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04 May 2012
Comments: 0

"Hot Apps 4 HOTS" SimpleK12 Webinars

Just wanted to share that Yolanda and I will be presenting two webinars for Simple K12.

“There are so many iPad apps out there, that it can often be intimidating trying to figure out which apps best suit the objectives and the higher order skills you are trying to foster. In this webinar, join Lisa Johnson and Yolanda Barker as the use “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” (found in the iBookstore) to showcase how free edutainment apps can be used to create apptivities for the iClassroom.”

The two webinars will offer apptivities that focus on student production within levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy from Remembering to Creating.

  1. iPad Apps for Higher Order Thinking Skills: Remembering to Applying
    1. Monday, May 07, 2012 @ 5:00:00 PM Eastern Time, USA
  2. iPad Apps for Higher Order Thinking Skills: Analyzing to Creating
    1. Wednesday, May 16, 2012 5:00:00 PM Eastern Time, USA

If you have downloaded the iBook, please know that all of the apptivities and resources we will be sharing are BRAND NEW. The iBook will be only utilized as a support.

The basic membership for Simple K12 is FREE and all teachers will have access to the live webinar. Archived recorded webinars are only available to full members. Check out all of the details on membership.

25 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

The Power of Google

Yes, I typically am an Apple fan girl, but last night (while watching an episode of New Girl), the new Google commercial made me smile and dare I say shed a happy tear. Part of the my emotion was due to the sentimental nature of the video and the other to the power, versatility, and ever-evolving nature of Google tools.

That being said, I thought I would share my new favorite Google tool.. which is actually a script… Flubaroo. I was first introduced to the tool in a session with Wesley Molyneaux at Mobile 2012. As I am still in the process of assimilating all of my new iLearning from Mobile 2012, yesterday was the first time I had to explore the script and the possibilities of grading Google forms.

Since Google forms can be accessed and completed via mobile devices or computers, the tool is a versatile and powerful assessment piece. Wanting to test out my other new tool, Snapguide…I decided to create a Snapguide step-by-step tutorial to walk users through setting up the Flubaroo script. If videos are your learning style, (see the Flubaroo YouTube video tutorial).

How to Grade a Google Form


22 Apr 2012
Comments: 9

5 Ways to be Green with your iPad!

I came across the app Painting With Time and Painting with Time: Climate Change a few months ago and was absolutely blown away! As Earth Day is on the horizon (Sunday, April 22nd 2012), I thought it might be app-ropro to provide a handful of suggestions to teach climate change and support being green using the iPad. (The climate change app is currently paid for Earth Day. The app developer will be donating half of the net proceeds to the Union of Concerned Scientists to aid their research on the effects of climate change on our planet.)

While I typically focus on product-based apps, Painting with Time & Painting with Time: Climate Change provide a fantastic springboard to action: 

  1. Create a children’s book using an app like iPen FREE or Albums FX Lite using screenshots from Painting with Time Climate Change (or some of the apps below) to teach the effect of drought, global warming, flooding, volcanic eruptions, etc…
  2. Create a public service announcement or action alert using screenshots from Painting with Time: Climate Change (or some of the apps below) using an app like Videolicious or Bloom*.
  3. Create a screen-cast using an app like ScreenChomp to explain what occurred or caused the changes in the before and after images provided in Painting with Time Climate Change.
  4. Compose an earth day poem or prose using PWT app screenshots (or some of the apps below) and an app like Visual Poet.
  5. Create a Talking Tom & Ben News report to explain the climate change in your home town.


Check out these apps to support or inspire your green iProjects (all of the apps below can be found in the new FREE edu TechChef4u app database):

Other Classroom Ideas/Resources for Earth Day

  1. 10 Activities and Videos for Earth Day
  2. Scholastic Lesson Plans for Earth Day

17 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

Tech Fiesta 2012

screenshot from Tech Fiesta 2012

Yolanda and I will be sharing compressed versions of two of our most popular iPad presentations at Tech Fiesta 2012: iBuild iPad Lessons & Hot Apps 4 HOTS

 iBuild iPad Lessons


Download PDF 


Hot Apps 4 HOTS


Download PDF

If you missed these presentations at TCEA or at Mobile 2012…come check these out!

17 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

Inspirational Organization

Last summer two individuals from Inspiration came to showcase Webspiration. As an iPad Evangelist, I queried, “Do you have an app?” At the time they did not. Unfortunately, while we have Inspiration & Kidspiration loaded on most of our district computers, the software is often left untouched. Knowing that this software could be an integral part of mind-mapping and robust story-telling, this lack of use makes me a bit sad.

Inspiration Maps (and Inspiration Maps Lite) come at the perfect time in the iDevice explosion to meet the needs of our mobile learners. If you love Inspiration Software, you have to check out the Inspiration app. The app is intuitive and familiar and boasts a current library of 29 templates. Templates range from Analogies and Biographies to Character Analysis and Lab Reports. Inspiration is the perfect tool to support the writing process in the iClassroom. The available templates provide a framework for guiding brainstorming and outlining and allow students the ability to expand on their thoughts, knowledge, and research to build deeper understanding.

The ability to toggle between outline and diagram mode appeals to multiple learning styles. Inspiration has truly addressed the needs of mobile learners by adding multiple features to export diagrams and outlines as well as build off of them in other apps.

As I try to only showcase purposeful and productive use of the iPad and I still have Mobile 2012 on the brain, I thought I would use the Inspiration Maps app to showcase my Mobile 2012 iLearning journey utilizing the Plot Analysis Template.

My Mobile 2012 iLearning Journey Plot Reflection


After reading the user reviews, I will concede that there are some features that are lacking in the current version of Inspiration Maps:

  1. Exporting and a way to sync/interface with the desktop version of Inspiration.
  2. The lack of exporting the graphic version of the diagram with other apps rather than simply the outline.
  3. The ability to export as a PDF.
  4. A feature to wirelessly collaborate on the same document or a way to beam/blast map templates to other users (ala iCardSort app).
  5. A user created Inspiration Diagrams template repository accessible to all (ala iCardSort decks).


BUT… the beauty of Inspiration being a mobile app is the user feedback… Need a specific template or feature? Simply email the developer. I truly believe that Inspiration Maps (as all apps) is a fluid work in progress and am thrilled with its current features and hopeful of what it has to offer in the future.


17 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

60 Apps in 60 Minutes: Mobile 2012

In hindsight 60 apps in 60 minutes was a bit ambitious. I kind of felt as if we were auctioning off apps. (Perhaps a Nifty Fifty pack would have been a better fit.) For those of you who missed our session…or those of you who attended and caught whiplash from the sheer speed of it, here is a list of all of the apps we (Jon Samuelson and I) featured.

60 Apps in 60 Minutes: An iPadSammy Symbaloo Creation Presented at Mobile 2012

Free Apps:

  1. Futaba Word Games
  2. Doodle Buddy
  3. Infographics
  4. Photo Measure Lite
  5. Tracing Paper Lite
  6. Bill Atkinson PhotoCard
  7. TypeDrawing FREE
  8. StoryLines for Schools
  9. Video Star
  10. Epic Citadel
  11. PicCal
  12. Pizza Time
  13. iPen
  14. My PlayHome Lite
  15. Word Lens
  16. Sketchbook Express
  17. Bloom*
  18. iMotion HD
  19. My Secret Diary
  20. ScrapPad
  21. Album FX Lite
  22. TapTap Blocks
  23. Choiceboard Creator
  24. Voice Thread
  25. Corkulous
  26. Educreations
  27. Videolicious
  28. Social Express Lite
  29. Inkling
  30. Picturebook
  31. Mad Lips
  32. Snapguide
  33. Cinch
  34. Inspiration Maps Lite
  35. Opposite Ocean
  36. Blurb
  37. Visual Poet


I also decided to add a few more FREE ones to the list for good measure: VidrhythmAnimation Desk LiteWeather WiseiK Calendar FREEQR BeamerStringPainting With TimeTransparent Earth


The majority of the FREE Edu apps listed above can be found in the newly released TechChef4u app (along with 500+ FREE sortable EDU apps).


Paid Apps:

16 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

Frog Blog: The Rat App

I had come across these apps (Frog Dissection and Rat Dissection) a few months ago but hadn’t had a chance to truly explore either one. Fortunately, Punflay contacted me and graciously sent me a few promo codes to share and utilize.

Both apps take me back to a cat dissection I completed in my high school Anatomy and Physiology class. I vividly remember the sound of breaking ribs and the smell of formaldehyde (I will spare you the pics). Flash-forward a decade or so and I fondly remember Frog Dissection Day in middle school when my students would come to my math classrroom and share all of the cool half-dissected insect bits they found inside of the frog’s stomach and intestines. Naturally, most educators would just assume these apps are a humane and cost-effective way to replace a time-honored experience…

… I would suggest that they provide a gateway to educational exploratory opportunities for young minds never before available!

Me & My Dad

Growing up the daughter of a respiratory therapist, I had odd experiences such as playing with lungs, receiving impromptu CPR classes, and having my dad pick me up from school as Super Lung. Sadly, I did not inherit the science gene. I can diagram sentences, teach critical reading skills, recite the prologue to Romeo & Juliet from memory, and solve a polynomial, but can’t satisfactorily explain the body systems or digestion to a preschooler.

I am hesitant to admit that my four year old son has learned more about his 206 bones from his Stretch & Grow class. That being said, while I may not be able to meet his ever-growing interest in the human body and science, the iPad can… My four year old son is now obsessed with the rat dissection app.

Yes, I can proudly admit…that my 4 year old son can not only dissect a rat  but also identify all of the internal body parts as well. The iPad and Punflay had provided this unparalleled app-ortunity for discovery learning.

Rat Dissection App

Please don’t take my word for it…

“I am an Instructional Technology Specialist for the secondary level with a science background. I was introduced to Rat Dissection, an iPad app, by another colleague. My 5 year old preschooler, who monopolizes the iPad most of the time, found the “Rat app”, as she calls it. She was mesmerized by the app and spent a long while on it. I had never really thought of introducing her to dissection and the anatomy/physiology involved. I assumed that the terminology and the concepts would be far too advanced. But the app proved me wrong! With it’s ease of use, images, audio instructions, and audio descriptions, she has asked many great science minded questions and is able to relate the rat body to her own. In my opinion this app can be used at any level.”

Check out Mr. Keenan’s review and insight on Punflay Dissection apps.

This blog is dedicated to my father who instilled the love of inquiry learning in his daughter’s heart and mind. Love you dad!

13 Apr 2012
Comments: 6

iBuild iPad Lessons: Mobile 2012

Sharing the resources from “iBuild iPad Lessons” workshop, which was offered at Mobile 2012, we (Yolanda and I) created multiple documents and PDF handouts to share.

Unfortunately Yolanda was unable to attend due to funding… (video created with Silent Film Director).

The two-hour Bring Your Own Device workshop included:

    1. Where to find the best educational apps
    2. Cautionary Apps & Info on Settings/Restrictions
    3. Sample Student Products & a discussion about consumption vs. production and how students submit work
    4. A compilation of  20+ free edu apps with provided integration ideas
    5. An iLesson template and time to create an iLesson of their own using the tools/resources provided.


Built in to each section was time to share resources, tips, and reactions and collaborate with colleagues.

If you missed the presentation…check it out.















Documents utilized in the course:

  1. Appy Integraion
  2. Lesson Template


 Want to share your iLesson?

Creative Commons License
iBuild iPad Lessons by Lisa Johnson & Yolanda Barker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

03 Apr 2012
Comments: 1

Mobile 2012

I am pleased to announce that “Appy Hours 4 U” has added a Mobile Learning Speaker Series. Over the next two weeks, Yolanda and I will be hosting Mobile Learning Experts and Mobile 2012 speakers.

If you are unable to attend Mobile 2012, we are hoping this will be the next best thing.

Below is a line-up of the first four speakers. The sessions will be LIVE on “Appy Hours 4 U“. During the LIVE show, the speakers will be available to answer questions through a Todays Meet room which will be posted during the live show. Shortly after the live show, the episode will be archived and available in “Appy Hours 4 U” iTunes.

Mobile 2012: April 11-3th in Phoenix, AZ


  1. Tony Vincent & Felix Jacomino: Listen LIVE Wednesday April 4th @ 3:30 pm CST!
    1. Tony Vincent (Twitter: @TonyVincent):
      1. Tony Vincent started teaching fifth grade fourteen years ago when it wasn’t so easy to publish online. Knowing that students were motivated to see their work on the Web, Tony first had students write their book reviews on Later, his students spent each school year adding to their classroom site, Planet 5th. They published writing, photos, journals, art, videos, and more.Planet 5th became so popular that it received thousands of hits from around the world. In 2001 his students began using Palm handhelds, and ever since Tony has been an advocate for mobile learning. He developed Radio WillowWeb in 2005, making it one of the first podcasts by students. Tony left classroom teaching to become a consultant in 2006. While he misses his former school, he’s had amazing experiences as a consultant. Currently based in Phoenix, Arizona, Tony has worked with teachers and students from around the world.
      2. Tony is an Organizer for Mobile 2012 and will be presenting 3 sessions focusing on the topics of Project-Based Mobile Learning and Collaboration.
    2. Felix Jacomino (Twitter: @FelixJacomino):
      1. Felix Jacomino is the Director of Technology in a private, 1:1 iPad, school in Coconut Grove, FL. Felix has a great passion for teaching that authentically engages students. He graduated with a degree in Education and also studied computer networking and is a certified network engineer. The combination of his education background and technological skills has proven to be ideal in guiding his current school and technology integration team to be technological leaders in the South Florida community. Most common hashtags you will see Felix use are #edtech, #edchat, #mlearning, #ipad, #edapp, #pbl and, of course, #mobile2012!
      2. Felix’s Mobile 2012 sessions will include: 21st Century Learning & Tools in Primary Grades and Combining 21st Century Skills and Project-Based Learning.
  2. Diane Darrow (Twitter: @DianeDarrow): Listen LIVE Thursday April 5th @ 3:30 pm CST! 
    1. Diane Darrow is the Information Media Specialist at Bel Aire Elementary School in Tiburon, CA. She is constantly entertaining innovative ways the iPad can improve curriculum and instruction for schools. Her classroom instruction experiences include teaching at the preschool, elementary and University level. Her educational training is in Early Childhood Education, Montessori, Reading Recovery, Gifted and Talented Education, Fine Arts, and Online Teaching. In her spare time, she writes reviews for and occasionally contributes blogs about mobile technology for Edutopia. In 2011, she was named an Apple Distinguished Educator.
    2. Diane’s Mobile 2012 presentations will include: Inquiry-Based App Activities for Elementary, Literature Circle on the iPad, and Writing as Child’s Play. 
  3. Derek Keenan (Twitter:@MrKeeenan): Listen LIVE Monday April 9th @ 4:30 pm CST!
    1. Derek Keenan is a 21st century teacher, researcher, blogger and learner from Airdrie, Alberta, Canada. He is a Technology Learning Lead in his school, bringing new and innovative ideas for learning into the classroom. He has taught with class sets of iPod Touches and iPads, and has seen some amazing developments in blending mobile learning with engaging student activities. His newest learning focus is the development and implementation of virtual learning environments and educational gaming, having received a technology grant to explore this emerging field. Derek is excited to bring even more experience and research in mobile learning back to Mobile after his appearance last year at this powerful event!
    2. Derek’s Mobile 2012 sessions will include: Creating and Sustaining Effective Leadership in Digital Learning, The Educational Implications of App Innovations, and The Paperless Classroom: Tools and Processes for True Digital Learning.


Stay tuned for updates to our Mobile Learning Speaker Series. Hoping to get 5-7 more added to the offerings.

03 Apr 2012
Comments: 2

Thanks 4 the Support

Hot Apps 4 HOTS has exceeded 6,000 downloads in the iBookstore. Yolanda and I want to thank all of you who downloaded the book and have offered your support in word of mouth and tweets.

Hot Apps 4 HOTS: FREE ePub Available in iBooks


A special thanks to those who blogged about the resource and reviewed it: 

  1. Free Technology for Teachers: Hot Apps for Higher Order Thinking and From Ideas to iBooks – Great Advice
  2. Apps in Education: Hot Apps 4 HOTS and Jackpot: iPad Lessons
  3. Just iPadding Along: Hot Apps 4 HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills)
  4. Learning in Hand: Guide to Using Free Apps to Support Higher Order Thinking Skills
  5. Inquisitive Dog: Fresh Ideas from TCEA
  6. iDevice in the Mountains: Must Have ePub for iPads in the Classroom


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