Movember

At UWCSEA East, we do rather like to get behind a great cause, and Movember is certainly worthy of support. From the official website:

Movember (the month formerly known as November) is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men’s health.

Nearly every male staff member at our school has grown a Mo in support of men’s health. While we don’t have an official team linked to the website above, we are doing our little bit to help. Check out this year’s candidates!

da mo bros

The ed-tech people out there might be wondering what this has to do with technology – the answer is wait and see! I hope that in sharing what our school is doing, other schools might take up the charge to raise funds next year.

__

Movember K-L

I have already mentioned what the men are doing, but the support does not stop there! On the last day of Movember, students can make a $1 donation to get a Mo painted on them. We then take Pro-Mo photos afterwards, so they feel like rock stars.

We came across an exciting find the other day using the iPod Touch. The $2.99 Strip Designer app (which is excellent and you should totally get regardless) has a whole set of moustache stickers that you can add to photos. On our version 4 iPod Touch set, it works perfectly with the dual-facing camera. The image of me above was made using Strip Designer.

This year it would be great if we can extend the use of Strip Designer and get some more people into the Movember spirit.

Why not try it yourself!

Early Years Literacy with the iPod Touch

Louise & K-L

For this year’s Hands On Literacy conference, my teaching colleague Louise Phinney and I teamed up (again!) to present about Early Years Literacy with the iPod Touch.

Thankfully, our school recently purchased the latest version of the iPod Touch – which comes complete with a dual-facing HD camera/video. I consider this a complete game-changer, especially in the Early Years, as it opens up so many ways for students and teachers to document learning.

One of the links I was pleased to share with people was our ever-increasing list of iPod Touch apps we are currently using at UWCSEA East. They are loosely arranged into categories (which we have as folders on our iPod Touches), so students and teachers can find apps easily.

Louise has been doing some fantastic work in the Early Years at our school, so it was great to share what has been going on inside our classrooms. Although we would like share our presentation and include all images and videos, due to some restrictions on the use of student images, we are unable to do so at this time (with the exception of my K1 daughter – I’ll happily post her modeling what we’ve been doing!). In the meantime, here is a highlights package of what we shared:

Not just One-Hit Wonders

As Digital Literacy teachers, we are always on the look out for apps that go beyond being a “One-Hit Wonder” and have versatility across subject disciplines and grade levels. Here are a few of our favourites:

Screen shot 2010-11-10 at AM 11.17.25

Comic Touch $2.99

This app works fantastically with the dual-facing camera on the iPod Touch. We used this with our K1s, who are currently exploring feelings as a part of their unit of inquiry into Who We Are.  Students took pictures of themselves showing different emotions/feelings, then added a speech bubble naming the feeling.

Scarlett surprised
Screen shot 2010-11-04 at PM 01.11.50 Strip Designer $2.99

This neat app allows you to make a variety of comic strips, however we used the most basic ‘title page’ format to create a visual dictionary of ‘M words’ with some K2 students.

Our K2s blew me away with their picture taking ability – check out the example to the right!

Again, this app has the potential to be used at many different grade levels for different purposes.

Measure
Screen shot 2010-11-10 at AM 11.31.20 QR Code Reader for iPhone Free

Much has been written about QR Codes lately, and this was our big WOW exciting thing to share. We showed this video on how a High School in the states are using QR Codes, then shared some task cards Louise had created to consolidate phonics, literacy and mathematics work in the classroom. I will share the examples in another post, but suffice to say our participants seemed impressed  🙂

To generate our QR Codes, we used the Kaywa QR Code Generator.

QR Codes Amazing Race Orchard

Screen shot 2010-11-12 at PM 03.02.40 Sonic Pics $2.99

This easy-to-use app lets you create narrated slideshows of photos you have taken.

Our G1 students went on a shape hunt, and took photos of shapes in the environment around them. They selected the best images, and explained the properties of each of the shapes shown.

The list of ideas one could use this app with is endless. Students could photograph their work (e.g. a piece of art they are constructing from start to finish, and explain the process, narrate field trips, explain a solution to a maths problem and many more.

Shape hunt

Presenting with Louise was relaxing and enjoyable, and I am looking forward to our next workshop – whatever it may entail..!

Early Years Literacy with the iPod Touch

Louise & K-L

For this year’s Hands On Literacy conference, my teaching colleague Louise Phinney and I teamed up (again!) to present about Early Years Literacy with the iPod Touch.

Thankfully, our school recently purchased the latest version of the iPod Touch – which comes complete with a dual-facing HD camera/video. I consider this a complete game-changer, especially in the Early Years, as it opens up so many ways for students and teachers to document learning.

One of the links I was pleased to share with people was our ever-increasing list of iPod Touch apps we are currently using at UWCSEA East. They are loosely arranged into categories (which we have as folders on our iPod Touches), so students and teachers can find apps easily.

Louise has been doing some fantastic work in the Early Years at our school, so it was great to share what has been going on inside our classrooms. Although we would like share our presentation and include all images and videos, due to some restrictions on the use of student images, we are unable to do so at this time (with the exception of my K1 daughter – I’ll happily post her modeling what we’ve been doing!). In the meantime, here is a highlights package of what we shared:

Not just One-Hit Wonders

As Digital Literacy teachers, we are always on the look out for apps that go beyond being a “One-Hit Wonder” and have versatility across subject disciplines and grade levels. Here are a few of our favourites:

Screen shot 2010-11-10 at AM 11.17.25

Comic Touch $2.99

This app works fantastically with the dual-facing camera on the iPod Touch. We used this with our K1s, who are currently exploring feelings as a part of their unit of inquiry into Who We Are.  Students took pictures of themselves showing different emotions/feelings, then added a speech bubble naming the feeling.

Scarlett surprised
Screen shot 2010-11-04 at PM 01.11.50 Strip Designer $2.99

This neat app allows you to make a variety of comic strips, however we used the most basic ‘title page’ format to create a visual dictionary of ‘M words’ with some K2 students.

Our K2s blew me away with their picture taking ability – check out the example to the right!

Again, this app has the potential to be used at many different grade levels for different purposes.

Measure
Screen shot 2010-11-10 at AM 11.31.20 QR Code Reader for iPhone Free

Much has been written about QR Codes lately, and this was our big WOW exciting thing to share. We showed this video on how a High School in the states are using QR Codes, then shared some task cards Louise had created to consolidate phonics, literacy and mathematics work in the classroom. I will share the examples in another post, but suffice to say our participants seemed impressed  🙂

To generate our QR Codes, we used the Kaywa QR Code Generator.

QR Codes Amazing Race Orchard

Screen shot 2010-11-12 at PM 03.02.40 Sonic Pics $2.99

This easy-to-use app lets you create narrated slideshows of photos you have taken.

Our G1 students went on a shape hunt, and took photos of shapes in the environment around them. They selected the best images, and explained the properties of each of the shapes shown.

The list of ideas one could use this app with is endless. Students could photograph their work (e.g. a piece of art they are constructing from start to finish, and explain the process, narrate field trips, explain a solution to a maths problem and many more.

Shape hunt

Presenting with Louise was relaxing and enjoyable, and I am looking forward to our next workshop – whatever it may entail..!

5 Top Tools for Tech & Travel

I am currently in Shepparton, Victoria, eagerly awaiting the start of the Slide2Learn conference tomorrow morning.

During my trip, I have been thinking about how much I rely on technology for my travel plans, and how much of a challenge it would be for me to go somewhere without it.

Here is a list of the technology I used to get from my door to the hotel in Shepparton.

1. My trusty iPhone – this is fast becoming my most crucial piece of technology. I seldom go anywhere without it. It is so much more than just a phone, with apps like these:

tripit
I used the fabulous (and free) Tripit to input all my travel arrangements – from flights, to rental cars and hotel confirmations. I didn’t print the majority of these documents. Generally speaking, I just held up the phone to show the relevant information. Easy as pie.

dropbox

Dropbox stored my passport details, entrance tickets to the conference, and other information that is essential to have close at hand, no matter where you are.

pocket first aid
Pocket First Aid & CPR
has my medical insurance details, should any tragic circumstances ensue (I have my fingers crossed they won’t!), as well as first aid information that might help in an emergency.

Angry Birds & Sudoku – my current diversions, are entertainment in my pocket.

IMG_0443

hipstaHipstamatic helps me create moody, artistic photographs that I can share with friends and family (reaching a level of sophistication well beyond the realms of my normal creativity!) – the photo to the right was taken using Hipstamatic, and is the view from the Olivehouse Restaurant, where I had a delicious lunch today.

Just Light Flashlight – my torch in the night

xe
XE Currency
– calculating exchange rates at the touch of a button is always a useful tool when overseas.

Facebook & Tweetdeck for keeping in touch with friends and family, near and far.

2. GPS – Without which, I would have quite literally, been lost. Traveling in an unfamiliar location is tricky at the best of times, and using the sat-nav to get to my destination took all of the worry out of my drive from Melbourne to Shepparton.

3. My iPod Touch – by no means a superfluous piece of technology when one already has an iPhone! I consider myself pretty handy with technology these days, yet for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to make the radio in my rental car go. I needed to make sure I didn’t run out of battery on my phone, and a 2 hour trip goes by ever-so-slowly without a little music to sing to… cue the iPod Touch! It sat happily on the dash, belting out my Glee favourites as we moseyed along the Victorian countryside.

4. My (aging) Macbook Pro – Although I realise this is beginning to sound like an advertisement for all things Apple, it was not my intention! The fact of the matter is they make good products! What the Macbook Pro lacks in portability, it makes up for in ease of use – particularly for blogging on the go. It is always quick and easy to connect to wireless networks too.

skype5. Skype – It would be remiss of me not to mention Skype as a travel tool, as I use it so frequently. I said goodnight to my kids tonight, saw the artwork my daughter had made, chatted to my husband, and made my son laugh. All for free (internet connection notwithstanding).

Technology I made use of at Changi Airport included a DIY immigration, where your thumb is scanned and matched against records in your Green Card. At the Melbourne end, NZ and Australian passport holders could use a fast track service in which you scan your passport (provided it has a microchip in it) and beat the queues at immigration. Thumbs up to these 2 leading airports!

Of course Bump is going to be useful tomorrow – especially at a conference about mobile learning!

I am sure I have forgotten some crucial tools here. What are your tech travel must-haves? I am keen to expand my repertoire…!

iPod Touch Apps for Apple Workshop

Here are a list of apps I’m exploring in my workshop for Apple on Leveraging Learning with the iPod Touch.
Myspace text generator
Doodle_Kids
Doodle Kids
Free
Neat little app created by a 9 year old Singaporean boy. We’ve used it for fine motor skills, creativity etc. You can take screen shots of your creations and email them later.

garden
Flower Garden
$1.99
Neat little app where you plant, water and grow flowers and send bouquets via email.
_

sonic pics


Sonic Pics
$2.99
Fantastically versatile app for narrating over your own images. Either upload images to your photo gallery, or take screenshots to use. This app creates a video of your slideshow which you can email, send to your computer or upload to YouTube.

Image from glowtxt.com text generator
Number_Line
Number Line
Free
Excellent little app for ordering decimals, percentages and fractions. Would suit middle to upper primary.


iChoose
iChoose
Free
App which allows you to select from coin toss, yes/no, dice roll, card choice, rock/paper/scissors and many other options. Great for probability and statistics.

Math_Quizzer
Math Quizzer
Free
Choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication & division (or a combination of these) and then complete the questions. Multi-choice answers are provided below.

StepTrak_lite

Step Trak Lite

Free
Neat app which acts as a pedometer. Simple to use, really effective. You can upload your results to MapMyWalk.

_-
Glitter text generator
abc_Pocket_Phonicsabc Pocket Phonics
$0.99
I think this is a great little app for the early years. You learn to form letters, hear the sounds of each letter, then blend sounds to make words at the end. The Lite version has the first sounds only, but the full version has sound blends as well. Give it a go! See here for more details on how we used with with K2.

Early_Reader
Early Reader
$0.99
Another app for beginning readers. It covers the basic sight words, phonics, etc and is easy to use. You can turn the voice on or off.

English_Chinese_Dictionary
KT-Dict CE

Free
Chinese-English dictionary. See here for more details on how we use it at school.

Word_Magic
Word Magic
$0.99
This app has missing letters which the kids need to select from a list to complete the word. There are a range of settings you can customize, including lowercase or uppercase letters, the missing letters at the beginning, middle or end of the word, and the length of the word (to name but a few).

I will also be looking at the Voice Memo app, which comes preloaded on all iPod Touch and iPhones.
Glitter text generator
Art
Art
$0.99
Great list of historical artists, their lives, their art, and so much more. If $0.99 seems a little much, why not try the lite version, which is free.

muscular_system
The Muscle System Pro
$19.99
High quality images of the Muscular system, perfect for kids to take screencaptures to use in presentations.

skeletal_system
The Skeletal System Pro
$19.99

High quality images of the Skeletal system, which students can screencapture, making this app money well spent for inquiries relating to the human body.

Google_Earth_001
Google Earth
Free
Excellent iPod Touch version of the desktop programme created by Google. Absolutely awesome.

iPod Touch Apps for Apple Workshop

Here are a list of apps I’m exploring in my workshop for Apple on Leveraging Learning with the iPod Touch.
Myspace text generator
Doodle_Kids
Doodle Kids
Free
Neat little app created by a 9 year old Singaporean boy. We’ve used it for fine motor skills, creativity etc. You can take screen shots of your creations and email them later.

garden
Flower Garden
$1.99
Neat little app where you plant, water and grow flowers and send bouquets via email.
_

sonic pics


Sonic Pics
$2.99
Fantastically versatile app for narrating over your own images. Either upload images to your photo gallery, or take screenshots to use. This app creates a video of your slideshow which you can email, send to your computer or upload to YouTube.

Image from glowtxt.com text generator
Number_Line
Number Line
Free
Excellent little app for ordering decimals, percentages and fractions. Would suit middle to upper primary.


iChoose
iChoose
Free
App which allows you to select from coin toss, yes/no, dice roll, card choice, rock/paper/scissors and many other options. Great for probability and statistics.

Math_Quizzer
Math Quizzer
Free
Choose from addition, subtraction, multiplication & division (or a combination of these) and then complete the questions. Multi-choice answers are provided below.

StepTrak_lite

Step Trak Lite

Free
Neat app which acts as a pedometer. Simple to use, really effective. You can upload your results to MapMyWalk.

_-
Glitter text generator
abc_Pocket_Phonicsabc Pocket Phonics
$0.99
I think this is a great little app for the early years. You learn to form letters, hear the sounds of each letter, then blend sounds to make words at the end. The Lite version has the first sounds only, but the full version has sound blends as well. Give it a go! See here for more details on how we used with with K2.

Early_Reader
Early Reader
$0.99
Another app for beginning readers. It covers the basic sight words, phonics, etc and is easy to use. You can turn the voice on or off.

English_Chinese_Dictionary
KT-Dict CE

Free
Chinese-English dictionary. See here for more details on how we use it at school.

Word_Magic
Word Magic
$0.99
This app has missing letters which the kids need to select from a list to complete the word. There are a range of settings you can customize, including lowercase or uppercase letters, the missing letters at the beginning, middle or end of the word, and the length of the word (to name but a few).

I will also be looking at the Voice Memo app, which comes preloaded on all iPod Touch and iPhones.
Glitter text generator
Art
Art
$0.99
Great list of historical artists, their lives, their art, and so much more. If $0.99 seems a little much, why not try the lite version, which is free.

muscular_system
The Muscle System Pro
$19.99
High quality images of the Muscular system, perfect for kids to take screencaptures to use in presentations.

skeletal_system
The Skeletal System Pro
$19.99

High quality images of the Skeletal system, which students can screencapture, making this app money well spent for inquiries relating to the human body.

Google_Earth_001
Google Earth
Free
Excellent iPod Touch version of the desktop programme created by Google. Absolutely awesome.

Stepping out with the iPod Touch

StepTrakLite2Our K2 Team have been at it again! They continue to actively look at new ways of integrating technology into their programme.

Teaching about non-standard measurement is one of the K2 Maths expectations, and Louise & Andrea had the inspired idea of using the pedometer app StepTrakLite on the iPod Touch to make it more interesting for their students.StepTrakLite

Andrea created a recording sheet for them, and had them estimate the distance (in steps) from one place to another, then check it using StepTrakLite. Louise got her kids to make their own recording sheet. Both approaches worked brilliantly, and the kids had a great time. Here is Andrea’s recording sheet:

Measuring With StepTrakLite Using iPod Touches

Here’s a video of the kids excitedly measuring their steps using StepTrakLite