Social media has changed the way we communicate today. In fact, at it’s root, social media is about connecting people with people. Twitter has been growing faster than any other social network and is expected to grow at a faster rate in the near future. Teachers use the twitter platform as a way to connect with other like minded teachers around the globe, sharing ideas, resources and building relationships with other teachers. I would go as far as saying that Twitter is the best free professional development opportunity available to teachers. All that said, I am going to explain why I feel this and give you some tips on how to get started on your Twitter journey in this episode of The Energetic Education podcast.
Gamification is all the craze at the moment, today’s episode explores the benefits you will gain within your classroom. Gamification is basically using game mechanics like programmers and game developers use to make awesome video games. The use of rewards, levels, badges scoreboards etc creates maximum buy in from everyone that plays. This is why people want to keep playing Xbox or PlayStation, the games engage participation. If you apply certain mechanics of game development and gamify your classroom lessons, students will be more involved in the classroom activity. I will endeavour to break down what gamification is to me in this episode and give you three examples of how I have used gamification as a learning platform in the classroom.
Today’s topic is one that we all struggle with at some point in our busy lives . Finding the right work life balance is becoming harder and harder. Not only are we finding parents, teachers and adults struggle with the ever growing demand of life, but it is also evident in the classroom. Students struggle with anxiety, stress and pressure every day. As this is such a huge topic, and I did not feel I was qualified enough to do this justice, I have been lucky enough to catch up with Kelley Reynard from Bodyz Compass to chat about all the topics above. Kelley has years of experience working with adults and children helping people relax with meditation, creating happy and positive relationships through work life balance and much more.
This week’s podcast is a really exciting one, particularly picking the brain of Wayne Schultz who is ahead of his time with game development, play and maximising participation. Wayne will explain his journey from a primary school physical education teacher, to now heading up game development around the world for Cricket Australia and other large multimillion dollar organisations. I don’t want to give too much away in the intro, but Wayne is a super star when it comes to teaching. This interview gives us all some amazing insight into the way teaching is heading through leading teachers and educators such as my mate Wayne.
Follow Wayne on twitter @wshultz44
This is one episode that teachers can not miss. I have been lucky enough to catch up with the happiest teacher in the world, Naomi Hartl. Not only is Naomi full of energy and enthusiasm, but she is also a tech wiz. Naomi lists her top seven tech gadgets, programs and apps for teachers. Not only are most of these resources free, but they are truly amazing and you must give them a go. After listening to this episode I have a number of new tech ideas that I need to try myself. Naomi is well ahead of the game with everything she does, and this episode is full of her knowledge and passion. Below are the links for everything mentioned in this episode. If you would like to make contact with Naomi, or simple follow her on twitter @misshartl. Thanks so much for todays episode Naomi, you are truely a Tech Teaching Super Hero.
3. Beats per minute app (Tempo SlowMo)
6. Live video delay is only available in the US app store. BAM video delay is another option, but it is not free.
7. QR Codes (Free app I-nigma)
This episode is quite short and sharp, it’s basically a reminder to teachers that we are there to educate and work hard, but also have fun and enjoy every day we have in the classroom. I will discuss five easy steps that you can add to your teaching to become a super cool teacher. I’m sure most of you already do these, but it’s always good to have a little reminder that fun, laughter and play is the best way to learn. Hopefully you can have a laugh at some of my favourite dad jokes or take away one little gem from today’s brief episode.
My top five Dad joke 🙂
“What time did the man go to the dentist? Tooth hurt-y.”
‘Did you hear about the guy who invented Lifesavers? They say he made a mint.'”
“Whenever the cashier at the grocery store asks my dad if he would like the milk in a bag he replies, ‘No, just leave it in the carton!'”
“I used to have a job at a calendar factory but I got the sack because I took a couple of days off.”
“I had a dream that I was a muffler last night. I woke up exhausted!”
It felt like the right fit for me to make the podcast, about creating an app. The reason for this is most weeks I have people come up to me and say “I have the best idea for an app”. It seems everyone has an idea that’s going to make him or her the next Angry Birds app or Paper Toss, making millions of dollars’ revenue a year.
So here we go, I want to try and write a simple guide so people who have these amazing ideas can transform them into reality. The one thing most people don’t realise is that there are a number of steps involved, a lot of different skilled people you need to have working for you if you are outsourcing all aspects of the app.
The steps in making an app involve, having the idea, how you think the app will work etc. The next thing you need to do is sketch down how the app will look on paper, and what each button will do and so on. Then you need to send these sketches to a graphic designer who will design the graphics for you. Once the graphics are completed your next step is to send then to a developer who will write the app code and transform your graphics into a work of art. Once this is complete you will be sent a test flight model of your app to your device, where you are able to use the app and see if it functions how you want it too. Finally, you will need to set up an apple developer account and submit the app to iTunes for them to review and post your app to the app store.
Now that all seems like a lot to take in I’m sure, so I will break down each step for you and also the best way to go about hiring the professionals you will need to help you create your masterpiece.
Step One – Firstly, and this is the most important job, create how you want your app to look and work on pieces of paper or by using this website MOQUPS. By using this free website, you can create each screen and how you want it to look for the graphic designers. Here is a design I created for my app PE Videos App:
Once you have done these you can then find a graphic designer.
Step two – Hiring a graphic designer to turn your sketched screens or mock ups into the graphics you will use for your app. With this process it’s extremely important that you are very clear with what graphics you want and their functions. The more detail you give to the graphic artist will enable them to produce the app to the standard and quality you are looking for. Here are some of the websites that I use.
UP WORK This is actually the site I use to get my graphics and also find my developer, but I will talk about that in detail soon. On Up Work you can create an account for free and post the job that you are looking to have completed. Then graphic designers from all over the world will give you quotes at how much they will charge. My biggest tip is don’t award the job to the cheapest quote. Check out all the designers’ portfolios and pick one that has great reviews and a high quality portfolio.
99DESIGNS is another website where you go on and post the job you are after. The quality of work on 99 designs is normally a little bit better then Up Work, but it is also more expensive. Both sites offer top quality graphic designers at a fraction of the price.
FIVERR is the cheapest option and probably the most interesting. This website basically offers anything you want for just $5. Here you can get app icons, splash screens, logos and basically any sort of graphics created for $5. It is a great option if you are trying to work to a budget, but the old saying, “you get what you pay for”, might be worth remembering.
Step Three – finding an app programmer to put your graphics and ideas into a working application. This step again is about selecting the right person for your job.
For all my apps I have hired through Up Work. This is the same as when you post a job for the graphics, but this time, you will include a very detailed summary about your app, how it works and what functions it needs to have. Then along with your graphics you will post them and wait to see what developer best suits what you are after. Again don’t always go for the developer who quotes the lowest price. Check out their portfolio and also their feedback, as this will give you a good indication about the quality of work they will produce.
I have been lucky in this regard, one of the first programmers I hired was very good, and he has been extremely helpful with advice and assistance with all of my future projects.
The best tip I can give you here is, once you find either a graphic designer or programmer that is very good at their job and has great communication skills and feedback, only use them.
Step Four – Once your app has been completed, and you have tested it on your device, it is time to submit this too iTunes. Again this is something that is quite complicated, so when I post my job for the programmer, I also put in the agreement that they will submit and upload the app in my account to apple. You will however need to set up a developer account with apple; this costs roughly $100 a year.
Finally, I wish you good luck, enjoy the process but don’t count on making millions overnight! Apps are a fantastic tool and can make you money, but it won’t happen overnight. If you have an idea and you know this will save you time or be useful for you in everyday life, then I’m sure others will feel the same way. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about anything I have written, I will be more than happy to help and pass on some of the things I have learnt since I made my first app over four years ago.
Do you like our podcast, we would love to hear from you, either through email or a review on iTunes. Have a great day, from Dale and the Energetic Education Team.
In today’s podcast we cover ten amazing apps that will benefit all teachers. Some of these will be house hold names, as they are truly amazing, whereas others are little gems that you have never heard of before. We have tried to give an honest description of each app and their benefits to the classroom.
Twitter is more than just a social media site. It is an excellent way for teachers to keep parents and students updated on class progress as well as what is coming up. You can tweet assignment due dates, test dates, plan field trips, post syllabus changes, and more. It is also a great way to send out supplementary information to parents and students including links to articles and news stories. It is a simple way of allowing students to ask questions during a lecture, take and share notes with classmates. It can be used to engage in conversation with classes all over the globe.
Classroom Teammates will bring gamification tools to your classroom and will let you create teams randomly or manually in no time. Import students from a CSV/XLS file, from Google Classroom, from your contacts, from iDoceo or Classroom Badge Maker and have your teams ready right away. Classroom Teammates is an universal app that syncs your data automatically between your devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch). This is the best app on the market for selecting and picking groups in the classroom, it has a number of functions to make these as fair and stress free as possible for the teacher.
ClassDojo is a free app for quick and effective behaviour monitoring. Each students name and avatar is entered into the system. The app allows teachers to record both positive and negative behaviours. There are present categories including on task, helping others, no homework, and unprepared among others. You have the ability to add additional categories at your discretion. Teachers simply click the boxes that apply to each student. In addition, teachers will benefit from a quick summary of each students behaviour to refer to as needed. Finally, it prepares a pie-graph report that is sent out to parents on Fridays detailing weekly behaviour.
This is the ultimate in digital communication, this free app will change the way you communicate with everyone. You can set up class groups, teacher year groups etc. Slack also has the benefits of a Facebook group, plus wonderful integration with Google Docs and Google Hangouts if these are platforms that your school uses. We highly recommend giving slack a try.
Class Break features over 200 different activities and games that are outside the traditional PE class games of kickball and volleyball. It also features team building exercises, brainteasers and more. Teachers will find this app ideal for students who are having trouble with concentration spans during boring assignments. Simply take ten minutes and allow students to participate in a few of the brain exercises to increase their focus. Additionally, many of the physical activities can be done in the classroom, which is ideal for rainy days when recess is cancelled.
Easy PD makes tracking of professional development easy. It tracks the number of hours that you have completed and takes a screenshot of your results for verification. Teachers will find it much easier than attempting to keep track of paper certificates. Also, records can be sent via email to the teacher or supervisor. This is just one of the amazing apps from Jarrod Robinson (The PE Geek).
The number one message that we promote with our teaching, workshops mentoring, is presenting learning in a game format. The app Kahtoos allows you to create a game show like atmosphere in your classroom, with amazing quizzes and tests, students can also create their own quizzes for each other. The possibilities are endless, kahoots can transform your lesson into a game show that television networks would be proud to run.
Bit Breaker is a free app, which places students into the middle of an arcade type game. Physical movements are tracked by your device and send students through a game with the goal of breaking bricks. Students will be required to move around, steer a paddle, and jump around continuously. It also incorporates video games (which many students love) with physical activity. It may encourage students that are not as interested in physical activity by allowing them to do something they enjoy.
Halftone 2 or comic life 3. Both these apps allow teachers and students to easily create comic books. It includes options from font, caption styles, layouts, and stamps to allow teachers and students to showcase their creativity. It also gives them the option of incorporating their own photos into the story. Teachers will find this app is creative and fun to use in the classroom. It can be utilised in a variety of ways including creative writing assignments, demonstrating mastery of a subject, or anything else you can think of. I personally use Halftone to create posters and forms for class rules or certain skills.
Yoga Studio costs is ideal for teachers who want to incorporate yoga into their classes. It offers numerous videos to choose from and provides a demonstration of over 300 poses with detailed instructions, you can customise lessons to fit certain levels and period lengths. It can be projected onto a board to show students different yoga poses whilst allowing the teacher to walk around and make sure everyone is doing them correctly.
If you would like to view more apps that we have reviewed be sure to check out our app view blog by clicking HERE
If you have a spare two minutes we would love a review on iTunes if you are loving our podcast. Thank you very much and have a great day.
Dale and the Energetic Education Team
In this episode I am lucky enough to catch up with my good friend Ryan Waight. Ryan is also a qualified teacher; this is where met as we went through University together. Since finishing Uni Ryan has gone on to achieve some amazing things in the corporate world and also with children and teens. Through his brand, Ryan Waight Performance, Ryan works with schools, teachers, parents and sporting clubs to help build resilience and maintain a happy healthy lifestyle.
This episode is not going to be an interview, it will be more of a discussion between Ryan and myself, talking about methods that teachers and parents can use with children to build resilience and set them up for a happy and healthy future. Happy listening, I’m sure you will enjoy this week’s podcast.
If you are interested in listening to Ryan’s podcast, checking out his latest eBooks or becoming part of his amazing weekly newsletter, click HERE to find out more.
Cheers Dale and the Energetic Education team
In today’s episode we discuss the importance of starting the schooling day with a fun and engaging activity. There are numerous benefits to doing this and we will discuss these and more in episode 16 of the Energetic Education podcast.
Starting with a fun and exciting activity you set the tone with high energy and a supportive atmosphere where students feel happy and confident to do their best for the day.
The following five different activities for each day of the week will encourage students to work in teams and solve problems as a group. Your day as a teacher will be more enjoyable; students will be ready to absorb the day’s activities in a creative and happy classroom. The final benefit is that if you make this part of your daily routine you can start to get students input and the student teaching focus can come into play.
Below are the five different activities that we recommend you start your day with, they don’t have to be in this order for these days. We will provide three examples for each day, if you decide to give this a trial you will have three weeks of material ready to go.
Monday – Icebreaker or team building game
- Alex the kid
- Silent count
Tuesday – Riddle or brain teaser
- Who am I? I have a heart that never beats, I have a home but I never sleep. I can take a man’s house and build another’s, and I love to play games with my many brothers. I am a king among fools. Who am I? Answer – I am the King of Hearts in a deck of cards.
- What’s full of holes but still holds water? Answer – A sponge!
- I can be cracked, I can be made. I can be told, I can be played. What am I? Answer – I am a joke.
Wednesday – Joke of the day (We love dad jokes)
- How does the Easter Bunny stay in shape? Lots of eggercise
- Why is a fish easy to weight? Because it has its own scales
- When is a baby good at basketball? When its dribbling
- What did the spider do on the computer? Made a website
Thursday – Adventure story or musical workout
Friday – Brain break activity
- Masai warrior
- Sit, stand, kneel, lay
- Toe touch
We would love to hear from you, or if you have any feedback regarding other great morning activities please hit reply and send them through to us.
You can find more of these games for free by checking out our BreakAppz website, or by downloading our best selling app ClassBreak which has all these categories inside it and much much more. ClassBreak is available on the iTunes store and also the Google Play store, please see the links below.
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