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02 Jan 2013
Comments: 3

Sharing App-thusiasm for iLearning!

When I started my blog almost two years ago, I had no idea that it would have the reach that it does. I merely wanted to create a space to display resources for my campus and district in a more user-friendly fashion than a static website and carve out a nook to archive all of the ideas that float around in my head and showcase the ones I get to observe each day as I walk the halls.

Sharing App-thusiasm and iResources: As I mentioned in my last post, blogging is one of those art forms that is time-consuming but rewarding in so many ways. The idea of speaking from your heart and sharing resources has become more and more common place. When someone reaches out from cyberland and makes a human connection, I am instantly reminded why I spend countless hours blogging and sharing:

“I love that so many are so generous with ideas and help each other grow.

It all boils down to helping kids for me.”

“Thanks for the inspiration to create, have fun and open doors for my kids.”

I received the above comments from Debbie Rice in San Jose, California who works for a school district that is testing the feasibility of 1:1 iPads. She had been following my site since May and app-reciated all of the resources shared in my prolific posts. She went on to share that she teaches a class of students with high functioning autism and the students have greatly benefitted instructionally from the devices.

I felt truly touched by Debbie’s kind words but found myself even more blessed to find that she too had begun to share and share alike… a treasure trove of iResources and student products! Projects ranged from advice letters to Rudolph and Island of the Blue Dolphins book reports using Scribble Press to probability and pumpkin math investigations using Popplet. Students even dabbled in augmented reality to create a Virtual Book Review Board using Aurasma. One of my favorites was flower dissection using Popplet as I had never considered using Popplet to annotate over an image. App-solutely Brilliant!

iLesson Collage Created with Picture2Life site.

 

Sparking Love for iLearning: Similarly, I presented a session on the 1 iPad Classroom and iProductivity at a TCEA event in Frisco where I was a featured speaker. One of the attendees, Taylor Clark, was a high school senior who had tagged along with her mother and shared her thoughts on the two sessions:

“You sparked in me a new love for learning that I didn’t have before. I have come back to school (I am a high school senior) and told every single one of my teachers what I learned from your sessions.

Thank you so much for what you do!”

She went on to say: “You were very animated with your presentation, which I believe always holds people’s attention. Also, your information was just superb, after your sessions I felt like I was on tech overload and needed a apple detox program (in a good way). It would be wonderful to see you again, I truly loved your sessions. In a world of educational negativity (at least in my area), people like you continue to lift spirits and relight sparks of a love for learning!”

App-thusiasm created with Designs for Pages app


 
As we embark in to 2013, I wanted to thank all of you who blog, create, and publish resources online for your creativity and gift of time. Additionally, much gratitude goes to those of you who curate and consume these resources. The collaboration between minds and iClassrooms has just begun. And truly we do it all to ultimately benefit our students!

Every day I power on my Mac or mobile device, I am truly inspired by the level of  innovation and technology integration I locate via blogs and social networks. Many of these blogs are showcased here on the “33 Best Educational Technology Blogs” list (which TechChef4u was nominated).

Guest Bloggers needed: On that note, I wanted to share an app-ortunity. TechChef4u is looking for guest bloggers! Particularly those of you who want to share how you are using the iPad in your classroom in any configuration, grade level, or content area. More details will be provided soon. If you are interested, please contact lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com.

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

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Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring & Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

HCMS 2013 Site Visits Now Available!

Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

Come visit me at FETC. I will be presenting a 3 hour workshop on Monday entitled “Student Created Books in the iClassroom.”

 


27 Dec 2012
Comments: 2

Hot Apps 4 HOTS goes Dutch

It was just about this time of year last year when Yolanda and I were frantically working to finish “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” and get it submitted to the iBook store before TCEA. Well wouldn’t you know it, a year later there have been close to 20,000 international downloads and the first Dutch translation of the published iResource:

"Hot Apps 4 HOTS" goes Dutch

 

I have taken the liberty to translate Dico’s blog entry about the Dutch version below using Google Translate. The entire resource is available for FREE with a tweet or like. I feel quite honored that Dico valued the book enough to painstakenly translate and recreate it for other educators to app-reciate in their native language.

Blog Translation

 

As I was preparing for this post, I stumbled upon another Dutch blog showcasing the Explain Everything projects students created in science class before the holiday break. This always brings a smile to my face. Those of you that blog know the work is tireless and you never truly know who is reading or who is impacted unless they speak out or contact you. I hope I have not butchered this Dutch saying “Waar het hart vol van is, stroomt de mond van over” , but truly my heart is full this holiday season and my keyboard will go on… Thank you to all of you who share my app-thusiasm for iLearning and making a difference in the iClassroom. As we look forward to 2013, remember “Zonder mijn en dijn zou de wereld een hemel zijn” which I believe loosely translates to mean share and share alike will make for a better world. (More Dutch Sayings).

Another Dutch Blog highlighting TechChef4u content

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

 
HCMS 2013 Site Visits Now Available!

Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

Come visit me at FETC. I will be presenting a 3 hour workshop on Monday entitled “Student Created Books in the iClassroom.”


21 Dec 2012
Comments: 6

My Journey to Become an iVenger…

Little did I know that my visit to Westlake HS’s iPad 1:1 initiative last spring would be the beginnings of a complete life change. For two years, I made the dreaded commute to San Antonio from New Braunfels (my husband made this commute for 5). Constantly asked by coworkers if I would ever move back to San Antonio to lessen the commute, I always replied, “We will NEVER leave New Braunfels!”

… Over my last year with NEISD (I clearly was not aware that it was my last), I communicated with Carl Hooker (#bigdeal… even collaborated to make him a B-day video below) and would run into him at various events and even co-present with Jon Samuelson at ISTE and Mobile 2012. I also had both Carl and Jon on my radio show “appy hours 4 u“.  Gotta say I drank the Eanes koolaid and fell in love. When a 1:1 job presented itself, I felt there was truly only one decision to make.

 

While my family dabbled in the New Braunfels/Austin commute for a a few months, it soon became apparent that our lives were no longer in New Braunfels and our house no longer felt like home. Flash forward six months… I am living and working in Austin with my family. I feel very blessed to have the app-ortunity to work with such an amazing staff at HCMS and to have joined the epic likes of the iVengers. I look forward to many more years of iTriumphs and epicocity!
 

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

 

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

 
HCMS 2013 Site Visits Now Available!

Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

Come visit me at FETC. I will be presenting a 3 hour workshop on Monday entitled “Student Created Books in the iClassroom.”

 


19 Dec 2012
Comments: 9

Science Explained

At last week’s iPad site visit, a student on the panel was describing her favorite iLesson:

“It was in science. It is an interactive periodic table (app). We were learning about the elements. You click on an element and it gives you the history, who made it, how you use it, what it is used for. Another cool feature is you can make them. You can keep on adding neutrons, electrons, and protons as much as you like and every time you click on the plus or minus, it tells you what element you just made. The results were really amazing. We had more interest in the periodic table than we ever had before mainly because it was fun, it was interesting, we actually got to play around with it and see what we could make with it instead of just giving us a piece of paper and telling us ‘research these’.”

The student was referring to the NOVA Elements app. While this app clearly made an impression on the student, I was really thrilled when Ms. Greathouse contacted me about using some product-based apps to create review resources for the 8th grade test. The students were allowed to choose either Explain Everything, Strip Designer, or Keynote.

Some of the Plate Tectonic topics/concepts to choose from were:

  • A divergent boundary occurs when two plates move away from one another creating rift valleys in continental material and ridges in ocean basins.
  • Mountain ranges, volcanoes, rift valleys and other land features can be observed from space, and these images can be used to support theories about tectonic plate activity.
  • Evidence of changes that occurred in the past can be observed from space, allowing scientists to predict changes that might occur in the future due to sediment deposition, glacier movement, and river courses.

 
What a wonderful iLearning moment this was! Students collaborated and taught each other the technology skills they needed to achieve the content portion of the task in real time. I heard questions like, “How do you add arrows to Keynote?” and “Show me how you embedded an animated gif in Explain Everything?”. In between answering questions and observing the iLearning process, I took a little video footage:

iRubrics: Later, Ms. Greathouse and I discussed how she would grade the projects. She wanted to ensure that students would not just do the bare minimum  while rewarding  those who went above and beyond. We both agreed the best way to achieve this goal was with a rubric. After combining and tweaking a few online rubrics, Ms. Greathouse focused on content, writing processes, layout, and graphics, and shared the one below:

iPad Product Rubric

 

iProducts Assessment Sharecase: In this world of differentiation, product-based learning, and mobile devices, how are you assessing student productivity and iLearning? Would love to hear about your student products and assessments and even see some rubrics. Please share in the comment section below.

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

650+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

 
Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

Come visit me at FETC. I will be presenting a 3 hour workshop on Monday entitled “Student Created Books in the iClassroom.”

 


14 Dec 2012
Comments: 3

Vocabulary iCues: Trading Cards

I have been a huge fan of Read Write Think’s interactives for some time. Naturally, I was ecstatic when they started releasing app versions of them. One of my favorites is the FREE Trading Card app. The app allows for multiple student logins (which is perfect for classrooms using a shared iClassroom model) and boasts 7 different templates (fictional person, real person, fictional place, real place, object, event, and vocabulary.) Naturally, one can see the potential for this app across the curriculum and with multiple grade levels.

Trading Cards app

 

Vocabulary Bulletin Board

Vocabulary Connections: One of my English teachers here at Hill Country MS, Dixie McGrath, used this app with her students to demonstrate their knowledge of the week’s vocabulary. While this can obviously be achieved with other mediums (see visual cue cards on the bulletin board to the right), this app provides an easy template with further vocabulary connections (e.g. definition, part of speech, synonym, antonym, other word associations and clues, where it would be used in everyday life as well as people who might use it, and personal connections). The completed card can also can be saved to a photo roll to be shared with other students or collected to create a class set.

 Below are a few student examples:

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

600+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

 
Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

Come visit me at FETC. I will be presenting a 3 hour workshop on Monday entitled “Student Created Books in the iClassroom.”


05 Dec 2012
Comments: 0

Best Blog on Educational Technology

The TechChef4u blog has been nominated for an Eddie (#eddies12). The category is Best Ed Tech Blog. I have been nominated with the likes of Langwitches, Free Technology for Teachers, and Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day. I would greatly app-reciate your support to secure this coveted annual title. If you digest and app-reciate the TechChef4u blog and resources, please lend a vote below…
 

Click HERE to VOTE.

Remember that only one vote per day per category will be counted from the same location (but you can vote from multiple devices in one day)!

Voting is open until 11:59 PM US Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, December the 9th!

The winners will be announced at the Edublog Awards ceremony on the 12th at 7pm EST (more to come soon).

Also pay tribute to my Carl Hooker’s (aka “my new boss”) blog “Hooked on Innovation” in the Best Administrator Blog category.

 

 
 
 

600+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

 

 


30 Nov 2012
Comments: 7

Science and Social Studies Stripped Down

Going Batty: Hot off the iPress! I received a batty iLesson from Laura Wright, a 3rd grade teacher at Eanes Elementary (check out this Smilebox about how she manages the iPads in her classroom). She piloted a 1:1 last year and continues to trail blaze the iFrontier.

Laura shared a 5 page student-created comic which focuses on bat myths and reality (portions seen below). Her students even coined a new phrase “multi-apping” which means creating something in one app and applying it to another – wonder how long it will take for that phrase to appear in the urban dictionary? This particular method can be seen in the last page of the comic where the student set a scene in Puppet Pals, took a screenshot of said scene, exported it to the photo roll, and plopped it into the Strip Designer comic.

Laura Wright's Class Batty Project

 

Laura mentioned that the students truly loved this app and let their creativity run wild as can be seen in the bat “cover page”, photos of students with bats in their hair, and the conclusion with Obama telling America that bat funding would be increased this year. This comic showcases evidence of student learning while also capturing distinct personality and humor.

Laura Wright's Class Batty Project

 

Earth Landings: The very same week, second grade teacher Lisa Carnazzo sent me her class using Strip Designer. Looks like her class also experimented with some multi-apping. They explored landforms in Google Earth and classified and labeled them in Strip Designer.  (More pics and info about this iLesson can be viewed here.) Lisa did mention that while the students enjoyed the project, some of the elements proved difficult to manipulate for the primary students.

Carnazzo's Stripped Down Landforms

 

Lisa Carnazzo showcases all of her student projects on her class wiki. Check out all of her iPad Lessons on her site and read more in-depth blogs on how they were accomplished right here.

For more examples of how Strip Designer is used in the iClassroom:

  1. History Stripped Down
  2. English Stripped Down: A Student Perspective
  3. iHealthy Living
  4. iPattern Scavenger Hunt

590+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

 


26 Nov 2012
Comments: 4

iPad Tips 4 Parents

Most of the time I focus on integration tips and examples for teachers. Today, I decided to change the pace and share some management tips for the device at home. With a 1:1 iPad initiative in full swing, setting boundaries with the iPad at home can become an issue. To support our Eanes parents, we developed a Digital Learning Parent seminar series.

Wifi Password Fridge created with Word Mover iPad app

Wifi Password Fridge created with Word Mover iPad app

 

5 iPad tips for Parents: One of the resources created for this series was 5 iPad Tips for parents created by our very own Tim Yenca (aka @mryenca). The resource thoroughly covers:

  1. Vigilance: suggests homework be completed in a common area and iPad stored and charged in a common area (say goodnight to your iPad)
  2. Accountability: shares how to manage the multi-tasking bar (great video example)
  3. Notifications: discusses how to turn off notifications to manage distractions (Do Not Disturb info)
  4. Guided Access: restricts students to one app (more info here)
  5. Restrictions: restrict access to age-appropriate content and apps (NB has great info on their student device restrictions’ settings).

 

iPad Tips 4 Parents Comic Poster: Inspired by some of the Comic Life tutorials, I decided to create a comic strip version of this info to share with parents. (Also check out Greg Garner’s “Top 10 iPad Management Tips and Tricks”).

iPad Tips 4 Parents by Lisa Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.  Based on a work at http://whs.eanesisd.net/wifi/wifiparents.

iPad Tips 4 Parents

Creative Commons License

iPad Tips 4 Parents by Lisa Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://whs.eanesisd.net/wifi/wifiparents.

 

550+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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20 Nov 2012
Comments: 0

History Stripped Down

Fiske’s Class strikes again with an entertaining, engaging… dare I say enlightening iPad lesson using the Strip Designer app. The task was to create a comic strip to showcase the key people, philosophies, and terms of the Enlightenment and Age of Reason.

Enlightening Comics created with Strip Designer app

 

Student-created app reviews: Don’t take my word for it… check out this student app review video highlighting a few of the app’s features students love!

(Check out more student app reviews here.)

 
Stripped Down iCurriculum: This post is part of a series on using comic strip apps across the curriculum: See English Stripped Down.

Fiske Continued: More News on Fiske’s Class (Personalized Learning and Documenting iLearning).

 

550+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com


19 Nov 2012
Comments: 4

English Stripped Down: A Student's Perspective

Recently, I visited with Mrs. Haneman, a HCMS social studies teacher and mom of a Westlake student. This is the first year for both the 8th grade 1:1 iPad initiative as well as the 1:1 for freshman and sophomore’s at the high school. As we all strive to embrace this new technology and integrate it effectively into our lessons, I think it is valuable to reflect on our student’s impressions of the device as well. (Mathy Cathy showcases an excellent example of challenging student’s perceptions of math on the iPad with augmented note-taking strategies).

In this instance, I focus on “The Odyssey” and a “Hero’s Journey”. This assignment utilized the Strip Designer app and was created by Mrs. Haneman’s son. While the student admitted to appreciating all of the artistic features the app offers, he did say “it took a long time to work the mechanics, over drawing with pencil and paper, but since I’m not a good artist, I liked the result better.”  He drew the main character as a shadowy figure with no face and utilized a cross hatching technique. The app also allowed for him to use mix media and incorporate internet images for backgrounds and other characters. For an admittedly unprofessional artist, I found the comic to be easy to understand and follow and charming. (See The Golden Apple PDF and open in iBooks on a mobile device or view embedded Google PDF below.)

As graphic novels become a more and more popular art form (check out this one on the Odyssey), it is exciting to see how students are able to easily access and embrace this media using the iPad as a tool. Check out this graphic adaptation of the Battle of Troy using the Comic Life app.

Comic Life example of Battle of Troy

 

A Beowulf Retelling using ComicBook! app

And one more… a retelling of Beowulf using the ComicBook! app. Check out Yolanda Barker’s blog for more details on this assignment.

Check out more Comic iLessons using Strip Designer:

 

 

550+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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