30(ish) of the Best iPad Apps for Education (2014 Edition)



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Powers of Ten (1977). Still One of The Most Exceptional Short Science Films Ever Made

No words. Just watch:

Navigate to: http://www.powersoften.com for more about this little marvel.


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What is it? (A Riddle)


Every year it gains as many young as it loses old (more or less).

No-one there seems to age. And then suddenly you realize that they all have.

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What Would Your Mother Say, You Blackguard? (Funny Fallacious Fallacies.)

I found this here: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~benham/funstuff/logical.html

It's already 12 years old.

Seems like another brilliant idea that didn't get enough airplay.

Time to revive it, I say.


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25 Questions Every 21st Century Student Should Be Able to Answer

25 Questions Every 21st Century Student Should Be Able to Answer

(And then a few more)

  1. What is the value of creativity?
  2. How do I evaluate the reliability of a website?
  3. How do I stay safe online?
  4. Why is metacognition important?
  5. How do I learn most effectively?
  6. How do I create an engaging presentation?
  7. How do I keep my brain healthy?
  8. How do I manage my time effectively?
  9. What are the common fallacies in arguments?
  10. What productivity apps should I use?
  11. Why is the scientific method important?
  12. How do I spot chicanery and fraudulent thinking?
  13. How do I analyze a text critically?
  14. How do I write and speak to convince others?
  15. Why is standing up for myself and being assertive important?
  16. Why is it important to be kind to others?
  17. Why is it important to be kind to nature?
  18. What things can I do to ensure a sustainable, equitable future?
  19. Why is it important to fail?
  20. Why should I be courageous and determined?
  21. Why is it important to read?
  22. Why is it important to sleep?
  23. How do I manage my money?
  24. Why is art important?
  25. Why is it important to find mentors?

And a few more:

  • How does my brain work?
  • How do I work effectively as part of a team?
  • Why is important to be curious and to learn about things independently?
  • How can I find my own way to be happy rather than sticking to some formula?
  • Why is it important to question and think for myself?

Got any to add?

This post was inspired by this piece of brilliance by one of my favorite education gurus: Mr Terry Heick:




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No, We Are Not Civilized. Or, Why the 21st Century is Still Stuck in the 12th (The Persistence of Middle-Ages Mentality in the Modern Age)

Hans Rosling has shown us that the world is getting better. We have by far the greatest proportion of humanity moving out of absolute poverty that we have ever had. At the same time, Stephen Pinker proves that, remarkably, we are also becoming less violent as a species. We have the internet to exchange ideas, and hundreds of thousands of social justice and environmental movements are springing up demanding a better world.

But in so many ways, we are still enormously backward. So medieval, in fact, that I do despair sometimes. How can we be simultaneously becoming so enlightened and still suffer from these plagues to our collective progress:

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Student Appraisal of Teacher (Form)


Feel free to download and modify this form.

Suggestions are welcomed.

Student Appraisal of Teacher


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Why I Am Frightened of Getting Old

I like getting older. Age brings simplification; a channeling of the raging torrent into an essential trickle. I enjoy the clarity that this narrowing-down brings.

But I am also mortally afraid of getting old. I am afraid that I will stop appreciating the intricate workings of the world around me. I am terrified of losing the ability to see from a divergent perspective and to catch on to change. I am scared of no longer being surprised.


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The Humanistic Physicist (Kurt Vonnegut)


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I Have a Dream: The Future of Education

I have dream that one day students will be more important than syllabi.

In the not too distant future, education will be a collaborative enterprise, with teachers and students assuming shifting roles as coaches, mentors and learners.

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Bad Teachers Win

You win. Your students get better results in your subject than they do in mine. You must therefore be a better teacher.

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A Bangarang Peter Pan

Here’s what Barrack Obama had to say about celebrating the life of the man who could make everybody laugh, except himself:

Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.


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Dear Teacher: Welcome to Teaching. You’re Going to Like It Here.

Dear teacher*:

Now that I have scoffed at your youthful enthusiasm and use of university lingo the customary fifty-four times, it falls to me to welcome you officially into the fellowship. I know you are still running on adrenaline and trying to keep your head above the administrative floodwaters, but spare me some time. There are a few things you should know.

Firstly, you need to figure out why you are here, doing what you do. And please make it more specific and detailed than 'change the world' or 'make a difference'. If your overarching goal is too vague you will never reach it, no matter how hard you try. (Mine is to motivate kids to think more clearly, independently, critically and creatively than they did before arriving in my class.) Oh, and if your goal is to help kids get good marks so that they can become successful, you really need to have a rethink. There isn't a simple correlation between these two things. Aim a little higher.

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Teachers: 11 Steps Towards Becoming a Recognized Professional (A Message From the SOTP)


Dear teachers

We are considering officially recognizing your vocation as a profession. We realize that you have all felt that what you do has always been a profession, but honestly, we at the Society of True Professionals have had some abiding concerns about the way you conduct yourselves on a day-to-day basis, and hence have withheld certification for a number of decades. Nonetheless, we are prepared to reconsider your status as ‘soft professionals’ if the following conditions are met by all of you in a consistent and meaningful manner:

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20 Really Bad Things Some Teachers Would Say If You Forced Them to be Honest

There’s a very funny list floating around the interwebz on 10 things teachers wish they could say but can’t. It goes like this:

10 Things Teachers Wish They Could Say

  • Since my last report, your child has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.
  • If this student were any more stupid, he’d have to be watered twice a week. Continue reading
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The Most Insidious Thing a Teacher Can Say About a Student.

Perhaps the single most damaging and insidious belief in education over the course of the last century is the notion that any ability (and intelligence in particular) is hereditary. You either have 'it' or you don't. To this day, teachers, students and the general public take it for granted that intelligence is somehow genetically encoded – like curly hair or blue eyes. It is an ingrained belief that your IQ is somehow naturally determined, and this in turn sets a course for your life. This kind of Social Darwinism has no doubt resulted in the waste of enormous amounts of human potential, innumerable wilted dreams and many, many muted lives.

But none of it is true. We now know that genetics plays the smallest role in determining intelligence.

And then we write student reports or comments that include a phrase that goes something like this:

“Johnny has achieved to his potential this semester.”

The only thing this does is reinforce the tired and silly notion that Johnny has some kind of limited range within which he is capable of operating. The underlying notion being that Johnny's genes have determined that this is as well as he can possibly do.

I've said this kind of nonsense to students and parents before. And apologise sincerely to those who believed me.

From now on I am only telling Johnny that his results are commensurate with his level of effort. To improve, he need simply work harder. Any other limitations he experiences academically are entirely of his own making.


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The Future of Technology in Education (Part 2: How The 2014 K-12 Horizon Report Gets it Wrong)


The Future of Technology in Education (Part 2: How The 2014 K-12 Horizon Report Gets it Wrong)

Please see my previous post titled ‘The Future of Technology in Education (Part 1: How The K-12 Horizon Report 2014 Gets it Right.)’ for an introduction to the NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition (HR14) in which I summarize the many exciting findings of HR14. In this post I will only be considering the oversights and misconstructions contained in the report. Continue reading

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The Future of Technology in Education (Part 1: How The K-12 Horizon Report 2014 Gets it Right)


The Future of Technology in Education (Part 1: How The K-12 Horizon Report 2014 Gets it Right.)

The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition (HR14) is an annual summary of key technologies which are having , or are likely to have a meaningful effect on education. It also considers certain key implementation challenges these technologies may face.

The most interesting aspect of HR14 is the constant emphasis on the fact that these emerging technologies go hand in glove with reinvigorated pedagogies and attitudes towards education. This is true to such a strong degree that HR14 might be considered as much an exposition of future educational methodologies as it is a consideration of future educational technology.

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Big Brother is Judging: The Insidious Effect of Big Data & Learning Analytics in Education


I know, let's gather all the information we can about our students.

We'll tell people we're using it to personalize and enhance kids' learning experience. We'll call it Educational Data Mining. No wait, the acronym for that would sound like someone battling to say the word 'idiom' – and the 'mining' bit sounds vaguely insidious and exploitative. How about 'Big Data' – that's got a cool ring to it doesn't it? Sounds a bit like something that you'd get up-sized with onion rings and a shake. Although maybe some astute souls might see a reference to Big Brother in there. So no, let's keep it sober and safely euphemistic: Learning Analytics.

Here's what we'll do:

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How Training Cats is Like Teaching Kids

Ever tried to train a cat? I'm talking the kind of training it takes to get them to do tricks – not potty training or not-scratching-the-furniture training. I can't say as I have ever tried. It must be nearly impossible, but it must be doable. However, knowing cats, I do think you would have break the poor thing's spirit a little and stifle a good chunk of its independence to get it to do what you want, the way you want, when you want.

I reckon teaching kids (of any age) is fraught with the same potential pitfalls. But it does get a little easier as they grow older because they've so often had their wilder spirits squashed before they reach you. The good thing, though, is – unlike trained cats – human children do not need to spend the rest of their lives cowering skittishly, they can have their spirits lifted and their independence reinvigorated.


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