Fantastical 2

Get organized by optimizing Fantastical 2 for Mac and iOS

An essential part of staying organized as a professional is having a reliable calendar.  Some will add that a task list or reminders is just as important.  There is no shortage of productivity apps to help you be a productivity ninja.  I’ve tried many of them and I always come back to Fantastical.  In this post I’ll describe my favorite features and show you how to optimize it as your primary calendar & reminders app on Mac, iPhone and iPad.

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Adobe Voice

Quick Video Creation using Adobe Voice on iPad

I love seeing students create rich content for classroom assignments.  Some teachers are intimidated by the thought of teaching the class how to make a video.  Thankfully apps like Abobe Voice are available to make video creation as easy as possible. Consider this video I made in only 20 minutes using only the app.

One drawback I’ve found with the app is the inability to add video clips to these projects.  This is by no means a deal breaker.  If you explore many of the videos made using the app you’ll discover many schools are already using it.  Any number of projects can use these sorts of videos in place of written or typed assignments.  Some examples are current events, literature reports, journalism pieces, and foreign language projects.  Finally, it’s easy enough to use that it could be used in primary and secondary grade levels. 

 Adobe Voice – for iOS – Free

Tinkerplay

Create 3D Printable Models Using iPad

Updated on: 3/22/14

The 3D printer can be a terrific tool in STEM / STEAM classrooms. For most teachers they are begging for ways to have students easily create models or projects without needing knowledge of complicated CAD tools. For some, printing precomposed models from Thingiverse or the like just isn’t the level of engagement they are looking for. Thankfully, the field of options is growing.  I’ll introduce you to a few iPad apps that are easy enough for Elementary students to use. The final result of each app is a model you can print from your classroom 3D printer.

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Google Classroom Preview

Coming soon to all Google App for Education institutions is a feature called Google Classroom.  Its a simple LMS type system that integrates with Google Documents.  Watch the video for a better understanding.  It looks like a very exciting addition for education.

Game-Based Student Response

One of the free tools we learned about at the MACE Conference from Glenn Wiebe is Kahoot.  It is modeled after popular restaurant trivia games and allows teachers to create an exciting quiz that students will enjoy.  All the answers are logged and available in a spreadsheet after the quiz or game is played.  Quiz creation is extremely simple and teachers can also borrow others quizzes for use inside their classrooms.  Below is a great overview video about Kahoot.

Improve Student Behaviors – ClassDojo


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On February 17th our elementary training will center around using ClassDojo to improve student behavior.  The simple interface and versatility of the web and mobile apps can help teachers to help keep their students engaged.  Additional features include a student and a parent login.  Reports are available to review a student’s or a class’s behavior history and notes.

Video of training session will be posted later.

Organize & Distribute Courses – iTunes U


On February 17th our training will center around building courses and distributing them via iTunes U.  The simple interface of iTunes U Course Manager will allow you to easily outline your courses and include materials such as documents, audio, video, websites, and links to needed apps.  Students can easily follow the course, make notes, and receive course materials using the iTunes U iPad app

Video of training session will be posted later.

Run a Paperless Classroom – Notablity & Showbie

One of the challenges teachers face in this digital world is reliably handing out digital assignments and retrieving them.  Email was an old standby.  But today’s modern classroom is  restricted by email’s size limitations and student creativity is stifled.  Teachers inboxes overflow and they cannot easily account for missing assignments among other issues.  Thankfully, solutions like Showbie were created with the needs of a modern teacher in mind.  When combined with other apps like Notability, Pages, Keynote, and many others they’re free to use their imaginations and assign engaging creative assignments.  We would like to show you a brief demonstration of how this works.

Useful Resources:
Saving to Showbie from other apps

iPad Classroom Management – Casper Focus

Personal iPads in each student’s hand. There is no doubt that this is a powerful education tool for the classroom. Teachers need not fear that they are losing control of their students. Besides traditional classroom management methods, tools such as Casper Focus are available to help guide the young minds away from distraction.  The video below steps you through the easy process of managing the iPads inside your classroom.  

Casper Focus is part of the Casper Suite by JAMF Software. The Demo inside this video is a piece from this larger webinar video.  Casper Focus requires a Casper Suite Mobile Device Management server or SaaS service.

Projecting iPads Using – Reflector

Projecting the screen of your iPad can be a powerful tool. Using an app called Reflector on a Mac or Windows computer allows you to mirror your iPad, iPhone, or iPod to the screen of your computer. Additionally, students can be allowed to project their iPads. The video below will take you step by step through using the app with an iPad.

Benifits:

  • Freedom to walk around your room while teaching.
  • Display multiple devices a once. (comparison, competition, collaboration)
  • Great replacement for interactive white board tablets
  • Use with a stand to turn your iPad into a document camera
  • Record anything on your iPad screen to a high quality video using Reflector

Reflector is made by: AirSquirrels