“The sheep’s out of the bag! YodelOh™ Math Mountain hit the App Store today, and we can’t wait to hear what you think about it!”
We love Spinlight Studio and their professional commitment to developing apps for educators. Why?
They are our neighbors located in Champaign, Illinois.
Their apps do not contain “third party ads”.
Their apps do not link to a social network.
Their apps do not track your location
Their apps do not link to web access.
Their apps do not include “in-app purchases”.
For 99¢, you have an app that “blends arcade action with traditional classroom math drills”. The game is fast and is designed “to help elementary students memorize the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division tables essential for math.” It is rated for ages 6-12.
My only wish is that we had a few mountains around us so that, on this beautiful Sunday, we could hike a few ourselves. I will have to be content to take a walk through the woods surrounding Lake Shelbyville…
It’s time to share all of the hard work and creativity you put into that decorating!
We’ve found a fun and free way to do that.
Hurry over to “Photosynth” and download this app to your iPhone, iPod Touch, or your iPad2.
I downloaded it as soon as I bought my iPad2, and drove to our cabin to take a spring panorama shot of our lake. I could not believe how EASY it was!
Before this app, I used Photoshop to stitch together my photos, and was amazed at how much easier Photosynth was! It even takes the pictures for you! The more images you stitch together in your panorama, the better your final image is. It not only captures the scene in 360˚ view, but up and down, as well.
(Photoshop: Now THAT is a program that should generate a two-year degree. I need to add that to my “bucket list” of goals to achieve. What a powerful, but oh-so-overwhelming list of options for one program! However, I can remove stains, wrinkles, “face-shine” and “red-eye” in my photos like nobody’s business.)
If you find Photosynth is “just right” for you,
we would love to see you share your shots on Facebook with us!
It’s time to “show-off”!
Don’t hold back!
We would love to see your classroom, your home, your porch, or whatever you wish to share!
Just send us your link or email your panorama images and we’ll post them in our gallery.
We did three sessions in Springfield that included iPads, SMARTBoards, and our favorite web tools.
In Chicago we enjoyed the opportunity to co-present with Dr. Voltz as a team with “Dueling Apps”.
While waiting to present in Springfield, we grabbed a little “down-time” to sit in on a few sessions. Two helpful tips we picked up that we felt were worth sharing apply to our favorite technology pieces, the SMARTBoard and the iPad. (LOVE the iPad!)
We usually toggle our iPads to “airplane-mode” while traveling to conserve the battery when we are working without the Internet. A tip provided by Ledith Whitehall was to use this toggle (found in your settings) as an alternative to rebooting your iPad. It saves a ton of time shutting-down/restarting your device.
Here’s a tip for our SMARTBoard users. If you use the “Random Word Chooser” in the Lesson Activity Toolkit, and you find that it makes the choices in the same order, look down in the lower right corner and choose “Reset” and your choices will, once again, be random.
As we begin another week,
we want to take a minute to let all of our friends know how much we appreciate the opportunity to work with you at our workshops and in your schools.
It truly has been a blessing for which we are thankful.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and we wish you the best as you “unplug” to spend family time together with those you love…
I stumbled up on this article and video yesterday,
and knew I had to share.
Even though there is a touch of skepticism in the reporter,
you could hear the tears and the joy in Lesley Stahl’s voice as she witnesses the personal way the iPad has made a difference in the lives of individuals with autism.
Please take some time to watch this video,
and below you will find links to the apps that are mentioned in the story.
As a teacher, and possibly a parent, be sure to have a box of tissues close at hand…
Last spring I was asked to check out a couple of apps from a local company calledSpinlight Studios. AlphaTots and TallyTots.
Now, I’ll be honest.
I have absolutely NO personal background in teaching early elementary.
I filed the apps in the back of my mind, but retrieved them during workshops as suggestions for early elementary educators.
They were good.
Just not the kind of apps to which I could relate.
Then came TableTots,
an app by this same company that was released this week.
I downloaded the day it was released,
and I immediately became the “Spinlight Studio” stalker.
I emailed Spinlight Studios to let them know how excited I was about the app.
I played with it a little more,
and I called Mom to tell her to download it immediately.
I emailed the company again to back up my initial thoughts with more exciting praise.
I know what you are all thinking…
Mom and I have been downloading and playing with apps for use in the educational setting for quite some time now.
We are pretty selective when it comes to apps that we add to our presentations.
I must say, this one is a “no-brainer”.
TableTots immediately went to the “Top 10” portion of our workshop.
This app is the first app I have seen that allows teachers to use the iPad for interactive INSTRUCTION.
Effective interactive instruction, I might add.
Don’t get me wrong.
We are pretty creative girls who can turn almost anything into a learning experience for kids.
Can anyone say Virtual Bubblewrap for number patterns?
“Autotunes” and the Gettysburg Address?
But, what we have encountered is a slew of educational apps designed to review specific, individual skills, many in a Q&A format followed by some sort of game or incentive.
Not that there is anything wrong with that.
Quite frankly, that might be all that a handful of students needs to motivate and reinforce a skill with which they are struggling.
THAT, however, does not represent the style of teaching we advocate using on a regular basis.
TableTots DOES reflect our style of teaching…
This app starts with a “Table” which reminds me of a “placemat” for the iPad.
At least that is what popped into my head as I was playing.
There are quite a few of these from which to choose, which is fantastic.
Mom and I love to mix it up!
After you choose your table, you move on to the type of manipulative you want to use.
Letters, numbers, shapes, money, place value pieces, or dominoes.
Are you seeing the potential here?
Once you choose your manipulatives,
you can start teaching and interacting with your students.
Allow the kids to come up with problems and solutions of their own.
Customize it for YOUR curriculum, the skills YOU need to teach!
What a concept!
Honestly, the sky is the limit with this app.
There are so many applications that can be used for DIFFERENTIATED instruction.
Take for example, sorting coins.
Beginners could sort the coins by size,
while higher achieving students could combine the sorting into different amounts of money.
Even higher achieving students could create money math problems using these manipulatives.
I love the versatility! Go download it… and no, I am not getting paid for this review.
Instead, the Spinlight Studio Staff,
(I love alliteration…yes, I am a geek),
might be in the process of acquiring a restraining order.
I can’t believe we have already finished up our second week of “Technology Boot Camp”! We made so many new friends, but, as always, enjoyed spending time with “familiar faces of long-time friends”.
Our last morning included an energetic session on iPads in the classroom, and for those who attended our first workshop earlier this summer; our presentation is ever-changing. The information that we are collecting as we research and experiment is growing exponentially. The apps we discover will continue to be posted on our workshop wiki.
In the meantime, as promised, I wanted to share a link to a site I stumbled upon that features iPad “Wallpaper” backgrounds.
The easiest way to navigate these is through your iPad directly and your Safari browser.
But take a peek here, too, while you are online, no matter where you are reading this.
The creators of this site felt their collection was the answer to people who wanted backgrounds that were different from the norm. Fun and quirky, it features the work of many artists and several have the option to download the full- size (1024 x 1024) resolution for the iPad.
Shannon and I have recently each purchased an iPad2.
We are playing learning the benefits, down- loading apps, and are discovering the endless potential they have to motivate and engage our students to learn new things.
This summer we will host our first iPad workshops, and our biggest challenge will be to narrow it down to three hours!
This week’s tip is brought to you courtesy of my school’s librarian, Mrs. Muzzy. She is as excited about technology as we are, and when I brought the new iPad2 to school, she stopped by to take a look.
As I was showing her some of the apps I thought she might like, the screen began to rotate to as it does when you turn it from “portrait” to “landscape”.
She shared a tip that I have shared with several people, and it immediately made our lives easier.
If you double-click the “Home Button”, the viewing screen will lift upward to reveal your reccent apps.
If you push those to the right, you will find some setting options that will allow you to lock your orientation, dim or brighten the screen light, and if you are using multimedia, those controls are available to you, as well.
If you slide it back to the left, you will return to your most recent apps.
To return to the full screen, just simply tap above on the screen once.
We have finalized our Sixth Annual Summer Workshop Series which will once again be held at the EIASE headquarters in between Mattoon and Charleston.
This summer our theme is “Boot Camp”.
No, we’re not talking about crawling on our tummies with an M16 or digging foxholes.
We’re talking about “DIGITAL Boot Camp”!
Arm yourself with excitement about the future, a positive attitude, and a willingness to try some new things.
Not only do we have our beginner-advanced SMARTBoard training, but we have also added a “10 Ways to Get SMARTer” session for folks who would like some new integration ideas or a refresher course.
In addition to our SMARTBoard sessions, we are offering a variety of sessions for general technology integration, including one that focuses on iPad apps for classroom use.
You heard it! We’re talking “APPS”!
Make this the summer you “get in digital shape” to fight the battle against student apathy.
Because when you get excited, your kids can’t help but be excited, too!
We hope to see you there!
Shannon and Nancy
Oh yes! Our”Monday Morning Tip”… This is a picture of my brand new iPad2.
The “app” you see here is “Nightstand”.
It was taken last night and it’s going to make sure I get up in the morning on time!