Techlandia, For Your Listening Pleasure

Most educators love reading and writing… it’s in our blood. We write books, we write papers, we write in journals, we write blog posts, and even tweets prolifically! But, there is still something attractive about listening to people talk- hearing real voices tell stories, with expression and personality. This has always been what has attracted me  to podcasts from their very inception, especially educational podcasts. Hearing the voices of real people describe and explain their learning instantly connects my thinking to whatever they are talking about. Maybe I truly am an auditory learner because I have learned an infinite amount from listening to podcasts that has shaped my teaching practice more than anything else.

I’m not exactly sure how my love of listening to podcasts transformed into recording one, but over the last six months it has. Leveraging the power of Twitter, I was able to connect with two extremely talented educators, Jon Sameuelson (@ipadsammy) and Curt Rees (@curtrees)  who not only know great teaching, but love to share anything they learn with other educators. They also love podcasts (and are perhaps frustrated DJs in a former life). We now Google hangout every Saturday night to talk about 3 apps, 3 good people to follow on Twitter and 3 cool things happening in education, strip the audio from the Youtube video on Sunday, post it to iTunes, and label it Techlandia. You can find it in iTunes and also, now, on the Edreach network.
But if you are still someone who prefers to read instead of listen, we get it (especially because the three of us can definitely start to ramble and busy educators don’t always have time for that)! We also create a Learnist board every week as an easy reference for all the resources we share.

Even still, for the people who just want to cut to the chase and forget the small talk, you can find the three weekly apps featured on Techlandia, here on Getting Smart.

Things to Think About– This app was made by students! From that fact alone , we knew we had to try it! 100 prompts to spark conversations and writing responses- Each prompt is accompanied by an incredible piece of student art and narrated by the student. This is definitely an app to check out as a model for a must-do project in every classroom! Looking forward to investigating further, in order to find out exactly how they created this gorgeous app.

Created by students and teachers in Jackson County Intermediate School District in Michigan. And it’s FREE!

“To encourage kids and adults to communicate and collaborate a little bit more…interesting concept.” -iPadsammy


WWF Together app
WWF Together app

WWF Together App– World Wildlife Fund’s FREE app that allows students to get up close to the world’s most amazing and endangered animals through interactive stories and high definition full screen videos and images. Origami instructions are also included for each animal. Animal research takes on a whole new dimension with this app!

“This is one you absolutely put in the hands of kids on the iPad…I can see a kid taking a look at it and saying, hey I can make that!” -Curt Rees

SNAP! (Build Your Own Blocks) Allows you to now run Scratch, the popular programming game that formerly needed to be downloaded, in ANY browser instantly, including Safari on the iPad. I know a couple of second graders who would have a hard time giving up the iPads if I handed them Snap.
“I just tried it on my iPad and it works perfectly!” -Alison

Alison Anderson

Alison Anderson

Alison Anderson is a Media Specialist at The Madeleine School.

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