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!

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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!”


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.

 

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.

 

Introduction to WordPress

What is a “blog”?

From WordPress:

“Blog” is an abbreviated version of “weblog,” which is a term used to describe web sites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. A blog is a frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary and links to articles on other Web sites. Blogs range from the personal to the political, and can focus on one narrow subject or a whole range of subjects.

Many blogs focus on a particular topic, such as web design, home staging, sports, or mobile technology. Some are more eclectic, presenting links to all types of other sites. And others are more like personal journals, presenting the author’s daily life and thoughts.

Here’s a quick video to help explain things visually: Intro to Blogging

Generally speaking (although there are exceptions), blogs tend to have a few things in common:

  • A main content area with articles listed chronologically, newest on top. Often, the articles are organized into categories.
  • An archive of older articles.
  • A way for people to leave comments about the articles.
  • A list of links to other related sites, sometimes called a “blogroll”.
  • One or more “feeds” like RSS, Atom or RDF files.”

Some helpful articles:

Introduction to Blogging

First Steps with WordPress

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The following information is here to get you started, and serves only as a brief reference. If you’d like to participate in training sessions with Brandon, please sign up in the faculty tower.

Ready to get blogging?

  1. Please visit the link that was sent out via email, and log in with your username and password.
  2. Immediately go to your profile, which is located at the top of your screen (probably says “Howdy, ____”) OR you can go to the left side of the screen and under the dropdown menu for ‘Users’, you’ll find “Your Profile”.
  3. At the bottom of your profile be sure to change your password to something you’ll remember!

The Dashboard:

  • Control center of the blog – the “brain”, where most aspects of the blog are controlled and the magic happens. Various tabs may be accessed via the left sidebar. We’ll break these down briefly:

Settings:

  • General: change things like date/format, email address, blog title, time zone
  • Writing: you may with to change the “size of the post box” to something larger like ’20’. I personally find 10 lines of text too cramped when writing posts.
  • Reading: you may decide if you’d prefer for the viewer to first land on a ‘page’ or ‘posts’. More about that later.
  • Discussion: readers may comment on your posts and offer feedback via the commenting box. I highly recommend checking the box: “An administrator must always approve the comment”, for the first few weeks. Any comments posted will therefore first be received by your email account for approval / denial.
  • Delete Blog: yeah, just don’t click this one. Please.

Posts:

  • Let’s get started by clicking ‘Add New’
  • First add a title representing the content of your post (the post being the article itself). It’s best to be accurate and concise with your title, as this is what will help viewers and search engines pick up on your posts.
  • Add content to your post; the buttons above the writing area contain various formatting options, adding hyperlinks, and methods for posting media such as images, sound, and video. Let’s save that for another time.
  • Once finished, you may wish to add this post to a category. Very briefly, categories help to organize your site for quick access to information. A nice explanation may be viewed here.
  • At the bottom of the page, you will see an option for “Allow Comments on this Post” – you may check this off if you do not wish to permit others to comment on your particular post.
  • Click “Publish” on the right side of your screen, and you’re all set!

Publish: your blog post is now live for all the world to view.

Draft: periodically the blog post is saved automatically, but if you are not yet finished writing the post and wish to save it for later, use draft.

Preview: click to view the post as it will be seen publicly, but without it actually being live on the web.

Understanding “pages”:

In WordPress, you can write either posts or pages. When you’re writing a regular blog entry, you write a post. Posts automatically appear in reverse chronological order on your blog’s home page. Pages, on the other hand, are for content such as “About Me,” “Contact Me,” etc. Pages live outside of the normal blog chronology, and are often used to present information about yourself or your site that is somehow timeless — information that is always applicable. You can use Pages to organize and manage any amount of content.

What Pages Are:

What Pages are Not:

  • Pages are not Posts, nor are they excerpted from larger works of fiction. They do not cycle through your blog’s main page. (Note: You can include Posts in Pages by using the Inline Posts Plugin.)
  • Pages cannot be associated with Categories and cannot be assigned Tags. The organizational structure for Pages comes only from their hierarchical interrelationships, and not from Tags or Categories.
  • Pages are not files. They are stored in your database just like Posts are.

To wrap things up, I hope this post will help serve as a brief introduction to the world of WordPress, but please feel free to drop by the workshop sessions I’ll be running for more hands-on training. We may be offering a follow up session for more in-depth training and delving into the possibilities that WP may provide. Please feel free to also contact me via email at any time for quick questions. I’m here to help!

Exporting and Importing Your WordPress Blog

As the year winds down, many of you will be moving on to new adventures. Wouldn’t it be great to take all the hard work you’ve put into your blogs with you? Well, you can!

However, before moving onto the steps of how to export your current blog, you’ll need to head over to WordPress.com (assuming that’s your preferred platform) and create a new blog. WordPress has two types of blogs – those hosted by WordPress (which end in .com) and those that you must host yourself (which end in .org). Our ISM blogs are on paid hosting (.org), so unless you’d like to pay for your own blog hosting, you’ll need to create a WordPress.com blog.

Give some thought to your blog’s new web address. I recommend to use something that’s not tied to a particular locations, school or situation as these may change. Assuming you’ve already created the new blog, let’s move on.

It’s relatively simple and straightforward:

  1. Log in to your WordPress blog here at ISM.
  2. In your dashboard, on the left hand column, you’ll see “Tools”. Under that, click on “Export”.
  3. You’ll be presented with a few options. Where it says, “Choose What to Export”, click “All content” and “Download Export File”.
  4. That will then download a file to your computer. (an XML file)
  5. Ok now the export is done!
  6. Assuming you’ve logged into your new WordPress.com blog, follow a similar path (from the dashboard, left-hand side, “Tools”, “Import”.
  7. Select, “WordPress” from the list of options from which to import.
  8. On the next screen, “Choose File” and select the XML file that was exported from your old blog.
  9. Make sure you select, “Import Attachments” – that will then import all most of your media from your old blog to the new one.
  10. Once it’s done, visit your site to confirm that things look similar to your ISM blog. Of course it will appear differently depending upon which theme you’ve chosen. However, there are literally thousands of themes to be used with WordPress.

Maine School District Giving Every Kindergarten Student A Free iPad 2

A school district in Maine has been approved to offer a free iPad 2 to every Kindergarten student. Here’s the full story.

“This is truly redefining how we’re going to teach and learn. We’re talking about a new tool, the iPad2. You begin to watch how young people jump on, jump in and figure this thing out. It has great potential for leveling the playing field for all students.”

Some students start kindergarten behind others “and never catch up,” Morrill said. The iPad2 “can close that gap for many students. It can also accelerate learning for many others.”

When young children are given an iPad2, “they can make it sing. … It gives me great pleasure to roll this out,” Morrill said. Auburn can reach its goal of boosting literacy rates from 62 percent to 90 percent by 2013, “and this is the tool to do it.”

 

Dipity.com – Free Digital Timeline Site

Dipity.com – Free Digital Timelines

This has fantastic potential for subjects such as Social Studies, History, Music, Art, Science, etc. Thanks to Mrs. Dickinson for introducing this to us! Here are some fantastic examples from her students (view the comment section).

 

“Dipity is a free digital timeline website. Our mission is to organize the web’s content by date and time. Users can create, share, embed and collaborate on interactive, visually engaging timelines that integrate video, audio, images, text, links, social media, location and timestamps.”

“Dipity timelines are for anyone who uses the Internet. Newspapers, journalists, celebrities, government organizations, politicians, financial institutions, community managers, museums, universities, teachers, students, non-profits and bloggers all use Dipity to create timelines.”