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24 Feb 2015
Comments: 1

App-Smashed Benjamin Franklin Biography

I guess this is what happens when your mom is both an educator and an Ed Tech…

My second grader recently brought home a bottle biography project. We finished the written portion a few weeks ago knowing that we still had the craft module to complete. Now before I continue with my story, I want to clarify a few points:

  • By no means am I saying that all student projects should be digital.
  • By no means do I believe that projects shouldn’t be sent home.
  • By no means do I think projects shouldn’t involve crafts.
  • By no means do I think the whole assigned project lacked merit or purpose.

Purposeful Crafts

Please know that I definitely enjoy doing projects with my son and I think it is great bonding time… I just believe that craft assignments should be purposeful in nature. No matter how many projects like this we get assigned, I find that the “craft” module of the project falls mostly on the parent to select and purchase the supplies and even assemble them. Now don’t get me wrong, my son helped locate rocks to fill the bottle to stabilize it and did assist with some of the assembly and design but ultimately most of the bottle project ended up in my lap. I then have to ask myself, “what did he ultimately learn from this craft?” So, this got me thinking… what could we do with this bottle craft project to elevate and extend the learning and utilize and incorporate the craft project?

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Research and Extensions

I will say that we gleaned a lot through reading the biographies together and completing the provided biography inventory. Because I felt like my son had learned more about Benjamin Franklin than he displayed in both the bottle and the handout, I decided to add a few more guidelines to the project (based on the 2nd grade standards). Many of these extended the written, visual, and oral requirements for the project:

  • MindMap of 5 Adjectives: This included a hand-drawn image from my son as well as component of typing and allowed him to display his research visually. (used Popplet Lite app)
  • Locating Origins and Birth Places: This was simple but addressed a geography component and the ability to locate places of significance. (used Google Earth app)
  • PostCard to Benjamin Franklin: This creative writing assignment  focused on expository text standards as well as addressing important contributions of historical figures. (used Bill Atkinson PhotoCard app)
  • App-Smashed Assembly: As Toontastic is now free (since it was acquired by Google), and it had a Benjamin Franklin toon within its suite, we decided this would be the perfect tool for app-smashing the aforementioned content. Not only was this a great tool to assemble all of the digital media, it also addressed the standard of creating visual displays to convey research results and touched on the component of expressing ideas orally as well. (used Toontastic app)

Within the App-Smashed Assembly, we included a few more elements:

  • Reflection on Process: I am a huge proponent of reflecting on the process – not just the final product so I made sure that my son included how Bottle Ben came to be with pics of the final product and a delineation of the materials.
  • Citations and Multiple Sources: While I am currently stationed at a HS, I have to tell you that I had my stint in elementary as well and have a special place in my heart for children’s literature. As some of the books that my son self-selected from the library proved to be above his reading level, I picked up a few from Amazon. In doing so, these books reiterated the content that we had read from his initial research and provided a diverse landscape for his learning.
  • Publishing: Publishing and Sharing writing is a a big component of the standards and I can’t tell you how excited and proud my son gets when he finds out that other schools in the district (and schools across the nation) want to share his project with their students. In fact just this morning he smiled and said, “just say ‘yes’ to anyone that asks you.”  😉

Ben Franklin copy

Final Project

So here is the final App Smashed project… One of my favorite parts is that the analog creations (e.g. Ben biography bottle and hand-drawn images) provide a introspective and unique landscape to the digital creation that could not be achieved through digital elements alone.

I have to say that had we to do this over again… I would make a few tweaks to the project:

  • Include all Original Artwork: I would have had him design a setting for Benjamin Franklin (hand-drawn) rather than using the Toontastic stock background.
  • Assemble a Timeline: I might also have suggested a timeline of major contributions or events created with Popplet Lite or RWT Timeline.
  • Dramatize a Scene: I would also have him recreate an actual scene to meet dramatization standards.

Authentic Audience

Nothing warms my heart more than to know that my son’s work is well received and that he has an authentic audience for his learning.

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Invest in Knowledge and Involve Me…

So I fortuitously happed upon this bottle of wine at Walgreen’s and in doing so learned that Benjamin Franklin had a repertoire of wine quotes as well. As none of these quotes were particularly app-licable or app-ropriate, I decided to share one of my favorite Benji (yes, we are now on a first nickname basis now) quotes about learning:

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05 Feb 2015
Comments: 3

Curating and Creating with Care

I am often crippled by my need for perfection and to share what I feel is a thorough, complete, and exhaustive resource. For some reason, I also decided to dive very deep down the Lego Rabbit Hole and staged all of my slides with Lego MiniFigures as well.

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Why the Need for Curating and Creating with Care?

I have to say that this session is definitely a long time in the making. And I really wanted to address the need for such a session and a resource:

  • Increased Access to Content: While students’ have a wide array of access to devices, it becomes very easy to simply nab or screenshot an image without even thinking about citations or appropriate use.
  • Increase in Digital Assignments: Furthermore, more and more student assignments and projects are transitioning from analog to digital and with that more student authored content is floating around online. With the flux of student creations and better ways to gather digital creations, there becomes an even greater need to teach students to protect their work with Creative Commons licensing.
  • Fire Hose of Content: With the rapid amount of content being uploaded and shared via the global edusphere and beyond, there is a need for “trusted curation” to battle the fire hose of content. With curation comes a need to discuss best practices to preserve other’s work online as it is reposted, repinned, retweeted, relisted, rescooped, and relinked.

Creative Commons: It’s Not Just a License: It is a Lifestyle!

As I created my own images for this session, I wanted to make sure that as they were shared, there was some way to easily attribute these original creations back to me. After a brief Twitter Chat with The Daring Librarian (@Gwyneth Jones), I decided to Creative Commons all of the images and then upload them to Flickr.

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And BTW, if you have not visited the Daring Librarian’s site… it is most epic indeed and she also has an affinity for Legos. 😉

Curating and Creating with Care Lego Quotables

So… here they are…TechChef4u Lego Quotables

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Curating and Creating with Care Research and Resources

As many of these images are based on research I gleaned while preparing for the session, I have also created a Listly with all of the resources and research that I used.

Curating and Creating with Care TCEA 2015

And many thanks to my fellow iVenger Debbie Smith (@dsmitheisd) for snapping a pic of me during my session as I was delivering my flare for curation and custom creations!

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If you are interested in the other 4 sessions I presented at TCEA 2015, check out my conference resources here!

 

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST TECHCHEF GAZETTE ISSUE? Preparing for Back to School and Beyond

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Where Will TechChef Be Next?

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com or request booking here.


02 Feb 2015
Comments: 0

iPad Project Menu

As I will be attending and present at TCEA this week, I wanted to leave my campus with a small learning nugget to support them in my absence. I began thinking about most of the questions that I receive that are instructional in nature. Many of them focus on what the best apps and tools are to meet the task. Other inquiries focus on workflow and best practices for publishing.

iPad Project Menu

So… the iPad Project Menu was born. I have to admit that it is somewhat derivative of Tony Vincent’s Show What You Know infographic. I simply tailored the menu to focus on tools and apps that were free (or already provided for FREE to our students via Casper and Self Service), changed up a few of the tasks, and added a second page that addressed many of the questions that I receive when I am planning with teachers. I figured that some of you might enjoy or be inspired by this assembly of resources so I made it available for FREE on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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The Chef is on Location

I am very much looking forward to cooking up my own recipe for learning at TCEA and will be on location there all week. If you too are geared up to #learnanywhere, then come check out one of my 5 sessions:

  • 2/2: Monday: 8-11: Cooking Up Augmented Storytelling
  • 2/3: Tuesday: 1-1:50: Curating and Creating with Care
  • 2/5: Thursday: 8-9: Activating the Device Neutral Classroom
  • 2/5: Thursday 9:15-10:15: WordPlay Shakespeare in the Classroom
  • 2/5: Thursday: 3:45-4:45: Lone Star Teachers Partner to Enhance Education

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HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST TECHCHEF GAZETTE ISSUE? Preparing for Back to School and Beyond

TechChef Techucation Gazette: Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter: There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast, sign up today.

Where Will TechChef Be Next?

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com or request booking here.