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!.

iPad Apps for Film-making | A Listly List

Here is a great post I came across today highlighting 9 apps for film-making. These are great app smashers where each one performs a certain task and those products can all be mashed into one project.

iPad Apps for Film-making

Listly by Cathy Hunt

These apps provide us with endless possibilities for innovative teaching and creativity in the classroom. Introducing apps and workflows should be a derivative of considered instructional design and pedagogies that stems from a focus on the learning.

See Cathy’s full post: iPad Apps for Film-making | A Listly List.

Mr. Losik’s 2013 Holiday Tablet Buying Guide Part 2: Bargains


Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 6.32.17 AM

Link to Part 1: Sorting through the options 

Update: New Samsung prices. Deals ranked by device. Store hours listed.

Tracking the deals for you!

Below are all of the bargains to the best of my sleuthing. The vast majority will only be available on Thanksgiving evening. Only one deal, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 at Meijer is an actual Friday morning deal….unless you count the Gamestop offer at midnight/Friday AM.

Be very leery of super cheap tablets you’ve never heard of. It’s best to stay with a trusted brand. Also, I would stay away from brands that were big back in the day that are still sort of around. Sorry Polaroid and RCA. They still make some decent stuff but I don’t really trust them in this market.

(Disclaimer: Please confirm or double check with actual ads or store sites before running out Thanksgiving Weekend.)

“Regular Price”
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $159
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 Kids edition with carrying case $209
Nexus 7 $229
Samsung Tab 3 8.0 $249
iPad Mini $299
Samsung Tab 3 10.1 $299
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 $349
iPad Mini with Retina Display $399
iPad 2 $399
Sony Xperia Tablet Z $449
iPad Air $499
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 $599

The Deals:

Best Buy – Opening at 6:00 PM Thanksgiving
Samsung Tab 3 10.1 $359  $299 – Best Buy – Thanksgivng
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $179 $149 – Best Buy – Thanksgiving
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 $529 $399 – Best Buy – Thanksgiving
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $179 $149 – Best Buy – Thanksgiving
iPad 2 $399 $299 – Best Buy – Thanksgiving
iPad Air $499 $449 – Best Buy – Thanksgiving

GameStop – Opening Thursday Midnight/Black Friday Morning
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $179 $169

Meijer – Deals vary for Thanksgiving and Friday – Stores open at 6:00 AM both days.
iPad Air, iPad with Retina Display, iPad 2 “starting at $379″ (Expect typical Apple prices as listed below) but get $100 off next shopping trip. – Meijer – Thanksgiving
iPad Mini $299 Still $299 but $80 off next shopping trip – Meijer – Thanksgiving
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $179 $159 plus $30 off next shopping trip – Meijer –  Friday

Target – Opening at 8:00 PM Thanksgiving
iPad Air $499 $479 + $100 gift card – Target – Thanksgiving
iPad Mini $299 – Still $299 but you get a $75 gift card – Target – Thanksgiving

Toys R Us – Opening 5:00 PM Thanksgiving
Samsung Tab 3 8.0 $279 $249 + $20 gift card – Toys R Us – Thanksgiving
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 Kids  $209 $189 + $20 gift card – Toys R Us – Thanksgiving (This kid edition does not have the carrying case mentioned below.)
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $179 $159 + $20 gift card – Toys R Us – Thanksgiving
Samsung Tab 3 10.1 $359 $299 – Thanksgiving

Walmart – If in line between 6:00-7:00 PM Thanksgiving, item is guaranteed.
iPad Mini $299 – Still $299 but you get a $100 gift card -Walmart -Thanksgiving

 Best Deals Sorted by Device

iPad Mini
iPad Mini $299 – Still $299 but you get a $100 gift card -Walmart -Thanksgiving
iPad Mini $299 Still $299 but $80 off next shopping trip – Meijer – Thanksgiving
iPad Mini $299 – Still $299 but you get a $75 gift card – Target – Thanksgiving

iPad Air
iPad Air $499 $479 + $100 gift card – Target – Thanksgiving
iPad Air $499 + $100 off next shopping trip – Meijer – Thanksgiving
iPad Air $499 $449 – Best Buy – Thanksgiving

iPad 2
iPad 2 $399 $379 + $100 off next shopping trip – Meijer – Thanksgiving
iPad 2 $399 $299 – Best Buy – Thanksgiving

Samsung Tab 3 7.o
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $179 $159 plus $30 off next shopping trip – Meijer –  Friday
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $179 $159 + $20 gift card – Toys R Us – Thanksgiving
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $179 $149 – Best Buy – Thanksgiving
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $179$159 Samsung.com – On Sale Now
Samsung Tab 3 7.0 $179 $169 – GameStop-Midnight Thanksgiving/Black Friday Morning

Samsung Tab 3 10.1
Samsung Tab 3 10.1 $359  $299 – Samsung.com – On Sale Now
Samsung Tab 3 10.1 $359  $299 – Best Buy – Thanksgiving
Samsung Tab 3 10.1 $359 $299 – Toys R Us – Thanksgiving

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 $599 $399 – Best Buy – Thanksgiving


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 21Innovate.com for the ballot as April gets closer.

These apps move on to the Elite 8.

Hamilton PD Day 1/25: “Creativity in Hand” Session Resources

Great image created by Jacque Drenten using Frames Artist app.
Here are session resources for my Hamilton PD iPad session “Creativity in Hand”.




Video Production

Shooting Gallery Guide

Minarets Shooting Gallery Level One from Minarets High School

Vimeo app • Andy’s Vimeo Page

Action Movie Producer


Arrange your photos with the Frames Artist app

Photo Projects

Doodle Buddy
PS Express
Color Effects
Pixlr Express
Frames Artist
Popplet Lite

Other Fun Ones
PegLight 2
Vintagio (Silent Film App)
Pottery HD Lite

Wow! That’s just about all I can say about these book report trailers.

Sometimes you get an idea and it seems like it might be pretty cool.

I really liked what my Apple Distinguished Educator buddy Sean Junkins had created when he used Discovery Education footage to make historic movie trailers.

Since we don’t have access to Discovery Education anymore, I was perplexed how I could do something similar with our kids. Coincidentally at about the same time I was thinking how kids still need chances to do old fashion arts and crafts and little skits. Somehow this project ended up lending itself to the best of both worlds. They would use the Apple iMovie app’s trailer building capabilities but would have to get really creative on how they would produce the footage. It was completely open-ended but after a week of brainstorming we had really focus on the project being do-able.

The other guidelines were:
A) Trailers had to provide important information about the plot or focus on character traits.
B) Trailers could not be “spoilers” for anyone who had not yet read them.
C) Trailers had to be non-violent.
D) Several students could work together and there was no limit on the number of projects in which students could participate. Students could work solo but all students had to be included in meaningful ways.
E) This was basically an introduction/exploration activity and I didn’t fully know what we would accomplish so there wasn’t a set evaluation rubric beyond my formative checkups along the way.

The results were mind-blowing. Here is one on the Hunger Games Trilogy’s Mocking Jay. More can be found in the project’s album on Vimeo.

My biggest reflection on this project is that you never know how a project might go. Sometimes they flop but as long as you salvage the key points, that is okay. Sometimes you get way more than you ever expect. Also, don’t think this is rocket science and beyond your capabilities. I completely left completion of it up to the kids (with some progress monitoring and coaching along the way) but it was them who knocked this thing out of the park.

Lunch and Learn #2: Five key elements to understanding iPads in the classroom

putting iPads to use on a Kindergarten shape safari
As we start to have more access to iPads in our buildings, it is important to take some time and spend it not so much on learning what buttons to push but discussing key elements that can go a long way in determining how successfully we put these devices to work for us. As I wrote in the Grand Rapids Press last year, iPads don’t improve education. Teachers and students improve education with iPads.

Tom Daccord at Edudemic posted a great article (thanks for sharing Abby Perdok) in late September entitled, “5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make with iPads (and how to correct them)“. I don’t want to just rehash Tom’s ideas here but his piece shows us that the devices have been in schools long enough that we now have critical accounts of what works and what not to do with them. Let’s look at five elements (some similar to Daccord’s) that can help us get the most of our investment in this highly engaging technology.

1. Understanding Apps: When it all boils down, there are basically two kinds of apps. There are “knowledge in” apps and “knowledge out” apps. This is true with any website…okay, educational ones but…I’m not even going to finish this thought. I think you understand the logical consequences. As I was saying, any website or technology tool does one or the other. Kids go to websites on lighthouses to learn facts and deepen their understanding of these structures’ history and roll in the world. They then can go to something like Kerpoof.com and create pictures to share their knowledge. Voicethread.com lets them post pictures and give narration. A number of iPad apps like the Voicethread and Screen Chomp apps do too. Just because there isn’t an app for a specific part of the curriculum, doesn’t mean that an iPad can’t still be extremely effective. Have kids put knowledge into their heads and then choose a “knowledge out” app to let them share it in spectacular ways.

2. Getting App Savvy There are thousands upon thousands of educational apps in the Apple App Store. Apple has a webpage dedicated to highlighting a handful of featured apps but to really dig in and find out what teachers really find useful and what kids think, check out these sites: Appitic.com and iEar.org.

Appitic.com is the brainchild of a group of teachers from Mexico and has contributors from across the globe reviewing apps. Things are nicely broken down by a ton of different categories so you can search by subject or grade level but also by higher order thinking skill.

iEar.org is another site “by educators for educators” (my tagline, not theirs). It has plenty of app reviews from teachers and students, but iEar (i Education Apps Review) also features a number of audio selections like interviews with app developers or ideas for implementing certain apps or techniques in your classroom.

A couple of iPad apps can be especially helpful in developing your savviness. App Shopper helps you find apps by subject matter but will also watch the prices of apps. Many times developers will run special promotions where they drastically slash the price of an app and sometimes make them free. When that happens you will receive a message from App Shopper to go and scoop up the app. App Price Drops is a little more stripped down in features but helps you find the deals, especially free apps.

3. iTunes is far more than music It always surprises me how many people don’t rely heavily on iTunes for adding content and organizing their iPads. Yes, it is nice to be able to download and install apps from the app store on the fly through the device and it is fairly easy to create drag and drop folders on the device as well. It can be faster though and in many cases a lot easier to do that work while plugged into iTunes. Using iTunes also lets you add all kinds of your own specific content to the devices for student use. Educational movies, audio books, and anything in .PDF form (see earlier post for a how-to) can be placed on the iPad but you have to use iTunes in order to do it. A screencast will be coming that shows each of those processes in detail. Most importantly, every time you sync you diminish the severity of potential disaster by creating a backup file. If your iPad was damaged or lost, a replacement could be synced with your backup and you could start right up where you were on the old device.

4. It just feels right Through all of my experience of working with kids on iPads, there is a constant thread that is present. The iPad’s user interface is incredibly intuitive. You just swipe and tap, drag and move. Many argue that kids are wired for the iPad. Much of that is likely true due to the prevalence of technology in our world, but I am starting the think that the iPad is far more wired for kids than the other way around. Apple is cracking the code on the best possible tablet, but Apple is also cracking our code for how we most naturally work and interact with a device. Here is how 5th graders explain this.

5. Think Different It is great to start out by concentrating on things you normally do in your classroom and finding ways to replace those tasks with the iPad. Chances are you will find higher levels of student interest and more engagement. Don’t stop there though. Start to ask yourself, “What if? What if instead of typing animal reports, we made videos? And then what if we used those videos to teach our lower elementary reading buddies about the animals”. Share your ideas with your colleagues and challenge them to ask, “What if?”. Soon we will be watching our students do things we hadn’t ever dreamed possible.