There are more than a million apps in the App Store with more added every day. Finding the "right" app to teach high school chemistry or elementary school art can be daunting to say the least. Of course you can always do a search in the app store using the words "chemistry" or "art" but you may not like the results. Wouldn't it be great if someone else could check out this apps for you. Well, someone has. Actually several people. Here are some of my favorite sites for app descriptions and reviews.
Here are two great sites for teachers and parents to find resources for teaching kids about internet safety and digital citizenship.
Netsmartz.org from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has lots of videos, games, comics, quizzes and ideas for teaching kids about internet safety. Check out the nsteens.org for even more.
Also take a look at commonsensemedia.org. Here you will find videos and full lesson plans for teaching digital citizenship lessons on everything from safety to cyberbullying to copyright laws. Search for lessons by topic or grade level K-12. In addition to digital citizenship resources this site has reviews for popular movies, music, and games to let parent and teachers know what is appropriate for kids.
Every day people are developing a smart phone can do more and more. I am just waiting for the app that can fold my laundry for me. Until then you may want to check out this article about turning the smartphone into a powerful microscope. Scientists are working to develop a lens, similar to a contact lens, you can attach to your smartphone to make it a microscope. It looks like the cost to manufacture such a lens would be around 3 cents.
We all make mistakes. I know, no big news here. What is important is that we learn from those mistakes. Yet, if we see mistakes as the end of the line, as failure, then we don't learn. We just give up. Think about this for students. We think nothing of making up a paper as "wrong" with big red Xs but rarely to we celebrate the failures. After all, wouldn't most of us say that the best teacher is experience. I recently read an article about insecurity in math class. The author explained that by celebrating mistakes as teachable moments and recognizing the process over final answer students can develop more confidence in their mathematical ability.
Isn't that true for us all. If we are afraid to take a chance because we might fail, we will never go anywhere. Think about this the next time you struggle with technology that seems so easy to your students. Or you make a simple mistake in front of the class. We all make mistakes. The question is what are you going to do about it?
One of my favorite videos on risk, failure, and life. Enjoy.