How Colorado teenagers hid a massive nude sexting ring from parents and teachers – The Washington Post

Here is a must-read wakeup call for educators and families. Kids will probably always out-pace us in the deception race but we owe it to them and ourselves to at least stay in the race.

Disguised to look and function like an innocent smartphone app, photo vaults — also known as “ghost apps” — allow people to conceal photos, video and information in plain view on their phone. They’ve been around since at least 2011, but have grown increasingly common as smartphones have gained popularity. The App Store and Google Play are littered with apps designed to help users hide their activity and camouflage sensitive information. “If you look at your kid’s phone, everything looks normal, but one of

Source: How Colorado teenagers hid a massive nude sexting ring from parents and teachers – The Washington Post

EdTechnocation: Get your FREE Google Classroom iPad App User Guides!

If you are still on the fence about trying the Google Classroom app or fledgling along trying to figure it out on the fly, Michael Fricano’s new resources for you and your students may just be the resource you need for moving all-in on the classroom and document management tool.

Get your FREE user guide for the new Google Classroom iPad App!

Google just released an Android & iOS app for Google Classroom. It’s not full featured (yet) so it’s important that teachers and students understand exactly what you can and can’t do with the app.

Get the guides and read more at EdTechnocation: Get your FREE Google Classroom iPad App User Guides!.

Explore The World Of Chromville In Augmented Reality

The developers at Spain’s Chromville are busily creating an augmented reality world for users of all ages. By printing and then coloring pages depicting different characters and parts of the Chromville world, “explorers” use the special app available in Android and iOS to make their scenes come to life.

Here is the backstory on this mystical land according to

“The ancient world Chromville, is well known for its power source of color. It´s placed in a galaxy far, far away and there are at least five villages: Firecity, Stonetown, Greenland, Waterville and Cloudskingdom. Its inhabitants, the Chromers, look like their environment and live in peace thanks to the colorful beauty of their homeland. However, the planet´s color is fading away mysteriously in some regions and they are in danger of losing its power.
Your quest is to help Chromers to discover the enigma and solve the color problem of their planet. Paint and play with your friends and family to discover all the interactive mysteries of this adventure.”

The app is still in beta but performance is consistent enough to start using it with students. Chromville is planning on expanding quickly and is currently (April 2014) running a writing contest so students can play a role in developing the narrativesoccurring in the different villages.

As a teacher, my favorite aspect is the open-endedness of the site. The app and coloring pages help bring characters to life…but who these characters are and what makes them special is only limited by the user’s imagination.

Hands-down though my favorite feature is the blank character maker. I may…or may not have created my own Mr. T in Chromville. All I can say is, “I pity the fool who doesn’t give this site and app a spin.”

This instructional video shows how to get started.



The Road to Redefinition: Teaching with iPads and Android mobile devices

The Road to Redefinition: Overcoming the impossible by teaching with iPads and Android mobile devices

The SAMR model describes the progression educators make with technology from simply “substituting” analog tasks with digital tasks to “redefinition” which entails changing teaching and learning to the degree results were inconceivable before the invention of the technology. Investigate the progression and explore practical examples of how real teachers are accomplishing this with iPads and other Android devices.

Below are my presentation slides. I will be presenting this on Wednesday July 24 at Learning in Disguise in East Grand Rapids, MI and then again on August 22 at the St. Clair RESA 21st Century Symposium in Marysville, MI.

Sony Education: First Grade Xperia Tablet Case Study: Lite version – Extended version


Action Movie FX plus green construction paper equals iMovie McGyver gold

While finishing an unconference session with Dennis Grice at the Discovery Education Summer Institute on ways to create cool effects and titles for iMovie by using Keynote slides with the funky asparagus color, I had an “oh wow” moment.

“What if?” I excitedly asked myself, “I pulled out the silly JJ Abrams created Action Movie FX app and instead of filming an object to flood or explode I just filmed green?”

free app available for the iPhone.
free app available for the iPhone.

Would it work in iMovie (iLife ’11 not iOS version) as a green screen layer?

I frantically raced around looking for green construction paper and to my assistance came Kyle Schutt and Chad Lehman. They pulled a piece out of a supply case and I was off to try it.

I recorded the effect and saved to camera roll.

Record a few seconds of green.
Record a few seconds of green.

Next I imported the effect clip over green I had saved to iMovie and created a new project. I dragged a clip up onto the project timeline of Dean Shareski who was one of the lead facilitators of the institute. Another group of guys and I had been working on a silly mashup video and we had a fun clip of Dean acting surprised.

The next step was to drag the effect clip of the flood directly on top of the Dean clip until an options menu appeared. You have to be using iLife 11 and you need advanced tools selected in your iMovie preferences.


Next I selected “Green Screen”.

select green screen

After getting the effect clip in the right place, I tested it and the water was coming in too high. I simply used the crop option and tweaked the effect oh so slightly. This tweaking was a Dennis Grice idea and really speaks to the increased flexibility that creating the effects on green provides over trying to do everything with the iPhone.


Below is the final product.

Sure…this is silly. Just think though of the creativity that students can generate. Think of the fun. Think of all of the language arts that can be fostered by creating “What if…” video writing prompts like “What if dinosaurs invaded the Obama inauguration?” or “What if Justin Bieber was trapped under a rock?” and kids had to write about how the problem was solved. Seems like pretty good pedagogy starting out with an anticipatory set like that.

What I plan to do for my students is record all of the different effects on green paper and then place them on Google Drive in a folder students can access. For appropriate use, students can then download effect clips and import them into iMovie projects. There is then no need for them to all have devices with the app on it. Since the app is free I also feel good that we aren’t skirting any process that would be outside the ethical bounds of sharing. We can apply to an endless amount of footage which expands the app’s capability exponentially.

See what other cool ideas you can think of. I would love to hear them in the comments.

AppMadness13 Round 2 Roundup

With over 6800 votes cast in Round 2, AppMadness13 has gotten a little crazy.

Here is our roundup show.

Voting for the Regional Finals will open up on April 4. Check for the ballot as April gets closer.

These apps move on to the Elite 8.

Still don’t see the educational benefits of Twitter? Try Flipboard

I recently blogged over at the new Sony Education site about how the app Flipboard can “unpack the power of social media.” If you are still in the camp that sees little benefit in Twitter or other social media, you are guaranteed to be impressed if you give Flipboard on the iPad, your iPhone, or any Android device a spin. Yes, I said, “Guarantee”. If you are not fully impressed, I will buy you lunch in the Bentheim Elem. cafeteria on hotdog day.

Here is my post. “Flipboard unpacks the power of Social Media in the Classroom” Tell me what you think.

See social media in a whole new light.