ACTEM: Scratch Your Creativity!

On October 10, 2013 I presented “Scratch Your Creativity” at ACTEM’s MAINEducation Conference in Augusta, Maine at the Augusta Civic Center.

Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create interactive art, stories, simulations, and games – and share those creations online. The software was developed at the MIT Media Lab. It helps students of all ages develop computational and problem solving skills. Participants will be asked to consider how they can show their imagination to learn, create and innovate with Scratch in the classroom as they create their own projects.

Click below for PDF Version

App of the Week: Markup

MarkupMarkupCost: $1.99
Developer: ShowMe
Platform: iPad
Content Area: All

Description: This app will help teachers who want to embrace a paperless classroom! Teachers can have students send papers and assignments to a special sync email account that you set up when you purchase the app. The documents go directly to the Markup app on your iPad. Many different file types including .doc, .pdf, .rtf, .jpg, .png, .ppt, .cvs, .xls and more are supported. In the app you can use your finger or a stylus to write comments directly onto the document in either black, gray, red, blue or orange. When you are finished grading the paper simply hit send to email it back to the student. You can also open documents on your iPad using the “Open in app” feature found in apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

This app was funded through Kickstarter and was recently released. They are working on collecting feedback from educators on other features to add to the app. Give it a try and send them your feedback!

Advertising: None
Ease of Use: Easy
Multi-user: N/A

ScratchEd Opportunities

ScratchEdThis past Saturday I spent the day at the Harvard Graduate School of Education with Karen Brennan and team to learn about the latest (2.0) version of Scratch. What is Scratch? Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy for students of all ages to create interactive art, stories, games and simulations. I have been teaching a computer enrichment course this year with sixth graders using Scratch. There’s so much more that students can get out of using Scratch. There’s meeting the NETS for Students in creativity and innovation, critical thinking, problem solving and decision making and more. They also really have to use computational thinking skills which is becoming more and more important in our work and society. The day was fabulous and if you are currently using Scratch, you are going to love 2.0! It is currently in Beta release but will be fully released at the end of April. If you are interested in learning more about Scratch check out the ScratchEd site and the Events page. Starting on June 3, 2013 they are running a six week online course for educators. Check out all the other resources that have been shared on the Resources page too!

School Leadership Summit

School Leadership SummitOn Thursday, March 28, 2013 (8:00 pm EST) I will be presenting Learning and Leading with Emerging Technologies along with Jill Berkowicz as part of the online conference, School Leadership Summit. The Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership (TICAL) and Steve Hargadon combining to present this inaugural virtual and worldwide summit. This free conference will be held online and will be a unique chance to participate in a collaborative global conversation on school leadership with presentations led by a wide variety of leaders. It is being co-chaired by Steve Hargadon, whose virtual educational conferences had over 100,000 attendee logins last year. Sign up today!


educents logoIn today’s cash strapped budgets teachers are dipping into their own pockets more and more. There’s a new website set to launch on April 2, 2013 called Educents. They are billing themselves as a daily deal site (à la Groupon and LivingSocial) featuring the latest educational products at 30 – 90% off. This will include e-books, software, curriculum, online learning and more. To sign up go to If you sign up now you will receive a $10 gift card to use once the site is launched.

App of the Week: Duolingo

Duolingo app iconDuolingo
Cost: Free
Developer: Duolingo, Inc.
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Content Area: Foreign Language

Duolingo is an app and website for learning Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese and Italian. A recent article, How effective is Duolingo? shared information on an eight week independently conducted study to determine how effective it was as a language learning tool. The results showed that an average of 34 hours of study with Duolingo was equivalent to a one semester (11 weeks) college course in Spanish. Since the use of Duolingo’s website and apps is free this is a very impressive statistic! A short video explains how it all works. Once you sign up for an account Duolingo automatically syncs your progress between the website and the apps. The format has a game-like interface that is motivational. It is a great way to learn a language and practice skills learned in a foreign language or ELL classroom.

Ease of Use: Very easy
Assessment/Summary Data? Your progress is synced between devices.

App of the Week: KivaBridge

Developer: MayneBridge
Platform: iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad
Content Area: Social Studies

Description: KivaBridge allows you to browse the many different opportunities to get involved in microlending at What is microlending? Microlending is a movement to connect people around the globe to alleviate poverty by making small loans. The minimum amount you need to contribute to an entrepreneur on Kiva is $25. Kiva works with different microfinance institutions or field partners that administer the loans. The field partners distribute the money to the individuals and collect the payments to send back to Kiva. Kiva is a great way to promote global collaboration. Even if you don’t want to donate, you can use this app to get a sense of the needs of individuals around the globe. Use the map to find a loan or use the filtering feature in the loan list.

Advertising: None
Ease of Use: Very easy
Multi-user: No

Dynamic Media & Digital Storytelling

This Prezi was created as part of the PBS Teacherline course Developing Understanding with Dynamic Media & Digital Storytelling.

Dynamic Media &
Digital Storytelling

Scratch Your Creativity!

This presentation was created for the NYSCATE Hudson Valley Conference held on March 2, 2013. Enjoy!

Click below for PDF version
NYSCATE Scratch Your Creativity

App Review: MyScript Calculator

MyScript CalculatorMyScript Calculator
Cost: Free
Developer: VisionObjects
Platform: iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad
Content Area: Math

Description: You can use your handwriting to solve math problems without punching keys on a calculator. With this app you simply use your finger to write out the problem and it will be solved. These symbols are supported: +, -, x, ÷, +/-, 1/x, (), %, √, x!, |x|, ℯx, xy , x2, cos, sin, tan, acos, asin, atan, ln , log, π, ℯ. It doesn’t recognize letter variables but you can use a ? for a missing value.

Advertising: None
Ease of Use: Very easy to use
Multi-User: No