Tuesday, January 20, 2015

WeLearnedIt to Give Away School-wide Licenses

Last fall Adam Bellow and the eduClipper team released a new digital portfolio creation platform called WeLearnedIt. Through the WeLearnedIt iPad app you and your students can create digital portfolios that contain files from Google Drive, Dropbox, links from the web, images and videos captured with your iPad, and whiteboard videos created within the WeLearnedIt app.

Individual teachers and students have always been able to use WeLearnedIt for free. The school-wide license for WeLearnedIt was not free. The school-wide implementation of WeLearnedIt allows teachers and administrators to share assessment data. Today, Adam Bellow announced that the school-wide license will be free from now through June 2016 to any school school whose district has taken the Future Ready Pledge.

Applications for Education
The best aspects of WeLearnedIt are found in the feedback and sharing tools. Teachers can assign grades to elements of students’ digital portfolios. Grading is not limited to assigning scores. Teachers can give written feedback on each submission. Rubrics for assignments are available through the app too.

Disclosure: I have a small advisory and equity interest in eduClipper.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Maily Provides a Fun & Safe Way for Kids to Learn About Email

Maily is a free iPad app that provides young children with a safe and fun way to send emails to parents and selected family members. To use Maily parents have to create accounts for their children. Parents select and add contacts for their children. After the account is created children can then send and receive emails only from the people that their parents have added to their children's contacts list.

Once the account is created children can use Maily to draw pictures, use templates to create emails, and or upload pictures to send. To send an email children click the send button and the select the image of the person they want to receive their messages.

Applications for Education
Using Maily could be a great way to introduce young children to email in a safe environment. You could use the Maily app to have students send weekly emails to their parents about what they did in your classroom each week.

Thousands of Newspapers on a Google Map

Newspaper Map is a new for locating and reading newspapers from locations all around the world. Newspaper Map claims to have put placemarks for more 10,000 newspapers on one Google Map. To find a newspaper you can browse the map then click on a placemark to open the link within to read a newspaper. You can also locate newspapers by using the search boxes to locate a newspaper by title or location. Along with links to the newspapers, Newspapers Map provides links to translate the newspapers you find on the map.

Applications for Education
Newspaper Map is a good resource for social studies teachers and students. Students can use the map to locate newspapers from around the world to read to gain different perspectives on world events. Reading newspapers from different parts of the world will also give students to learn about what is culturally important to different groups of people.

Lesson Plans for Teaching About Germs

To help elementary school teachers educate their students about germs and disease prevention (and to sell disinfectant) Clorox has developed a website for teachers. Clorox Classrooms offers sixteen lesson plans for K-5 classrooms. Each of the lesson plans is designed to help students understand what germs are and how to prevent the spread of germs. Most of the lesson plans include an "extension" activity for interactive whiteboards.

Applications for Education
Most of the Clorox Classrooms lesson plans are intended to be conducted as hands-on lessons. The download package for each lesson plan includes references to National Science Standards, handouts for students, and slides when necessary.

Germ Blaster - An iPad Game for Learning About Germs

Parts of this post originally appeared on my other blog, iPadApps4School.com

Rice University offers a number of web and iPad-based educational science activities for students of all ages. Germ Blaster is one of their free iPad games that is appropriate for students in elementary school.

Germ Blaster is a fun iPad game through which students learn about six types of pathogens and the “weapons” used to fight them. Before starting the game students review each pathogen and what makes it different from the others. Then they review the methods used to fight those pathogens. In the Germ Blaster game students fight off the pathogens by selecting the appropriate weapon to kill the approaching pathogens. If they get stuck and can’t remember which weapons fight which pathogens, students can pause the game to look up information about the pathogens.

Applications for Education
Playing Germ Blaster won't replace the need for lessons taught by you, but it could be a fun way for students to review after a lesson that you have taught.