A solid list of apps from 21innovate.com — a blog by Brad Wilson, Educational Technology Consultant with the Jackson County ISD (Detroit, MI)

As Brad mentions on his website (emphasis DSC):

Innovate with an iDevice
I’ve evaluated thousands of educational apps so that you don’t have to! Landing in 17 categories, here are more than 150 of the best FREE apps, along with 100+ that will be worth a small investment for many classrooms.

 

Also see:

 

APPitic-March2013

APPitic is a directory of apps for education by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) to help you transform teaching and learning.

 

Also see:

InDesign FX: How to create a puzzle with InDesign — from blog.lynda.com by Mike Rankin

.

How to create a puzzle effect using InDesign

.

Also see:

  • How to hook your reader from the very first page — from blog.lynda.com by Lisa Cron
    Excerpt:
    Think stories are just for entertainment? They’re not. Stories are simulations that allow us to vicariously experience problems we might someday face. Think of them as the world’s first virtual reality—minus the geeky visor. Story was more crucial to our evolution than opposable thumbs. All opposable thumbs did was let us hang on. Story told us what to hang on to.
    .
    The great feeling of enjoyment we get when a story grabs us is nature’s way of making sure we pay attention to the story.

Classrooms of the Future

Excerpt:

This image gallery from Fielding Nair International, a group of architects working in education, shows lots of images from new and innovative schools around the world.

 

imgur-learningspaces-2012

 
Addendum on 2/13/13, also see:

 

Vitra School Brotorp Rosan Bosch Architects

.

Vitra School Brotorp Rosan Bosch Architects

Grad student turns heads in Norwegian schools with technology-charged pedagogy — from beditionmagazine.com by DC Brandon; with thanks to brian k (@iEducator) for posting this on Twitter

Excerpt:

Salerno says using video games in the classroom is a sure-fire way to get students excited about learning. She used the example of a social studies unit that students are taught in Norwegian schools. In one particular unit, they usually read a textbook chapter about famous explorers. In the game-based version of the unit, textbooks may be used but are not relied upon.

So how does she incorporate video games into a social studies lesson?

She uses a Microsoft product called Kodu, although she says there are many other software products that could be used, like Minecraft and Little Big Planet.

She breaks the unit down like this (from the perspective of a student):

  1. Choose an explorer to profile
  2. Research the explorer’s history online and in textbooks
  3. Create game map (games require planning to be successfully built)
  4. Create game details and missions, mark out important plot points
  5. Build world
  6. Build in characters and plot in the form of missions
  7. Demo game to classmates on “gameday”

 

Also see:

From DSC:
A solid infographic is out at Knewton.com — of which I want to highlight 2 portions of it (below).

This first excerpt is not to dog teachers but rather it’s meant to support them and to say that we need to change a losing game (at least a part of the solution in ed reform is to get out of the business of focusing so much on standardized tests and another part of the solution resides in the second graphic below):

 

EducationCrisis-Jan2013

 

.

EducationCrisis2-Jan2013

 

 

Also relevant see:

From DSC:
The other day, I mentioned how important it will be for institutions of higher education to increase the priority of experimentation. But, for a variety of reasons, I believe this is true for the K-12 world as well. Especially with the kindergarten/early elementary classroom in mind, I created the graphic below. Clicking on it will give you another example of the kind of experimentation that I’m talking about — whether that be in K-12 or in higher ed.

 

DanielChristianJan2013-ExperimentsInCustomizedLearningSpaces

 

From DSC:
I’m trying to address the students that are more easily distracted and, due to how their minds process information, have a harder time focusing on the task at hand.  In fact, at times, all of the external stimuli can be overwhelming. How can we provide a learning environment that’s more under the students’ control? i.e. How can we provide “volume knobs” on their auditory and visual channels?

Along these lines, I’m told that some theaters have sensory-friendly film showings — i.e. with different settings for the lights and sound than is typically offered.

Also see — with thanks going out to Ori Inbar (@comogard) for these:
.

 

A relevant addendum on 1/10/12:

TryBeingMe-Jan2013

 

Driven to distraction: How to help wired students learn to focus — from eschoolnews.com by Larry Rosen

Excerpt:

A recent Pew Internet & American Life Project report surveyed 2,462 middle and high school Advanced Placement and national writing project teachers and concluded that: “Overwhelming majorities agree with the assertions that today’s digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans, and today’s students are too ‘plugged in’ and need more time away from their digital technologies.”

Two-thirds of the respondents agree with the notion that today’s digital technologies do more to distract students than to help them academically.

Mind you, we are talking about teachers who typically teach the best and brightest students and not those who we would generally think of as highly distractible.

.

If attention can be visualized as a gate...is it getting harder to get through the gate?

 

From DSC:
If I’m an educator or a trainer and I can’t get through the gate (i.e. get someone’s attention), I have zero chance of getting a piece of information into someone’s short-term memory/working memory — and then ultimately into their long-term memory.

Also, from my own experience…
Especially in regards to information in a textual format, I know that I’ve grown increasingly impatient when someone doesn’t get to the point. When drinking (information) from the firehose, I seem to be almost forced into this type of situation/perspective.

 

Active listening: A primer — from opensesame.com by Christina Gremore

Excerpt:

In the business world, long-term success hinges on excellent active listening skills. Many people mistake active listening for passively taking notes during a presentation, or worse – they think of ‘listening’ as ‘waiting quietly for their turn to speak.’.  True active listening requires practice, patience, and engagement. It involves considering the speaker’s intentions, the context of the situation, and sometimes even what is not being said.

Tagged with:  

Engaging children with the siren call of the app — from the New York Times by Geraldine Fabrikant

Excerpt:

Each summer for several years, a two-week seminar at the American Museum of Natural History has allowed 25 youngsters to use technology to resurrect a prehistoric marine animal by designing realistic 3-D models and sea environments.

Every year, the program, “Virtual World Institute: Cretaceous Seas,” for children ages 11 to 14, fills up quickly.

The  article, “Technology changing how students learn, teachers say,” reminds me of the graphic below. It appears that teachers now have a definite answer to the question I was asking back in June 2010:

.

If attention can be visualized as a gate...is it getting harder to get through the gate?

 

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Teachers who were not involved in the surveys echoed their findings in interviews, saying they felt they had to work harder to capture and hold students’ attention.

“I’m an entertainer. I have to do a song and dance to capture their attention,” said Hope Molina-Porter, 37, an English teacher at Troy High School in Fullerton, Calif., who has taught for 14 years. She teaches accelerated students, but has noted a marked decline in the depth and analysis of their written work.

 

Bottom line:
Like so much in life, we have very little control of most things. Students are changing and we cannot control that situation — nor should we seek to. Why? Because most people I know — including myself — do not like to be controlled.  We can and should attempt to pulse check these sorts of changes, plan some experiments around them, and then see and report on what works and what doesn’t work.  This all relates to something I saw on earlier today on Twitter from Anya Kamenetz (@anya1anya):

If you declare a no-media classroom, you better be damn fascinating.

 

 

Also, a relevant quote:

The biggest problem area for teachers is students’ attention span, with 71% saying saying entertainment media use has hurt students either “a lot” (34%) or “somewhat” (37%) in that area.

— from Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media: The View From The Classroom
A Common Sense Media Research Study – NEW REPORT
November 1, 2012
Download the full report

More than 16 million U.S. children currently live in food insecure households, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These families too often confront a painful choice—pay bills, provide shelter, or put food on the table. To address this increasing need, nonprofits, foundations, government, and corporations must work together to make sure more children have access to the safety net programs that can provide them with the food they need to thrive.

 

—  Collaboration and Partnerships: The Path to Ending Child Hunger
Neil Nicoll, YMCA of the USA – Posted August 27, 2012

Also see:

 

4 ways to gamify learning in your classroom — from tophatmonocle.com

Excerpt:

This post explores the role of gamification in education and provides four examples of how you can bring the learning method into your classroom.

.

Top Hat Monocle closes $8M to bring gamification to university classrooms — from betakit.com

Excerpt:

Today another student engagement platform, Top Hat Monocle, announced it has closed $8 million in Series A funding led by Emergence Capital Partners and iNovia Capital, with participation from SoftTech VC, Version One Ventures, and Golden Venture Partners. The Toronto- and San Francisco-based company, which raised $1.5 million in seed funding in November 2011, launched their product in 2010 and has been used by 65,000 students at over 150 global universities.

.

Gamified courses from Course Hero and Bunchball boost student engagement — from gigaom.com by Ki Mae Heussner

Excerpt:

In some circles, the phrase “gamification” may have gone out of fashion, but Course Hero and Bunchball are intent on showing that it can still pack a punch in education.

In April, Course Hero, which uses free online resources to offer students digital study guides and other tools, launched a series of full-length online courses infused with game mechanics from Bunchball’s gamification platform. The companies Tuesday revealed some of the initial results from the partnership.

On average, users spend three times more time on the gamified courses than on all of CourseHero.com and total time on the platform has increased five percent since the Bunchball integration, Course Hero reported. The company also said that social sharing of achievements, which are awarded as students progress through the courses, has climbed nearly 400 percent since the Bunchball partnership.

.

From DSC:

  • There is enormous power when resources are reallocated to teams of specialists that come together in order to create engaging, multimedia-based, interactive learning materials!   The products of these endeavors should prove to be highly beneficial — especially when they can be integrated into more hybrid/blended teaching and learning situations. That way, we can utilize the best of both the face-to-face and virtual worlds.

.

If attention can be visualized as a gate...is it getting harder to get through the gate?

 

.

Addendum on 7/19/12:

10 best colleges for game-based learning — from bestcollegesonline.com

.

Excerpt:

If you were busy playing Call of Duty and you missed it, July 8 was Video Games Day. While most people’s experience with gaming involves mindless destruction or sports competition, educators have begun to see the value in the medium for helping students learn. While the research is still developing and some professors are still skeptical, these 10 colleges represent your best bets for learning while playing video and other games.

Chemistry project goes viral -- great work Eli Cirino!

 

From DSC:
Great work Eli Cirino!

It is my hope that we could create more teaching materials like this — i.e. content that uses digital storytelling to create a more last impression…to elicit emotions…to move a piece of information through the gate (i.e. someone’s attention) and then through someone’s working memory and into their long term memory! Great, creative, innovative thinking Eli!

 

 

Get ready for a world of connected devices – from readwriteweb.com by Richard MacManus

Excerpt:

The next big thing in computing isn’t a new model smartphone or laptop. It’s the Internet empowering everything else around us. Our cars, TVs and many other devices. Which means we all need to think about engaging digital Internet experiences for the car, TV and every device imaginable – because that’s where audiences are heading.

From DSC:
What opportunities — and threats — might be present in this trend as they relate to:

  • Learning and education?
  • Learning spaces and smart classrooms?
  • Attention spans and engagement?
  • Memory?
  • Other?

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

© 2019 | Daniel Christian