Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Appy" Hour with Curtis Teachers

We had a lot of fun in the library this week during our first "Appy" hour, sharing our favorite apps to use with students & to help us be more efficient!

After snack plates were filled & sodas poured, we were ready to get started. The first app we looked at was Aurasma, which is an augmented reality app. After showing the teachers the auras in the $1 and $20 bills, we talked about how we could use this app with students.  Ideas brought up were adding it to a book review or a report and using it with projects displayed for Open House.  We are just at the beginning stages of learning about augmented reality, but several teachers are interested in learning more about this and how they can use it in their classrooms.

The free ColarMix app was also brought up and we looked out how we could use this with our upcoming Dot Day Celebration.  Fablevision has shared a special Dot Day sheet that can be used with the ColarMix app. When the page is scanned into the app, the decorated dot becomes 3-D.

One of my favorite parts of the time we spent together was when teachers started sharing some of their apps and how they are using them in the classroom.  Two teachers shared student examples of how they use Educreations with their class. Educreations is an app that turns your iPad into a white board. You can work with photos or text and then students can use their finger to write on top of the object. One teacher had used it with students while working on multiplication and another teacher had students correct sentences using the app, having them explain their corrections as they went along.


Another app which teachers felt they could use in the classroom is Photocard. From the website: "Bill Atkinson PhotoCard is a free app available from the iTunes App store, that allows you to create custom postcards using Bill's nature photos or your own personal photos, then send them by email or postal mail from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch." You can also save it to your photo stream. Ideas for using this app were for book projects in reading, state or country projects in social studies, or animal projects in science. 
You can get more information, as well as a helpful how-to video on Bill Atkinson's website.
We also talked about Evernote, to help us be more efficient while gathering data and give us a place to organize that data. Teachers can create a folder for each student, organize information on that student and have data to share at meetings or ARDs, instead of carrying bulky binders full of student data.
Here is a helpful video from the Evernote website explaining the many uses of Evernote!
Our first "appy" hour was fun and informative!  Our next get together, on September 24th, will focus on Twitter and creating our PLN's! 
What is your favorite app for your classroom? 
Happy reading & learning!
Shawna Ford

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