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02 Jan 2012
Comments: 1

Surprisingly Educational Apps

I have to say “Surprisingly Educational” apps appears to be the most popular topic on our “appy hours 4 u” show to date. In these shows we feature mostly free *(some apps may have been free for a limited time) edutainment apps and discuss integration ideas for each app that span across content areas and multiple grade levels.

To support this app-erific surprisingly educational phenomenon, I was inspired to create a Symbaloo web mix to house the apps from our previous and upcoming Surprisingly Educational Shows. This Symbaloo will also serve as a resource for an iPlayground workshop at TCEA 2012.

Symbaloo can be accessed off of a mobile device – each link will open in Safari or iTunes.

Surprisingly Educational Apps Webmix created with Symbaloo

And while we are on the subject of “surprisingly educational apps”, I would like to thank the iOS geniuses behind To Me By Me (featured on Surprisingly Educational Apps: Part 2) for such an innovative app…and for giving “appy hours 4 u” some iTunes love! Also check out out To Me By Me can be utilized with children and students for goal-setting!

To me By me app featured on “Appy Hours 4 U” and image annotated with Skitch

Stay tuned for a fully interactive “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” ePub educator workshop which will feature free edu apps from our episodes… including surprisingly educational and appear in iBooks early this Spring!

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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28 Dec 2011
Comments: 1

iGoal Set: A Time Capsule for the Future Me

Writing a series of goal-setting inspired blogs got me to thinking of a very personal list of “goals for my life” that I composed close to 17 years ago. While I may have adhered to one of the golden rules of goal-setting…”set goals in writing”, I clearly failed to set time-bound goals with a specific action plan for achieving them. That being said, I have to admit, that my 15 year-old self didn’t do too shabby a job at setting a course to navigate my life for the past 17 years…as seen in the following achieved goals below:

Goals from my 15-year-old self created with Simplemind+ app

Some might see only reaching 20 of the original 139 goals listed as failure…especially as I directly negated #63 on the list “reach all my goals”. Others, might find interest in the ideas that the core values of education, career, and relationships remained true all these years. I will admit that goals #4-7 were medical school, fellowship, residency, and open up own practice in neo-natology or pediatrics were not in the cards for my future. Thankfully, my 19 year-old self took a different path after a C in Chemistry 301 and charted a new course that has led me here

Back to 1995 Courtesy of FutureMe.org & the contents of a Mead Journal

While my hopes of being a foreign exchange student (#24), going on an archaeological dig in ocean or on land (#32), getting a pilot’s license (#71), becoming a designer (#59), meeting aliens… of the extraterrestrial variety (#76), learning karate (#126), typing with correct form at any speed (#34), holding political office (#83), creating a new restaurant or department store (#99), and publishing my own series of romance novels under an alias (#88) may seem somewhat comical or past their due date…

Some goals seem to persevere through time: get published (#51) and be an entrepreneur (#52)

Some goals never change

And others have been given a new lease on life through the possibilities that existing technologies offer:

  1. learn how to play a musical instrument (#82): there is definitely an app for that
  2. create a new product (#100): Quirky & Prizes.Org 
  3. be an interior decorator (#80): various software, reality shows, apps, & Pinterest
  4. try virtual reality (#68): perhaps augmented reality will do
 

My message for 2012 is never give up on your self, your goals, your students, or their goals.

What might have seemed impossible almost two decades ago is now a reality with current and emerging technology, mobile devices, and the power of social networking and global connections. Perhaps, time travel: build a time machine (#85) and go to the moon and other planets (#106) may not be so unrealistic in a decade or two. 

Please give the gift of goal-setting to yourself, your children, and your students this year!

  1. Tools for Goal-Setting for Adults 
  2. Tools for Goal-Setting for Children & Students
More Resources to support Personal Goal-Setting:
  1. Personal Goal-Setting
  2. Top 7 Types of Goals
  3. Golden Rules of Goal-Setting
  4. Types of Goals
  5. Six Types of Goal-Setters
  6. 7 Deadly Sins of Goal-Setting

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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13 Dec 2011
Comments: 2

Can iPads be SMART?

I will fully admit that I am not so smart when it comes to SMART. Yes, I can tell you where to find the best SMART lessons and I feel comfortable editing existing lessons using SMART’s suite of tools. However, I do not feel so comfortable creating a SMART activity from scratch.

SMART Sequence Sorting Activity

 
It all started a few weeks back when I was working with a Math Specialist to create an iPad Lesson for students to use in centers. The lesson focused on students utilizing the app iCardSort to complete a sequencing apptivity. The initial iLesson was exceptionally easy to create and disseminate (using the iCardSort public deck repository and/or the Beam/Blast option) on the iPad.

Original iPad Lesson using iCardSort app

 
When we finished, we discussed the option of creating a similar version of the activity using SMART (as some campuses do not have access to iPads and would still want to use the activity). Naturally, I brought the idea to my SMART certified ITS friend, Lisa Jackson, and she whipped up this SMART notebook that mimics the original iLesson. I will say that in looking at the SMART version (e.g. how it was created… and the process to edit/modify it), I prefer creating my apptivities in iPad…hands down.

Editing Existing Notebook File

 
That being said, SMART does offer multiple interactive and touch abilities that sometimes mimic various apps on the iPad. While the saying does hold true that “if you don’t have an iPad… you don’t have an iPad…”, I will say that SMART is definitely a nice alternative… in a pinch… when you can’t swipe.

SMART Notebook Sequencing Activity

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08 Dec 2011
Comments: 1

Hello, My Name is Lisa & I am ADDICTED to Pinterest…

Created with Big Huge Labs

So, I admittedly am now a Pinterest junkie…it doesn’t help that they have a mobile app – now my addiction is portable and always a tap (or a stoplight) away. That being said, I think it is probably one of my healthiest and most productive hobbies.

If you aren’t pining over Pinterest…check out my guest blog for Computer Explorers where I featured a few of my Pinterest-inspired projects and discussed how Pinterest is a much needed replacement “for how we traditionally share and manage ideas and innovations…”

Still not sold…(don’t take my word for it…), listen to the pre-“Geek it Out” portion of Social Geek Radio (begins at 32:14) where AK Stout & Deb Evans discuss the power and intrigue of Pinterest for “saving ideas (in categories) to view later”:

OR check out the comment section of another Pinterest-inspired guest blog where local moms sound off on why Pinterest is such a valuable tool (e.g. storing recipes, collecting ideas for birthday parties or weddings, getting the creative juices flowing, supporting improved memory with visuals rather than text, etc…)

Appy Pinning!: In addition to locating DIY and crafting gems, I have also started a board entitled iPad Lessons to support my educational endeavors and interests. In creating this board, I was happily surprised to find you can also pin videos!

iPad Lessons with Pinterest

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18 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

History Rocks with Web 2.0 Tools & iDevices

A few weeks ago Jennifer Hall of Krueger Middle School asked me to review her music video project and give her a few tools that her students could use to execute the assignment. She had found some pre-created sample videos on YouTube to inspire her students (see below).
Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration
The assignment is as follows:
  1. Students select a historical period or event (between Pre-Colombian and 1890).
  2. Students research the event and locate 10 artifacts of historical information (e.g. visual, text, audio) to support the selection
  3. Students create a music video to showcase the artifacts and retell the event.
    1. Videos are 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes
    2. Videos could be animated, live action, or a series of stills
    3. The music could be original music and lyrics (both created by students), existing music with original lyrics (lyrics rewritten by students), or existing music that fits the project without alterations

 

Here are some of the tools (apps, software, and Web 2.0) that I suggested be used to achieve the final product:
  1. Software: PhotoStory
  2. Web 2.0: Animoto
  3. Apps: Videolicious, Cartoonatic, Sonic Pics, Slideshow+, StoryRobe . I also came across Film Genie & Roxio PhotoShow after we met.

 

Check out other iPad Lessons for History: Sock Puppet Court Cases Part 1 & Part 2

 

Get inspired to rock out your History classroom (History for Music Lovers – YouTube)

 

The French Revolution (“Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga)
The Gettysburg Address
The Battles at Lexington and Concord in Lego
Ballad of Benjamin Franklin *Music Video*
Why Study History?

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18 Nov 2011
Comments: 2

Primarily iProbability

If you are looking for an elementary iPad lesson in the techchef4u kitchen, it was probably cooked up by the ingenious Chef Carnazzo. This probability iLesson is no different. Carnazzo and her second grade class used the app ScreenChomp (featured in “Screen-casting & Problem-solving 4 the Classroom“) as a culminating apptivity from a week of work on probability (e.g. “TEKS 2.11: Probability and statistics. (C) use data to describe events as more likely or less likely such as drawing a certain color crayon from a bag of seven red crayons and three green crayons.”)

Chef Carnazzo Cooks up iProbability

Here’s how she did it:

  1. Teacher Preparation: Ms. Carnazzo chose the background pics (clipart from MS Word) and imported them to Doodle Buddy.
  2. Student Choice: Students chose stickers in Doodle Buddy.
  3. Student Assessment: Students had to answer (in written form) teacher pre-generated questions in reference to their picture.
  4. Highly Engaging: Carnazzo originally created the apptivity for an intervention group and, of course, the rest of the class wanted to do the apptivity as well.
  5. Small Group: While Ms. Carnazzo was working with small groups to record their screen-cast, the rest of the class had completed independent practice assignments at their desk.
  6. Student Planning & Preparation: Students used the questions and their answers on the worksheet that Ms. Carnazzo had prepared to craft the narration for their screencast. Carnazzo found it was useful to do a couple of dry runs prior to hitting the record button.
  7. Student Reactions: Students loved the ScreenChomp final project. Carnazzo stated the students really liked the part where their drawings appeared on the screen in the final product.
  8. Other Applications: Carnazzo felt this tool had a lot of klout in the classroom as students do so much problem-solving in math. She plans on using it in the future to have students record and compare different solution strategies to a single problem.
Sample other iCreations from the Carnazzo Kitchen: Grammar & Literacy with Tacky Wales, short vowel sounds with Songify, Math fact families with Talking Tom and friends, classifying motion with iCardSort, integrating Math and literacy using Puppet Pals Director’s Pass

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14 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

iModel iPad Lessons with Number Line

In building the “iTools for the 1 iDevice Classroom” workshop, we felt there was a great need for modeling how various game-like apps can be utilized in multiple settings (e.g. cooperative pairs, small groups, stations, whole class). We also felt very strongly that it wasn’t enough to just talk about classroom and curricular uses but to truly model and discuss how task cards and recording sheets would be used and what follow-up and extension activities would look like.

iModel with Explain Everything: I have used Explain Everything to model how an iLesson could be delivered using the resources that have been provided within the Number Line apptivity. (Check out KSAT’s iPAd Curriculum site for Number Line lesson and score sheet).


 
iNewsletters & Extensions: Consider sending home an iNewsletter for Parents so any student with access to an iPod or iPhone at home could utilize the apps at home for remediation or extension. ShowMe and ScreenChomp would be great iPad apps to use to have students create their own word problem or iLesson on fraction, decimal, percent conversion. If students didn’t have access to an iPad, consider using the video recorder to record themselves working out a problem or modeling a unique approach to conversion.

iNewsletters 4 Parents

Hungry for more? Check out NEISD’s “iTools 4 the 1 iDevice Classroom” SlideShare workshop as well as HOT Apps 4 Literacy (includes task cards and recording sheet for ELA game-like apps).

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08 Nov 2011
Comments: 4

iSequence

In an effort to incorporate the iPads into small group intervention stations for middle school math, I spent a few hours collaborating with Cheryl Mutz, an NEISD district Math Instructional Specialist, to create an apptivity to support the study of sequences in 8th Math. The intervention apptivity would be used in a small group setting (two students to an iPad) and the students would have 30-45 minutes to complete the task.

iSequence: Terms and Rules

 Resources: I have included a iCardSort_Sequences_TaskCard (task card) and  iCardSort_Sequences_Recording Sheet (recording sheet). The recording sheet is intended for students to show work or record answers if teachers choose not to use the email function on the iPad. (If teachers choose to use the email function, students will want to layer each individual sequence problem so all of the cards overlap. This way iCardSort views the cards as a group, or one problem, when it emails the written outline of information above the screenshot.) Check out iCardSort’s public deck repository… This deck is now available for anyone to download and utilize to easily replicate the apptivity.

iModel with Explain Everything: I have used Explain Everything to model how the iLesson could be delivered and the resources that have been provided within the iSequence apptivity.


 
Hungry for more iCardSort apptivities?

  1. iCardSort Lite (website): visit their public repository for pre-created decks and check out their newsletter for integration ideas.
    1. Elementary Science Example
    2. MS Math Example using vocabulary with handouts and lesson
    3. Sorting example for “Words 4 Students”
    4. Getting iN Touch with Vocabulary (using iCardSort and Graphic Organizers)
    5. Videos highlighting basic use and how to integrate in a literature circle

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30 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

Imitation is the Sincerest form of flattery

Last week I received an email from Donita O’Hair of Frisco ISD. She sent me a very sweet note: “Hi Lisa, I love your site and have gotton so many great ideas! Someone sent it to me that got it from a workshop. I hope you don’t mind… I used the teachers idea (Ms. Carnazzo’s original) for the sums of 10 activity and redid it. I just had a 5th grade student recreate an example for me.”
 

Ms. Carnazzo’s Sums of 10

Mrs. O’Hair cooked up her version of the “sums of ten” video with a teacher task intro and blended it with iMovie. She also mentioned she shared a few techchef4u sock puppet examples via QR codes. She stated they are just getting started with iPads at Borchardt – they have approximately 60 iPads and 75 iTouches.

I am always pleased to find that teachers and technology specialists are using the resources that I and/or other guest chefs cook up. My main reason for blogging is to provide anyone with a healthy app-etite… a tech cuisine that can be consumed and adapted.

Please note that all resources on the site are copyrighted “©2011. Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce materials for classroom use granted.”

While permission to reproduce is granted and attribution is not required, I do appreciate attribution in apptivities that are adapted. Mrs. O’Hair included a statement “adapted from an original techchef4u post” in the video notes of her adaptation of sums of 10.

Mrs. O’Hair has also been so kind to share some of her previous and upcoming apptivities and iLessons from her district. I am truly thrilled to collaborate and see what others cook up. Looking forward to a medley of inspiration, collaboration, and technology integration.

Surprisingly Educational Apps: Check out “Surprisingly Educational Apps” – the show that served as inspiration for how Talking Tom and friends could be used instructionaly. (We are now available in iTunes – search directly for “appy hours 4 u” or “techchef4u”)

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25 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

Tacky Wales: iTool for Literacy

If you follow my blog, you will know that Ms. Carnazzo has quite the iLesson toolkit (e.g short vowel sounds with Songify, Math fact families with Talking Tom and friends, classifying motion with iCardSort, and integrating Math and literacy using Puppet Pals Director’s Pass) for utilizing one iPad in her elementary classroom.

Tacky Wales Student Products


 
Her latest project utilized the paid app Tacky Wales: Create Your Own Story (thanks to a donation from the app developer for the promo code). In Language Arts, Ms. Carnazzos’ class has been working on parts of speech (mainly nouns and a sprinkling of verbs and adjectives).

Tacky Wales Student Products


 
Ms. Carnazzo’s model for executing this iLesson is well thought out and flawlessly planned:

  1. Setting the Stage: Before tackling the Tacky Wales project, students worked in collaborative groups to generate lists of words that fit into these categories (e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives) as a reference.
  2. Modeling  & Guided Practice: She did one story with the whole class as an intro.
  3. Preview & Preselect Content: She then gave students a list of appropriate stories (topic and age-appropriate for second graders as some titles may be more adult-oriented) to choose from.
  4. Student Input: They voted and chose a title for their group.
  5. Facilitating  Student Efforts: Donette Sis (an Instructional Technology Coordinator) and Jennifer Heine (an Instructional Technology Specialist) came to the class with their iPads to help work with the small groups in completing their selected story. Teachers helped groups choose and input their words into the story framework.
  6. Extensions & Engagement: After completing and reading/enjoying the original story, students shook the iPad to Spoonerize (note: be aware that some spoonerisms may not be age-appropriate – consider re-shaking if you encounter this issue)…which of course they found quite hilarious!
  7. Presentation & Public Speaking: The next day students shared all their stories with the whole class.
  8. Cross-curricular Integration: Each group illustrated the setting of their own story. The importance of the story element, setting, is an integral focus for Reading.
 
Tacky Wales Student Products
Hungry for More?: Check out Words 4 Students for a list of free mad lib-like apps and suggestions for how they can be used in the classroom.

Thanks Tacky Wales for featuring  Ms. Carnazzo’s lesson on your site!

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