History apps

Titanic There are some really good histoy apps around for iOS. Some of them may well have Android versions if you check. HistoryApps has a number of freed educational history apps which seem to be for younger children or those young at heart. TechRadar recommends apps for an older age group but most of them seem to be paid apps. There are two free ones , though, which are well endorsed: National Geographic’s Titanic and Streetmuseum’s Londinium. Timeline Eons is another really good free app for history. eLearningIndustry has free apps for teaching American history.

Tablets in the classroom

The Pedagogy Podcast

Image: The Pedagogy Podcast 

Teachers are not the media stereo type, vacuous nincompoops with 50s hairdos in front of perfectly groomed, smiling students with their hands up as they teach from the board often with their arms folded or a weirdo lean. Teachers, in my experience , are real people with a wide variety of exceptional talents and competencies who hone in on detail. They are like Patrick Trowse (@wklifebalance) whom I got to know in the #aussieED teacher chats on a Sunday night. Teachers are sociable and they want to learn. Over a year ago Patrick started his blog wklifebalance and I just pointed him in the right direction. The blog is valuable because he looks at the sorts of things which affect the work – life balance of teachers, how to stay healthy and how to manage a very demanding, rigorous job. Since then he has grown and developed himself into a podcaster and his podcasts are well made, interesting and about the sorts of things which teachers need to know and manage. You cannot replace experience. You cannot beat information from someone who has been through the process and you cannot do without podcasts! I load up a USB stick with all sorts of podcasts. They help me to keep my other language skills up, they teach me about health and ecology and they provide things to think about and practical ideas for education.I play them in my car as I commute. Patrick’s podcast on tablets in a classroom, where he speaks with a technician, is invaluable because it covers the issues The podcasts on The Pedagogy Podcasts are then reinforced with written information to check and consider. That is a teacher. A teacher knows you have to provide information in multiple modes so everyone can learn.

You can tick the boxes on the Professional Standards for Patrick as he develops himself, collaborates with others and shares his knowledge:

1.1 Lead colleagues to select and develop teaching strategies to improve student learning using knowledge of the physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students.
1.3 Evaluate and revise school learning and teaching programs, using expert and community knowledge and experience, to meet the needs of students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
2.1 Lead initiatives within the school to evaluate and improve knowledge of content and teaching strategies and demonstrate exemplary teaching of subjects using effective, research-based learning and teaching programs.
2.2 Lead initiatives that utilise comprehensive content knowledge to improve the selection and sequencing of content into coherently organised learning and teaching programs.
2.6 Lead and support colleagues within the school to select and use ICT with effective teaching strategies to expand learning opportunities and content knowledge for all students.
3.1 Demonstrate exemplary practice and high expectations and lead colleagues to encourage students to pursue challenging goals in all aspects of their education.
3.3 Work with colleagues to review, modify and expand their repertoire of teaching strategies to enable students to use knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.
3.4 Model exemplary skills and lead colleagues in selecting, creating and evaluating resources, including ICT, for application by teachers within or beyond the school.
4.2 Initiate strategies and lead colleagues to implement effective classroom management and promote student responsibility for learning.
4.5 Review or implement new policies and strategies to ensure the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.
6.3 Implement professional dialogue within the school or professional learning network(s) that is informed by feedback, analysis of current research and practice to improve the educational outcomes of students.
6.4 Advocate, participate in and lead strategies to support high-quality professional learning opportunities for colleagues that focus on improved student learning.
7.4 Take a leadership role in professional and community networks and support the involvement of colleagues in external learning opportunities.

In 2016 the Professional Standards are supporting and encouraging teachers to develop and share their skills. In 2016 a contemporary teacher can use technology to improve themselves, improve others and engage with the real world in a way which benefits others and impacts on student learning in an effective way. It is all based on sharing and collaboration. Creating the content, joining the dots and getting feedback.

50 Teaching apps

teaching apps Image : Scholastic

Scholastic is a well known and well established text book company for teachers. It has branched out well into the online world and the site always provides some good resources and ideas. It focuses on reading, in particular but offers plenty of other ideas and has sections of the site for all stakeholders in a child’s education. The apps are well worth considering. They are a mix of free and paid apps.

Retention rates for app categories

education apps

Image: BusinessofApps

I’ll just let you bask in the glory of this. Just let it sink in and have its impact.

“Surprisingly, educational apps scored second highest across both operating systems and eCommerce ranked third.”

It’s not surprising. Inspite of occasional negative press, educators have worked hard on finding the right apps for students. Parents have worked on sorting out the good apps from the not so desirable. Teachers and parents have worked together to find and support the best apps for learning. Schools have spent hours putting in the infrastructure and expertise to get mobile and technology learning going. Teachers have spent hours working out how to use mobile apps and encourage their use  in and out of class. That education apps has come second to gaming is a glorious moment at the end of 2015. The last 3 years have been intense trying to match apps and classrooms, apps and flipped learning, apps and personalised learning. It’s not a surprise. It’s a fantastic reward for a lot of hard work on Twitter, blogs and webinars by educators and developers. It has been a global collaboration where tools and mobile learning has been shared and fostered. When I first started this blog the site analytics rated education as low and that I should consider other things to get traffic and a higher profile. I said then we needed to raise the impact of education on the internet because it should not be considered as low ranking.

It’s good we can now have data from places like Adjust via Business of Apps.Teh information on this website is really useful.  It means we can look at what we are doing as educators and get feedback. it is important we hold a firm, strong place on the internet because it is where much of our material and resources are shared. We need to know that we can hold a solid place in the world rankings of internet things. Should we aim to come first in 2016? What would we need to do to do that?

Game based learning apps

zondle

Zondle

There is always going to be a limit as to how many apps and websites you can use in your classes because taking charge of them takes time and energy. It pays, though, to take a look at what is available because it might just be the thing you need for a particular class, a particular student or for a colleague who is looking for something suitable. It may also take a team effort to set some of these apps up at the beginning of the year so that you can benefit from them during the year.That is one thing which needs to be addressed in our workloads. Setting learning materials up online is exacting and time consuming initially.  The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning site has just come up with eight really good apps for mobile learning and game based learning. Some, you could use as an adult to increase your own learning. These game based apps are how we are moving learning out of the four walls of our classrooms. Not all students are endorsing that at present but it is going to be how we capitalise on class time, get the edge and move ourselves forward in a world where we are all connected. We are moving from web 2 to web 3 so it is only a matter of time before we muster specific groups for learning specific things and our students need to be familiar with this approach. I like the look of Zondle and plan to explore that a bit more.

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