3D Brain – An iPad App for Psychology

Here’s a post from Ms. Beetson’s use of a application called “3D Brain” for use with her Psychology students. Wonderful stuff!


I thought I was pretty clever when I stumbled across this app in my search for something to support the psych students whilst dissecting goats’ brains. Turns out this is a really well known app – and it was already installed on our school iPads ready to go.

The beauty of 3D Brain is not only how easy it is to use and how  clearly you can see the parts of the brain (it helped us locate the thalamus, hypothalamus and hippocampus really easily), but the descriptions of the functions of different parts of the brain were especially helpful in connecting to the unit on biological psychology.

Produced by an edu – these people know what they are doing. The students loved it – in the follow up lesson I had trouble getting them to give the ipads up. I was most impressed, though, by the links given to recent (reputable journal) articles relating to this aspect of psychology.  So easy to use, plus we now have a bank of recent research to refer to throughout the course.

iPads in HS English: 10th Grade Literary Analysis Visual Project

Ms. Mazarakis’ Grade 10 students integrated iPads as a wonderful tool for enhancing their literacy analysis visual project. I snapped a few photos of the works in progress, but I recommend viewing the final student work below. Check out the full project via this link. 

Ms. Mazarakis’ introduction to the project:

10th Grade Literary Analysis Visual Project:

“Students created Google presentations to practice their skills of literary analysis.  Each slide in the presentation has three components: a rich excerpt taken from a short story, analysis of a literary element within the excerpt, and a visual representation created using Paper 53 on the iPads.  Students worked collaboratively to create the presentation in class, taking turns typing the text on laptops and working with the iPads to create images.  The novelty of the iPads definitely increased their enthusiasm for the assignment.  We were all impressed with the professional quality and originality of the artwork that resulted from using this app!

Many thanks to the 10th grade English team who collaboratively created this project—my contribution was simply to add iPads into the mix!”

Flipping the Classroom with Ted Ed

Ted Ed makes flipping the classroom a great deal easier! Often times teachers mention (and I know what they mean!) that it is time consuming to produce their own videos for students to engage students before class. Well, Ted Ed makes this a whole lot easier. They offer an increasing number of the insprirational and informative TED videos as engaging interactive lessons for students. Selected videos are animated, cartoonized, or made more visual in sume manner.. The video  lesson includes a follow up questionaire and additional resources.

The best thing about Ted Ed flipping? Well, it has to be the ability to flip ANY YouTube video. Ted Ed allows the user to to apply your own titles, your own questions, your own resources, and provide your  own link to any  YouTube video lesson you customize-not just the ones on their site.


Twitter in ES

Quite a few classes in elementary school here at ISM are using twitter as another way to communicate with the world. The classes that are tweeting are using one joint class twitter account and allowing the students in the class to take turns writing tweets throughout the day. The tweets focus on the learning happening both in the homeroom class and the learning that happens in specialists classes. Parents and others interested can follow the class tweets on twitter or by visiting the blog, where there is a twitter feed placed in the sideboard. see image below

We are finding that the students want to write on twitter because they know their words will be on the web for others to see. Having a real audience gives writing a purpose and gives the students  a voice.

Some thoughts:

-students write tweets, teachers handle the social aspect of following other tweeters

-gives teachers many teachable moments on appropriate language, spelling and grammar. We are also learning when and how to use ‘text speak’.

-many reluctant writers find writing on twitter less intimidating so they are willing to take risks with their writing

-we are beginning to connect with other tweeters across the school and across the world, including other classes & authors

Example of the twitter feed on an ISM blog:

Wallwisher: Multiple Uses




How can you use Wallwisher.com?

1. Get feedback on school trips.
2. Gather resources collectively.
3. Student responses to presentations, media,questions, etc.
4. Generate brainstorming ideas.
5. think of your own…

How to set it up?

1. Go to Wallwisher.com
2. Choose build a wall.
3. Choose a URL name.
4. Enter name and email.
5. Choose a picture
6. Choose public or private.
6. Share by giving out address or embed into a blog post.
7. Start adding Sticky notes.

notes limited to 160 characters
can embed pics and video links into posts

Dropbox is currently offering 5GB of free space for beta testers to test their new camera upload feature.

Dropbox is currently offering 5GB of free space for beta testers to test their new camera upload feature.

I tried it this morning at home and am letting it run all day and
confirm that it’s working properly. For every 500mb of pics / videos
uploaded, you’ll get 500mb free up to 5GB. Not a bad deal if you’re a Dropbox user.

Here’s the link – not sure how long it’ll be available.


7 Tips to Add Some Punch and Zing to Your Blog Posts

Three Things

After perusing all the teacher blogs in Middle School, a few things stand out:
1. Teachers have  increased the frequency of their posts.
2. The diversity of topics covered has increased

and the focus for this post..
3. many posts lack an engaging look and feel

pic source@Flickr

Here are…

7 Tips to Add Some Punch and Zing to Your Blog Posts

1. Insert a picture per post. Too many posts are large black blob of text. Using a picture sets the tone for your blog post. Be sure to use and show attribution of the Creative Commons photos you use. Two easy way sot do this are by using Compfight and Google Advanced image search.

2. Chunk it. Draw the eye and create a smooth flow for the reader by chunking your text into short(er) paragraphs.

3. Add scanning points. Utilize the bold and text color options to emphasis key words and ideas to your reader.

4. Make lists. Readers like lists. They …

  • draw attention to the most important step
  • emphasis key ideas
  • make it easy to scan

5. Awesome titles and subtitles. Be a student for a second- would you be more likely to click Meet the FlyGuy! or Class Animation Projects.

6. Crisp links. Link the site name itself or a catchy word rather than linking a long ugly URL.

You can check out Mr. Pasamba’s cool class site is a little freiendlier than http://pasambag.ism-online.org

7. Engage your students. Get the students involved by asking a question, creating a contest, requesting a headline to a funny pictur, etc. and encouraging them to respond. Here is a good example of a teacher site that encourages dialogue.


Welcome to the HS Student Portal

To make learning and communication as easy as possible for HS students, I and David Collett developed the “HS Student Portal“. It serves as a one-stop location for viewing their teachers’ websites, teachers’ calendars they subscribe to, their Google Docs, and important information from the HS Office, CAS, ATAC and ISSBA – all in one location.

Additionally, we built in the functionality to view the ISM Portal, library resources, and even Powerschool.

Simple, effective, fun.

Below you can view the screencast that I created for students and teachers.