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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Create Your Own iPad Games on TinyTap

TinyTap is a free iPad app that allows you to create simple games based on pictures that you take. The purpose of the games you build is to help young students (pre-K through grade 4) practice identifying objects and patterns.

To create a game on TinyTap you upload pictures or take new pictures and arrange them into a set. Then select each image to create questions about it. To create your question press the record button and start talking. When you have finished talking select a portion of your picture to serve as the answer. I created a small game about objects in my house. I took four pictures of things in my house. Each question asked players to identify the objects in my house. For example, when a player sees a picture of my kitchen he or she has to identify the tea pot by touching it.

If you don't have time to create your own games or you just want to see what others have done, you can browse the TinyTap Market. In the Market you can find a mix of free and paid games. A few of the free games that your students can play include "Dress for Winter," "Match It," and "Who Is Bigger?"

Applications for Education
TinyTap could be a great app for creating games that are tailored specifically to your students. You could create a game based on pictures of things in your school. Then your students can play the game to practice recognizing things like the school nurse's office and the names of people in the school office.

My Three Edublogs Awards Nomimations

The nomination process for the 2012 Edublogs Awards opened earlier this week. I have been fortunate to have been the recipient of at least one award every year since 2008. Thank you for all of your support over the years.

In year's past I've made a full list of nominations, but this year I'm only making nominations in three categories. Here are my nominations for the 2012 Edublogs Awards.

Best ed tech / resource sharing blog - Larry Ferlazzo
Best free web tool - Meograph
Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast - Keith Hughes (Hip Hughes History)

Every year there are lots of comments in favor of and against the Edublogs Awards. Whether or not you choose to participate in the selection process the awards process does bring attention to a lot of blogs, apps, and people. Every year I pick up a few new blogs and apps by looking through the nominations.

Games for Teaching Students About Balance and Stability

Rumble Blocks and Beanstalk are educational games developed and produced by DARPA's Engage Program. The games are designed for elementary school students to play to learn about and reinforce the concepts of balance and stability.

In Rumble Blocks students build towers by moving and placing a series of blocks. The object of the game is to build a tower that is tall enough and stable enough to support a "friendly alien's" spaceship.

In Beanstalk students balance flowers and bugs on a plank that is supported by a beanstalk. The better students get at balancing the plank, the taller the beanstalk grows.

Applications for Education
Rumble Blocks and Beanstalk are simple games that can be used to reinforce the principles taught in the hands-on lessons on which the games are based. Get the Rumble Blocks lesson plan here. Click here for the Beanstalk lesson plan.

Meetingl - Free and Easy Video Conferencing

Meetingl is a free service for hosting video conferences. A Meetingl conference room can be created in less than a minute. To create your room just go to the site, click "New Room," name your room, and send out invitations. To broadcast your video and audio select "allow" when you're asked if you want to grant Meetingl access to your computer. Mettingl is flash-based so you and your conference participants will need to be on a laptop or desktop computer.

Applications for Education
Meetingl could be a handy tool for quickly putting together an online peer tutoring session. Need a way to host an online brainstorming or planning meeting with your colleagues? Give Meetingl a try.

Three Little Piggies - An Interactive iPad Story

Most of us are familiar with the story of the Three Little Pigs. Three Little Piggies is an interactive iPad version of the famous fairy tale. Three Little Piggies offers three ways to enjoy the story. You can have it read to you in auto-play mode, you can read it at your own pace, or you can read along with the narrator (your choice of male or female voice). In the read along mode each word is highlighted as it is read by the narrator.

The best part of Three Little Piggies is the interactive elements built into the story. Shake your iPad and the piggies move. You can also touch the piggies to make them move. But the most fun element is the option to blow into the microphone to play the role of the wolf blowing down a house.

Three Little Piggies is currently a free app, but it's labeled as "free for a limited time" so grab it while it's still free.


Applications for Education
I like ebooks and apps that have read along modes as well as read-alone modes. This makes the story accessible to students who are practicing reading on their own while also allowing for parents to read to their children when they disable the narrator.

Thanks to Meg Wilson for sharing this on Twitter. 

Week in Review - The Connections We Make

Quite possibly the worst picture of me.

Good morning from Maine where I've just returned from spending a week in Nebraska at the home of my friends Beth and Kris Still. Beth and I "met" on Twitter four years ago. She was responsible for the NECC Newbie project that got me to NECC/ ISTE in 2009. A year later I had the pleasure of meeting her husband Kris when I spoke at her school. Since then we've stayed in touch and visited whenever we can. The next time someone asks if online connections are real, the answer is yes.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. School Boards and Technology
2. The Periodic Table of Comic Books
3. Handy New Ways to Organize Files in Google Drive
4. 26 iBooks Author How-to Videos
5. Google+ Added to Google Apps for Education
6. 5 Dice - An Order of Operations Activity on iPads
7. The Global Closet Calculator - A Lesson in Interdependence

Please visit the official advertisers and marketing partners that help keep this blog going.
Send Hub offers an excellent service for sending group text messages to parents.
Hall.com offers chat, video conferencing, and screen sharing to teachers.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
Vocabulary Spelling City offers spelling practice activities that you can customize.
MasteryConnect provides a network for teachers to share and discover Common Core assessments.
ABCya.com is a provider of free educational games for K-5.
Lesley University offers quality online graduate programs for teachers.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.

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