Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Perfect Image....formerly known as PixelWorks

So I got this app while it was free for a limited time:)  It is regularly $1.99.  It has so many fun edits, I could just play with my photos all day!  My first attempt at playing was this.....

Then I discovered the sketch edit.  I did this........
So we decided to make art.  We took photos of ourselves.  Then our next step for the art project was to color, using pencil crayon ( a treat in grade one).  When we are done we are going to Seussify ourselves by adding a Cat in the Hat hat.  This kids LOVED this project!

Who needs an artist any more when your photos can turn into drawings?!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Little Inspiration and Rationale Behind Ipods/Ipads

I have always followed Mrs. Malchow's blog, and have posted about her great ideas in the past.  Her blog is linked as a favorite that I follow on the side bar Reflections on Technology. This time she has outdone herself.  The prezi she posted about using an Ipod/Ipad in the classroom says it all!  Check it out.  This is what LwICT is ALL about!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Byte Conference Summary

I decided to post this on our "sister blog", if you give a school an ipad so it could be with the other teacher's reviews of the conference.  Click the link if you want a quick summary of my 4 sessions.

Searching the web with your voice

Sometimes the hardest thing for kids is spelling the words correctly in the google search to find what they are looking for. Well not any more.... with the Dragon Search app, you say what you want to the iPad and it does the looking for you!! Once it compiles a list you can decide whether you were looking for google sites, YouTube, videos, Wikipedia information and more!!

The pros:
No more spelling concerns allows for independence
It's free

The cons:
You have to speak quite clearly
You can not say any extra words

The assessment piece -"show me" how you know

Okay....... How do we know when kids really get it? One way to use technology for this is to have them show me!

Show me is a cool app that allows kids or teachers to draw on a white board, while they are drawing they can be recording their voice to explain an idea or a concept. I have only briefly explored this app, but it looks like with a little more exploration it could be great fun for any kind of assessment!

Click show me to see my first example.

Autism and the iPad

So I attended 2 sessions dealing with special needs children and apps to teach all kinds of skills and developmental milestones.

The key thing I took away from it all is to identify 3 or 4 specific goals on the child's IEP and find 4 or 5 really good apps to target those specific goals.

Why is this key?

Well there are just so many apps out there that we can get lost in the apps and lose focus on our actual purpose for the app. It is not all about fun, although the apps do need to be engaging. We as educators have specifically chosen these apps to target very specific goals.

The iPad can change lives! This video is evidence of that.

60 minutes video

Click on the video that has 3 people on a stage and says it is about 12 minutes long. ( sorry I could not figured out how to directly embed the video form my iPad:)). Darn technology!!!

Just in "case"

I am always worried about little hands walking around with the iPad. I envision 1 little slip and it is crashing to the floor. At the BYTE conference I had the opportunity to see some of the cases first hand. Do I know which one is best...... Not really. I guess it depends on what you are looking for and for who.

My thoughts are in a primary classroom or with a special needs child you need something sturdy, accidents do happen.

Here is a link comparing some of the different cases available.

Case comparisons

Monday, February 20, 2012

Had a "Appy" Long Weekend!

I swear my kids have no idea where the money comes from that buys those apps that they readily want to install.    Thank goodness they do not know my apple ID and need to come running every time they have found something new to "buy"!!!!  I have trained them how to be good searchers and they are fairly proficient at using the app store pages to find what they want, it just seems like they are always on the look out for something new.

Now I have to be fair and say my son had about $75 in itunes gift cards from Xmas and his birthday, but I have been monitoring what he spends that credit on.  A bunch of it went to music which I have no trouble with.  The trouble I have with apps is their mentality of "It's only 99 cents mom!"  So we have been using the app shopper and really looking for the freebies.... we download them quite freely too, I mean you can always delete the duds!  My poor 16g Ipad will soon be maxed out I am sure.

But this mentality might not be the best either!  Constantly loading the free apps just confirms to my kids that they always need to be on the look out for more.  I want to in still good values and ethics when it comes to using technology but I seem to be caught in a tangled web where I am unsure of the right answers.

So yes, we had a happy long weekend filled with fun, friends, outdoors, laughter and lots of new apps! lol

Here are some of our finds... keep in mind some of these are the free time choices of a 5 and 8 year old:)
 iPhone Screenshot 3
 Candy Count
iPad Screenshot 2
Count to 1000 - this was free on Saturday but now sells for 1.99
iPhone Screenshot 2
Seuss band was free this weekend to celebrate Dr. Seuss's upcoming birthday
iPhone Screenshot 1
My son wants a dog in the worst way!

Toca Doctor - we did break down and buy this one.  My daughter loves her Toca Boca games and we have been getting previews of the new Toca House coming out Feb. 23.  So we compromised and got the doctor app.  It is cute but she is a little old for it, perfect for a 3 or 4 year old.

Clown Dress up story book app
Another weekend freebie!  The kids have checked it out and ha some fun, to be honest I have not looked at it at all.
Enjoy the app ideas!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

App Shopper

App shopper keeps you up to date on the newest app store sales and freebies.  I just discovered it last week and have been checking it daily.  I have lucked into a few new freebies and see a few apps are now free that I paid full price for.  Worth the download for a quick daily check to see what's newly discounted!

iPhone Screenshot 1

Click here for more information.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cover Orange - a must think game for fun!

Angry birds is so addicting and all the kids want to play it.  When they think ipod, they think Angry birds.  Well Cover Orange is much the same.  There is definite strategy involved.  You need to think your way through the levels to protect your oranges from the acid rain that falls from the evil laughing cloud.

Cover Orange is not a game I use in my classroom, but it could be an addicting home game that definitely requires using your brain!  Or on those freebie Fridays were students earn free ipad time, this too is another great options!

  iPhone Screenshot 3

Get it here!

Monkey math

Monkey Math is a big hit in grade one right now.  It is fairly simple math, definitely review but the grade ones LOVE it and it is extremely appropriate for my daughter in kindergarten and the special needs student on a modified program in our class.

Monkey Math covers almost all areas of the curriculum.  There is a reward tank.  You earn fish and items for your tank with each correct answer.

The app is recommended for kids aged 3-6.... well worth the 99 cents!

Another great Monkey app I just discovered is Monkey preschool Lunchbox.  It is the same little monkey teaching about letters, numbers, colors, matching, patterns and counting.  This app is recommended for kids age 2 -5, but if they love the Monkey Math little monkey then this guy will capture their attention too!


This is our in class exploration tomorrow!

Letter School app

After much searching we finally found an app that interests our special needs student in letter formation.  It is called Letter School.   The full version is available for 2.99 at the itunes store, or there is a free lite version to try it out.

Here is what it has to offer:
  • different fonts to practice - D'Nealian, HWT and Zaner Bloser
  • practice capital letters, lowercase letters and numbers
  • reinforces phonics and meaning of letter
  • entertaining visual feedback
  • two levels

We have tried a few letter formation apps and this one is the most interesting by far!

Photos and a 3d shape hunt

First we learned the basics of taking pictures:zooming in on the object and focusing the camera.  This was a short lesson as the math was our primary focus.

We used the digital cameras and the Ipad to go on a 3D shape hunt around our school.  We photographed the 3D shapes we found and then loaded our photos on to Photostory.  We used the laptop to do this (we did not even try on the Ipad).  We then spoke about each picture to explain which 3D shape it was.

Going on a 3D shape hunt was very fun.  We turned our final product into a You Tube video and published it to our wiki for our parents to see.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Smilebox - my favorite site

I know, I know this is not Ipad related.  I have never actually even tried to use smilebox on Ipad but I do love Smilebox and it is tech related so I just have to share.

2 years ago I paid the membership for Smilebox.... $36 a year I believe.  I can add my own music from my itunes library to my slideshows and I can burn my shows to cd/dvd.... LOVE IT!  Best $36 I have spent in a long while.

Mostly I just embed my Smileboxes into my class wiki and the kids have a blast reliving their grade one year.  I hope their parents do too. Well I just finished a smilebox of I Love to Read Week.  It is awesome!  The kids will LOVE it!  And I have to brag a little, I LOVE my puppet show pictures, gotta love that zoom lens, can hardly wait until I break down and buy the telephotos lens... paparazzi I will be!

Check it out! - scroll to the smilebox with the puppets and push play!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cords and Accessories

This week has been a trial with few tribulations when it comes to cords and accessories!

Dilemma 1:
A wonderful little student of mine proudly came to school with an ipod full of her photos from Disney World.  How do we share that with the class well.... logic says hook it up to the lcd.  Well I do not have a cord to connect my ipad to my lcd!  So off I go on a borrowing mission to find the 1 cord in the school... lone behold it is not in the building today.  So I sadly break the news to my student.

Dilemma 2:
I get a cord........ my lcd projector is not sophisticated enough to work with the connector cord.  Now I go looking for an lcd to borrow.  That is how I come across .......

Dilemma 3:
I have a teacher ready and willing to lend the lcd that will attach with the cord.  When I tell her my plan she breaks the news that guess what....... the ipod will not connect to the lcd.  An ipad will, an iphone will, and ipod will NOT!

Ahhhhhhh!  Can you feel my frustration?

Now thankfully this little student has a techie mom, who happens to be our school secretary!  She willingly loaded 67 of the photos on to a smilebox and 2 days later we see the wonderful Disney adventures to which Phineas and Ferb got huge applause and 17 students were left dreaming of their own Disney adventure....someday!  Have I left you curious about that Disney adventure, swing by my wiki to check her Smilebox out.  I created a special page called Student Adventures!

Now for the accessories dilemma........
Months ago we purchased the Camera Connection kit.  I have tried the card reader and it worked like a charm.... check out my post about it.  Just this week Lois tried out the cord connector and it would not allow her camera to load pictures.   I am unsure of the error message she got, but she got one.  So she asked me to give it a try.  So try I did with my expensive Canon Rebel t3 dslr and it worked with my camera.... all be it was SLOW compared to the speedy card reader!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pinterest - Do you pin?

I am relatively a newbie to Pinterest.  The idea is excellent, but the whole thing is just a little overwhelming.  I am unsure on where you find people to follow, and I get lost in the world of pins.  I have my own collection of boards but they are a little unorganized since I was not sure of what I was doing when I first started.  I am unsure of how to edit them and am certainly interested in learning more about the organizational web tool.

Today I stumbled across an intro to Pinterest video.  It is 14 minutes long but answered a few questions I had, and a few I had not even thought of yet.  I will share that video with you in case you have not yet been bit by the Pinterest bug.  But look out, it is another addiction!
Happy pinning!  Oh and remember, I am in search of the next step to this pinning video, so if you find it, send it my way:)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Tell me a time when your bucket was really full?  That's the question I asked to my first graders today using the audioboo app on the Ipad.  The app was quick to use and super easy, in fact the kids each did it themselves.  They pushed record, spoke to the Ipad, previewed their message, typed their own name and inserted their own picture before saving it and publishing it to my audioboo account.  A few of them were excited to interview people using the app on their own Ipod at home.

The catch...... how to upload or embed it so people can see what we had to say.  It did not appear that I could embed from the Ipad.  I had to open my audioboo account on my laptop and then open each file to embed them.  The whole process only took about 5 minutes, but it was a pain needing 2 devices.  Another downfall is that their photo does not appear on the boo once it has been embedded.

Listen to their boos to see how full their buckets are:

All in all, I know they will be excited to hear themselves.