Friday, December 6, 2013

EdTech Podcasts Using Stitcher

Learning can happen in short, quick bits of time - while you workout, while you drive to and from work, while you clean the house, etc.  Many great audio podcasts are available and FREE from which you can easily glean new technology resources and tools.  I enjoy listening to podcasts with the app, Stitcher Radio for Podcasts.

Available in the App Store

I enjoy Stitcher, because the podcasts stream instead of taking up space on my mobile device or desktop computer.  I, also, do not need to worry about syncing my device to my computer.  Once the Stitcher app is downloaded to the device, begin by creating stations based on interests.  For example, I created an EdTech Station.  Other stations might include politics, spiritual, education, parenting, family, news, etc.

Although my preference is Stitcher Radio for Podcasts for iphone, you can also listen from your computer by logging into your Stitcher account through a web browser:

View this video to learn more about the mobile app:

Some podcasts to begin with:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Read Write Think Apps

For years, I've loved Read, Write, Think! They now have several FREE great mobile apps available for parents, teachers, and students.

Alphabet Organization allows students to create an alphabet book or alphabet chart including words starting with each letter of the alphabet.  Options available are 1) one word and accompanied photo per letter or 2) multiple words per letter.  Planning sheets can be found at Read, Write, Think (Sheet 1 and Sheet 2).  Read more here.
Available in the App Store

Trading Cards can be a valuable tool to test comprehension.  The app offers several templates including  Fictional Person, Real Person, Fictional Place, Real Place,  and Object.  Students are prompted with guiding questions to complete the trading cards.
Available in the App Store
View this one minute video to learn more about Trading Cards:

Word Mover allows students to create poetry from a supplied word bank.  In addition, the app offers the flexibility to add your own words.  Read more about the app here or review a "found poetry" lesson plan here.
Available in the App Store
View this one minute video to learn more about Word Mover:

The Venn Diagram has been a useful tool for many years.  Now, students can create a venn diagram in a digital format and email it directly to the teacher from this handy app.

Available in the App Store
View the 5 minute video below for an explanation and a preview on the ease of using the Venn Diagram app (Thanks, Matt B. Gomez!)

The Timeline app is a simple-to-use tool to create a timeline of sequential events.  The timelines can be organized based on date, time, or event.
Available in the App Store
See examples:

Read, Write, Think allows users to keep their work separate from other users with a simple login.  This feature is unique to other apps and allows for better organization when using shared mobile devices.

View Other Read, Write, Think Poetry Apps:

Monday, November 11, 2013

App Store - Have You Noticed?

Have you noticed the helpful search categories for educators now in the App Store?  While on an iPad:
  • Tap the APP STORE app
  • Tap FEATURED at the bottom, left
  • Tap MORE at the top and select EDUCATION:


  • Select your preferred category:
  • Continue to narrow the search by selecting categories:

While browsing the App Store, also look for other special collections and categories including Apps for Teachers, Special Education, etc.

Monday, November 4, 2013


If you are WONDERING how to bring curiosity and WONDER into your classroom, home, car, etc., try Wonderopolis!  The unique Wonder of the Day is posted both online at and in the Wonderopolis app.  The daily wonder could be used as a writing prompt as students enter the classroom each day.  The site offers a wonder gallery for visual inspiration as well.  Students can also contribute to the wonders found on the site and/or vote for their favorite from the contributions.  The site asks that students be 13 or older to contribute ideas, so teachers may need to post on behalf of the students.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Layering Apps for Digital Storytelling

While at EdCamp Dallas a few weeks ago, I found out about a new app, called Background Eraser  and for $.99, it is pretty handy! The app very quickly transforms an image with a background into an image with a transparent background:

To layer the apps, first use a drawing app, such as Doodle Buddy, to create the image.
Available in App Store
Depending on the app, look for the sharing options found with the SHARE button. If SAVE TO CAMERA ROLL is not an option, press the HOME and SLEEP/WAKE button simultaneously to take a screenshot.  The saved image will save to the camera roll.

Next, launch the Background Eraser app and tap LOAD to insert the image.
Available in App Store
Allow the app to use the photos (if applicable) and navigate to the preferred photo.  Use the blue arrows to crop the image and tap DONE in the top, right corner.  Next, tap ERASER at the top to use the eraser tool and options.  When the image is complete, tap DONE at the top and SAVE to save to the camera roll.

Finally, launch a screencasting or whiteboard app, such as Educreations:

Available in App Store
Insert the image created earlier with the transparent background.  Utilize the app's recording features and animate using the newly-created image by swiping and pinching with your fingers while recording audio.

More information on Educreations

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tools 4 Students

Available in the App Store

For just $.99, this app can be a great addition to your classroom set of resources!   The app offers 25 templates to organize thinking.

Simply tap a shape found in the organizer and type!  The completed template can be shared by email, Dropbox, or Airprint in either the PNG format or PDF format.

Currently, the following templates are offered:

Cause and Effect 1
Cause and Effect 2
Character 1
Character 2
Drawing Conclusions
Main Idea
Making Predictions
Problem Solving 1
Problem Solving 2
Reality/Make Believe
Begin, Middle, End
Sequence Events 1
Sequence Events 2
Story Elements
Word Meaning 1
Word Meaning 2
Tools 4 Students 2 offers 25 more templates - found inside Tools 4 Students. Click.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Infuse Learning

Infuse Learning is an incredibly powerful and FREE assessment tool for teachers.  Either use the spontaneous questions or prepare a quiz, test, or review ahead of time by entering the questions and answers into the online resource.  Teachers create an account on the Infuse Learning website, then give students their room ID (provided by Infuse Learning).  Students then go to, click Student Login, and enter the room ID.  Any computer or device connected to the internet can access Infuse Learning.

Infuse Learning Quick Assessment options offer teachers a reliable tool to gather quick data about learning in their classroom:

MUST  SEE: Watch this short, 4 minute video to learn more:

Follow the guide below to get started:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Teacher Spotlight - 7th Grade Social Studies

Faith students in Mrs. Miller's and Mrs. Jordan's seventh grade Social Studies classes created pic collages last week to present their learning while researching Texas Native Americans.  This week, they interacted with the collages to deliver a new, fun and exciting presentation to their teachers and peers:

Students share that their tribe had a large variety in their diet:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


ThingLink is both an online tool and a free app that can make a standard, flat image into an interactive image consisting of music, video, text, images, and web links.  See several examples of how other users utilized this great, FREE tool:

The Learning Commons 

The Water Cycle 

An Excel Screen Labeled **Be sure to upgrade to an Educator's account here to have unlimited uploads**

Monday, September 16, 2013

Downloading Images and Video from an iPad

Downloading Images and/or Video onto a  Windows computer

  1. On the Windows computer:  From the START button, select ALL PROGRAMS, and launch ITUNES
    NOTE:  If iTunes is not an option, skip to step 6
  2. Select > PREFERENCES
  3. Click DEVICES
  5. Click OK and EXIT iTunes
  6. Connect the device to the computer using the USB cable
  7. From the START button, select COMPUTER (or MY COMPUTER for Windows XP)
  8. Double-click the device name
  9. Continue to double-click the folder icons to navigate to the preferred files
  10. Drag and drop the preferred files to the desired location (for example, the Desktop)

Downloading Images and/or Video onto a  Mac computer Using Image Capture

Image Capture can be accessed from the Applications folder and can be used to download pictures or video from an iPad camera roll, iPhone, digital camera or card reader without going through the sync process. 
  1. On the mac computer:  From APPLICATIONS, launch ITUNES
    NOTE:  If iTunes is not an option, skip to step 6
  3. Click DEVICES
  5. Click OK and QUIT iTunes
  6. Connect the device to the computer using the USB cable
  7. From APPLICATIONS, launch IMAGE CAPTURE and connect a device
  8. Use the IMPORT TO drop-down menu to select the desired save location
  9. If applicable, check the DELETE AFTER IMPORT box on the lower left side to remove the photos/video from the device
  10. Select the photo(s)/video(s) to import using one of the following:
    • Single click the preferred video
    • Hold down COMMAND while clicking multiple videos
    • To select multiple videos in order, click on the top video and then click the last video in the group while holding down SHIFT
  11. Click the IMPORT button
    NOTE: Do not use the IMPORT ALL button unless all the pictures/videos are to be imported

Downloading Images and/or Video onto a computer Using the Simple Photo and Video Transfer App

SimpleTransfer is an easy way of transferring photos and videos to a computer or other iOS device via WiFi. Cables or extra software are not necessary.  First, install the app on the iOS device.  After launching the app, the user is prompted with directions to enter an IP address into a web browser on the computer.  Instantly, the camera roll from the iOS device appears on the screen!  From there, users may click the  button to move files from their computer to the device.  Alternately, the user may check the preferred picture or video files, and click the  button. So easy!  Note the limitations of the free version - only the FIRST 50 photos/videos of each album can be transferred and multiple file uploads from the computer to the device is limited.

App Developer's Website

Read more and download app

Friday, September 13, 2013

Teacher Spotlight - Second Graders Learn About Insects

Last week, Mrs. Klefeker and Mrs. Chapman used the app, 30Hands, to create class slideshows displaying the students' learning of insects.  Each student created a drawing or took a picture and recorded themselves reading their learned facts.  Some students even brought in an insect they caught or found.  The class put each student's slide into a class slide show.  The second grade classes presented to the each other in the library on Friday.  Mrs. Mitchell, Faith's librarian, and Mrs. Pipes attended the show.

Collages done with InstaCollage for iPad

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Popplet Lite

Available in the App Store
Popplet Lite is a free app for creating mindmaps, graphic organizers, discussing steps to a process, brainstorming with a class, and more.  The Lite version of this app allows the saving of only one "popplet"image.  Drawn images or those taken from the iPad's camera or camera roll can be inserted into the bubbles (known as "popples" in Popplet Lite).  When students finish the popplet, they can either export the saved image to the camera roll or as an email attachment in a jpg file format.   For additional features, such as exporting as PDF, collaboration of popplets, or saving an unlimited number of popplet images, the full version is currently available for $4.99. can also be used from a computer to create diagrams, flow maps, etc.  View this video to learn more:

Below is a popplet I created online at

Monday, September 9, 2013

Teacher Spotlight - First Graders Practice Spelling Using Mobile Technology

Mrs. King eagerly began the year using the Faith elementary ipad cart with her students.  Two weeks ago, they used mobile apps to practice their spelling words.  She ended the day with sending the parents a pic collage of the day.

Teachers: Please upload your images showing technology use at Faith from your ipad or computer here.  Follow #digitalfaithlions on Twitter for other digital updates.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Easy Chart

I love this app because of the ease and simplicity. There are only a few buttons to learn! After downloading the app, tap ADD NEW CHART:

Enter the data into the provided columns
NOTE: Tap the home button in the top, left corner, tap the gear icon and select Sliders or Keyboard to determine which data entry tool you want to use. Keyboard is pictured below.

Experiment with the other buttons - the Chart Type, the Color Schemes, and the Share Options.