Today I discovered an iPad app called Virtual Manipulatives which was created by ABYa.com and is currently free . This app explores fractions, percentages and decimals. To begin, you need to select fractions, decimals or percentages and then you drag across a piece. You can switch between fractions, decimals and percentages in order to explore equivalent amounts. There is also a drawing and eraser tool and the option to save.
If you do not have an iPad there is a virtual set of fraction bars online. Also, if you have a SMART board you may be interested in creating your own fraction resources. Below is a video tutorial.
The Spreaker DJ iPad app allows you to mix your voice with your iTunes music library and sound effects, to create your own personal radio shows or podcasts. Spreaker has been out since 2010, but only recently has the iPad app been released. Before you begin you will need to create a free account at Spreaker.com, which gives you a 30 minute maximum for each recording and 10 hours of free storage online.If you don’t have an iPad simply use Spreaker online.
Spreaker can be used across the curriculum. When I teach fables, I usually record students reading their fables using Audacity, which free, cross platform software for recoding and editing sounds and then I upload the recordings to our class blog. However, this year I will experiment with Spreaker DJ. I asked my son to have a go and reluctantly he did (I was interrupting his Mine Craft game, so it was a one only recording effort). Zac_radio_Zac_s_Radio
So how does it work? Well, Wesley Fryer recently uploaded a video tutorial on YouTube with I have embedded below.
In the video below, Paul Hamilton creatively addresses technology in education. Many schools have invested a lot of money in technology but have they invested the same amount in professional training and development for teachers? Giving a teacher a new device doesn’t show the teacher how to use the technology in an engaging and collaborative way. Just like students, teachers need the opportunity and time to explore and become creative with new technologies.
If you are looking for training in the integration of technologies in education, I am offering training session during the Term 2 school holidays. One session looks at the use of iPads in education and the other session looks at free WEB 2 tools. I am finding that many teachers are having to pay for training themselves, therefore, I have kept registration fees low in order for the sessions to be affordable for teachers. The rate is $75 for the half day sessions or $160 for a full day sessions.
Created by Mobile Learning Services, Tools4Students covers all common comprehension skills: cause /effect, main idea/detail, sequence events, pro/con, story elements, characterization, word meaning, plot, KWL and much more. Students can save to their device and/or email.
Mobile Learning Services have also recently released their ReadNRespond iPad app. This app is just as good. Organized according to Bloom’s taxonomy, this versatile app provides student response forms that are applicable to any piece of literature, movie, or text available.
Unfortunately they aren’t free, they both cost $1.00.
Nearpod allows users to create multimedia presentations or upload an existing presentation if saved as a PDF. Nearpod can be a powerful tool because it allows you to add interactivity to your presentations. Nearpod will allow you to create online polls, questions/answers, quizzes and video within your presentations. It even has a ‘draw it’ feature and it has a neat drag and drop interface.
Once teachers have created their multimedia presentation, Nearpod allows teachers to share content with students using their iPad or iPod and control class activity through their own teaching device at the same time. You can even share content with students using any web browser (PC/Mac). To share content, students need to have the Nearpod app installed on their device or log into Nearpod online and then enter the pin for the presentation.
At the moment you can sign up for free and receive a silver account membership. Below is a demonstration of how it works.
Draw it Live is a free application that allows you to work together with other people to draw in real time. You simply create a whiteboard and share its URL to allow other people to join in. No password is required, and no special plugins are required. It also allows users to communicate via text. This online resource would work well for teachers who have students with laptops.
The Australian Government Department of Education have recently released a new teacher resource based website called English for the Australian Curriculumhttp://e4ac.edu.au/primary/ . The site features units of work for the early, primary and secondary year levels. There a variety of units which are linked to other curriculum areas. Each unit consists of information, learning ideas, images, web links and or printable worksheets.
Castle Builder is a free app for iPad. The app features standard blocks, arches and half-arches, triangles, cylinders and spheres. Students can create or destroy models.
If you don’t have access to iPads another great free resource is called Lego Digital Designer. You can download the software for free. Below is a video demonstration, I love the track that goes with the video.
The two apps that I am blogging can’t be categorised as educational apps. However, they are free and teachers may have young children who will definitely enjoy these free apps. I have recommended these apps for my students for game based applications on their own devices. The first app is called My Horse, allows users to interact with their own horse.
Users can care for their horse by grooming, feeding and treating it. They can build a bond together in a wide range of interactive 3D activities, train their horse and enter competitions. Both of my children enjoy playing this app on their iPads.
The second free horse app is called Pony Trails. Students need to tilt and shake their iPad in order to make their pony explore the great ideas. I have seen this app used with JP students during the initial introduction of iPads when introducing the iPad’s basic functions. If you are using your own iPad as a teaching tool in your classroom, I wouldn’t personally use this app.
Did you watch The Simpsons last night? If in doubt, the answer is B. Great episode about National testing in schools (humour intended).
Now onto the blog post, Smeebu.com has been established to promote effective use of online technology in educational assessment. You can access their free NAPLan style questions online. Their range of online NAPLAN Practice tests for Year 3, Year 5, Year 7 and Year 9 cover the areas of Numeracy, Spelling and Grammar. These assessments are designed to help build familiarity with the NAPLAN test format.