Create an iBook

Last year I had my class complete a Supreme Court Brief Assignment but this year I wanted to create an iBook with my class. I attended a session on iBook creation led by Edtechteacher at West Essex Tech Symposium. Through the Book Creator app, my students created an iBook. Book Creator app is a simple way to create a beautiful and creative iBook project. Students can choose from portrait, landscape, and square book sizes. They can easily add media from the camera roll such as photos or videos. Pictures and videos can be quickly resized or rotated with the swipe of a finger. Students can edit text by color, size, rotation, and font. They can even draw or write on the book with a freehand pen tool. As a presentation tool your students can add their voice to their projects. This application is perfect for any type of school project, especially children’s books or alternative textbooks. They can easily be shared via PDF, iBooks, or uploaded to drive or dropbox. said “Book Creator makes e-book publishing easy.”  My students loved creating their books and were very creative with images, drawings,  and animation. Overall, it was a very worthwhile assignment that I would reccomend to any teacher. Here is a sample project before it was converted to an iBook:

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Use Google Forms to Make Grading More Efficient

I have been using Google Forms  for a little over a year now. I originally used it in some basic ways like making a websearch assignments, but this past semester I “fell in love” and slightly became obsessed with Google Forms as a rubric. I now use google forms for every rubric! It gets easier as you create them because then you always have them to modify and adapt!

I have used Google forms in multiple ways this year: from creating rubrics for projects, to student information logs, to contact with parents, rubrics, and even grading homework assignments. Google Form is a WONDERFUL  resource that is underutilized in education.

Having all this information on one Google form spreadsheet can save me time and frustration. Some advantages to using forms is that it will be available electronically from any computer, no need to copy, and you save trees.


Video Introduction to Google Forms:  Watch the video to make rubrics and save valuable time!


  • I share the url with my class online on our class website (My Big Campus) so they can “see the rubric” no printing rubrics
  • I use the form to grade during class presentations on my phone–> so they are graded when class is over
  • I print the spreadsheet after I grade and cut each student’s grade into a paper strip and distribute the strip to each kid. I usually use 3 pieces of paper for rubrics instead of 33 and another bonus is I always have a paper trail!
  • Kate  @KtBkr4 suggested instead of names enter numbers and then share the whole form with the class—- ie no paper at all! It was
  • If you have questions feel free to tweet me @mseideman

Here are some links to some useful forms I created. Feel free to share and modify.

Great post from the Pursuit of Technology Integration written by Michael Zimmer on how administrators could use Google Forms in classroom informal walkthroughs. Here is his sample form: ” Here is one already created that you could use as an example to start with.”  Nice idea and I bet it makes walkthroughs a lot easier for administrators

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80+ Must Have Apps for your iPad

This may not be a traditional post but I thought I would share a list of iPad apps I sent to my principal who is in the process of rolling out iPads in the high school. These is a list of some of the “hottest apps” in education.  Happy downloading!


Study Tools 
1. Infuse Learning (add bookmark to home screen)

2. Quizlet
3. Socrative (student)
4. Regent’s Prep (add bookmark to home screen)
5. Study blue
Important Resources 
1. Cloud On
2. Drive
3. Dropbox
4. My Big Campus
5. Evernote
6. Nearpod student
Useful Tools 
1. QR Code Maker
2. Easy Bib
3. Sticky Notes for iPad
4. new.Annotate+
5. QR Code Scan
6. Side by Side
7. Camscanner
1. Geometry Pad
2. Free Protractor
3. Whiteboard Lite: Collaborative Drawing
4.Smartstocks (add bookmark to home screen)
5. Bloomberg
6. Mathination
7. Rover
8. Quick Graph
9. SketchExplorer
10. Numbers
 11. Calculus wolfram
12. Algebra wolfram
13. Learns that
14. Geoboard
15. Sat math lite
Digital Creation 
1. Scrap it HD+
2. Animoto
3. Skitch
4. EduCreations
5. Pic Collage
6. Dragon Dictation
7. Doceri
8. Haiku Deck
9. Perfect Captions – Your Life With Subtitles
10. Voicethread
11. ShowMe
12. ibook creator
13. ShowMe
14. Prezi
15. Toontastic
16. Hokusai
17. fotobabble
1. Earth-Now
2. Essential Skeleton
4. 3D brain
5.3D cell stain
6. Science@vl
7. Molecules
8. DNA model
9. The elements
Social Studies
1. CNN
2. The States
3. National Archives DocsTeach
4. This Day in History
5. Student Friend (add bookmark to home screen)-
6. Humanitarian Kiosk
7. UN CountryStats
8. UN News Reader
9. Constitution
10. Today’s doc
11. AP us gov McGraw hill 5 steps to a 5
12. Perspective
13. My Congress
14. Constitution for ipad
15. Stats of the Union
1. Khan Academy
2.  Snagfilms
3. Tedtalks
4. Vimeo
5. CNN
1. Destiny quest
2. Nook
4. My school
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Design Comic Strips on the iPad

I work with a wonderful teacher, Ms. Grasso, who assigns her students a hand-drawn comic strip assignment. I recently discovered this wonderful paid application ($2.99), called Strip Designer. Ms. Grasso can now offer a digital comic strip option or hand-drawn comic strip project option to her photo 2 copy 3students as an assignment.  Your students can create their own comic strips on any history or general education topic in the classroom.


You can use photos from the camera roll or from the internet. Your students can select a template from the Strip Designer and then insert photos. Your students can add cute graphic design stickers to the template or photos. Your students can then add text balloons on the images or cartoon captions. You can then save the comic strips to your camera roll or it can be shared online.Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 9.57.51 PM

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5 Ways for Teachers to Integrate Technology in the Classroom

It is becoming all too apparent that kids who fail to learn about technology will be left behind when it comes to advancing in school and in the job market one day, as well. Not only have devices changed the way we socialize as a culture and carry out interpersonal relationships, but the rapid advancement of hardware and programming, especially in the online and mobile arenas, have led to a massive overhaul of the way business is conducted. Good luck finding a companyClassroom-Technology these days that isn’t connected 24/7 thanks to the internet and smartphones. The point is that it’s imperative for kids to become familiar with the devices and software that will dominate their lives, both personal and professional. And schools need to get on board with integrating the technologies that will help to prepare children for the future. Of course, most public schools don’t have a ton of money to spend on pricy equipment. So teachers may have to get creative when it comes to integrating technology in the classroom. Here are just a few options.

  1. Podcasts. Even teachers that don’t have a lot of extra cash devoted to their classroom may be able to finagle a decent computer or a single tablet out of the budget, or they can simply bring a personal device to class in order to use it as a teaching aid. And one of the best resources out there for lesson enhancement is podcasts. These targeted “radio” shows cover a vast array of topics and often include speakers that are experts in their field. As a bonus, many are free to download, making for an interesting addition to any classroom that won’t cost a dime.
  2. Online instructional videos. Any classroom with a large monitor or video projector can benefit from the bounty of video content to be found online. Teachers may peruse YouTube in search of videos that assist them in teaching myriad lessons on subjects like science, history, language, and more. It’s an especially good resource for current events. But there are also plenty of websites devoted to delivering instructional or otherwise academic videos. Khan Academy and Ted Talks are two fantastic resources for teachers.
  3. Cell phones. Most schools are banning the use of cell phones in their halls, but the teacher that finds a way to integrate these handy devices will win the hearts of students. At the high school level, many students have cell phones of their own, and teachers can use this to their advantage by having their pupils register their numbers with the school so that the teaching staff can send out assignments by text, for example. Or they might set up a classroom Facebook page and allow students to post questions and comments during lessons that the teacher will address at the end of the lecture. This allows students to use their technology in a creative and educational way.
  4. Tablets. The go-to device for classrooms these days is the tablet. And although it can be a hard road trying to get administrators to approve the budget needed to outfit a classroom with enough tablets for each student, the benefits are well worth the effort. There are so many ways that students can use these handheld gadgets; to develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination, to connect with other students and even other classrooms, and to interact with a slew of programs that provide just one more avenue for learning. The only real downside is the cost.
  5. Edmodo. Let’s not forget about the programs that make many modern devices worthwhile. There are so many apps out there for computers and mobile devices that you have your pick of the litter when it comes to software designed to enhance your classroom. But Edmodo is one of the best programs out there for teachers. It acts as a safe hub for students and teachers to connect in mobile space, providing tools that allow for interaction both in and out of the classroom setting. Teachers can also connect to each other to share insights and even lessons. And they can personalize lessons, track student progress, and even hand out badges and grades. It doesn’t take an online emba to see that the sky is the limit with hardware and software that practically begs for classroom integration.

Guest Post: Leon Harris is a freelance writer and editor based in sunny Southern California. In his spare time, Harris enjoys living a healthy lifestyle and exercising with his two Golden Retrievers.

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Simplify your iPad with CloudOn

I recently discovered CloudOn from a colleague at work. CloudOn brings Microsoft Office to your iPhone and iPad. With Cloud on you can create and edit files in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint on your iPhone or iPad. You can Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 10.06.09 PMmanage documents with your Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and SkyDrive accounts. You can track changes and set notifications while editing the document.


CloudOn also automatically saves documents so you will never lose your work.  The application is a direct and wireless link between your desktop and your ipad, which will allow you to work without any issue.  CloudOn is completely free, so you have nothing to lose by trying it out. Click here to download it for the iPad.






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Ipad Survey: How are you using iPads in the Classroom?

Teachercast is creating a PD Session revolving around how educators are using iPads in their classroom and for their schoolwork. Jeff Bradbury looking to showcase the various ways that iPads are being used and would like to feature some of the great apps that you are using in your daily routine.
Could you assist in my research by filling out a brief iPad survey?
Thank You for your time
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Tips and Tricks on the iPad

I know this is a VERY short post but the other day I was working with a few students and they had no idea about these simple tricks to do on the iPad. I thought I should post a few of my favorite tricks or short cuts on the ipad. It’s important to remember we need to teach our students to use this tricks to make lifelong learning easier. Recently one of  my AP students shared with me that their mom’s ipad app froze and he showed her how to unfreeze the app and force close it. He said his mom was shocked he knew how to do it. It was the highlight of my day because something that we specifically learned in class the day before was being applied outside of school. 


Remember the Multitasking Gestures:

  • Four finger swipe to return to Home screen
  • Four finger swipe up to reveal multitasking b
  • Four finger swipe left or right to switch between open apps

Bookmark Favorite Websites to Home Screen: While in Safari, load up your favorite websites and tap on the box with an arrow in it, alongside the URL Bar. Select “Add to Home Screen” and give each site a short name so it doesn’t abbreviate itself. Make a whole folder full of your favorite websites bookmarks.


Copy and Paste Text from One App to Another

Just tap and hold a word, then use your finger to drag to select more text, and then Copy it. Go to the other application, tap and hold in the input box, and then use Paste. Easy!

Want to select a whole paragraph the easy way? Just tap it 4 times to highlight the entire paragraph, then use Copy.


Quickly Mute the Sound

If you want a quick and easy way to mute the sound, all you need to do is hold down the volume down button for 2 seconds.


Rearrange Your Application Icons

Just tap and hold the icon, and you’ll be able to move it around to a different spot.


How to Force Your Ipad to Restart

Just to ease your mind – forcing your iPad to restart will not cause any loss of data – with the possible exception of any work you were doing at the time the iPad and/or App froze, forcing you to reboot it.

  1. It’s actually very easy, once you know how to do it. Click and hold down the Sleep/Wake button (located on the upper-right corner of your iPad). While you’re holding down the Sleep/Wake button, hold down the Home button as well (located on the front of your iPad at the bottom).
  2. Hold down both buttons until your iPad powers off. It will reboot and start again with a small silver Apple image on the screen. It takes about 30 seconds for the iPad completely start up.

Type Faster with Double Spaces

Instead of typing a period at the end of each sentence, just double-tap the space bar. It will enter a period followed by a space. The same trick works on the iPhone, and even Android devices.


How to Lock Your Ipad

Adding a 4 digit pin code to your iPad will help you keep it secure – especially if it’s lost or stolen. It would be bad enough to lose your iPad – but it would be much worse for the person who finds your iPad to be able to access your personal information (photos, notes, email, calendar etc). This brief tutorial will show you how to secure your iPad by requiring a pin-code to be entered before you can use it.

  1. Start out by selecting Settings from your home screen
  2. Select General from the left column of the Settings screen, and then Passcode Lock from the right column.
  3. Tap the Turn Passcode On button.
  4. You’ll be prompted to enter a 4 digit numerical pin, and then again for confirmation.
  5. If you want an extra level of security, you can turn Erase Data on. Warning: if you enable this feature, all of the data on your iPad will be completely wiped if the incorrect pin is entered 10 times in a row. By default, this setting is disabled.
  6. Now each time your iPad is turned on, you’ll have to enter the 4 digit pin in order to access any of your content.

Take a Screen Shot on the iPad 

  1. Click the Power button on the top right corner of your iPad, and while holding it down, click the “iPad Button”.
  2. You’ll see the screen ‘flash’ white and hear a camera ‘clicking’ sound. Now open the Photos app on your iPad.
  3. You’ll the screenshot you just took as a thumbnail. Tap that photo to view the screenshot.
  4. The easiest way to transfer a screenshot to your PC or Mac is to email it to yourself. To do so, tap the “arrow” button on the upper-right corner of the screen while you’re viewing the screenshot.
  5. Select Email Photo
  6. Mail will automatically open with the image attached to a message. Just fill out the address you want to send it to, give the email a subject and enter any info you want in the body of the message. Then click Send.

Create Folders on your iPad

Folders are a feature first introduced to the iPad with the release of iOS 4.2. This guide will show you exactly how to create and use them.

  1. Start out by deciding which Apps you want to put into your new folder. I decided to group all of the Twitter apps on my iPad into one folder, so that’s what I’ll use in this example. Tap and hold down the first App you want to add to the folder, then drag-and-drop it onto another App you want in the same folder.
  2. A new window will pop up with a “name” section for your new folder (see image below). If you want to change the default name of the folder, tap the small x in the Name field.
  3. The keyboard will pop up and you can now give your folder a custom name.
  4. Tap anywhere on the screen to complete the naming process. Now continue to drag other Apps onto this new folder to add them to it.
  5. Once you’re done, click the Home button on your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch. Now you’ll have a new folder icon. Tap it.
  6. The folder will expand and display each of the Apps you placed into it. That’s it –you’re done!
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Digital Ways to Engage your Students

I am running a professional development session after school this week about digital ways to engage your students in their own learning. These are a few of my favorite apps or web-based programs that I plan to introduce at the workshop. 

  1. Infuse Learning: (online) Infuse Learning allows teachers to push questions, prompts, and quizzes out to students’ devices in private virtual classrooms. This is wonderful for a quick assessment or review activity on the spot. My student’s love the draw something feature where I give them a vocabulary word and then they draw it and send it to my screen. I have done this with AP and regular US history, both courses had wonderful results.
  1. Socrative: (online or app) Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.  This is great for a quick assessment or review game. For sample teacher codes visit:   
  1. Gooru-:(online or app)  Gooru Collections allow any user to have access to more than 3,000 educational materials. The website is organized into playlists and is designed for every 5th-12th grade student. The options are endless from videos to games, to digital textbooks, useful teacher approved websites, quizzes, and so much more.
  1. Today’s Meet: (online) helps you embrace the backchannel and connect with your audience in realtime. Encourage the room to use the live stream to make comments, ask questions, and use that feedback to tailor your presentation, sharpen your points, and address audience needs.  I use today’s meet to have my student’s back-channel during a classroom debate, video, or resource sharing session when I do not want “verbal” discussion.
  1. Skitch:  (online or app) Get your point across with fewer words using annotation, shapes and sketches, so that your ideas become reality faster. This works well in groups. I assign each group a different topic and they need to create Skitch slide about that topic. They send their slides to me or their mirror their ipad through the Apple TV and teach the class about their topic.
  1. Evernote: (online or app) Evernote lets your take notes, sync files across your devices, save webpages, capture inspiration, and share your ideas with friends and colleagues.  There are so many wonderful ways to use Evernote for file sharing, lesson plans, digital portfolios writing submission. The ideas are endless!
  1. Animoto (online or app) or iMovie (app) Create a digital movie with photos and text slides.  Remember to create a teacher account. For sample projects and handouts
  2. My Big Campus (online or app) My Big Campus extends the classroom to a safe, engaging online environment that balances educational use of Web technologies with network and student.

Useful Resources

-Ipads In the Classroom by Annalisa Kelly Itunes Store. Free ebook

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Gooru provides high-quality learning resources for every student and teacher

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to teach completely using the iPad. The only exception is when I show a DVD in my classroom. So far it has been fairly easy since I got this wonderful Longitech keyboard, which makes typing so much easier.  In my classroom I have an Apple TV, which allows me to mirror anything from my iPad or my student’s iPad to the projector.

I am always looking for new ways to make my iPad more efficient and save me time. I recently discovered Gooru, which any user can use on their mobile device or on a regular computer browser. Gooru Collections allow any user to have access to more than 3,000 educational materials. The website is organized into playlists and is designed for every 5th-12th grade student.The options are endless from videos to games, to digital textbooks, useful teacher approved websites, quizzes, and so much more.

Collections are aligned to standards and currently cover every 5th-12th grade math, science and social science topic, with more subjects coming soon.

One of my favorite features is that you can save  any resource to your username so anytime you want to access a particular resource it’s right on the home screen or “shelf.” The best part is that it’s FREE and has NO advertisements. Check it out today, you will not be disappointed!

Features of the iPad app:
-Gooru Collections will always be free
-Browse collections on 5th through 12th grade topics
-Search for collections to find exactly what you need to study
-Bookmark your favorite collections for later review
-Enable narration written by teachers to guide you through every resource in a collection
-Get the best collections delivered to you every week in “Featured Collections”
-Swipe to move on to the next resource, or tap the top navigation bar
-Customize your experience by logging in to your account and accessing the collections you saved on the Web
-All materials are vetted by teachers to ensure what you study is high quality and safe
-Much more to come!

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EduCreations the “personal recordable whiteboard for the ipad”

I recently learned about a new app called EduCreations. It’s like a “personal recordable whiteboard for the ipad” that captures user’s voice, digital handwriting, images, and text for the creation of a video lesson or screencast. You can annotate images with handwriting.
Another unique feature of the app is it’s hosting service, which allows you to share any created projects with a class or select # of users.  As a teacher you can create a class and add your students. They can create their own projects once they are in your “class” with the app. The projects they create automatically go into your your class. You can also “push out” lessons to your class.
If you don’t have an ipad- You can used the web-based version of the app that works with any browser. Best Part about the app it’s FREE.
Tons of cool features-
  1. Handwriting and text tool
  2. import multiple images
  3. great editing tools
  4. animated play back
  5. multiple upload or share options
  6. 9 compatible languages
Hope you get a chance to check it out:
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Take Notes with Notability

I love using Evernote but sometimes I want a diferent way to take notes. I stumbled upon Notability, which has a lot of wonderful note taking features. You can use the handwriting feature, PDF annotation, typing, recording, and organize your notes. Notability  allows you to draw or write every detail and create beautiful notes. Students can annotate PDF’s with handwriting, typing, or recording. “Christina Weltmer, a science teacher at Garden City High School, was actually taught by one of her students on how to use Notability, the iPad app that enables the user to take notes, record lectures and annotate PDFs.”


Another neat feature of Notabiluty is the ability to add audio recording to link notes with your own thoughts and interpretations of the readings.  Students can even use the recording feature to capture your own voice for memos, presentations, or speech practice. With auto-sync and the ability to upload to Google Drive or Dropbox. Students will never have an excuse to not have their notes!



Citation: Savenije, Davide. “18 Ways IPads Are Being Used In Classrooms Right Now – Edudemic.” Edudemic. N.p., 11 Nov. 2012. Web. 29 Dec. 2012.


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Top 10 iPad Apps for Elementary Teachers written by Wesley Exon

This post was written by Wesley Exon cross posted at the Public School Review.

iPads have made their way into the classroom, all the way down to elementary school. If you are a grade school teacher looking for fun apps to use in the classroom, this list is perfect for you. The options below make classroom learning fun and exciting, and you could share them with parents to enhance their children’s education.

Image obtained from Digital Trends

Here are the top 10 iPad apps for elementary teachers.

  1. Math Magic: This app is all about making math fun. It involves interactive games for adding, subtracting, word problems, and more. Your kid will feel like he’s playing a video game, when he’s really getting an education.
  2. Alphabet Fun: This app creates a game out of learning the alphabet, and it also teaches students about numbers and colors. Students can trace over letters with their fingers to help them learn how to write.
  3. Star Walk: This app teaches students about the stars, and it has won several awards for its outstanding graphics and interactive features. It shows more than 9,000 solar objects for students to learn about.
  4. Miss Spell’s Class: This app is designed to make students better spellers. It asks them to find missing words and then re-spell them correctly for points. Students can correct their simple mistakes and have fun at the same time.
  5. ArithmeTick: This app forces students to answer math questions under time constraints. They must struggle to beat the clock or risk losing points for their answers. That’ll get the hearts pumping!
  6. VideoScience: This app features short videos with cool science experiments. The videos are created by an award winning developer who uses creative techniques to make science easy to understand.
  7. This app is a full dictionary right on the iPad. Students can use it to look up words they don’t understand or discover new words they might not know yet.
  8. Wikipanion: This app gives students easy access to Wikipedia. You may not like using that site in the classroom, but it can be a good reference point or your students to start from.
  9. National Geographic’s World Atlas: This app gives students access to maps from around the world. It’s perfect for geography lessons or simple exploration in the classroom.
  10. Read Me Stories: This app offers a new talking picture book every single day. Rather than taking books home to read, students can just download the app and learn right at home.

Check out some of these free and low priced apps for elementary teachers and you’re sure to find something to use for your students.

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Teacher Kit can help you stay organized

Often teachers have little time during the school year and any app that can save you time is well worth the money. Fortunatly for you, Teacher Kit is a FREE application. It is a personal organizer to help you organize classes and students. It is very simple to use and it can help you with attendance, grades, and student behavior.


After playing with it a little it seems like it would be a very useful application to use in the classroom. As a teacher you can set up your classroom, seating assignments, grades, and save student information such as their names, emails, parent contact information. Everything is stored in one place! From the app you can even email students or parents with a simple click…. You can take attendance and monitor student behavior.

Not sure if this is creepy… but you can even take a picture of the whole class and the app recognizes faces and asks you to identify them and it can help you build a roster with names and pictures for attendance purposes.


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Timeline Eons App: A graphic representation of history

Timeline Eons is a graphic representation of the entire natural and human history. The app features an extensive and wide range of topics from Big Bang theories and evolution to historical events. The events are easily displayed and reveal interesting information about historical events. It also has a fun facts section that encourages students to expand their own learning. I really like that is has a today in history feature. Check it out today!

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