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  • Scott 6:05 pm on October 4, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , education, , iOS,   

    Rather than typing a comment to discuss and review a few of my favourite apps, I thought I’d post a short screen recording and chat about them:  http://youtu.be/yoiaoihTPrw?hd=1 The apps discussed are: Thicket – A free interactive gesture based audio creation app. 123D Sculpt – A free 3D sculpting app. Leafsnap – A free interactive field […]

    Continue reading iOS Edu Apps Worth Checking Out Posted in: Week 05:
    • teacherben 7:09 pm on October 4, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Nice list. The Autodesk 123D apps are great. There are desktop version for some of those too, but it’s nice to see some good content creation tools finally coming to these handheld devices to challenge the notion that they are only really consumption devices. I only just read about move the turtle this morning from the Geekdad blog on Wired. I wish I had an iPad to try it on (still waiting for my budget stuff to get processed:(

      Here’s a list of IOS apps for education that another tech guy in my school sent around a couple weeks ago. There are some good things on it:


      • stammik 11:32 am on October 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I’m a big fan of the Geekdad blog as well, along with Wired in general, for tech news. Flipboard and Zite are my picks for Apps that aggregate news feeds, to try and keep up on these rapidly changing topics. Truth be told however, my teenage students are my best resource – I learn so much from them!

    • Jonathan 7:52 pm on October 4, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Just bought Move the Turtle and I’m loving it! I’ll have to spend more time on it– might bring it into the iPads at school 🙂 I like the programs that teacher basics of computer programming. Teaches so many different concepts while trying to learn to program. Scratch is a good example of this for sure.

      Thanks for the list.

    • kstackhouse 11:07 am on October 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is great! Thank you for sharing. I think that the tree id app is great. When I was little my Dad asked if I could name the trees we saw while driving….”Of course I can, ” I replied. “Bob, Mark, Jessie, ….” He got a good laugh over that. I wasn’t trying to be funny i didn’t know what they were. Maybe this will help. 🙂

    • sophiabb 7:02 pm on October 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Love the list. I will be purchasing “Move the Turtle”. Let’s see what my kids and I can come up with.

    • melissaayers 5:35 am on October 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great format/video for posting your thoughts thanks Scott!

    • Lisa Nevoral 2:26 pm on October 6, 2012 | Log in to Reply


      Great idea to use a YouTube video as your response. Very original and awesome use of technology!

      To add to Scott’s comments, I will review a couple more of the apps that were suggested this week by the Apps OER team.

      Periodic Table App – At first I thought this app was too simplistic, but then I thought about what it supposed to do. It is to teach it’s users about the periodic table. There were some great features such as a quiz on naming elements, abbreviations of elements, and atomic #s. As well, there was a description of each element as well as a sound byte of each element name. There was a video chemistry section that explained more information than what would be found on the periodic table. What I would like to see as a link or add on that helps learners in naming compounds and formulas. Maybe I should make an app for that…

      RealCalc – I really liked this calculator app. Student’s don’t need to go out and buy another instrument (ie. calculator) since they can use this on their IPhones, IPads, Androids, etc… I guess the next question is if teachers will allow them to be in the classrooms. I have had many debates with colleagues about students being allowed to bring mobile devices into the classroom. This is at the middle school level.


    • Ranvir 7:47 am on October 8, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Scott, i really liked the short and snappy review of the educational apps you showed in the video. I am planning on using some of these for my 8 yr old to supplement classroom education. i am going to try LeafSnap today as that is an excellent example of how you can use something like google goggles to learn nature. finally, thanks for sharing the ipad apps list as it seems to be invaluable resource as well.

    • stammik 5:03 pm on October 9, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for your positive feedback Ranvir!

  • sophiabb 5:32 pm on September 30, 2012
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    Tags: Blackboard Inc, education, Expertise, Innovator, Michael Chasen, Online platforms, Passion, training   

    Michael Chasen is the president and chief executive officer for Blackboard Inc.  He and Matthew Pittinsky founded Blackboard in 1997. According to Blackboard Inc., “his expertise managing fast growth Internet software companies coupled with a passion to enhance education through technology has been critical to Blackboard’s success.” Chasen is recognized as an innovator. Among his many awards […]

    Continue reading Michael Chasen, Innovator and Founder of Blackboard Inc. Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Lisa Nevoral 7:36 pm on September 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Sophia,

      Michael Chasen definitely seems to have the background (undergrad – computer science and MBA) to competently lead the Blackboard Inc. team and make the company a success. I wonder if it will ever be used at the high school or middle school levels in Canada. Although it is cost-effective, school districts may opt to use open source learning management systems like Moodle to fill the need for these technologies to save on costs. But I commend Chasen for the forethought to work closely with universities and colleges, to spread the idea of the Blackboard Inc. LMS through them.


      • sophiabb 9:37 am on October 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Lisa, good point. Although there is a cost to Moodle (server hosting, tech support) it seems to be more cost effective than Blackboard. Many schools, colleges, and companies are using Moodle as their LMS.

    • jameschen 12:19 am on October 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi sophiabb,

      I think you made a good point about the importance of Chasen’s experience at KPMG being vital to the success of his company. It seems that successful entrepreneurs in learning technology need to have enough experience in both the business sector and the field of education before starting their own companies. Knowing how to build a company’s product from scratch also seems to be another key element in the success of an entrepreneur.


      • sophiabb 9:51 am on October 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi James, great point re entrepreneurs involvement in the development from scratch. I think that entrepreneurs who are involved from scratch are more passionate and credible in their pitch delivery. Are we more inclined to say ‘yes’ to such an entrepreneur?

        • jameschen 4:03 pm on October 2, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I think as an EVA in training, I am more inclined to say ‘yes’ to an entrepreneur who has credibility and competence and a viable idea (Section 2.6). Seeing how Blackboard is gradually expanding its operations, I think its initial investors made the right decision.


    • Peggy Lawson 7:15 pm on October 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Just as an aside – I attended Blackboard’s annual conference, Blackboard World, a few years ago. Michael know’s how to throw a great party!


  • jenniferschubertubc 9:05 am on September 27, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: education, founders parade, gaggle, jeff patterson, social media   

    Gaggle – Jeff Patterson, Founder and CEO ·         Gaggle started out as a filtered, controlled email client for students and teachers alike but has grown into a full social media suite which provides students safe places to communicate and collaborate, all whilst affording them personal spaces in which to foster and express individual creativity. The […]

    Continue reading Gaggle – Jeff Patterson, Founder and CEO… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • tomwhyte1 9:53 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I find it interesting that this venture was created out of a need for email…

      Lately, when instructing my students, and introducing email, and the platform we are using to accommodate this service, most students ask – “What is email?”

      Have we held onto something, that many of our students have moved beyond? Is it important?

      Secondly, in your information about the individual and company in general, I really appreciated and found value in the fact that this is not his first venture into technology and education, but another venture based upon a need he felt existed. As I am unaware of this company, is this a for-profit or not-for-profit venture?

      • jenniferschubertubc 6:21 am on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        The way I am interpreting what they state in their FAQ’s, Gaggle is a for-profit venture which does occasionally offer free services to selected schools who cannot afford their product (by invitation only). As far as the email origins… I quite enjoy that the company recognized the need to grow and expand from that and move into social networking. I have found that they have “kept up with the times” as it were and opened themselves up to new markets and services as the demand has grown and changed.

    • Ranvir 10:00 pm on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have looked at the Gaggle website and it seems that the concept of providing a controlled, human monitored environment works great for k-12 schools who are able to get the grant funding from the government. However, I wonder how this affects the students behaviour and their web etiquette when they know that their keystrokes are being monitored. I guess this may not be much of an issue in primary grades, however in high school where students are more matured, I wonder how much is the uptake. We don’t like to be policed irrespective of our age.

      • jenniferschubertubc 6:26 am on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I’m sure this is always in the back of students’ minds… especially when they become old enough to “know better.” I’m sure genuine posting is more than likely filtered to become what they find to be more safe or to look better to teachers rather than true feelings. After all, they still have facebook, twitter and other non-policed ways to communicate outside of school. (I do wonder if students would choose to use this service for anything other than strictly school-related communication in this instance. I do like the idea for younger students to have a safe space, but I can’t help but feel that older students will duck the system so to speak in order to have more genuine interaction with friends/peers.)

  • tomwhyte1 7:45 pm on September 25, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: education, , Khan Academy   

    http://www.khanacademy.org Sal Khan, the founder and current Executive Director of The Khan Academy, holds two different bachelor degrees and two different masters degrees (which include an MBA from Harvard), which not only demonstrate his passion for learning, but also shows he is capable of innovation as well as leading a successful educational technology venture.  As […]

    Continue reading http://www.khanacademy.org Sal Khan, the… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Doug Connery 9:43 pm on September 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I saw Sal Khan as a Keynote speaker at a conference this last summer and he truly engaged me and the entire audience because of the passion that came through for his organization and his cause. It certainly made me rethink the concept of free educational materials.


      • tomwhyte1 10:08 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree, he is a very passionate and persuading speaker. However, I wonder is many people have been swayed by passion in the past? I am not saying that passion should be ignored, but we are beings that are very emotive… therefore, what might we do to recognize the passion of the presentation, but then move to a place more cognitive to assess the information.


    • manny 7:30 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom,

      Upon reading our course materials this week I was going to do a biography on Sal Khan myself but noted you post yesterday. Nevertheless I thought I would go ahead and comment on your post as I think the Khan academy is probably one of the front runners in the flipped learning concept. I have seen some of their videos and they range in quality from great illustrative examples to just a recording of a teacher on a blackboard. Some educators fear that this method of instruction is a threat to teacher employability and that eventually schools will begin to shut down. Of course this is a far fetched thought as students still need to learn how to search and decipher the vast amounts of information that are out there. Doug was lucky to have seen Sal at a conference. There is no doubt that he is passionate about his product, a key entrepreneurial skill one must possess to ensure success. I have left a link to a TED talk below in which Sals enthusiasm and passion is evident.



    • tomwhyte1 8:02 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I find it amusing, that with many new technologies, educators fear we will be replaced. Such stories can be found with the overhead projector, that min wage staffers would simply place overheads upon the surface, students would mindlessly copy down material and…poof…learning would happen. If it was that easy, there would be no schools, and education would be that simple.

      The Khan Academy allows myself as an educator to help the student when it is important, trying out the new skills they have learned, not the “download of information” otherwise known as the class lecture.


    • teacherben 9:13 pm on September 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I don’t know if you have seen his TEDtalk, but you should. It might provide you with some inspiration. His project has very humble beginnings. He was just making videos to supplement his weekly tutoring sessions with his niece. When she told him he didn’t need to come over anymore and that the videos were good enough on their own, he knew he was on to something. Personally, I’m not a big fan of all of his work. I think the idea is sound and the quality of the videos is certainly improving, but most of the videos are still excruciatingly boring. he has yet to really leverage the power of a truly interactive experience. (The new programming section is definitely a step in the right direction.) A lot of educators have (I think correctly) expressed concern that people are trying to use these videos in place of some other curriculum. They are a great supplement, but, as he points out in his TEDtalk, the whole point is that these free up the teacher to work with kids individually and in small groups to differentiate instruction based on student needs, and to give contextual tasks a more central role. The kids learn it at home and they apply it in the classroom. To what extent this is actually happening is an important question.

      • tomwhyte1 10:07 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        What I appreciate, is the Khan Academy coaching information. The overall level of detail, down to individual student responses on specific questions, provides myself as an educator a tonne of information to help make decisions on areas of growth, areas of focus, who can help and who needs help.

        And yes, the videos are not a replacement. Just another way to deliver basic information.


    • pcollins 8:10 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have used Sal’s videos when my science classes have been flipped. Although the videos can be a tad dry – they are succinct enough to engage the student at home. The Gates foundation and Google both gave significant donations to get the Khan academy off the ground. Great to see other tech companies supporting e-learning


      • tomwhyte1 10:10 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Interesting point about the “dryness” of the videos. I wonder if this is intentional… to avoid the novelty effect, or to reduce cultural items that only specific groups associate with…


    • adi 6:24 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      What I find fascinating is how many of these ventures are born, i.e. from a need. In this case it was from the need to help out a niece online; ‘Slideshare’ from one of the co-founders wanting to share his conference slides and not being able to; ‘Dropbox’, from its founder constantly forgetting his USB. How many more things could we make ventures out of if we only stopped to think ‘Hey, there´s a need here, and a possible venture!’

    • ETEC522grp8 8:37 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great discussion so far guys! I think that the point of the vanishing educator is a persistent concern. I heard in one of my Literature classes at UVic that people expressed the same level of fear when the printing press was invented and information could be widely disseminated by text. is this the same situation, or completely different? I like the idea, too, that the “dryness” of the videos could be intentional. Good food for thought.

  • jkotler 3:56 am on September 25, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: education,   

    Armie Carabet is the founder, director and CEO of ClickN KIDS Inc. He is a unique leader with extensive knowledge, understanding and capability, which he has strengthened through his experiences as a business owner, franchisor, franchise, marketing director and general manager. For more than a decade, Armie owned and operated many successful companies like TyRyMow […]

    Continue reading Armie Carabet is the founder, director a… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • Jonathan 10:57 pm on September 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      These are the type of solutions that people probably envisioned entering the 21st Century Learning. Where you able to see how some of the games were played? Were the innovative or simple games?

      We are always looking for new solutions to implement inside the primary realm.

      — Cheers,

      • jkotler 2:11 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Jonathan,

        The countless games they offer are all really amazing because they are all animated and interactive making it really engaging for the learner, but they also range in content from simple to complex depending on the age and level of the user. I also really like that the approach they used in designing the steps the user moves through was so well-thought out. For example when a child is just starting to read, the program offers many lessons on teaching the basic sounds of letters and then after much practice they are automatically taken to the ‘listening cube’ to hear and see how those letter sounds fit into various words.

        If you are interested in learning more about it, the website is http://www.clicknkids.com.

  • Eva Ziemsen 3:49 pm on September 14, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , , education, ,   

    New Media Consortium 2012 Horizon Report   1.     How, and how much, is it useful and valuable to the broader community of educators, as well as learning technologies specialists and venturers?   Upon opening the forty two-page New Media Consortium 2012 Horizon Report, I was immediately engaged and spent a great deal of time reading […]

    Continue reading New Media Consortium 2012 Horizon Report Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • Kent Jamieson 11:56 pm on September 14, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I recently downloaded NMC’s HZ app. Great info and links to articles and journals, updates, etc. Some links were broken, but a great resource nonetheless. (2.99)

    • rebecca42 12:36 am on September 15, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I was also drawn in immediately when reading and “couldn’t put it down”. It certainly is a resource that could be used by anyone with any interest in this field!

    • jenbarker 5:24 pm on September 16, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Eva – Thanks for your very thorough review. I printed and read the K-12 version and thought it was highly credible and valuable. Something I find interesting and controversial is one of the challenges they mention. On page 5 in the K-12 version, they discuss “Critical Challenges” and write that “despite the widespread agreement agreement on its importance, training in digital literacy skills and techniques is rare in teacher education. As a Faculty Advisor in UBC’s newly designed Bachelor of Education program I was surprised and disappointed that the teacher candidates do not have to take a course in digital media literacy. When I inquired about this I was told that it was infused throughout other literacy courses and curriculum classes but I wonder perhaps if it merits its own course. Thoughts anyone? David, do you know if anyone from MET was involved in the creation of the new B.Ed program?

  • kstackhouse 5:54 am on September 14, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , , education, , Gesture, Internet of Things, , , Tablet Computing,   

     The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition aims to provide an overview of the top trends of today and predict what will be coming on the ‘horizon”. The report was completed with the help of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative and the EDUCAUSE Program.  The use of the report is granted under a Creative Commons […]

    Continue reading The NMC 2012 Horizon Report Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • tomwhyte1 2:23 pm on September 14, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I find the comment you made in your final paragraph, regarding the speed at which some of these technologies are adopted by districts to be very powerful. For myself, districts are both an educational, political, and legal entity, all of which sometimes bogs down the system creating a delay in the large scale implementation of these services. Conversely, teachers within those districts could implement change more quickly, but might run the risk of creating controversy with either fellow teachers or the district itself, if they adopt unsanctioned technology.

      Furthermore, the speed of implementation in some cases is so great, that by the time the technology is adopted, it is usually out of date, which creates further implementation issues for other technology initiatives.


      • jameschen 4:22 pm on September 14, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Great point. It seems that while the advancements in hardware and software may be increasing according to Moore’s law, our educational infrastructure is having a hard time meeting demands. It seems to all come down to funding… Or perhaps it might be the fact that Moore’s law has been turned into More law by the corporate giants through a design for the dumps approach to satisfy consumer demands. Take a look at this video to find out how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW_7i6T_H78

    • jhodi 3:34 pm on September 14, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I thought that this report gave a great overview of several technologies and broad technological ideas for implementation in education. it also gave excellent examples of the educational use and purposes of such technologies and provided great specific examples of technologies that are in current use or are being developed. I very much agree with you that this was an easy read that provided a lot of information and in the future can be used by educators such as myself to get quick access to ideas in time for the technology to be relevant.

    • Eva Ziemsen 3:57 pm on September 14, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I greatly appreciated your review of the NMC Report. I also reviewed it, and felt it was eye-opening. Like you, I started to follow links and started to download apps. Are there any things that you are already using or know that others are using? I’m trying to find a good way to keep track of all the links that I pursue in readings and even categories for new apps. Perhaps there is an app for doing that? I sympathize with your last comments, since many public high schools will likely not adopt many of these things. The same goes for higher ed. However, I do believe that there are elements of this report that can be implemented in small-scale ways, (especially apps).

      • kstackhouse 8:17 pm on September 16, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Eva,
        I have used Delicious as one way to track links that I like. I have even created a Google doc for my own use where I copy & paste links and ideas. There are other ways to find similar links as well. You can use Twitter and follow other educators that you know have similar interests or concerns. This may help you as you build your list of resources to check out. The problem is that there is always something new, that is why I think this report and others like it are so important.

    • sophiabb 8:43 am on September 15, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Very good review. I agree that many of us tend to rely on other teachers and ed. tech. specialist for information on the ed. tech. market. This is only natural; other teachers and ed. tech. professionals in our circles are great resources. However, as you have pointed out, reports like this make the search for information easier. It also provides us with additional credible ammunition. As a decision maker, a valid concern in this technologically dynamic environment is purchasing technology now that will become obsolete within the next second. While this report does not solve this concern and this maybe nothing will, it is provides decision makers with a tool that they can consult. Great that it is under a Creative Commons License.

      • kstackhouse 8:14 pm on September 16, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Sophiabb, I think that the investment and length of time the technology will be in use is a major concern for the purchasers in education. The course ETEC 520 is a great course (if you haven’t already taken it) to help one deal with how these decisions are made.

    • Lisa Nevoral 6:01 pm on September 16, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      After reading your post, I took a closer look at the NMC Report and had to agree that this was an easy-to-read report that could come in very handy for future technological requests. I also thought it was useful how they had created a “Relevance for Teaching, Learning, or Creative Inquiry”section that helped relate the projected technologies to these ideas. I found when reading through some of the research reports or market projections many of the technologies were interesting but I couldn’t always think of a way I could use them in my teaching.

      You stated in your last paragraph that many school districts were behind in technology movements. Sometimes, even within a school district you will see a big discrepancy. My middle school is 4 years old and we have a lot of new technology within the building. We have also asked for certain things and have gotten them. A colleague of mine recently moved to a high school within the district and she couldn’t believe how many devices they didn’t have. I guess there are different priorities and use of funds at various schools.

      • kstackhouse 8:09 pm on September 16, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Lisa,
        We have the same issue in our district where some schools have and some do not. We also have the problem where we have some schools that have allowed certain products (Apple computers as an example) and other schools being told that they won’t be supported by the same centralized IT department. Very frustrating.

        I agree that the “Relevance for Teaching, …” section was a nice feature.

  • tomwhyte1 7:37 pm on September 11, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: education, future, trend   

    For this critical analysis, I have selected Connie Malamed’s piece entitled “Learning Technology Trends To Watch In 2012”, which highlights potential educational trends for instructors and students based upon the convergence of informal and social media, as well as the increased use of smartphones and tablets within multiple learning environments, and the impact each may […]

    Continue reading Where Were Going We Don’t Need Roads (The future paths of education?) Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • Colin 9:46 pm on September 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom, I definitely agree that I found the material generally a review of what I know mixed in with some new facts. I don’t feel that her site is very cutting edge and I noticed that she didn’t put the date on any articles on when they were written.

    • jkotler 3:13 am on September 13, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Tom,
      While I admit I did not read Malamed’s piece in its entirety, I believe you have done a great job in reviewing the key technologies. Within that, I can appreciate how you often brought it back to what would be useful to general educators as I too have often found many are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with various new technologies, and so fail to implement them despite their potential benefits. In your opinion, what would be the best approach to change that trend?

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