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 →
If your situation is similar to many I have encountered in multiple school districts around the country, BIP tracking looks different in each school you visit, heck sometimes in every classroom you visit. There are charts, tally sheets, narratives, and every type of tracking mechanism under the sun, but if not every teacher is using the same method it is very hard to turn any of the data that... 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 →
One of the most powerful learning tools on the Sony Xperia tablet is its camera. In this video the Sony support team highlights a number of features housed in the tablet's camera application including shooting panoramas, editing photos, and accessing the camera quickly from the lock screen.
Learn the basics of these features and more here.
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As a long time leader in the home electronics market, Sony knows that for many watching TV now involves having some type of laptop or mobile in one's lap as well. The Xperia tablet is the ultimate viewing companion because has a universal remote for many household and classroom devices built right into it. Sony takes the viewing experience a step further with an amazing app called Watch Now... 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:
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On Monday January 21, Google users discovered a powerful new search tool had been unleashed, the ability to search for applications. Tell the powerful search engine what you are looking for and let Google search not only places like the Play Store but all app review sites and blogs.
In the example on the left, I searched for Android Whiteboard apps and was handed a couple of suggestions quickly as well... 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 →
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 →
Welcome to your new Android device. When you pull the Sony Xperia Tabletout of the box you will quickly find all hardware buttons you will need. The power/sleep button is located on the upper right hand corner above the volume rocker button. On the opposite side of the device you will find the headphone jack and a little cover. To access the cover find the little notch at the... More →
Lets look at your screen now to learn how to navigate in your Android tablet. You have three areas that we will talk about: the top, the middle and the bottom.
The top: This slim area houses three unique areas. To the left is the word “Google” and a Microphone. This is for quick access to search.
Touching Google will bring up the keyboard and touching the microphone... More →
I love homescreens; I am comfortable admitting it. The thing I love most about homescreens is that I can customize them with apps, app folders and widgets. The one thing that can be a plus and minus is that you get five, no more, no less. If you love widgets and you can’t get enough, then having only five homescreens might be a problem. But what I think... More →
Many teachers are oppressed, more than anything else, by time. Is everything ready for tomorrow? Is the grading done? Will I ever get a full night's sleep again?
Saving time to be inspired, though, is what can provide the energy not just to keep going, but to enjoy it as you do, and a great source of inspiration comes via the TED app from TED Conferences (when searching, you... 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 →
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.?
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What Is It?
Class Dojo is a robust behavior tracking and management application designed for teachers and parents which allows a teacher to create a customized icon for each student. These icons can then be used to attribute either positive or negative behavior marks towards individual students or even the entire class. As a I stated previously, this app can be highly individualized, but let’s... 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 →
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 →
Widgets are just awesome. You heard me mention this before in the post about homescreens. In my opinion widgets are one of the great things that make the Android operating system stand out. Widgets allow you to customize your homescreens with useful information and or functional apps not just shortcuts to an app. Want to see your Google Calendar agenda without launching the app? Just install the widget on one... 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 →
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 →
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 →
One of the things that I love about tablet devices like the Xperia is that they are playgrounds for self-motivated, exploratory learning. An Internet-connected tablet offers unlimited possibilities for discovering new, wonder-inducing things to know.
That said, with all of the world at your fingertips, it is hard to know where to begin. As a service to my fellow explorers, I have provided 10 of my favorite places to learn, explore... 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 →
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 →
So you're a teacher putting together a video or a slideshow, and you want to add some music. What's okay to use?
The rules surrounding copyright are complex, but help is out there. You can find all kinds of good music you can use. Legally. For free. You just need to know where, and how, to look.
Let's start by assuming that you want to be able... More →
I should start by making it clear I know Karen and Gene, the two gifted educators that write the Common Core and Educational Technology blog. They were part of the 2011 cohort of the MERIT program which I directed, and so I can say without any hint of subjectivity that they're amazing people.
So what have they done? They have launched a blog in which strong educational technology resources 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 →
As a special educator one of the most easily addressed disabilities I've encountered is visual impairment; however, it is also one the most overlooked. This statement is in no way intended to minimize the challenges students with visual impairments face. It is simply intended to point out the wide range of magnification and access tools available to students in today's technologically advanced world. Despite this, I... 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 →
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 →
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 →
We’ve all grown attached to our email programs, but there are some distinct advantages for using GMail as your email client when you’re an educator, and particularly as an administrator.
Here’s my top five reasons to use GMail in an educator’s life:
1. Ability to search all emails - using the search box at the top of the page, I can search... 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 →
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.
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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 →
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 →
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 →