Back from Maternity Leave

Monday, December 8, 2014 1 comment
Hi everyone I am back from Maternity leave and will start blogging again. I look forward to sharing and learning from each of you again. Have an amazing week!

Learning with Technology...A Reflection

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 1 comment

Describe the technology you explored and how you intend to use it in your course.  If you created anything with the tool while exploring its potential, provide us with a link (if the creation is online) or attach the product you created with the tool.  If you just practiced, but didn't create anything then share your screen shots (or phone cam images) of your practice.  

I chose to explore ThingLink. ThingLink is the leading platform for creating interactive images. ThingLink enables you to see your images come alive with video, text, images, music and more.

I intend to use this for introductions, important documents, and anything that I think would be enhanced by using this tool. I think this would be a great tool for my students to use as they complete assignments for the course.

Make sure to hover over the images to have the interactive experience begin. smile

Here is a link to one I created for the SAMR Model:

Also see below:

Here is one I created for next weeks Professional Learning:

I also created these for my elementary and secondary teacher friends:

Describe how the use of this tool will support presence and interactions in your course and how it helps address your course objectives. 

This tool can be updated as you see fit, so you can continually be present in your images and what you want them to say. ThingLink is a living tool that is ever changing to meet the objectives of your course. It is not your standard image that you look at once and move on. There are different areas on the image that require a person to interact. It may be through text, links, or video.
This tool addresses the objectives of my course by helping students learn and plan great active learning activities based on the SAMR Model approach.

Tell us about your experiences with the tool - was it easy to learn?  Engaging?  Useful? 

The tool was very easy to learn. You upload and image and then tag away by clicking anywhere on the image. There is also a good amount of help documentation for ThingLink. It was very engaging as I enjoyed using the tool and creating what would work best for me. As I created what I wanted using the tool I started to get more ideas of how I could use it in my course. Once you get started, the ideas start flowing. I found this tool to be very useful, interactive, productive, and technology driven.

Another great thing about ThingLink is that it tracks clicks on your images. You get great stats on how many people are utilizing what you created.

Creating Meaningful and Visually Appealing Slides

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 No comments
Another great post from EdShelf! I love this site!

Preparing slides that are both meaningful and visually appealing has gotten a lot easier thanks to technology. Whether it is for your classroom, a departmental talk, or a conference presentation, here are resources to help craft beautiful slides.
  • Slidebean - Web presentation software that lets you create beautiful slide design in seconds. SPONSORED LINK
  • IdeaStorm - Before starting, you need a solid outline. Use this free iPad app for a visual brainstorming session.
  • Veezzle - When you are ready to start filling in your slides, this image search service helps you find royalty-free stock photos.
  • The Noun Project - For professionally-designed icons, this resource has thousands of icons for thousands of nouns.
  • Pic Collage - Put images and icons you've found into a collage with this mobile app for ideation or your presentation.
  • Flipagram - Or turn those images and icons into a slideshow with narration or music to liven up your presentation a notch.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf

7 Characteristics of a Digital Competent Teacher...Are you a DCT?

Monday, June 9, 2014 No comments
As I was checking my feeds today on Hoot Suite I noticed this great tweet about Digitally Competent Teachers. I really enjoyed the info graphic and thought it provided valuable information. Therefore, I had to share with my readers = )

It is important to note that these are characteristics and not skills. 

I want to thank Daily Genius for this great info graphic.

Here is a summary of these 7 characteristics:
  • You can integrate digital skills into everyday life
  • You have a balanced attitude
  • You are open to using and trying new stuff
  • You are a digital communicator
  • You know how to do a digital assessment
  • You understand and respect privacy
  • You are a digital citizen
Are you a digital competent teacher? I would love to know your feedback.

27 Things To Do When Students Aren’t Engaged

Thursday, May 29, 2014 No comments

I love this infographic on "27 Things To Do When Students Aren’t Engaged". I think is a great list for ideas on how to get your students focused and motivated. I am also a huge fan of Mia MacKeekin as I think her resources are phenominal. She always seems to post things I am thinking about = )

Below is just one of the many great resources she provides FREE to educators.

EdShelf..Applications that are Reviewed by Educators to Save you Time!!

Monday, May 26, 2014 No comments

One of my go to sites to find great educational resources is EdShelf. I get the data and feedback I need to see if a site is worth my time, my teachers time, and my students time. I have been using EdShelf for about 6 months now and I am very pleased. I also like to give input on the different applications I use as well. Pay it Forward = )

I love that you can build your own shelf of applications for your specific content or topic. This site is well worth your time!!

Here is a great post from EdShelf for today that I wanted to share with you.

From elementary school to college, students of all ages have a growing pool of educational tools available to them. Here are a set of tools you might not be aware of, and have been recommended by students to their teachers.
  • StudyRoom - Form online study groups to connect with classmates, get help on homework, share notes and get better grades. 

  • ClassOwl - A student planner that also tracks how long assignments should take, based on teacher estimates and classmate feedback.

  • CAST Science Writer - This free website helps students write science or lab reports using scaffolds for each step of the writing process.

  • Easy Blog Jr - An iOS app designed so early childhood to elementary school students have an easy way to publish a online journal.

Want more? Check out these collections of tools created by members like you.

  • Class Activities - Curated by middle school world history teacher Charsta Simmons.

Enjoy these great tools for educators!

- Mike Lee, Co-founder of edshelf

Videos for Professional Development

Saturday, May 24, 2014 No comments

As I was researching today I came across a new site that I have really enjoyed. It is called Moving at the Speed of Creativity. I love the site and the resources provided.

I really liked the section on Videos for PD. The list has some very important topics as educators we should be aware of and on the top of our game with.

Make sure to check out their site Moving at the Speed of Creativity.

The following are links to educational videos I use for professional development workshops and presentations with teachers, students and parents. If you know of other videos that should be included in this list, please add a link as a comment to this page. Some of these videos are hosted on YouTube, TeacherTube, or other sites as embedded Flash media – Tips for downloading offline copies of Flash videos are also available. Also be sure to check out Alex Couros’ post, “90+ Videos for Tech. & Media Literacy.” If you’re interested in inviting me to present for your organization, please use the contact form on my “Speaking” page.
Schools Need to Change:
  1. It’s Time for a New Kind Of University – Kaplan Univ advertisement
  2. No Future Left Behind – Suffern Middle School, New York, USA
  3. Learning to Change, Changing to Learn – Kid’s Tech (COSN / Pearson)
  4. Expect Differentiation – Australian Leadership Video (Marco Torres)
  5. 21st Century Schools (Dr. Stephen Heppell)
  6. A Vision of Students Today (Michael Wesch)
  7. Did You Know 2.0 (Karl Fisch)
  8. Pay Attention (Darren Draper)
  9. Digital Students @ Analog Schools (Students of Marco Torres)
  10. Teacher Movie (Marco Torres)
  11. Do Schools Kill Creativity? (Sir Ken Robinson)
  12. Urban Academy: Where Testing Is Anything But Standard (EduTopia)
  13. Administrator Movie (Wesley Fryer)
  14. Strive to Engage not Enthrall (Wesley Fryer)
Web 2.0
  1. The Web is Using/Us (Michael Wesch)
  2. Information Re/Evolution (Michael Wesch)
  3. Educational Podcasting in Woodland Park, Colorado (Lecturecasting / Coursecasting)
  4. Blogs in the Classroom (Will Richardson, made by Intel for NECC 2004)
  5. Perspectives on Classroom Blogging (Wesley Fryer)
  6. RSS in Plain English (Common Craft)
  7. Wikis in Plain English (Common Craft)
  8. Social Bookmarking in Plain English (Common Craft)
  9. Google Documents in Plain English (Common Craft) – On BlipTV also
  10. District Policies Regarding Blogs and Wikis (YouTube user gfrancomtube)
  11. Blogs and the Juvenile Delinquent (YouTube user gfrancomtube)
  1. Intel’s “Sponsors of Tomorrow” advertisement (Our rock stars aren’t like your rock stars)
  2. Joe’s Non-Netbook (a student has cognitive dissonance using a non-hyperlinked textbook)
  3. The Internet Has Crashed (The Onion Spoof video)
  4. Introducing the Book
  5. Father Guido Sarducci’s Five Minute University (Saturday Night Live Skit)
  6. Walkthroughs and Learning Objectives
Student-created Digital Storytelling Examples
  1. SFETT (Students of Marco Torres)
  2. MabryOnline Podcasts (Students of Mabry Middle School, Cobb County, GA)
  3. The Networked Student (Wendy Drexler)
  4. UthTV Media Gallery
  5. Apple Education iLife Award Winners
  6. Center for Digital Storytelling Examples (not all made by youth, however)
  7. First and Second Grade Films (Mr. Needleman’s Classroom)
Cyberbullying Prevention, Internet Safety, Safe Online Social Networking
  1. Digital Dossier (Encouragement to think about digital footprints)
  2. Digital Footprints – Your New First Impression
  3. A Common Sense Approach to Internet Safety (Common Sense Media and Google)
  4. Think Before You Post (Ad-Council Advertisement) – Also on TeacherTube
  5. Delete Cyberbullying (Ad-Council Advertisement)
  6. Ad-Council Advertisement (kitchen table conversation)
  7. Hero in the Hallway (story of students banding together to stop bullying)
  8. Growing Up Online (PBS FRONTLINE special from January 2008)
  9. Predator Movie (Video created by a Utah student and his principal to warn about online and F2F stranger danger)
  10. Social Networking: What Parents Need to Know (Broward Co, Florida Sheriff’s office)
  11. The Ryan Halligan story (click “video” in sidebar)
  12. Social Networking in Plain English (Common Craft)
  13. For Parents: Why do Teens Use Social Networking Sites (YouTube student video)
Creative Commons / Copyright / Fair Use
  1. Get Creative (my favorite)
  2. The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy (also available from Temple Univ)
  3. Other Creative Commons Videos
Additional resources and links used in my professional development workshops and presentations are available on Karen Montgomery’s excellent PD resources are also available on her wiki “Thinking Machine.”

Friday FREE APPS 5/23 Android and Apple

Friday, May 23, 2014 No comments
Here is a great list of APPS that are FREE today Friday, May 23, 2014


Fully Free App Friday for May 23, 2014 (best free Android kids apps)

It's Fully Free App Friday time again! As usual, we have a range of apps for fun and education, all completely cost free and ad free. This week's selection includes FurReal, Super Duper, Pilo, Beverly Cleary, Max Steel, along with apps to learn French, to translate text, to teach vocabulary, to record nature and a story about cooking noodles. My boys love theMax Steel app, but my daughters love French Express andTeaching Adrien. Which app will be your child's favourite?

** Please note ** Pricing and dates are correct at the time of publishing. We endeavour to only include apps that have no in-app purchases and no advertising. Only the app's developer can control when an app is free.**

FurReal Friends Get Up & GoGo My Walkin' Pup
You can create tasty meals for your pet, give her a bubbly bath, customize her look, and throw toys and treats for her to fetch. She’ll respond to what you do in the app by barking, sitting, wagging her tail, and much more! To see all of the ways she reacts, connect your Walking Pup plush pet to the app. You don’t have to own the Get Up & GoGo plush pet to have lots of fun playing – all in-game content can be accessed through play. 

Available on Amazon Appstore          
Get it on Google Play

French Express

Learn dozens of useful French words and phrases. Topics include Basics, Family, Shopping and more! The audio was recorded by a native French speaker, so you can practice your pronunciation to make it perfect! This App is ad-free.

Available on Amazon Appstore          
Get it on Google Play

Teaching Adrien for Tablet

Teaching Adrien is a fun and easy coloring game with over 130 words and pictures for learning for all age groups. Color, paint, and decorate with a range of stamps to create your own artwork! Begin learning new words while enjoying the music, coloring, and pronunciations.

Get it on Google Play

Super Duper Age Calculator

Super Duper Age Calculator allows you to choose both the birth date and test date to calculate chronological ages quickly and accurately. The app is completely ad-free and easy to use.

Available on Amazon Appstore          
Get it on Google Play

Pilo3:An Interactive Children's Story Book-3D Animation-Cooking Game
Pilo is smart content that is a pure original creation in Korea. Experience an amazing world of imagination and Pilo, a warm pillow doll, in your dream every night. 3D animations of friends in the dream world and interactive effects suitable for various stories will provide the whole family with pleasant memories. 

Available on Amazon Appstore          
Get it on Google Play

Word Lens Translator
Instantly translate printed words with your phone’s camera! Word Lens gives you translation on the go:
- NO NETWORK required - results appear immediately on your video screen when you need it, anywhere in the world.
- Easy to use, like the regular camera
- Look up translations by typing them in, or clicking on a word.

Get it on Google Play

Noodles From Scratch (Kindle Tablet Edition)

When Sylvia Sheep, Petra Pelican, Kevin Crocodile, and Hilda Hippo team up in the kitchen to make lunch, each cook's special culinary talent is put into hilarious use. They make a big batch of noodles from scratch!

Available on Amazon Appstore

Beverly Cleary Books
Visit the bookshelf to mark the books you’ve read; take the character quizzes to find out if you’re most like Beezus or Ramona or Otis or Henry; explore the interactive neighborhood map; watch the Ramona and Beezus movie featurette; read an exclusive original short story by Beverly Cleary; get D.E.A.R. resources for your classroom; and so much more.

Available on Amazon Appstore          
Get it on Google Play


The iNaturalist Android app helps you upload citizen science observations of plants and animals to, an online community for naturalists. You can
* record observations with photos and GPS locations
* view nearby photos on a map
* keep track of updates from people you follow on

Get it on Google Play

Max Steel Ultralink Invasion

The alien Ultralinks have invaded Earth and they are swarming in your hometown! When you launch the Ultralink Invasion app, your phone or tablet becomes the latest N-Tek battle gear. Now you can fight the Ultralinks in your house, your school, your neighborhood, and everywhere you go!

Get it on Google Play

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FREE APP FRIDAY is sponsored by Princess Draw & Color
Not an ordinary coloring book but a real painting book with new and original functions! Children can challenge their creativity while painting 18 wonderful and unique princesses or draw freely in their digital personal sketchbook: a whole painting book in their pockets for hours of fun. Children live in a world made of bridges from fantasy to reality. This app focuses on their imagination and their artistic inspiration.
Reduced from $1.99 to FREE
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** Please note ** Not all of the apps listed here are the level of quality we would expect for one of our Good Free Apps of the Day and we have not reviewed them or tested them extensively unless noted.  Pricing and dates are correct at the time of publishing.  Some apps may contain in-app purchases and/or advertising. Only the app's developer can control when an app is free.**

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Hanna & Henri 
iPad/iPhone - $4.99 to FREE
In this interactive children's book app your child gets to meet best friends Henri and Hanna. It is Hanna's birthday and Henri needs to go to the toy store to get her a present before it is time to go to the party. 
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Sentence Builder for Special Needs Children 
iPad only - $4.99 to FREE
The app includes three different levels. The first level includes the sentences with simple structures. The sentences in level two are more complicated. The level three, we includes the extra words to reinforce the grammar, punctuations, vocabularies, etc.
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SMART Adventures Mission Math
iPad only - $4.99 to FREE
S.M.A.R.T. – the Science Math and Radical Technology Agency - needs your help! The space station has been sabotaged, and the astronauts are desperately trying to keep things working. They need you to use your math skills to repair the science labs and discover who sabotaged the space station.
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Bobbee's Afraid of the Dark
iPad/iPhone - $0.99 to FREE
Bobbee Bear’s afraid of the dark is the perfect bedtime story. The read and/or listen story takes your child into the world of Bobbee Bear and his friends as he embarks on his journey to conquer his fear of the dark.
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Draw With Us! — Stickers, Photos, Pencils & Fun for Kids
iPad/iPhone - $2.99 to FREE
"Draw With Us" is a drawing & creativity app specially built for children. Kids can use different brushes, textures & colors to create their own amazing artworks. Insert or take photos and create funny faces. "Draw With Us!" contains 100s of free stickers from our successful apps "Nighty Night", "Little Fox - Music Box" and many more.
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First Grade and Second Grade Antonyms and Synonyms
iPad/iPhone - $3.99 to FREE
First Grade and Second Grade Antonyms and Synonyms is a fun educational game for children to learn antonyms and synonyms, and improve their vocabularies. The app includes four different activities - flash card, matching game, memory game and sentences.
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Off to bed, boys and girls!
iPad/iPhone - $2.99 to FREE
Enjoy this unique experience with your children, a celebration of the imagination with attractive and innovative interactive scenes. It’s bedtime for our young friend. Put him or her to bed and see how, once the lights go out, fantasy takes over in dreamland.
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Princess Draw & Color 
iPad/iPhone - $1.99 to FREE
Children have fun using different colors or mixing them as real painters do while choosing different painting techniques and several brush strokes. Painting together is also a great bonding experience for adults and children. Parents can show their kids how to become an Impressionist painter.
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iPad only - $1.99 to FREE
A girl named Maya needs help! When she went to school today, her classmates teased and bullied her about her new glasses. Maya turns to Greg and the Neon Tiki Tribe to learn what she can do to prevent bullying. Join Mowah and Tia as they help Maya!
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What's My Reading Age?
iPad/iPhone - $0.99 to FREE
How good is your reading?
Identifies a reading age between 5-15 years.
Find out what you need to learn to improve.
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Beach Battle 
iPad only - $1.99 to FREE
Tiki Beach Battle helps kids learn about the importance of recycling and about the dangers of pollution. During a trip to the beach, the tikis discover the ocean water turning an unusual dark color. Zeke discovers someone has been dumping trash in the water! Not only that, but he meets some turtles that have soda rings caught around their shells.
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Night and Day by BabyBus
iPad/iPhone - $1.99 to FREE
Choose between night and day and look for the changes all around you! What happens to the sun and the moon? Which animals sleep at night, and which ones become active? And how to make the flowers grow? The fun and interactive design of this app teaches kids about the changes between night and day and encourages their curiosity about nature!
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King of Logic by BabyBus
iPad/iPhone - $0.99 to FREE
Can you see the Panda Kiki who is stranding on the stage? Can you tell what is Kiki going to do? I believe you are all curious, so let’s follow Kiki to take an adventure!
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BoomKLAKers — Feel the Beat with Animated Dancing Monsters
iPad/iPhone - $1.99 to FREE
The first app that shows kids how to SEE and FEEL dance! Perfect for toddlers (ages 1-5). Chosen as "one of the most interesting and remarkable" new kids apps of 2014, BoomKLAKers teaches toddlers to associate musical beats with movement, simply through Boom KLAK, Boom Boom KLAK.
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Teach me to read — Ferocius & Meows Cat, an Educational Montessori Tool with Activities and Books
iPad only - $2.99 to FREE
“Teach Me to Read” is a tool created for progressive reading practice by kids ages 5 to 7.
•3 difficulty levels and reading comprehension activities tailored to each level.
•3 font types: Stick, School and Printing Press.
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iPad/iPhone - $2.99 to FREE
Leonard is a small kid with a giant imagination. When he moves from the city to the country, he has a problem to solve: where can he find new friends? Join him as he searches everywhere he can think of, from outer space to his sister’s tea party.
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Doodle Fun for Girls — Draw Play & Color
iPad/iPhone - $1.99 to FREE
Fairies, princesses, mermaids, palaces, ball gowns and lots lots more make this Doodle Fun game a great game for girls. Each page presents the opportunity to open the mind to creativity by completing pictures with prompts such as “Doodle the fairies magic spell”, “Doodle a dream castle for the princess”
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Suee and the Shadow Pt 1 (rated 9+ years)
iPad/iPhone - $4.99 to FREE
Suee, who never did have many friends to begin with (by choice, she insists) suddenly has to contend with a most unexpected companion: her shadow, who talks too much and has a mind of its own.
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Kids' schedule & Kids' todo list
iPad only - $1.99 to FREE
Kids' schedule & to-do list app provide some creative features for kids. This app can let kids to arrange their schedule around the clock and kids can record a message for each task, this will help kids to understand the passing of time.
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Touch Follow Alphabet
iPad/iPhone - $0.99 to FREE
A simple App to allow your child to interact with different shapes using touch. I wrote this for my son who was 18 months old. It's primarily aimed at children under 5 years old. Hopefully you and your child enjoy it too :)
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ABCs Song
iPhone/2x iPad - $0.99 to FREE
A fun new way to learn the alphabet in English, Spanish, and German! Sing along with the ABCs Song in both slow and fast speeds. It's safe and it's simple. We hope you like it!
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iPad only - $1.99 to FREE
Emotional intelligence basics - facial expressions. EI is now considered to be a better measurement for predicting success in life than traditional Intelligence. How does your face look when you feel basic emotions? This app helps you become an expert.
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YoWindow Weather 
iPad/iPhone - $2.99 to FREE
YoWindow is a unique new weather app. The magic of YoWindow is a living landscape that reflects your actual weather. For instance, if it's raining - it rains in YoWindow.The sunset and the sunrise in YoWindow happens at exactly the same time as in real life. But the great thing is you can scroll the time forward. 
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Three Little Pigs — A Play HD
iPad only - $4.99 to FREE
“Three Little Pigs – A Play” is a totally interactive story for ages four and up. Starring Clara, Clarence Bear and friends (featured in the popular “1-2 Peekaboo” book app), this app offers a fresh spin on the classic fairy tale of the “Three Little Pigs” and emphasizes the lesson of the original story: “Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.”
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Play With Tales: Puss in Boots
iPad/iPhone - FREE
Children love playing with tales' characters!
Enter the world of the classic story of Puss in Boots with amazing puzzles, challenging memory games and wonderful original coloring pages.
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Bloxy World. Bricks For Kids 
iPad/iPhone - FREE app with in-app purchase to buy all bricks reduced from $8.99 to FREE
Bloxy World is an open-ended, creative app and community for kids. It allows complete creative control of the 3D world, encourages creativity, stimulates children imagination and develops their curiosity.
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