Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Technology Review
Juan Loeza

App:  Teacher Pal

TeacherPal is application for the iPad, it is an application that becomes a personal organizer for the teacher.  It enables the teacher to organize classes, and students.  Its simple and intuitive interface enables teacher to track the attendance, grades and behavior of students.  You can create seating assignments with pictures.  And you can create a grade book and homework checking spreadsheets.

Website: is a website that has a lot of math and reading games.  It was created 1997, and since then kids, teachers, librarians, and parents have been using Funbrain for its free educational games, online books, and comics.  Funbrain, created for kids ages preschool through grade 8, offers more than 100 fun, interactive games that develop skills in math, reading, and literacy. Plus, kids can read a variety of popular books and comics on the site, including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amelia Writes Again, and Brewster Rocket.  Funbrain's games can help students build on what they have learned in class and acquire new skills in reading, math, and problem solving. The Playground helps parents introduce their preschoolers to the Internet and teaches them how to manipulate the mouse and keyboard.  Funbrain was selected by FamilyFun magazine in its September 2010 issue as one of the top ten websites for kids.


Math Playground was created in 2002 by Colleen King.Hi, I'm Colleen King. Although it was originally created for the students in her class who needed a fun way to practice math facts, since then, Math Playground has grown to include a wide variety of math topics, from problem solving and mathematical art to real world math.  And it keeps adding new games and challenges for kids of all ages.

Last summer I was the math teacher for the summer school program.  I used this site as a reward to my students, whenever they were able to accomplished to work successfully, I would give them permission to use the computer to go to this site.  Also, sometimes at the end of the class, I would have mini competitions with the whole class where I would pick one of the games and then call on students to compete against each other.  I would use the projector so that everybody could see how they were doing and even help them.  They really enjoyed the games and it was just a really fun way to practice some math skills.

ISTE Article:  Learning Connections: Managing and Maximizing a Class Set of iPads

The article article talks about a district in Arizona implemented a pilot program to look at the effectiveness of using iPads in the classroom as a teaching tool.  The pilot program was run in a fifth grade class of 84 students from diverse background.  30 iPads were assigned which were rotated through three classrooms and two teachers were trained as coaches.  Some guidelines and use agreements were established before starting the program.

Several positive things came out such program, for instance in a number of interviews with students, most were excited to use the iPads for schoolwork and therefore did not want to be absent.    Teachers noticed that when using the iPads, students were on task—even those who had been difficult to engage or those with learning disabilities. In fact, many teachers and administrators from within and outside the district who came to observe the classes commented that it was difficult to identify students with special needs or English language learners because they all were engaged in the learning activity and assisting each other.  The teachers also noticed that their role had changed to that of active facilitator. Some teachers said the visual aspect of one app, Lobster Diver, helped students understand and apply measurement concepts. Additionally, because most apps provide multiple levels with increasing difficulty, students enjoyed challenging themselves and working ahead. 

ISTE Article:  Learning Connections: iPad: The PE Teacher's Digital Age Clipboard

This article gives some suggestion for great apps that are out there for the iPad for educators.  Apps such as, Gradebook Pro, My LessonPlan, Splashtop Whiteboard, Grader, Chronology Timer, LogMeln, and Prezi Viewer among others.

Video:  Ted Talk:  Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge

Kiran Bir Sethi is en elementary teacher from India.  In this video she talks about how students perform academically, when they are given the chance to take charge and act on issues happening around them.  As an example, she talks about a group of students in India who became concerned with the problem of child labor.  The students were empowered to do something about it and so they did.  They began educating their communities about the the problem of child labor and thanks to that their communities began to address the issue and find solutions.  

Webinar:  Google Apps Education Edition Recorded Webinar

 This webinar talks about how organizations, companies, schools, etc. are taking advantage of all the tools found in Google Apps.  It particularly focus on the advantages and benefits that they are providing for educational institutions.  It gives a description of all tools that are available and finally it provides a short demo on how to use them.

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