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by Ashley Wainwright, Secure Edge Networks

Since their release in April of 2010, Apple’s iPads have taken the US by storm. iPads have swept through almost every industry, especially education. Apple is pushing for iPad use in education, and several schools across the US have taken up the charge. The proliferation of iPads in the classroom will only keep accelerating. With these powerful mobile devices come a lot of possible benefits for educators and students alike. We all know iPads are exciting and there is a plethora of engaging apps for them out there, but do they actually improve education?

There have been many interesting studies done about iPads in the classroom and the effects on both students and teachers. I’ve pulled together a list of various study results regarding iPads in the classroom below. Check out just how much of an influence studies show iPads in the classroom are having on education.

Get all the details, CLICK HERE

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Google docs has transformed the writing instruction of the classes I teach. Prior to our school’s adoption of Google Aps, I gave significant feedback on the margins of student papers. I also used the comment boxes in Pages or MSWord when my students began to hand in their papers electronically via email. I liked the freedom that the infinite space of the comment box gave me. This space enabled me to rework students sentences and to specifically and directly target individual words and sentences. It did take a bit longer as I found myself giving more feedback, but ultimately I liked the improvements I saw in my students writing as a result of the increase in comments I was able to given them.

Read the full story, CLICK HERE

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Two surveys released Thursday show that educators believe technology is changing the way students learn. Among other things, teachers say they have to entertain students with more flexible teaching styles — as well as be educators. While many teachers who were surveyed said technology has led to more distracted students, other teachers added that they believe technology can be harnessed as an educational tool.

Click here to read the full story.

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Ok this is just darn useful.  My friend Glen, from History Tech shared this resource on his blog today, wow, I can really see the potential.  I have installed the add-on for Firefox, but it works with Chrome and Safari as well.  If you are doing lots of research on the internet, this just might be useful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Teachers and students can use Gooru to search for rich collections of multimedia resources, digital textbooks, videos,
games and quizzes created by educators in the Gooru community.

Gooru is free (of cost and ads) and developed by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to honor the
human right to education.

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The Spartacus Educational website provides a series of free history encyclopaedias. Entries usually include a narrative, illustrations and primary sources. The text within each entry is linked to other relevant pages in the encyclopaedia. In this way it is possible to research individual people and events in great detail. The sources are also hyper-linked so the student is able to find out about the writer, artist, newspaper and organization that produced the material.
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/

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Apple began its full assault on education when it launched the iPad a few years ago. The iPad offers students apps and books that are used in the classroom to help students raise their test scores. While it is still on the way to seeing a larger adoption, Apple also introduced iBooks in January to help more in education, but how effective is the iPad in student learning?

To put some numbers behind the education work Apple is doing, The Loop profiled a report based off a study done throughout a Maine school district that indicated the iPad is improving kindergartner’s literacy scores.

Read the full story, CLICK HERE

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You know from experience that when you enjoy a subject, learning about that subject is easier, more fun, and you retain the information longer. Getting kids to enjoy learning is more productive to education efforts than spending more money, lengthening school days, you name it. This is the reason many educators are excited about the possibilities inherent to the iPad. More than 600 school districts in America have brought iPads into the classroom. Had they waited a bit longer, they could have taken advantage of studies like these to know whether the iPad movement is the wave of the future of education, or a waste of valuable resources.

Read the Full Story, CLICK HERE

 

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Web research on the iPad using Evernote and Skitch (how-to)

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Summary: The iPad is a great tool for doing web research, especially when used with Evernote and Skitch. Here is how I do it on a daily basis.

My work involves frequent research on the web, and I am doing more of that on the iPad than ever before. This is mainly due to two apps that make capturing information as easy as tapping on the screen. The two apps, Evernote and Skitch, work well together since both of them are now produced by the Evernote Corp.

Read the full story, CLICK HERE

Express yourself with fewer words, emails and meetings…with Skitch for iPad! Use shapes, arrows, sketches and text annotation to get your point across fast. Mark up photos, screenshots, maps, and webpages then share them with anyone you like.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/skitch-for-ipad/id490505997?mt=8

 

Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote/id281796108?mt=8

 

 

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http://zomobo.com/

What is Zomobo?
In short: It’s a Real-time Encyclopedia, where you can enter a topic title and instantly get related digital contents from multiple sources (e.g. Wikipedia, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Books, Newspapers, Magazines) all at once.

A bit more explained: Zomobo is a web application structured thematically around topics, like in an encyclopedia, enhanced with a set of features and interactive functions. It integrates contents loaded from different online sources under one single interface, providing a wide spectrum of digital contents and up-to-the-minute data. For every valid topic, Zomobo presents a list of modules with content loaded in real-time from multiple web services, categorized by media type or data source. By jumping modules, you’ll find fresh data and digital media from Newspapers, Magazines, Blogs, Books, Wikipedia, Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Social Answers and additional online resources

Why use Zomobo?
Zomobo aims to simplify the access to information and content stored in different sites, reducing the time it takes to find relevant and fresh information on the internet.

  • Access the freshest information and multimedia content about almost any subject, person, place or event in one single place.
  • Complete research tasks quickly and easily.
  • Get a multi-perspective vision and real-time context for every topic.
  • Eliminate the need to visit different online resurces separately.
  • Obtain new information each day – even if you are looking at the same article.
  • Visualize multimedia and social-media content related to every topic.
  • Embrace a didactic, intuitive, holistic approach to learning.
  • Discover new, relevant content about your favorite topics and interests.
  • Zomobo offers a fun and engaging learning experience.
  • Topics research is moving from being “stateless” to being very much in the here and now

What is NOT Zomobo?
Zomobo is not a Search Engine: Zomobo provides content only for specific topics such as concepts, subjects, personalities, events, places, companies, products, etc., but not for broader, unspecific searches.

Examples of valid topics (that are good for you to look for on Zomobo)
New Media   |   Cloud Computing   |   Sao Paulo   |   Mark Zuckerberg   |   Rafael Nadal   |   iPhone 5   |   Greenpeace   |   World War II   |   William Shakespeare   |   Barenaked Ladies

Examples of broader searches (that you should better search for on Google, Bing, etc.)
‘coldplay lyrics’   |   ‘apartments in chicago’   |   ‘download iphone apps’   |   ‘paris hotels prices’

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Suppose someone showed you a novel gadget and told you, “Here’s how it works,” while demonstrating a single function, such as pushing a button. What would you do when they handed it to you?

You’d probably push the button. But what if the gadget had other functions? Would it occur to you to search for them, if your teacher hadn’t alluded to their existence?

Maybe, maybe not. It turns out that there is a “double-edged sword” to pedagogy: Explicit instruction makes children less likely to engage in spontaneous exploration and discovery. A study by MIT researchers and colleagues compared the behavior of children given a novel toy under four different conditions, finding that children expressly taught one of its functions played with the toy for less time and discovered fewer things to do with it than children in the other three scenarios.

READ the full story, CLICK HERE

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Written by Jonathan D. Becker, J.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University, with Cherise A. Hodge, M.Ed. and Mary W. Sepelyak, M.Ed. Dr. Becker is an expert researcher in achievement and equity effects of educational technology and curriculum development.

Special thanks to Sylvia Martinez for sharing this on her GenerationYES Blog.

Assessing Technology Literacy: The Case for an Authentic, Project-Based Learning Approach (PDF)

This whitepaper takes a comprehensive look at the research, policies, and practices of technology literacy in K-12 settings in the United States. It builds a research-based case for the central importance of “doing” as part of technology literacy, meaning more than just being able to answer canned questions on a test. It also explores the current approaches to develop meaningful assessment of student technology literacy at a national, state, and local level.

Where “doing” is central to students gaining technological literacy, traditional assessments will not work; technological literacy must be assessed in ways that are more authentic.

Building on this definition, the whitepaper connects project-based learning and constructivism, which both hold “doing” as central to learning, as the only authentic way to assess technology literacy.

True project-based assessment is the only way to properly assess technological literacy.

Finally, it examines our TechYES Student Technology Literacy Certification program in this light.

A review of existing technology literacy models and assessment shows that the TechYES technology certification program, developed and implemented by the Generation YES Corporation using research-based practices, is designed to provide educators a way to allow students to participate in authentic, project-based learning activities that reflect essential digital literacies. The TechYES program includes an excellent, authentic, project-based method for assessing student technology literacy and helps state and local education agencies satisfy the Title II, Part D expectations for technology literacy by the eighth grade.

This whitepaper can be linked to from our Generation YES Free Resources page, or downloaded as a PDF from this link.

Sylvia

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A.nnotate is an online annotation, collaboration and indexing system for documents and images, supporting PDF and MS Office formats. Instead of emailing different versions of a document back and forth you can now all comment on a single read-only copy online. Unlike online word processors, the document is displayed in high quality with fonts and layout just like the printed version. It is easy to use and runs in all common web browsers, with no software or plugins to install.

Hosted solutions are available for individuals and workgroups. For enterprise users the full system is available for local installation. Special discounts apply for educational use. A.nnotate technology can also be used to enhance existing document and content management systems with high quality online document viewing, annotation and collaboration facilities.

The free and subscription services are used by thousands of small businesses, researchers, students, designers and web developers. Enterprise customers include leading organizations in consultancy, finance, healthcare, insurance, universities, pharmaceuticals, publishing and the public sector.