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Apple Announces update to ITunes U

Why more people are not using this incredible resource is beyond me.
Anyway, the best just got better.

Apple Announces Updates to iTunes U
Brings Course Creation, Management for Teachers & Student Discussions To iPad

CUPERTINO, California—June 30, 2014—Apple® today announced updates to iTunes U®, bringing educators and students great new tools to build and experience educational content on iPad®. Beginning July 8, teachers using the free iTunes U app can create, edit and manage entire courses directly on iPad for the first time, and students will discover new ways to collaborate including the ability to start class discussions and ask questions right from their iPad.

“Education is at the core of Apple’s DNA and iTunes U is an incredibly valuable resource for teachers and students,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “iTunes U features an amazing selection of academic materials for everyone around the world. Now, with the ability to better manage and discuss educational content, learning becomes even more personalized on iPad.”

The new in-app updates to iTunes U give teachers full course creation capabilities on iPad, with the ability to directly add rich content and learning materials from iWork®, iBooks® Author or any of the over 75,000 educational apps available for iPad. Taking advantage of the built-in camera on iPad, teachers can also capture photos and videos to incorporate real-world subject matter into any course, making relevant content available to all students in an instant.

“iTunes U is the most powerful destination for bringing the entire educational experience to life on iPad,” said Fraser Speirs, head of computing and IT at Cedars School of Excellence in Scotland. “By freeing teachers to create and organize courses right on iPad, educators can be better focused on enabling student participation both with the content and one another.”

Students using iPad and enrolled in private iTunes U courses will now have everything they need to fully collaborate with their classmates and teachers. With Discussions in the iTunes U app, students can automatically follow classroom discussions and join conversations on new topics, or set up push notifications for when new topics are started or replies are added to active exchanges. Teachers can participate in forums too, and have the ability to moderate discussions by removing any off-topic messages or replies.

“Discussions in iTunes U puts the potential for thoughtful exploration and collaboration into the hands of every one of our students,” said Larry Reiff, a teacher from Roslyn High School in New York. “iPad and iTunes U continue to provide students with the tools they need to build knowledge and demonstrate their learning.”

iTunes U helps educators create courses including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and more for millions of iOS users around the world. With over 750,000 individual learning materials available on the iTunes U app, iTunes U is the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content from top schools and prominent organizations. Today, thousands of educational institutions are hosting over 7,500 public and thousands of private courses encompassing the arts, sciences, health and medicine, education, business and more.

Educators can create iTunes U courses in 69 countries and make their courses and educational content accessible via the iTunes U app in 155 countries. In addition to the thousands of individual iTunes U learning materials found on the iTunes Store®, over 500,000 apps designed specifically for iPad are now available on the App Store℠. Additionally, with the free iBooks Author app on the Mac App Store℠, nearly 30,000 Multi-Touch™ books have been created by independent teachers and publishers worldwide.

10 in 10 top ten free reading sites for teachers, parents and students. From the series 10 in 10 from the EPISD.

Apr 2

Out of Print: Reimaging the K-12 Textbook in a Digital Age

From the SETDA website:

The benefits of digital content for student learning are many. Digital content can easily be kept up to date and relevant to students’ lives without the cost of reprinting or redistributing print materials. It can be made available anytime and anywhere, both online and offline, accessible when the student, teacher or parent needs it, whether from home, school, or another location. And digital content can be far richer and engaging, including not only text, but also high-definition graphics, video clips, animations, simulations, interactive lessons, virtual labs and online assessments.

Out of Print makes the case for the digital difference and how digital content can positively affect student learning and engagement, make accommodations for special learning needs, provide unbundled search and discovery, and provide support for personalized learning. It also provides profiles of four states – Indiana, Texas, Utah, and Virginia – and summarizes actions of policymakers from nearly half the states to encourage digital content. Research behind to the paper revealed seven success factors for making the shift to digital content: sustainable funding for devices, robust internet connectivity, up-to-date policies, prepared educators, intellectual property and reuse rights, quality control and alignment to standards, and state and local leadership buy-in. This research led to three recommendations:

Complete the shift from print-centric textbook adoption practices to digital resources no later than the 2017-18 school year.
Develop a vision and roadmap for completing this shift that includes eliminating unnecessary regulations and enacting supportive policies, investing in infrastructure and devices to support the shift, and ensuring effective implementation of digital policies.
Ensure a vibrant marketplace for digital and open content.

Click here to download the report

Emerging EdTech’s 2013 Free Education Technology Resources eBook

From the Introduction:

This digital booklet provides an introduction and easy access to many of the wonderful free applications and resources available on the Internet for teachers to use in and out of the classroom as part of the instructional and administrative process. This is the 2013 update of this eBook (the 2011 edition was the first one) and there have been a lot of updates made this year! I’ve added several new sections, including “(More) Flipped Classroom Resources”, “MOOCs”, “Teaching with Cell Phones & Smartphones”, and “(More) Cloud Apps”. I’ve also added a good deal of new iPad related content, and lots of other material throughout the book. The Facebook and Twitter chapters have been grouped under a more general “Social Networking and Social Learning Tools” chapter that includes articles about other popular social apps like Pinterest and Tumblr. As always, existing links have been checked for validity and some older material has been removed.

The majority of content in this eBook consists of edited articles originally published as blog posts on EmergingEdTech.com. After some chapters, a section of links to additional related articles is provided. I hope you find some great, fun, and productive tools here. Please feel free to share these resources with your colleagues, and to come and participate in the dialogue on EmergingEdTech.com! – K. Walsh

Click here to get your free book. PDF format.
Mar 4

Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom | free DL

Download this free ebook by clicking on the title above.

Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom, a new ebook from the Digital Media and Learning Hub, is produced and edited by a group of National Writing Project educators and takes examples of practice that teachers have shared online—here at the NWP Digital Is website—and curates them into a larger collection. This collection, unique in its focus on in-school work, explores the principles of Connected Learning woven throughout classroom work and practices.

You can download the PDF now for free. This report will soon be available as an eBook as well.

Edited by Antero Garcia along with Danielle Filipiak, Antero Garcia, Bud Hunt, Clifford Lee, Nicole Mirra, Cindy O’Donnell-Allen. Foreword and Afterword by Kylie Peppler and Christina Cantrill. Special thanks to the National Writing Project and their Digital Is community whose work is included:

CHAPTER ONE: INTEREST DRIVEN LEARNING
Nicole Mirra, University of California, Los Angeles

Interest-Driven Composition: Using Social Media in a Writing Workshop Christopher Working, Red Cedar Writing Project
Link to Digital Is Resource: Social Media as a Tool for Peer Collaboration with Elementary Students: A Teacher Inquiry Project

Social
Media as a Tool for Peer Collaboration with Elementary Students: A
Teacher Inquiry Project - See more at:
http://digitalis.nwp.org/resource/2800#sthash.opBWxynf.dpufSocial
Media as a Tool for Peer Collaboration with Elementary Students: A
Teacher Inquiry Project - See more at:
http://digitalis.nwp.org/resource/2800#sthash.opBWxynf.dpuf
“Happy Music, Happy Music”: Embracing Non-Standardized Writing Processes in Video-Making Chuck Jurich, High Desert Writing Project
Link to Digital Is Resource: An After-School Video Club for Elementary Students

The Word and The World: Connecting Writing to Lives of Students
Meenoo Rami, Philadelphia Writing Project
Link to the Digital Is Resource: Media Literacy via study of Advertisements

CHAPTER TWO: PEER-SUPPORTED LEARNING
Cindy O’Donnell-Allen, Colorado State University

Lights, Camera, Social Action! Katie McKay, Heart of Texas Writing Project
Link to Digital Is Resource: Lights, Camera, Social Action!

Wanna See the Movie? Lacy Manship, UNC Charlotte Writing Project
Link to Digital Is Resource: Wanna See The Movie?

Two Future Teachers’ Views on Peer-Supported Learning Chelsea Geier and David Neisler, Colorado State University
Link to Digital Is Resource: Teaching Reading: A Semester of Inquiry

CHAPTER THREE: ACADEMICALLY ORIENTED TEACHING
Antero Garcia, Colorado State University

Academically Oriented Teaching: How do I teach what I do not know? Janelle Bence, North Star of Texas Writing Project
Link to Digital Is Resource: How do I teach what I do not know?

How do I teach what I do not know?
Bringing “Traditional” Essay Writing into the Digital World Larissa Pahomov, Science Leadership Academy
Link to Digital Is Resource: Bringing “Traditional” Essay Writing into the Digital World

Writing with Pictures: Comics and Connected Learning Nick Kremer, Columbia Public Schools, University of Missouri - Columbia
Link to Digital Is Resource: Writing With Pictures: Creating Comics in the Classroom

CHAPTER FOUR: PRODUCTION-CENTERED CLASSROOMS
Clifford Lee, St. Mary’s College of California

Interactive Fiction Game Design: Text-based Video Games Jason Sellers, Bay Area Writing Project
Link to Digital Is Resource: Interactive Fiction Game Design

Interactive ‘Zine: Bridging Maker spaces, English Language Arts, Computer Programming, and Visual Arts Christian McKay, Indiana University
Link to Digital Is Resource: Digitally Interfaced Book: Paper, Graphite, Makey Makey, Scratch, and Imagination

Using Media to (Re) Claim The Hood: Essential Questions & Powerful English Pedagogy Danielle Filipiak, Teachers College
Link to Digital Is Resource: Using Media to (Re) Claim The Hood: Essential Questions & Powerful English Pedagogy

CHAPTER FIVE: OPENLY NETWORKED
Bud Hunt, St. Vrain Valley School District

Supporting “Change Writers” through a Connected Learning Lens Gail Desler, Elk Grove Unified School District
Link to Digital Is Resource: On Becoming Change Writers

Learning Alongside: Openly Networked Storytelling with Social Justice in Mind Adam Mackie and Jenny Putnam St. Romain, Colorado State University
Writing Project
Link to Digital Is Resource: Learning Alongside: Embracing Digital Storytelling with Social Justice in Mind

Openly Networked Learning In and Across Art Museums Mike Murawski, Portland Art Museum
Link to Digital Is Resource: Blogs by Mike Murawski

CHAPTER SIX: SHARED PURPOSE:
Danielle Filipiak, Teachers College

Shared Purpose Leads to Civic Action Jennifer Woollven, Central Texas Writing Project
Digital Is Resource link: Shared Purpose Leads to Civic Action

A Fourth Grade Service Learning Project Robert Rivera-Amezola, University of Pennsylvania
Digital Is Resource link: A Fourth Grade Service Learning Project

Hip Hop Literacy X Entertainment Justice = Young Digital Economies Bryce Anderson-Small, The HERU Organization
Digital Is Resource link: HERU: Hip Hop Literacy X Entertainment Justice = Young Digital Economies

- See more at: http://digitalis.nwp.org/site-blog/teaching-connected-learning-classroom/5995#sthash.HCuE4v1L.dpuf

Download this free ebook by clicking on the title above.

Feb 9

FREE Learning Websites for Elementary Students

Click on title to go to list

300+ Mind Expanding Documentaries online for free

Lots of categories to choose from including education. Can any of these be assigned as part of a flipped classroom assignment? —TBH

From the article:

On this list of mind expanding documentaries you will find different viewpoints, controversial opinions and even contradictory ideas. Critical thinking is recommended. I’m not a big fan of conspiracy documentaries but I do like films that challenge consensus reality and provoke us to question the everyday ideas, opinions and practices we usually take for granted.

Click on title to go to link.

Curriki: Open Education Resources

Okay, so this looks like a great place to start if a district or state wanted to dump textbooks and star creating their own material. Alson with CK12.org it is apparent that publishers no longer have the monopoly on excellent resources.

From the site:

Find free to use learning and teaching content from diverse content providers and educators from around the world.

What happens when classroom teachers from every country in the world take part in a global community of sharing curriculum and best practices? Teachers are empowered to create extraordinary learning experiences for their students. Barriers to equal access to education begin to lift—geography and politics become immaterial. And the economy benefits from a highly educated population. That’s why we founded Curriki, a nonprofit K-12 global community for teachers, students, and parents to create, share, and find free learning resources that enable true personalized learning. We believe free and equal access to the best curriculum materials is possible and Curriki is leading the way.

Curriki has been translated into Finnish and Japanese. Please visit these amazing sites for local language resources and community connections.

Click on title to go to link.

Jan 5

Hot Apps 4 HOTS: Free iBook

In this interactive resource, readers will cycle through 9 stations focusing on each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy (from remembering to creating). Each station will include an apptivity with a specific app, example products, and additional resources to support iPad integration in the iClassroom.

Some Free Books I Have been Reading from the iTunes Bookstore

I have noticed a proliferation of free material in the iTunes bookstore. Some good, some bad, some excellent. Here are a few I have been looking at with links to each.

Some Free Titles on Ed Tech on the iBookstore

Here are some titles I have seen recently on the iBookstore that have an ed tech slant and are free. Can’t beat the price and you might get some great ideas:

25 Ways to Become a Tech Savvy Teacher Monica Burns
As a NYC Educator and EdTech Blogger, I’m always finding new and innovative ways to use technology with my students and I’m excited to share these discoveries!

Discover Design Thinking Jan-Erik Baars
Design Thinking is a big buzz these days: it‘s also an indication that we are truly leaving behind the industrial age. In the transition to what is next there is a risk that it subsequently will be used as a tool, solely with the attempt to improve the current system that is still dominated by industrial thinking. But that‘s like sticking an engine on a horse. For design thinking to really improve our current system, the system needs to leave the old thinking behind. I hope that some of the experiences and suggestions mentioned in this book can help stimulate in doing so. 
This book contains a collection of essays and reflections, initially published on various blogs, like designfokus.net and designthinkingnetwork.com, between 2010 and fall 2012.

An Avalanche Is Coming: Higher Education and the Revolution Ahead by Saad Rizvi, Sir Michael Barber & Katelyn Donnelly
This publication argues that the next 50 years could see a golden age for higher education, but only if all players seize the initiative and act ambitiously. 
If not, an avalanche of change will sweep the system away.
This report challenges all players in the system to act boldly. Citizens need to seize the opportunity to learn and re-learn throughout their lives. University leaders need to take control of their own destiny and seize the opportunities opened by technology to offer broader, deeper and more exciting education. Each university needs to be clear with which niches or market segments it wants to serve and how. Finally, governments need to rethink their regulatory regimes for an era when university systems are global rather than national and a student’s education can take multiple paths.

The key messages from the report to every player in the system are that the new student consumer is king and standing still is not an option. Embracing the new opportunities set out here may be the only way to avoid the avalanche that is coming.

Digital First: Enhancing Teaching, Learning and Research at Ohio State

The Digital First mission is to inspire innovative instruction through emerging technology. We are redesigning the campus experience at The Ohio State University by optimizing wireless and classroom technology, inspiring instructors to offer engaging digital learning content to students, and enhancing the student experience from enrollment to graduation and beyond.
In this interactive book, learn how Digital First is transforming teaching, learning and research at The Ohio State University.

26 Instructional Strategies On the iPad
Courtney Pepe
This is book provides a bevy of Instructional Strategies that can be used on the iPad.  The author of this book has experienced success with many of these strategies working in her school district that has a one to one iPad initiative.  There is literally a strategy or APP for every letter of the alphabet.  You will find at least one thing in this book that can transform your learning environment in an innovative way.

The Teacher’s iPadoPedia
by Philip Johnston
The largest compilation of uses for iPads in the classroom ever assembled; clearly presented, comprehensively cross-referenced, filled with images and video tours of the apps discussed, and sorted by what teachers actually do each day. Rather than focusing on iPad’s features, this guide answers a more fundamental question for teachers:how can iPad help me do my job? For elementary and secondary school teachers of all subjects, this iPads-in-education guide was created by one of music education’s best known writers and presenters. 


Proven Approaches to Effective Technology Integration
by Atomic Learning
A student today needs a host of skills to succeed beyond the walls of the school. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are still the fundamentals needed to build an education, but much more is expected of a 21st century learner. Students need to be prepared with the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will prepare them for the technology and ideas of the future. 
To get there, students must use technology in new ways. Technology is not simply a replacement for textbooks, notebooks, and overhead projectors. It is an important tool that must be used to its fullest potential. 
As an educational leader, you are an agent of change. Any change comes with a whole set of challenges. Understanding how change happens and what prevents initiatives from succeeding is a vital part to any implementation plan.
This eBook will highlight why, as an administrator, your planning must go beyond buying the hardware. It’s not about the software or apps used, or even the type of device. It’s about understanding how the technology can help educators advance students to reach their fullest potential.


How People Learn
by Christopher Bertha & Dominique Craft
This handbook is intended to give you a foundational understanding of how the brain acquires new knowledge and how, as a teacher, you can best facilitate and optimize this process. 

List of Free Science Books

Need some science? Get it here. Over 150 free science books. Not vetted by me, so I cannot vouch for correctness. 

The MET has got some wonderful, fully illustrated textbooks that are available online for free! (X)

DOWNLOAD
  1. Art of the Islamic World
  2. The Art of Africa
  3. The Art of Ancient Egypt
  4. The Art of the Ancient Near East
  5. The Art of Renaissance Europe
  6. The Art of South and Southeast Asia
  7. The Arts of Korea
  8. Auguste Rodin: The Burghers of Calais
  9. Greek Art from Prehistoric to Classical
  10. Islamic Art and Geometric Design: Activities for Learning
  11. A Masterwork of Byzantine Art — The Story of David and Goliath
  12. Medieval Art
  13. Nature Within Walls: The Chinese Garden Court at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  14. Roman Art

Free "Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies" poster

Nothing better than free, especially free stuff that is cool.

This would be a great poster for a science class, debate class, government class…

Click on the title to get the poster in PDF format, You can also order a really nice one from the site for $20.

Powerful Learning practice announces new star in the ePub Sky: PLPress

Anyone familiar with Sheryl Nussbaun-Beach’s Powerful Learning Practice (PLP) community of 21st century learning products knows by now that PLP is one company likes to be on the cutting edge of teacher professional development. From their excellent worldwide blended learning model of active research-driven professional development to their influential group blog “Voice from the Learning Revolution” to the various web-based e-courses they offer, the PLP group of learning opportunities is growing quickly.  Nussbaum-Beach has been able through her years of presenting workshops,  training and networking, to surround herself with a core group of like-minded educators. 

PLP is an entire company is driven, it seems,  by educators that want to truly make a difference. If they make some cash along the way, good for them, but they are not a corporate-profit driven enterprise that has only the bottom line which many of the current crop of professional development corporations are. Apple and Pearson have nice professional development opportunities, but when they are gone they are gone. PLP on the other hand stays around, checking in occasionally like a good next door neighbor that wants to make sure everything is alright. PLP is doing professional development for educators in the early  21st correctly correctly. 

The latest venture by the company is Powerful Learning Press, an in-house publishing offshoot that draws on the experiences of the various educators that make up the PLP universe of learners and thinkers. Using the PLP team of educators as it’s core writers , PLPress will be publishing books in the 15-30,000 word range. (Anyone familiar with Will Richardson’s book “Why School” will have an idea of the size of the books: about 130 pages.

So, take advantage of the first free book”Powering Up” by signing up on the PLPress website today. 

Here is their press release:

Today is a big day here at Powerful Learning Practice!

We are celebrating the launch of Powerful Learning Press — our own unique publishing venture — by giving away a free interactive eBook that we hope will inspire more educators to become connected learners.

About this free eBook

The Connected Teacher: Powering Up shares stories written by teachers and school leaders who are making the shift to technology infused, student-driven learning on behalf of their iGeneration students.

The 22 helpful articles in Powering Up first appeared here in our Voices from the Learning Revolution group blog. In addition to the original text, the book includes images, clickable links, videos and selected comments from readers of the original posts.

You can download your free copy at the new Powerful Learning Press website.

“We want to create vital, action-oriented books that give teachers and other educators the advice and encouragement they need to make the shift to connected learning,” — Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, PLP co-founder and CEO

While you’re there, be sure to read about our plans for PLPress and our refreshingly different approach to education publishing. And if you’re an active educator thinking about writing a book of your own, visit the Write for Us page and share what you have in mind!

What are you waiting for? Get your free eBook, find out all about the press, and join us for a launch party! 

Here is a video about the PLPress:

Free tools for teachers - Partners in Learning Network

Not a big MS fan, but of someone os offering free stuff for teachers, I say , hey, go for it. 

Lots of stuff to click through here.