The 2015 Top Blog Posts of the Year

from the Cool Cat Teacher Blog

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

What a 2015! The Cool Cat Teacher blog celebrated 10 years, has 167 new posts this year with a total of 3,672 blog posts in the archive.  Millions have visited this blog and wow, so many things have happened in ten years. This year was another year of learning and leveling up for all of us.

2015 Cool Cat Teacher Blog Posts of the Year

The stats are in and here’s what you liked on my blog this year! Thank you for reading and sharing my blog (and especially for the emails and comments!)

In 2016, I’m going to be giving lots of goodies to my email subscribers. Sign up now. Each time I update my blog, you can have it in your inbox (2-3 times a week usually). I also send special newsletters that will save you time and point you to awesome freebies you can use. Right now when you sign up, you’ll get my free ebook 10 Habits of Bloggers that Win. I also have another bi-monthly social media secrets email list where I’ll help you level up your social media learning if you want to know how I do it ;-). Sign up for either one of them on this page

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015 on the Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Want to read the post? Just click the title of the post and you can read and share it!

10. Top 10 Tips for Close Reading Activities

This was a sponsored post I wrote in 2014. Each year, I hand pick several sponsors and dig deep into their work. Here’s a great one that helps with close reading.

9. 6 Reading Comprehension Problems and How to Solve Them

Another sponsored blog post on reading comprehension that has staying power.

8. 6 Ways to Motivate Teachers: Be The Hope

Inspired by the amazing Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) at my school, this post shares unique ways to inspire and motivate teachers who need all the encouragement they can get! I also include cool pictures of some neat things they did at a teacher luncheon.

7. If I’m Such a Great Teacher, Why Do I Want to Quit?

Great teachers sometimes have to answer hard questions, like,

“Can I stay teaching?”

There’s a reason so many teachers are quitting. It is not an easy time to teach, but there has never been a more important time to teach. I’m grateful for the emails from teachers who decided to stay in teaching because of this post. Encouraging broken teachers and helping them heal is why I blog. Here’s to you hurting teachers, we can keep on teaching. Our students need us.

6. 18 Epic Productivity Apps

While Mailbox is going to have to be removed from this list (since Dropbox is cancelling the service), these apps are awesome.

2015 Cool Cat Teacher Top Posts.002

5. 10 Ways to Flip a Kid and Turn His Day Around

Inspired by a comment made by Kevin Honeycutt on a show where he told his touching childhood story, this blog post talks about the power one person can have in a child’s life. We can flip a kid like we flip a house.

4. Notetaking Skills for 21st Century Students

Sketchnoting and visual notetaking is part of the notetaking lessons we need to teach students. I share the videos and information I use to teach my students how to take notes.

3. What to Do When Someone Hates You

This post just won’t go away. So many people struggle with hate and type it in Google. I’m glad they find some answers here, but it breaks my heart that so many struggle with being hated. It isn’t something I’d wish on anyone. The cutting looks and rolled eyes hurt. I wish I could say I was happy that so many have been helped, but there’s nothing happy about hate. Hating evil is one thing but being hated is not something I’d wish on anyone.

2. 15 Best Google Drive Add-Ons for Education

Google Drive, Google Classroom, and Chromebooks are big, so this post remains popular.

1.  How a School Threw Out Their Reading Program and Finally Got Excited About Reading

This post received over eighteen thousand views in the first day and within three days had more than 10,000 likes on Facebook. Teachers want to inspire a love of reading and are tired of programs that kill that joy. Principal Todd Nesloney recorded an amazing show that was a companion to this blog post.

Thank you to all of you who love students and work hard to improve every day. You do so much already. Your time is a treasure. Thank you for using some of it to read my Cool Cat Teacher blog. My students might have named me (can you believe that?) but you keep me going! Keep teaching, you are noble, dear friends — always remember that you are noble as long as you act that way. 

The Cool Cat Teacher Blog reached 220 Countries this Year.

The post The 2015 Top Blog Posts of the Year appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/cool-cat-teacher-blog-2015/

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How to Write a New Year’s Resolution

A New Year’s Resolution is a list of goals you’d like to accomplish in the upcoming year. This tradition is followed by millions of people every year, and it’s a great way to start the year with a positive mind and clear goals!

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsSometimes figuring out what to write on your list can be overwhelming and confusing. But as long as you keep these five tips in mind, you’ll have the perfect New Year’s Resolution.

Brad Paisley Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one

1. Self-improvement is the key

It is important to have goals that will help you be a better person. Doing more sports, eating healthier, donating to charity, and learning a new language or instrument are the kind of things that people tend to write in their New Year’s Resolution. Also, focus on yourself and not the people around you.

2. Write in future tenses

When writing your New Year’s Resolution in English, you might get confused about how to use the future tenses properly. Don’t worry! Click the following link to learn 3 Ways to Talk About the Future in English. You have to calendar time for yourself//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

3. Set a timeframe and be specific

A study by finder.com.au showed that 33% of people didn’t keep track of their progress after a few weeks into the year, and another 23% of people simply forgot about their resolutions. If you push yourself to accomplish a goal by a certain date rather than a whole year, it is less likely that you will get carried away. Remember to write down specific goals, such as “eating one piece of fruit every day” instead of “eating healthier,” so you can measure your success!

4. Keep it short and realistic

It’s better to have realistic goals that you know you can accomplish than having goals you might never reach. The same study by finder.com.au showed that “the most common reason for participants failing their New Years’ Resolutions was setting themselves unrealistic goals (35%)”. Stay focused on a few realistic goals instead of having a long list of impossibilities.

5. Get out of your comfort zone and have fun!

Don’t forget what New Year’s Resolutions are all about: trying new things you haven’t done before and have fun while doing so! Don’t feel disappointed or pressured if you don’t accomplish your goals by the end of the year. Remember to just have a great time and learn from every experience!shutterstock_52406212

 

Gabriela Garcia

from ILAC English Tips http://www.ilac.com/blog/how-to-write-a-new-years-resolution/

3 Simple Steps to Help Students Be a Global Citizen

What are the best ways for a teacher to engage their classroom in a global conversation?

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Like squirrels in a sack, we can choose to coexist or we can make life miserable for one another. We are all a global citizen whether we realize it or not. Parents and teachers are building the bridges today that tomorrow will walk across. 

global citizen

Let’s be clear about something. Because of the way students form their opinions, if you’re not building a bridge, you’re building a wall. There is no middle ground here. Which are you?

Have a Big Mind

When I was in eighth grade, my grandmother sat me down and said she was taking me on a trip.

“You might live in a small town, but you need a big mind. You have to get out of the small town and see the world.”

Not every student has a grandmother who sees the world this way and can afford to take them on a trip. But now, I can help my students see the world through the doors of Internet technology. The price is only a little time but the payoff is huge. Connecting and collaborating across the world is easier than ever.

More teachers and students gather together in China. All of these educators had first met online.

More teachers and students gather together in China. All of these educators had first met online. You can connect yourself and your students in powerful ways. It isn’t hard. Every educator’s story is different.

Global Citizen Rising: Not just one way to connect.

There’s no one size fits all answer here. As I shared in Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds, students are the greatest textbook ever written for each other. I’ve done this many ways in my classroom, from the simple Mystery Skype to full fledged global collaboration with other students and people of all ages. We connected with Kid President to celebrate awesome girls — that was just around a hashtag. We talk to CEO’s and share with friends around the world on Skype or Google hangout. Every time we connect, my kids are astounded and excited about the big world out there.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict simulation out of the University of Michigan is a powerful way to connect and learn and so are ePals, iEarn, Taking IT Global and many transformative organizations. Skype and Google Hangout have made the world a closer, more intimate place. But so have hashtags.

But to me, the best way to engage the classroom in a global conversation is to help the conversations become part of the classroom. And certainly embarrassing things happen. (Once, on a Skype call with Sweden, one of my students said – I know what you make — a Swiss Army knife! Oh my!!! But don’t look down on my students! One time, my students were Skyping with education leaders in California. One of my students mentioned having going to Qatar. One of the adults said to her, ‘what’s a qatar?’” We all have a lot to learn!)

While in my book, Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds, we go through seven steps to create global projects — here are three simple ones to get any educator started. Every classroom can help their students join the global conversation.

Here are some pictures my students took at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai this past March. After we started connecting online, we began traveling the world and connecting face to face. Connecting online truly opens a world of possibility for kids and helps them become global citizens.

Here are some pictures my students took at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai in March 2015. After we started connecting online, we began traveling the world and connecting face to face. Connecting online truly opens a world of possibility for kids and helps them become global citizens.

3 Simple Steps to Help Students Become a Global Citizen

Step 1: Connect Yourself

So, the first thing educators do to help engage their classrooms in a global conversation is to engage themselves. A connected teacher is a prerequisite for a connected classroom.

The social media network can be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or just about anything, although the sheer numbers of educators on Twitter is astounding and becomes quite useful. When you go to conferences, meet other educators. Teachers are making their own connections and don’t need anyone to help them create their own projects and experiences.

TIP: Join private Facebook groups or consistently join a weekly Twitter chat to “get to know” the other participants. Engage in conversation to make connections. Check out Jerry Blumengarten’s educational hashtag page
Students can reach the world and each other when they become global citizens. Here is a group of students meeting and connecting at ASB Unplugged in India in 2012. The teachers in this picture first connected online before bringing their students together here as part of a larger conference at the American School of Bombay in Mumbai, India.

Students can reach the world and each other when they become global citizens. Here is a group of students meeting and connecting at ASB Unplugged in India in 2012. The teachers in this picture first connected online before bringing their students together here as part of a larger conference at the American School of Bombay in Mumbai, India.

Step 2: Build Your Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Then, connect yourself to other educators by building your own personal PLN. While books like mine and Connecting Your Students with the World by Billy Krakower, Paula Naugle, and Jerry Blumengarten help you find and join activities easily, the best opportunities are viral and spread through social media. You learn about them and join in.

I predict that educators with a PLN will become more valuable to schools than those who don’t learn online. It is by following hashtags and reading blogs that the best educators find the once in a lifetime opportunities that spring up unexpectedly.

TIP: After you build your PLN, help your students build theirs. Here are my lesson plans on PLN building using Feedly

Step 3: Help Your Class Share What They Are Doing with the World

Finally, connect your classroom by sharing what you’re doing. The now defunct but well known Flat Classroom Projects began when another teacher wrote a comment on my blog and I responded as we discussed what our students were learning about Thomas Friedman’s book The World is Flat.

But connecting classrooms globally is happening around the world. Karen Lirenman’s first graders tweet what they are doing. Kathy Cassidy’s kids blog. The Global Classroom Projects connect kids and teachers around the world. Audience improves learning. A global audience supercharges it.

See Social Media in Schools which is chock full of ideas

Scared to let kids connect?

Some may fear putting kids “out there” via blogging or other means, but kids are already out there. When you go ahead and share, you’re helping kids build a positive portfolio of work and helping them understand that people are watching and that in many ways, all the world’s a stage.

The global conversation between students is happening — with or without you. While you can’t do it every day all the time, you can connect sometimes and when you do, you can expect powerful outcomes. Perhaps one of the best things we can do to shape our future is to connect kids today. We’re building the bridges today that tomorrow will walk across.

The post 3 Simple Steps to Help Students Be a Global Citizen appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/students-global-citizen/

Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLCs With PLNs

A Post written for Edutopia

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Modern professional learning links the Professional Learning Community (PLC) with the Professional Learning Network (PLN). Help teachers improve teaching by using both together in powerful ways.

Modern professional learning

In this post on Edutopia, I work hard to connect the research on two methods that have been shown to improve a teacher’s teaching ability: the PLC and the PLN. But there are some unique ways these two should be related. Here is the beginning of the article, the rest is here on Edutopia.

An Excerpt from Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLC’s with PLN’s

Great teaching knowledge dies every day. It retires. It leaves. Perhaps the secret of saving this knowledge lies in a unique melding of two professional learning practices that teachers use today: the professional learning community (PLC) and the professional learning network (PLN). Someone must pass along the knowledge. Someone must “build the craft.” Excellent craftsmanship throughout history often happened in places where large professional networks grew.

The same is true today.

The Professional Learning Community

The PLC has long been a mainstay of excellent schools. Jonathon Saphier(PDF) found:

The reason professional learning communities increase student learning is that they produce more good teaching by more teachers more of the time. Put simply, PLCs improve teaching, which improves student results, especially for the least advantaged students.

Typically a Professional Learning Community is “a group of educators that meets regularly, shares expertise, and works collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students.”

But this isn’t a “book group.” A PLC is made up of “a school’s professional staff members who continuously seek to find answers through inquiry and act on their learning to improve student learning.” (Huffman and Hipp 2003)

Why PLCs Are Effective

But, there’s a new element of PLCs and their ability to improve teaching.Matthew Kraft and John Papay (PDF) found…

Read the rest of the article on Edutopia

The post Modern Professional Learning: Connecting PLCs With PLNs appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher BlogCool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/modern-professional-learning/

Love Song to My Readers: Cool Cat Teacher’s 10th blog birthday

Cool Cat Teacher, established December 9, 2005

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Cool Cat Teacher's 10th Blog Birthday

After 10 years of blogging, this blog birthday has me grateful for the several million teachers who have dropped by and given my work a read. On this day in 2005, I started blogging. It took me a week to write my first post. On this day ten years a go, I found the strength to hit publish. (I’ll admit that the post was ready a few days earlier, I was just afraid.) That second changed my life.

I am grateful to Mike Hetherington (can’t find his link) and Darren Kuropatwa, my first two commenters. Steven Downes and David Warlick were early encouragers, too. Like a child learning to walk, you never forget those first fumbling steps or the first people who held your hand and encouraged you to keep going.

I am a living example of how blogging changes you. The more you give, the more others give you.

Your Blogs Make a Difference to Me

Many education websites are as useful to me as an ashtray on a motorcycle; I’ll tell you what is useful — your blogs. When teachers write about what they are doing RIGHT NOW, it may not be polished and may not be perfect, but your blogs are HELPFUL.

I will admit something — I learn primarily by reading blogs and books and tweets. I don’t really have the time to join in online classes or big events or even challenges. These are great things and they help lots of people, but I can’t handle the stress and guilt trip of one more thing I don’t have time to do. But I do have and make time to read blogs at least four to five times a week. Blogs are my lifeline. If I read it and it is helpful to me, I tweet it.

So, I think, to me, blogs are more relevant than ever. And while I can’t read everything, I can read something, and that makes all the difference.

Who You Are

Forgive while I generalize about the people I’ve met who have told me they read this blog. Certainly, some may be flatterers, but those who I can say genuinely have read my work (and aren’t just sucking up) tend to be the epic types. They are people who fight massive battles but people who love kids and other people. You pour out your heart for love of children and love of our profession.

Teachers are amazing people living in tough times doing the right things even when the wrong things are being done to them. The ones I meet have the best smiles, the greatest laughs, the best stories, and the most enduring legacies of anyone I know. Teachers are incredible and so are the kids they teach.

So many of you inhale life and exhale the perfume of love and encouragement. You like to go places. You’re people who live with a purpose. You feel deeply and hurt deeply, but those strong emotions also enable you to fight for children and love deeply. You stand at your door and greet kids by name and speak out for the underdog.

In short, the people who read this blog are some of the best people I know. Many close personal friends started off as commenters here, or I commented on your blog. I will admit that my friends who blog are those I know the most deeply because we’re always reading each other’s stuff.

In 2010, on the post, Sojourner Truth, I wrote

Looking back to December 9, 2005 (my first blog post on the power of Wiki Wiki Teaching) and the over 1500 blog posts, really I had gotten almost afraid. Afraid I had nothing “new” to offer…

Here, on this blog – it is partially about technology but in a huge way it is about good teaching, and reaching every child – it is about the journey. I’m not an academician, a high level administrator, or consultant traveling the world. Although I do get out to speak… I feel like a journeyman.

Here is a woman who found the profession she loved (teaching) relatively late in life. She has three kids (two with LD’s), friends around the world, a total technology dissector, and she’s part of something bigger than herself – this fundamental change that is happening in education where these sojourners in teaching can work together directly. We encourage each other, laugh together, and cry when we leave messages on the page of one of our friends who has passed on.

And today I still cry. I cry for the amazing encourager Bob Sprankle (Wes Fryer wrote an epic tribute him) who died just this week. I am sad for the entire Maine/ ACTEM family who hired me for my first spotlight at a technology conference. Bob loved kids. He gave everything he had. He invested not only in his students but in his PLN. In short, Bob is someone I aspire to be, and his life and work ended far too soon. Bob was also someone who believed in me and encouraged me in the early days when quitting blogging was just a breath away. Oh, what a great man.

I could get all self-congratulatory and give you stats and numbers about this blog. What does that do? A blog isn’t a number; it is a journey.

A blog is a journey.

I can’t look at old posts without remembering this moment or that. I remember when my students first collaborated live in a document in 2005 on  Writely. And how Writely was bought by Google docs and now we use that. Wikis were around when this blog started, and I still use them today. But other tools have come and gone, Second Life, Google Lively, Google Reader, Zite and lots of things I tried and tested.

I was blogging here when I joined Facebook and Twitter. In 2006, I joined my first podcast, Women of Web 2.0 – it was a fantastic experience with some great ladies, and then I stopped so I could collaborate globally on Flat Classroom. When I left Flat Classroom, I started podcasting again on Every Classroom Matters, and that has been fun.

Besides the amazing, noble educators that we love and lose, this learning journey is so fun and joyful.

Love is all over this blog.

As silly as it sounds, I love this blog because I love the kids I write about and the teachers I hope it helps. I am also grateful that it is helping me send my kids to college.

When I think about GAETC 2005 and what David Warlick’s inspiration meant to me and all the places I’ve been, I can barely breathe.

And that is what blogs let us do. Blogs take us places. We can share our work. We can encourage others. But more than that, we can learn from others. For blogging is not me typing stuff and you reading it. Great blog posts are conversations where one person starts it, and others add their voices. And now those voices can spread all over the place.

Sure, you’ll get haters. Sometimes people like you and sometimes they hate you or even wish you were dead. (The death threats and profanity can be upsetting but I’ve found hurting people hurt people. The blog post What to Do When Someone Hates You channels those feelings and is rapidly becoming the top post I’ve ever written.)

My Dad taught me that if you’d doing work worth doing that you’ll attract critics. He says to mark critics as a signpost on the road to success. So, I don’t let them bother me (for long — ha ha). I never ignore them, because sometimes there are great truths in their words. In many words there is much foolishness. Who is right all the time? Not me. People who think they are always right need to get over themselves. And in the end, even though this is my blog and this is my life, this is a far bigger would than one person.

The hardest thing of late is the pressure I put on myself to be polished and just so. It has been quite a while since I just wrote to you, my precious friends who read this blog and I do count many of you as friends. So, I decided to go old school how I’ve written for many of the years on this blog and just write to you.

Grin. I’ve had a few stalkers at conferences, and those aren’t fun – but most of you are amazing, incredible people. (smile)

My first seven readers

When I get overwhelmed, I remember my first month of blogging like yesterday.

In 2005, 2e used to use this RSS reader called Bloglines to read. And after I started blogging, within just a few days I had seven readers on Bloglines and it stayed that way for several months. I remember thinking —

“I have seven readers. I have seven readers!”

I would wonder who they were. I’d think about those people going through their day. I would wonder about their hard times. When I hit publish on my blog, I’d think of the person on other side who might be reading the post. Then my blog went from 7 to 13 then 20 something and before you know it – more than 100 people were reading the blog.

But I still go back to those first seven. Never underestimate the impact that you have by reading and sharing someone’s blog. I can’t count the times I almost quit, but a kind teacher wrote me an email or a comment about how a post kept them going. Teachers kept me going. I’m still here not because I’ve written great stuff, but because enough kind educators saw a glimmer of hope in what I shared and decided to give me some hope in return.

In true Malcolm Gladwell, 10,000-hour rule style, I screwed up a lot. But enough of you stayed with me. You trained me by commenting on what you liked, and giving me nuances where I was missing something.

Blogging is an excellent way to spend your life.

And as I look back, blogging has been an incredible way to spend my life so far. I don’t know how many more anniversaries I’ll have on this blog because none of us is guaranteed another day. I don’t know what ups and downs and books and wins and losses that will make it into the words on this page in the future.

But every time I write, I write knowing that not only my children but perhaps, if I’m lucky, my grandchildren will read what I write here. So, I don’t want to waste words because wasted, stupid words are a wasted time. When you waste time, you waste your life.

And the moments and minutes and seconds are precious. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. Time is precious. Reflecting and sharing makes the time even more valuable.

So,

Happy birthday to Cool Cat Teacher

Happy birthday to me

Happy birthday, I have great readers

In the end it is you who changed me.

😉 You are loved. You are important. Keep being amazing educators. It is a joy to connect with many of you daily. Thank you for the joy you’ve brought into my life.

The post Love Song to My Readers: Cool Cat Teacher’s 10th blog birthday appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/coolcatteacher-blog-birthday/

Smartphone Photography Tips and Apps

Every Classroom Matters episode 197

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Snowflake multiteach and Meri Walker talking about Smartphone apps and tips

Smartphones are everywhere. Our students have them. We have them. Teachers are starting to use smartphones for photography, video and art. Meri Walker, the iPhone Art Girl, gives us the essential smartphone photography tips and smartphone photography apps that we need.

Mobile artist communities are growing. (Meri has displayed her mobile art in some of the most prestigious art museums in the world.) As we listened to the show, Sylvia Duckworth and I made a list of the best smartphone photography apps for this graphic. If you want to get your teachers started, this is a great graphic to print for your teacher’s lounge.

Thank You Snowflake MultiTeach, today’s sponsor

Today’s sponsor is Snowflake Multiteach. Snowflake Multiteach is a powerful tool for younger and middle-grade teachers. If you have a touch screen computer, download a free trial of Snowflake Multiteach. You can:

  • Divide the screen into learning zones.
  • Download lesson plans from their shared community.
  • Engage your bodily kinesthetic learners in multitouch learning experiences.

sponsored by snowflake multiteach

Essential Questions: Smartphone Photography Tips and Apps

  • How are teachers using smartphones to teach art?
  • What are mobile artists?
  • What are commonly used terms by mobile artists?
  • What types of materials can you print on now?
  • Essential smartphone photography apps
  • Two important photography concepts and how to teach them on the smartphone

Meri Walker, the iPhone art girl, shares her smartphone photography tips in this Every Classroom Matters episode sponsored by Snowflake Multiteach.

Meri Walker, the iPhone art girl, shares her smartphone photography tips in this Every Classroom Matters episode sponsored by Snowflake Multiteach.

Smartphone Photography Apps

Apps to turn your smartphone into a DSLR camera:

  • Camera Awesome [iOS – Free] [Google Play – $2.99]
  • Camera+ [iOS – $2.99]
  • ProCamera+ [iOS – $4.99]

Remember to learn about the principle of thirds that we discussed on the show and learn to use the grids on these apps. Listen to Meri’s suggestions for holding your smartphone still.

Basic Editing:

Learn how to make shots tack-sharp using apps.
To Make Photo Art:

Resources for More Smartphone Photography Tips:

Listen to the smartphone photography tips show to hear how mobile artist Meri Walker uses these apps. Thank you to Snowflake Multiteach for making this show possible.  

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.button-itunes

The post Smartphone Photography Tips and Apps appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/smartphone-photography-tips/

9 Super Apps For Stargazers

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the most beautiful things about living in the country is being able to see all the stars. You can enjoy the sky even more when you ‘ve got the right apps..

Augmented Stargazing

Augmented Stargazing is looking at the stars through a cell phone as the phone overlays constellations, stars, planets, satellites and more. Most require GPS and cellular data to work and many are quite large apps.

1 – Starwalk

This is my favorite star app. I love pulling this app out at night when traveling.

iOS, Google Play, Kindle Fire ($2.99) http://vitotechnology.com/

2- Star Chart

Very similar to Starwalk.

iOS, Google Play (Free) http://www.escapistgames.com/apps.html

3 – Sky Guide

A star track and time lapse to show you where everything will move later in the night.

iOS ($1.99) http://fifthstarlabs.com/

4- Night Sky

This app also lets you know when the forecast is for clear skies.

Night Sky 2 on iOS ($.99) Night Sky Lite Google Play (Free)

http://www.icandiapps.com/icandiapps/apps/

5 – Sky Safari 4

For Serious Stargazers. The upgraded versions of this app will control special wired or wired telescopes as they focus on the stars or events you’re trying to watch. You can see the night sky backwards or forwards a million years. The app also gets you a subscription to Sky Magazine.

Sky Safari 4 ($2.99) with higher end versions available. http://www.southernstars.com/products/skysafari/

“Planetarium” Software

All three software programs give you the option to create overlays of planets, stars, satellites and more from anywhere in the world. Use a projector and shine the sky on the ceiling to make your own planetarium.

6 – Stellarium

Stellarium is a free app that you can download onto your computer. A favorite with kids.

PC, Mac, Linux (Free) http://www.stellarium.org/

7 – Google Sky

Google Sky is a browser based search engine that lets you search the sky. You can also use Google Earth and travel into other galaxies.

Browser based https://www.google.com/sky/  Google Earth – http://www.google.com/earth/ (Free)

8 – Microsoft Worldwide Telescope

This app is a powerhouse largely because of the academic databases that they used to create it. It also has set up instructions for creating your own planetarium using a projector and inexpensive building supplies.

Windows http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/ (Free)

We need to raise a generation of kids whose dreams aren’t earthbound and here’s one way to start. When we go back into space, it won’t be an app, it will be us.

The post 9 Super Apps For Stargazers appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!


from Cool Cat Teacher Blog http://www.coolcatteacher.com/9-super-apps-stargazers/