What’s in Your Bag? #EdublogsClub

My Bag

Last year, a friend, and colleague, encouraged our PLN to look at what is in our bags.  I think that what is in our bags, tells a lot about who we are.  I tend to have a lot in my bag.  But, recently, I have been trying to shrink my bag and eliminate some of the unnecessary items that I carry with me on a day-to-day basis.  I feel like this is an expression of my desire to simplify my life.  Honestly, I have a lot going on.  And, my bag is something that I can control.

Annotating an Image with ThingLink

Last year, I created a ThingLink to show what was in my bag.  If you are not familiar with ThingLink, it is an amazing tool that lets users annotate pictures with “hotspots”.  I like this site because it is very easy to use.  You can upload a photo and then annotate directly on the photo.  It saves in your ThingLink account.  You can click on my image below to see all of my annotations.


I’ll tell you, my bag looks very different today.  Maybe that is another post!

What is in your bag?  And, what does it tell about you?


A “Maze”y Day

As I looked out the window today at the snow falling and the wind ferociously blowing, I knew that I didn’t want to go outside.  At the same time, I knew that my boys couldn’t watch TV all day.  So, I decided to introduce both boys to a new app that I had found.


Will, my older son, loves mazes and has loved mazes since he could pick up a pencil and follow one.  We do mazes all the time!  Recently, I found a new app that allows users to create their own mazes.  Oh, how fun!!  I always let my boys be my app-user guinea pigs and I knew that I wanted them to try this one.

National Geographic Puzzle Explorer

Geo Maze Maker

I am not sure were I learned of this app: National Geographic Puzzle Explorer Geo Maze Maker.  This app combines maze-making skills and geography. Kids use problem solving skills to create their maze and test their maze.  Then, they can share their own maze with other people.  Each maze is set in a different area of the world, so the kids can learn about cultural regions throughout the world.  The photographs are amazing (obviously, this is a National Geographic app) and all of the text is read to the child.  This is so great because my 5 year old can play on the app AND benefit from all of the great non-fiction material.

Thinking of the Parents

Many of these cool educational apps that I have found are very much geared towards teachers and how teachers can use the app in their classroom.  I love that, because, after all, I am a teacher!  But, sometimes, I feel like many app designers or marketers are forgetting about the parent market.  Parents also want to know how to use these apps which their children.  National Geographic has obviously considered this!  Right on their website, there is an Instructor’s Tool Kit AND a Parent’s Tool Kit.  Thank you, National Geographic!!  Wow!

Everything is best shared

Will was so proud of his mazes today!  He wanted me to go on his iPad and play.  Geo Maze allows the user to share his mazes so that anyone can play the maze that your child created!  The downside is that the link to share comes as an e-mail link which is copied to your clipboard.  I explained how this worked to Will and showed him how to insert that link into an e-mail to send to me.  Zach (my 5 year old) did not really understand how to paste the link and send an e-mail, so he required a little more assistance.  It was so cool watching them sitting on the couch, making their own mazes and sharing the mazes with each other!