Most Viewed Monday Success of 2014

Dec 22, 2014 by

As we count down the last days of 2014, I thought we would take a look back at the most viewed posts of the year.  The most viewed Monday Success Story this year was one of my favorites and a great story of celebrating genius.

The Monday Success Story this week comes from a very inspirational TED Talk by Thomas Suarez.   Thomas is an app developer who released his first iPhone app, Earth Fortune, in 2011.  He was 12!   Thomas began teaching  himself to code using online resources, because that is what he was interested in.  When Apple released the developer kit, he set to work building an app.   After releasing his app, he created a club at his school so that he could share his knowledge with others, including his teachers.   He has since established his own company, CarrotCorp, and founded App City.   App City is an extension of the coding club that he started at his school that supports young people in their desire to learn programming.  Thomas was genius.  Are we supporting genius in our classrooms?

It is important to recognize all of the successes in this story.  Thomas was able to develop apps and release them in the app store because his parents supported his genius and paid the Apple Developer fee instead of telling him to go play outside.  Thomas was able to create a coding club at his school because his teachers recognized and embraced the fact that Thomas knew more about coding than they did.   Even the folks at Apple had a part in Thomas’ success because they supported his genius and answered his questions instead of telling him he was too young to make apps.

Kudos to Thomas and all of the adults that encouraged his genius!

If you would like to see more of what Thomas is doing, you can follow him on Twitter @tomthecarrot.

 

 

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Friday Photo: Are you cold?

Dec 19, 2014 by

This really is acute joke.  It is also a great way to help kids remember that a corner is a right angle and 90 degrees.

 The Ha Ha leads to the A Ha.  

Have a great weekend and laugh a lot!

Are you cold

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English Grammar Ultimate

Dec 18, 2014 by

English Grammar UltimateEnglish Grammar Ultimate is a great app for the study of language.  It contains all of the parts of speech and the rules for their use.  This app is a great tool for students and teachers who are perfecting their use of English.  The English language can be tricky, even more so for those who are learning it as a second language.  This app is great for answering those confusing language questions and for practicing the more artful nuances in communication.

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Explain Everything

Dec 17, 2014 by

Explain Everything Android app iconQuite some time ago I mentioned Explain Everything in a post about Colleagues Favorite Apps.  At that time it was an iOS app but now it is also available for Android phones.  Explain Everything is a screencasting and interactive whiteboard app that can be used to Explain Everything.  This app has a simple interface that is easy to navigate and designed with the phone user in mind.  Users can use existing photos, PDFs, and files from Dropbox, Google Drive and more.  After importing, users can move, rotate, and scale objects on slides and then annotate and narrate to create a complete lesson.  This app is great for flipping the classroom and providing students extra support.

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Pick-a-Path

Dec 16, 2014 by

Pick a path iconPick-a-Path is a fun math strategy game where students practice skills while determining the best path for Okta.  Students have an opportunity to reinforce negative numbers, powers of ten, fractions, decimals and more as they help Okta get through the maze to his target.  The more targets you hit the more starfish you earn.  Pick-a-Path is a great way for students to practice some higher order thinking skills along with keeping their mathematics skills sharp.

 

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Monday Success: Teachers Talking Tech

Dec 15, 2014 by

This week’s Monday Success comes from one of our prior contributors, Laura Bradley.  Laura wrote in about getting a little crazy in the classroom when she let her students personalize their learning by teaching themselves how to code so that they could create a video game.  We also got some great insights on Student Choice from her blog post about how her students direct their learning in her English language arts class.

Cover of Teachers Talking TechI am happy to say that Laura is at it again.  She wrote in to let us know that she is one of nine teachers who are featured in a new book by Dave Saltman called Teachers Talking Tech.  Saltman interviewed nine teachers who were leading the way with technology and creating new educational opportunities for students.  In her interview, Laura talks about life in a 1:1 classroom, changes in teaching strategies, and using Twitter to collaborate, using Google Apps for Education and a whole lot more.

Teachers Talking Tech offers support and guidance to all teachers who are interested in doing more with technology in their classrooms but lack the time to follow blogs devoted to this subject.”  It is easy to see why Laura was chosen as one of the featured teachers for this book.  She is always willing to try something new if it will improve education for her students.

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Friday Photo: Hour of Code

Dec 12, 2014 by

Learning to code gives you skills that you can carry through life.  

If you started this year with Hour of Code, keep teaching it!  If you didn’t, don’t wait until next year to start!  

Jobs code quote

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Tynker

Dec 11, 2014 by

Tynker iconTynker is an Android app that can be used for your #hourofcode activities this week or any time of the year.  Tynker uses a drag and drop interface to get users started with coding as they work through the puzzles.  Students progress through the levels and learn about logic loops, variables and more.  As students advance through the levels they will develop skills that can be used in the Tynker workshop to create their own games.  Tynker has game kits, themed templates, and hundreds of characters for students to choose from.  Students can also be creative with creating their own characters.  Tynker is a fun way for students to get started with coding while the use logic and critical thinking to work through the puzzles.

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Hopscotch

Dec 10, 2014 by

Hopscotch iconHopscotch is a great programming app for #hourofcode activities this week.  Hopscotch allows users to create characters and then program them to do all sorts of things like dance and move around.  Characters can be controlled by shaking or tilting the iPad and even your voice.  Users can create projects on the iPad app and play them on the iPhone app.  The critical thinking and analysis skills that students learn while programming with Hopscotch will be useful no matter what career they choose.

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Move the Turtle

Dec 9, 2014 by

Move the Turtle IconMove the Turtle is an app in which students complete task one at a time in order to progress through complex operations.  The fun interface and intuitive commands make it easy for kids to Move the Turtle.  Kids can learn advanced programming features like loops, procedures, conditional instructions and variables.  The graphical interface makes this app ideal for younger kids as they explore programming for the first time.

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