#AppleTeacher iBooks Collection – Teaching with Mac OS Sierra

Whether you’ve set it as a professional goal to earn Apple Teacher certification or just want to sharpen your abilities to teach with a Mac, this iBooks collection from Apple Education has everything you need to up your
game. All books are free and feature realistic teaching scenarios. The Teaching with iPad collection is also available in iTunesU and the iBooks store.

Mac OS Starter Guide iBook
Enhancing Productivity with Mac iBook
Fostering Creativity with Mac iBook
Pages for Mac iBook
Keynote for Mac iBook
Numbers for Mac iBook
iMovie for Mac iBook
GarageBand for Mac iBook

Learning with Mr. Losik: Student Friendly Research Links

At my classrom site MrLosik.blogspot.com I just added a list of updated elementary level links for research. After doing some routine maintenance on the site, I discovered that many of my go-to links for years had bitten the cyber-dust or have been essentially left for dead. Here is a link to the updated list.

Check out: Learning with Mr. Losik: Student Friendly Research Links

Take a Virtual Field Trip to 3M with Discovery Education

Image result for 3m young scientist labDiscovery Education has done some great virtual field trips from all over the world but their most recent from 3M’s innovation labs might be one of their best ever. With one exciting revelation after another, classes can explore the science behind some of the things we use constantly like the screens on our smart phones and tablets. The video is available on demand and hosted by one of the hosts of Science Channel’s relaunch of Mythbusters.

Check out www.youngscientistlab.com/vft to watch now.

“Wide-Open Spaces” Want creative thinkers? Help kids create, says Mitch Resnick – MIT Spectrum

THE LIFELONG KINDERGARTEN GROUP AT THE MIT MEDIA LAB, led by Mitchel Resnick SM ’88, PhD ’92, is known for its educational innovations: the Computer Clubhouse Network, an after-school environment where kids from underserved communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies; a 30-year collaboration with the LEGO company begun by Resnick’s mentor, the late MIT professor Seymour Papert, which yielded the robotics kits branded as LEGO Mindstorms; and Scratch, a visual programming language

Read an Interview with Mitchel Resnick on the idea of letting kids create: Wide-Open Spaces – MIT Spectrum

Opportunities Abound in Relationships with Educational Vendors | MACUL Community

One late summer evening I was enjoying the company of several other educators who were all presenters at the next day’s large edtech conference. Somehow a little friendly razzing found its way in my direction. The other teachers in the group were giving me a hard time about all of the “corporate” ties I have.

Check out the whole article at the new MACUL Community: Opportunities Abound in Relationships with Educational Vendors | MACUL Community

Embrace The Learning Curve This Christmas Morning

The more I talk to kids about what they are dreaming about showing up under the Christmas tree, the more I hear about really cool, high tech gadgets like virtual reality headsets, 3D printers, robots like Spheros or Ozobots, and drones.

Here is a newsflash. All of those items are amazing and all of those items can be really hard to use at the start. I am not trying to play The Grinch here; I am telling you now so you can be ready for the learning curve.

When kids dream of drones, they don’t dream of a parent muttering words that could get them on the naughty list while trying to assemble it. They don’t dream of an endless series of 3 second flights either. They dream of that thing lifting off in the living room and capturing with its camera the majesty of a Christmas morning. Reality is that these toys can make many dreams come true but it will take time. Here are some tips.

1. Prepare yourself. Whether you receive the gift or give the gift, understand that the cool stuff you saw happening in the YouTube promotional video probably was highly edited and performed by the inventors of the device. Make that kind of high level use your goal….someday, not right out of the box.

2. Seek out help. Speaking of YouTube, most companies now post many product support videos online. When I bought my XYZ Mini Maker 3D printer I found their online support videos to be far more detailed and helpful than the printed instructions. You can also often find videos created by other users of the product that share their own tweaks and helpful hints. Use all of the knowledge that exists and that people are willing to share. It can make a big difference.

3. Make it about the journey. Instead of pouting that your first 3D printed phone case turned out more like something stuck to the pan at the bottom of great grandma’s egg casserole, have a laugh and know your skills will greatly improve. Try and figure out what went wrong so you can improve upon future designs. Keep that lumpy pile of goo so that when you are cranking out really cool stuff you can look back and see how far you have come. It has taken me months to produce anything really useful with my printer.

4. Remember 1 thing. Everything is awesome! We are so lucky to be living in the day and age we do….especially over the holidays. If you need a reminder, just listen to the old Christmas carol “Up on the Housetop.” Here is what those kids got from Dear Old Saint Nick:

“Next comes the stocking of little Will
Oh, just see what a glorious fill
Here is a hammer and lots of tacks
Also a ball and a whip that cracks”

No VR headset for little Will? Bummer. Poor Will probably had to go fix the roof and then drive the oxen to town that day once all of the wrapping paper was cleaned up. The point is…..if you get something amazing, be grateful, and when (not if) it doesn’t work perfectly right at the start, be happy about that. Don’t get mad. Getter better at it.

Keep Rowing | The Players’ Tribune #RTB

Whether you’re into College Football or not, the infectious PJ Fleck and his “Row The Boat” philosophy translate well to any school or classroom culture. Having earned my Masters degree from Western, it is great to see the amazing things Fleck and the team are doing on the field, but it’s what’s happening behind the scenes that is the most inspiring.

The Players Tribune is easily my favorite sports publication, probably because it speaks to the life experiences and not just to the box scores. Give it a read.

You see, I don’t ask my players for their very best only on game day. I push them to hold themselves to that standard every single day.

Article: Keep Rowing | The Players’ Tribune

Use Swift Playgrounds Resources with any Coding Program

Apple’s  Swift Playgrounds app and their “Everyone Can Code” initiative is a great program for learning the coding language that powers iOS apps. Not only is there a puzzle-based app an immersive learning experience, there are numerous teacher resources in both iBooks and iTunes U. For iBooks there are three teacher guides: Level 1 and 2, Level 3, and App Development.

Now, the Swift Playgrounds program might not be a fit for every classroom because it has to be done on an iPad running iOS 10 and be one of the following generations:  iPad Air, iPad mini 2 or newer, or any size iPad Pro. I work out of four elementary schools and only one has iPads that can run the app.

Even though I use other others like studio.code.org and Google CS-First in my other buildings, there are still a lot of great resources that Apple offers that I use as demonstration even when our activities are Scratch-based. Fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Gabriella Meyers hosts a number of videos within the iTunes U course that explain concepts like algorithms and functions but don’t reference Swift specifically. I have found them to be great, concise explanations my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders really understand. Sometime you just need someone else to explain it.

So, it doesn’t matter what coding instructions you are using. Take a look inside of what Apple offers for Swift Playgrounds. You might find a lot that is useful.

Apple Distinguished Educator Gabriella Meyers explains functions in an iTunes U course.
Apple Distinguished Educator Gabriella Meyers explains functions in an iTunes U course.