The recent release of iOS 10 unlocked a creative coding opportunity for iPad classrooms called Swift Playgrounds. It’s an iPad app that lets you solve interactive puzzles that are designed to help you learn the basics of how to code in a programming language called Swift. It is aimed at students aged 12 and over and is part of Apple’s Everyone Can Code initiative. So, if you are looking for new ways to start coding with students, this could be a great new platform for you to explore. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Swift?
Swift is an open source programming language that was developed by Apple engineers and released in 2014. It was created to help developers build apps for iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. Swift has its origins firmly rooted in another programming language called Objective-C, but Swift is generally considered to be more concise. The…
In the last few years, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) has become a prominent language in American Classrooms. As learning Chinese requires not only learning the spoken word, but learning a new text and character system, touch screen tools have become incredibly helpful in teaching students how to craft Chinese characters.
One of the best, free tools for students learning Chinese is Pleco, available in bothPleco iOS and Android Pleco. The free dictionary includes over 100,00 entries that are updated regularly. Students can look up words by…
I was recently introduced to a new and innovative document annotation tool for the iPad. LiquidText allows you to import PDF files, web pages, Word, and PowerPoint files from websites and cloud services (like DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud, and more). Similar to traditional annotation tools, you can highlight and take notes in the margins. However, LiquidText goes so much farther! In addition to traditional comments, you can make a comment apply to two sections, connect comments into groups, or even comment on other comments! You can highlight and then pull out excerpts of text for further comment. You can “scrunch” documents so that you can compare text on different pages side by side, and “pinch” the document so that you can see all of your highlights and comments on one page so that you can quickly find your notes.
When you finish annotating a document, you can share the… [read the rest of the post on FreeTech4Teachers]
Primary sources are vital resources for educators. iTunes has collected various primary sources, including: historic film, documents, and oral histories. Many of their posted resources are free! Check it out here.
In surprising news today, Launchpad Toys announced that they had been acquired by Google. Ordinarily, this may not be of much interest to educators, but as of today, Toontastic and TeleStory are completely free for iOS devices and that includes all the in-app purchases that were previously a paid upgrade! Both apps are great storytelling apps for any classroom that uses iPads. Both apps are current favorites with educators, but their newly free features are about to earn them a whole lot of additional fans.
Toontastic, if you have not previously tried it, is an amazing digital storytelling app for the iPad. Teachers everywhere love this app because it is simple to use and has a built-in story arc that actively encourage students to build a well-structured story. I have seen Toontastic used in Kindergarten all the way up to high school. Such is the versatility of this app…
Design thinking is a powerful tool to really get your students thinking about and tackling a problem or topic at a much deeper level. It is a structured task that focuses on giving considerable time to thinking about and empathising with the people within the situation (Target audience or client), designing and prototyping a possible solution that is immediately challenged in order to improve it. It is used much in business and the design industry but can be used as a general classroom task within any subject area. It also gets students to work quickly without much introduction.
Design thinking promotes creative thinking, team work, and student responsibility for learning.
It is a form of solution-based, or solution-focused thinking; starting with a goal (a better future situation) instead of solving a specific problem. This keeps minds open to multiple solutions.