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22 Sep 2015
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iPads: 3 Purposeful Perspectives

The beginning of school is always busy… hence the delay in TechChef blog posts. Many times we are just trying to troubleshoot, set up procedures, and grasp ideas and best practices that will support us and our teachers in the weeks to come. While you wait for the next TechChef blog post, “Epic Canva Hacks”, I thought I would share these 3 articles I have written for Edutopia to support iPads being used in three very different… yet purposeful settings.

What Have you Cooked up for Administrators?

The first, and most recent, is designed for administrators to support them when they walk in to a classroom that uses iPads (or really any mobile device) instructionally. It includes 20+ Look-Fors.

What Have you Cooked up for Instructional Support Staff?

The second is designed to provide ideas (and examples) on how to use tools like Nearpod, Padlet, and Google Forms to gain valuable data about participants prior to delivering professional development.

What Have you Cooked up for Teachers?

The third is four student projects that illustrate how students can blend paper and pencil tasks with digital tools in a purposeful manner and includes five guiding questions.

Hope everyone’s beginning of the year is going well. While this post serves as a healthy instructional staple, please know that I have every intention to dazzle your taste buds for the creative with a most decadent dose of digital delight soon… on the topic of Canva Hacks.

STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL Back to School ISSUE of the TechChef Gazette!

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.

Cooking Up Keynote

***Where Will TechChef Be Next?***

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

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


12 Aug 2015
Comments: 0

Why App Smashing With Tackk is HOT!

Now that you know my 12+ Tools for Creating and Curation Work…, I thought I would dive a little deeper in to one of those tools. In my experience, I have found that Tackk*** is my go-to tool for creating professional development resource pages. As many of you are preparing to go back to school, this seemed like the perfect time to focus on this tool.

Why Choose Tackk over Other Tools when Creating Professional Development Resources?

Fantastic question! So glad you asked… Tackk:

  • Is Easy to Edit and Perpetually Add Content to
  • Is Linear and Easy to Follow
  • Creates a Custom URL for Easy Access
  • Is Easy to Share (not a PDF or a PPT that has to be hosted externally)

And did you know that Tackk offers the ability to embed live maps, photos, text, links, and videos within their platform from a wide variety of sources?

Why Should I App Smash with Tackk?

As I mentioned above, Tackk has a variety of benefits over stand-alone tools. Now I could just wax intellectual about the anatomy of app smashing with Tackk but I thought I would embrace my inner geek… the one that loves similes and lego mini figures.

App Smashing with Tackk

Think about it like this.

“Your content is like a hot dog. It is better when you add toppings and house it in a bun. Tackk is simply the solution to holding all of your content in one bun… I mean place.” – Lisa Johnson

What Kinds of Apps Smash Well with Tackk?

There are two ways that apps and tools can dress up a Tackk by being embedded within it:

  • Direct Embed: Some tools can be embedded live (and are fully functional without having to leave Tackk) like Thinglink. 
  • Thumbnail Embed: Other tools like Shadow Puppet, Haiku Deck, and Snapguide will be linked within Tackk and appear as a small thumbnail (that will take users to an external site).

As we are approaching the end of summer and time is a commodity, I will forgo any further similes and share with you an interactive guide to App Smashing with Tackk (with examples). The guide includes examples of each type of embed and what it looks like.

How Do you Get Tackk Badges for Your Website or Blog?

If you are down with Tackk like I am, then check out their new badge site to grab your logo.

*** Disclaimer. I truly honor and respect my audience. To ensure transparency, I have been nominated as a Tackk Advocate. That being said, I do not receive any money from Tackk and do not blog on Tackk’s behalf or at their request. I use Tackk because I feel it is the best tool for the job and want to share my inspiration for app-smashing and productivity utilizing the tool.

STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL Back to School ISSUE of the TechChef Gazette!

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.

Cooking Up Keynote

***Where Will TechChef Be Next?***

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

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


21 Jul 2015
Comments: 0

How TechChef Makes 12 Tools for Creating and Curating Work for Her

Summer for me is difficult because I get out of routine… especially blogging routine. I truly don’t want to take a summer hiatus. In fact I find the mere process of blogging, reflecting, and creating content to be a much needed catharsis: it serves as both a brain dump and a way to archive ideas and resources. But I also find it difficult to blog and gather my thoughts during this time frame as new tasks, projects, and schedules emerge.

This particular post has been a long time in the making. It is hard to believe that I am embarking on year 5 with my blog (half a decade of posts) and I thought there was no better time to give a little back story…(If you don’t care for back story, and want to jump straight to the tools, I won’t be too terribly offended – scroll away.)

Why Did You Start Blogging?

My blogging origins were a blend of a few elements:

  • Ineffective Teacher Sites: When I worked for my previous school district, Ed Techs were provided with websites similar to Weebly. At the time I found the tool to be ineffective for organizing content and professional development resources and was searching for something to fill that need.
  • Loss of Content: I was also concerned that I was creating and curating a fair amount of content and resources that would essentially be shut down (for myself and everyone else that benefitted from them) if and when I left the district.
  • Lack of Educational Content Relating to the iPad: This was year 1 of iPads and there was little content available on the web. As I was navigating these waters, I sought to have a place to reflect and share these digital trials, tribulations, and successes.

So a WordPress blog seemed the most natural progression. I would retain ownership of the “rogue” site and found it easier to organize and produce content with the tool. For those of you interested in polishing your blog to starting one, I have delineated “21 Things Every Ed Tech Blogger Should Do in 2015” to guide and/or inspire you.

*** I contributed a vignette in Chapter 4 of Rafranz Davis’ new book, “The Missing Voices in Ed Tech” which details my call to blogging and shares some best practices. I am thankful for this platform to share the need for blogging and am a fan of  Rafranz Davis as she is not only an exceptionally honest blogger and author – she is a friend and a dear member of my PLN. 

The Missing Voices in Ed Tech

What is an Ed Tech Pollinator?

I have to say that it feels amazing to be in a field of work and at a district that I feels so passionate about. Honestly, I feel very blessed to have a profession that feels less like work and more like a calling. I feel like it is our job in this field to not only support students and teachers but to also share this support online… thus effectively pollinating the edusphere and allowing others to bloom and grow through this transfer of content and insight.

Be An Ed Tech Pollinator

So… (in a not so smooth segue) Adam Jones and I met at Miami Device last year. He attended a few of my sessions and wrote one of the most comprehensive and kind reviews I have ever read. Recently, he asked if I would do a show for his podcast, Adam Jones Ed. I agreed and I have to say of all the podcasts and interviews I have done – this was one of my favorite stylistically as well as professionally (Adam reminds me of NPR’s Guy Ross – the whole interview felt like having coffee with an old friend – sharing inspiring stories). It was a delight to share an hour chatting about education, pedagogy, and technology with him.

*** If you would like to hear this interview (mine is episode 11) or check out other Adam Jones interviews, visit his Education Podcast Archive. Adam’s blog is also fantastic!

What Are Your Go To Tools for Creating and Curating Content?

Part of the reason this post took so long to write and publish is my need to provide resources for my readers. While my origin story and philosophy on ed tech pollination might be interesting to some and will at least frame the 12+ tools I plan to share, I can’t in good conscience blog to just share that info alone.

12+ Smooth Tools to Create and Curate Content for Educators

I have had several inquiries to the tools that I use to create and curate. These ingredients seemed to be just the spice to complete this ed tech dish. While these may not be the most new and flashy tools in the edusphere, they happen to be tried and true ingredients in my kitchen for concocting and curating content… so I thought I would share.

STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL SUMMER ISSUE of the TechChef Gazette!

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.

Cooking Up Keynote

***Where Will TechChef Be Next?***

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

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


09 Jun 2015
Comments: 2

Capturing Creativity with Canva

I have been a loyal canvagelist for some time now. Recently, I was approached to do a webinar on the topic. Many times I find that people just need to see how the tool is being used by students, in classrooms, and professionally before they feel comfortable enough to invest the time.

The Complete Guide to Using Canva in Edu

How Can I Use Canva? Let Me Count the Ways…

As Canva is image based, I thought the best way to encapsulate my canvagelism is through a Pinterest board. Because I tend to need order and consistency within my boards… each pin on this board starts with “Use CANVA to…” and then explains how the tools is used.

45+ Ways to Use Canva

How Can I Use Canva? Tell Me More…

For those of you that would prefer a guided tour, the FREE webinar is archived here. In the webinar I highlight 35+ ways Canva can be used ranging from classroom collages, posters and tables of contents to infographics and iTunes U icons.

Many thanks to Peggy George @pgeorge and Classroom 2.0 Live for archiving the webinar and all the links and resources here.

Talk to Me About Curation…

And for those of you planning to level up your curation practices this summer, I have one more educational nugget for you. Recently, Carolyn Foote @technolibrary and Dean Shareski @Shareski, and I did a Google Hangout on Curation Best Practices and Tools.

Beyond the tips and best practices we share, I found the idea of calling in experts on various topics and conducting Google Hangouts with them for each section of a college course to be a most epic educational idea indeed. If you are interested in the other topics he has gleaned, Dean has archived them all here in a Playlist.

Please Curate and Create Responsibly this Summer…

As always please curate and create responsibly. If ever in doubt, I have prepared this Listly of tools and best practices for Curating and Creating with Care 😉

STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL SUMMER ISSUE of the TechChef Gazette!

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.

Cooking Up Keynote

***Where Will TechChef Be Next?***

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

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


27 May 2015
Comments: 3

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY KIDS THIS SUMMER?

I often ask myself this same question. While I do work most of June, July and much of August is spent with my two boys, age 6 and 8. If you have boys, then you know that you have to keep them busy and many times plan activities and games in advance. So thinking forward to this summer… I have started curating and preparing a few resources to support those of you that are home with your little darlings too…

1000 Summer Activities

What Can We Do with the iPad?

Many of us have iPads and rather than letting brain drain set in with Angry Birds Transformers, I have compiled a few resources to support you. Don’t get me wrong… I don’t think you have to practice sight words and multiplication tables all summer long either… but choosing times to create something with your child or expose them to critical thinking and coding apps in a 1:1 relaxed setting goes a long way to making the summer a cool experience for both of you:

Common Sense Media Summer Learning Apps

Now this section truly deserves its own bulleted list because it is out of this world. Augmented Reality is such a delightful and intriguing past time… here are some Augmented Reality resources to try at home:

Augmented Reality Books, Puzzles, and Toys

What Can We Do without the iPad?

I have said it before and I will say it again… not everything has to be done on the iPad… so… I have curated 500+ Educational Crafts and Experiments for you…

500+ Educational Crafts on Pinterest

I also happed on this board of 1,500 Science Activities for Kids that is most epic indeed.

Graphic Novels for Learning: And if you like summer reading but you want to get a leg up on some of the more important themes and topics your students will encounter… I have curated 100+ Graphic Novels for Learning, which are essentially graphic novel versions of books they will most likely read in school.

What Can I Do to Destress?

I don’t know about you… but planning all of these activities and bouncing around all day with my boys can be quite exhausting… so sometimes I need to destress. A popular trend for this is coloring therapy. Now I don’t mean grab the nearest Elmo or Frozen Coloring Book or grab a table at Macaroni Grill… I mean Adult Coloring books. I am a little obsessed with these as you can well see. I have even curated 80+ examples so you don’t have to go hunt them down on Amazon. My favorites were the Cool Cats, Steampunk Designs, and Unicorns are Jerks. 😉 

Adult Coloring 2_BeFunky blog

Hope these resources help you cook up a recipe for learning and fun this summer. If you have found other resources in these categories, please include them in the comments section. The TechChef would love to hear from you!

 

STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL SUMMER ISSUE of the TechChef Gazette!

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.

Cooking Up Keynote

***Where Will TechChef Be Next?***

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

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


20 May 2015
Comments: 0

The Do’s and Don’ts of Slide Design for Students

I have spent most of educational technology career supporting secondary students. Projects and Presentations are always a plenty… but what I noticed is typically students have great presentations and poor content or great content and poor presentations.

“Rarely, are students able to deliver a compelling message in a visually stimulating and engaging way with purposeful use of media and graphics.” – Lisa Johnson

So… being Type A, a perfectionist, and someone that relies on visuals to communicate… I went a googling in order to create a comprehensive guide (and yes, I also staged a few Lego Minifigure pics in my back yard for emphasis too.)

3 Teacher Wishes for Slide Design

I’m Ravenous for Research… What Resources Do You Have For Me?

While I found several excellent articles, I didn’t want to share a list of articles and resources with students and teachers. That would be overwhelming at best and neither party has time to dig through each resource and make sense of it at this time of year (or frankly… at any time of year).

80+ Slide Design Tips and Resources

 

So, I combed through the 80+ articles, slide decks, and infographics curated above and condensed them in to one infographic with 7 distinct categories. My favorite resources I gleaned were:

After perusing the slide decks on presentation savvy… it became abundantly clear that it is not PPT or Keynote that is the problem… but the lack of slide design and visual acumen that plagues presentations… so I took the best tips and ideas from the pros and created a menu of Do’s and Don’ts for students and teachers alike.

Dos and Don'ts of Slide Design

What Have You Cooked Up For Us Today?

So naturally… I decided to put an end to the drama and support the visual literacy cause with the infographic below (offered as a FREE PDF download). I spent countless hours dissecting the 80+ slide decks, articles, and infographics from the pros to curate the Ultimate Guide of “Do’s and Don’ts for Slide Design for Students” which addresses theme/template,  layout and slide design, use of images, visuals, video, color, text and font.

Slide Design for Students Infographic by Lisa Johnson

Translating the Resource: Yolanda Barker, my former colleague now stationed in Qatar, asked me if I would share the graphic so it could be translated in to different languages… in her case… Arabic. If this is an interest of yours as well, please email me lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com and I would be more than happy to share the Canva design with you so you can translate it for your students and/or teachers.

What Does This Mean for Teachers?

While I ultimately designed this resource for students… I can tell you that everyone benefits from a clear and compelling message devoid of extraneous bullet points, wonky text formatting, and awkward stock templates… Truthfully, many of these design principles can be adapted to our emails and other communications as well… so…

“the next time you send out an email communication or prepare a handout or presentation… remember a dose of design goes a long way for readability and retention…” – Lisa Johnson

My new favorite blog, “The Visual Communication Guy” posted this  MUST READ article “Why Ugly Handouts Are Bad For Teachers (and everyone else)” which not only provides a rationale for basic editing principles but a fantastic before and after pic too.

Why Ugly Handouts Are Bad

Beyond the need for clear communication, providing students with opportunities to excel at media literacy ultimately prepares students for the labor force and beyond…

Stay Tuned for The TechChef Visual Design Summer Challenge

I didn’t learn and adopt visual design principles overnight… but I will say that I have come a long way from the original presentations I created 5+ years ago. If you are looking for a summer PD challenge, dig up one of your old or particularly bad PPT or Keynote presentations and stay tuned…

 

 

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.

Cooking Up Keynote

***Where Will TechChef Be Next?***

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

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


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 😉

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! 😉

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 “hands on” 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… 😉

  • 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 posther 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

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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
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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! 😉

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.