If you give a DEN Guru an iPad…

Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Dean Mantz. I have been teaching since 1994 in Central Kansas. My connection to Discovery Education goes back to the early days of the DEN and United Streaming. The DEN has been a major player in how I taught my history classes and developed as an educator as well as an adjunct professor. To pay forward those benefits, I joined a small group of Kansas educators and started the state’s first Leadership Council. After helping establish the LC in Kansas, I applied to be a Discovery Education Guru and was blessed by being selected in 2011.

In being a member of the DEN Guru family, I have been asked to contribute to this series of “If you give a DEN Guru an iPad…” blogs. I hope that my contribution introduces something new and beneficial for each of you reading this post. So, lets dive in and start off with some of my iPad accessories. I have shared them in this picture.

When looking to step away from my busy schedule I will attempt to relax using a variety of iOS apps. The first of three I would like to highlight is Fit It. Fit It is an puzzle game consisting of multiple levels of difficulty. The puzzle provides multiple shapes that you must arrange into a square in finding the solution. As you attempt to solve each puzzle music can be played from your own downloads or from a selection with the game itself.
Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 12.41.54 AMThe second app for relaxing or listening to while working around the house is TuneIn Radio. This Internet based radio station app’s content is growing rapidly. I will use it to listen to sports talks shows or hearing music played from local radio stations while miles, if not states away from home.
The final app is an option that most iOS users have at their disposal. Can you guess it? Yep, iBooks. What other way is a refreshing way to escape other than reading your favorite author or technology tool how-to book.

Notability As an educator that appreciates his PLN, I have found numerous apps for students and teachers to adopt at all levels. The first one I always recommend is Notability. This app is an oldie but a goodie! For those of you not familiar with the app, think of a LiveScribe pen but functioning within an iPad. The app records audio and synchronizes it with your notes. Notes can be either typed or handwritten. If you are really good, try designing visual notes while recording the audio. But the app does not stop there. You can export the audio and notes to share with others, organize all notes in folders, and import student work allowing for feedback. DEGeography
My second education app comes from my early classroom days. It is an excellent US Geography app that provides current events briefs, US regional information and interactive games for students. Do those descriptions have you thinking? Let me give you one more hint, it was developed by those that drive our PLN. Correct….Discovery Education’s own US Geography app.

The next app is one of my favorite for screen casting. Knowmia’s app “Teach” is a great option for those unable to purchase Explain Everything but want features like Educations, ScreenChomp, and ShowMe. It is my opinion the best two features in Knowmia’s app are webcam recording and the ability to import and play videos. Now, if these options have you interested in learning more about “Teach”, I encourage you to watch the overview video by iPadagogy.

Finally, I would like to leave everyone with an iPad typing tip that is not as commonly known as folks may believe. This tutorial video addresses some hidden options that one may display by holding down the period key on an iOS keyboard.


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