$7,500 for library media specialists

The Gale/Library Media Connection TEAMS Award recognizes and encourages the critical collaboration between the teacher and media specialist to promote learning, increase student achievement and develop 21st century skills.


App of the week: RabbleBrowser and Sandbox

Name: RabbleBrowser for iPad; Sandbox for iOS

What is it? RabbleBrowser is a curated, collaborative web browser specifically for iPads for classrooms, board rooms or any meeting room. One person can lead a session, sharing URLs with a limitless number of participants. The others can share URLs back to the leader for reciprocal browsing. Sandbox is a web browsing app available for all iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) that restricts users to a predefined list of websites. Unlike traditional privacy applications that block specified websites, Sandbox allows users to access only a preapproved list of sites, or whitelist. Using Sandbox, a teacher can ensure students remain on track during a class project, accessing only material that the teacher has already selected. Administrators looking to configure multiple devices can use an easy-to-use property list file. Both browsers are from Float Mobile Learning.

Best for: High school students and older; teachers. Users must be 17 years old to download each/both apps.

Price: RabbleBrowser: $2.99; Sandbox: $2.99. Both are eligible for Apple Volume Purchase program customers as well.

Requirements: RabbleBrowser: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Sandbox: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Rated: Both are rated 4

Features: RabbleBrowser: Content sharing via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and eMail; Dropbox integration for file sharing; leader controls such as the ability to lock sessions; participant and leader voting; share files from your Photo library or sideload documents via iTunes; and more. Sandbox: Lock configuration settings with a passcode to prevent other users from changing settings; add bookmarks for approved websites; customize the appearance of user interface items; configure all settings through a property list file; and more.

Link: RabbleBrowser: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rabblebrowser/id432616026?mt=8&ls=1

Sandbox: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sandbox-web-browser/id562054411?ls=1&mt=8


Watch: Selfless kindergarten teacher gives student a kidney

When Wendy Killian’s son was one day old, his life was saved by a blood platelet donor. From that day forward, Wendy vowed to help the parents of a critically-ill child if given the chance, TakePart.com reports. Recently, Wendy got that opportunity. A former student, 8-year-old Nicole Miller, was born with one kidney. Rapidly, that one kidney is failing. Nicole suffers from branchiootorenal syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes malformations of the ear and cysts in the neck, hearing loss, and malformations of the kidney, according to the Mansfield News Journal. Nicole and her parents were running out of options.They reached out to everyone they knew and 18 people offered to donate a kidney to the little girl. Unfortunately, none of them were a match. Then last year, Nicole’s kindergarten teacher stepped forward…

Click here for the full story


Colorado teen wins Intel top science award

A 17-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colo., has won the top award of $100,000 from the Intel Foundation for her research of algae biofuels, the foundation announced this week, Yahoo! News reports. Sara Volz was awarded the top prize for her research, which included artificial selection to establish populations of algae cells with high oil content that can be used as economically feasible biofuel. Volz’s project was selected out of an initial 1,712 entries from high school seniors. The 300 semifinalists were announced in January and 40 of those individuals were chosen as finalists and invited to Washington, the foundation stated. Volz established a home lab underneath her loft bed and sleeps on the same light cycle as her algae, the foundation reported. According to the Denver Post , Volz did some of her research with the help of Colorado State University and the Air Force Academy but found that it was more practical to keep all of her research in a single site: the same room where she slept…

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Teacher evaluation funding follies

With all of the recent jockeying over the stalled New York City teacher evaluation deal, little has changed in the last several weeks, says David Bloomfield, author of American Public Education Law, 2nd Edition. The governor’s threat to withhold state aid has been temporarily enjoined while the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and mayor, also prevented from implementing the State cuts, still seem at loggerheads. And has anyone noticed that the State Education Department’s sword rattling deadline for withholding federal funds has come and gone? That possibility vanished because John King was blindsided when Arne Duncan blinked. King, New York State’s Education Commissioner, had previously threatened to suspend or redirect over a billion dollars of federal education aid, including our entire Title I allocation, if New York City and its teachers union did not agree to a formula for job-threatening teacher evaluations by February 15…

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24 iPad apps to support Bloom’s Taxonomy

Many iPad apps serve to boost student engagement and collaboration.

Bloom’s Taxonomy, introduced in the 1950s as a system of organizing learning objectives into a pyramid, traditionally has started with creating at the top, followed by evaluating, analyzing, applying, understanding, and remembering.

Some educators today are flipping the triangle so that remembering is on top, followed by understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating on the bottom.

During an edWeb.net webinar, educational technologist Kathy Schrock presented a variety of apps for iPads that can boost student engagement and collaboration, and that can be used for teaching and learning according to Bloom’s Taxonomy.

“Remembering” apps:
Diigo – A social bookmarking tool; teachers can use this app on an iPad to add relevant bookmarks, or create their own account and share. Lists can be organized into sub lists.
Evernote – A “must-have” app. Users can take notes, photos, create to-do lists, make voice reminders, and search their content.
Pearltrees – A curation tool with a social component. Users can search, link to other accounts, and organize their own content.
Idea Sketch – Users can create a mind map and turn it into a list or outline, and vice versa. It also offers organizational charts.

“Understanding” apps should help users summarize facts and ideas and retell information and events:
ShowMe – Users can record voiceover whiteboard tutorials and share them online. For a small fee, teachers can create a ShowMe group that only students can see.
Skitch – Users can add arrows, shapes, and text to images pulled from their iPad photos, such as adding arrows or highlighting routes on maps, and taking pictures of items to help students count.
ScratchWork – Students can take notes and browse the web in side-by-side viewing, and also can explain ideas and concepts as they go along.
Pixntell – Users add images, record audio, then create the movie.

(Next page: Four more categories of apps)


Maine opens its school laptop contract to other states

iPads are one of five mobile learning devices available through the contract.

The only state to provide laptops to public school students statewide on March 14 said the contract it’s negotiating for new mobile learning devices can be used by other states if they’re interested in following suit.

Maine has zeroed in on five different laptops and tablets as it prepares to replace more than 35,000 Apple laptops in middle schools and about the same number in high schools this fall. The state expects to pay between $217 and $314 annually per unit, depending on which device is chosen.

This will be the third time devices have been upgraded since Maine began providing laptops to public middle schools students 11 years ago. The program since has expanded into half of Maine’s high schools.

“There’s always a little bit of excitement around new gear. Everyone loves new stuff,” Maine Learning Technology Policy Director Jeff Mao said from his Augusta office.

With Maine’s current four-year lease expiring, the state worked through the National Association of State Procurement Officials to hammer out a contract that can serve as a model for other states.

Vermont and Hawaii joined in the discussions, and a half-dozen other states have shown varying levels of interest, Mao said.

By leveraging additional buying power, the number of companies offering bids for devices to be distributed this fall increased eight-fold compared to the last time the state put out a request.

Maine, Vermont, and Hawaii selected five bids out of 16 that were offered: four-year leases with annual costs of $217 for an iPad, $273 for the MacBook Air, $254.86 for an HP Probook, $314.28 for an HP ElitePad, and $294 for a CTL 2go Classmate PC with swivel screen and stylus. That would be the cost for a state-run program; others could be more costly.

(Next page: What’s included in the cost)


The best tweets of the week for education