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31 Jul 2013
Comments: 7

App Synergy: The Art Form of App-Smashing

If you have been trolling the net (pun intended if you read my last post) for more app-smashing antics… you simply must check out this video from Kris Kling, fellow Starbucks junkie and 2013 Apple Distinguished Educator (@misterkling).

The video below smashes the apps Tellagami, Explain Everything, and iMovie to create a narrated treat and includes some ideas for composing your own logo which goes hand in hand with a recent post, A Brand Called Me, which reveals an amazing iTunes U course to support students in discovering their own personal brand.

Intro to App-Smashing from misterkling on Vimeo.
An introduction to the concept of app-smashing, a technique coined and honed by Greg Kulowiec that uses multiple apps to complete a project. http://edtechteacher.org/blog/2013/02/app-smashing-from-greg/ — https://techchef4u.com/tag/app-smashing/
 

The iPad by design is a personal device that can create a very unique learning perspective if students are allowed to explore and are not inhibited by a one-app-fits-all philosophy. One wouldn’t limit an art student to a monochrome palette and limited media and tools. So why would we hand over a device that offers limitless potential to a student and shackle their creativity to one app?

I venture to kick app-smashing up a notch. What if we assume that app-smashing could indeed be an art form if achieved in a thoughtful manner? The term app synergy appeared in the App Synergy column of App Advice (Apps Gone Free) as early as April 2012.

Lenny Liang said it best:

“A single app can be powerful. Many apps, working together, can be transformative. It is sometimes difficult to perform the task you want using only one app. It’s often necessary to settle for the best an app can give, even if it’s not exactly what you need. App synergy overcomes those limitations by transcending the limits of single apps, creating results that no one app could achieve alone.”

The image below is an app-smash of Wordflex Touch Dictionary, Textagon Word Art Generator, Snapseed, Paint FX, and PhotoToaster.

The Origin of App Synergy

Lenny Liang: The Origin of App Synergy

Since the phrase app synergy app-tly app-lies to our app-lication of apps, I thought I would create a concise definition.

App Synergy: the transformative art form of smashing and assembling apps to form a cohesive creation which ultimately holds more substance and purpose than the sum of its individual app elements.

As Tellagami was showcased here today, I wanted to share a few more examples of how the app can be smashed with other apps to create a detailed and thoughtful learning project.

Technology Tailgate shares a 5th grade assignment that smashes WordFoto, Phoster, and Tellagami to teach findings about scientists.

Karen Ogen shares a 1st grade assignment that smashes the Tellagami and iMovie (Karen compiled the videos using Windows Movie Maker but iMovie could achieve the same result) to teach about the sun and moon. While the backgrounds were clearly hand drawn and then captured using the iPad camera, the same activity could be recreated with students drawings using any sketching app.

Laura Chaffey’s class shares one of my favorite purposeful app-smashing projects. Her  primary students composed a persuasive piece depicting why they would be a good candidate to be recruited for Mars One. The apps smashed were the camera, Google Earth, Tellagami, and iMovie.

Laura even went so far as to create a 3 page PDF to provide lesson ideas for integrating Tellagami and even a tutorial.

Laura Chaffey's 3 Page Download: Resources and Tutorial

Laura Chaffey’s 3 Page Download: Resources and Tutorial

Hungry for more App-Smashing? Inspired to achieve App-Synergy? Check out the Definitive App-Smasher’s Guide by Miguel Guhlin here.

 

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30 Jul 2013
Comments: 1

A Troll led me to iPhoneography…

Roadside America screenshot

Roadside America screenshot

A troll led me to the perfect photo… okay well not exactly… but it is a whimsical offbeat way to start a blog entry. This week we went on an interstate excursion with my two boys to visit some family members in Kansas. I remarked to my husband that at their age they would likely not recall the trip nor the relatives but more the random moments and quirky roadside stops along the way.

When I was their age and my family made the excursion in our Astro van to Pennsylvania from Texas, I remembered little more than a playground, a rest stop with an armadillo, and viewing the splendor of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon for the first time.

 
With this rattling in the back of my mind, we downloaded the Roadside America app which showcases multiple weird and quirky destinations as you travel. One that caught my eye was a troll buried underneath a sidewalk. No, I do not have an unnatural affinity for Lord of the Rings or HBO’s Game of Thrones. Rather… it reminded me of the story of the 3 Billy Goats Gruff that my son enjoyed reading this year. So, we stopped in Wichita to locate the troll.

 

After much searching and a few detours, we eventually located the troll. As most of these sights are, many times they look better on paper (or in the app) than in person. To jazz up the photo so any one (that wasn’t me) could actually figure out what it was peering out from below the grates, I used the HDR FX Pro app.

 

This little gem was one of the many iPhoneography apps shared during a “Making Great Photos and Videos with iOS Devices” session at the Apple Distinguished Educator’s institute a few weeks ago. Ironically enough, I had actually downloaded the app a while ago and it had gotten lost in the abyss beyond the 11th screen. I was able to invigorate this photo and hopefully showcase this bizarre treat with a little fantasy flair.

photo-20

 

On our way to unearth the aforementioned troll, we happed upon a beautiful bridge. With a few edits, I was able to turn a family snapshot taken on my iPhone into what I feel is a radiant keepsake.

 

Before and After HDR FX Pro filter compiled with PicWall app

Before and After HDR FX Pro filter compiled with PicWall app

As we speed rapidly towards the first day of school, let us not forget the dog days of summer and the treasured seasons that we share with our children and families. These moments are precious and fleeting and we want to preserve them in a manner that does justice to their sublime beauty.

Henri Cartier-Bresson created with InstaQuote app

Henri Cartier-Bresson created with InstaQuote app

 

We all know the best phone is the one that you have with you… If you are a tech addict like myself, your iPhone is never far from your reach. Truly the device is is a one-stop-shop as you can capture images, edit, polish, and share them all in a matter of minutes.

 

Below is the list of iPhoneography apps that I curated from the session.

 

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24 Jul 2013
Comments: 4

Do More of What Makes You #Awesomesauce

While it is easy to become discouraged with your own resources and talents when you assemble roughly 400 hand selected Apple Distinguished Educators in one place, it is important to remember this… what you do matters… It matters to your students, to fellow educators, and to the greater good.

Created with Recite This.Com

Created with Recite This.Com

I truly wrestled and struggled with this post for almost a week. How does one share and reflect on the week at the institute while at the same time staying true to the purpose and vision of of their blog… which is ultimately a platform to share creativity and technology resources with personality and posh that can easily be digested and replicated. (yes, I realize that was a bit of a mouthful… and a run-on sentence).

I think Reshan Richards was on the right track when he said, “I don’t think I can articulate it in a way that people who weren’t there would understand”. Thus I would rather share the essence of the week which I believe can be summed up with this iTunes U course developed by five Apple Distinguished Educators (Christine DiPaulo, Brandon Kari, Jason Kathman, Ben Mountz, and John Waldie).

The incredibly thorough and thought-provoking course is intended for grades 9-20. The teacher’s notes say it best, “the true challenge is to introduce the unit and get out of the way to allow students to arrive at their own conclusions, ask reflective questions” and ultimately create their own story. The 18 week course includes:

  • articles on writing and establishing a personal brand statement
  • artistic ventures in designing your own logo
  • photography assignments on personal artifacts
  • thoughtful detail to resume and presentation design
  • research on the etymology of your name
  • online publishing (e.g. Linkedin, About.Me) and connecting with social media

iAm: A Brand Called Me - iTunes U course

While the course itself is developed for grades 9-20, anyone can benefit from a metacognitive journey to discover their own professional brand. My dear friend, Rafranz Davis, mentioned she struggled with defining herself and was thrilled to embark on her own journey to be the CEO of Me.

Knowing who you are and what you bring to the table is empowering. – Rafranz Davis

Follow @RafranzDavis

I think the take-away here, is that everyone has a unique personality and perspective… and deserves a voice. Fortunate to be selected and blessed to meet all of the amazing and distinguished educators along the week, I will leave you with a little ed tech fortune cookie.

Discover what drives your passion and makes you awesome and then share it with the world… because your message and voice matters!

Created with Recite This.Com

Created with Recite This.Com

Interested in becoming an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2015? This video speaks to the heart of the mission.

 

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17 Jul 2013
Comments: 3

Thinglink… the ultimate app-smasher!!!!

Contrary to popular belief, the art of app-smashing is not the action of pressing on an app  until it jiggles or an individual app at all (well, it is an app, but I digress). I feel I must credit Greg Kulowiec with the terminology as he offers a course on it and has prepared the first official definition.

“App Smashing Defined: The process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project.”

But truly the art of app-smashing has been well documented for some time. Educators like myself, Laura Wright, Lisa Carnazzo, and many more showcase multiple examples online everyday. Laura Wright actual coined the phrase “multi-apping” in a post I shared in November of 2012 to refer to the same phenomenon. Moving past semantics and terminology, I think that the ultimate focus on app-smashing is the intended purpose or result and the workflow necessary to achieve it.

 App Smashing Image Screenshots compiled with Pic Collage

I recently stumbled upon the Definitive App Smasher’s Guide pictured above (a FREE 13 page download from Miguel Guhlin). The resource is available in ePub and PDF and is a really great example to showcase the flow and provide additional concrete guided tasks.

As I app-arently cannot finish a post without sharing a thinglink and 3 of my last posts have focused on the tool, I think it only prudent to share how Thinglink can be the ultimate example of app-smashing! Think about it…Thinglinks are an image.

  • Images: Images can be created, annotated, and embellished with Pic Collage, Keynote, Strip Designer, and Skitch.
  • Thinglink Nubbins: From there, Thinglink merely adds nubbins to those images. Nubbins can be either plain text or anything with a link.
  • Links: What has a link? Um… pretty much anything. Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, YouTube, Prezi, Quizlet. iMovie Trailers and Puppet Pals can be exported to YouTube or a Dropbox… ScreenChomps and Tellagami’s can be shared with URLs. Each photo or video could be an individual example of app-smashing.

Miguel Guhlin shares a perfect example of this as Haiku Deck images can be exported to the camera roll and then turned into a narrated video using Explain Everything.

Example from Page 6 of Miguel Guhlin's "The Definitive App Smasher's Guide"

Example from Page 6 of Miguel Guhlin’s “The Definitive App Smasher’s Guide”

So what could this look like? For months I have been sharing the potential of Thinglink and just recently I stumbled upon a teacher using for exactly that purpose… sharing student work as an ePortfolio!!!

I feel this just might be the pinnacle of app-smashing… but truly you be the judge. How will you channel and showcase your student’s inner product-based selves through app-smashing?

For more EDU Thinglink Examples, visit this List.ly.

 

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10 Jul 2013
Comments: 4

100+ Task Cards 4 ALL: Plug and Play 8.0

With one google search for “iPad Task Cards” in the wee hours of the morn, I hit the motherload!

  • One site, CPSB.org offered 29 fully editable iPad task cards in PPTX. You can only imagine my disapp-ointment when I discovered that they wouldn’t open in Keynote. Not having much time to troubleshoot further, I shared the link on the TechChef4u FB and Twitter with the disclaimer on file format. Later that day when I returned to my computer, the oh-so-kind Sandy Workentine, had downloaded all of the PPTX files, converted them to Keynote, uploaded them to Google Drive with a link, and reposted on FB!!! A round of app-lause for the power of social networks!
  • The other site, was in fact a List.ly. As I scrolled through the apps and links, quite a few looked familiar. I pondered for a bit and looked at the creator of the Listly list… and then just smiled. Of course… my former NEISD colleague would be behind this list of 60+ curated and created iPad task cards. Give it up for my former NEISD peep, Laura Moore. 
  • The other site that offers beautiful task cards and follow-up handouts is Technology Tailgate. I have included a link to their site, but truly it may be easier to click on the Pinterest link as they are all pinned directly to the board.

As I wanted to share all of these task cards in one place… creatively. I opted for easel.ly. The image below was composed in easel.ly, saved as an image, and then uploaded to thinglink to make accessing the resources a snap.

Today, I shared this resource with campers at Plug and Play 8.0. They were given time to explore the task cards with the intent that they too would create a task card of their own for an app they chose to use with their primary students.

Plug and Play 8.0: Mobilizing Grades K-2

I always try to offer a task for attendees, but truly I want to make the experience as meaningful for them as possible. This was truly a time when we shared the tools and then got out of the way. Some teachers opted to create a task card, some worked on a Nearpod or an easel.ly to share all of the resources they had learned this week with their colleagues back at home. Everyone was on task and extremely productive (with more pleas for “5 more minutes” when the timer went off). I truly felt like we were meeting everyone’s needs and learning styles in very different ways. So app-reciative to be a part of this experience! And hoping that I get invited back to present at Plug and Play 9.0.

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09 Jul 2013
Comments: 1

Plug and Play

Tony Vincent and the Arizona K-12 Center have truly outdone themselves with this year’s Plug and Play event. Not only is the destination (Tucson, Arizona) beautiful and the resort quite lovely, the layout of the week is superb. Campers choose one strand to focus on for the week…which allows attendees to really delve into the content and leave with meaningful learning experiences and artifacts. Tony did a great job using video and audio narration to put together a little video summary of the available strands. After seeing everyone else’s vignettes, I think I may have summarized “Mobilize the K-2 Classroom” a bit better and swooshed my cape a little more dramatically, but all in all the video is a clever way to give an overview of the week’s festivities.

After Tammy Worcester’s keynote, we got to know our campers with a Haiku Deck app-tivity. Each of the campers created a Haiku Deck as an autobiographical intro. It was suggested that these resources could be embedded on teacher websites or shared at parent nights for the upcoming school year. Before campers left for the afternoon, all of the Haiku Decks were collected in an Edmodo group.

Plug and Play Day 1

(And if you are wondering what iPad cases @iPadsammy and I are sporting in the pic above – I have had many questions on the matter … mine is the Griffin Seesaw and Jon’s is the Gumdrop.)

But wait… there’s more… for those of you Haiku Deck junkies, there is a Pinterest board of over 200 EDU examples!

Education Case Studies: Haiku Deck

Bummed you missed out on Plug and Play this summer? Never fret! Arizona’s K-12 center  is offering Mobile Learning Experience 2013 in September AND early bird registration ends Friday, July 12th! Visit the Mobile 2013 site for additional conference details.

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07 Jul 2013
Comments: 1

Classic Carnazzo

As you can see, TechChef4u has launched a whole new Techucation experience. We greatly app-reciate your patience through our transition. Continue to check back often as we will be frequently adding new content and website features.

Classic… you say? If you are a loyal TechChef fan, then you will know that Carnazzo Creations have been a staple since the original launch of this blog. Two years ago, Lisa Carnazzo was one of the first educators showcased on “appy hours 4 u” – which aired live with my cohost Yolanda Barker from my place of employment at the time, NEISD.

Classic: Judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.

When Lisa Carnazzo presented at iPadpalooza a few weeks ago, I knew with out a shadow of a doubt that the resources she shared would be high quality and an outstanding value to those who attended. But what about those who didn’t have the app-ortunity to check out the sold out event?

Fortunately, Lisa Carnazzo (@SAtechnoChic) was kind enough to share both of her presentations via slideshare. Once again primary teacher, Lisa Carnazzo proves that iLearning can be fun, mobile, and social (and of course standards based)! Visit her class wiki for more gems, nuggets, and artifacts of iLearning.

iPad Projects and Products for Primary:

iPads and Daily 5: 

 

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