Interesting Way to Protect Your Tablet: iBallz

There are a lot of interesting accessories for mobile devices and iBallz is certainly one of them. iBallz is designed for iPad 1 and 2 but also fits other similar-sized tablets. Made by Friendly Integration LLC, iBallz offers protection by placing a styrofoam ball at each corner of a device.

The balls are kept in place by a tight elastic rope, which Friendly Integration suggests can be used for handling your device. Besides protection from drops, iBallz says it can offer protection from liquid spills because the device is safely suspended above any table.

Friendly Integration sent me a set of iBallz to review. I'm all for innovative designs, but I don't keep iBallz on my personal iPad because it looks silly. However, I think that iBallz could be a nice solution for all those iPad-using toddlers (and less expensive than more fun or more durable cases). With the availability of bright colors, iBallz really do seem like an accessory for kids. I think their newer Minis look slightly less comical.

I found it challenging to put iBallz on my iPad. However, once in place, they remained tightly on my iPad. I also put iBallz on my Acer Iconia Android tablet. It's a thicker tablet and iBallz sometimes slipped off.

Friendly Integration has a line of cases and sleeves that are made to accommodate an iPad with iBallz. It makes me giggle to see iBallz sticking out of the corners.

Read more about iBallz at

A couple of other interesting accessories include earbud cable management that looks like an apple's core and a stand for iPad so that you don't have to to hold it.


Apps for Project-Based Learning

I presented Project-Based Learning in Hand at the International Society for Technology in Education conference in Philadelphia. Here are my notes for the session. My favorite part was that I asked educators in the room and on Twitter to submit favorite iOS apps for project-based learning. The resulting spreadsheet has 133 submissions. I removed spaces from app names so that I could use to generate the word cloud below.  

The suggested apps are ones that could be used for questioning, investigating, and/or sharing. As you can see, SonicPics was submitted the most times. It's a certainly a favorite of mine. iMovie, Evernote, ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard, PuppetPals, Storyrobe, and Comic Life were also popular.


iPad/iPod/iPhone Accessories, Add-Ons & DIY

One of the sharing sessions at Mobile Learning Experience 2011 was dedicated to accessories, add-ons, and do it yourself projects for mobile devices. I took along many of mine to share.


Disclosure: I do not accept free or special deals on products. However, I make a little money if you follow a product link and buy from Amazon.


WLTX Columbia, SC News Piece

Apparently I'm a Mobile Technology Expert. I prefer Mobile Learning Enthusiast.I traveled to Columbia, South Carolina to work with teachers, students, and parents in the Richland One School District. On March 28 I presented an evening session called "I'm a Mobile Learner" and shared my vision and examples of mobile learning. The local news station, WLTX, interviewed me and broadcasted a story about the event and about mobile learning. They titled the piece "Expert: Smart Phones Are the Next Classroom Computers." Of course, I didn't write the piece or pick the title. I wouldn't limit mobile learning to simply smartphones. I see mobile learning as using tools at hand, which might be phones, tablets, laptop and desktop computers, and web-based tools. 

You can view the aired news piece online and read the transcript at


iPad 2's Display Mirrored on a Big Screen

A feature that has long been request by educators has finally arrived in iPad 2: video mirroring. Video mirroring shows exactly what's on your device's screen on a second display, like a projector, television, or monitor. We're used to video mirroring with laptops--many teachers do this everyday.

iPad 2 requires either the Apple VGA Adapter or Apple Digital AV Adapter. The VGA adapter connects to most projectors while the digital adapter connects to HDMI, which is common on newer televisions. Apple Digital AV Adapter also outputs sound while the VGA adapter outputs only video to the display.

I've used both adapters and they are very simple to use. In fact, there is no software to install or settings to adjust on iPad. Within seconds of connecting iPad and to the display with the adapter, mirroring is automatically activated. You can even rotate iPad between portrait and landscape and the mirrored image rotates as well. Read a little more about video mirroring from Apple (the page only mentions HDMI, but mirroring can certainly be done with VGA).


During presentations and workshops I have alternated displaying my laptop and iPad 2 to a projector simply by disconnecting one from the projector and reconnecting the other with no issues. It takes just a few moments for the projector to recognize the new input source. Having a VGA switch (Monoprice has them cheap) would handy so that I don't have to disconnect and reconnect to the projector each time I want to change which device I want displayed.

Some apps have been designed to output video that is different than from what appears on the device's screen. For example, Keynote's is mirrored until you tap Play. Then iPad outputs your slideshow while showing the controls on iPad's screen.

Unlike using a document camera, mirroring is a crystal-clear image without glare and smudges. However, there is a major drawback to using mirroring instead of a document camera to demonstrate apps. Those viewing cannot see what you are touching nor the gestures you use on the screen. Using a document camera (like the $69 Point2View USB Camera) might not always be in perfect focus and show glare, but at least viewers can see how you are interacting with the touchscreen.

I made a short video demonstrating video mirroring through VGA and compare it to using the Point2View camera. I used an Epiphan VGA2USB signal grabber to input into my computer. This method produces interlacing (those horizontal lines you see when there is lots of movement). When connected to a display, you definitely do not see any interlacing.

Currently video mirroring only works with iPad 2. Sorry iPad 1, iPod touch, and iPhone users. If you jailbreak your device, you can get access to Cydia, an alternative to Apple's App Store that has apps that Apple will not allow in its own store. DisplayOut is available in Cydia for $3.99 and gives iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch video mirroring capabilities. Cydia also has apps like iDemo designed to share what's on your handheld's screen. While jailbreaking is legal, it can void your warranty, goof up your device, and make it tricky to install iOS updates. I have never jailbroken any of my handhelds--now with iPad 2, I don't have to jailbreak for video mirroring.


Speech Input in Dictionary and Translate Apps

Speech InputSpeech input is finding its way into more and more mobile devices and apps. Dragon Dictation for iOS came out in December 2008 and is probably the best way for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users to speak into their devices and have it turned into text. The dictated text can then be pasted into other apps. Perhaps future versions of iOS will include speech-to-text across all apps.

iOS's rival mobile operating system, Android, introduced a voice-enabled keyboard with version 2.1. Any time the keyboard is on the screen, Android users can simply tap the speech input icon (or swipe across the keyboard) and then say what they want typed. The device displays the spoken words on the screen.

Android Keyboard

An app that takes advantage of speech input is the Merriam Dictionary app for iOS and Android. Users can search words by voice. This means that you don't have to know how to spell a word to look it up! The app also will pronounce the word, provides synonyms and antonyms, and contains sample sentences. Unfortunately, the free app also contains advertisements.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary App

An even more amazing app that features speech input is Google Translate for iOS and Android. The app translates words and phrases from more than 50 languages. For many languages, you can speak your phrases and hear the corresponding translations. Not only could this be useful for learning a language, but it could be a helpful communication tool for teachers, students, and parents who speak different languages. Translations can be displayed full screen by holding the device in landscape. Tapping a translation gives you the option to copy the text for use in other apps. As the comments to this post indicate, beware when relying on technology to communicate. You may not be expressing what you actually mean or the translation could turn out to be gibberish or offensive.

Google Translate

Of course, for speech input to work your device must have a microphone. Those with older iPod touches without built-in microphones can use Apple Earbuds with Microphone or very affordable mics from Amazon and DealExtreme. (sorry first generation iPod cannot use any kind of microphone). Going forward, pretty much all mobile devices will have built-in microphones because of features like speech input.

Microphone for iPod touch


Things to Know about Apps & Apple Devices

I've put together a list of things to know about iOS, apps, iTunes, and the App Store:

  • Some software programs for Apple handhelds (known as "apps") come preinstalled on every device, including Safari for web browsing, Mail for email, and Notes for text files.
  • You can download and install many more apps from the App Store. The App Store can be found in two places: in iTunes on Mac and Windows computers or in its own app on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
  • The App Store is organized in categories, including Games, Education, Photography, and Productivity.
  • In addition to browsing categories, you can search the App Store. In iTunes you can perform a Power Search to filter results to free apps or a specific device. Alternatively, you can browse and search app at AppShopper's search results are more detailed than iTunes'.
  • Approximately 34% of all apps are free of charge and another 31% are 99¢. The average price for an app is $2.50.
  • You must have an iTunes account to download apps. For school sets of handhelds, it is recommended you create an account specifically for school. Typically Apple demands a credit card number to create an account. Follow these directions before creating an account and you won't be required to supply a credit card number.
  • Each app downloaded is associated with an iTunes account.
  • You can authorize up to five computers to use an iTunes account. An unlimited number of Apple handhelds can sync to a single computer.
  • A single computer can have more than one account authorized on it. This is different than being signed in. Authorizing multiple accounts allows for installation of apps that may have been downloaded while signed into different accounts. Authorize accounts from iTunes' Store menu.
  • Accounts authorized in iTunes are also authorized on the devices synced to that iTunes app Library.
  • Syncing an individual device to the same computer each time is ideal. Attempting to sync to a different computer than the original can result in data loss and extreme frustration.
  • You can sync multiple devices to one Mac or Windows computer simultaneously. There are options for carts, cases, and hubs to allow for connecting large numbers of devices to one computer.
  • iPad can run almost all iPhone/iPod touch apps. iPhone and iPod touch cannot run iPad-specific apps. Universal apps can run on all three kinds of devices and are denoted in the App Store with a + symbol.
  • Apps are updated periodically. Updates are free and often offer extra features and bug fixes.
  • Some apps require the latest version of the iOS. You can check to see if your device is running the latest release of iOS by connecting it to iTunes, clicking the device's Summary Tab, and click the Check for Update button.
  • Unlike music and movies, you can always re-download both free and paid apps from the App Store free of charge. Be sure you are signed into the iTunes account in which you originally bought the app.
  • Free and paid apps purchased in the App Store app on the Apple handheld are copied to the iTunes Library upon the next sync.
  • Periodically paid apps go on sale for free. For school sets of devices, be sure to document when apps are downloaded for free in case of a software audit.
  • I often share apps you may be interested in on Twitter. Oftentimes the apps I share are temporarily on sale, so download them while they are free or cheap.
  • Twitter users who reference an educational app frequently tag their tweets with #edapp. Searching Twitter for #edapp shows you these tweets all in one spot. Read more about #edapp.
  • Apple has different Terms & Conditions for educational institutions relating to paid apps. Apple expects U.S. education customers to purchase a license for each device a paid app will be installed on using the App Store Volume Purchase Program.
  • Apps can be organized into folders by tapping and holding one app until it jiggles. Then drop apps into existing folders or drop an app onto another to create a folder. Press the Home button when done.
  • Folders and icon positions are individual to each device. Unless you restore a device from the backup of another device, folder and icon positions have to be manually set on each handheld.
  • Deleting an app from the iTunes Library will also remove the app from any device which synchronizes with that library.
  • Delete apps on the device by tapping an holding one app's icon until all icons begin to jiggle. Tap the X next to an app's icon to delete the app. Press the Home button when done.
  • To prevent students from deleting apps, enable Restrictions and turn off Deleting Apps in the General section of the Settings app on each device.
  • To prevent students from logging into their own accounts and installing apps, enable Restrictions and turn off Installing Apps in the General section of the Settings app on each device. However, this will need to be turned off and back on each time you want to legitimately install apps, even through iTunes.
  • Double-tap the Home button to access a list of recently used applications and toggle among them.
  • Got a lot of apps? Tap the Home button while on your first screen of apps to access a search field where you can enter an app's name to launch it.

Four Student Response Systems

Class ClickersIf you've got a class set of computers or mobile devices, then you've got a student response system. Response systems sold to schools typically consist of a handheld remote, called a clicker, and software for managing students, questions, and answers. Rather than pay over $1,000 for a set of clickers, a WiFi-equipped classroom that already has iPod touches, iPads, netbooks, etc. (or invited students to bring their own) can turn those devices into a response system for much less.

Google Docs

Google Docs provides a free way to collect responses called Forms. The teacher creates a questionnaire for students to complete. Questions can be multiple choice, true/false, short answer, essay, or a scale. Once the form is completed, Google provides a very long URL that is much to long for anyone to manually type. So, forms can be linked from or embedded in a class web page. Alternatively, a URL shortener like,, or can be used to create a shorter web address that redirects to the obnoxiously long one. This way students can simply type the short URL in their device's browser to access the questions.

Google Form

The responses are collected in a spreadsheet the teacher accesses online. Google makes it easy to see responses in graphs by simply choosing Show summary of responses from the Form menu. With a Google Form, students are not required to respond at the same time. The questionnaire is online and ready for them any time they ready. For more information about using Google Docs as a student response system, view Radford University's video on YouTube.

Poll Everywhere

Another service that can be used as a student response system is Poll Everywhere. They have a nice Web interface that looks great on a laptop or mobile device. Poll Everywhere can also take responses through text messages. Students text in their answers to the teacher's question using identifying codes. Be aware that Poll Everywhere and Google Docs do not provide feedback to students since there is no way to indicate correct and incorrect answers. While there is a free Poll Everywhere plan for K-12 classrooms, the $50 per year plan gives teachers the ability to see individual student responses and to approve text-based responses before they appear for the whole class to see. Read more about Poll Everywhere.

Poll Everywhere


QuestionPress (formerly QuickieQ) is a 100% web-based audience and classroom response/assessment tool. This means that QuestionPress is accessible on any Internet connected device. Students can easily find and bookmark their teacher's QuestionPress URL. Alan Degener, QuestionPress' developer, writes more about the service:

QuestionPress is one of the few response web sites that allows you to offer a fully live session where you can control which questions are asked, when they are asked, in what order they are asked, and when and how results are sent to the responders’ screens. Questions can also be served at the responder’s pace with options that allow for the scores and correct answers being displayed upon completion.

Question Press Questions

You can use a prepared question set and/or create questions on-the-fly. Points can be assigned to all questions and QuestionPress can auto-score multiple choice, true/false, yes/no, short answer, fill in the blank, sorting, numeric, “images as answers”, and “check all that apply” problems. Other question types include essay, ranking, and file uploads. Dynamic questions with images can be created using a simple yet powerful WYSIWYG editor, which includes a math equation editor and grapher. Questions can be edited on-the-fly and questions created in a live session can be imported into question sets or used directly in future session. Question sets can be stored, organized and shared with others. Session results can be organized into folders and sessions can be reopened to help consolidate data.

Question Press Session

There are no responder accounts with QuestionPress, so students do not need to remember yet another login and password. Students can use student ids or other codes to protect privacy.

A standard QuestionPress license starts at 35-responders per session. Polling mode increases that limit 10 fold, allowing you to put polls up on your classroom web site. You can also use QuestionPress for homework since it is web-based and can run asynchronously. The email feature allows you to email results to responders when they finish the question set or you can add comments and annotations and send out emails later.

QuestionPress starts at just $24 for an annual 35-responder license. Larger license and multiple session licenses are optional. Group accounts are also available. For more information, a complete list of features, and to sign up for a free trial account go to

eClicker Host

eClicker HostAn option for iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch using teachers is the eClicker Host app. Priced at $9.99, it's a very affordable solution because no subscription is required. Only the teacher needs the app; students can use any web browser or the free eClicker iOS app. Student devices need to be on the same WiFi network as the teacher's iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The app provides a URL for students to type into their browsers. Devices running the optional and free eClicker app automatically detect the teacher's device on the network running eClicker Host. If eClicker Host is running on iPad, up 64 responders can connect. For iPhone and iPod touch, the maximum is 32 responders.

Like QuestionPress, the teacher can control what question is displayed on students' screens. When the teacher moves to the next question, everyone's screens change at the same time to display the next question.

Teachers can compose multiple choice or true false questions on their mobile device or at Sadly, eClicker does not support short answer or open-ended responses. I don't mind composing the questions on my iPad. I can even include images from my Photo Library or draw one within the app. Alternatively, questions can be edited on a computer at by first creating an account within the eClicker Host app. When done editing, syncing your account updates the on your device. Teachers can even share question sets with one another via Bluetooth.

eClicker on iPad

eClicker has worked well for me for informal assessment. However, it does not have a management system where I can track students over time. It's not a quiz or evaluation tool. If you use eClicker, you'll notice that each question has a timer. I have not found a way to turn off the timer, which can be a distraction. eClicker Host lacks options, especially compared to QuestionPress. But, with fewer features, eClicker Host is streamlined and simplistic. Find out more about eClicker.

Response systems can improve attentiveness, increase knowledge retention, inform instruction, and provide immediate feedback. It's nice to have affordable choices. I've only highlighted on the four systems I've used myself. There are certainly many more. Which one to choose? Fortunately Google Docs and Poll Everywhere can be used for free, and QuestionPress has a free trial. There is no free version or trial for the eClicker Host app. If you have a favorite, please tell us about it in the comments.

Four Student Response Systems

Classroom clicker photo licensed under Creative Commons by Flickr user Kentucky Country Day.


What I Bought in 2010

Like I did for 2009, I thought I'd look back on 2010 by sharing technology and technology-related products I purchased during the year. While I think these items are way awesome, it's not about the stuff. It's about what I can do with the stuff--and I have to say, I can do some pretty incredible things!

iPad, iPhone 4, 4th Generation iPod touch
Since I do so many iPad and iPod touch workshops for teachers, I certainly had to purchase these items. I replaced my iPhone 3GS with the iPhone 4 because of the higher resolution display and better camera. I've been using the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit to copy photos and videos directly from iPhone to iPad. I also use the Apple iPad Case because I like the way it props up iPad for easier on-screen typing. It seems overkill to have all three, but strangely enough, I have been known to use all three devices at once.

Apple Handhelds

Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
Touchscreens are a great way to interact with apps, but they are also a great way to smear and smudge glass. Zwipes work better than any other kind of cloth or towel I've used on my iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone. I keep Zwipes all around the house, office, and in my travel bag because I like to wipe my screen clean several times a day. A word of caution: I cut a Zwipe into fourths, thinking that would be a terrific size for travel and to give away at workshops. However, cutting the cloth made lots of microfiber pieces and the cloth unusable for screen cleaning because of the fuzzy mess left behind.


Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800
Since I travel so much, I find that my iPhone's battery charge isn't sufficient to get me from Point A to Point B. The Tekkeon TekCharge MP1800 is a high-capacity battery that juices up anything that charges through USB. I also use it to charge my iPod touch and MiFi mobile hotspot. The MP1800 is also a flashlight.


AR.Drone Quadricopter
Augmented Reality is all the rage. That's where live images of the real world are mixed with digital information. The AR.Drone is a quadricopter controlled by an app for iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. It connects through WiFi and relays video from two cameras back to the app. Developers are busy making more apps that interface with the AR.Drone. I absolutely love flying my drone! I've recorded some really cool aerial video and you can find lots of great videos by searching YouTube. I'm taking my AR.Drone to the Mobile Learning Experience in Phoenix in April so that those at the conference can see this flying camera. I've bought an extra battery and charger so that I can fly longer than 12 minutes. I also purchased a Super Bright Blue LED UFO Light Kit for night flying. As much as I love the drone, it is easy to crash and can be expensive to repair.


Point 2 View USB Camera
If you've got a document camera, then you might not need a Point 2 View camera. If you don't, the Point 2 View makes for a pretty good doc cam. It requires the video to pass through a computer, but for most people, that isn't a big deal since a computer is probably already connected to a projector. The Point 2 View camera is very portable and IPEVO now offer a case (for an extra $40). My Point 2 View has traveled around the country with me as it's an easy way for me to show iPod touch and iPad screen. I really appreciate it's $69 price tag, which is inexpensive compared to a full-sized document camera. Read more about the Point 2 View camera in a post I wrote in April.

Point 2 View IPEVO

Universal Bracket Adapter Mount for Tripod
Now that so many handhelds, like iPhone and iPod touch, can take photos and video, there's a need to steady them on a tripod. The Universal Bracket Adapter Mount for Tripod is an innovative and inexpensive way to attach a handheld to a tripod. It's spring-loaded to fit devices of different sizes and has a hole for a standard tripod. With a mounted camera, I can film stable video, take focused photos, and do time-lapse photography. To go along with the bracket, I bought a new tripod for mobile movie making. The ZipShot Compact Ultra-Light Instant Tripod sets up in seconds. You've got to see the video of the ZipShot being opened!


Green Screen and Lighting
I use the green screen technique to give my videos a simple white background. You've probably noticed this effect in my Learning in Hand podcast. In 2010 I bought CowboyStudio Photography 10' X 12' Chromakey Green Muslin Backdrop with Support System and Carry Bag. While it is portable, I leave it set up in my office so it's ready to film when I am. An important piece to doing the green screen technique (called chromakey) is lighting. I light my screen with two work lights and light myself with two softbox lights. Separate lighting for the screen and the subject is important because you don't want the subject casting a shadow on the screen. I keep the green screen looking smooth by using a steamer on it before I film.

Green Screen

Canon Vixia HF S100 Camcorder with Directional Stereo Microphone
I upgraded to an HD camcorder in 2010 and it made a big difference in picture quality. Over the years I've tried all sorts of microphones with my camcorders. In 2010 I bought Canon 2591B002 DM-100 Directional Stereo Microphone for HF/HG Series Camcorders. It's a shotgun mic, so when filming, I don't have to worry about wearing a mic. Directional shotgun microphones are great in classrooms because they pick up sound from in front of them instead of all sounds in the room. Plus, there's no battery or set up to worry about. Note that many camcorders do not have the port where a shotgun microphone can be attached.

Canon Camcorder and Boom Mic

Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Blue makes the popular Snowball USB microphone. In 2010, Blue came out with the Yeti. It looks like a David Letterman-style mic and has settings to be directional or omni-direction. It sounds great and can be used to record or stream one person speaking or multiple people speaking. It is excellent for audio podcasting.

While I'm always on the lookout for free apps, I have bought some apps and services in 2010. Most notably, I paid for Evernote Premium. I think Evernote is a great service, so it's nice I can support them. The main feature I use in Premium that isn't available in the free version is Note History. With this feature, I can go back in time to a different revision of a note. Other software I bought includes iTeleport for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. With iTeleport I can see my home computer's screen and control it from anywhere I have an internet connection. Another app for iPad is Air Display. It turns iPad into a second monitor for my MacBook. I've found this is to useful when traveling and working on projects. I move toolbars and pallets to the iPad screen where I can easily tap them and they are out of the way on my main laptop screen. When at home, I like to use my MacBook and my iMac at the same time. SynergyKM is free and is a tool that lets me share a single keyboard and mouse among multiple computers. Another free tool is Dropbox. Dropbox has software for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and more. I can add anything to Dropbox and access it on all my other computers and devices. You get 2 GB of storage for free.


Magic Trackpad
I've always preferred a trackpad to a mouse. Apple's Magic Trackpad has replaced my mouse and I won't go back to having one. It's has a large touch-sensitive area and is wireless.

Magic Trackpad

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
While I like my Magic Trackpad, I don't really think of it as magical. But, I do think of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers as unbelievable. I use them on my Magic Trackpad and on my MacBook Pro to remove finger grease. Magic Eraser is also effective at cleaning white MacBooks and Apple iPad cases to make them look like new. Don't use water when cleaning electronics with Magic Eraser, because it works well dry. Also, don't use Magic Eraser on your device's screen since it is slightly abrasive.

Magic Eraser

In 2010 I started having robots do my dirty work! I bought a Roomba 562 Pet Series Vacuum Cleaning Robot. It can be set to vacuum on certain days at certain times, and it does carpet and tile floors. It's a little weird that Roomba does not vacuum in a pattern. Instead, it randomly wheels itself around the room, most likely going over each square foot more than once. My other robot is the Litter Robot LRII Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Box. Unlike other automatic litter boxes that rarely seem to work, my Litter Robot has worked flawlessly for 5 months. Seven minutes after a cat does his business, the robot's top sphere rotates 200 degrees and back, dropping clumps into a bag in the base. My cats always have a clean box, and I never have to scoop!


What do I plan to buy in 2011? I'll buy at least one Android tablet or handheld. I predict that Google's Android operating system will become a viable alternative to Apple's iOS in schools in the coming year. By the looks of it, we'll have plenty of quality choices for mobile learning in 2011!

Disclosure: I don't receive free or special deals from companies. I put my money where my mouth is--probably too much money when I add it all up. I do, however, make a little money if you follow a product link and buy from Amazon.


Recommended iOS Apps for 2010

The educator and developer community at has taken nominations and votes for their 2010 Best App Awards. While nominations and voting is now closed, the list of dozens of nominees is a valuable resource. Nominations were made in early December by those who read I Educational Apps Review's blog. There are nearly 20 categories and each category is divided into elementary and secondary.

You can view the 125 apps categorized in a spreadsheet or view their icons in a widget. Clicking an icon will take you to the app's details page in the App Store. The widget was made using Appsfire's Widget Maker.


3 Conferences on 3 Continents

Mobile learning is a hot topic, and that's why there are conferences devoted to using readily available digital tools in education. I'd like to tell you about three conferences for those interested in mobile learning. I happen to be fortunate enough to be part of all three. 

Learning Without Frontiers

Formerly known as Handheld Learning, Learning Without Frontiers takes place January 9-11, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. It's an international festival of learning and technology and has the theme of "Disruption, Innovation and Learning." Speakers include Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Theodore Gray (co-founder of Wolfram Research), Stephen Heppell (award-winning educator), and Karen Cator (US Department of Education Director of Educational Technology).

I will be hosting a Pecha Kucha style session where participants have 6 minutes 40 seconds to tell the group about an app or mobile learning activity, project, or concept. I will also be presenting "Mobile Movie Making"

Register for Learning Without Frontiers by December 31, 2010. Follow the the conference tag #lwf11 on Twitter.

Mobile Learning Experience

mobile 2011 is the conference for those interested in the latest in teaching, learning, and mobile computing. It will be held in sunny Phoenix, Arizona April 6-8, 2011. Sessions will be devoted to iPod touch, iPad, netbooks, web tools, and apps. Participants can look forward to a dinner keynote by Graham Brown-Martin, founder of Learning Without Frontiers. The event features many visionary speakers. Some of them are Travis Allen (iSchool Initiative), Derek Keenan (Rocky View Schools, Alberta, Canada), Susan Wells (Culbreth Middle School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina), Scott Meech (The Joseph Sears Schools, Kenilworth, Illinois), Suren Ramasubbu (CEO of Mobicip), and many more.

I will present sessions about learning through projects, movie making, and personal productivity. I'm also planning other fun and entertaining activities since I'm part of the volunteer conference team.

Register for the Mobile Learning Experience by January 7, 2011 and save $100. The registation deadline is March 1, 2011. Visit's News section for updates about the conference, and follow mobile2011 on Twitter.


In its second year, Slide2Learn is an education event by teachers, for teachers. The conference will be held April 18 and 19, 2011 on Queensland's Sunshine Coast at the ICT Learning Innovation Centre, Sunshine Coast University, Australia. Not only will it feature beginner and advanced sessions on the iPod touch, but also have a special focus on the iPad, with every attendee being able to borrow a device for use. 

I will be keynoting the event and presenting breakout sessions. This will be my first time in Australia and I am very much looking forward to Slide2Learn.

Registration opens January 15, 2011. Follow the tag #slide2learn on Twitter, not only for conference info, but to read tweets from an active iPad and iPod touch community.


Special Education Student & iPad Video

Watch this short documentary about Dennis, a student with special learning needs. His parents and teacher tell how iPad is an effective learning resource for him.

The video was shot and edited on iPod touch using the iMovie app.