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This post originates from the “I get this question a lot file” and after I spent the time to type out a response, it seemed like something I should be sharing openly, rather than exclusively through a private email message.

Mr. Brueck,

You were referred to me by [name withheld to protect the innocent], the tech coordinator for [insert school or district here]. He assured me that you were the “go to man” who could point me in the right direction.
I’m a reading interventionist and in search of quality iPad apps to support our reading instruction. In particular, I’m looking for apps to support comprehension and vocabulary development for 7-10 year olds reading at first and second grade levels.  Of course, they love interactivity and game playing.  Any recommendations?
Thanks for you help!
My response.
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Cleveland Connection « CBS Cleveland

I recently had an opportunity to visit with Katherine Boyd from the local CBS Radio affiliate 104.1 FM and talk a little about educational technology.

Boy, times have changed when it comes to teaching our kids in the classroom.

Used to be a teacher relied on books, rulers and a chalk board to instruct the class.  Today, books are being replaced with tablets and e-readers, rulers are replaced with smart phones, and chalk boards are replaced by monitors and laptops.

In this edition of Cleveland Connection, we talk to three local educators who are on the cutting edge when it comes to technology in the classroom.

Listen to a a podcast of this show: 01 CC Technology In The Classroom

Thanks to Ryan MacRaild, Instructional Technology Educator at St Joseph Academy in Cleveland, for working with Kat to make this segment possible!

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This morning, Wes Fryer tweeted something that he probably thought was a pretty simple and routine update…

Twitter / Interactions

…but it got me to thinking…

Jeremy Brueck (brueckj23) on Twitter

which lead into a pretty interesting asynchronous conversation that I think I need to document and remember… Read the rest of this entry…

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apps

From the NAEYC ECETech Listserv:

As it takes so much time to locate and evaluate apps, I was wondering:

-Do you have favorite app review sites? (there are so many now, and video reviews cropping up, so people can see apps before they buy them.)

-Do you have a system, and if you do, what is it, for listing your favorite apps to share with others?  Is your favorites list available online/can you share it? I am interested in ways others in the group are organizing this info, and to take a look at your lists, if possible.

-In schools/programs where teachers in various classrooms may be exploring and finding new apps-are there systems set up to share about these discoveries with others?

So many apps, so little time- thanks for sharing tips from your workflow about these questions.

I’m often asked to provide lists of apps for schools, districts or teachers. This is tricky because of the wide variety of apps. In general, I’d say that there are way more skill and drill type apps available (flashcards, letter games, puzzles, etc…) most likely because they are simple for app developers (non-educators most often) to create. Apps that support higher-order think skills are less in numbers. I think the most important thing for a teacher to consider is what they want their students to accomplish using the app and then consider whether an app is actually the best resource for this learning experience. I like to point admins and teachers to the SAMR model when asking them this and then try to help them discern is the are using the app as simply a substitution for something they have always done or if they are able to use the app to help redefine the learning task.

Read the rest of this entry…

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iPad 3G running on 3

So you’re coming to DigiCamp for Teachers and you’re planning to bring your own Apple mobile device, but which apps should you load up prior to camp to make your time on the beautiful University of Akron campus productive? Look no further, I’m here to share with you all the apps that the Center for Literacy has loaded on their “loaner” iPads and iPod Touches. While we made ever effort to pick as many free apps as possible, sometimes it’s just worth paying to get a high-quality app.

iPad Apps

iPod Touch Apps

Cross-posted on Digi-Camp for Teachers

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Session Date:    02/14/2012
Session Room:    D233 – 235
Session Start Time:    1045
Presenter: Jeremy Brueck

The iPad revolution is here! Even our youngest students expect a learning space that integrates digital tools, accommodates a mobile lifestyle, adapts to individual learning styles & encourages collaboration. Teachers must become proficient in an mLearning pedagogical approach grounded in an understanding of mobile technologies hardware, software & OS. How does a teacher incorporate all these technology tools into meaningful learning? Help your students use iOS apps to tell their own stories, boosting reading and writing skills. Find out which apps work best for what grade levels and learn management techniques for projects. Attendees will learn about many different iOS apps to support and enhance the reading and writing process. This session will prepare K-5 administrators, teachers and parents to support student use of iOS devices in the elementary classroom.

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I’m going to rush to get this post out ahead of the big Apple Education event on Thursday. All the hype is pointing to some sort of announcement of an easy way to create custom books for the iBook app. While this is certainly exciting news, I’m sure it is going to come with a bunch of “How to Use [Apple’s Newest Thing] in Education” tweets,  blog posts, lists and presentations. So ahead of all the hipster, fanboy, and hater posts that will inevitably follow Apple’s big announcement tomorrow, I’m bringing you this post. Option 1 from my Creating Custom Digital Content for iPad: Educators Have Options series!

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Creative Book Builder app for iPhone and iPad. Created by Tiger Ng, this app is currently selling for $3.99 in the iTunes Store.

Creative Book Builder enables everyone to create, edit and publish ebooks in minutes. Creative Book Builder can import document from Google Docs and parse HTML output into chapter. Create unlimited number of chapters add title, description, images, videos, audio recording, music, links, and lists. CBB lets you sort your content’s ordering within a chapter and customize your cover image.

What I did with CBB:

My plan is to base this project on a second grade Rocks & Fossils unit that my wife and a colleague originally developed in 2005. That unit contains a collection of resources ranging from a section of a science textbook, videos, digital photos and a couple PPT presentations. I have all the various source files stored on my Dropbox account and in my iTunes/iPhoto albums so I can access them as needed across devices. Read the rest of this entry…

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One of the things I’ve been looking into lately has been mobile content creation. With the rise of the tablet, I’m finding k12 and adult students are eager for opportunities to learn just-in-time with their device of choice. From an instructional design perspective, this means that to deliver to any & all devices, you’ve got to be looking towards HTML5.

My developer colleagues at the University of Akron’s Center for Literacy cringe every time we talk about HTML5 and designing apps for iOS and Android. To them, HTML5 is a giant step backwards in terms of the complexity and richness of web apps that could be developed with other tools (RIP Flash).

They feel that in the HTML5 arena, animations are stripped down and much less interactivity is available. They are mostly right here. HTML5 has limited the types of instructional interactions we can offer all ages of students in the online environment. As we begin to design web-based user experiences in HTML5, we are essentially creating a duel interface that can be run through a desktop or laptop browser AND a mobile browser. Until mobile devices have processors equal to their desktop/laptop brothers, we’ll never be able to offer as rich of a learning environment on any type of mobile device, yet we are still going to develop custom digital content for mobile…

So what can the average educator do? Read the rest of this entry…

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iPad2, Xoom, Playbook, iPod Touch, netbook, iPhone, Chromebook, the list never stops. Everyday a new device is hyped, overhyped and pushed into our consciousness by a barrage of media and market glam. In the past 6 months I’ve fielded countless question from school leaders and teachers about the new world order of computing devices.

  • “Which is better?”
  • “Which runs faster?”
  • “Which has the best apps?”
  • “Which is cheapest?”
  • “How do we go 1:1?”

Aside from the constant questions, I also hear some horrifying statements.

  • “We’ve got $30,000 to spend and we’re going to buy every teacher in the district an iPad.”
  • “The teachers want iPads for teaching so we’re going to get them some.”

It’s got to stop. Enough already because I’m about to go EDTECHHULK on somebody.


But I won’t.

Instead, I’m going to go all Mr. T up in hurr.

I pity the fool who thinks it’s about the devices. Read the rest of this entry…

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edubloggercon - EduBloggerCon 2010

EduBloggerCons are about conversations that teach. Questions are asked, problems posed, experiences shared, and everyone learns.

EduBloggerCon 2010 will be held Saturday, June 26, prior to ISTE 2010. Below is the topic I suggested.

Title: Analytic Tools for Evaluating E-Books & Educational Mobile Apps

Description: The potential for mobile learning devices such as Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad devices are very high. Optimal design features of e-books and educational mobile apps are yet to be specified, although some progress has been made in articulating high level generalizations of app design and construction. Research is mixed, for example, on the benefits of animations, hotspots and highlights as code-related supports for young readers. Helpful at times, these features also distract children from paying attention to print. Supportive sometimes, they also can be annoying, thus reducing engagement, especially for able readers. So–what design information do we have and what do we still need to construct good apps for young children? The research suggests three design domains for consideration: (1) multimedia design which focuses on how words (printed; spoken) and pictures (static; dynamic) are presented; (2) interface design which describes conventions of use, format, and controls; and (3) learning design which involves the basic features of instruction—the learn about loop of purpose, content and feedback. This discussion will take a closer look at the educational possibilities of these devices and applications for students, teachers and administrators and focus on how educators can identify quality apps for instructional purposes.

Facilitator(s): Jeremy Brueck & Christopher Craft

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Why Raised Digital?

Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.