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19 Nov 2014
Comments: 2

STEM Day Recap…

On Friday I had the opportunity to teach coding to 5 kindergarten classes for STEM day at Eanes Elementary. We weren’t sure if Scratch Jr would hold their attention for a 30-35 minute class period… but we were pleasantly surprised… because it did.

Coding with Kinder

I spent a few minutes introducing the interface and then presented them with 4 challenges (one challenge at a time):

  • Create a New Project and Select a Background (Setting)
  • Add Movement Blocks to have Scratch Jr Move – (We also discussed how the number underneath each movement block would repeat that action that many times rather than dragging the same block again)
  • Add Action (e.g. Shrink, Grow, Disappear) and Text Blocks – (Students found very quickly that the number multiplier made the characters grow more quickly and many of them wanted the character to have a speech bubble with their name or lunch number. They also discovered that if you made a character disappear, that it would not reappear…without adding the Show Block).
  • Add and Paint a Character – (I think this may have been their favorite. Students really enjoyed customizing and adding characters.)

Before I know it, students began having their characters interact and even adding their own audio recordings. I have to say that Scratch Jr. is a natural choice to teach programming but also offers a lot of cross-curricular integrations such as programming distance with specific backgrounds or sequencing a narrative. My 2nd grade son even started using the app to study his spelling words and use them in context (more on that in an upcoming post.)

Capturing Coding with Kinder

As it is not every day that I teach kinder and utter phrases like, “1, 2, 3, Eyes on Me”, I am very grateful that Debbie Smith (@dsmitheisd) captured a few pics to commemorate the event… I have compiled those pics and added some additional Scratch Jr. resources (lessons and curriculum) as well as 30+ iOS apps for programming with students within the thinglink linked here and embedded below.

What Does an Elementary STEM Day Look Like?

If you are interested in what the other activities looked like for STEM day at Eanes Elementary… this video captures an overview of the day.


 

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13 Nov 2014
Comments: 3

Bringing S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR Back…

Last year I presented S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR at TCEA to a packed room. Flash forward a year, there have been many lessons learned. While the S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR Tackk, chocked full of questions and resources, proved popular at a host of conferences and schools this semester, in actual sessions the idea of attendees developing their own understanding of SAMR through the activities proved tricky.

The Evolution of S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR

Initially I had everyone complete a PDF survey (Substitution), and then stopped them and provided a Google Form (Augmentation) using the same questions. We discussed the pros and cons of each and then I offered a Google Slide Deck with full editing rights so each attendee could add their expertise and information to build their PLN (Modification). While developing the SAMR model in this context was revealing for some, others I believe struggled with this delivery method and wanted to simply be told what the SAMR model was. I too struggled to find a balance between discovery and divulging as well as meeting the needs of a diverse group of learners.

S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 3.0 Revealed

So… I went to the drawing board one more time… and decided to create a resource that had 3 tiered sections. When I launched the session at Miami Device this past week, I decided to provide a little back story (as I have done above for you) so those that planned on taking the resources back and using them as professional development for their own staff could make the adjustments as well. Then, I gave a quick review of each level of SAMR and discussed the “That’s So Not SAMR” section as a whole group. Finally, I allowed participants to self-select their comfort level with SAMR and connect that to one of the levels within the bulb site that I prepared (pictured and linked below) and begin to explore the exercises contained in each level.

SAMR Bulb

Breaking Down S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 3.0

Each tier includes an activity with reflective questions:

  • Fancy SAMR is for those that have no knowledge of SAMR
  • Cheeky SAMR is intended for those that have a basic knowledge of SAMR but would like to have some ideas for how to connect each level to a classroom integration example
  • S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR is for more advanced attendees and takes a deeper look at the TechChef acronym intended to make SAMR (also an acronym… yes, the irony is not lost on me) a little more digestible and easier to understand

S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 3.0 In Action

I do have to say that opening up a traditional sit-and-get session to be a more discovery and discussion app-ortunity is not without its own challenges, but I feel like the time spent on exploration and the thoughtful participant discussions that evolved during the session far outweighed the angst some may have felt by being asked to be “active” participants. After the discovery portion, each group revealed their insights and I closed with a quick history of the S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR acronym.

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S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 3.0: the Critics Are In…

I want to also give a shout-out to Adam Jones. He was an attendee at two of the sessions I delivered at Miami Device and he provided a very thoughtful and thorough reflection of both of my sessions as well as multiple others that he attended:

“Lisa has done a tremendous amount of work with SAMR – not just in her own classroom, but also teaching other educators how to make their classrooms more student-centric and project-based.  She said, ‘It not about evaluating teachers with this model, but rather deploying it as a structure to have an ongoing conversation about pedagogy…’ It is hard to overstate how valuable a maven Lisa truly is in EdTech.  Find her on social media and you’ll find a deep rabbit hole of carefully curated content.” – Adam Jones ED

Another shout-out goes to Joe Rommel, Instructional Tech Consultant from Southwestern Michigan that shared these kind words about my sessions:

“Miami Device was great. My favorites were Lisa Johnson’s “Sassy SAMR” and “Tech Chef” presentations. Her style was engaging, and she had an amazing collection of SAMR resources that she was willing to share for our own professional development purposes.”- Joe Rommel

 

Stay tuned for TechChef’s Miami Device Recap… Coming Soon…

 

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07 Nov 2014
Comments: 0

Miami Device 2014

Miami, FLORIDA                               November 7-8

official website

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School, located in Coconut Grove, Florida, has proven to be a leader in mobile learning, technology integration, and project based learning. St. Stephen’s has a beautiful campus and well-equipped, state-of-the-art classrooms.

Now the doors are open to all who would like to come and enjoy Miami Device, a two day Mobile Learning Event.

Explore The Lisa Johnson Thinglink

Go Behind the Scenes with the TechChef…

Presenting…


05 Nov 2014
Comments: 0

Outlander SAMR… S.A.S.S.Y. Sassenach

*** Bear with me on this one… and please know that even if you have not read the book or seen the series… you will be able to relate and utilize the resources shared… ***

The Back Story…

I have been reading the Outlander series since my Senior year of high school. It only took close to two decades to bring this beloved epic historical fiction series to the screen. As I am hopelessly sucked in to the highlander realm eight episodes deep… the series goes on hiatus… until April (I know… heavy sigh….).

Coping with the Hiatus…

Trying not to fash myself… and knowing that I couldn’t blog about Outlander just to blog about Outlander… this TechChef had to find a way to tastefully blend her literary palette with a crafty instructional recipe. SAMR seemed to be the perfect framework for serving up this topic as the technologies we have available today have redefined how we can interact with the content and the series (cue Twitter chats).

Keynote.001

 

As more and more literary classics are transformed for the screen… consider the possibilities of connecting with the actors and director and gaining insight as to their stylistic choices as they are being made. Thus, to bide my time until April… “Outlander SAMR was born…” – I hope you enjoy this S.A.S.S.Y. Sassenach 😉

The Birth of Outlander SAMR…


 

Installing the S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 2.0 Update…

As I began wrapping up this post and prepare to reveal S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 3.0 at Miami Device this week… it occurred to me that I hadn’t even shared S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 2.0 in an official blog post. Have you installed the update complete with additional app-tivities and discussion questions?

See on Tackk.com

 

Back Up… What is S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR?

Great question! For those of you unfamiliar with the TechChef acronym to make the SAMR model easily digestible check out this blog post and S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 1.0 interactive infographic.
 
 

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Where will Lisa Johnson be sharing her app-thusiasm next?

1:1 Deployment and Interested in 1:1 Deployment or PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com) for parent presentations, hands-on workshops, keynotes, and much more! Read testimonials about TechChef presentations.

 

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