iTouch the Future…I teach – Math

Sorting through the insane amount of applications and mobile websites that are available for the iTouch has proven to be a time consuming task. But I am having a great time. There are so many that can be applied to classroom practice and of course, so many that can’t.

Again, I’ve created a Google Doc, that I’ve shared with you here. You’ll see that all the apps didn’t make it to this post. As I did for my last post, I used the Google Doc to access each of the links from my iTouch. Some of the reasons many of the links didn’t make it here are due to the advertisements on the site, the site was down, or I just didn’t think the layout on the iTouch was student friendly.

As promised, the focus of the second post in this series is Math. I’ve divided the links into four categories; Flash Cards, Converters, Calculators and Reference Tables.

You’ll start to see me repeat some of these sites as they should be listed in more than one category. I’ve posted below a video of my 6-year-old using one of the flash card applications on my iTouch. iFlipr has preset flash cards that you are welcome to use, or you can generate your own decks. I’ve created two as of the day I posted this. The first I create for simple math and subtraction reinforcement and the second you’ll see in an upcoming post (it uses pictures of insects).

Flash Cards

  • My First App – Kids Study Cards – Prek-1 pre-set flash cards –  for numbers, colors, alphabet and shapes
  • – It’s FREE (right now). Easy to use.  Check out their demo video below.



  • Comoki Converter (only viewable on the iTouch/iPhone) – This one is AWESOME – divided by category (angle area, energy, temperature, time, length, speed, pressure, power, volume, weight )- You could spend hours here.
  • Currency Converter – Easy to use
  • iConvert – 26 categories (a few more than Comoki) including torque, density, and clothing sizes. I’ve never been able to convert US shoe sizes to European shoe sizes and now I can!

Reference Tables

Please leave a comment if you know of any others and I’ll add it to the Google Doc. Or just to say you’re finding this information useful.

Next time – iTouch the Future…I Teach – Science 


This I Believe…

“This I Believe” meme started by Barry Bachenheimer is patterned after National Public Radio’s “This I Believe” and is an opportunity to share one’s philosophy of education.

I’ve been tagged by my friend Liz Davis. Thanks for the invite Liz.

Before you read my list, check out this video from the author of The Digital Sandbox on TeacherTube called “Introducing the Conceptual Age of Web 2.0“. I really like how the creator lays out the differences between what was accessible to us on the Internet then and now.

I believe…

  • it’s better to identify the objective of the lesson before selecting the type of technology to use.
  • schools need to relieve teacher isolation by opening doors and loosening filters.
  • we need to nurture all learners – our students, teachers and the community – always encourage the opportunity to learn and grow.
  • one of our biggest barriers in education is time. Use it wisely.
  • that we should allow students to use daily supports when being assessed at a comfortable and appropriate stage of difficulty.
  • subjects should not be taught in isolation – when students can relate to the content they will be more engaged and committed to learning.
  • as CAST says, “Motivation is the essential engine of learning”.

There’s so much more I believe. But that’s where my thoughts bring me to now. In the meantime…

  1. Karen Janowski
  2. Kevin Jarrett
  3. Christy Tvarok


iTouch the Future…I Teach – Music

We know that Christa McAuliffe was not referring to the iTouch when she made that famous statement during her training for the early 1986 shuttle mission to the moon. Technology had come so far and she was preparing to be the first teacher to set foot in space. It was an exciting time. Ms. McAuliffe’s words have stuck with me all these years that I’ve been teaching and I revisited many of the articles written about her as I was waiting for my 32 gig iTouch to arrive. 

I’ve been teaching a session called “iPods in Education” for the Center at Rutgers University now for about a year. I’ve brought it into many New Jersey school districts as well as they begin buying iPods for their teachers and utilizing the iPods that their students already have from home. I love it! There are so many things we can do to integrate iPods into the classroom.

We spend the day checking out Discovery Education, Mogopop, iWriter, iTunes, RSS, Google Reader, Bloglines, Flickr-Storm, and many other sites and applications. But I’ve noticed over the last couple of months that in each of my sessions, there’s at least one person that either has an iTouch or an iPhone and I was unsure as to ALL the differences except the obvious – how they looked and the access to wi-fi.

Pictured to the left is my white, 30 gig iPod Video Classic, which I love. To it’s right is my new, black, 32 gig iTouch. Each stores music, video, pictures, will sync with my Outlook contacts and will store information in the notes section. Theoretically both should allow me to attach a voLook at the difference in the recorder to record and store audio directly to the hardware, but my iTouch is not recognizing my Belkin TuneTalk Voice Recorder. Read here.

So…..there is an awful lot you can do with the iTouch that you can’t do with the Classic. Too much to write in one post, so I’ve decided to write a series, categorized by subject area. Since one of the teachers I worked with this year on podcasting and using iPods in the classroom happened to be a music teacher, I’ve decided to start with the category of music applications:

By the way, I used a Google Doc to compile my list of music apps and then narrowed down the list as I accessed the Doc from my iTouch to see what worked well and what didn’t.
Here are the apps in no specific order:


  • Piano Chord Dictionary – hold your iTouch sideways to select and see finger placement for a piano chord, turn it upright for help
  • Bearden’s Music Terms – The first screen is the alphabet – click on the letter that begins the term you are looking to define and it will navigate you to it
  • iPhone Lyrics – The first screen is the alphabet – click on the letter that begins the name of the artist or group you are looking for and it will navigate to a list of their songs

Please leave a comment if you know of any others and I’ll add it to the Google Doc.

Next time – iTouch the Future…I Teach – Math 

Designing with Wikkis

My husband and I had grand plans to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary this past Friday night at a quiet, pricey, romantic restaurant. Our plans were squashed when my brother-in-law called early Friday morning to inform us he had the flu. Both grandmothers already had plans that night – and mysteriously the next night as well. I called the babysitter and left a message on her cell asking if she was available that night and waited all day for her to leave school grounds so she could turn on her phone and retrieve it. (Why can’t highschoolers check their voicemail during studyhall?)

It was a no go. She wasn’t available to watch them on Saturday night either.

Saturday morning I called the back-up sitter. She was unavailable as well. I even called the back-up to the back-up. She was unavailable too. I went out to run errands.

When I got home, my husband recommended that instead of staying home and he and I having to cook, that we change the reservations and take the kids out to a more family-friendly locale.

On to the reason why I’m blogging about this meal…
When we entered the restaurant (we were in the Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey, about to sit on the deck overlooking the Sandy Hook Bay) my two daughters, ages 4 1/2 and 6 were asked if they wanted to make some wikis.

MAKE SOME WIKIS? This fried seafood restaurant that was going to supply my girls with hotdogs and chicken strips had wi-fi? My kids don’t even get technology at school and my full-day kindergartener is right across from the computer lab all day long.

It turns out that there’s another kind of wiki I was not aware of. But my girls loved them. They used their Wikki Stix to make all sorts of creative creations: dogs, people, microphones, lolipops. They had a blast. They hardly ate. They requested more Wikkis (which fortunately for us the kind waiter didn’t even blink at) and while they collaborated with each other on how to use the tools they were given, my husband and I talked about our eleven years of marriage – and yes, wikis and blogs and all things ed tech.

Wikki Stix can be found at

Shut Down Day-and-3/4

Well I had registered for Shutdown Day on May 3. (The link for seems to be broken now)  I successfully stayed off my computer, e-mail, Twitter, all my online networks for 24 hours. I enjoyed the time with family, friends and the outdoors so much I decided to extend the day a little longer and did not connect again until Sunday evening when I needed to complete a project for class and finish researching something for work.

I could do this again. I’m sure I missed something important, but knowing the wonderful people I’ve met in my network – they’ll fill me in.

May 3rd is Shut Down Day!

Can you survive 24 hours without your computer? Unless there’s a beach vacation involved, it’s a stretch for me, but tomorrow – I’m going to do it!

An experiment is going on to see just how many people can go without using their computers tomorrow, Saturday, May 3, 2008. To be part of the experiment, just register online, consider advertising Shut Down Day on your blog or website, and maybe even create a short video of what you did with all the extra time you had with family and friends while you weren’t on your computer using all that electricity. There’s a contest you can enter to win some great prizes.

What will you do with your time?