iPhoneography Resources (Great Apps and People to Follow on Instagram)

Here are my resources on iPhoneography from the 2013 CUE Conference.  Keep reading or iPhoneography CUELA.

People to follow on Instagram:

needleworks (your presenter)
magrelacanela (grade 4 teacher)
fisler_school (see learning)
joshhohnson (for contests)

Here’s a list of apps sorted by Tiers.

Find app sales:

AppShopper (free)
create an app wishlist and receive notifications of sales

Tier I (Everyday Use—iOS/Android)

Instagram (free)
the go to app for sharing, community, and photo editing

Snapseed (free)
simple navigation, provides filters for grunge, vintage, drama, and fine-tuning

Tier II (Heavy-duty editing)

Photo Wizard ($2 sometimes free)
clunky design but has very powerful tools beyond Snapseed

Photoshop Touch ($10)
elegant design with advanced features like layers

iPhoto ($5)
strengths include albums, sharing, and transferring photos between devices

Tier III (Great once in awhile…cost $0-$5)

better camera app

fun vintage filters

Old Photo Pro
old time looks

Color Effects
mix b&w and color/recolor

fun color effects

Pixlromatic, VFXStudio
special effects apps

add scratches/grunge

FrameLens or Diptic
make collages

add words to photos

Van-Gogh effects

Slow Shutter Free
for blurs

turn photos into sketches

animated gifs

Film Director
for silent videos

Action Movie
cool video effects

It’s Not About the Apps Keynote Now Live

I’m pleased to announce that my keynote presentation for the K12 Online Conference is now live and will be archived indefinitely so you can watch it whenever. In this fifteen minute presentation I share a little bit about how taking photos with my phone sparked something of a creative renaissance in my life and talk about my thoughts on how this might apply to our classrooms. I am very much interested in your ideas as my thinking on the subject keeps evolving. Please leave your comments below.

See the movie here.

K12 Online Conference Trailer: It’s Not About the Apps

The K12Online Conference is on now (and forever).  The conference is free and asynchronous…this means you will never “miss” it,  you can watch the presentations whenever.

I’ve presented twice for the conference before, my favorite being Film School for Video Podcasters in which I play a detective and  explain how to make better classroom movies.

This year I was asked to be the keynote speaker for the Kicking it up a Notch strand.  I’m not wearing any costumes this year but I do speak from the heart about what taking photos with my phone has meant for me, nothing short of a creative renaissance, and explain the implications that this could have for our classrooms.

Please take a moment to view my 30 second teaser trailer.  The actual presentation goes live on 10/29 (but remember, you can see it any time after that).

It’s Not About the Apps

The iPad as RTI Intervention Toolkit

While waiting for the iPad to arrive in my reading intervention classroom, I’ve had a lot of time to think and plan how I will use the device.

Ground Rules

I don’t want hundreds of apps.  I’m looking for a few favorites.

I don’t want more drill and kill.  The reading intervention programs I teach do their fair share of drilling and killing (to great success) so I don’t need more of the same.

I want the iPad to help me run my intervention program like a gifted enrichment program, providing the spark that interests students in learning and helps them apply skills that they should not be learning in isolation.

My Favorites and How I Will Use Them

Dragon Dictation

While the iPhone 4S eliminates the need for Dragon Dictation because it integrates dictation whenever the keyboard appears, the iPad becomes magical with the addition of the free Dragon Dictation app.  Dragon allows students to compose their writing orally by speaking into the iPad or to type of their writing by reading it aloud.  Students can even add punctuation by speaking the name of the proper mark e.g. “Go to the store, exclamation point” will type “Go to the store!”

This is of great use for students for whom the process of writing or typing is too much of a chore to allow for the creative expression of their ideas and those whose spelling gets in the way of their completing sentences.


Students can create movies about anything.  They can illustrate their writing, tell a personal story, present the results of their research, or create instructional videos reinforcing what you’ve been teaching them in class.


You need a word processor and Pages surely does the trick.  I consistently find it easier to use than Microsoft Word on the desktop and the iPad version works just as well with the added bonus of being able to store documents in the cloud for backup.


This is not optimized for the iPad, it’s a phone app but it’s still incredibly simple to use to create books with images (photos or drawings) and captions.  For primary grade students, this is a great way to make books that can easily be shared, e-mailed, and printed.


While not instructional, I don’t know how anyone can live without Dropbox which provides Cloud storage for documents meaning anything you put there is backed up and made available on all of your computers and mobile devices.

Need more Apps?

Here are some great places to look:

Apps for all levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy by Diane Darrow

Apps to Support Literacy Instruction by Scholastic Magazine

Find and share great lists of apps with Appolicious, the social network for app sharing

iRead Program, Escondido, Kathy Shirley and friends have been at it since before the iPad and iPhone were invented, using the original iPods to increase reading fluency with English Learners.

iEAR Educational Apps Reviews from real teachers.

AppShopper.com, create a wish list of apps and receive notification when prices drop.

Have your own favorites?  Leave a comment below.




Creating Your First iPhone App with HTML Flowchart

I led a workshop this past weekend for Computer Using Educators:  Los Angeles on how to create your first iPhone app based on my previous post, “How to Create Your First iPhone App.”

In order to further simplify things, here is a flow chart of steps to take in order to begin the process of designing an app using HTML, here is a flow chart to illustrate the process.  Please click on the image for a larger, downloadable PDF.

Flow Chart on How to Create Your First iPhone App Using HTML

Please post any questions down below.

iMovie ’09 Bootcamp

If you’re in the Los Angeles area this summer, please join me for this year’s iMovie Bootcamp at the Los Angeles County Office of Education, July 20th and 21st.  Participants will learn how to use iMovie ’09 thoroughly, including advanced features like green screen and picture in picture, and have the opportunity to edit pre-shot footage, and put together their own public service announcements.

I start from the basics and repeat all directions more than once so this class is appropriate for both beginning and advanced users.

Please note that although I am well versed in iMovie ’11, the class will be conducted using iMovie ’09 to maximize compatibility and make use of existing LACOE resources.  There are only slight differences in the newer iMovie versions.  If you learn iMovie ’09 you will easily be able to pick up the newer version.  However, if you’re still using iMovie ’06, or even ’08, it’s definitely time for a refresher course…much has changed.

Hope to see you there.  The class is always full but there are a few slots open as of now.  Please introduce yourself as a blog reader if I see you there.

Please register here.

Update:  Registration is now full.  Thanks for signing up!

Higher Level Technology Use

For my upcoming presentation, “Digital CPR:  Bring Your Reading Series to Life with Technology” for LAUSD’s Best Practices Conference on March 19th, I created this illustration which I will use to talk about higher level technology use.

I will talk about incorporating multimedia in the classroom as something all teachers should be doing but I definitely want teachers to know that they shouldn’t stop there.  To reach high levels of engagement, thinking, and to narrow the digital divide, teachers must turn technology over to students and guide them as they become their own content producers and influencers on the community outside the classroom.

To put it in more practical terms, if a teacher wants to hit all the levels of the “Technology Taxonomy” they can make sure that their students blog, podcast, and engage in video conferences.  I’ll talk about all three in my workshop.

If schools opt to make student writing and podcasts, password-protected then they prevent students from reaching the highest rung.

Connect with Me Through Social Media

In addition to subscribing to this blog via RSS or e-mail, you can find almost daily quick tips and links by following mrneedleman on Twitter, multimedia files are posted to youtube where you can subscribe and visitors who have gotten through this blog via the Open Court Resources side of the site can become a fan of Open Court Resources on Facebook.

RTI (Response to Intervention) A Complete Apple Workflow

Thank you to those of you who attended my workshop, “RTI:  A Complete Apple Workflow” at the CUE conference this weekend.   I spoke about using Apple Software to address your Response to Intervention program.  This post contains the links, resources, and ideas that I shared.  Rather than simply posting the keynote file (which is much easier) I prefer to recap and flush out some of the ideas so that it’s beneficial even to those who weren’t there.

What is RTI?

As I define it, rather than simply teaching everyone the same thing and assuming that if someone doesn’t “get it” that there’s something wrong with them, RTI assumes that there will be students who do not master a concept after whole group instruction and will need additional time and intensity (interventions) to master concepts.  This, of course, is very similar to the idea of Independent Work Time.

Alice Mercer, in her CUE presentation, also addressed RTI and went into additional detail in defining it.

Part One:  Dealing with Data

It’s very important to collect and analyze data in order to target interventions to specific student need.  “Fluency” is to vague to be an intervention.  Focusing on short vowels, long vowels, or digraphs is a better intervention because it targets a specific student need.  Using Apple’s iWork (Pages and Numbers) or even Microsoft Word’s (Office and Excel) can help you to organize data by creating a spreadsheet, graphing data, and using the word processor’s mail merge functions to create parent reports about student data.  I much prefer iWork to Office because of its ease of use and the ability to create better looking documents.

Here’s additional information on graphing in Numbers and how to use the mail merge function.  I taught both these things in the workshop.

Part Two:  Prescriptions for Success ways of using Apple technology to address student needs




While behavior tracking software is popular among schools with large behavior problems.  I saw office referrals eliminated in my classroom simply through working on these movie projects.  I gave the example of Joseph, a student who I knew would not be quiet if I was to call “Quiet on the Set.”  Instead of playing through that scenario and getting annoyed at Joseph ruining other students’ projects, I decided to make Joseph the engineer.  He called out “Quiet on the Set!” and he pushed the red Garageband button.  The rest of the class was dead quiet and Joseph experienced being a successful and productive member of our class rather than being the one who wrecked everything.  This is a behavioral intervention…intervening to improve student behavior rather than punishing students for bad behavior.


Here are two slides that show some evidence that these techniques are producing gains although I am the first to admit that we need to continue collecting data on the subject.

In my classroom, I saw an 18% increase in the number of students reading at benchmark 12 weeks after working on the Reader’s Theater script, The City Mouse and the Country Mouse:

In Escondido Unified, they saw average gains of about 40 words per minute after six weeks of reading with iPods whereas normal gains are about 10 words per minute:


Here are some incidental things I mentioned in my presentation.

HandBrake for ripping movies from commercial DVDs  you own for storing on iPod.

PWN Youtube and other ways of downloading Youtube movies.


Steal This Preso (K12Online09) Now Live!

My presentation for this year’s K12Online Conference, Steal This Preso: Copyrights, Fair Use, and Pirates in the Classroom!, is now live and viewable below.  I’ve also included links to my favorite royalty free media sites and additional resources below.

The Presentation

BlipTV direct link to download video file
use this to download to your iPod or if DotSub is blocked in your district

BlipTV audio file
use this if you want only the audio portion of the presentation (not as fun)

Additional Information

Barely Legal Radio Program (available as podcast)
I’ve learned tons about copyrights and fair use from listening to Joe Escalante’s show.  It’s entertaining as well as educational.   I’ve recommended this before and it’s never caught on with other educators but if you are really interested in this topic, do check it out.

Public Domain Slider
Helps you identify if a work is in the public domain.  Very cool.  However, note that most work is not in the public domain.

Code of Best Practices in Media Literacy Education
I found this thanks to Joyce Valenza’s K12 Online presentation.  It supports what I’m saying and expands upon it.

Lawrence Lessig’s Book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
There are ways that current copyright law has not kept up with digital technologies.  Lawrence Lessig explores this in his book.  I recorded a section of this preso in which I talked about this but ultimately deleted for time and clarity.

Additional Relevant Information from my blog

Royalty Free Resources

Please see these posts:

Royalty Free Images, Movies, and Music Part I

Royalty Free Images Part 2