#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

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.

Find Great Apple Teacher Resources In iBooks Store

Whether you are pursuing the various badges that Apple now offers as part of its Apple Teacher program or just looking to sharpen your Mac and iPad skills, the iBooks store is full of great resources. Two series of multi-touch iBooks are available for using iPads and Macs in the classroom. Here are some of the titles available.screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-10-41-34-am

Each iBook contain video tutorials that allows the user to actually see the skill being performed in detail. Below is a page from the iMovie for Mac guide.
Additionally, Apple Teacher just began offering a path for earning badges for its new coding tutorial app Swift Playgrounds.

Below is a direct link to  the iBooks resources. For more information about the program, click here.
Apple Teacher Resources


Epic, Brain Pop, and Seesaw Lead the Educational Migration to Apple TV OS

Just a couple of weeks ago it was hard for me to justify paying nearly double for the newest generation of Apple TV for classrooms compared to the previous generation. In my living room tons of great entertainment apps make the difference well worth the money. In the classroom there have not been many reasons to not just buy the cheaper model since Airplay is really  the feature most want.

My thinking is starting to change now that educational entities are starting to code for the TVOS platform. There is still a lot of space for growth but three key players are charting a course through these open waters.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 9.55.06 AM

Epic – Think “Netflix meets Childrens Lit.” This great site is full of the latest children’s fiction and non-fiction and is 100% free for elementary teachers and librarians. These aren’t poorly made ebooks; they are digital versions of some of the most-loved and newest books on the market. With the AppleTV app teachers can display the book on the big screen and read it aloud to the class. No more sore arms and no more hearing, “I can’t see,” as you try to read a picture book aloud to the class. Several books even have a “read to me” feature.

114_jr_ios_landing-main_screenshot-largeBrainPop Jr. – Movie of the Week – BrainPop has been producing great non-fiction animated shorts for years and now has brought its K-3 focused “Brain Pop Jr. Movie of the Week” to TVOS. Check out a different one each week with included educational activities. BrainPop Jr. subscribers can also login and access even more content.

Seesaw – This digital portfolio suite is taking classrooms by storm and now it comes to the Apple TV.  Teachers can log in to their classroom accounts and share on a big screen examples of student work or create slide shows and galleries. Think of how cool that would be to have playing during conferences or parents’ night. Parents can log in to the app at home and then be connected with their child’s individual portfolio. Now there is a great way for kids to show off some accomplishments the next time grandparents come to visit.

There are other non-education-specific apps too that could lend themselves to the educational setting. Word Girl and Super Why are great programs available through the PBS Kids app and a number of virtual planetariums are now available on TVOS.

Let’s hope that more educational entities continue to write for Apple’s newest platform, further bolstering an argument for choosing the newest generation of Apple TV over the previous generation.



iMovie McGyver Green Screen Special Effects Collection

Mr. Losik’s iMovie McGyver Green Screen Special Effects from Andy Losik on Vimeo.


Action Movie FX and Extreme FX are tremendously fun apps….especially if you are forced to kill time in a Children’s Place while your wife and daughter shop.

Don’t limit the destruction to just what you can capture on your phone. Filming nothing but a green background allows these clips to be downloaded and dropped into any footage on iMovie using the green screen effect.

Check out the initial post I wrote after discovering this was possible this summer. That should give you a little bit of how-to.

Have fun and see what magic you can create.

Download the collection clips directly from Vimeo.

 Google Drive Folder with individual clips

EducationAmbassador.com: An easy tablet management trick

Here is my latest post at Sony’s EducationAmbassador.com

I first met the amazing Jenny Magiera in 2011 at a summer tech camp in Arizona. The connection has produced a wealth of learning, but one of the most practical pieces of information I have learned from her surrounds using a device’s background as a management tool.

All of the laptops and Sony Xperia tablets I use in my Infotech program have been customized with unique backgrounds. We would love to be 1:1 with the 600 students I see weekly but sharing works because only a handful of students use each machine each week. Most remember their numbers pretty well but problems arise when the devices aren’t easiy identifiable, hence the need for the background trick.

Read the rest.

Mobile Reach #55: Summer Acronym Summary ~ ADE, DEN, GCT, and More

Last week I had the chance to join the hosts of the Mobile Reach Show and talk about the various professional learning organization that fuel our teaching.

Hosting the show are Jennie Magiera, Sue Gorman, and Dave Freeburg who I first met face-to-face in 2011 at the Apple Distinguished Educator institute. We were joined by Josh Mika and Scott Meech who both became ADE’s with us that summer.  Scott and I first met in 2008 as we became Google Certified Teachers together at the Google Teacher Academy in Chicago.

Prior to the show I had just returned from my week at the Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute and shared how that experience compared to the acronym opportunities other teachers are attending this summer.

Head on over to the Mobile Reach homepage to either listen or watch this episode.