Teaching with the iPad Diet Coke and Mentos

I currently teach in a school that is in its 4th year of a 1 to 1 iPad initiative.  However, we are currently waiting for the iPads to be deployed to all of the students.  I think it is important during these few weeks that I model lessons that allow the kids to use my iPad and infuse 21st century skills into the lessons.  Today I used the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment as a way of unpacking the scientific method.  Then we went outside and filmed the experiment with the iPad.  Also, to show my students that I don’t take myself too seriously I let them post the footage to my You Tube Channel. 

When we returned to the classroom the students imported the experimental video footage into Explain Everything.  Then they made a group screencast.  Each student added a verbal or an audio annotation describing how the Diet Coke and Mentos demonstration helped them understand the scientific method.  The choice to record and/or write in the screencast was based upon learner preference.  Also, this activity reflects the Common Core emphasis on speaking, listening, and relates to the following science Common Core Standard

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Hip-hip hurray for iPads and 21st century skills.

Stop Teaching – Start Learning


Now this is what a flipped classroom should look like!!

Originally posted on  IPAD 4 SCHOOLS:


Do you ever teach a class?

By ‘teach’ I mean talk to the whole class to share instruction or discuss content. If the answer is yes then I would like to examine your aims in doing so. The three common reasons for talking to a whole class are:

  • Task instruction;
  • Delivery of content/concept/facts;
  • Class discussion.

I believe that only the first of these 3 can be said to succeed in it’s aims and even then fails often. All forms of learning should offer equal opportunity to all, not only to be involved but succeed in the learning intentions. Every learner deserves to maximise their time available to ensure they definitely learn and grow. People are different and so any one-size-fits-all mechanism is guaranteed to fail to be fair to all. I have spoken to people of all ages who agree that teacher verbal + visuals delivery of content to a large audience…

View original 979 more words

Episode 6 of the Device Smashing Chronicles

Here is the link to the hangout page…


Today at 3pm I will interview Ryan Read who has a really great blog that followers of my blog would be really interested in…


Ryan's Headshot


I grew up in Sycamore, IL right next door to Northern Illinois University in DeKalb where my parents both worked. I originally completed a Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts from NIU in 2000 and worked in two TV pilots that were never picked up. I went into the healthcare field until 2009 when I decided to return to school and pursue a Masters in Instructional Technology in Education. I graduated with my Master’s in 2011 where I worked for a small grade school that had 1:1 iPads. I left in 2012 to implement an iPad 1:1 at Christian Life Schools in 2012 and have never looked back. I’m currently pursuing a doctorate in Education for Curriculum Development at NIU. This year besides a larger use of iPads we are working towards the School Maker Space working with Makey Makey through out classrooms and Minecraft Edu.

21st Century IEP with #googleglass Edunote

Brought to you by the good folks at Eduglasses


I liked beta-testing this app because it made me think of all of the ways that special education teachers could use Google Glass to communicate homework assignments to parents.  Also students can foster their own independence by using glass to synch notes with their Google Drive.  A great way to adhere to the spirit of the law and the letter of the law with the IEP.  Students no longer use their agendas so we have adapt the way that we provide organizational assistance in school.

From Scannable to Wearable Teaching Generation Z

If you are a follower of this blog than chances are you have seen me present somewhere live or via webinar.  If you like my evolutionary and revolutionary ideas about technology and education than I would appreciate your vote for a panel discussion I would like to have at the South by Southwest Education festival in 2015.  My co-pilot and co-panelist in this adventure will be well-respected NYC based educational consultant Monica Burns.  If you have not seen seen Monica’s blog it is a great collection of technology resources.


If you would log in to the South by South West Panel Picker site and vote for my proposal I would greatly appreciate the support.  We will be discussing how to nurture a transformational mindset in your learning space that accommodates technology such as QR Codes, Augmented Reality, iBeacons, Wearable Tech, and other ed-tech goodies that have not yet been invented.

Here is the link to vote for the proposal:

Our South by South West Proposal

How to Make A Copy of a Course in iTunes University

Many of you were probably overjoyed with the Apple announcement at ISTE this year about the collaborative feature in iTunes University.
I have published many of my courses as public courses in iTunes University. The discussion feature is only available in private courses, which makes sense.
However, if you are like me you are probably wondering what you need to do make a copy of your already created public courses in iTunesU to make them private so you can take advantage of this discussion feature.

I was fortunate to have the assistance of an iTunes University engineer and fellow ADE Nadine Norris to walk me through this process in a step by step manner at the Global ADE Institute/20th Anniversary of the program in San Diego in July. I am a visual learner so I documented this process with a series a screenshots that I thought would be useful for all.

Step One
Go to the iTunes University app and click on My Courses
iTunesU Step One

Step Two
Choose the public course you wish to copy and execute a one finger swipe to the left to reveal the grey more button and the red delete button.
iTunesU step 2

Step Three
Click on the grey more button and select the duplicate option.
iTunesU 3

Step Four
Select Either the Self-Paced or In-Session Option for the Course
iTunesU 4

Step Five
Then you will see a copy of your course pop up in the app
itunesu 5

Step Six
Go into the copy of your course and click on the admin icon on the bottom of the page. It will turn blue.
iTunesU six

Step Seven
On the left hand side of the screen go to settings and click on settings.
iTunesU step seven

Step Eight
On the right hand side of the screen turn the discussions feature on. You do this by tapping on the white dot and green will appear on the left as the dot moves to the right.
Step Eight

I hope that this post was helpful. Thanks to Apple for creating this feature in iTunes U which makes the use of the product in the classroom a 21st century collaborative learning experience.

Stopwatch #googleglass app takes a 21st Century Approach to Classroom Routines

Gone are the days of having to make your students look frantically at the clock during a math minute. Also, eliminate the need for students to ask “how many minutes do we have left?” during silent sustained reading. Stopwatch is an app that I am beta-testing on Google Glass for Eduglasses.

Stopwatch is one of three apps under the parent umbrella app Edutools. When we use technology to create visual cues in the classroom for our students we eliminate the need for disruptive teacher vocal commands. If you do not have access to Google Glass but have an iPad in the classroom you could use a free app like Sandtimer to achieve the same effect.

The big idea is that technology allows us to create classroom routines and protocols that look like they belong in the 21st century and not in the one room school house. We no longer live in an Industrial Age — let us start teaching for Generation Z.

NoiseMeter #Googleglass App Changes Context of Classroom Management


I am a teacher who is very loud and I expect a fair amount of noise in my classroom. However, there are times — like when I want my students to be in the “math zone” where I want my students to focus and be quiet.

During these times if they are not quiet, I have found that ssshhhhing them or nagging them to be quiet is an ineffective form of behavior management or crowd control.

This is why I like this app Noisemeter that I was asked to beta-test my the good folks at
The Noisemeter app is one of three apps that is available from the parent app Edutools. What I like about this app is that it changes the context of classroom management. Visual cuing is a much more effective means of managing classroom behavior. Tools such as this and the app Class Dojo are great ways to make classroom expectations fun and manageable.