muse: n. a source of inspiration

Links You’ll Love

“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down…” Ahhh – spring is near, and that means rainy recess and squirmy kids! I just wanted to remind you about the fabulous website GoNoodle, which features brief videos to get your students moving.

Shoutout to the folks at PosterMyWall. I had some concerns about how the website performs on iPads and reached out to their tech support. They responded immediately, and sent me some tips on how to use the website to our best advantage on an iPad. Impressive response!

Were you aware that there’s an election going on? Newsela has a site where you can set up a class account, access articles about the primaries, and your students can vote.

If you’re using Google Slides, you’ll want to check out these great tips for a powerful presentation.

Here’s a great video to share with your students to help visualize the world population.

How has technology changed campaigning for president? This article talks about the increasing impact of data, the Internet and smartphones.

March 18, 2016 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Why go 1:1?

One of my professional goals is to determine our course of action regarding a 1:1 initiative. We began this year with 3rd and 4th grades after a pilot of sorts last year with increased accessibility in 3rd grade. Each of the students in those grades has access this year to an iPad all day, regardless of class. The iPads stay in school.

This year we’re piloting using iPads in language arts in 5th grade. Week one brought the question of “where’s spellcheck in the Docs app?”

We’re also dealing with the issue of sharing iPads in 5th grade, since there are two carts for four sections. Students have to remember (and their teachers have to remember to tell them) to log out of the Docs app at the end of each session and to make sure they’re the one logged in at the beginning. It no doubt is cumbersome for the teachers, and I’m sure chaos will ensue at some point when that procedure isn’t followed.

So I started thinking about my own digital life.

I am not 1:1. I’m more like 3:1, with laptop, iPad and iPhone as my 3. I instinctively move from device to device, choosing the device based on the task I need to perform. If I need to do heavy word processing I reach for my laptop. If the laptop isn’t available (or, more likely, in the dining room and I don’t want to get up off the couch to retrieve it), the iPad is a suitable stand in, but only as a second choice. On the other hand, there are definitely things for which the iPad is better suited, like quick movie making. Apps like Show Me or Explain Everything are much more useful for video tutorials and much faster to use.

Is 1:1, defined as one specific device per child, realistic? Or does it make more sense to define 1:1 as the ratio of total devices available to the total student body as a 1:1 ratio, without assigning specific device to specific children?

September 2, 2014 Posted by | Mobile devices and apps, Technology, Thinking | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love 9/13/13

The good folks at Edutopia have a great article on primary source documents and how to find them. Millions of images from Life Magazine? I’m in! Check it out!

Shoutout to my colleague Natalie for finding this fun YouTube video about kindergartners and how they created movies using the iPad about butterflies.

If you’re interested in learning how to use iMovie for the iPad, check out KQED’s video tutorial. What a great resource!

Here’s a lengthy but thought provoking read on “Can Emotional Intelligence Be Taught?” The name says it all. You can read it here.

I love, love, love this article about a real life physics teachers who uses iTunes U to create courses for his students. He’s really pushing the envelope on integrating technology! Oh, and by the way, he’s my colleague Hallie’s son-in-law. Read more here.

September 13, 2013 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Want to explore using iPads in class? Check out our newly created wiki.

JEDcamp is coming to SSDS and we couldn’t be more excited! Check out our website and “like” us on Facebook. Click here for more info about the JEDcamp movement.

You know that I’m a proponent of teaching kids from a young age that you should always use copyright-free images from the web (just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s okay to use). Here’s a great article with lots of resources for finding public domain images.

I know everybody in my school would have been delighted if we could have given each class a dedicated set of iPads, but, alas, that’s not possible. Sometimes, though, sharing is just fine. Ed blogger Royan Lee posts here  about how he manages iPad sharing in class.

More on exploring mobile learning – in this Edutopia five-minute film festival there are videos about how educators are embracing mobile devices in the classroom.

We all knew this anyway… but here’s a nice article about the impact music learning has on higher test scores.

App worth watching: I’m intrigued by the TouchCast app – a free app that lets you create iPad presentations that integrate video, Twitter feeds and more. Check out their intro video here.

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Links You'll Love | , , | Leave a comment

Livebinder it bookmarklet for the iPad…

I love Livebinders. I love using it to organize papers and staff PD. The good folks over there have this tip for adding to a Livebinder from your iPad:

Adding “LiveBinder It” Bookmarklet to an iPad

There are two ways to add “LiveBinder It” to the iPad. One is to add it on to Safari on your Mac and then sync your bookmarks with the iPad. Here is an explanation of how to sync your bookmarks from your Mac to your iPad.

The second option isn’t easy, but it will add the LiveBinder It feature to your iPad. Hopefully Apple will soon come out with a better way to add bookmarklets!

In Safari, click on the square with the arrow icon at the top of your browser
Click on the “Add Bookmark”
For the name, type in “Livebinder It”
Click on “Save”
Click on the bookmark icon
Click on “Edit” in the top right corner of the bookmarks menu
Click on the “LiveBinder It” bookmark
Under “LiveBinder It”, cut and paste the following:‘’+encodeURIComponent(location.href)+’&description=’+encodeURIComponent(document.title),’LiveBinders’,%20’scrollbars=0,status=0,resizable=1,location=0,toolbar=0,width=850,height=700′);(function(){setTimeout(‘w.focus()’,1000);})();

Click on “Done” on the keyboard.
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February 9, 2013 Posted by | Hot tip | , , , | Leave a comment

Thursday hot tip

Buy a couple iPad stands. Once you have them you’ll find dozens of ways to use them. For our yearbook this year we took iPad photos of the graduates’ baby photos rather than scanning them. It was much faster and the quality was great. My teachers use them in class as document cameras, too. We bought the Justand brand – they’re really durable and versatile.

Here’s a video from the company:

February 7, 2013 Posted by | Technology | , , | Leave a comment

Looking for iPad apps for Jewish educators?

Check out this Google spreadsheet – lots of apps for Jewish educators. Nicely done!

February 6, 2013 Posted by | Mobile devices and apps | , , , , | 4 Comments

Thursday hot tip!

We’re fortunate enough to have a number of iPads, which are centrally managed by our IT department. That’s great, except for when we have special projects that require the students to access specific websites. It’s too time consuming to have our IT department add web links for a short project (and, let’s face it, it’s entirely likely that we need those links available pretty quickly – too quickly to go through IT). Rather than worry about getting the web links on the iPads, we just generate QR codes for them and have the kids use the QR code reader on the iPad to get to the site. It seems obvious, now that I’ve written it out, but it, um, took us a while to figure that out.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | Hot tip, QR Codes | , | Leave a comment

Getting ready for Germany…are we there yet?

Once again I’m traveling with Centropa for their annual Centropa Summer Academy. This year I’m excited that it’s Germany: Mannheim, Frankfurt and Berlin. I really can’t believe that I’m doing this again – it’s a phenomenal opportunity and a wonderful, educational and stimulating way to spend ten days, but simply exhausting! I’m glad I have three weeks after I return before school begins to recuperate. Oy – only three weeks?

Are we there yet?

Of course I’m worried about how I’m going to entertain myself while I’m on the plane. I’ve already been to British Airways’ website to scope out the in-flight entertainment (excited to watch Salmon Fishing in the Yemen!), and I sprang for the iTunes Essential George Gershwin collection, but I want to put some movies on my iPad too. I mean, what if my video player thingie doesn’t work? Or what if I’m bored at night (yeah…right) and need to have something other than German TV to watch in the room?

Unfortunately, season two of Downton Abbey only got me through my last three trips (thank you, Downton Abbey – that was six blissful flights!), and there wasn’t another TV season I wanted to download. I do have some DVDs, though, that I want to watch but I’m not bringing my laptop – just the iPad (it’s so much lighter and easier to get through security!), which, of course, does not have a DVD player.

Now…I know you’re not supposed to do this. I would NEVER suggest my students do this…But if you already own the movies you want to bring on DVD, and let’s say you wanted to watch them on your iPad…you could rip the movies using Handbrake. Be sure to choose the iPad preset. Then you end up with a .m4v file that you could throw in iTunes and transfer when you sync. Easy peasy.

The only problem is that those movies can be pretty heavy – reaching 2 gb. That’s a lot of real estate on an iPad, so…

You might want to bring them along on an SD card. If you have the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, you can do that. You just have to set them up in a way that your iPad will recognize them and know to import them as media. This post on CNET will be very helpful if you’re thinking about doing that.

Finally – I decided to spring (amazing how these trips cost SOOOOO much!) for a really good set of earphones. I wanted good, I wanted noise canceling, and I wanted small. I also didn’t want to spend more than $50. This is not as easy as it sounds. I researched a lot of companies, and finally settled on Thinksound. What got me were the reviews on Amazon. Now, many of those reviews mentioned having cable separation problems, so the big question is why did I pay $50 for earphones that could break? It’s simple – every single one of the reviews also stated that as soon as they contacted the company, they were immediately contacted by the company (in many cases, the president) to arrange for a replacement. I also really loved that they’re made from wood, and that the product has a low footprint packaging-wise. I appreciated not having to dig out the scissors and deal with those nasty plastic clamshell packages which fill up my recycling bin. They came in a lovely little brown box, with their own little cloth bag for storage. I was using them in about two seconds after receiving the package and they rocked. Pun intended.

Oh – and I also bought a new suitcase. But that wasn’t interesting.

I hope to post lots from Germany – stay tuned.

July 3, 2012 Posted by | Centropa, Lifelong learning, Technology | , , | Leave a comment

Bought me an iPad

So I bought an iPad with money that I received as part of an award (cue humble blush here). That makes the iPad free, right? Work with me.

Once I bought the iPad, though, I decided that I needed the following:

Warranty, of course
Cover for both front and back
A/V adapter so I can connect to my SMART Board
Camera connector kit

And now I’m considering the World Traveler kit since I’m traveling to Europe in a couple of weeks.

And maybe a keyboard since I’m not feeling the love for the virtual one

And of course I bought a number of apps

I’m reminded of the time we used Green Stamps (remember those?) to get a “free” fish tank.


June 21, 2011 Posted by | Technology | , | 1 Comment



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