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 case you weren’t paying attention, yesterday Apple held an event and launched the iPhone 7. However, September 7th also saw the launch of a great new resource for educators: the Apple Teacher Learning Center.
This free new program allows educators to access training resources for using Mac, iPad, and their built in apps to build creative and engaging lessons. The resources in the Apple Teacher Learning Center can help you to build personal learning environments, harness accessibility tools to empower students who learn differently, redefine assessment, and enhance the tools in your classroom.
The Apple Teacher Learning Center awards badges after you have mastered various tools and stages. Once you have completed all of them, you earn the ultimate Apple Teacher logo badge to proudly display on your blog or print out and post it in your office! Sign up today!
This week’s WNYC’s Note to Self focused on smartphones and their role in educating and
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
empowering blind students. It was a fascinating look at how smart devices are both helping and hindering students’ academic and social development. Smartphones and tablets have offered a lower point of entry for students for assisted learning. Additionally, smartphones have allowed blind adolescents to feel “normal” and just like their peers. At the same time, these tools have limited students’ growth in other necessary academic enterprises. For example, their reliance on speak to text or text to speech have limited blind student’s growth in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. This is a fascinating look at the benefits and pitfalls of using technology in helping students with disabilities access educational tools. You can download the episode for free, here.
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…