As a teacher, I am often asked by parents and by other teachers about apps to use with their children. I always recommend ones that encourage children to be creative and allow them to express themselves in a positive way. These are several of my favorite Android apps for Preschool - adult. I have included a variety of types. I also like these because the product can be saved to... More →
X Construction is a really fun, but challenging bridge-building simulation game/app. Students construct different length bridges in different settings, but always to allow a train of passengers to cross safely.
Scores are based on the amount of building materials remaining unused, the length of time spent building the bridge, and the amount of stress the bridge withstands.
If the structure... More →
Reading comes to life with interactive eBooks using the Storia app by Scholastic. Get five free books just for downloading the app. It's easy, just download and install the Storia app, launch, sign in and read.
Teachers like that they get five free books and that they can use their Scholastic bonus points to buy eBooks. But what teachers really like about Storia, is the built-in book manager. Books... More →
In this video Sony Education Ambassador Andy Losik shows some of his fifth graders hard at work and having lots of fun learning seventeen different professional camera angles. Five groups of students are all handled a different device. The Sony Bloggie and Xperia tablet are among those in play. The overall goal is not to create Hollywood masterpieces but to gain tech literacy with many different devices and platforms.
... More →
You did it! You made the wise decision to purchase a SONY Xperia tablet. Now what? As an educator it can be quite overwhelming to wade through the vast amount of information out there on the best Android apps to use. Let me help you by posting my findings on a Learnist board.
This first post features Wave Recorder, Skitch Evernote, Quixey, and qPDF. These... More →
One of the best things about the Xperia tablet is it’s versatility. Not only do you have a content consumption device with apps to interact with, digital reader functionality, and Internet accessibility, you also have a content creation device that can act as a still camera, a video camera, a sound recorder, and a productivity suite.
The challenge in a one tablet classroom is finding ways in which... More →
So I have to admit, I came upon this idea thanks to a colleague of mine who was looking for a fun way to encourage creativity and reward good behavior. We got to talking about wedding receptions we had recently attended at which the hosts had provided a photo booth experience. You know what I’m talking about. You go into the booth, click the button and a camera... More →
One great way to use your Sony Xperia in the classroom is to create a class voting booth. This could be done in conjunction with an election unit or simply to instill a little bit of the democratic process into your classroom.
While the act of voting via clicker or via webtools such as polleverywhere.com may be a quick way to gather class information, the act of... More →
Google Apps for Education is Google’s suite of web-based tools that help the busy teacher work more efficiently and effectively for working with students, collaborating with colleagues, and communicating with parents.
Here are some of the most popular Google Apps for Education:
Google Drive: Teachers are using Google Drive to store all of their important documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms. Google Docs is now part of Google Drive.... More →
I live in Minnesota where the weather can be extreme. Thank goodness there are weather apps so that I can stay inside.
If I were planning a unit on weather in my classroom, the first thing I would do is round up resources that I have available, the resources online and the apps on my Sony Xperia Tablet. In my classroom I would have thermometers, a barometer and books. Then... More →
It is here, the Common Core Learning Standards have officially taken over as THE focus. The writing is on the wall as many professional teaching books, pinterest pages, and professional development conferences have quickly switched their focus. With good reason. The standards are guiding all of our decisions as we educate our students to be college and career ready (not to mention that... More →
There are a lot of apps out there… more than we can even begin to explore. The Google Play Store has tens of thousands… but how do we choose apps for learning? What are some criteria to help us choose apps for our students?
First things first, the app needs to provide opportunities for students to learn or practice something we value. This could be... More →
I was a Facebook late-comer. I was teaching, I had a family and a life, and if I wanted to “connect” with friends and family, I would pick up the phone or email them. I eventually gave in, joined and it’s moderately useful for me, but the ways I’ve seen it used by other teachers is amazing to me. So, if you’re... More →
This post is the first in a monthly series of posts about Google Apps for Education and how it can make an Administrator’s life more efficient, so you spend less time with paperwork and more time in classes, at school activities, and with parents, students and teachers. If you’re not familiar with the power of Google Apps for Education, welcome! Here’s a quick overview:
... More →
So you have one tablet, does it have any use in a busy classroom of learners with an already busy teacher? YES!
Having a limited supply of any tool or resource means we need to be even more thoughtful and intentional about how we use that tool. Here are a few ideas for integrating your tablet into the teaching and learning in your classroom, even if you only have one... More →
Using a tablet in physical education or science as a measurement tool for measuring and recording heart rate is easy with Cardiograph by Micropinch, a free Android app. Cardiograph records your heart rate and keeps the data so you can see the rate on various and times. Each data set is automatically time and date stamped and saved into a profile. You can have multiple profiles.
How it works
You... More →
There are lots of ways to create eBooks these days, using lots of different tools. This post focuses on one way to create eBooks that is simple, free, and takes full advantage of the tools available on your Xperia tablet.
Have your students author content for a book that can be turned into an eBook, read on digital devices, and shared with others.
The content of the book... More →
Many of us are in classrooms that do not yet have HD connections to our projectors or TVs. In my case, all the classrooms in the school are equipped with a ceiling mounted projector that shows the tv cable shows with the click of one button, and the connected computer with the click of another button but has a VGA cable as the input to the projector.. What if you... More →
Last year, I wrote a blog post titled “11 Things I Think I Know About 1:1 Classroom Management.” In that post, I approached teaching in a 1:1 environment from the perspective of what it takes to teach well in a media-rich environment. The conclusion I came to was that, really, the skills that it takes to be an effective teacher in the Digital Age are the same as the skills it... More →
I love to read. Don’t you? I love books, magazines, manuals, blogs, and more. One of the challenges teachers face is how to instill that love of reading in their students. Thinking about the digital students we have today, I thought about what we can do to instill that love of reading with technology. Here are some suggestions.
Connect with other readers online.
Scholastic has a community for... More →
I’ve always felt that one of the goals of a teacher is to help each student feel like a rock star. Thanks to an observant colleague who saw a couple of kids playing with Songify, I think I have the next tool to help realize that goal.
What Is It?
Songify is a simple and free app that you can use on your Xperia tablet to record students... More →
When rolling out the Google Apps for Education Suite to educators, Google Drive is easily in the first three application shared. And why not? It’s different yet familiar, it’s collaborative and you can do some neat tricks with it. Like a puppy. But with less mess.
Google Drive is great to show teachers and they will come up with some great plans to use with their... More →
One app that comes with your machine is Movie Studio (please excuse my busy background). If you're looking for the Xperia equivalent of Premiere, this ain't it.
That said, if you need a quick way to bring together a few clips, pictures, and music, Movie Studio can do the job.
The app allows adding any of the items mentioned above, as well as taking pictures and video from... More →
Ask a 6th grader how many different jobs there are, and you might get, "Well there's (what my mom does), (what my dad does), teacher, police officer, football player, movie star, and the president of the United States. Did I get them all?"
Hopefully not, but more to the point, there are remarkably few opportunities in most curricula to explore lots of different careers in any kind of efficient... More →
Having a tablet or other mobile device that may well be handed among several students as part of an activity can cause problems if the students have multiple accounts they need to access. Imagine, for example, that three students in a group will use one device, and each has a GAFE (Google Apps for Education) account. How do they access their accounts without stepping into each others' mail, files, etc.?
... More →
The Google Play Store on your Android tablet offers a wide range of educational apps that are great for not only younger writers but writers of all ages as well. There’s likely an app that will help your students with their mobile writing endeavors!
Here are some of my favorite writing apps that are great for your Android tablet. All of these apps are free and all are... More →
One of my favorite ways to curate the web is via Symbaloo, a web 2.0 tool that allows the user to create webmixes of their favorite sites. The tool is easy to learn, and it’s free.
There are all kinds of reasons to like Symbaloo webmixes. First, they are very customizable. You can create custom buttons to represent each URL you would like to add. Also, you can have... More →
Every educator has too many tasks, not enough time and is pulled in a million directions. Here is a quick run-down of my favorite apps to use with my Sony Xperia tablet (or other Android-enabled device) to streamline life, while still staying effective.
Evernote - Take notes on your tablet, add pictures, audio recordings or attachments quickly to your notes, along with sharing “notebooks” to collaboratively edit;... More →
Students love to tell stories. Students love to create stories. There are loads of great Android apps that allow students to capture images and video and do things like make movies, annotate what they capture, and add in their voice.
Check out these great apps that allow students to create stories on the go:
With the built-in front facing and rear facing cameras on your Xperia tablet,... More →
Social media has become so prevalent that it seems like our lives are bombarded with bursts of tweets, pins, check-ins, quick links, hashtags, and Instagrams. What too often gets lost is the substance behind all of those short posts...and there is substance. No really. There is.
The cliché knock on social media is that it is just self-absorded nothingness post after post about where someone is eating... More →
Techsmith's Coach's Eye app may have been designed for coaches and athletes to analyze athletic performance but it harbors a lot of potential for any teaching situation. It is also one a very select number of apps on the Android platform that can be used to annotate video or flip learning.
I have been looking long and hard to find an app on the Android platform that... More →
If you are in the classroom like me, then you know that getting a one-to-one reading assessment completed without interruptions is a miracle. I have perfected the art of peripheral vision scanning of the other students as I conduct running records, and my frantic hand gestures to those that would interrupt are unmistakable. What I have not perfected is the art of completing the forms... More →
Newton’s laws of motion help us understand how objects in the world move around us. Through these apps students of all ages can understand the basics of physics and the comprehension skill of cause and effect.
First I would allow students to time to explore and play with the apps. Several are listed below. Then I would introduce Sir Isaac Newton and his laws of motion. I... More →
Word Ball is a simple game. Letters float on the screen and shrink and eventually disappear as you make as many words as you can. There is no timer, it is a race to make words faster than the balls shrink. Longer words score more points so this is an encouragement to students to add prefixes and suffixes to words as they enter them into the game.
There are three... More →
One of the most powerful tools for administrators is the almighty calendar. I have yet to find a calendar that is as robust and useful for school administrators as Google Calendar, and here’s why:
Google Calendar allows you to embed multiple calendars into a web page and change the way they look and the colors that are used.
You can easily attach documents, or invites to Google+ Hangouts ... More →
By no stretch of the imagination, am I a professional photographer. I like taking pictures of my work with schools, teachers and students and I love taking pictures of school signs.
I also believe in the need to document, in pictures, the fantastic things that are happening in our schools every day. Photos capture moments that will never, ever happen again. So in working with my Sony Xperia tablet,... More →
Being data-informed as a teacher is critical, especially in the Information Age. The more information we have about our learners, the more capable we are of designing lessons that enhance student learning. Finding ways to collect student feedback quickly and with the user-experience in mind is becoming more and more easy. Thanks to web 2.0 and the app culture, we now have the means to take the pulse of any group,... More →
I remember standing in Casa Grande Junior High School with slicked back hair and rolled up jeans on 1950's day in 1985 and telling a classmate, "You know, someday we'll be sending our kids to school on 80's day." Well, those days are here and for those of us who fondly recall the 80's and 90's enjoy the nostalgia of that era the rise of computer and video games are... More →
I love art. I love drawing, painting, and creating art of all kinds. My students usually cheered when I got out the art supplies. Students love art too. One of the wonderful features of the Sony Xperia Tablet is that it allows students to be artistically creative and to share their work. Illustration apps allow students to express themselves through drawing, to illustrate their stories, and to communicate. Their illustrations... More →
People of a certain age remember the days of diagramming sentences for parts of speech. Many bemoan that kids today just do not know how to write using correct grammar and perhaps we should go back to direct teaching of these important English concepts. Have no fear, the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) have it covered.
Specifically, third graders are expected to “Explain the function... More →
I recently came across a handy app on the Sony Xperia that was already there right out of the box. The app is called Scrapbook. If you don’t already see the Scrapbook app on your home screen, press Apps & Widgets in the top right corner to locate the Scrapbook app. To add an app to your home screen, just press and hold on it until you are... More →
As a former speech teacher, I can’t tell you how jealous I am that today’s teachers have the ability to provide their young rhetoricians with the tools that the big boys use. When I discovered that tablets like the Xperia can be used as teleprompters, I thought back to all of those student hours spent writing notecards and designing cue cards. I remembered with pain the... More →
With the Google Voice app you can easily put a new spin on formative assessment. By installing the app and then signing up for a free customizable number (I was even able to get my last name in mine.) teachers can create a feedback hotline for students and parents to leave comments, reflections, or questions.
Here is an easy example. A teacher asks her class to read three poems by... More →
Pictures Pictures Pictures. I love taking pictures, looking at pictures, and showing off pictures. Kids love to take pictures too, but quick viewing can sometimes be a hassle in the classroom. None of the desktops in our classrooms have built in card readers, so they have to be checked out from the computer lab.
That’s where the Xperia tablet comes in and one of the reasons I love... More →
MyScript Calculator is a free calculator app with a special feature, it is designed especially for touchscreens, providing handwriting recognition as it does its calculations! This is almost like magic. You can scrall a wide variety of mathematical operations and equations on your tablet and this app quickly translates your handwritten numerals and symbols into digital text and delivers the computations in almost real time.
This calculator... More →
The titles of my blog posts usually begin with Common Core Connections. At first a post on homework planners for the Xperia table might not make sense. However, if you think about it, students will be better equipped to meet the CCSS if they are organized and actually do the reinforcement work and projects teachers assign. I taught first grade for 10 years and homework completion... More →
Not all tablets and computers are created equal. And they don't always play nicely with each other. As an educator, this can be infuriating. I'm trying to teach our kids and their teachers, and I'm constantly running into blockades that prevent me from being able to seamlessly present cross-platform products. I just want to teach and for my students to learn.
Thankfully, I was able to find... More →
Most all tablets and smartphones have cameras in them. In fact, many of them have nicer/better cameras than many of our regular digital cameras. With such a visual society, it is great to be able to snap a picture or quick video clip to post on-line or use in a class demonstration.
With the Sony Xperia S tablet, I was intrigued to find the time lapse feature of the... More →
In my role as a curriculum and technology specialist, I often encounter teachers who say things like, “I want to create lessons that take advantage of digital content, but I don’t know what that looks like.” Often, this is because teacher schedules are so hectic, and searching the Internet takes time that many teachers don’t have.
That’s why I was so excited... More →
Many teachers love the collaborative nature of documents in the Google Drive system, but have difficulties keeping what is shared with them organized. I have some recommendations on how to handle that, and hope this will help you take advantage of all that collaborative documents make possible.
Note that if you are brand new to Google Drive, this post may be confusing. I am assuming an understanding of... More →
Google Drive allows students to write collaboratively. This falls in the Big Whopping Deal category, as students tend to be far more interested in producing higher quality work when the audience expands beyond the teacher. Student work can be reviewed, commented on, and discussed by peers in order to improve it before "turning in" the final draft to the teacher.
In Part 1, I described an approach to keeping... More →
Last month Google announced a new, handy little tool called Google Keep. First of all, I really like the simplicity of this app. Like the other Google Apps, it's tied to your Google account. More specifically it's connected to Google Drive. You can head here to download Google Keep from Google Play.
Once you've created notes, you can view them by going to drive.google... More →
I love challenges. Someone asked me if it was possible to get a Google Drive and a Box.net account to work together. I accepted this challenge and got to work figuring it out. I found that I can use both together. I already had Google Drive on my laptop and the Google Drive app on my Sony Xperia Tablet. I also had a Box.net account, Box sync... More →
This is an introductory activity to get to know the features of the Sony Xperia Tablet and a few of the apps. You can do the activities with a partner or by yourself. Tasks can be completed in any order.
All answers should be written down on the Sony Xperia Tablet. What app would you use for that?
Find the telephone number for the... More →
It seems that many teachers in the 1:1 learning environment express frustration over getting materials both on an off of their students' devices. Box.com is a free and cloud-based solution that can greatly streamline these management issues and allow teachers to focus on fostering the 4 C's of 21st Century Learning: Collabortation, Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Communication.
When groups engaging in project or challenge based learning activities are... More →
If you have found this site of resource, congratulations! But sometimes, we don’t even know where to start to find well-vetted resources. Look no further. Below, I’ve provided a brief list of great, well-vetted resource sites to reference when you are looking for great Android educational resources or apps. Enjoy!
Well-established and known, Common Sense Media, provides Android Apps reviews for kids, by age-level.
... More →
Here are four fabulous ways you can leverage Google Drive in your work as an Administrator:
1) Go paperless! Set your environmentally-friendly tone and standard for your teachers, students and community by making paperless versions of agendas and minutes the norm and printing FAR fewer to make available when necessary. We had an 8th grade student as our Secretary for School Site Council and she took the minutes directly in a... More →
In another post on this site, I highlighted the TED app for Android, and am returning to that app to talk about ways we think about our students. Do we know what they can do? More to the point, do we know how our thinking can limit what we see of what they can do?
A friend asked me recently this question, "What's the coolest thing you've seen... More →
Yesterday I posted a piece about how we see limitations in our students, and this morning, a friend pointed me to a new and impressive video from Dove called Real Beauty Sketches.
This is a thought-provoking piece that calls into question both how we see others and how we see ourselves. In the video, an artist who can't see his subjects sketches them according to their descriptions of themselves,... More →
Colleagues often ask me where I find new tools and ideas for enhancing learning with technology. Obviously, I always learn from and share the great resources available from my fellow Sony Education Ambassadors, but beyond that, with so much content available on the web and so few hours in the day, I try to be as efficient in my learning as possible. As a result, I’ve gradually assembled... More →
The school year is winding down and my students just completed the New York State Common Core assessments for English Language Arts and Math. The reality is that assessment has moved to the forefront of every educator’s mind as we raise the rigor and expectations of our students’ skills and knowledge.
The use of flashcards as a study aid is definitely not new, but I have... More →
The other day, I visited the classroom of a friend of mine. She is an amazing teacher who is very creative and is constantly finding ways to create a sense of wonder and joy in her high school language arts classroom. Given her artistic talents, I am never surprised to see something new and unique in her room. Over the years, she has furnished her classroom with chairs and tables... More →
Thank you to all the teachers for your dedication, time and energy. Our learners need your passion and expertise to guide their learning. Your work is inspiring and much appreciated!
As a teacher for over 35 years, I know that teachers love, and need, free stuff. So I was on a mission to find stuff for you. I haven't read all the fine print and haven't requested all of... More →
So you’ve been using your Xperia to capture all of the great learning that has been going on in your classroom, but after the moment has passed, those pictures have a tendency to just pile up and sit unused on your device instead of being organized and enjoyed. Ideally, there would be an easy way to organize photos quickly into albums that can be flipped through on your... More →