iNACOL 2015: Having Fun & Sharing Our PLN

010The 2015 Blended and Online Learning Symposium Call for Proposals included this twist from iNACOL: “... priority will be given to sessions that provide an interactive format for attendees to engage in deeper learning on best practices, draw in participant experiences, and promote meaningful dialogue.”

Our session proposal on professional development took those words to heart.

As educators working outside the classroom to develop classroom resources, we keep up with the latest trends and ideas in education. Equally important, we listen to teachers as they navigate the world of education technology. The growth of new, individualized  opportunities in professional development—such as Twitter chats, EdCamps, and online learning—offers us a dynamic window on the world of teaching. We can listen, ask questions, and share, in real timewith real teachers.

859Our session was part of iNACOL 2015's P2P Exchange. Titled “The Changing World of Professional Development: Building Your PLN: Twitter, EdCamps, and Online Learning,” the session focused on how we've learned over the past few years. But we structured the session not to just share our ideas, but to draw on participant’s experiences and provide a forum for discussion. In the end, we learned as much from our participants as they did from us.

We structured the session as a mini EdCamp in three quick, round-robin discussions: Face-to-Face, Twitter, and Online Learning. Attendees discovered new opportunities and also participated directly in a Twitter chat, hearing firsthand from others about their experiences at EdCamps and in online learning, both formal and informal.

Our plan worked even better than we'd hoped: when the session ended, most participants went right on participating!

Here’s a look at how it all went down.


We were thrilled to have the talents of SAS graphic recorder Lisa Morton (@Lisamoshow) to help illustrate both our session and the participant's ideas!


Lucy Kosturko (@LucyKosturko) led the #P2Pchat, with an assist from Lee Ellen Harmer (@LeeEllenHarmer).


Mimi Stapleton (@MimiStapleton) shared her enthusiasm and experience on conferences and #EdCamp.


Yours truly (@RalphMoore_NC) dove into online course opportunities.


So many great answers to the final question!


Seriously, this was the group remaining almost 20 minutes after the session!



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Politicians, Pundits, and … Persian Poetry?


Earlier this year, an American presidential candidate found himself facing some tough foreign-policy questions from the press. Reporters wanted to know, for example, what he would do as president to stabilize the Middle East, given its long and complicated history.

The candidate looked lost and uncomfortable. When he managed to string together only a few vague generalities, the pundits pounced. He was ridiculed in the press for his shallowness and his lack of foreign policy experience. He was, they concluded, clearly out of his depth.

Hearing about this event got me wondering about what it takes to achieve a deep and genuine understanding of a foreign culture. Is it possible, for instance, for political or military leaders to make decisions about how to deal with, say, contemporary Iran without understanding its past, including its remarkable Persian cultural heritage? Of course, knowing about Iran’s current Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, is important. But shouldn’t one also have a passing knowledge of 11th-century poet Omar Khayyam and his contributions to Iranian culture?

Teachers looking to build their students’ understanding of ancient and medieval cultures will find our World Literature Series invaluable. Students explore great literature from five early civilizations by reading and listening to text excerpts, viewing images, and using interpretive aids to identify literary themes and stylistic elements.

In World Literature: Islamic Voices, for example, students read these great works:

  • A ghazal by the Persian master Hafiz
  • Excerpts from Ibn Hazm’s The Dove’s Necklace, Nizami’s The Story of Layla and Majnūn, and the Arabic ode The Mu’allah of Imru’ al-Qays
  • Excerpts from works by two Sufi poets: The Conference of the Birds, by Farid ud-din Attar, and a story written in the masnavi form by Jalal al-Din Rumi

The Response Writer allows students to answer questions about images and literary passages.

Here’s a quick look at additional readings available in the series.

World Literature: Mesopotamian Myths

  • Two excerpts from The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Four excerpts from The Epic of Creation

World Literature: Greek Vision

  • Excerpts from Homer’s epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • Excerpts from the ancient Greek tragedies Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, and The Bacchae, by Euripides
  • Excerpts from Plato’s dialogues The Republic and The Apology

World Literature: Indian Epics

  • Three excerpts from the epic Ramayana
  • Three excerpts from the epic Mahabharata, two of which are from the Bhagavad Gita, the famous sixth book

World Literature: Norse Sagas

  • Two excerpts from each of three medieval Icelandic prose histories: Volsunga Saga, Njal’s Saga, and Laxdaela Saga

Be sure to check out some of the other SAS Curriculum Pathways resources focusing on early world literature.

Characteristics of the Ghazal, a Persian Poetic Form
Mythological Sources in Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring
Birth Myths: Krishna and Other Divinities
Epithets and Apostrophes in Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten’s “The Great Hymn to the Aten”
Li Po and the Chinese Shih Poetic Form
Exploring Homer’s Odyssey 

And don't miss the social studies resources related to the study of Islamic religion and history! Here are just a few examples.

Islam: The Five Pillars
Early Islamic Civilizations
African Kingdoms: The Kingdom of Mali
Medieval Europe: The Crusades
Islam: The Qur'an
Islam: Medieval Muslim Scholars


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NEW: Google Classroom Share Button

We are happy to announce an even easier way to use Curriculum Pathways in your Google Classroom: the Google Classroom share button!

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 1.42.15 PM

When logged into SAS Curriculum Pathways with your Google account, you'll find several ways to share our resources: email, HTML code for embedding the resource, social media, and, now, Google Classroom.Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 2.22.33 PM

Our share button is located:

  • On the front page of each resource (as pictured) and,
  • After launching a resource, in the main toolbar.

From there, use the Google Classroom button to create an assignment for your class or make an announcement.

SAS Curriculum Pathways Developer, Isaiah Coleman, was thrilled to integrate the Google Classroom share button because it allows "teachers the option to assign and share Curriculum Pathways content" faster and easier. Plus, integrating with other free educational tools aligns with our mission of providing high-quality leaning at no cost!

So, what are you waiting for? Start sharing our resources today!


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Eliminate the ONLY Obstacle to Clear Writing

Even for the most vigilant, experienced writers, clarity can be an elusive goal. Again and again, no matter how hard we try to eliminate any trace of ambiguity, an infuriating gap often separates what we think we are saying from what we actually say.

Consider this simple exercise. Insert the word only in the following sentence:

She told him that she loved him.

What becomes immediately clear is that you are free to place only anywhere in the sentence. First, last, and all points in between—each placement is grammatically correct. What tends to be less clear is the way those tiny shifts in placement can cause titanic (and in this case heartbreaking) shifts in meaning. And because the writer knows what she means, it’s easy to miss the implications of these shifts for readers, who know only what she says.

To illustrate this point, I’ll provide a parenthetical paraphrase after various insertions of only.

  • She told him that she loved him only. (She didn't love anyone else.)
  • She told him that only she loved him. (No one else could love him as she did.)
  • She told only him that she loved him. (She didn't say it to the other guys she loved.)
  • She only told him that she loved him.  (She didn't mean it; she actually hated him.)
  • She told him only that she loved him. (She didn't tell him that he had bad breath.)
  • She told him that she only loved him. (But she didn't really like him.)
  • Only she told him that she loved him. (No one else ever loved the poor guy.)

In the heat of composition, especially when working under a deadline, writers can lose track of this four-letter word—with potentially catastrophic results for the two lovers.

Fortunately, Writing Reviser can help you avoid such catastrophes by highlighting potential problems with frequently misplaced modifiers, whether they be single words like only or relative clauses, dangling phrases, and other problematic constructions.

And don’t only check out only the Writing Reviser. Be sure explore the entire suite of products in our Writing Navigator:

Also, take a look at our SAS Writing Reviser Add-on for Google Docs.  It's the only tool you’ll need to master the use of only.


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Five Ways Parents Can Help Students in Math Class

Throughout my 13 years of teaching, I heard this common theme time and time again from parents: How can I help?

The troubles they professed were varied and numerous (e.g., concern, frustration, bewilderment). They often included the following:

  • I don’t remember algebra.
  • I don’t like math.
  • The way math is taught now differs from when I was in school.

All of these are certainly legitimate. Although people use math every day, even when they don’t realize it, they are not necessarily using all the same concepts they learned in school. And as the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it. I’m sure some parents don’t know how to solve quadratic equations or remember what it means for a relation to be a function. And yes, math teaching today may differ from when parents were in school. But the idea behind new techniques is to encourage students to become better problem-solvers, not to confuse parents or change the concepts. So, believe it or not, despite your fears and feelings of uncertainty, you can still help.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Get Prepared. Teachers are excellent planners! Many of us provide students with a plan (weekly, monthly, or by unit). You can ask for that plan, and then do a little research. Sign up at SAS Curriculum Pathways and gain access to 300+ math resources; then search for the key concept. For example, suppose using the midpoint formula will be in an upcoming unit. Simply type “midpoint formula” in the search field and check out the 6-minute tutorial. There’s even a short quiz at the end to test your knowledge.
  2. Be the student. It's been said that “teaching is the best way to learn.” Ask your child to explain concepts as she is working on homework. Allowing your child to instruct you on the steps or key ideas gives her the opportunity to verbalize her understanding and even point out any common mistakes. Be sure to ask questions.
  3. Encourage practicing and showing work. Practice is imperative for many students to be successful in mathematics. While they are often willing to practice, many students fight the idea of showing their work. Teachers, of course, encourage this practice, which helps students find errors. Check out the Practice Simplifying and the Practice Solving series. These tools allow students to work out problems and receive line-by-line feedback to catch any mistakes more easily .
  4. Encourage self-testing. In addition to practicing concepts, self-testing has also proven to be an effective way to help students be successful. One way to help students self-test is by creating flashcards. These can be useful when trying to recall the numerous properties, theorems, or postulates discussed in class or to prepare for an upcoming test. Check our Flash Cards resource available on PC/Mac, Chromebook, iPad, iPhone/iPod, and other mobile devices.
  5. Encourage self-monitoring. With the Data Notebook app (available in the App Store), students can monitor their progress with built-in templates for mission statements, goals, checklists, plus/deltas, and histograms. Students can document assessment scores, observe patterns, and reflect on areas of improvement.

Check out other math resources at to help your students.



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4 Strategies to Create Tomorrow's Classroom

4 Strategies to Create Tomorrow's Classroom by Lucy Kosturko was originally published on Getting Smart.

The vision for tomorrow’s classroom looks nothing like the antiquated stereotype: students sitting in rows, passively listening to a lecture, followed by rote memorization tasks from a dusty, used textbook: some students in the “audience” nodding their heads; other heads nodding off. In many schools, the old model already seems quaint and ineffective. “In some classrooms,” the recently deceased Yogi Berra might have said, “tomorrow got here yesterday.”

1. Thinking Innovation. It Never Stops.

Out-of-the-box teaching tools are becoming increasingly obsolete. Instead, educators are creating their own and adapting existing creation/productivity resources that engage students in higher-order thinking, provide authentic, real-world activities that develop skills essential to lifelong learning, and personalize instruction to fit individual needs.

And the innovation never stops. With a new school year comes new technology, new budgets, new policies, and most importantly, new students. This means what worked last year will likely need to be redesigned. As a result, strict, scripted curricula with a one-size-fits-all mantra not only misconstrues the reality of our diverse classrooms, but they’ve begun to look stale before they’ve been unwrapped. The adjective “old-school” may be enjoying some recent popularity as a rough synonym for quality, rigor, and efficiency; ironically, however, the term has little relevance to the classroom.

To invert a quote from the sage Mr. Berra, old-school approaches have begun to look “over before they’re over.”

2. Developers Can Help.

So what can the developers of educational resources do to serve educators? A first step is to design for flexibility. Teachers don’t need a resource to teach for them, any more than a doctor needs a resource to speak with her patients or a lawyer needs a resource to draft his arguments. Our standards for teacher training and accreditation exist for a reason.

Nonetheless, teaching well is demanding work, and flexible tools can enhance the performance of even the most skilled practitioners by creating learning experiences that simply did not exist in the past. In science, to choose just one example, virtual labs can illuminate complex concepts in novel ways–much the way fMRI procedures enhance (but don’t replace) the work of the most skilled surgeons.

What’s crucial is that developers consider all of the constraints present in the classroom, that they design with the kind of foresight described in the Great App Checklist, which appears in our recently published Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners:

  • Student ability: Does the resource support differentiation?
  • Student needs: Is the resource appropriate for English Language Learners and students with visual or hearing impairments?
  • Student engagement: Will the resource charge students to engage in higher-order thinking: creativity, collaboration/communication, critical thinking, problem solving, etc.
  • Student access: Will the resource work on a variety of devices (e.g., iPads, laptops, desktops)? Is the resource beneficial to a classroom with only one computer?

3. Build Your Dream School.

Keeping those goals and constraints in mind, Imagine building your dream school from the ground up. Imagine leading a grassroots effort equipped with 14 of the state’s most distinguished educators to create the ultimate education experience—matching the personal needs of each student to create an environment no kit or out-of-the-box curriculum could ever come close to emulating.

Where would you start?

That’s exactly the question Erica Prentice of Envision Science Academy found herself trying to answer last year. In early 2014, Erica was the newly-hired Curriculum Coordinator for Envision, and Year 1 was set to launch in August. She and her team of administrators and 14 classroom teachers (selected from over 1,000 applicants) were charged with developing an unconventional curriculum guided by the school’s mission: “provide innovative instruction through experiential learning with a focus on STEAM in order to prepare elementary and middle school students to compete, lead, and excel in the global marketplace.” Because this is a charter school, Erica notes, State and Common Core Standards dictated whatneeded to be taught, but the mission was to manifest through the how. And that was the greatest challenge.

Using the 7e instructional model, Erica and her fellow teachers needed something more than a generic, prepackaged curriculum; they needed an approach that inspired inquiry, demanded higher-order thinking and collaboration, and—most of all—allowed teachers the autonomy to meet the individual needs of their students. This was something they needed to design entirely from scratch. So that’s exactly what these passionate educators set out to do.

“By first quarter, instruction was amazing,” Erica says, “but the problem was time. Our teachers were coming in at 5 a.m., and some weren’t leaving until 8 p.m. But that’s what the stakeholders wanted, so we couldn’t cut corners. We were creating everything from the ground up, and it took so much time.” In an effort to relieve her valiant troops, Erica searched for supplemental resources. Concerned that these products would either not align with Envision’s mission or break its budget, Erica soon felt an unexpected sense of relief: she came across SAS Curriculum Pathways.

“There was nothing else out there anywhere close to SAS Curriculum Pathways in terms of quality, ease of access, and standards alignment… that would have been in our budget for year one,” Erica notes. “The vast number of resources and the thoughtful design for flexibility allow us to pick and chose what we want…, feel safe and confident that we’re bringing reliable information to our students, and provide opportunities we wouldn’t have been able to deliver otherwise.”

Started in the late 1990’s, SAS Curriculum Pathways has grown into a repository of 1,500+ resources designed to supplement classroom instruction by engaging students in meaningful learning experiences that foster a deep, robust understanding of concepts. But best of all, SAS Curriculum Pathways is provided at no-cost to educators and students around the world.

4. Stimulate Student and Teacher Creativity.

From individual lessons to innovative tools and apps, this expansive collection, Erica says, “helped us build the philosophy [of Envision] without being a restricted curriculum” that runs the risk of stifling teacher creativity and autonomy. With SAS Curriculum Pathways, educators can create compelling problem-based learning scenarios and strategically target instruction using formative assessment data to provide additional insight into the strengths and weaknesses of individual students. Unlike the more traditional classroom, where students sit in rows passively listening to a lecture, these more dynamic and personalized experiences—complemented by the latest technologies— encourage and develop learners that are self-regulated and prepared for the today’s workplace.

“As a new, grassroots charter school with lofty ambitions to improve education and create students who are going to be globally competitive and change the world,” Erica explains, “it’s so nice to have resources such as SAS Curriculum Pathways that are available for free.”

Although the particulars of this story might differ in many ways from those of your school, Envision still shares the same fundamental values as most educational establishments: steadfastly provide a quality education to all students. And Envision faces the same constraints other schools face: a diverse student population and a limited budget. SAS Curriculum Pathways was built to meet these fundamental challenges and to provide learning experiences that engage all studentsregardless of technological or budgetary constraints.

So there’s no need to imagine yourself in Erica Prentice’s shoes: as an educator, you’re already wearing them. Equipped with quality educational resources from a source like SAS Curriculum Pathways, you’re ready to create tomorrow’s classroom today…for free!

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"Goldilocks" Moments: Online Tutorials That Are “Just Right!”

When students need a quick introduction to a new social studies topic, or an engaging online activity that won’t take the entire class period to finish, I call it a "Goldilocks” moment: are there online resources out there that are not too small (in substance) and not too big (in time to complete) that will bridge this gap?


Here are a few of my favorite 4- to 6-minute tutorials perfect for those moments:

The Amazon Rain Forest - Quick Launch #1300

The Amazon Rain Forest: Quick Launch #1300

This dynamically illustrated overview offers diagrams and maps explaining climate changes in the Amazon rainforest.

That information helps students understand why rainforest conservation is essential.


Or try this.

Sahara Desert - QL#1344

Sahara Desert: QL#1344

This tutorial focuses on the geographic and environmental importance of the Sahara Desert. It discusses ecoregions, oases, and the fossil evidence from archaeologists that grass-fed animals like giraffes once lived in the Sahara region before it became a desert.


There are also biographical tutorials on important people like Louis XIV, Peter the Great, Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill, or Adolf Hitler.


Adolf Hitler: QL#1295

Other tutorials cover concepts like the Five Pillars of Islam, the OPEC oil embargo, the Cold War, or organizational structures that classify economic systems.

Economic Systems - Quick Launch #1513

Economic Systems: Quick Launch #1513

First, students see examples of each theoretical type of economic system.


Then they consider how these strict definitions blend into mixed economies.


Each tutorial concludes with a short online quiz to check student knowledge—perfect if you want to use these tools as part of a flipped lesson.


So when students go hot and cold about online resources, offer them some that are just right.

Here is a complete list of quick tutorials available on various social studies-related topics.

Queen Victoria
Czar Nicholas II
Adolf Hitler
Winston Churchill
End of the Cold War
The Japanese Economic Miracle
OPEC Oil Embargo
The Amazon Rainforest
Medieval Europe: The Crusades
Islam: The Five Pillars
Medieval Japan: The Samurai
Early North American Civilizations
Peter the Great
Sahara Desert
Economic Systems
The Absolute Monarchy of Louis XIV

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Using Data Notebooks to Empower Students

In the classroom, educators gather a lot of data on students. Such data helps paint a quantitative picture of a students' development, educational progress, and even social well-being. This data can help to make decisions at a state, district, school, or classroom level. But, more importantly, such information provides great guidance for designing the most effective instruction for that student. It aids in the understanding of what is working well, what could be done better, and how a student is progressing toward his educational goals.

To this end, teachers across the country have implemented data notebooks into their classrooms to provide students with a dedicated space for setting goals, monitoring progress, and reflecting on performance. Common notebook pages include mission statements, behavioral and academic goal setting, histograms, and plus/deltas for reflecting on past performance. While some of this might seem redundant, since teachers too keep a wealth of student data, research has shown significant differences in academic motivation between students who set and track their own goals versus students who are assigned goals by their teacher. Also, having students engage in such activities provides an excellent opportunity to model self-regulatory behaviors--behaviors associated with lifelong learning skills. 

To achieve these benefits, we developed SAS Data Notebook as a digital solution for paper-pencil notebooks. Designed to support students’ self-regulation, SAS Data Notebook provides tools for students to set personal goals, monitor their own learning, reflect on previous work, and communicate their progress to teachers and parents using real data. Within the notebook, students can use built-in templates to create mission statements, set goals, generate checklists, reflect using plus/deltas, create and practice spelling lists, and plot histograms. SAS Data Notebook also includes a blank-page and scratch-paper template that enables students to load pictures, drawings, and more into their notebook. Students can also add sections to the notebook in order to set, monitor, and reflect on individual goals by subject.

"Keeping track of their own data gives them ownership. I don't have a single student who doesn't want to improve each time we put in new data."
—5th grade teacher

TOCReady to get started? Here are a few integration strategies:

  1. Integrate into daily instruction. We produce data every day; be sure to capture that.
  2. Encourage students to set both short-term and long-term goals.
  3. Use the share function to create a notebook skeleton for younger students.
  4. Strive for cross-disciplinary use. Take advantage of the features that allow students to organize their notebooks by subject.
  5. Collaboratively create classroom-level data to model best practices.
  6. Do not forget about time for reflection.
  7. Use as a centerpiece for parent-teacher conferences (or student-led parent conferences!).

Read more about the research foundation used to guide the development of SAS Data Notebook.

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Our Free Algebra 1 Course: The Basics

In the summer of 2012, we launched an Algebra 1 Course. That’s right, an entire standards-aligned course! And this resource is much more than a typical math textbook. PLUS, now it’s a cross-platform resource! Yes, you read that correctly, cross-platform. That means this resource can be used on the PC, iPad, and Chromebook. So let me tell you a little more about the course.

The Algebra 1 Course consists of 46 lessons organized into 10 units. In addition, students can work through two Pre-Algebra units (7 lessons) in preparation for the course.


Each lesson uses real-world examples, images, video, animation, audio, and manipulatives to engage students in the learning process and to develop students’ skills in problem-solving, reasoning, procedural fluency, and communication.

QL #5072 Learn 4

Each lesson contains five parts: Get Ready, Learn, Practice, Review, and Quiz. Here’s what each section provides.

Get Ready

The Get Ready section provides students with an overview of the lesson by presenting a real-world connection or by reminding students of key prerequisite concepts needed for the lesson. Students also receive lesson objectives and key vocabulary terms.

QL #5073 Get Ready


The bulk of the instructional content lies in the Learn section. Each learn page provides content with interactive components and guided practice. Working through the guided-practice problems, students receive  immediate feedback. Congratulatory feedback reassures students; instructive feedback helps them persevere through mistakes.

QL #5024 Learn 4


Practice provides additional problems, similar to those in the Learn section, for students to confirm their learning. Students receive immediate and instructive feedback. Once they finish, students can save, print, or send a summary of their results.

QL #5072 Practice #2


Review provides students with a summary of the lesson and reviews pertinent information. Students can access printable materials for later use.

QL #6011 Review


Finally, students assess their understanding of the content with Quiz. Unlike Practice, the Quiz section does not offer immediate feedback. Final, graded answers include the student's full work for teacher review. Students can save, print, or send their results.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the entire Algebra 1 course (QL #5100).



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Three Apps to Ensure Your Student Never Gives Back the iPad

Mobile is at the forefront of our edtech development here at SAS Curriculum Pathways—not simply because it's the hottest emerging hardware technology entering classrooms around the world, but because of the exciting possibilities it brings to traditional learning environments. We’ve known for years that simply dropping off hardware in the classroom doesn’t have a significant impact on learning. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently confirmed that, despite the rapid pace of innovation, technology alone has had mixed results on student performance (as measured by OECD). You can view a webinar from OECD here or read the full report here.

Even today, 5+ years after the launch of the Apple iPad, mobile technologies remain most exciting for their potential. With every innovation in hardware technology, innovation in content and new or modified pedagogies increases by an order of magnitude. Concepts like touch and portability have had a profound impact on the development of edtech resources and their utility for learning. This intersection of technology, content, and pedagogy is where mobile can and does improve learning.

Trunk in Color

Ten distinguishing factors set the mobile learning experience apart from other technologies.

We focus on what makes mobile unique and how we can engage learners across a spectrum of knowledge and higher-order thinking skills. We don’t want simply to bring static text or a web page to the mobile screen. Instead, we rethink the learning experience and how it could and should be different.

Thus far, we have published seven free apps for math, reading, writing, and more. We designed three for the family iPad, the iPad that stays at school, the iPad mom brings home from work, grandmom and grandpop’s iPad, or—in the case of Flash Cards—the iPhones and iPod touches at home. While we've designed apps such as Reading Records and Data Notebook with a teacher-student relationship in mind, our Read Aloud, Math Stretch, and Flash Cards target students with access to mobile devices in any context.

Read Aloud

SAS Read Aloud fosters a love of reading by making shared reading experiences possible anytime. Word-by-word highlighting and guided word interaction help young readers develop print concepts. And because one of the most important parts of shared reading is the reader, we’ve made it easy for anyone—parents, grandparents, teachers, siblings, and others—to record themselves. Young readers can begin understanding how letters combine to form sounds and words, as well as how words are structured into sentences to tell stories.

* Currently, Read Aloud is available for iPad.

Math Stretch

SAS Math Stretch is a free, fun, engaging app that provides a suite of activities to develop elementary math skills and number sense. We love watching parents have to drag their kids away from iPads with this app. Exercises target skills such as counting, number relations and operations, and telling time. Settings in each activity make it easy to dial into the appropriate level of challenge for each learner. For example, you can on and off whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and negative numbers; you can also control the number range and problem difficulty to tailor each activity.

* Math Stretch is available for iPad and Android tablets.

Flash Cards

With SAS Flash Cards, students can create decks easily, learn efficiently, and share their work with others on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. Students can also download and play decks in any subject and in various question formats. Decks have been created on virtually every subject from sight words and animal identification to nursing terminology and atomic structure. This is a great one for students of any age! And these aren’t anything like the old note cards we used to use for flash cards. Now, students can add audio (great for language learning) and images too.

* Currently, the Flash Cards app is available for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and the web.

Passback Effect

For parent readers, Read Aloud, Math Stretch, and Flash Cards have proven particularly powerful apps in support of the passback effect. We’ve all been on one of those “are-we-there-yet” trips. Today’s digital natives avoid the time-wasting ennui of such journeys by using the mobile devices passed into the back seat by their parents. While it can be difficult to compete with the latest game or the hottest movie, these apps will provide miles of quiet, engaged learners. And when you get to your destination, your passengers may be reluctant to give up the iPad because they were having too much fun... learning.

Other Mobile Resources from SAS Curriculum Pathways

In addition to the free apps in the app stores, you'll also find over 1,000 mobile-friendly resources at You can check them all out here.

We're excited about the future of mobile learning. Every year, we look forward to the release of new devices and the potential they will unlock. You can read more about mobile learning in our latest book, Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners. We are always exploring new ideas and rely first and foremost on conversations with teachers and students to share their thoughts, discuss their needs, give us feedback, and help shape the next update or app. Please join us on twitter or Facebook.

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