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30 Dec 2011
Comments: 1

Making Mathematics App-tastic – Part 2: Episode 15

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 15 – “Making Mathematics App-tastic: Part 2. In this follow-up episode we featured 15 free mathematics game-like apps that focused on basic math, ordering numbers, proportions, FDP conversions, and equations for both elementary and secondary. For each app we shared a brief description and then ways the app could be used in the classroom (e.g. stations, assessment, remediation). Check out our first segment of “Making Mathematics App-tastic“.

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Computer Carl
  2. Math Kid
  3. Dinosaurs Kids Math HD Free Lite
  4. Math Edge HD Lite: Multiplication, Addition, Division
  5. Motion Math Zoom
  6. Splash Math: 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade
  7. Pearl Diver
  8. Number Line
  9. Check Please Lite
  10. MarkUp Markdown
  11. PercentDiff
  12. Factor Race
  13. Algebra Champ
  14. Slice it! Begins


Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes directly.

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

29 Dec 2011
Comments: 3

Comics 4 the iClassroom: Episode 14

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 14 – “Comics 4 the iClassroom”. In this episode we featured 7 free comic and caption apps and provided ideas for how they could be used to support digital storytelling in multiple grade levels and across content areas.

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Comic Touch Lite
  2. Perfect Captions
  3. Photo Captions Free
  4. Captions
  5. Camera Art FX Free
  6. Doodle Buddy
  7. Popplet Lite


We also mentioned free apps that are educational comics:

  1. Heroes Bicentenarios
  2. Riding with Rosa Parks
  3. Spiked Math HD
  4. Cooper Seattle Lite
  5. Elementary Safety
  6. Drug Facts for Young People
  7. Teenage Survival
  8. Green Planet 4 Kids
  9. Professor Garfield Cyberbullying
  10. Professor Garfield Online Safety
  11. Professor Garfield Fact or Opinion
  12. Professor Garfield Forms of Media
  13. MSNBC Cartoons HD (preview and pre-select content in this app – see our “cautionary apps” show for more tips)


Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes directly.

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

More Resources to Support Comic-Based Lessons:

  1. Cartoons for the Classroom
  2. Concept Cartoon Strategies
  3. Concept Cartoons & Concept Tests (Slideshare)
  4. Read Write Think Interactive Comic Vocabulary
  5. Lesson Plans with a Comic Theme
  6. Comics in the Classroom: 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teachers

Tap Into The World Of Comics: 21 Ways to use Comics in the Classroom (features Web 2.0 Tools)

View more presentations from S. Hendy

29 Dec 2011
Comments: 1

Making Mathematics App-tastic: Episode 13

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 13 – “Making Mathematics App-tastic. In this episode we featured 11 free mathematics game-like apps that focused on currency/money and fractions for both elementary and secondary. For each app we shared a brief description and then multiple ways the app could be used in the classroom (e.g. stations, assessment, remediation).

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Apples in Hour Hands
  2. Bills & Coins
  3. Coins
  4. Counting Money
  5. Sticker Shop
  6. Lil Kitten Shopping Cart
  7. Freddy Fraction
  8. Fraction Factory
  9. Pizza Fractions
  10. Pizza Time! Make More Pizza
  11. Portion Platter


Came across this Symbaloo of math apps for primary on Pinterest and thought I would share:

Math Apps for Primary


Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes directly.

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

28 Dec 2011
Comments: 1

iGoal Set: A Time Capsule for the Future Me

Writing a series of goal-setting inspired blogs got me to thinking of a very personal list of “goals for my life” that I composed close to 17 years ago. While I may have adhered to one of the golden rules of goal-setting…”set goals in writing”, I clearly failed to set time-bound goals with a specific action plan for achieving them. That being said, I have to admit, that my 15 year-old self didn’t do too shabby a job at setting a course to navigate my life for the past 17 years…as seen in the following achieved goals below:

Goals from my 15-year-old self created with Simplemind+ app


Some might see only reaching 20 of the original 139 goals listed as failure…especially as I directly negated #63 on the list “reach all my goals”. Others, might find interest in the ideas that the core values of education, career, and relationships remained true all these years. I will admit that goals #4-7 were medical school, fellowship, residency, and open up own practice in neo-natology or pediatrics were not in the cards for my future. Thankfully, my 19 year-old self took a different path after a C in Chemistry 301 and charted a new course that has led me here

Back to 1995 Courtesy of & the contents of a Mead Journal


While my hopes of being a foreign exchange student (#24), going on an archaeological dig in ocean or on land (#32), getting a pilot’s license (#71), becoming a designer (#59), meeting aliens… of the extraterrestrial variety (#76), learning karate (#126), typing with correct form at any speed (#34), holding political office (#83), creating a new restaurant or department store (#99), and publishing my own series of romance novels under an alias (#88) may seem somewhat comical or past their due date…

Some goals seem to persevere through time: get published (#51) and be an entrepreneur (#52)

Some goals never change


And others have been given a new lease on life through the possibilities that existing technologies offer:

  1. learn how to play a musical instrument (#82): there is definitely an app for that
  2. create a new product (#100): Quirky & Prizes.Org 
  3. be an interior decorator (#80): various software, reality shows, apps, & Pinterest
  4. try virtual reality (#68): perhaps augmented reality will do


My message for 2012 is never give up on your self, your goals, your students, or their goals.

What might have seemed impossible almost two decades ago is now a reality with current and emerging technology, mobile devices, and the power of social networking and global connections. Perhaps, time travel: build a time machine (#85) and go to the moon and other planets (#106) may not be so unrealistic in a decade or two. 

Please give the gift of goal-setting to yourself, your children, and your students this year!

  1. Tools for Goal-Setting for Adults 
  2. Tools for Goal-Setting for Children & Students


More Resources to support Personal Goal-Setting:
  1. Personal Goal-Setting
  2. Top 7 Types of Goals
  3. Golden Rules of Goal-Setting
  4. Types of Goals
  5. Six Types of Goal-Setters
  6. 7 Deadly Sins of Goal-Setting


22 Dec 2011
Comments: 0

A Double Helping of Appy Cheer

North East ISD Technology Services: Inspired by Kerrville ISD to create a holiday card that shares a few of our favorite things, the technology services department at NEISD created the following sentiment. We decided to use Tagxedo to app-rise all of our favorite web and mobile apps as many individuals seemed to prefer the same apps (the larger the font of the app, the more popular the tool).

Appy Holidays from North East ISD Technology Services


“Appy Hours 4 U” would also like to wish you an Appy Holiday and an App-tastic New Year. We changed our app to reflect our merry wishes.

Appy Holidays from Lisa Johnson & Yolanda Barker

13 Dec 2011
Comments: 2

Can iPads be SMART?

I will fully admit that I am not so smart when it comes to SMART. Yes, I can tell you where to find the best SMART lessons and I feel comfortable editing existing lessons using SMART’s suite of tools. However, I do not feel so comfortable creating a SMART activity from scratch.

SMART Sequence Sorting Activity

It all started a few weeks back when I was working with a Math Specialist to create an iPad Lesson for students to use in centers. The lesson focused on students utilizing the app iCardSort to complete a sequencing apptivity. The initial iLesson was exceptionally easy to create and disseminate (using the iCardSort public deck repository and/or the Beam/Blast option) on the iPad.

Original iPad Lesson using iCardSort app

When we finished, we discussed the option of creating a similar version of the activity using SMART (as some campuses do not have access to iPads and would still want to use the activity). Naturally, I brought the idea to my SMART certified ITS friend, Lisa Jackson, and she whipped up this SMART notebook that mimics the original iLesson. I will say that in looking at the SMART version (e.g. how it was created… and the process to edit/modify it), I prefer creating my apptivities in iPad…hands down.

Editing Existing Notebook File

That being said, SMART does offer multiple interactive and touch abilities that sometimes mimic various apps on the iPad. While the saying does hold true that “if you don’t have an iPad… you don’t have an iPad…”, I will say that SMART is definitely a nice alternative… in a pinch… when you can’t swipe.

SMART Notebook Sequencing Activity

08 Dec 2011
Comments: 1

Hello, My Name is Lisa & I am ADDICTED to Pinterest…

Created with Big Huge Labs

So, I admittedly am now a Pinterest junkie…it doesn’t help that they have a mobile app – now my addiction is portable and always a tap (or a stoplight) away. That being said, I think it is probably one of my healthiest and most productive hobbies.

If you aren’t pining over Pinterest…check out my guest blog for Computer Explorers where I featured a few of my Pinterest-inspired projects and discussed how Pinterest is a much needed replacement “for how we traditionally share and manage ideas and innovations…”

Still not sold…(don’t take my word for it…), listen to the pre-“Geek it Out” portion of Social Geek Radio (begins at 32:14) where AK Stout & Deb Evans discuss the power and intrigue of Pinterest for “saving ideas (in categories) to view later”:

OR check out the comment section of another Pinterest-inspired guest blog where local moms sound off on why Pinterest is such a valuable tool (e.g. storing recipes, collecting ideas for birthday parties or weddings, getting the creative juices flowing, supporting improved memory with visuals rather than text, etc…)

Appy Pinning!: In addition to locating DIY and crafting gems, I have also started a board entitled iPad Lessons to support my educational endeavors and interests. In creating this board, I was happily surprised to find you can also pin videos!

iPad Lessons with Pinterest

08 Dec 2011
Comments: 0

Appy Holidays… from Kerrville ISD

So…I was assisting in cleaning the table off after dinner and what did my wondering eyes see… a Twitter notification pop-up on my iPhone 4S. Naturally, I could not resist the urge to peek at the content of the tweet.

The Appy Tweet


Joel Adkins… you had me at “appy hour“. Naturally, now I had to click on the link provided and peruse the holiday card filled with app-tastic content and holiday cheer. Tis the season for sharing…app recommendations with others. Thanks so much for this… I will be “stealing”… I mean “sharing” this wonderful idea at our next department meeting. Stay tuned for an NEISD Holiday App-Card.

Appy Holidays from Kerrville ISD


21 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

Surprisingly Educational Apps: Part 2 – Episode 12

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 12 – “Surprisingly Educational Apps. In this episode we featured multiple edutainment apps that that at first glance might not appear educational. For each free app we shared multiple integration ideas across content areas and grade levels. Check out our first installment of “Surprisingly Educational Apps.”


PicCal Calendar Event

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. StoryLines: Check out other apps by Root-1
  2. ArounderTouch: Check out edu tips for Virtual Vacations
  3. Tour Wrist: Visit their blog to see more media coverage and consumer reviews
  4. PicCal Lite (Blog)
  5. My Playhome Lite: More edu tips for integration
  6. To me By me (Website)
  7. SonicPics Lite (Website)
  8. Bill Atkinson PhotoCard Lite (Website)
  9. Coolibah (Website)

Wish I had come across Michael Benavides’ Spanish iLesson using TurboCollage (I am adding this app as a “write-in” on the surprisingly educational app ballot).


Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes directly.

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio


18 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

History Rocks with Web 2.0 Tools & iDevices

A few weeks ago Jennifer Hall of Krueger Middle School asked me to review her music video project and give her a few tools that her students could use to execute the assignment. She had found some pre-created sample videos on YouTube to inspire her students (see below).


Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration


The assignment is as follows:
  1. Students select a historical period or event (between Pre-Colombian and 1890).
  2. Students research the event and locate 10 artifacts of historical information (e.g. visual, text, audio) to support the selection
  3. Students create a music video to showcase the artifacts and retell the event.
    1. Videos are 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes
    2. Videos could be animated, live action, or a series of stills
    3. The music could be original music and lyrics (both created by students), existing music with original lyrics (lyrics rewritten by students), or existing music that fits the project without alterations


Here are some of the tools (apps, software, and Web 2.0) that I suggested be used to achieve the final product:
  1. Software: PhotoStory
  2. Web 2.0: Animoto
  3. Apps: Videolicious, Cartoonatic, Sonic Pics, Slideshow+, StoryRobe . I also came across Film Genie & Roxio PhotoShow after we met.


Check out other iPad Lessons for History: Sock Puppet Court Cases Part 1 & Part 2


Get inspired to rock out your History classroom (History for Music Lovers – YouTube)


The French Revolution (“Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga)
The Gettysburg Address
The Battles at Lexington and Concord in Lego
Ballad of Benjamin Franklin *Music Video*

Why Study History?

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