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09 Oct 2012
Comments: 2

Fiske Class: Documenting iLearning

In true Alan November-esque style, Tanna Fiske empowers her 8th grade students to lead and contribute valuable resources to the “digital learning farm”.

Published Products with a Purpose: Mrs. Fiske’s students share their “triumphs and failures” in a class blog that documents their 1:1 iPad journey. One of my favorite projects was accomplished the first week the students received their iPads. They used Explain Everything to showcase the 5 themes of geography (embedded below) and even reviewed the “modern powerpoint” app. Also check out their most recent project – 13 Colonies Commercials.



Published with a Voice and Purpose: students also use the blog as a venue for reviewing apps they utilize in the classroom.

Fiske Class App Rating System

The class created their own app rating system. Here is the running record of Fiske’s Class iToolkit of app reviews: Type on PDF, ImageChef, PDF PROvider, PromtWare Plus, Type on PDF free, DocAs, Quizlet, Flashcards*, myHomework, Explain Everything

I love that the reviews are brief, written in a friendly student language, feature personal recommendations and comparisons amongst a group of reviewed apps, and include the features they feel are most valuable. Some students are even beginning to use Reflection to record their own app video tutorials. One of the first was based on the organization app iStudiez Pro.

 

Digital Learning Legacies: Mrs. Fiske has set up a class Twitter (which displays though TimeKiwi) to visually showcase their iLearning journey and shares it with students and parents alike.

Fiske Class Time Kiwi

 

 

Check out an elementary example of Documenting iLearning.

Check out a MS Math classroom’s iLearning journey.

370+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

 

 


09 Jul 2012
Comments: 1

QR Footprints in Time

As most of you may know, my hometown is New Braunfels and it is one of the BEST places to live! In addition to claiming to have the world’s largest water park and Buc-ee’s, we also are home to the oldest bakery in Texas and one of the most haunted hotels in Texas (see video below).
 

New Braunfels Historic Tour – 45 – Faust Hotel from iniosante on VimeoProduced for the New Braunfels Convention and Visitor’s Bureau by Iniosante llc. Copyright 2011, all rights reserved.

Historic Faust Hotel: Stop 45 on the NB Footprints in Time tour

No, I have not been hired by the local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau to beef up NB tourism in the wake of “Can the Ban”… I am simply truly excited and inspired by New Braunfel’s efforts to share their cultural heritage and history in a new and engaging way!

New Braunfels Footprints in Time is a Historic Driving and Walking tour that can be accessed from the website (on a desktop or mobile device). The tour showcases 67 different locations including homes, businesses, murals, and shops and shares and provides beautifully crafted and engaging videos for each!

Each location on the tour also corresponds with a GPS location and a QR code to access the video when you have located your destination.

The Faust video is probably one of my favorites but truly all of them are so well done and weave a wonderfully engaging tale of history and culture. Whether you intend on visiting our little German town virtually or in person, this tour is a must for any family or classroom.

 

Further Thoughts: Consider using these videos and historical tour as a springboard for future classroom projects. Students could use them as a virtual tour and create their own travel brochures or postcards based on the info provided. Students could even create their own QR code historical tour of locations in their school, district, or city using video and podcasts. Finally, students could share these resources with another classroom or community abroad and compare and contrast their history to that of a classroom in Europe or South America.

 

New Braunfels Footprints in Time

 

Know another city that has a QR code tour? Share links in the comment section.

 


20 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Tooning iN to History

I had the pleasure of observing Mrs. Lair’s Regular Reading class this past Friday at Ed White Middle School. She had mentioned that she was using the Toontastic app (which oftentimes goes on sale for FREE) to have students create their own fairy tale or toon version similar to the plight and struggle of the Freedom Riders to illustrate the conflict and resolution between two entities. I loved the cross-curricular integration.

Mrs. Lair provided students with a paper copy of the Toontastic Storyboard template she had created to complete prior to using the iPad. It mimicked the 5 sections of Toontastic’s Story Arc (Setup, Conflict, Challenge, Climax, and Resolution). She also included a statement about each of the scenes:

  1. Setup: only sets up the setting and introduces the character
  2. Conflict: Introduces the problem
  3. Challenge: Problem is in the works (action)
  4. Climax: The height of the story
  5. Resolution: How has the problem been resolved? (How does the story end?)

 

Toontastic Storyboard


 
Supports Differentiated Instruction: Beyond the project itself, I was pleased to see how the app itself supported differentiated instruction and multiple learning styles. Within the story arc framework, students could add another conflict or rearrange the current elements. Students also had the choice between multiple characters and settings as well as the option to create their own characters and backgrounds. Some students chose to use the default characters, others drew their own sets, and others customized the existing characters. Some students chose to use mood music and sound effects to illustrate tone and others selected specific characters and colors to represent an emotion.

Sharing/Publishing/Evaluating Student Products: While there is no way to publish without setting up an account, students did save their projects within the app. To work around the publishing issue, Mrs. Lair decided to have students do a gallery walk and will provide each student with a rubric to assess each of the project as they walk around the room.

Check out these iLessons.

 


17 Feb 2012
Comments: 3

iSpy a Story

Tasked with the initiative to gather student products created from intra-district iPad Lessons, I sent out an email to my campuses that had multiple devices (see below).
 

Letter to My Campuses


 
Within a few minutes, I started receiving emails with student work attachments. Many times I have a specific idea or set of ideas for how an app can be used.
 

Blank Story Spine Template in app

Story Spine Teacher-Created Apptivity: It is always refreshing when I come across innovative and purposeful classroom integration ideas as the ones Ashley Solomon (8th grade ACL & Reading Workshop at Ed White Middle School) shared below using the app Story Spine:
  1. Grade Level: 7th grade
  2. Content Area: Reading Workshop
  3. Topic/Focus/TEKS: The focus was chronological order/sequence of events.
  4. Quick Summary of the Lesson: The book for this week was, “The Transcontinental Railroad.” I had them use the “Story Spine” app to write a story about the transcontinental railroad. I started them out with the first sentence, “Once upon a time many people traveled to California to search for gold.”
  5. Student Task or Product: They were responsible for finishing the story by looking for dates and keywords like, first, last, then, etc in their book. This was an independent activity. The product was their story.
  6. Teacher Notes: I asked them to email it to me and I printed them. I usually have 1 or 2 students volunteer to read their story. For my Reading Workshop kids, an activity like this would take about 30 minutes. So, it can be completed in one day.  I usually don’t print the same day so they won’t get to read their story until the following day.

 

Student Sample of Story Spine Project copied into Notes app


 
What really speaks testaments about this assignment above and beyond the purposeful use of technology and cross-curricular content integration is the fact that the students in her classes have not passed the Reading TAKS. Mrs. Solomon actively integrates the iPads at least three days a week to support and improve student literacy and reading comprehension and will be sharing further lessons over the next few weeks with the techchef4u diners. While she doesn’t believe any of them are “earth shattering”, I would have to disagree as I feel they present lots of app-tastic iPadsibilities. Another thing to note is that student engagement in her classroom is on the rise and paper waste is on the decline.
 
For more iPad Mad-Lib apptivities, check out these.


15 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Voices from The Cattle Trail

Yesterday I met with Mrs. Aflatooni, the librarian at Ed White Middle School, to discuss how we could use the iPads to support a study on African American cowboys in Mr. Greeen’s 7th grade Texas History class.

Stations: Multiple stations were already set up to support the study of the Cattle Kingdom, Cattle Trails, and The End of The Open Range:

  1. Trace the development of the cattle industry from its Spanish beginnings.
  2. Explain how geographic factors affected the development of the cattle industry,
  3. Analyze the impact of national markets on the cattle industry in Texas.
  4. Identify the significance of the cattle drive.
  5. Describe life along the cattle trail.
  6. Analyze the effects of barbed wire and the windmill on the ranching industry.
  7. Identify the myths and realities of the cowhand.
 

Cattle Kingdom Stations: 7th Texas History

 

The Task: The original assignment was to read an article on one of the cowboys and either summarize it or answer a couple of questions. We decided that we could definitely access the article via the iPad and I immediately thought of doing a podcast. The original plan (as of yesterday afternoon) was to have students share three interesting facts and 1 item that they would  like to know that the article didn’t answer. When I got to Ed White in the morning, Mrs. Aflatooni suggested that the students actually interview each other (one would be the cowboy and the other the interviewer). I jumped on this idea!

Black Cowboys.Com


 
Task Card: Students were given a task card that provided them with the following directions:

  1. Go to http://blackcowboys.com
  2. Choose one of the following cowboys from the drop-down menu (2nd tab) to read about: (Addison Jones, Bill Pickett, Bose Ikard).
  3. Compose 3-4 questions (and answers) for the cowboy based on what you read.
  4. Add one more question that was not answered in the article and answer it as if you were that cowboy).
  5. With a partner, create an interview to answer these questions using the app iTalk Recorder on the iPad (one person will be the interviewer and one will be the cowboy).
  6. Email the interview to…

 

We made sure that we provided a list of cowboys that had enough meat (content) in the article that a student could easily generate 3-4 questions from. Students used the task card handout to script their interview and did a dry run before recording. Students created a general naming convention for the audio files (e.g. Addison Jones period 3) and included their names in the body of the email before it was sent.

Teacher’s Notes and Modifications: Naturally, we came across a few bumps with the first few groups but were able to remedy them for the next class periods.

  1. Difficulty Reading Article with 1 iPad: I noticed one group had put the iPad between them and were reading the article together with resized text while the other group had one student reading and then dictating to his partner what the questions would be. As we had multiple iPads to use with the groups, I thought it best to make the change to allow each student to use an iPad even though only one would be necessary for the recording.
  2. Size of File was too large with free version of iTalk to be emailed: I noticed that one group had a 47 second interview and had no problem in emailing it and another had a 41 second interview and was prompted to purchase the full version due to the size of the file. This was an oversight and easy to fix. Students had the option before recording to choose good/better/best and one group had chosen best and the other best. Since the bell was about to ring, I decided to use the voice recording feature on my iPhone to re-record the iPad interview and then email it. The sec
  3. Background noise was high: Even in the library, the background noise could be a little high so we tried to make sure we could isolate the groups in a corner or a smaller room if possible.
  4. Some students were not able to finish the article and interview in one class period: If you are limited on time, I suggest creating an additional station for reviewing the article and composing the questions prior to the recording station.

 

In listening to the final student products, it was interesting to see how the apptivity lent itself to multiple outputs while still essentially covering the same content.

  1. Some groups asked more than 4 questions.
  2. Some students customized their voice to pretend to be a cowboy during the recording
  3. Some groups asked more open-ended questions. (see below)
  4.  

Group A: 

Interviewer: “Were you born into slavery in Tennessee in 1843?”

Bose Ikard: “Yes.”

Group B:

Interviewer: “Today I am interviewing Bose Ikard. When were you born Ikard?”.

Bose Ikard: “I was born in 1843.”

 

For more History Lessons, click here.


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?

30 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

There's a Podcast for that…

When planning an upcoming 6th grade ACL unit which focused on creative writing, I was asked if there were any apps for horror or spooky themed stories to tie in with October’s festivities. Not finding anything free or age-appropriate in the app store, my next course of action was to pay a visit to iTunes. If you can’t find an app for a topic, odds are you will always discover a podcast for it…

Sure enough, I found Vintage Horror Radio. The podcast show highlights “radio adaptations of classic stories from horror authors, as well as the performances of horror icons like Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and others”. Some of the shows were even originally aired on CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

Vintage Horror Radio Podcasts


 
The apptivity could be set up like this:

  1. Place students in different listening stations. Each station would have a different episode (teachers are advised to preview and preselect episodes that are age and content appropriate).
  2. Students could complete a graphic organizer on the episode (see “Getting iN Touch with Vocabulary“, “HOT Apps 4 Brainstorming“, and “Quadfecta of Integration” for examples and tools)
  3. Students could discuss elements of radio theater (e.g. use of sound effects, narration, music & soundtrack, and tone and intonation) – check out “sound effects: the art of noise” and “radio sound effects in audio theater“)
  4. Students would then cast, script, and perform a radio show of their own (on a given topic or story) and record it (this can be achieved with the voice memo app on the iPod, iTalk Recorder on the iPad, Caster Free and Voice Changer Plus on any iDevice, or a tool like Audacity on the web).

 

Here are some resources to get you started:
  1. Putting on an Old Time Radio Show (PBS lesson plan for teachers)
  2. War of the Worlds: a Broadcast Recreation (a lesson for re-creating reader’s theater radio broadcasts)
  3. Audio Broadcasts & Podcasts (Read Write Think lesson on oral storytelling and dramatization)
  4. A Radio Drama Project
  5. Using Audacity for pupil radio dramas with sound effects

 


25 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

Government vs. Puppets Part 2

With the great success of Government vs. Puppets Round 1 (an iPad project that involved secondary students creating puppet versions of famous court cases), I received two additional student multi-part video projects that I want to share. If it pleases the court…

Gibbons Vs. Ogden (created with Sock Puppets)




New Jersey vs. T.L.O. (created with Puppet Pals)


Please check out original post for more student samples, tips/suggestions/resources to execute the lesson, and additional classroom integration ideas for Sock Puppets & Puppet Pals.

 

 


17 Oct 2011
Comments: 1

Government vs. Puppets

I had the rare treat to sit in on an AP Government class today at Reagan H.S. (Christi Robinson, ITS for Reagan HS and Bush MS invited me to visit) and observe their court case project share-out. Thanks to Puppet Pals Director’s Pass donation, students were able to use the teacher’s iPad to create their own court case puppet show. Ms. Newton, the AP Government teacher, also allowed them to explore other submission venues (e.g. Sock Puppets app, Myths & Legends Story Creator, and video-taping their own sock puppet productions old-school style.)

When the class of 38 students was polled, we found that 37 of the 38 students had a personal iPod/iPhone/iPad mobile device. As I have seen many puppet products in elementary and middle school, it was a great experience for me to see how the same apps could be used in a high school setting. Worried that some of the students would find it childish or infantile, I was thoroughly thrilled to find out that not only did they love the apps… many of them downloaded the apps to their own devices and worked at home to complete the project.

“Students will understand the structure, functions, and powers of Congress, the legislative process, and its relationship the branch of government.”

Court Cases

The Task was to research a court case (they randomly drew one), storyboard their accounts (used the template in Pages), and create a video product that highlighted all of the specifics below:

  1. Name of Case  (and brief summary)
  2. Date
  3. Court Decision
  4. Constitutionality
  5. Impact

 

Since knowing and understand court cases is such an integral part of STAAR and AP exams, creating these shows is a useful and vital tool for students to learn the case as well as review the case before the test (as the majority of the videos were posted to Youtube by students for easy access). Another way to collect these resources for later review would be to use Videodropper and download the student videos to a class Dropbox that could be shared with all of the students and accessed from student devices.

 

In class, we came across the free Court Case app that provides a list of famous court cases and includes the opinion of the court, case citation, dissent, and syllabus. Wish we had found this app prior to the project. Alas, it will still be a good review before students take the exam.
Without further ado… will everyone rise? The honorable Judge Techchef4u will be highlighting these student-created court cases:
 

Miranda vs. Arizona (created with Sock Puppets)

Greg. vs. Georgia (created with Sock Puppets)


Board vs. Education (created with Puppet Pals)

Gibbons vs. Ogden (created with Sock Puppets)

Roe vs. Wade (created with Puppet Pals)

Suggestions & Strategies: As Christi and I sat in on the projects, we made a few notes on suggestions and strategies to use next semester when this project will be presented again:
  1. utilize the court cases app for research prior to storyboarding
  2. utilize T-Chart app to document and weight pros/cons (in this case arguments for the plaintiff and arguments for the defendant)
  3. set a time limit for the video
  4. consider using Videolicious for other video projects
  5. consider using characters to resemble the traits of real individuals in the case (as seen in Miranda vs. Arizona)
  6. use music to create mood and tone (as some students did)
  7. alter the pitch in some apps for students who have high-picthed
  8. create a common tag(s) in YouTube so that they can search later to review
  9. create a shared Dropbox to house the YouTube videos utilizing Videodropper (make sure you select optimize for iPhone/iPod)
  10. set up videos in stations (rather than present to the class as a whole), and have each student complete two circles of reflections for each case  they viewed. (e.g. how did the verdict of this court case directly affect….)

Original Source: Deeper Reading by Kelly Gallagher

 

Many thanks to Christi Robinson, Ms. Newton, and the students of AP Government at Reagan HS for sharing their projects and their class time with me. It is such a joy to see how technology can be seamlessly integrated to foster learning and support the curriculum.

Want More?. Check out other projects and lesson resources highlighting Sock Puppets & Puppet Pals app(s) as well as a follow-up post to this one which includes more student projects.

 

 


21 Jun 2011
Comments: 0

Cool Tech 4 Kids to Beat the Heat: Part 2: Virtual Vacation

Travel the World at the Drop of a Pin

Virtual Vacation: As heat, inflated gas prices, and the economy deter us from travel, consider a staycation via a virtual field trip. Consider taking a free trip to Paris, the National Zoo, Ellis Island, or the Taj Mahal without paying a cent or leaving your wonderfully climate-controlled abode.

iPad: Aroundertouch (by far my favorite… can’t believe it is still free), Tour Wrist (totally my new favorite: your iOS device becomes a portal to the world. You really have to see it ti believe it!), Fotopedia Heritage (also has a website) & Paris, Atlas of the World, GTTZoo Lite, Pocket Zoo Free (has live webcams of penguins and polar bears as well as videos of other animals), World Book’s World of Animals (free through 7/10), Cooper’s Pack Seattle or Alaska (both paid), Kids World Map, Library of Congress Virtual Tour, Explorer: The American Museum of Natural History

Web 2.0: Fraboom (interactive online Children’s Museum for ages 6-12), Google Art Project, 360 CitiesScholastic Global Trek, National Zoo Webcams (Switcheroo Zoo: Make & Play with Animals at this virtual zoo), 100 Virtual Trips, 7 Panorama Wonders of the World, A Walk in the Woods (Spanish), Ellis Island, Virtual Space

Virtual Tourism Lesson

Have your child send a postcard from the destinations they visit: Post Card Creator (Web 2.0) or Animal Greetings, Flat Stanley (paid app), or Card Shop (paid app). Consider creating a travel journal using the apps iDiary For Kids or MaxJournal (both paid) or Catch Notes (which allows you to capture ideas and experiences in text, voice, images, and locations). Collect thoughts on summer travels and anecdotes for a future scrapbook. Compose a top ten list of places they would like to visit.

Wanna have even more fun? Create your own panoramas using Photosynth (also a website ** with multiple examples), AutoStitch Panorama or Panoramatic 360 (last two paid). Share your panoramas at ViewAt.org or Photosynth. (If you plan on actually traveling this summer – what better memories to keep than 360 tours of some of your favorite spots.)

Even consider creating your own geocache treasure or scavenger hunt using an iDevice and Google Maps and/or Google Earth (both have app and website counterparts). Did you know Google Maps now has street view? Put on some ambient music to set the tone (check out NatureSpace), order some ethnic cuisine, and it is almost as if you were there.

Landa Park 360 Tour with Photosynth

For all of you Voracious Virtual Voyagers, check out Google’s: What Do You Love Site (as seen on Mashup) to locate more information (e.g. articles, photos, blogs, books, discussion groups, videos, maps, and debates) on any of the places you visit that spark your interest.

Google: WDYL (Eiffel Tower)

Stay Tuned over the next couple of weeks for upcoming Part 3: Books & Storytelling and Part 4: Scrapbooks, Timelines, Arts & Crafts. Did you miss Part 1: Imaginative Play & Games?

Tune in: Thursday June 23rd at 8pm to Social Geek Radio where I will be a guest discussing cool technology for kids (apps and Web 2.0 tools) that they can utilize on these hot summer days.

**If the virtual tour doesn’t work on your computer, you will need to download Silverlight. It is quick and painless and it fixes the issue once you exit and reload your browser.

Please Comment with your favorite apps (and Web 2.0 tools) for virtual trips and tours.


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