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:  http://classtechtips.com/2015/10/08/explore-the-solar-system-on-ipads-with-professor-astro-cat/

Oct 01

Constructive Use of the iPad in the Humanities Classroom – One Teacher’s Experience

By:John Herring

ipad classTechnological Skepticism

One of the most formative books I read in college was a book by Neil Postman entitledAmusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show. First published in 1985, this work argues that the medium of communication influences the message. Postman analyzes the famous Kennedy vs. Nixon debate, considering the impact of television on their communication. He urges caution with regards to advancing technology.

While no Luddite, Postman believed that technology came with a price and unless we carefully examine the impact of technology we may find ourselves paying an unknown bill.

With Postman’s cautions in mind, for three years I have now taught humanities courses at Thales Academy, a network of private classical schools based in North Carolina. As a school, we emphasize studying the enduring subjects of mankind while utilizing the latest technological tools.

Our high schoolers each have iPads, as do all instructors. During my second year at Thales, I taught two 9th grade humanities courses (ancient literature and ancient history). The freshmen were brand new to the iPad as their main tool of education, and I was equally new to the problems and successes of the iPad in the humanities classroom.” 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:http://www.edutopia.org/blog/7-apps-for-student-creators-monica-burns

Apr 12

Should an iPad change the way you teach?

By: Adam Webster

deylexia apps“Initially I wasn’t too excited about visiting the V&A’s Alexander McQueen exhibition, but trying to be a dutiful husband, I took the plunge. I walked out, a little late to the party, A huge fan.

On three levels I was inspired:

  1. As an English teacher I was inspired by the way that he took different periods of time and made them utterly relevant to the modern age.
  1. As a teacher who has always, first and foremost, battled to keep creative thinking and teaching at the heart of what I do, I was inspired to see a man do just that; there was nothing but passionate energy in every piece of work.
  1. Finally, in my position as a technology leader, I walked into the second room of the exhibit and saw this quote on the wall:

“You’ve got to know the rules to break them.  That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but keep the tradition.”

Never has anyone so perfectly summarised what I have always tried to propose as a starting point for the integration and roll-out of technology in schools.” 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: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2015/02/excellent-coding-app-for-kids.html

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 APPitic.com, 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:  http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/11/26/apps-algebra-skills-022/

Nov 27

MyBackpack for Early Learning on iPads

By: Monica Burns

ipadsssMyBackpack is a new iPad app that let’s students access Waterford Early Learning software from an iPad.  With this app children ages four and younger can can sing and read along with interactive nursery rhymes.  Older students can read, listen and sing along with 16 traditional tales books and 35 reading, math and science songs.  Kids can practice and drill their math skills with the game Mental Math.” To read further please click here:  http://classtechtips.com/2014/11/25/mybackpack-for-early-learning-on-ipads/

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:  http://ipadapps4school.com/2014/11/21/three-ipad-apps-for-creating-multimedia-ebooks/


Nov 22

4 Coding Apps For Kindergarten and Elementary School

By:Graphite by Common Sense Media

scratch junior“Common Sense Media’s service Graphite, which offers independent ratings and reviews of learning apps and websites, has compiled this list of apps to get young students started on the road to coding. For complete reviews, and for each app’s “Learning Rating,” visit the Graphite website.

Grades: K through 2
Price: Free
Concepts: Digital creation, logic, combining knowledge
ScratchJr‘s icon-driven interface is a good fit when the goal is introducing kids to programming concepts without all the complex programming. The interface does take some time to figure out: It’s not as simple as handing the program to a classroom of kids, but with a little teacher guidance, ScratchJr offers a rich and challenging environment for very young programmer.” 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:  http://blogs.techsmith.com/news-events/techsmith-acquires-knowmia-teach/

Nov 06

6 Excellent Digital Storytelling iPad Apps for Elementary Students

By:  Med Kharbach

ipad class“There are several ways you can use iPad to unleash your kids creativity and one of them is through engaging them in the creation and production of digital stories. Digital storytelling is a literacy practice that can tremendously enhance kids literacy skills way beyond the traditional literacy forms. It will enable them to express and communicate their thoughts in a multimodal way that involves images, sounds, videos and  text. To this end, we have prepared for you this short list that contains some of the best iPad apps you can use with your kids for digital storytelling. ” To read further please click here:

Oct 30

New iPad classroom app available from Netop

By: Ariana Fine

netop“Netop announced that the Vision ME iPad classroom workflow app, designed to make teaching in iPad classrooms easier and more effective, is now available in the App Store.

“Teachers are hungry for a simple, engaging way to teach in paperless classrooms,” said Kurt Bager, CEO of Netop. “Our commitment is to create solutions that help teachers use technology in ways that maximize instructional time. We’re confident that Vision ME will allow educators to more effectively and easily integrate iPads into teaching and learning.”

Vision ME combines teaching tools with mobile device management (MDM) capabilities to provide a classroom workflow app that engages students and improves learning outcomes in iPad classrooms. It allows teachers to present lessons directly on classroom iPads, showcase student work, blank student screens, block Internet access with the click of a button, administer web-based tests and quizzes, and more.” To read further please click here:  http://www.districtadministration.com/news/new-ipad-classroom-app-available-netop

Oct 19

5 Apps to Share Class Work!

By:Erin Klein

photo circle“As a working parent, sometimes it is difficult to sign up for volunteer dates. So, when I have the chance to see what’s happening inside the class or on field trips, I treasure those moments. As a teacher, I’ve found that the more I share with parents, the less they tend to question. When they feel like they are an active part of their child’s learning experience, they are also more able to help with specific needs their child may require since they have an idea of what is going on in the classroom.

Before spring break, our school went on a field trip to the Henry Ford Museum. Our second graders explored innovations through history. Of course, I snapped photos of their creative minds at work throughout the day. Using my smartphone, I was able to quickly snap tons of photos and share them with parents in a secure way that was quick and easy.
I like being able to spend actual hands-on time with my students. So if a tool takes too long to figure out or use, I tend not to use it (no matter how amazing it is). I need to have my focus on my students. That’s why I love the tools I’m sharing in this post. They allow me to stay focused and still capture memories to share with others in the moment

I. PhotoCircle

PhotoCircle is a free, secure app for photo sharing. My good friend and fifth grade teacher Todd Nesloney introduced me to this app. To give it a try, I set up a circle with Todd and invited two other friends and fellow elementary teachers, Brad and Drew. Within minutes, we had all been added to the same circle and each shared a handful of photos. We began commenting on the photos and sharing more as the week progressed. What started as just a group of teachers testing out an app has now become the way that the four of us share photos with one another. Prior to PhotoCircle, we were texting each other tons of photos and our conversations would get lost within the steady stream of images. Now, our pictures are organized and saved within one app.
Since PhotoCircle was simple to use, I decided to set up a separate album for my family. I invited my mom, dad, daughter, husband, and other family members. Once each member is added, they can add photos, too. Each member that is added can also comment on the photos. This was a terrific way to share photos from our recent family trip to Disney World. Each day, my husband and I would add all of the photos we took so that other members of the family could see the highlights of our trip.  “


Oct 15

MathChat App Allows Students to Collaborate on Math Homework

By: Med Kharbach

mathchat“MathChat is an interesting new iPad  app that I discovered recently. As its name indicate, MathChat is an app that allows students to collaborate and work together on math problems.  This collaboration takes place in group chats where members get to exchange messages, use pointers to show how to solve a problem, or draw and add arrows to provide illustration and guidance on Math concepts. This collaborative feature of MathChat resembles to a great extent the work Whiteboard apps.  ” To read further please click here:

Sep 04

Free iPad App Lets Teachers Give Quick Feedback

By:Dian Schaffhauser

apps2“A new, free app for the iPad allows teachers to give students quick feedback in multiple forms. Created by a former Chicago high school teacher, Classkickshows students’ efforts on the iPad in a whiteboard-like environment as they work through problems and activities, allowing the instructor to provide real-time feedback.

The app includes “quick buttons,” a list of common responses the teacher will use in his or her comments, which can be plucked from the list and dropped onto a student’s whiteboard. “Stickers” serve a similar purpose, enabling the instructor to provide a virtual gold star to the learner’s work.

To create a lesson the teacher can grab a screenshot from another source, such as a Web page, crop the content to create a digital worksheet, add images and audio and rearrange assignments.” To read further please click here:  http://thejournal.com/articles/2014/09/02/free-ipad-app-lets-teachers-give-quick-feedback.aspx

Aug 30

A Great New iPad App for Digital Portfolios and More

By: Richard Byrne

digitalportfoliosWeLearnedIt is the latest offering from Adam Bellow and eduClipper. WeLearnedIt offers many of the great features of eduClipper that you currently enjoy along with additional digital portfolio elements. Through the WeLearnedIt iPad app you and your students can create digital portfolios that contain files from Google Drive, Dropbox, links from the web, images and videos captured with your iPad, and whiteboard videos created within the WeLearnedIt app.”To read further please click here:   http://ipadapps4school.com/2014/08/28/welearnedit-a-great-new-ipad-app-for-digital-portfolios-and-more/


Aug 27

Best educational apps for middle schoolers

By: Kelly Hodgkins

starwalk2-mainIt’s that time of the year again when parents, teachers and students start thinking about heading back to school. If you have an iOS device, you can supplement your child’s education and stimulate them to get involved with quality educational iOS apps. Here are some of the best titles for children in the middle school-aged group: To read further please click here:  


Aug 02

MIT’s ScratchJr iPad app encourages children to ‘code to learn’

By:Stuart Dredge

scratchjr“The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has released a new iPad app that aims to help 5-7 year-old children take their first steps in programming.

ScratchJr is a free app based on MIT’s existing Scratch programming language, which has become a popular choice for slightly older children learning to code in schools around the world.

The new app encourages children to “program their own interactive stories” using graphical programming blocks. It is a collaboration between MIT’s Lifelong Kindergarten research group, Tufts University’s Developmental Technologies team, and technology startup Playful Invention Company.” To read further please click here:  http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/31/mit-scratchjr-ipad-app-code-programming-ipad

Jul 26

Create Alphabet Books on Your iPad

By:Richard Byrne

alpphalphabet Organizer is a free iPad app offered by Read Write Think. The app is designed to help students learn the alphabet and learn new words.

Once you have created a profile or selected a profile onAlphabet Organizer you are ready to start building alphabet charts and books. In the first screen you will given the choice of making simple word lists or making word lists with pictures and definitions. Should you choose to use pictures you will have to find the pictures somewhere outside of the app and import them to the app. You can make lists for every letter of the alphabet or make lists for just a few letters at a time. After making your lists you can move on to having those lists used in printable charts or picture book pages.” To read further please click here:

Jul 11

5 More Cool Tools to Take Classroom Collaboration to a New Level

By:Alan John

Collaboration-team-work.jpg.pagespeed.ce.Jf_WSBWV8u“The 2014 Gates Foundation report, Teachers Know Best: What Educators Want from Digital Instructional Tools, informed us that teachers want tools that support student collaboration and provide interactive experiences. Through collaboration, students are able to learn team building, which benefits them for the rest of their lives.

Collaboration is an activity that allows students to team up to brainstorm and work on a same project. Teachers appreciate collaboration in the classroom because it encourages student participation and engages them, opening them to further learning. These types of tools can also be fun!

For the teacher, classroom collaboration is also a way to learn what students are thinking, which in turn can inform how best to teach them.” To read further please click here: