I‘m going to focus on the literacy part of science literacy for a moment because reading is vital to continued learning. As you’ll see in the the video below, it’s imperative that students continue their reading over the summer to ensure they maintain their skills. In the video, Dr. Guy Trainin and I discuss several reading apps for all ages of students that include both free material, “on loan” material, and paid material. This allows the tools to fit every budget, and every reading level.
The great thing about mobile apps is that they are mobile. Students can read on the go without having to take heavy books with them. Also, many of the mobile apps allow for “offline” reading so that even when there is no internet connection, students can read the books they’ve downloaded onto the device.
Need some ideas on what books to have your children read? I would suggest you look at the local library. Libraries typically have summer reading lists and/or programs broken down by grade or age to help guide your reading choices. For teachers, there are many online resources to help you cultivate a reading list for your students.
- Here’s a list from the Association of Library Services for Children
While I admit it might not seem as though this post aligns with the others, I feel that it is important to share useful technologies. I was asked a couple of week’s ago to talk about an app I really like using for teaching. This past semester, I joined a university wide pilot for the Canvas LMS. There are a million little things I love about this platform, one of the best is that it is fully mobile. Before using this system, I was frustrated by the grading features of other LMS’s and found myself more tied to my desktop than I wanted to be.
In this video, you hear me discuss Canvas with Dr. Guy Trainin as part of his Tech Edge, Mobile Learning in the Classroom. I highly recommend his video series as he discusses useful apps for teachers.
The video gives a small taste of all the features I love about Canvas, but I did have some students who resisted the change at first. Several expressed their dislike of having to learn yet another program. But, as the semester progressed, many of those same students found themselves liking the features and enjoying the platform. The big take away here is to try things in your classroom, and give students a chance to adjust – because just like many of us, they don’t always like change.
Here’s a Short List of Canvas Features I love:
- SpeedGrader – this makes grading so much easier when I’m on the go.
- Calendar – I can easily change due dates/details and the information cascades through the other ares of Canvas.
- Notifications – while these are arguably less useful for the teacher because it can get overwhelming, the students enjoy the feature.