iOS 9 Swift Coding Course: 35 Hours of Video

b507553fdac4f95de7ddeaa926dd95f515bd5431_main_hero_imageI have been using a lot of free resources to learn Swift Programming, and today I purchased this course from Stack Social.  Thirty-Five hours of video and at $59 it’s a price this educator can afford. (It will go back up to $200 in three days.) I thought others interested in learning Swift might be interested. I’m picky about what I spend money on, and this looked valuable. Good luck! Learn to Code in Swift.

Here’s the details:

 iOS 9 may be in beta, but you can become an app building pro just in time for the big release with more than 35 hours of premium training. Master the powerful Apple programming language, Swift, by building 11 functioning apps, and be one of the first to take advantage of iOS 9’s amazing new features. This is one of the only iOS 9 preview courses available on the web, so sign up now and stay tech-forward!

  • Dive into the details of building apps for iOS 9 w/ 35 hours of video
  • Be one of the first to build apps for iOS 9 & dominate the App Store’s top downloads
  • Become proficient in Swift & Xcode
  • Create an iCloud app
  • Set up push notifications for your app
  • Work w/ iOS 9 classes like stackView &AVAudioRecorder
  • Implement Swift code in unique ways
  • Follow the easy to understand step-by-step format

Apple’s 2015 Back to School Promotion

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Last Thursday Apple launched its 2015 Back to School Promotion.  This year’s promotion is unlike anything we have seen in the past.

The 2015 Back to School Promotion offers a free pair of Beats Solo2 wired headphones with the purchase of a new Mac.

A customer qualified for the promotion can also pay $100 to upgrade to a pair of Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones that are valued at $300. 

The deal will begin online on August 6, but the promotion has started in Apple’s retail stores and authorized campus stores. The promotion will end online and in stores on September 18th.

In the past Apple has given $100 gift cards for the Mac purchases and $50 with a purchase of an iPhone or iPad. This year its just for the Mac purchase and only the headphones. There are no Back to School promotions for iPhones nor iPads. Still, the headphones are awesome and probably something students really want, plus purchasers benefit from the education discount pricing for the Mac. 

(Hmmmm. Why no promotion for iPads since iPads are becoming Apple’s focus in education.)

You can read about the promotion on Apple’s “Current Rebates” page.

WEP 0013 Student Choice: An Interview with Erin Olson

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 6.39.19 PMIn this episode I interview Erin Olson. Erin’s work as an educator has been recognized by CNN, The New York Times, and more.  Erin is a former middle school teacher and a former high school English teacher and now serves as an Instructional technology consultant. Erin has been nominated twice for a Bammy. Erin advocates for the power of student contribution, explaining, ‘I do not want my students to be the best in the world, I want them to be the best FOR the world.’

iOS 9 on the iPad is Perfect for Education

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Apple’s new iOS upgrade will certainly provide a smoother and faster overall experience for all users, but several new features will be particularly beneficial for iPad use in education.

Notes app received a great update. Notes may not be one of your primary apps, but now it was some muscle behind it to make it much more useful in the classroom. You can now add checklists, photos, and sketches inside your notes. A three finger swipe to the left will undo the last stroke, and a swipe to the right will bring them back. (There are also undo and redo buttons built onto the screen.) You can now access Notes in the Share Button in many of the apps to save attachments to Notes. And with the new Split View feature you can access Notes from within whatever app you are using. 

Slide Over will now allow you to open a second app without leaving the one you are currently using. This is great.  Now you can write down some notes or type a document without leaving the app you were using, and then slide it away to return to the app you were originally using.

Split View (available on the iPad Air 2) will allow you to have two apps open and active at the same time. Unlike Slide Over, with Split View both apps are active at the same time. 

Picture in Picture will scale down a video or FaceTime call to a corner of your display while using another app. Simply press the Home button while you are watching the video or making the call.  You can keep watching a movie while replying to an email. A student could watch a lecture and take notes, or write a paper at the same time. 

Turn Your Keyboard into a trackpad to move a cursor around. iOS 9 will allow you to have a cursor! 

 Apple has added many multitasking features in iOS 9 that will help teachers and students. 

Better Battery Life is reported as well which is always good. 


The Perfect Drone for Education: The DJI Phantom 3 Drone

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I have been fascinated by the idea of having a drone at our school for some time, and as the ease of use increases, and the prices decrease, the possibility for schools to utilize drones has finally arrived. 

I have been researching drones for education for quite some time and plan to write about how they can be used to benefit school districts in future posts. My research has led me to several amazing candidates for the perfect drone for school systems, but one, I believe may very well stand head and shoulders above the competition.  It will be unveiled May 30th, 2015.

The drone I believe may be the solution for schools is The DJI Phantom 3 Drone.

WEP 0011: Dare Mighty Things: An Interview with Kaci Heins

IMG_2543This interview with Kaci Heins is a lot of fun and very inspiring. I love her motto, “Dare Mighty Things” and I believe after listening to this episode you will be inspired to do just that in your classroom and life. Wired Educator interviews Kaci Heins about her accomplishments and recognition by NASA as a 6th grade educator and how she and her students sent a balloon and a GoPro Camera to the edge of space, and more!

Five Features Edmodo Needs


I am a seventh grade English teacher and I love using Edmodo with my students.  I really cannot recommend it highly enough to other teachers.  Edmodo is a great platform to have discussions, share work, collect and grade assignments, offer quizzes, post digital work that isn’t always easily sent home, and so much more.  I love that there is an iPad app too.  I do, however, like to see regular upgrades to all the applications I am using.

Here are five features I hope Edmodo adds very soon:

1) Seating Chart: I like creating new seating charts for my students on a regular basis. New seats liven class up. I wish I didn’t have to go to other applications for various features. I currently use Apple’s Keynote to create my seating chart, but this would be a great feature in Edmodo since their names and information is already in the program.  Also, with Keynote, I have to mix them up each time. I am sure Edmodo could allow you to rearrange them anyway you’d like.  To be fair, there is a third part app for free that you can install and launch called Class Charts.  It does a seating chart, but its user interface is not as fluid as Edmodo’s site and is a little clumsy in its use. It does not work on an iPad. (update: you can rearrange seeats with in Class Charts as you like.) The Class Charts app does not work within your Edmodo class.  You must go to the App Launcher, select Class Charts, then select the class, and then choose from the menu.  Edmodo could build this feature, and the others I mention, within each class.

A Teachers Intro to Using Tumult’s Hype 3 to Create Widgets for iBooks Projects

imagesThis is a guest post by Anthony DiLaura.  Anthony is a good friend who took the time a couple summers ago to get me started with Hype.  He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and hosts an iBook Hack Event for educators each summer.  I am fortunate and thankful to have Tony test out and review Tumult’s newest HTML 5 widget creator: Hype 3 and Hype Professional.  Thank you Tony! Follow Tony on Twitter here @anthonydilaura

Software: Tumult’s Hype 3 + Hype Professional


What it is: Software specifically for the Mac OS X that creates key-frame animation and interactive content in HTML5. Easily add content, actions, timelines, scenes and interactivity to your layouts for use in web design and iBooks Author widgets. Hype has a clean UI and perhaps can be likened to a compilation of iMovie, Keynote, and iAd Producer. Objects on the canvas function based on a specific timeline that plays when a scene is loaded.

Who: Teacher/Education

Why: eLearning, mobile learning, HTML content, animation, iBooks Author widgets, instructional design

Ease of Use: Intermediate to advanced

Cost: $49.99 Hype 3, $99.00 Full Hype Pro (or $49 upgrade in App purchases), $29.99 Hype 3 Education Pricing

Purchase for education:

Overall: Love it!

Review, examples, and tutorials: 

All cards on the table here, I am not a web designer, I don’t know HTML, CSS, or Java scripting. I am a teacher with a passion for learning and technology. I enjoy creating iBooks using iBooks Author. I have turned to Tumult’s Hype to help create HTML5 widgets for my iBooks. I am convinced that I am only scratching the surface of what Hype is capable of doing. However, for my skill set and what I am looking to do, Hype is a wonderful tool. Click below or here for more.

iBook Hack Event: Learn to Make Amazing iBooks

Do you want to make amazing iBooks? Learn from the best at iBook Hack Event in Zeeland Michigan on June 29 through July 1, 2015. 

Here are the details from the website

The Hackathon’s purpose is to train educators in designing high-quality, media-rich, Screen Shot 2015 05 03 at 9 48 11 PM interactive iBooks for education. This event is put on by experienced teachers for innovative teachers looking to impact their learning environments. 


The Hackathon is set up to differentiate instruction based off your current ability. From beginner to published author, the hackathon will take your knowledge of iBooks Author and instructional design to the next level. 




A time of peer review will provide you with critical feed back on how to improve your content. In the end, you will be amazed by what you can create and how great an impact it can have on your teaching and learning.

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