Sunday, October 28, 2012

New App for Autistic Children

Just read about a great new app for children with autism or children who fall on the autism spectrum. I have not downloaded it yet or tried it yet, but early reviews are very good. Go Go Games for the IPad is the app that I am talking about and it is only 99 cents. I plan on downloading it to my personal IPad soon and also place it on my school IPad so that students in our building who may have Autism or Aspberger's can also try it out. I hope that it is a great app as I think apps like this can really be useful for this population. If you have students or a child that falls on the autism spectrum AND you have an Ipad or tablet device, you might consider downloading this app as well. If you do, leave a review in the comments section please so other readers can hear straight from those who have tried it.

Go Go Games App click here!

Several Good Timeline Creation Sites

Thanks again to Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers for giving a quick and easy list of Timeline creation sites and a brief review of why they are some of the best. No matter what you teach, you can have students make timelines to better help understand a concept or idea and how it came to be. Using online timelines allows the students to research as they go and to gain more computer and technology skills. You may want to test a few of these out to see which would be best for your class, but if you are considering any sort of timeline project, consider using one of these or using one of these as a way to make a class timeline or allow some students to extend their learning by doing one of these online timelines.

6 great timeline creation sites click here!

Creative Uses in the Classroom for IPads

The presentation embedded below was done by Mike Amante, a teacher from New Hartford Senior High in New York. If you have a QR reader or have downloaded one, you can get even more information. But even without a QR reader app, you can still find some great apps for the IPad to use in your classroom. Especially if you are a science teacher. I don't teach science anymore, but seeing some of the apps he uses makes me wish that I was sometimes back in the classroom using cool technology to make my lessons and activities better. Flip through his powerpoint below and make note of some of the apps. Even if you don't have an IPad right now, some of these could help you later in your career when you do. Thanks Mike!

Tap to Learn Grammar (and Math vs. Zombies!)

I have not tried this app as it appears to be an Android App right now, but I am going to check to see if it is available for the IPad as well. But the concept seems good and is not something you see all the time for quick and easy apps for students to use. Usually, these apps are math skill based. But Tap to Learn Grammar has hundreds of grammar lessons and offers extensions to the learning by clicking on videos that support the concept practiced and learned.

After a little investigation, both Tap to Learn Grammar and Math vs. Zombies are available for the IPad, etc. as well. I downloaded Math vs. Zombies and my son approves. Good game for basic math facts. As for Tap to Learn Grammar, I did not download it as it was 99 cents but got some negative reviews. There were not many reviews yet, but the ones that were there were negative. I plan on checking on this often and seeing if the reviews get better and then possibly downloading it and testing it out. I will post more later if I test it out. For now, feel free to test either and leave your review below.

Tap to Learn Grammar click here!

Math vs. Zombies click here! (parent are shooting scary looking zombies with guns, so use as you feel appropriate)

Common Craft Video: Electoral College

If you are teaching anything about the election in the next week or two, you might consider using this quick Common Craft video about the Electoral College. I love Common Craft videos and have used them in my class when it comes to Biztown as they have some great ones on money, finance, the economy. This one is specifically about the Electoral College and how it determines our presidential election outcome. Hopefully you can find 4-5 minutes in the next 2 weeks to show this video if you are talking and teaching about the election.

Common Craft: Electoral College click here!

Crash Course History: Good Supplemental History Lesson Site

Crash Course History isn't going to teach students everything they need to know about a certain topic from history, but it is a good site to reference to students so they can learn about a topic in a different way or extend their learning beyond class. Might also be a good short video to supplement a class lesson. The videos are engaging with a lot going on with lots of extra information. And more and more are being added all the time, so you can keep checking back to see if they have added a topic that you are currently teaching about. I think the best use for this site would be for students to watch and use these videos on their own time in order to add to their classroom learning.

Click here to see all of the videos offered by Crash Course History

Speech to Text Tools

 I have used the Google Chrome speech to text tool before and it was pretty handy. Might be nice for some of our students who struggle with typing skills. And as the technology gets better, these tools will only improve making them even more useful. Another possible use is for students who are working on their speech. By talking and having it converted to text, they might be able to better see the parts where their speech is good and clear and the parts where it is not so clear. Check out this post by blogger Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers to read more about these speech to text tools

Click here to read more!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Possible Election Games Site

 As we get closer and closer to the election and as the debates start up, students may become more and more interested in the election. A site called "Play the Election" has a variety of activities and games that students may like and may learn more about the election, electoral college, and how the whole process works. If you teach social studies or civics and you are thinking about doing some lessons on the election, give this website a try and see if will work for your class.

Play the Election website click here! (Free Technology for Teachers blog site link....great blog if you are not following it yet!)