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30 Nov 2012
Comments: 7

Science and Social Studies Stripped Down

Going Batty: Hot off the iPress! I received a batty iLesson from Laura Wright, a 3rd grade teacher at Eanes Elementary (check out this Smilebox about how she manages the iPads in her classroom). She piloted a 1:1 last year and continues to trail blaze the iFrontier.

Laura shared a 5 page student-created comic which focuses on bat myths and reality (portions seen below). Her students even coined a new phrase “multi-apping” which means creating something in one app and applying it to another – wonder how long it will take for that phrase to appear in the urban dictionary? This particular method can be seen in the last page of the comic where the student set a scene in Puppet Pals, took a screenshot of said scene, exported it to the photo roll, and plopped it into the Strip Designer comic.

Laura Wright's Class Batty Project

 

Laura mentioned that the students truly loved this app and let their creativity run wild as can be seen in the bat “cover page”, photos of students with bats in their hair, and the conclusion with Obama telling America that bat funding would be increased this year. This comic showcases evidence of student learning while also capturing distinct personality and humor.

Laura Wright's Class Batty Project

 

Earth Landings: The very same week, second grade teacher Lisa Carnazzo sent me her class using Strip Designer. Looks like her class also experimented with some multi-apping. They explored landforms in Google Earth and classified and labeled them in Strip Designer.  (More pics and info about this iLesson can be viewed here.) Lisa did mention that while the students enjoyed the project, some of the elements proved difficult to manipulate for the primary students.

Carnazzo's Stripped Down Landforms

 

Lisa Carnazzo showcases all of her student projects on her class wiki. Check out all of her iPad Lessons on her site and read more in-depth blogs on how they were accomplished right here.

For more examples of how Strip Designer is used in the iClassroom:

  1. History Stripped Down
  2. English Stripped Down: A Student Perspective
  3. iHealthy Living
  4. iPattern Scavenger Hunt

590+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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26 Nov 2012
Comments: 4

iPad Tips 4 Parents

Most of the time I focus on integration tips and examples for teachers. Today, I decided to change the pace and share some management tips for the device at home. With a 1:1 iPad initiative in full swing, setting boundaries with the iPad at home can become an issue. To support our Eanes parents, we developed a Digital Learning Parent seminar series.

Wifi Password Fridge created with Word Mover iPad app

Wifi Password Fridge created with Word Mover iPad app

 

5 iPad tips for Parents: One of the resources created for this series was 5 iPad Tips for parents created by our very own Tim Yenca (aka @mryenca). The resource thoroughly covers:

  1. Vigilance: suggests homework be completed in a common area and iPad stored and charged in a common area (say goodnight to your iPad)
  2. Accountability: shares how to manage the multi-tasking bar (great video example)
  3. Notifications: discusses how to turn off notifications to manage distractions (Do Not Disturb info)
  4. Guided Access: restricts students to one app (more info here)
  5. Restrictions: restrict access to age-appropriate content and apps (NB has great info on their student device restrictions’ settings).

 

iPad Tips 4 Parents Comic Poster: Inspired by some of the Comic Life tutorials, I decided to create a comic strip version of this info to share with parents. (Also check out Greg Garner’s “Top 10 iPad Management Tips and Tricks”).

iPad Tips 4 Parents by Lisa Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.  Based on a work at http://whs.eanesisd.net/wifi/wifiparents.

iPad Tips 4 Parents

Creative Commons License

iPad Tips 4 Parents by Lisa Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://whs.eanesisd.net/wifi/wifiparents.

 

550+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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20 Nov 2012
Comments: 0

History Stripped Down

Fiske’s Class strikes again with an entertaining, engaging… dare I say enlightening iPad lesson using the Strip Designer app. The task was to create a comic strip to showcase the key people, philosophies, and terms of the Enlightenment and Age of Reason.

Enlightening Comics created with Strip Designer app

 

Student-created app reviews: Don’t take my word for it… check out this student app review video highlighting a few of the app’s features students love!

(Check out more student app reviews here.)

 
Stripped Down iCurriculum: This post is part of a series on using comic strip apps across the curriculum: See English Stripped Down.

Fiske Continued: More News on Fiske’s Class (Personalized Learning and Documenting iLearning).

 

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19 Nov 2012
Comments: 4

English Stripped Down: A Student's Perspective

Recently, I visited with Mrs. Haneman, a HCMS social studies teacher and mom of a Westlake student. This is the first year for both the 8th grade 1:1 iPad initiative as well as the 1:1 for freshman and sophomore’s at the high school. As we all strive to embrace this new technology and integrate it effectively into our lessons, I think it is valuable to reflect on our student’s impressions of the device as well. (Mathy Cathy showcases an excellent example of challenging student’s perceptions of math on the iPad with augmented note-taking strategies).

In this instance, I focus on “The Odyssey” and a “Hero’s Journey”. This assignment utilized the Strip Designer app and was created by Mrs. Haneman’s son. While the student admitted to appreciating all of the artistic features the app offers, he did say “it took a long time to work the mechanics, over drawing with pencil and paper, but since I’m not a good artist, I liked the result better.”  He drew the main character as a shadowy figure with no face and utilized a cross hatching technique. The app also allowed for him to use mix media and incorporate internet images for backgrounds and other characters. For an admittedly unprofessional artist, I found the comic to be easy to understand and follow and charming. (See The Golden Apple PDF and open in iBooks on a mobile device or view embedded Google PDF below.)

As graphic novels become a more and more popular art form (check out this one on the Odyssey), it is exciting to see how students are able to easily access and embrace this media using the iPad as a tool. Check out this graphic adaptation of the Battle of Troy using the Comic Life app.

Comic Life example of Battle of Troy

 

A Beowulf Retelling using ComicBook! app

And one more… a retelling of Beowulf using the ComicBook! app. Check out Yolanda Barker’s blog for more details on this assignment.

Check out more Comic iLessons using Strip Designer:

 

 

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09 Nov 2012
Comments: 1

App-tivities

Student Workflow in the iClassroom: Recently I presented at the Oregon Academic Technology Society held at the University of Portland. The topic was “Student Workflow in the iClassroom”. Apps and iLessons shared ranged from flashcards and PDF annotation to multimedia projects and presentations and workflow solutions. I compiled all of the info in a List.ly (seen below) which includes all of the apps (and resources) as well as hyperlinks to student app reviews, iLessons, and student products.

[listly id=”22k” theme=”light” layout=”full” numbered=”yes” image=”yes” items=”all”]

App-tivities: Yesterday, I had another app-ortunity to share my app-thusiasm for iLearning and student app-tivities at Tech and Learning’s Tech Forum held in Austin. Below is the archived version of the livestreamed session. The panel includes myself, Yolanda Barker, and Jon Samuleson (better known to the twitterverse as @iPadSammy). Between the three of us, we cover app-tivities and student products from elementary to high school.

Watch live streaming video from techlearning at livestream.com

 
Mix it up: Yolanda’s apps shared were cleverly showcased in an app mix as seen below:

475+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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08 Nov 2012
Comments: 1

DIY Prezi

After I completed a round of teaching Evernote to Fiske’s class, I strolled down the hallway to say hello to Mrs. Yenca (otherwise known online as Mathy Cathy). She waved me in and I decided to stay for a while. Now, I have to say that her normal teaching methods are on par with a rock star. She knows how to orchestrate a lesson and keep students engaged like none other. BUT, today, I too fell under the spell and was mezmorized and floored by the app-tivity.

Mathy Cathy's Estimating Square Roots Zoomable PDF iLesson


 
Truly the idea of estimating square roots is nothing to write home about (or blog about for that matter). It was how she built her lesson that had me intrigued. Students used a PDF that Cathy created from a Keynote slide and zoomed in and out to problem solve. No need for extra paper or space because a PDF does not become grainy when zoomed in and out.

Zoomable PDF for Problem-Solving


 
I don’t want to steal her iThunder – for more details on this truly ingenious apptivity, visit her blog.

I do want to give you a taste of her personality, though. Few educators could enthrall a classroom and an ed tech with estimating square roots. Teachers like Cathy are ideal candidates for a Flipped Classroom and video instruction model. Her teaching methods truly match her captivating apptivity.

 

For more about Mathy Cathy, read my first Mathy Cathy post, and check out her blog.

Creative Title (e.g. DIY Prezi) credit goes to @Classroom_tech

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05 Nov 2012
Comments: 0

Channel your Inner Doogie

A request from a “Novel Ideas” teacher to provide students with blogging info led me to reflect on my own journey with blogging. Two years ago I began the TechChef4u blog out of a need to have a place to put resources and info for an upcoming tech camp and partially as an online brain dump – a place to put ideas to retrieve and access later. At that point, I didn’t realize that I would have an audience or that people would utilize these resources to benefit their students. Upon reflecting on my blog and reviewing tips for novice bloggers, I noticed a significant change in the layout and form of my more recent blogs.

 

The Side by Side app compares an earlier blog I wrote (on the left) with a more recent one (on the right). Since that earlier blog two years ago, I have tried to be more concise, use spacing and images to improve layout and readability, and clean up my bullet points and subheadings.

 

Blog Comparison showcased with Side by Side app

 

The Original Blogger: Students in the Novel Ideas class would be blogging about books that they read and “selling” the book to others through their blog review – much like a book commercial. For some reason, my mind drifted to the original blogger and my childhood crush, Doogie Howser M.D. Realizing that these students would not know who this pre-internet reference was, I opted against using the following video:

 

 

Blogging Tips for Students: Rather than showcase Doogie’s concise blogging style (as seen here on his Blogspot), I opted to merely curate a list of novice blogging tips gleened from the internet:
  1. Choose the right topic / define your goals / stay true to your blog – this is pretty simple as the blogs will all focus on book reviews
  2. Ask for Help / Find a Role ModelMrs. Schubert, our librarian, shared a list of student book chat blogs that would assist students in finding their own voice
  3. Be Yourself / Throw Perfectionism out the window – encourage students to write the same way they talk and emphasize the content over form. That is not to say that grammar and spelling should be be overlooked but merely that students should feel free to find their own voice, flow, and style
  4. Visual Layout –  Utilize font and formatting features such as bold and bullets and subheadings and paragraphs to make your article easier to read and digest
  5. Pretend you have an audience –  even when you don’t
  6. Add Photos and Multimedia 
    1. Use photos from sites like Morgue File and Photo Pin
    2. Create your own visuals on the iPad using apps like Pic Collage and Strip Designer
    3. Compose audio reviews using the Audioboo app and embed the final product on your site
    4. Include URL’s to supporting or further info
    5. Include movies as book trailers (created with iMovie, Puppet Pals, or Animoto)
  7. End Post with Question – a great way to snag your readers and get them thinking

 

Feed Novel Ideas with RSS: The teacher had also requested info about RSS feeds. She wanted an app to allow students to follow other’s blogs and have access to them on the iPad. I located Feedly which works in conjuction with our google emails. It was the perfect app to search for blogs and articles and access them in a beautiful and visual way.

 

View and Aggregate Blogs and News with Feedly app

 

Sites I gleaned blogging tips from: 

 

Other Teaching Resources Found along the way: 
 

450+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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