FETC 2014: 5 ways to find better apps

Tech expert says better apps come from sharing, not presenting

apps-learning-FETCThere’s a growing movement among educators to go beyond naming “cool” apps; a backlash against the often-overwhelming lists of ‘100 Greatest Education Apps Ever!’ Instead, educators want apps that truly make a difference in the classroom—and the best resource? Their own know-how.

“Too often I was asked to lead professional development [PD] sessions where I’d have to list a bunch of apps specific to, say, administrators or to science teachers. And it would take me forever and I honestly didn’t have any better idea than they did,” explained Jamie Averbeck, tech integration coach for Wisconsin’s Ashwaubenon School District, during the 2014 Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando.

“I thought: Why am I doing this? Why am I finding apps when teachers and administrators can do it themselves and probably better find what they’re looking for?” he mused.…Read More

New: 10 of the best Apple and Android apps for education in 2014

These recent apps reveal the ever-developing needs of teachers and their technology-savvy students

apps-best-2014Last year we presented “10 of the best Apple apps for education in 2013,” which highlighted some of the best apps for mobile technology. However, with new upgrades in device capability, the emphasis on teacher proficiency, and implementing practical apps rather than “fun” apps with no real value, we’ve chosen a new list of the best Apple- and Android-based education apps for 2014.

This year’s list includes some of the newest (updated or released either late 2013 or January 2014) and most highly rated apps, both by educators and by parents, and features a range that spans from iPad tutorials for teachers to a safe browser for students, and from one of the best graphing calculator apps available to a classroom management app for students’ online portfolios.

Best of all? Many are free!…Read More

11 apps for coding: From beginners to masters

Coding, the hottest skill coming down the education pipeline, is also a mobile app star

coding-apps-educationAs students begin to not only use technology, but create it’s functionality, a recent explosion in coding resources have hit the web, providing coding apps ranging from introductions for beginners and middle-schoolers to more technical resources aimed at the tech-savvy.

From learning the basics of coding by making a dinosaur dance to more intermediate coding that requires working knowledge of HTML, and from a multiplayer robot combat game to app design, these programming apps provide an array of options for students, teachers and parents to become acquainted with one of the hottest subjects making the education rounds.

And be sure to check out the last page for our bonus: 4 web-based coding resources and games.…Read More

10 next-generation science apps for education

These science apps range from visually stunning multimedia to great resources for curious minds

science-apps-educationJust like technology, science is always changing to reflect progress and information learned. With these 10 next-generation science apps for education, you’ll find an array of apps that not only use HD-quality visual representations, but also integrate the newest requirements in science standards.

From an app designed specifically by a tech-savvy science teacher eager to share multimedia lessons on life sciences, to an app that provides Kindergarteners with an introduction to physical science, these apps are some of the most current (and most vetted) for students and teachers interested in exploring the world science opens up, all through mobile technology.

This is just a sampling of available science apps. Do you use an app that isn’t on the list? Make sure to mention it in the comments section below.…Read More

Creating systemic change? There is no app for that

The rise of educational apps has impacted classrooms across the nation, but there’s one major change that apps can’t implement

apps-K12Today, most schools realize the critical nature of technology in preparing our students for college, careers, and citizenship; however, only 10 years ago, when I served as technology director for an Intermediate Unit in upstate Pennsylvania, the conversation on educational technologies centered largely on the question of “Should we?” Now, I find that in my conversations with school leaders across the country, our conversations focus on “How?”

This shift, driven in part by a host of social, political, economic, and technical forces, has made it easier than ever to introduce technology into the classroom environment. The ease with which we can apply technology to academic challenges has created an unprecedented time in education that I call the “There is an App for That Era.”

In this era, there seems to be an endless supply of apps. Want to improve your spelling? There is an app for that. Want to practice multiplication tables. There is an app for that. Want to create online flash cards? There is an app for that.…Read More

Top 10 ed-tech stories of 2013, No. 5: Apps in the classroom

eSchool News counts down the ten most significant developments in educational technology during the past year. No. 5 reveals how apps have spread in classrooms across the country.

apps-top10In school systems from coast to coast, tech-savvy educators experimented with augmented reality, educational gaming, and other techniques designed to enhance teaching and learning.

These are only some of the key ed-tech developments affecting K-12 schools in the past year—and we’ve got a full recap for you.

Here, the editors of eSchool News highlight what we think are the 10 most significant ed-tech stories of 2013.…Read More

App of the week: Shape the Village

shapevillageappName: Shape the Village

What is it? An interactive introduction to circles, triangles and squares for kids. Featured by Apple as “Best New Apps” in 11 countries, this “high-design” app is created to stimulate children’s imaginations while educating them about shapes. This lively village, illustrated in bright colors, is packed with characters and buildings with personality—all made up of circles, triangles and squares.

Best for: Young children.…Read More

30 apps perfect for BYOD classrooms

BYOD classrooms can address a number of issues, Edudemic reports. It can solve the problem of not having enough (or any) devices for your classroom. It can enable students to do web-based work when they might not have otherwise been able to. It can allow them to do work on the same device at home and at school. But it doesn’t come without issue. One of the issues that we’ve heard about from many teachers is that since students come in with different devices that run on different platforms, finding apps and tools that work across a wide array of devices is a necessary evil…

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7 great iPad apps to create digital portfolios

Digital portofolios have become potent alternatives to the traditional portfolios, EducatorsTechnology reports. The added benefit of digital portfolios is their availability and easy accessibility anytime and anywhere. Be it in school, at home or anywhere else students will be able to check their portfolios and parents will also be able to track the pace of their kids learning. There are several web tools that teachers can use to create digital portfolios and some of these web-based applications are reviewed in an earlier post I wrote entitled ” Teachers’ Guide to Digital Portfolios”. Today, however, I am sharing with you some interesting iPad apps to create and manage digital portfolios on the go. Check out the titles I have below and share with us if you know about other suggestions to add here…

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Cyberbullying apps

Last week, 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick jumped from a platform at an abandoned cement factory to her death after being tormented online and through cellphone apps, the Huffington Post reports. Suicide victims are getting younger all the time. What will it take for us as a society to take responsibility, rather than blaming bullies, apathetic schools or clued-out parents? This is a systemic problem and we are all contributing: either by our silence or by even unintentionally playing a part. Here are some factors to consider…

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