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My first Cardboard experience

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I jut received my Google Cardboard. I ordered the virtual reality viewer from among the choices recommended for my iPhone.  (A downloadable kit allows manufacturers to produce and sell Cardboards.) I folded the simple device together from its flat cardboard package. I matched together the strategically positioned slots, so that the magnets, velcro, little strap, […]

Lesson Flows: app smashing instructional design

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I’ve written quite a bit about app smashing, the understanding that it often takes more than one app or tool to effectively accomplish a digital task.  Well, that concept is also true about building instruction these days. How can we better harness and leverage all of those appealing digital tools we discover? CommonSense Media, the […]

For me, Google Keep’s a keeper!

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I don’t know why I haven’t discovered this super handy tool before, but I am delighted to find it.  If you love using stickies to organize your life, and you find yourself keep list after list, then Google Keep is a keeper. The digital sticky note service is available for the Web, for Android, and […]

What’s in your pocket?

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Say you were stranded on a desert island and you could only have one (or maybe two) apps, and recharging was not a problem.  Which ones would you choose? Okay, so here are a few better questions.  Look back over the course of the school year. Which of the apps on your phone or tablet […]

Map of Life goes mobile

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This app is going to make travel, field trips, birdwatching and walks in the woods, on the beach and in the park way more fun. One of my very favorite examples of crowd-sourced reference sites has been Yale University’s Map of Life . Using a wide variety of data sources,  the biodiversity project endeavors to provide […]

ReadWriteThink rocks: with free apps

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If it’s been a while since you’ve returned to ReadWriteThink, I urge you to consider a visit today. The quality portal, rich with free resources and sponsored by the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Verizon Foundation has grown even more interactive. So what’s new?  There’s an array […]

Surveying the silver and gold

In my last post, Find new apps, but keep the old . . ., I listed a few portals and lists I regularly visit to discover new apps and to search for tried and true tools to accomplish learning goals and tasks.  I see making these discoveries, old and new, as a new form of […]

Find new apps, but keep the old . . .

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Find new apps, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold. As the holiday shopping season draws to a close, the classroom teachers and teacher librarians I know will continue to shop. We’re looking for a few perfect apps to introduce to learners. We don’t want to waste time opening pretty packages […]

Three things Emily shared

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Among the Valenza family traditions are the little app share sessions I have with my daughter.  Emily, an art teacher in Boston, regularly introduces me to tools and platforms I don’t find elsewhere in my network. Here are some of Emily’s current faves from this Thanksgiving: Koma Koma: Anyone, from kindergarten to adult, can use […]

Best Apps for Teaching and Learning needs your input

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I am honored and kinda thrilled to be a member of AASL’s Best Apps for Teaching and Learning Committee. This particular best list is now three years old and recognizes apps of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. The apps foster the qualities of […]