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31 Mar 2015
Comments: 4

25+ EDU Lesson Plans and Resources for Canva

So… I was minding my own business… drinking my triple grande iced vanilla latte… when Terri Eichholz (@terriechholz) tweeted me that Canva had 27 FREE EDU PDF Lessons… and everything after that is kind of a blur…

Canva Lessons mini

So naturally, I stopped everything and began perusing them. Now you know… if you give the TechChef4u something inspiring and useful… the next thing she is going to do with it… is…pin. While I loved all of the lessons, I found them easier to glean through if they were all on one page and sorted by image… so I created a board for Canva EDU Lesson Plans...

Canva Pinterest Lessons

What Can I Expect From These Canva EDU Lessons?

20If you peruse the board, you can find lessons for a variety of age groups and content areas. My favorites are the Facebook banners for Scientific Elements, Social Media Profiles for Historical Figures, Candy Math Ratios, Author’s Point of View, and a Wedding Invitation for a Chemical Reaction.

Each lesson includes a sample and a PDF lesson guide to support you! All of these lessons can also be found on Canva’s most excellent EDU site!

And they have a FREE 30 Tutorial Design School perfect for students and educators alike!

Canva Design School

What If I Need Ideas for Using Canva Beyond the Classroom?

If you are an Educational Technologist or Instructional Support staff and you need ideas for how to use Canva with your staff and teachers… here are some samples. Canva can be easily used to create a newsletter, poster, infographic, or social media post as well as to curate resources for teachers or professional development.

Need More Inspiration… check out Canva’s 40+ Pinterest boards!

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


26 Mar 2015
Comments: 1

Sweet Learning Nuggets from SXSWEDU 2015

I have been to SXSWEDU in the past (see SXSWEDU 2014 Recap) and I have to say that this year without a doubt was indisputably my favorite. It didn’t hurt that I got to have breakfast with Guy Kawasaki and hear him speak at both SXSWEDU and SXSWInteractive but beyond that…

“I just felt like the event accurately connected, curated, and celebrated pedagogies, trends, and innovations that are currently in line with the pulse of education.” – Lisa Johnson

So…earlier in the week I app smashed Canva and Thinglink to curate and archive my learning from TCEA 2015¬†so this seemed like the next logical progression. As I mentioned in my earlier post, lately I have been getting just as much interest in my workflow and graphics as I have in my content so I thought I would elaborate on my¬†home grown PD Recap Recipe.

How Did You Create this Epic PD Recap?

  • Choose a Functional Base Image:¬†In this case, I had gotten to SXSWEDU early one day and decided to take a few selfies using my Mac and PhotoBooth in front of one of the SXSWEDU banners at the convention center.
  • Add Filter and Flare to Your Image:¬†I loved the color to this image (see below) so I opted not to turn it black and white as I did in my last PD Recap. I did still opt to add a layer of polish and poise to it with my best kept secret the “Orton Style” filter in the¬†BEFUNKY WEB APP¬†to add a bit of grit.¬†(Note:¬†CANVA¬†also has built-in image filters but not quite like this one.)
  • Build Your Graphic:¬†Once my base image was ready, I uploaded it to¬†CANVA¬†and added pretty much everything else you see in the image below. (Note: One of the icon graphics I paid for via the¬†NOUN PROJECT¬†as I it fairly regularly and¬†CANVA¬†did not have a comparable icon in their gallery.)
  • Add Interactivity to Your Graphic: Once the base graphic is complete, I upload it to¬†THINGLINK.. and all the interactivity you see below‚ĶAND HERE.

What Learning Nuggets Might I Discover by Hovering Over All of these Nubbins?

So glad you asked… Within this Thinglink, I included links to my Evernote notes on the sessions as well as direct links to slide decks and archived videos of some of the presentations. Debbie Smith, a fellow iVenger, also did a bang-up job of curating and reflecting on the week so I included each one of the blog entries that she cranked out as well.

“I have to say that this is unequivocally one of my favorite conferences to attend – no other event is quite at the intersection of policy, educational entrepreneurs, innovation nor blends K-12 and higher higher education like this event.” – Lisa Johnson

But Wait! I Have a Few More Questions…

Can you tell me…

How Should I Share Out My Learning?

Before you jump on the Epic PD Recap band wagon… please know that these do take me about 2.5-3 hours to complete with building the image, cleaning up my summaries and linking all of the content (and the fact that I can be oftentimes crippled by my need for perfection). Now that I have a Canva template and work flow, that time is somewhat decreased. I am in no way trying to dissuade you from this method as I do believe that graphics and chunked content is always the best delivery method… but what I am saying is to do this takes time and careful curation of content. In the end, I have found it is always worth it for my own metacognition as well as the inspiration of my staff… but know that these don’t just grow on trees. They take time to cultivate and perfect – and that time is well spent… but time nonetheless… ūüėČ

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24 Mar 2015
Comments: 1

Tangible Technology Tips from and for TCEA 2015

So, I have to say that I try to make it a point to always curate and reflect on my learning from an event… and to cultivate a resource that I can return to and share. To manage this learning experience… I found App-Smashing Canva and Thinglink to be just the ticket. As I get just as much interest in to my process and workflow as I do on the content that I share… I thought I would let you take a sneak peek at my home grown PD Recap Recipe.

How Did You Create this EPIC PD Recap?

  • Choose a Functional Base Image:¬†I always like to start with an image that I can build off of. Fortunately, TCEA’s Flickr feed had just the right pic to start as a base…
  • Add Filter and Flare to Your Image: I loved the dimension to this pic so I used the “TinType 3” filter in the Be Funky Web app to add a bit of grit. (Note: Canva also has built-in image filters but not quite like this one.)
  • Build Your Graphic: Once my base image was ready, I uploaded it to Canva and added pretty much everything else you see in the image below. (Note: A few of the icon graphics I paid for via the Noun Project as I use them fairly regularly and Canva did not have a comparable icon in their gallery.)
  • Add Interactivity to Your Graphic: Once the base graphic is complete, I upload it to Thinglink.. and all the interactivity you see below…and HERE.

WOW! What is Hidden in This Epic PD RECAP?

Well… I am so glad that you asked… I divided this recap into 3 distinct sections:

  • Sessions I Attended FROM TCEA: Sessions I attended are all labeled and linked on the left.
  • Sessions I Presented FOR TCEA: Sessions I presented are all labeled and linked on the right.
  • Miscellaneous Nuggets: Additional learning nuggets that didn’t fit in to either category (but were worth including) got linked on around the table and chairs (also a great reason to select an image with depth and dimension to guide the viewer through each section).

Hope you enjoy not only the process of designing this professional development recap… but the take-aways and educational snippets embedded and archived within ūüėČ

But Wait! I Have A Few More Questions…Before You Cap this Post!

Sure… fire away:

One More SoapBox Pitch…

I am not saying that every piece of information that you curate and send to teachers or share with your staff has to go through this process… BUT what I am saying… is that everyone is busy and their time is valuable. As hokey as it may seem, an email without a graphic or image, boasting large bodies of text, and no bullets or means of chunking content will most likely be overlooked or neglected. However, when you spend time to make content look appealing, easily navigable, and brief… people seem to respond and be reached…

Stay tuned for my SXSWEDU Epic PD Recap… ūüėČ

 

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


19 Mar 2015
Comments: 6

What No One Tells You About Social Media in Education

Before I get too deep in to social media tips and best practices, I wanted to extend my deepest gratitude to Deb Evans and Cyndee Perkins. I worked with both of them at Computer Explorers many years ago and their forward-thinking in the social media arena set the platform for amassing my own PLN on LinkedIn and Twitter.

“If I put a pot of instructional gold in the forest of an empty PLN, will anyone benefit from it or know that it is even there?”

So let me first set the stage… by answering the question… “What does social media have to do with education?”

  • Proactive Curating is the Life Vest for the Content Tsunami: With the fire hose of content that is pushed out every day, social media is a way to curate, collect, and locate best practices and keep up with trends.
  • Creating and Publishing Content Isn’t Enough: I am not deluded enough to think that just because I post something, that someone will read it. We all have busy lives so publishing content is not enough. If you really want to impact education, you have to connect with a PLN via multiple social networks.
  • Modeling and Teaching Appropriate Use isn’t Optional Anymore: With colleges and businesses looking at student’s social media posts and feeds and more and more businesses looking to optimize and enhance their product and service with a sound social media strategy… this topic is no longer optional. It is integral to educating the whole student and preparing them for the world beyond our institutional walls.

Social Media Best Practices for Bloggers and Educators

This section first focuses on us as educators, curators, and purveyors of pedagogy and instructional best practices and how we can optimize the impact of what we share with the greater edusphere. Before you jump head first into the graphic and best practices, you might want to ensure that you have the proper social media flotation devices in place:

  • Have a Blog and Beef it Up:¬†I have to say the first thing is having your own blog. I have a whole post on best practices for that “21+ Things Evert 21st Century Blogger Should Do in 2015”¬†that can support you with this endeavor.
  • Get Savvy with Social Media: build up a PLN on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+ by sharing both curated and created content. I have a post on Curating and Creating with Care that will provide additional support as well.
  • Take Your Social Media to the Next Level:¬†Once you are savvy with basic social media practices and blogging… reading Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick’s book “The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users” is a must. I devoured the book in less than a hour and gleaned 6 action items that I needed to add to my own social media plan. Truly there are far more in the book (120+) and many I have discovered through navigating my own social media paths throughout the years but these 6 really stood out to me as ones that needed my additional attention.

Guy 1

I really don’t want to take away from the book or the SXSW presentation so I will leave you to digest the slide deck here¬†that provides tips for being organized and optimal as well as clever, curious, and valuable. And just in case you aren’t totally sold on how good this pitch was… there was a fire alarm that went off in the middle of it… and very few participants of the packed room… including myself… were phased enough to leave (see video). ūüėČ

Social Media Best Practices for Students

So now to our students… Guy shared 10 best practices for students in his “If I Knew Then… What I Know Now” talk at SXSWEDU. As he is the Evangelist of Canva, naturally I thought I would take a picture from our breakfast together and create a graphic to summarize his tips using Canva. Both of the images embellished with Canva are actually part of a stock photo series by Guy.

Guy 2

I really don’t think I can do his speech justice… fortunately SXSWEDU was kind enough to record and archive it for all to learn. If you are looking to supplement his talk and tips with tools to support students with social media and positive identities online, I have curated a Blended Resumes Smore and a Pinterest board on Digital Health and Citizenship.

As social media is clearly not going away… I hope this post whets your appetite for navigating this digital literacy to meet both professional and instructional goals.

 

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.


13 Mar 2015
Comments: 0

Celebrate Digital Learning! 10+ Examples of Digital Learning to Inspire You…

Admittedly, I am probably my own worst critic. Many times I am so focused on what I can do better and how I can provide resources and support to fill gaps and meet needs that I forget to stop and take inventory of the things that I do to support students and teachers every day. Truly there is a difference between bragging and celebrating (the intent of bragging is to make other’s feel badly about their own accomplishments in comparison to your own and the intent of celebrating is to recognize and publicly acknowledge the efforts we make.) My intents of blogging have never been to publicly shame others but to inspire other to share, celebrate, and reflect on how we all impact practice and pedagogy each day… and what better way to do that than with Digital Learning Day

“Started in 2012, Digital Learning Day has provided a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes.” Digital Learning Day.Org

How Can You Celebrate?

If it were up to me, I think I would employ blinking tiaras and scepters and offer black forest cake… but in the day and age we live in… the best way to share is online… and many times with a blog or a tweet. As I have been focusing on social stories and feeling stems with my two boys, I naturally was already in that mindset, so I skimmed through my last 10 blog posts and summed each one up in a reflective learning stem…

Too often we get stuck in the digital doldrums of frustration, stress, and despair over technology and hardware… and forget that it really all just boils down to learning… so please share your digital learning reflection stems this Friday and in to the weekend. In fact… we don’t actually need one designated day to celebrate transformative learning… we really just need to build this idea of celebrating and reflecting in to our every day practice… ¬† be inspired and know that what you do matters!

 

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.

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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.


09 Mar 2015
Comments: 4

App Smashing with Thinglink… Yes I Can…va!

On the heels of my most recent Canva/Thinglink App Smash, “4 Things Every Student MUST DO to Preserve Their Work“, I thought I would share what I hope to be a quick dip in to the App Smashing pool. Truly, my intentions are to demystify this process and provide some inspiration and courage for taking the plunge…

I have had a fair amount of inquiries in regards to my graphics and custom Pinterest boards¬†recently so I wanted to share my secret recipe to whet your app-etite for what is to come…

What Can You Create by App-Smashing Canva and Thinglink?

Before I get too deep into a lengthy narrative on the process, I thought I would share a little inspiration. I have used Thinglink’s Channel feature (which is similar to pinning content to a board) to curate 10 examples of how Canva can be App-Smashed with Thinglink

  • What Am I Looking At? The ten designs I selected range from infographics¬†and custom SAMR models to collections of professional development resources and collages to assemble student-created work.
  • How Were the Images Created? I prefer thinglinking custom original images rather than stock images so Canva is the perfect platform for that.¬†Each of the 10 designs was created within Canva on my computer. With the exception of the most recent infographic (which was custom dimensions), all of the other images were created with either the poster (highlighted in pink) or the presentation template (highlighted in blue).
  • How Were the Thinglinks Created? Once the image is downloaded from Canva, it is easy to upload to Thinglink and link away. I try to be very strategic with my linkings and choice of icon nubbins to strategically place content and still deliver an aesthetically pleasing and easily navigable final product.

Canva App Smashes

If you would like to see all 10 of these in action… navigate through this interactive slideshow here¬†or view these interactive images in list view here.

What is the Benefit of App-Smashing Canva and Thinglink?

But seriously… what is all of the hype about? Why would App-Smashing Canva and Thinglink be useful? Well, as mentioned before, I like to create custom visual maps, infographics, and collages using Canva as a base for my knowledge quests and multimedia collections of resources. Rather than sell you on this idea, let me walk you through each of the 10 resources and what I was able to include in each… I hope they speak for themselves:

  • Miami Device EPIC PD Recap: This one is a collage of pics from the event layered with my Evernote notes and a smattering of other media I gleaned during the week.
  • Amelia Bedelia Primary Book Report: This is a collage featuring student drawings app smashed with Croak.it audio recordings and Tellagami’s.
  • TechChef4u Epic PD Recap: This professional development recap is one of my favorites in design and functionality (stay tuned later in the week for a blog post on it). It highlights both the sessions I attended as well as the ones I presented with links to Smores, Tackks, blog posts, collaborative, Google presentations, and pics from the event.
  • Digital Transitions: This is one of my first infographics with Canva and was designed to support students and teachers with the process of managing their own content. It includes portfolio samples as well as direct links to the apps I mentioned. Note: A few of the icons used I purchased at the Noun Project and then uploaded to Canva.
  • SASSY SAMR: This one served as a map for a professional development session and includes Quizlet decks, videos, and links to samples.
  • Outlander SAMR: Many educators desire more than just SAMR… they want examples so I like to play with the themes of my creations. This one included a stock photo from Morguefile that was embellished with Canva and then app smashed with Quizlet and other SAMR resources.
  • Designing Thinking with Thinglink: This one also served as a professional development map for participants at a event. I used the numbered nubbins in Thinglink to guide attendees through a pre-assessment Padlet, collage of examples, a Smore of support resources, and a post-assessment with Todays Meet.
  • Kids’ Journal as an Exit Ticket: This was a reflection piece that I did to summarize a lesson I observed in Laura Wright’s elementary class. I used Canva to create the collage and then added explanations of each photo using Thinglink’s pop-up nubbin feature.
  • Technology in the Early Grades: This was also a professional development resource for an event. My session covered 9 different elements ranging from preparing devices for young learners and screen time to inquiry and e-portfolios. The collection included blogs, support resources, student examples, slide decks and more.
  • Rainbow Loom SAMR: This final example was another whimsical way to highlight SAMR in a completely different context. This resource includes a stock creative commons image from Flickr, Quizlet decks, and even a case study.

I know this isn’t an in depth tutorial, but I do hope that it allows you to feel more comfortable diving in to this process.

What’s New with Thinglink… Ulla?

Yesterday, I got to finally meet Ulla Engestrom, CEO and Founder of Thinglink, in person at SXSWEDU’s Education Expo. While we have been in contact virtually for over a year, this was the first time we got to meet face to face. I had an app-ortunity to share my app-thusiasm for the product at the booth with our teachers and students and even got the inside scoop on what’s new with Thinglink:

  • App: Thinglinks iPad/iPhone app is NOW rated 9+ (not 12+). Perfect for middle schools that have app age¬†restrictions! And… safe search is now enabled so students can only see content images created by other teachers and students.¬†The updated version of the app also includes student and teacher signup options with invitation codes which ultimately makes it easier to manage these district accounts (see more info below on that topic).
  • Verified District Accounts: Thinglink now offers verified district accounts. This process of establishing authenticity of an organization provides districts with an invitation code which associates students and staffs with the district, provides them with a dashboard to easily manage teachers, students, and groups, and ultimately makes it easier for teachers and students to share, curate, and create.

Ulla_Canva copy

 

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.


09 Mar 2015
Comments: 3

4 Things Every Student Must DO to Preserve their Work

This has been a topic heavy on my heart and mind all year. More and more students are creating and collecting content on their devices… and this is a good thing. However, when we have to swap and/or turn in their iPad due to damage, graduation, or migration from the district… we start running in to problems. Most of these issues can be resolved with student education and a smattering of forethought and planning.

WHY Must WE Support Our Students With Managing and Archiving their Content?

Before I reveal “Digital Transitions: What Every Student Should Know”, let me just give you a window in to an all too real scenario. A student has damage to her iPad (dead spots to the screen that make it utterly unusable). She has done an iCloud back-up but would like to manually back-up content and media just in case. During our iPad Swaps, we discovered that if all apps are not updated and the iOS is not updated, sometimes all of the content within the apps does not return during the restore. So back to my very real media transferring chain of events…:

  • Plug in iPad in to her Macbook and pull off photos directly: this is a no-go as devices are managed and will be rejected by iTunes and other programs due to this configuration.
  • Upload Photos to iCloud: this was also a no-go as the device needed an update and would not “talk” to her Mac until that update was complete.
  • Upload to iFiles (Novell):¬†we could have gone this route but the app was not set up with her Novell connection and having to turn the iPad 90 degrees every few seconds due to the dead spots on the screen proved less than desirable.
  • Google Drive:¬†thought this might work but we kept getting network errors due to our filter glitch with Google and having to¬†turn the iPad 90 degrees every few seconds due to the dead spots on the screen to troubleshoot the connection proved obviously less than desirable.
  • eBackpack: so we ended up using eBackpack (our current district workflow management system) and uploading photos and videos to the home folder there – somewhat less desirable as there is no bulk upload feature so we uploaded each photo and video one by one.

I truly hope and moreover believe that having a back-up and archive process in place (and training our students on this process) will alleviate the issue of students losing content as well as scrambling to back up content last minute.

WHAT Are the Types of Media, Content, and Apps Students Use Most?

So, I thought about the main types of media and content that students create and collect and also the apps that students most use and that we provision within our system. With that I created a quick infographic in Canva and then added a layer on instructional support using Thinglink and Voila…“Digital Transitions”:

HOW Will I Disseminate this Information to Teachers and Eventually Our Students?

It was painfully clear when I popped in to all classes participating in mandatory iPad swaps this year (due to the necessary enrollment in the updated MDM system) that professional development for students is a must. Multiple students in each class stared at me with very confused looks when I mentioned iCloud back-ups. Obviously, telling secondary students to complete a task is not enough… we need to show them how. This infographic is the first step to preparing our students to be effective managers of their own content:

  • Step 1: Collect my thoughts on this content management dilemma and prepare a resource that maps out the process.
  • Step 2: Meet with all Senior classes (starting with Seniors as they have to turn in their iPads at the end of the year) and walk them through the process of transitioning and archiving their content.
  • Step 3: Eventually meet with all underclassmen to do the same process.

I sincerely hope this information is helpful and I will keep you posted on this process as it develops. Would love any and all thoughts on the need for student professional development in the arena of preserving content.

 

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.