apps, technology_class


Our tech club and some special MS guests went to see Bjork and her team talk about their new app. It is a new kind of album. The album is like a galaxy of songs. Each one is a music-making app that explores one aspect of musicology, one concept in science, and one emotion. We are going to explore the app our next meeting and we will share more! Can’t wait til Tuesday! I really like one idea in Crystalline…..claustrophobic crystals! I never had thought about crystals growing! uUnder layers and layers of rock….that must be so strange. Bjork opens your eyes. 

Here are some quotes from our kids: “I can be unique like her.” – Kristine
“I really like Thuderbolt. It sounds cool when you go higher, the tempo is faster.” – Anika
“Biophilia is an app she [Bjork] created connecting all the songs she made. It connects to electronics, music, lyrics, names…I learned the way we were able to make the sounds using your hands. I thought that was cool.” – Kevin

ipads, videos

Discovery Education on Your iPad

Discovery Education on Your iPad

Did you know that you can now access Discovery Education resources from your iPad with their new iPad app/mobile login?

No, don’t download the app. There is none. Just go to on your iPad and log-in with your Discovery Education username and password. Email me if you don’t have it already. The iPad access works with educator and student accounts, giving you another way to use your classroom iPads with engaging curricular content.

Downfall? You can’t access the Closed Captioning videos, as far as I can tell. Nevertheless, there is a lot your kids can observe and discuss. The only other way to use our subscription to Discovery Education is on a PC. You cannot preview the videos on a Mac, and you can install a video player, but you have to download each video to preview. Ugh@!

Verdict for our community: Try the mobile version on your Macs and iPads. For CC videos, borrow a Dell from Room 220 to get the full version on


Creating and sharing ebooks on iTunes

Tomorrow I am presenting at the Exploratorium for the NYCDOE School Library Services’ Spring conference.

I have learned so much more about iBooks Author since I wrote up the conference materials that I thought I would do an update here.

iBooks Author is very robust. It requires you to design in portrait and landscape. Portrait is meant for a reader-like experience, which is not the best way to read a picture book. I am torn whether or not to have the pictures “inline” with the text and thus appear. If iTunes Connect does not approve my book, the next step is to take the pictures out of portrait view.

My first error was that I had a stray text box in portrait view. I highly recommend the ebook “Publishing with iBooks Author” published at the awesome O’Reilly Press. I easily downloaded it to my iPad and it helped me a lot. The only question it did not address was how to create thumbnails of the videos in portrait. That is my goal. There is not a lot of support available out there since iBooks Author is so new.

But if you want to share ebooks on the iPad environment, start with Book Creator for iPad for audio books, and Scribble Press for handmade digital books. They are super easy to use and a lot of fun for kids.