Innovate With iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom

Have you ever wanted a book about teaching with the iPad, light on jargon, gentle on the brain, with tried and tested lesson plans, valuable didactic information, and clear advice all included?  Did you even know that such a book existed? Well, it does, and it’s called Innovate With iPad: Lessons to Transform Digital Learning – if only all technology books for teachers were like this one. Innovate with iPad is an immensely practical, but at the same time considered work that is immediately accessible to all Primary School (K-3) teachers, whether they are beginners or experts in the world of iPads and digital classroom technology.

“Innovate with iPad: Lessons to Transform Learning in the Classroom is the book you and every educator with access to iPad needs to make a fast transition to using iPad for learning.”

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Don’t skip the Foreword and Introduction because like the main body of the book, they are worth the time. The Foreword is only a few paragraphs and sets the tone nicely. In the Introduction, the creators of Innovate With iPad, experienced primary school teachers Karen Lirenman and Kristen Wideen, share their thoughts and explain the layout of the remainder of the book. So far, so good, that didn’t take long at all, and we really wanted to read more.

“This book declutters and demystifies the question about which apps to use so teachers and students can quickly become fluent on iPad.”

Chapter 1: Getting Started, introduces the vital tools required for iPad lessons –  apps. The authors introduce their readers to what they call the five central apps, which are used extensively, but by no means exclusively in the lessons that follow. The iPad beginner has the chance to learn about much-used classroom apps and what they can do, the more experienced user finds familiar territory: A comfortable and intelligent beginning.

The apps that are central to the lessons in Innovate with iPad are:

There are other apps suggested for use in the lessons contained in Innovate With iPad but this approach of focussing on certain apps, keeps it simple and leaves room for choice and adaptation for the more advanced user, but still provides a solid foundation for those starting out with apps.

After this gentle beginning, the book divides logically into subject matter – there’s something for everyone:

  • Numeracy Lessons
  • Literacy Lessons
  • Science Lessons
  • Social Studies Lessons
  • Self-Assessment

This logical separation makes Innovate With iPad a good friend when it comes to planning classes.  As for the rest, it’s all very much hands-on, which is just what we like at Popplet.

Each lesson has roughly the same easy to understand format:

  • The Task
  • The Student’s Learning Intentions
  • The How

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I addition to the main body of the lesson, there is an aqua colored panel containing essential didactic information:

  • Grade – Pre-K to Grade 3, most lessons can be adapted for more than one grade
  • Subject Area – Geometry, Reading Comprehension…
  • iPad Comfort Level Level – Beginner/Advanced
  • Suggested App
  • Quick Tip – very useful advice
  • Lesson Extensions – adapt, increase engagement
  • Student Task Card – digital instructions for students

With this information at their fingertips, teachers can make quick decisions about what activities they choose. Not only can lessons be planned by subject, they can also be planned by App, iPad Comfort Level, and Grade.

Most of the  lessons – like the Popplet lesson above – contain student examples, and when they don’t, examples can be accessed for free on the book’s webpage.  Student Task Cards for some lessons are also available on the website:

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Popplet is a very versatile tool that works well with other apps, and it is completely at home whatever the subject of the lesson. So, not surprisingly, Popplet features numerous times in Innovate With iPad. In common with all the other fine apps that appear, Popplet has earned its reputation as a central iPad classroom app, and is a popular favorite with teachers, and students of all age groups. Take a look at these Popplet examples from the pages of Innovate With iPad:

  • NumeracyNumeracy
  • LiteracyLiteracy
  • ScienceScience
  • Social Studies
    Social

iPads, tablets, and digital technology are in the classroom, the workplace and in our homes – they are here to stay. The question for school teachers is not if, but when will I use this technology in my classroom. If you are a Primary school teacher and you have been asking yourself that question, then Innovate with iPad, with its logical layout, considered content and it’s varied range of subject matter, is a very good place to begin.

This book isn’t just for beginners. If you already have some experience of iPads, or even if you consider yourself an advanced user, you won’t have any problem finding a use for a resource as rich and accessible as Innovate With iPad.

 

 

 

Planning A Party With Popplet

Planning is only one of Popplet’s many uses. Creating an interesting, attractive visual record of how we expect events to unfold is quick and easy, so not surprisingly, creating visual organizers is a very popular Popplet pastime. Colors, connections, real-time collaboration, text, images and video all mean you can plan just about anything you can think of on a single popplet board. Popular Popplet plans include:

  • Writing – a research project, an article, a book
  • Schedules – daily, weekly…yearly, however far into the future you need to see!
  • Holidays, trips, brief excursions…
  • Business plans
  • Events – parties, weddings, dinners…

Planning a Summer Gathering With Popplet

One place Popplet really shines is in planning a birthday party or, a summer gathering of friends and family for example…

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Top of the Popplets! – July 2016

We are forever grateful to the many generous Popplet users who regularly share their work: on Twitter and Facebook, in Public Popplets, and on the many blogs and web pages in a mind-boggling number of different languages. A thorough examination of all of your hard work would take a long, long time, so if your Popplet doesn’t appear here in our monthly roundup of your favorite popplets, don’t be dismayed, please keep sharing, we are sure somebody somewhere in the Popplet community is benefitting. But for now, sit back, and savor July’s offerings.

Do I Need A Citation?


Do I Need a Citation? is a very useful decision-making flowchart, which has already been put through its paces a number of times now in the Popplet office. Intellectual property laws, copyright concerns, and just plain good manners mean we need to think carefully about republishing anything we might have picked up from another source. This very handy Popplet, published anonymously in Public Popplets – but with a citation for the information it contains! – is an example of how popplet can be used to create a simple yes/no flowchart which can simplify the trickiest of decisions. Thank you to the anonymous creator for keeping us on the straight and narrow.

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Holiday Planning With Popplet

Summer is well and truly here, and it’s time to put those important finishing touches to those perfect vacation plans. Or, you might just be throwing caution to the wind this holiday season, surrendering to mood or fancy and striking out towards the unknown. Whatever your outlook or stage of vacation readiness, packing Popplet on your trip will add a new dimension to your travel adventure, be it a short city break or a grand Amazonian adventure: Before packing, by your side throughout your journey, and after your return, Popplet makes a trusty holiday buddy. Just look at what you and Popplet can do together:

  • Brainstorming holiday ideas – choose the place you really want to go.
  • Itinerary – plan, plan, plan – if that’s your thing.
  • Holiday blog – show off to all the folks back home.
  • The holiday photos – create a Popplet Presentation.

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Top of the Popplets! – June 2016

Welcome to the June edition of Top of the Popplets! With the traditional summer holidays almost upon us, June has seen a feverish flurry of quality pre-vacation Popplet work: Superheroes, Coral Reefs, Engineering, and New Digital Technologies are just a small sampling of what subjects scored highly in the Popplet popularity stakes this month.

Superheroes

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Popplet Formatting Techniques: 3. The Grid Layout

Welcome to Popplet Formatting Techniques, the place to be if you are interested in learning the art of efficient and elegant popplet creation. 

The series so far…

  1. Selecting Popples and Multiple Actions: Learn how to copy and paste a single popple or dozens of popples, and perform editing and formatting actions such as changing text size and color on lots of popples at the same time
  2. Getting Organized With Popplet Stacks: Discover how the make row/column and align horizontally/vertically features can be used to free up space while working on a  busy popplet board.

Most popplet formatting tools can be accessed by clicking on the cog menu and selecting organize as shown in the image below:

Snap to Grid tools

The final three tools in this menu are the snap to grid tools, which can be used to format popplets in a grid layout.

Formatting Popplets in a Grid Layout

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Top of The Popplets! – May 2016

The merry month of May has passed and left in its wake the usual fabulous assortment of Popplet ideas. As well as quite a few big hurrahs for Moms on Mother Appreciation Days everywhere, this month saw Speaking Exam, Digital Competency and Kenning Poem popplets. Where else could you experience such variety?

We Love Or Moms!

A superlative sampling of some of the marvelous mom appreciation popplets created by Mrs. Oxley-Simpson’s first-grade class. Each and every one these budding junior Picassos has harnessed the power of the Popplet drawing tool to create a colorful and radiant portrait of possibly the most important person in their lives.  And if these mini-masterpieces weren’t enough to convince us that these kids are serious about their moms, just check out their wonderful comments. Bravo guys!

Mom Popplets 3-COLLAGE

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Popplet Formatting Techniques: 2. Getting Organized With Popple Stacks

Popplet is efficient, fun and simple to use. So simple, and so much fun that before you know it, even the best intentioned of popplet boards can quickly become cluttered and a little unmanageable. And as the fun of adding more and more information takes hold, popples might just start to get  a touch unruly. Not to worry! Most of the time order can be quickly restored to a popplet board by employing simple formatting techniques such as:

  • Creating additional popplets, and using Popplet Linker to connect them.
  • Adding textual information to Popplet Comments, clearing space on the main board.
  • Making Popple Stacks using the formatting tools located in the organize menu to cleverly create the temporary space big enough to hold all of your ideas

Popple Stacks Main

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Pop Art: 9 Ways To Use The Popplet Drawing Tool

Like all things Popplet, the Popplet Drawing Tool – we wanted to call it the Popplet Colored Pen, but it isn’t really a pen! – is a simple intuitive feature, which does exactly what it says on the box: it draws inside popples!  However, in the hands of the Popplet community, the Popplet drawing tool has evolved into a hugely popular and useful feature, which when wielded effectively can add a whole other dimension to Popplet work: a superior visual learning tool, which is a lot of fun to use.

The drawing tool can be accessed by clicking on the circular features button that contains an image that looks suspiciously like a pen…or is it a pencil?

Popplet_Drwing_Tool

On selecting the tool, you have three options:

  • colors – a choice of, click to select one
  • expand – increases the size of the popple, providing a flexible canvas
  • clear drawing – for when you need to start again

At this point, we suggest that you jump right in and give it a go if you haven’t done so already. Sketch whatever you like and see how much fun it is. Or, if you’re not quite ready to surrender to your creative self  quite yet, or if you’re seeking inspiration, take a look at what can be done.

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Top of The Popplets! – April 2016

April has been and left its customary showers, and along with the welcome spring rain came floods of attractive new Popplets. We won’t go so far as to say that it was raining popplets, but we will say that the Public Popplets, Twitter and Facebook pages were positively drenched in energetic and innovative Popplet creations. From a character analysis of a well-known pushy pigeon to a challenging study of homelessness, we picked out some of the best this month had to offer.

Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus: Describing Characters

What’s blue, funny, begs and really, really wants to drive the bus? Yes? No? Pigeon of course, from the award-winning children’s book, Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems. An image of the infamous bird takes the center spot, surrounded by simple description words that provide some savvy insight into the character of the pigeon protagonist. A fun and earnest introduction to literary analysis. Thanks again to Kara Bunch and her Kindergarteners for sharing this on Twitter and Instagram.

Describing Characters

POPPLET TIP: This popular Popplet activity is adaptable for all age groups. Students could even upload a video of the character, or add text (take a photo of the relevant sentence or paragraph in the book) to support their descriptions.
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