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4 Great Rubrics to Help you Select Educational Apps

4 Great Rubrics to Help you Select Educational Apps
As iPads are increasingly infiltrating our educational systems the question of the pedagogical implications ensuing from the use of these mobile gadgets in the classroom come to the surface. Some do look at them as an added distraction and that learning can be more focused without students having access to them during the class. Traditionalists do advocate this view and are , in fact, against the " over-digitization " of education. To these people I say what John Dewy once said " If we teach today as we thought yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow ". I am strongly in favor of the use of mobile gadgetry for educational purposes. I am talking here specifically about iPad. 1- BVLS iPad App Evaluation Form Click Here to download it. 2- iPad App Evaluation Guiding Question Click Here to download it. 3- Mobile Application Selection Rubric Click Here to download it. 4- Critical Evaluation of Content-based iPad/iPod App Click Here to download it.

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3 Good Text to Speech Tools for Struggling Readers June 16, 2015 We have received a few requests over the last couple of weeks to share our recommendations for text to speech tools designed specifically for struggling readers.While all text to voice converters can be used by both struggling and non struggling readers, the tools listed below are reputed for being effective with kids with reading disorders. Natural Reader is not free but it does offer a free trial period to test the application and decide if it works for you. 1- Natural Reader ‘NaturalReader is a Text to Speech software with natural sounding voices. This easy to use software can convert any written text such as MS Word, Webpage, PDF files, and Emails into spoken words. How Do You Know if an App is Truly Educational? Let’s take a look… Was a rubric used? Are cross curricula activities applied? Are built-in differentiation of skills being utilized (is it a SMART app)? Is the app aligned to the Common Core Standards?

Ways to Evaluate Educational Apps I am conducting a series of workshops in Florida and was asked to share a rubric to help teachers evaluate educational apps as part of the workshop. In 2010 Harry Walker developed a rubric, and I used his rubric (with some modifications by Kathy Schrock) as the basis for mine. (Read Harry Walker's paper Evaluating the Effectiveness of Apps for Mobile Devices.) I kept in mind that some apps are used to practice a discrete skill or present information just one time. Others are creative apps that a learner may use again and again, so it's a challenge to craft a rubric that can be used for a wide span of purposes. Technology Integration Matrix The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells as illustrated below. We appreciate your feedback.

Inside iOS 9 Search: Apple’s Plan for More Connected Apps At WWDC 2015, Apple announced app search, a new feature of iOS 9 that will help users find content inside apps. Beyond the user-facing aspects of a new search page on iOS and proactive suggestions from Siri, however, lies a commitment to fundamentally rethink iOS' relationship with apps and the web, with deep implications for the future. With iOS 9, Apple wants to reimagine how information from apps is exposed to users. For a long time, iOS apps have largely been treated as data silos – utilities that kept gaining design improvements and powerful functionalities as iOS grew, but ultimately unable to bring their data outside the confines of their sandbox.

10 Great Tips on Using iPad Offline Whenever we talk about iPad here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning we take connectivity for granted . But there are times when this connectivity is lost or when WiFi is not picked up or when you are in the woods with no cellular service, in cases such as these, does your iPad have any value any more ? Jeff Dumm has the answer for this. He had diligently worked on the graphic below to share with us what we can do with our iPads when there is no connectivity. The ideas he touched on are really interesting but for an educational context I would add a bunch of other tips including :

12 Free Online Quiz Makers to Create Online Quizzes I often receive a lot of questions about how to make online quizzes for free. Here is a collection of 12 free online quiz making applications I collect after days’ collection. These apps will help you make quizzes for online use for free. Do you know of any other free online quiz makers that can be helpful? Please add your favorites in the comments. ProProfs |QuizCreator | Classmaker | QuizBox | Google Docs | MyQuizCreator

Lecture Engagement System LectureTools is a web-based presentation tool that minimizes distractions in the classroom. Upload presentations to improve student engagement, attentiveness, and participation during lecture by providing students with an interactive learning environment. Students become organized and engaged in your presentation, all while learning from their peers. It's a lecture engagement system like you've never seen. Presentation Tool Present and create interactive slideshows.

Bring a New Dimension to the Classroom – Verso for iPad There are so many educational apps for iPad out there, many are total rubbish, some fall into the category of “Cool, but not quite good enough to give me a tangible educational benefit”. A select few though are real bankers and very occasionally, an app comes along which enables me to change something for the better in my classroom. Verso is one such app. The central premise of Verso is that it will collect responses, or answers to a stimulus and allows other people in the group or class to see them anonymously, which takes the worry out of who is saying what.

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