Monday, February 6, 2012

More iPad, iPhone, & iTouch Apps for Education

InClass - Free This is a great app for students - Contains a class schedule that shows all tasks & assignments for the day. It allows the user to take photo, video, audio or text notes within the app. Electronic handouts can be opened in the app. Notes can be exported via iTunes and shared on FaceBook. Click here for more information. 

MyScript Memo - Free Have you ever wanted to jot a quick note on your iPhone or iPad with your stylus or finger? This app allows you to do so, then converts your handwriting to text! You can export your note to evernote, photo album or email. You can also share on FaceBook and Twitter. Multiple languages are supported.  Click here for more information. 

QRAFTER - Free This app is a QR code reader. What makes it different from all other QR readers is that you can also create QR codes within the app for a $2.99 upgrade purchase within the app. What is a QR code you ask? You see these on advertisement pages in magazines. It is a quick way to get your information out there without taking up a lot of space. For education, you might create a worksheet & put a QR code at the bottom that contains a link to all of the answers for self checking. It is also a quick way for students to go to the same website on their smartphones. Click here for more information. 

Google has a free QR Code generator - click on the link to access:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

iPad for the High School Math Classroom

It has been almost two years since my last post.  Since then I have moved out of the classroom into administration.  Last spring I received an iPad 2 and have been learning how to use it to enhance instruction. I have found several apps that would benefit math teachers and their students.

Doodle Buddy-free with ads enabled
Have you ever wanted to write out a solution to a problem and post to your website or email it?  You can do just that with Doodle Buddy.  This app turns the iPad into an individual whiteboard complete with markers and chalk.  Work can be saved to the photo library.

To the left is an example of completing the square using the Doodle Buddy App.

Quick Graphs- free for both iPhone and iPad
There is a small fee to enable separate scaling of the x and y axes. This one is my favorite for graphing. The graphs are easy to scale and colorful.  It is a much better picture than a graphing calculator display.  Save the graph to the photo library and insert into tests or worksheets. 

I used the Skitch app (free) to build a frame around this graph.

Skitch was also used to draw arrows and record the end behavior on the graph.

Screen Chomp - free from TechSmith the makers of Jing
This app is still in beta.  It lets you record what is written on the whiteboard. Use it to demonstrate how to solve a problem from start to finish. Import a picture of a geometry problem and annotate on top of it.  Share a link of the recording for students to access later.  This app is already good and will continue to improve.
Click here for a brief example of Screen Chomp.

Algebra Touch - under $5 available for iPhone and iPad
This app is great fun for algebra 1 students. Fingers are used to touch the parts of expressions and equations to simplify or solve. There are numerous practice problems and lessons that get progressively harder. 

Unit Circle - free available on iPhone and iPad 
This app is useful for trigonometry. It displays the unit circle providing the six trigonometric ratios for the angles students are usually required to memorize. It is a quick visual reference for students. 
My post on math apps would not be complete without mentioning the Wolfram Alpha app.  I so wish this app existed when I was in high school and college. Ask it any math problem and it will solve it.  It will even provide the graph, solution steps, and alternate methods. It is simply amazing. 

Hope this gets you started on using the iPad for math. If you know of additional apps out there that you like for high school math pleas let me know in the comments.

Friday, February 5, 2010

SHSU Math Conference

Embedded below is a slide presentation highlighting various Web 2.0 Tools that have been useful to me as a math teacher. I will be sharing and discussing these topics at the Sam Houston State University Math Conference on Saturday.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Geogebra - A Tool For All Math Teachers

I have been playing with Geogebra for several hours. It is a wonderful math applet that applies to algebra, geometry, precalculus, and calculus. The wonderful part about Geogebra is that no download is required to use the program. This means that Geogebra can be used anywhere there is an internet connection. There are some great resources on how to learn to use Geogebra within the geogebra wiki and at Math 247.

Geogebra Wiki contains some ready to use activities created by math teachers. Click on the topic that your class is studying and try one of them out. You do not have to be good at geogebra to use these activities. Most of them contain directions right on the activity so that they can be used by students with no knowledge of geogebra.

If you want a better understanding of how geogebra works and would like to create activities for your own class, start at Math 247. There are loads of instructional materials for the teacher, beginning witht the basics.

Do you remember working a problem in Pre-Cal or Calculus in which there is a boat offshore at point S and the occupant needs to get to point Q by a combination of rowing and walking? At what point R should the occupant land his boat in order to get to point Q in the least possible time? Students have a very difficult time with this one. Click on the following link for a great mathcast on the boat landing problem at math 247. The teacher takes you step by step through the problem, completely illustrated by geogebra. Not only is it a great solution, but you will pick up a lot of techniques to become more adept at geogebra.

Below is a very simple geogebra sketch of a parabola. Move the sliders to see the the effects on the graph of f(x) = ax^2+c when the values of a and c are changed. I plan to use this sketch in my algebra class when we begin quadratics.

I found other wonderful resources on Geogebra besides those mentioned above. See Kate Nowak's post on triangle centers and embedding a geogreba sketch into a blog. See Mr. L's Math on geogebra projects with parabolas.

Do you use Geogebra for demonstrations or do you have students construct sketches? Let me know in the comment section.

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Sorry, the GeoGebra Applet could not be started. Please make sure that Java 1.4.2 (or later) is installed and active in your browser (Click here to install Java now)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Five Ways to Use Google Forms in the Classroom

Google Forms is such a useful tool. Listed below are all the different ways Google Forms can be used by the classroom teacher.

1. Use a Google Form to collect parent and student information such as email addresses, phone numbers, and other general information. The hardest part is deciding what information you want to collect. After that it just takes a few minutes to create the form. Once created, copy the link to the form and post it on your website. Keep in mind how parents and students might respond to each of your questions. For example, when you request a name, you might want to do two separate questions, one for the first name and one for the last name. Otherwise, you might not be able to easily sort alphabetically later.

2. Use a Google Form to collect links from student of projects they have done online. This makes it so easy for grading later. I have used a google form to collect the URLs for student created animotos, glogs, toondoos, and prezi presentations. This cuts down on printing and organizes all of my student work in one spreadsheet. I simply have to click through the spreadsheet for class presentations or for grading.

3. Use a Google Form to survey your students. Perhaps you would like to know who they would like to work with when you are about to change groups. Maybe you want their opinion on a certain activity.

4. Use a Google Form to give a quiz. Write a few questions, post the link to your website and ask students to take a quiz. Be sure to take the quiz first so that the first line of your spreadsheet contains the answers. If your quiz is multiple choice, make it self grading. Click here to see a screencast on how to create a quiz that is self grading. For more information on self grading quizzes, check out Wes Fryer's blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity.

5. Use a Google Form as a sign up sheet for various things. For example, my daughter's band director asks students what kind of sandwich they want before the game via a google form.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Create a Quiz at Mystudiyo

Want to create a quick quiz that your students can access online? It is pretty simple to do at at mystudiyo. All you have to do is sign up for an account, select the quiz style you want and type in your questions. You can also upload upload images to go with your questions. See below for a five question geometry quiz on right triangles. Some of the questions are pretty tricky. Try it out, responses are anonymous.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Let's Get Zesty With Prezi

Debbie and I are conducting a workshop on Prezi at the Sam Houston State Technology Conference on Saturday, October 23, 2009. Our presentation is in the form of a prezi and is embedded below. Included are snapshots and links of several student created Prezis. Prezi is a non-linear presentation tool that is so much better than PowerPoint. It can be used with virtually any subject at any grade level. We have found that students find prezis much more interesting to watch than traditional slide shows. They also feel that prezi presentations are both easy and fun to use. Both of us have had very positive experiences using Prezi with our students.

Conference participants please click on this link to share your Prezi with the group.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Technology In A Science Class

I wanted to share some ideas that I have used in both my Chemistry and Biology classes integrating technology with the WOW carts. To begin, I must tell you a little about me and my perspective with technology. I love using technology and learning new applications. I would spend hours working with various programs learning what they could offer me and my students. I wanted to share as much as I could with my students but was limited by computer availability and more importantly I was limited by my lack of imagination on how to implement the technology in a meaningful way in a science classroom. I have since been able to use certain Web 2.0 applications in my class to differentiate and support my students. In the beginning of the school year when we were reviewing safety in the science laboratory I assigned students to create a safety cartoon using ToonDoo. This was a modification on an existing assignment where the students would create paper safety cartoons.


Another program I have had success with is Wallwisher.
My biology students created walls of vocabulary terms for review of our cell unit. They were instructed to provide a description of the various organelles and include a picture for each term. I then borrowed Jill's great idea, I had the students submit a Google Form with their wall address to turn in the assignment. Because it timestamps the submission I was able to determine if the student was on time.

If you decide to use wallwisher make sure the students choose that anyone can view their wall but only they can add sticky notes. I would also suggest that you tell them not to overlap their sticky notes. They can extend below the viewable space on their page to add more. Make sure they stay within the width of the computer screen. This allowed me to print their virtual walls to post on my walls of our classroom. I

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

BookBox - Display Your Favorite Books

BookBox is an easy way to display covers of your favorite books in your blog or webpage. This might be a useful tool for teachers to advertise required reading. Students might use it to show the bookcover when writing book reports for their classroom blog or wiki.

BookBox is very simple to use. All it requires is the title, author, or ISBN number of the desired book. I entered four of my favorite titles for my classroom reading, created a password, and clicked on save and embed. The site generated an embed code for me to copy and paste onto my blog.

My BookBox is located below. If you click on one of the books, it will take you to its Amazon page. This might be convenient in that it gives the student or parent more information on the book as well as pricing information. It is also good for Amazon. The creator of the site indicated that plans were in place to offer additional book stores in the future.