Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Keep Rowing | The Players' Tribune #RTB

Whether you're into College Football or not, the infectious PJ Fleck and his "Row The Boat" philosophy translate well to any school or classroom culture. Having earned my Masters degree from Western, it is great to see the amazing things Fleck and the team are doing on the field, but it's what's happening behind the scenes that is the most inspiring.

The Players Tribune is easily my favorite sports publication, probably because it speaks to the life experiences and not just to the box scores. Give it a read.

You see, I don’t ask my players for their very best only on game day. I push them to hold themselves to that standard every single day.

Article: Keep Rowing | The Players' Tribune

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Use Swift Playgrounds Resources with any Coding Program

Apple's  Swift Playgrounds app and their "Everyone Can Code" initiative is a great program for learning the coding language that powers iOS apps. Not only is there a puzzle-based app an immersive learning experience, there are numerous teacher resources in both iBooks and iTunes U. For iBooks there are three teacher guides: Level 1 and 2, Level 3, and App Development.

Now, the Swift Playgrounds program might not be a fit for every classroom because it has to be done on an iPad running iOS 10 and be one of the following generations:  iPad Air, iPad mini 2 or newer, or any size iPad Pro. I work out of four elementary schools and only one has iPads that can run the app.

Even though I use other others like and Google CS-First in my other buildings, there are still a lot of great resources that Apple offers that I use as demonstration even when our activities are Scratch-based. Fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Gabriella Meyers hosts a number of videos within the iTunes U course that explain concepts like algorithms and functions but don't reference Swift specifically. I have found them to be great, concise explanations my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders really understand. Sometime you just need someone else to explain it.

So, it doesn't matter what coding instructions you are using. Take a look inside of what Apple offers for Swift Playgrounds. You might find a lot that is useful.

[caption id="attachment_1428" align="aligncenter" width="452"]Apple Distinguished Educator Gabriella Meyers explains functions in an iTunes U course. Apple Distinguished Educator Gabriella Meyers explains functions in an iTunes U course.[/caption]

Monday, November 28, 2016

Find Great Apple Teacher Resources In iBooks Store

Whether you are pursuing the various badges that Apple now offers as part of its Apple Teacher program or just looking to sharpen your Mac and iPad skills, the iBooks store is full of great resources. Two series of multi-touch iBooks are available for using iPads and Macs in the classroom. Here are some of the titles available.screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-10-41-34-am

Each iBook contain video tutorials that allows the user to actually see the skill being performed in detail. Below is a page from the iMovie for Mac guide.
Additionally, Apple Teacher just began offering a path for earning badges for its new coding tutorial app Swift Playgrounds.

Below is a direct link to  the iBooks resources. For more information about the program, click here.
Apple Teacher Resources


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Top Gifts for Young Engineers - 2016 Edition - Left Brain Craft Brain

The Top Gifts for Young Engineers gift guide is packed full of STEM toys and activities that will keep kids having fun and learning this Christmas.

Source: Top Gifts for Young Engineers - 2016 Edition - Left Brain Craft Brain