Teachers always “borrow” from other teachers, and here is a great resource to borrow.

The iPad Investigation

I love learning about new things, I think that the majority of people (especially teachers) do. Although its been around for a while now, I realised that I hadn't posted about iTunesU.

For those who haven't come across iTunesU before, it's the education section of the iTunes Store. It has a vast collection of free courses from a variety of university's, schools and private individuals which anyone can take.

When you open the app you need to click on the catalog button to search for courses you wish to add.

There are lots if different courses you can take, but I quite like going to the 'Teaching and Learning' section, to see what education related courses there are.

You can also search for courses. I tried searching for 'iPad Education' and found this course, which I have now added to my library.

What I like about the courses is…

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An Alternative to Powerpoint

In looking for new FREE apps to download into my iPad2 for use on my classroom, I stumbled upon Prezi.  I use custom made powerpoints or download pre made SMART board lessons from Promethean Planet or SMART to use for classroom instruction or as a SMART board station for students to work at independently as they finish classwork or to re-emphasize important concepts.  Today’s student needs more than just a talking head in front of them, they need engagement and inspiration.  How does a teacher compete with the “outside” world of advertising?  ANSWER: Go to the “outside” world and use what the advertisers are using.

Prezi.com makes powerpoints a thing of the past.  This is an alternative to presenting information to a group of people, not just for classroom use, with a dynamic perspective.  With a choice of different templates and styles, presentations can take on a new meaning by focusing on what’s important by making use of it’s unique zoom in/zoom out feature.  In working with the program on my iPad I discovered that it is even easier to use on a computer. The features are beautiful, with an array of styles available and the ability to reuse templates from other users.  The site, prezi.com , requires a signup and offers three levels of monthly pricing with the cheapest being FREE.

I encourage anyone that creates presentations to visit the site and explore the possibilities.  The WOW effect is pretty much a guarantee with this communication tool that can be shared and simultaneously be used from across the world.  Give it a try and look for the “Free Fall Template” found under “All Public Prezis”.

Boo Bash in Hollywood, FL

The 6th annual Boo Bash in Hollywood, Fl is a safe, family friendly event in downtown Hollywood’s Young Circle. Young Circle is Hollywood’s central hub for the arts, also known as Arts Park, which is surrounded by local businesses and restaurants, and just a few minutes drive away from the famous Hollywood Boardwalk featured in many of today’s feature films and TV shows like “Marley and Me” and “Burn Notice”. The Boo Bash Event is set up with children of all ages in mind with trick or treat stations on the perimeter of the circle, bounce houses within the circle along with food kiosks, music, and a large stage for costume contests for different age groups. The beauty of this one night event is the lay out. There must have been at least 1000+ people, but it didn’t feel crowded. Every station was well manned and friendly, keeping the focus on the children at all times with plenty of candy for all. The restaurants and local shops west of the circle were also participating by providing candy and treats for the children. Lots of music flowed through the streets as people danced their way from shop to shop. Smiles filled the area rather than scary grimaces, which as a parent of a 4 year old is a nice alternative to all of the advertised haunted houses. Many locals attended the Boo Bash and it was nice for us as a family of 3 to see familiar faces among the crowd. My daughter saw some of her VPK classmates, I saw some of my middle school students, and my husband caught up with old friends. This event gave us the opportunity to experience a small town experience in the big city.

I highly recommend Hollywood Florida’s Annual Boo Bash on Halloween Night to all local residents and vacationers for a family friendly and safe night of trick or treating.

Male Role Models

In an effort to keep America educated, I dedicate my life to teaching middle school students Mathematics. This year I have the privilege to teach 7th grade, which are 13 year olds basically. I like to say that I am selling a product that few of my clients want to buy.
Today I was reminded of the lack of positive male role models that we have in America. When a child doesn’t have an adult male in his life to look up to or influence him in a positive way, then my job in the classroom becomes more difficult. Where have all the good men gone to? Why does this hold have no one he admires or aspires to be like? He feels he is the man of the house, yet he has not seen or experienced what the man of the house is or does. This is a sad state of affairs America.

Facial Recognition Technology

facial recognition blog

This is an blog I found, that raised the question about facial recognition technology that Facebook is using and its purpose in the world. It is written by a lawyer and she brings up some interesting topics that she and her husband discussed regarding this new tracking device.
Will the US follow Europe’s lead?
How do you feel about Facebook’s policies and the way they do business?

Educational Apps

Educational Apps 

Click on the above link to watch a brief introductory video.

All of the apps featured can be downloaded for free from the app store on iTunes.

The video was created on Animoto, a free web-based program, which allows you to create 30 second videos for free.  To upgrade it costs about $5 a month.  Educators may apply online for a classroom code, which will allow students access to more features for free. There is a great tutorial on suggested uses and monitoring techniques for the classroom on the site Animoto.com.  Click on the link and it will redirect you to their site.