Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Apple's Summer Semester: Social Studies Webcast

So far this summer I've used many educational apps on my personal MacBook Pro.  I set-up handouts on Apple's Pages, as well as migrated over some of my PowerPoints to Keynote, which I also exported as PDF handouts.  Also this week I downloaded Comic Life 2 from the Mac App store Comic Life's educational templates come with an array of how-to sheets for students: http://plasq.com/education/.

Today I had the opportunity to attend Apple's "Summer Semester: Social Studies" live webinar event.  This Apple webcast was "designed for any K-12 educator interested in exploring real world examples of how the latest technologies are transforming teaching and learning in social studies and that want to learn new ideas for integrating technology into classroom learning."  The webcast was presented by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) Anthony Armstrong Teacher, Del Mar Middle School, Tiburon, CA and Janet Copenhaveran, Director of Technology/Media, Henry County Public Schools, Collinsville, VA.  The focus was on Mac and iPad.

The webcast will be archived on iTunesU available for download later this summer.  The presenters will also upload video tutorials detailing how they accomplished some of the projects illustrated.  Topics included Pearson's e-textbook initiative with iPad (Early Jamestown, Pass the Past, Westward Expansion, Whiteboard apps, Talking Tomcat for special needs students, improved test scores, etc.), as well Mac's iLife (iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand) and iWork (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) suites.

I never thought of having students use PhotoBooth to practice recording and making presentations.  The presenter also suggested having students use the Stickies app, with PhotoBooth, as a gallery walk to assess each other. The ease of the tools on a Mac is a real class timesaver! 

The Apple Distinguished Educator site on iTunes U, where the archived versions of the webcast, as well as the video tutorials, will be found here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/apple-distinguished-educators/id380379132

A terrific resource is the new page devoted to educational apps (for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch): http://www.apple.com/education/apps/ 

      Sunday, July 3, 2011

      Pixton for Schools

      Pixton is an award-winning "click and drag" comic creation site.  Teachers can even set-up virtual classrooms (no student emails required!).  Check out the video on Pixton's website: http://www.pixton.com/schools/overview.  Below is a Pixton comic I created to help introduce a "Web and Graphic Design" camp I'm co-coordinating in a couple of weeks: