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29 Apr 2015
Comments: 0

13+ Tips & Resources for Busy Counselors

I know my most recent post “7+ Benefits of the Apple Watch 4 U to Ponder” might have been a little revealing… In fact, I plainly stated that I am directionally challenged, up to my eyeballs in emails, love to take selfies, suffer from an acute case of Evernote Junkie-itis, and frequently misplace my iPhone… so I really felt it was time for some group therapy…. or perhaps counseling…

Admittedly, that was a poor segue but I do hope it at least brought a smile to your face or screen ūüėČ

So… a few weeks ago, the HS counselors had requested for me to show them Canva and some other tools that could be beneficial within their arena… I walked them through Canva and then asked about additional needs they had. One topic and interest led to a tool and then another… and before I knew it I had a Listly of 13+ Tips and Tools

13+ Tips and Tools for Busy Counselors

Would These Tools Be Useful to Other Fields?

Honestly, these tools focus on design and communication so they could be easily adapted and shared with an admin team, health professionals, curriculum specialists, etc…

Gratitude Means Sending Someone a Stock Photo…

For those that were not amused with my not-so-subtle reference to Love Story, I will just move right on… Are stock photos the new selfies? In one of my recent posts featuring Guy Kawasaki, I shared a series of stock photos that he staged with famous CEO’s and even one with me #humblebrag (yes, that one deserved a # in the middle of a blog). I mentioned the stock photo idea as a clever design to use on blogs, websites, newsletters, and emails… and received the most amazing stock photo from our very own WHS counselors... which they eventually included as the launching point for the home page. #awesomesauce

WHS Counseling

 

Go Forth and Rock These Tools!

Many jobs and professions are centered around effective communication, building relationships, curating resources, and supporting staff and what better way to do that than with these tools for your trade… and your day… And if you end up using any of these (or already do) – please leave comments, suggestions and ideas within the comment box below. The TechChef always likes to share and receive a new recipe for learning…

 

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.


27 Apr 2015
Comments: 8

7+ Benefits of the Apple Watch 4 U to Ponder…

So, let’s just get this all out of the way… Yes, I am an Apple Fan Girl. Yes, my super amazing hubby got up at 2am to place our Apple Watch order. And Yes… I am doing my due diligence to now craft a blog about my initial experiences and findings…

“While I am an Apple Fan Girl… I am also a realist. I know that this watch is a first generation model and that much more functionality will be added to it in the future so purchasing a base model with the intent to upgrade in a year or two made the most sense for me.” – Lisa Johnson

And thanks to a random conversation at Trattoria Lisina last night… I learned about the Click Kickstarter which essentially allows you to “jailbreak” the Apple Watch band and use any 22mm watch band with the new model…

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 8.22.51 AM

And/Or you can purchase or design your own bands using Casetify (or check out some existing designs here).

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 2.30.27 PM

 

Tell me TechChef… What features do you feel are currently meaningful?

iWatch Benefits

In the few days I have had to play, I will tell you that there are several features I have definitely found very valuable in this new accessory.

Haptic Directional Feedback

This one may be the best. We are hands-free in Texas as many states are. I have always been directionally challenged so the Map app on my iPhone is a must. Even though it provides audio and visual navigation, I find it difficult sometimes to not pick it up or to see it as it is not built in to the dash like a factory installed navigational system would be.

  • Benefit of Watch: If you route a destination with your iPhone, your watch automatically picks up that information and¬†sends you haptic feedback right before a turn. Essentially it vibrates on your wrist. This is far less distracting (and safer) then picking up the phone and far more effective and desirable to my process of arriving at my desired destination.

Quick Text Responses

While I am a bit of a social geek, I will say that I have a difficulty with keeping up with the myriad of communications I receive.

  • Benefit of Watch: The ability to quickly respond to texts with default responses (e.g. Yes, No, Absolutely, Talk Later…) as well as emoticons and audio directly from my wrist is really beneficial.

Remote Control of Camera App

Um… did you know that you can use your Apple Watch to remotely control the camera app on your iPhone?

  • Benefit of Watch: I kind of love this! It makes selfies and timed photos so easy!

Everything Evernote

I am a total Evernote Junkie so this was a most epic feature!¬†After I got my watch, I immediately started perusing the apps available for it. And wouldn’t you know it… there is an Evernote app. Score!

  • Benefit of Watch:¬†Now I have access to all of my notes and can even use the audio feature on the watch to dictate notes as well. This is a huge win! (More on the Evernote Watch app)

Quick Access to Music

For those of you that set your iPhone on a speaker and use it for office ambience or classroom music, the built-in music control for iTunes is slick.

  • Benefit of Watch:¬†The ability to instantly change songs from your wrist (even though your device is docked on a speaker across the room) is really quite nice. I can also see great benefit in this if you are in a classroom that uses music to transition from or to an activity.

Control of Keynote Presentations

I love me some Keynote! Most of my presentations and professional development is run through this tool.

  • Benefit of Watch: The app allows you to control slide presentations on your iPhone directly from your wrist. Beam me up! ūüėČ

Activity Monitoring and Feedback

When I am not in classrooms or delivering professional development, I am seated at my computer cooking up resources, connecting with my PLN, and answering emails. I have to say that I often sit for hours forgetting to stand or even take a bio break.

  • Benefit of Watch: The activity app on the watch not only tells me when to take a break but tracks calories burned, exercise, and standing.

Truly Trello

I have a feeling I will be adding to this post. I just saw in the #AppleWatch feed that Trello also has an app. Talk about getting organized and task management. This is huge and oh so helpful.

  • Benefit of Watch:¬†By¬†accessing Trello on your phone, it is easy to get organized. I currently have boards on on house projects, school projects, and even blogging topics. This could definitely be really helpful for students and teachers especially if students use this tool for project¬†deadlines. (More on the Trello Watch app)

Quick Glances at Mail and Calendar

Quick access to mail and calendar has also been really beneficial. I am still working on finessing my calendar app to thread all of my google accounts together. I am pretty sure this is user error on my part.

  • Benefit of Watch: I do love the quick glance of the calendar on the wrist. I schedule all of my meetings, co-teaching, and appointments through Google Calendar so it is really nice to retrieve that info quickly at the beginning of the day… and throughout the day.

Pinging Your iPhone

I know now I may be revealing too much… but after I had my two boys… that “pregnancy brain” never really went away. In fact I frequently misplace my keys and iPhone on a most regular basis.

  • Benefit of Watch: Clearly the benefit of the watch is that is attached to my wrist (much harder to lost wearable technology). So… not only will it be difficult to lose the watch… BUT the watch actually pings my iPhone with a sound so I can locate it (when… not if) I misplace it.

So for those of you intrigued or on the fence… I hope my recap and insight has helped you evaluate this new wearable technology innovation and make an informed purchasing decision.

Leave a Message at the Text Box…

Apple Watch Impressions

For those of you that received your Apple Watch… I would love to hear your initial thoughts too. Please leave them in the Comments section of this post!

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.


22 Apr 2015
Comments: 1

3 Reasons Why Every Student Artist Should Explore the Use of iPad Apps…

It has come to my attention that there are a fair number of artists and art teachers that are of the mindset that iPads are essentially used for research, doodling, and drawing inspiration and not as a tool for traditional art creation. I could wax intellectual on this topic but as most of my “art” and design is digital in nature… I thought I would let my sister-in-law, Melissa Johnson, talented mixed media artist extraordinaire and published art journaler, take the stage…

Melissa too admits that blending digital tools with original art was a bit foreign to her at first…

“It never crossed my mind to combine the two, as I am more of a ‚Äúhands on‚ÄĚ type of artist, but after a day spent with Lisa I realized there were many ways that technology and traditional art can work together beautifully to create something fun, new, and easy to share.” – Melissa Johnson

So Where is the Best Place to Start?

Melissa Art Step Sheet 2.001

Melissa began by researching different apps to see what she could incorporate into her existing art. For her purposes, she found ArtRage, NoteShelf, Paper 53, and Autodesk Pixlr to be her go-to digital art palette.

“I have to say that digitally altering my artwork has brought a whole new skill set into my repertoire that I quite enjoy!” – Melissa Johnson

I would have to agree. In fact, Melissa was actually featured for her digital art prowess in the latest edition of Somerset Art Journal.

What is the Benefit of Blending Digital with Traditional Art?

1 copy

So for those of you that need a bulleted list of pros to “sell” you on this idea… ūüėČ

  • Growth As an Artist and Increased Risk-Taking: Melissa says she feels like she gets more out of her art by working digitally since she can start a page by hand in her studio, create a background and a few elements, and then scan or take a picture of the hand-crafted art and continue to work on it. She can use the same background multiple times and explore new skills to create something different by adding layers, a myriad of clip art, and new text, and doesn’t fear making a mistake because everything digital can be undone and redone.
  • More Mileage out of Art Supplies and Time: Melissa also mentions that the ability to easily edit and work over original hand-drawn art is beneficial because it doesn’t require pulling out and cleaning up all of the costly art supplies and can be done from the comfort of her couch.
  • Sharing and Publishing: And of course… in this digital age of authorship… sharing and publishing is integral and can be transformative for an artist. Not only does Melissa share how “going digi” has influenced her work on her own blog. She now uses other apps and tools to create tutorials and best practices that impact other artists with their process and final creations.

Melissa shares her step-by-step process with examples in this post,¬†her proven secret for doubling her artistic creativity, what going “digi” really looks like, and even more before and after pics of her original art blended with iPad apps.

Tell Me More About the Apps Artists Use to Share and Publish…

Melissa Art Apps

Beyond the apps that Melissa uses to repurpose her art… she also dabbles with apps like Snapguide and Haiku Deck to create step tutorials for hand-created art and has been thrilled that these tutorials have not only been well received but driven traffic back to her own blog and original art. Here are some examples:

  • Snapguide: Melissa uses Snapguide to document her process and to create tutorials. (Note: As Austin Kleon states, “people do really want to see how the sausage gets made.”¬†Many times we complete a project or create art but never reflect on the process and the outcome. Snapguide is an essential tool to focus students on strategic organization as well as blending cognition and process-based reflection.) See all 14 of Melissa’s guides here!
  • Haiku Deck: Melissa shares tips for finding “Inspiration for Art” using Haiku Deck. (Note: This would be a fabulous project for students to do as well as it really digs deep in to metacognition and ¬†what inspires us.) She also has a deck on “5 Tips for Starting an Art Journal”¬†(which includes additional detailed information in the speaker notes). (Note: Another type of fantastic art project for students is to document their own process and journey through a style of art while¬†simultaneously¬†showcasing their art.)

My Top 5 Tips For Starting an Art Journal – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

How Does this New Blended Modality Benefit Our Students?

Melissa Art Step Sheet.001

Many of our students take art classes. Melissa mentions that combining hand-drawn art with digital apps opens up new doors for exploration and creativity…

“combining the digital element with the hands on experience can be exciting for students since many of these apps lend themselves to a whole other creative approach to making art. How rewarding to create something by hand, then layer on digital elements to create something unique and imaginative.” – Melissa Johnson

Additionally, Melissa mentions that even students that struggle with actual drawing and sketching can benefit from this new modality…

“the ability to manipulate an existing image digitally can really help them express their creativity without the frustration of not being able to draw well.” – Melissa Johnson

¬†What More Do you Have For Me Today… TechChef?

You know I can’t help but leave you with additional links and resources so here goes…

 

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.


14 Apr 2015
Comments: 0

iPads Over the Summer… An Annual Affair…

At secondary, students have the option to either keep their iPad over the summer or turn it back in and pick it up at the beginning of the new school year. While most students DO choose to keep it over the summer, there are a fair amount that decide to turn it in each year. Every year we try to stress the benefits of keeping their iPad…

  • Access to their iPad for the last two weeks of school (as collections take so long at three secondary campuses and require ample staffing – we typically have to start them prior to the end of the school year)
  • Access to their iPad at the beginning of school (again as deployments across three secondary campuses require ample staffing and the beginning of the year necessitates all hands on deck, typically a student may have to wait till the second week of school to receive their iPad back)

This year Kacy Mitchell, Ed Tech at WRMS, created an infographic using Picktochart to share with students to illuminate them as to why it might be in their best interest to keep their iPads over the summer. As the HS pick up dates are slightly different than the MS dates, I opted to create my own version of the infographic based on Kacy’s design.

How Can I create an Informative Infographic?

I have started using Canva to create my infographics as the tool allows me to save my final product as both an image and a PDF. I also utilized a few icons from the Noun Project (iPads and PDF). While it does take some time to design an initial infographic from scratch, once you have a template, they are easy to change out and adapt. The one below is actually based off of the “4 Things Every Student Must Do to Preserve Their Work” infographic.

iPads Over The Summer Infographic by Lisa Johnson #TechChef4u #iPad (used with Thinglink) copy

How Can My Students Use Canva?

This is too cool… TechChef… but how can my students use Canva? So glad you asked! Recently I completed a post showcasing 25+ EDU Lesson Plans from a variety of expert educators.

How Can I Find All of Your Epic Canva Designs?

Wow – we are really in tune today. I have started publicly sharing my designs using Canva through my profile and including notes about their purpose and how they were used. If you are interested in App-Smashing Canva with other tools, I have delineated some ideas and highlighted some examples for that process here.

I sincerely hope these ideas and examples give you a hankering for infographics and cooking up a new recipe for delivering content to your students and staff! ūüėČ

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.