Our Must Have List of Apps for iDevices

Since ipads and ipod/touches hit the district, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked what apps are great. I wrote about this previously (Apps) using the lens of “Relevance, Thinking Skills, Sharing and Usability” (adapted by Tony Vincent; Kathy Schrock). Another layer may be to connect the app against the SAMR model (a framework for how we integrate technologies).

While there are millions of apps in the Apple Store, the following are apps that everyone should consider having as part of their basic toolkit:  Continue reading “Our Must Have List of Apps for iDevices”


network34As a professional, reflection takes up a large part of our lives. Active choices stem from reflective moments steering our professional learning.  Ultimately that learning reflects back into our classrooms with students. 

We were privileged to spend Friday with a group of K-12 teachers and student teachers at Burnaby Central. Titled “Blogathon“, it provided an opportunity to experience the world of social media through our sd41 blogs. Goals of the participants ranged from a basic understanding of communicating using social media, how it could be used to have students dialogue with each other (increasing authentic literacy skills), how it flattens the classroom by inviting experts and other schools (critical thinking), how to share information with parents and community (green friendly world), how to use blogs as a vehicle for formative assessment, how to integrate various web tools as teaching/learning workflow, how digital citizenship plays a key role today.

Beyond the basics, we looked at images and resizing (even the new copyright changes), using widgets to extend information [News Announcement, T-Countdown, Google Language Translator, MailPoet (as subscription), Gravity Forms (surveys)…]
*Written instructions can be found on our blog, under WEB RESOURCES > BLOGS > HOW TO

Continue reading “PSA Day – BLOGATHON”

Engage in the Experience – Professional Learning

As we organize our teaching/learning environments, it is important to hold time to learn ourselves – to challenge ourselves to engage with new ideas, to seek out new opportunities in professional learning, and to reflect how they relate with personal beliefs.  This is about connecting to what is important.  Only then can we bring powerful experiences for our students.
Here are some possibilities that might lead you to engage on different levels (contact any of our Learning Technologies team for more information or check out the sections in our blog):

blogBlog or other online platform – Why? It’s all about communication and sharing your story, engaging the world (whether it is with parents or to a wider audience) in a dialogue of learning.  Consider how Literature Circles, writing, interactive posters, audio radio shows, portfolios can all tell a story beyond paper and pencil. Start a positive digital footprint for students here.

razkids Raz-Kids – Why? Reading fluency is foundational to solid reading practice. Students need to listen to good text  and practice reading to gain proficiency. The ability to record personal readings multiple times, listen to hear  themselves gives opportunities to self assess their own achievement.

googledocs_logoGAFE (Google Apps for Education) – Why? What’s the one thing that creates great writing – articulated revision comments in writing pieces (and lots of them over time). Google docs provides a seamless environment that connect comments to support the student writer as they grow in their ability to communicate in written forms. The collaborative nature of the application lends itself to focused writing and research projects.

digifootprint_ed Digital Citizenship – Why? Our students are growing up in a world where ‘digital’ is the norm. To some it is as ubiquitous as air. How do we harness this environment for learning? What added things do we need to consider in this world? While the ideals of citizenship and social responsibility are similar in both face-to-face and online environments, the online nature creates new challenges in understanding communication.

Fast Forword-brain-puzzleFast ForWord – Why? Too often we try so hard to support our students who find reading incredibly challenging due to a host of reasons and we see minimal gains. Based on neuroscience and brain plasticity, Fast ForWord and Reading Asistant has offered significant learning success for these students. More information on this process can be found on our Fast ForWord blog.

October is “Connected Educator Month”
.  How is this information connecting to your understandings? Please join us in the ongoing conversation and share with your staffs (send this link to them).

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