighted to match the timing of your narration.” To read further please click here:


Nov 13

TechSmith Acquires Knowmia Teach

By:Tony Dunkel

knowmia“At TechSmith, we’ve always believed the joy of learning is experienced more often when we’re engaged in the process of learning, whether that’s coming up with a dazzling new idea, creating the materials to spread the idea, or collaborating to make the ideas better. It has been a long standing promise from TechSmith to ensure users of our software are always armed with the best methods available for clearly and succinctly communicating with their audiences, whether that’s in the classroom, in the boardroom or on the playing field.

To the Future

Today, TechSmith takes a big step forward with this promise by acquiring key technology from Knowmia, which has some of the best apps and services we’ve seen for educators and learners. Knowmia, Knowmia Teach and Knowmia Teach Pro represent a completely new way to create and assemble interactive video content on both mobile and web-based platforms. By acquiring Knowmia’s technology, TechSmith now offers the ability for teachers, students and business professionals to excel with video-based learning in a very natural manner.

Knowmia Teach makes it easy to import your own visual aids, organize them in easy steps and record your voice, or your face, to bring them to life. You can record illustrations as you draw them and create sophisticated animation sequences with the simple stroke of a finger. These capabilities are enhanced even further with Knowmia Teach Pro, incorporating website recording, video export to popular video sharing destinations, creating high resolution videos and adding both professional backgrounds and music to your video creations.” To read further please click here: