New Things

For a variety of reasons, I am intrigued by using handhelds in the classroom. This time, my interest stemmed from a discussion I had with a friend from St Olaf. Her school is focusing on inquiry based learning this year and we explored this article, “How to Write Effective Driving Questions,” as part of our conversation. Included in this article was a link to the Buck Institute for Education’s YouTube channel with a video on project based learning. I noticed one of the other videos on the side, Tony Vincent’s K12 Online Conference presentation entitled, “Project Based Learning in Hand.”  Since watching that presentation, I have become more intrigued about the potential for iPod Touch and iPads in the classroom.

I have access to 7 gen 4 and 5 gen 1, 2 or 3 iPod Touches which I will be trying out in a variety of ways in my classes this year, the first is going to be early next week with our Constitutional and Criminal Law class, we are going to interview a Founding Father. The second will be with the same class, the plan is to have students make some sort of video or flip book about the Constitution. The ideas are gelling, I will let you know how it goes…

Live from GFW

The drive was beautiful and we successfully avoided wild turkeys and, more importantly, flooded roads. Two of my colleagues, Jim (chemistry) and Matt (science and math), and I travelled to Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop High School for an Apple event
showcasing GFW’s iPad initiative. We are checked in, sitting in a great old auditorium, and ready for a great day.

I will update as time and the schedule allow. Happy Wednesday! 🙂

Free iPad apps: Food & FACS

Whether cooking with young children or structuring a high school FACS cooking unit, the apps store has free apps which will be useful. For cooking with young people, Big Fork, Little Fork from Kraft Foods offers recipes, nutrition information, tips for healthy eating, and conversation starters to inspire family dinners.

My friends and I often say either the basic Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Garden Cookbook is the staple on the cookbook shelf so I was happy to see the free Betty Crocker Cookbook app and downloaded it immediately. If connected to the Internet, view photos of the recipes; if not connected, view the text of the recipes and keep cooking. This cookbook app would be helpful for menu planning or cooking in a Foods class or, really, any kitchen. The growing interest in growing and cooking local foods makes the Recipes from Harvest to Heat app provides recipes for every course in a formal meal and a focus on the farmer. A great component for an “eat local” unit.

Our school’s Foods class has an international unit. The 365 World Recipes, Thai Cooking for iPad, Best of French Cuisine and Italian Cookbook HD Lite would all be helpful sources for recipe ideas.  If working on unique courses, the Tapas! Cookbook Lite (5 recipes),  the vegetarian Wraps & Rolls (39 recipes), and the Sweet Cookbook Lite (5 recipes) would be great for some unique tapas, wrap sandwiches and dessert ideas. If looking for some recipes that fit well with spring, the Outdoor! Cookbook Lite offers five recipes and video demos on how to make them.

Looking for kitchen fun? The Nibbly-Bits app offers artistic renditions of recipes for any course with a new artistic rendition and recipe each week (Guacamole is especially fun to look at and tasty too).  On food games, the Tiny Chef puts the user in the role of restaurateur and Stand-O-Food has a free version which is fun (though I became addicted and had to purchase the full version which looks like it’s price is reduced until March 21, just in case you get addicted too ;)).

Happy cooking, be it real or virtual!

Free iPad apps: US Government

A majority of the apps on my iPad were free. The first US Government content-related apps I downloaded were the Constitution for iPad, the Declaration (of Independence) for iPad. Great reference for both US History and US Government. Both apps allow for exploration of the main document text, the biographies of the signers of each document, information about the parchment on which the documents are written, and the famous paintings of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Constitution and Federalist Papers app is another that has background about the writing of the Constitution, the text of the documents, the Federalist papers and images of the pages of the Constitution.

For more current US Government-related content, MyCongress follows any senators or representatives by zip code and shows recent news, the Congressperson’s YouTube channel, and Twitter Feed (if s/he Tweets). NBC’s Meet the Press provides instant access to interviews on the current issues of the government with interviews, the roundtable, and audio podcasts. Politico is also helpful to keep up on the 2010 Presidential race and current activities of Congress and the Presidency. Finally, the Cartoons (with cartoons from the Cagle cartoon library, I love them) keeps up on the current funny.