Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
Best WP Theme Ever!
Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
04 Dec 2017
Comments: 3

5+ Strategies to Deliver PD to Students

It occurred to me… sadly… only after I was done with my series on professional development for students that I never really explained what that was and how it differs from traditional teaching. So two things… I am an Educational Technologist so while I do support students and staff on a daily basis… I do not have a classroom of my own. Secondly, the content I share in these professional developments (while complementary to curricular content)… goes beyond the content shared in the classroom, will not be tested, and is information that they can readily apply to their personal and academic lives. So I guess that is the real distinction. Similarly, to each chapter of my book, “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students”, where I made sure that each type of communication was steeped in SEL, each of these student-focused professional developments that I discuss weave in a range of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies as well. For example, the session on “Organizing Your Digital Binder” narrowed in on organizational skills, the session on “Bonkers for Bullet Journals” targeted Self-Management skills like goal-setting and self-motivation, and the session on “Managing Your Digital Experiences” honed in on Responsible Decision Making skills and Self-Awareness.

5+ Avenues to Deliver PD to Students

While these sessions could very easily be woven into a classroom or within the daily curriculum, I wanted to clarify the content, focus, and design… as I had had several questions over the past few weeks. The list below is in no way exhaustive… but does showcase 5 different topics for student professional development as well as 5 different methods for delivery:

  • A Whole Day: The session I delivered entitled “Bonkers for Bullet Journaling” was roughly 30 minutes long and was part of a day of choice-based (students chose from a schedule of experiences) learning for students.  
  • Half a Day: The session I co-presented on “Managing Your Digital Experiences” was a 45 minute sessions and was part of a half-day rotation (all students attended each of the 4 sessions).
  • Stations During the Day: This session that uses the Base Camp model utilized 4 stations (lasting 8 minutes each) that all  students rotated through during one class period.
  • Class Pop-In’s: This is probably the most traditional way to deliver professional development to students. Oftentimes, a teacher will ask me to lead or co-teach a session so I will come in to class for 10-30 minutes depending on the topic. The most popular one to date seems to be visual literacy and presentation skills.
  • Class Rounds: This is similar to Class Pop-In’s but students come to us in a fixed location like the library and we meet with every class within a grade level (rather than just the teachers or classes that have requested the topic to be shared with their classes). The topic we focused on here is organizing a digital binder.
  • Lunches: This is a bonus one. I am working on doing a bullet journaling professional development that focuses more on setting up a bullet journal and a calendex in both December in January. The idea will be to be located in high traffic area… typically the library… during lunches with some supplies. As this session is optional, I will be promoting it on campus through fliers and our student-led announcements. Stay tuned for my post on how this one turns out. 

While I work with teachers, my ultimate goal is to impact our students… whether it be through the training and support I provide to our staff… or working directly with our students. I hope this post helps you to think differently and/or creatively about the “professional development” you provide for your students. And as always… if you ever have any questions, feel free to reach out on Facebook, Twitter, or even email (techchef4u@gmail.com). I would love to connect.

Students Need PD too!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. My last few blog posts share some of the other initiatives I have been working on:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”


SaveSave


27 Oct 2017
Comments: 1

How do you Support Students with Managing their Digital Lives?

You know… I didn’t realize how popular the topic of student professional development would be. I have had some great feedback from many of you through a variety of social media channels. So it made sense to share this next topic as well.

Tell me About this Day with Students

This started out rather organically… We offer the PSAT to our Sophomores and Juniors during the school day. That leaves our Freshmen with a few hours of unscheduled time. This year… administration decided to put on a multi-faceted program for them. Essentially, we divided the 3 hours into 4 45 minute sessions:

  • Session 1: This was put on by our counselors. They had a panel of all types of students which allowed Freshmen to hear stories, choices, and experiences that could enlighten and impact their next 3 years.
  • Session 2: This session was led by students and staff and focused on Challenge Success… so it looked at some of the myths of WHS and the opportunities that students have to find their individual passions. (If you are not familiar with Challenge Success, I have linked their site here and highly recommend this book… “Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids”). We used it as a book study here for the past two years).
  • Session 3: This session was led by our principal Steve Ramsey, focused on reflection, and is further detailed here on his weekly blog post.
  • Session 4: This is where we came in. Chris Hanson (@tejashanson) and I built a session that focused on managing digital lives. (I should also mention that Chris Hanson is the latest addition to our iVengers team. He serves as the other Ed Tech at WHS… with myself).

Tell me more about Session 4

  • Background Info: So now that you are caught up on the day and staffing changes… I wanted to proceed and dive a little deeper into session 4. When we were originally tasked with 4 45 minute sessions on a topic of our choosing… we definitely knew we wanted to focus on Digital Citizenship… but that is truly an infinite topic. Chris has worked a lot with Common Sense Media at his last district and had a lot of success with it so he knew he wanted to touch on social media and cyberbullying. I had just read Ana Homayoun’s new book, “Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World” so I know I wanted to touch on executive functioning which broke down into digital organization and digital distraction. (Sidenote: I also did a recent review blogpost for Corwin on Ana’s book…which includes my scrapnotes… it is linked here).
  • Planning and Design: After we had our topics, we divided the session into 4 parts (Digital Distraction, Digital Organization, Social Media, and Cyberbullying). I took the first two topics and Chris took the latter two (which you will see in the slide deck). We also know that we had keep students engaged so having them watch a bunch of CommonSense videos or work in an iBook wasn’t going to cut it. I discovered from my last student professional development session on the topic of Note-Taking that students responded really well to research studies that we shared as well as research we gleaned from staff and students using google forms. Thus, we crafted a 10 question google form to send out to students. It was anonymous as we wanted honest feedback. We sent it out via student email accounts. I honestly thought we would get very few responses… but we ended up having over 300 responses in a few days. This is over 10% of our student body. With that data, we then began framing the presentation with the 4 topics, questions, answers, and then tips, tools, and best practices.
  • Delivery: We obviously hadn’t run through this deck with actual people before we were met with 150 Freshman so a few minor changes were made to the info on the fly. Mainly just building in student pulse checks (e.g. “raise your hands if you use paper for your to do lists” or “thumbs up, down, or to the sides if you agree with…”). We also had a few Think-Pair-Share topics that we embedded throughout. The Slide Deck below (and linked here) is the content we shared (including the results of the survey).

But Wait… There’s More…: One of my goals for the year was to develop and deliver more professional development opportunities for our parents. Thankfully… Chris Hanson had the patience and persistence to evaluate a few tools and work with the companies to make sure they were exactly what we wanted. We were looking for a tool that offered the ability to provide a live webinar but then also was able to be archived for later use. We also needed the ability to do screen sharing. Fortunately, Lifesize met the requirements and the rest is history. Lifesize also offers the ability to download the archived video (which was great because the first 10 minutes of our video needed to be cropped due to my not-so-witty banter about how to get it working). Chris was kind enough to crop the first 10:45 from the video and just post the webinar on our YouTube channel.

Warm Happy Thoughts: I could have left this part out… but I had to share! We had 25 parents join the online webinar and we had 15 follow-up emails from parents that had either watch the webinar or had missed but wanted the archived link. But there was one parent email that really brought a tear to my eye. She had emailed to share how grateful she was that she knew what was presented to her student that day and that she could use it as a springboard for discussion that evening. And she went on to say that her son had already texted her to see if he could download the tree app (which I had mentioned in the digital distraction section). Seriously people… I had tears of joy in my eyes. To think that you are creating content to positively impact students is one thing… to discover that the content you are creating and disseminating is actually resonating with students is beyond amazing!

I truly hope that these 1,000+ words have been helpful and perhaps even inspiring. If you do something like this already and/or if you end up remixing some of the ideas that I have shared in this post, I would be ever so grateful if you dropped me a line techchef4u@gmail.com.

Students Need PD too!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. My last few blog posts share some of the other initiatives I have been working on:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”



19 Oct 2017
Comments: 4

How Do you Deliver PD to Students?

At a campus of approximately 2700 students that are 1:1 iPad, you are bound to find a variety and a disparity of skills and technological prowess. iPad Base Camps were born to ensure that all students had a baseline of technical skills at the beginning of the year. This also alleviated the class time it would take in individual classes for teachers to have students set up these devices as well.

Before you dig into this post… I should mention that a dear friend has informed me that my posts are like unicorns and that I should write shorter posts to stretch out the ideas… like baby unicorns… but honestly… my brain just doesn’t work that way. I am one of those people that tells you everything I know on a topic… and then moves to the next topic in the next post. The only time I find it possible to “baby unicorn” something is if I have already outlined it (e.g. like my ScrapNotes posts) and committed to telling you that it will be in multiple doses… so please know that this post is like a giant helping of student professional development (in baby unicorn herd form)… but you can totally digest it in multiple seatings (the post… not the baby unicorn herd… that is)… if need be. 😉

What are the Basics of an iPad Base Camp?

The slide deck linked here and embedded below is pretty comprehensive when it comes to the apps and process we devised but I also want to preface it with a few bits of information:

  • Student Focus: We began with Freshman as they come to us from two different campuses and may not have had as much experience with specific apps and tools as our 10-12th grade students.
  • Time Frame: We had the span of a class period (45-50 minutes) to teach these skills.
  • Hands-Off: The approach had to be hands-off, station-based, and self-explanatory as sometimes we would have multiple classes during the same class period.
  • Fundamental: We really had to drill down to what were the most fundamental apps and processes as we could only manage 4 stations in a class period.
  • Devices: As we upgraded the devices, the stations and tasks would be slightly altered to accommodate new features (e.g. speech to text or split screen and updates to apps).

 

What are the Apps used in iPad Base Camp?

  • 2015: 2015 was our first year for the camp. We created 4 stations that focused on the 3 C’s (e.g. Critical Thinking = Popplet Lite and Paper by 53, Collaboration = Google Drive, Google Sheets, and Google Docs, Communication = Evernote and DocAs). We also added a file management station (especially since we were dealing with 16 GB iPad 2’s at the time… to address apps like iFiles, Google Calendar, and Shutterfly). I should mention that students were constantly running out of space with our 16 GB model and much of this was due to photo storage. As Shutterfly has an app with unlimited photo storage and there were very few alternatives at the time… we went with this one.
  • 2016: In 2016 we upgraded to 64 GB iPad 2 Air’s with a built in keyboard case. We revamped the 4 stations to focus on particular skills/tools we found students needed to have set up at the beginning of the year (e.g. Notable Note-taking = Notability and Google Drive, Powerful Portfolios – Google Drive and Google Docs, Capitalizing on Calendars = Google Calendar, and Mindful Mind-Mapping = Post-it Plus and Google Classroom). I should also mention that this is the year that we dropped DocAS for PDF annotation and adopted Notability for K-12. It is also the first year we used Google Classroom and the year that we provided a portfolio structure (this will have to be a baby unicorn… an will most likely end up in a future post) for students using Google Drive and a Google Doc Portfolio Index.
  • 2017: We just completed our 3rd year of iPad Base Camps. I think we have finally found a system and station flow that seems to work. The only change we made from 2016-2017 was swapped the Post-it Plus station for Keynote as Keynote had just released some upgraded features like icons and we wanted to highlight those as many students underuse this tool.
  • 2017+: I should also mention… because you will see it in the slide deck on slide 15… that we also ran another one of these for Sophomores as a precursor to a larger project. Each station focused on a different cause of war and used a different app. This allowed students to get familiarity with a variety of apps and create a digital artifact for their class. When they got to the final project, they were already familiar with the apps and could begin working.)

What are you Not Telling Me?

So, yes… there are a few things that I have neglected to mention. It is much like project-based learning in that there is tons of planning and work that goes into the front end to make the day of go smoothly.

  • Corralling Students: Sometimes we had as many as 180 students in a class period (as multiple class periods came depending on scheduling). To easily get them to their first station, we created little sheets of paper like a “ticket” (each with a different rotation of the 4 stations). This is like hitting the easy button on having students count off “1… 2… 3… 4.”
  • Checklist: If you have been reading this blog for awhile and/or no me personally… then you know that I am a tad bit OCD and I live my to do lists and checklists. After year 1 of this, I devised one as I felt I would forget something in the planning and logistics of it for year two.
  • Station Cards: I should also mention that we have cards at every station with an icon (that matches their “ticket” that have easy to follow directions. I was also pleased to find out (when we asked for feedback on the day and what was helpful to them) that many students referred to the easy to follow directions on the tables.
  • Expansion: As I noted above, we have expanded this to pre-project exposure mini-stations. We are also looking to create these for Seniors to help transition them (e.g. share their school gmail with a personal one, expose them to Evernote or another note-taking app, discuss portfolio apps like bulb, provide a seamless approach to move any school notes they want to keep to a safe place, etc…) before they graduate.

 

But… Wait… There’s More…

Clearly… no unicorn babies today… you get the whole unicorn… Ugh… now I feel like I am writing the script for an infomercial… “for a low… low price of $19.99… this can all be yours… but only if you call today.” 😉 – But seriously… I digress. I have put all 4 of the Base Camp station cards, the checklist, and the sample “tickets” in a Google Drive folder… just for you. The only thing that I ask… is if you use or adapt them… to please email me techchef4u@gmail.com or tweet me @TechChef4u and share your feedback, alterations, and how you are using them to impact students. Thanks in advance! 😉

 

Students Need PD too!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. My last two posts share some of the other initiatives I have been working on:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”


SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave


13 Oct 2017
Comments: 3

How do You Teach Presentation Skills?

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of my jobs as an Educational Technologist at a secondary 1:1 iPad campus is to provide professional development… to students. One of the most popular requests I get is for slide design and presentation skills. This tends to be also be the topic I have done the most research on AND delivered the most times. I have delivered variations of this presentation (see below) to Capstone, Mentorship, Comp Sci, Incubator, ELA, and SS classes alike.

The Secrets of Slide Design

The presentation I am referring to is linked here and embedded below:

Supporting the Secrets of Slide Design and Presentation Skills

I have also presented this topic at a variety of conferences to adult learners. What I have not done (and realized this only recently) is drafted a proper blog post with all of these resources. Honestly, what happened was… I started penning my first book, “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students” and had to take some time off from blogging. The entire 3rd chapter is basically a more elaborate and detailed version of this slide deck… citing additional examples, rationales, and suggestions for classroom integration. But… this blog post is not a sales pitch and if you know me at all… you know that I spend hours creating and curating content for teachers to be shared freely. So whether you invest in the book or not, I wanted to share with you some additional resources to support visual literacy and presentation skills. All of these resources (and more) are linked off the companion site for the book:

 

  • Secrets of Slide Design for Students and Beyond: This is a quick infographic that basically takes the slide deck above and summarizes major points.
  • Slide Design Hacks for Secondary Students: This is an infographic that details some of the tools and sites I use to jazz up my slides.
  • Student Presentation Note-Taking Guide: I found when delivering this content to students, it appeared like it was the first time they had ever heard it. To scaffold the intake and processing of this info, I decided to create a Note-Taking Guide (pictured below and linked here).
  • Student Presentation Planning Guide: I also found it helpful to create a planning guide for students so they could refer back to sites and resources and quick tips (pictured below and linked here).
  • Student Presentation Planner (Communication Catcher): As a way to start conversations about designing and planning a presentation… I created a communication catcher. Think of these as instructional cootie catchers or fortune tellers (pictured below and linked here).

Feel free to download the PDF version of all of these and use them with you students and staff.

 

 

I thought… up until a few weeks ago, that this was a complete resource… but then I was sitting in a professional development that was designed to get collaborative (e.g. inclusion) and classroom teachers collaborating more effectively, and I had this idea. The presenters started talking about setting norms when these teachers work together and that got me to thinking about setting norms for when you have to craft and present a slide deck together… and thus… “Norms for Collaborating on Presentations” was born. Since I was in a professional development and because I have reverted to taking more of my notes in analog form, the info below is handwritten. It is more just some things to think about (for students and adults) when you present with another human being. The users of this info would answer the questions and then choose “need” or “don’t need” for each statement.
 

 

Now I think you are pretty caught up on visual literacy and presentation skills… Please feel free to email me with questions about the resources. I also love getting emails or tweets @TechChef4u about how you are using them.

If you are delivering similar professional development to students or find there are specific needs students have, I would love to hear about them. Please share links in the comments!

 

As I stated in the Note-taking post earlier this week, I am pausing my #ScrapNotes series to share some initiatives I have been working on:

Stay tuned for more…

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”


SaveSave


12 Oct 2017
Comments: 2

How Do You Organize Your Digital Binder?

How Do You Organize Your Digital Binder?

I am taking a quick break from my #ScrapNotes series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 are linked here) to share a few posts from events that have occurred this semester that I think might be pertinent/helpful.

Note taking Skills 101

The first is a Note-taking/Study Skills session we offered to all of our Freshman students. I should also mention that I work in a K-12 1:1 iPad school district. While students have access to the technology and are using the applications, I find that they still need support with digital organization so that is where this session filled a need.

  • WHO: I co-presented this with our resident Academic Interventionist.
  • HOW: It lasted 20 minutes and we taught it 16 times to ensure each class got to see it in a smaller and more interactive setting. Students were pulled from their English classes.
  • WHAT: The session included 10 tips for Study Skills and a portion on note-taking (which was the one that I developed). The note-taking portion included research on note-taking best practices as well as survey results from our staff on the topic of note-taking (e.g. how often students take notes a week, what type of notes teachers encourage, and if teachers provide recorded versions of their lectures). If you are interested in creating a similar survey, I have included the sample here.  I shared the survey results as well as the general research on note-taking with students during the presentation.

Note taking Styles 102

For the remainder of the session, I tried to focus mostly on note-taking skills that were agnostic (e.g. not tied to a device or a way of taking notes… digital or analog). This part included highlighting  4 types of notes and when it was most appropriate to use each.

Digital Binder 103

The very end of the presentation highlighted note-taking apps. While the vast majority of our students may take notes by hand, many of them also use digital tools for note-taking, drafting papers, and projects. In the olden days, students were taught to organize a binder and prepare it with tabs and they didn’t need wifi to unlock their notes or binder. While digital tools offer affordances like back-ups, speech to text, and searches, students also need to be cognizant about how they organize their digital binder, what tools they use for what purpose, and how to ensure these digital tools are organized and content will not be lost.

Honestly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this. Everyone uses different apps and has a different process… but being aware of how you organize your content and having a system is really half the battle. I shared the info below with students and again restated that this was simply my process and they should develop a method or digital organization workflow that made sense for them.

 

 

Again… the chart above is how I organize my digital tools. It is not meant to be prescriptive… just an example of a process:

  • NOTES: I use Notes for quick stuff. If you update to iOS 11, you can also use it to scan PDF’s. It has a collaborative element… which is nice… if you wanted to create a shared checklist while working with a group. It also has a drawing feature.
  • NOTABILITY: Every secondary student has access to the Notability app. We shared info with Freshman on how to organize notes into folders for easier access. Notability allows you to create multimedia notes as well as to annotate PDF’s. It also has a built in recording feature which is great for recording a lecture. It accepts text as well as handwriting. One main thing for students to remember is to back up Notability to Google Drive so if Notability ever crashes or they have to swap out their iPad, then all of their notes will still be available.
  • GOOGLE DOCSGoogle Docs has fantastic word processing and collaborative features. The main thing to remember is that students will have to make certain documents available offline if they need to access them when they don’t have wifi. If they are a Senior, it is suggested that in the spring, they start sharing their documents with a personal gmail account so they don’t lose access to them after they graduate.
  • EVERNOTE: Evernote is used by a fair number of college students and industry professionals. I suggest to students to sign in to it with a personal email account as if they leave the district (prior to 12th grade and/or after graduation) then they will still have access to their notes (and they won’t have to swap out the accounts). Evernote also has an audio recording feature and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which is great if students want to search pictures of notes as well.
  • PAPER by 53: Paper by 53 is a great tool for those that like to create mind-maps or sketchnotes. It also has backgrounds and graphic organizers.

If you are delivering similar professional development to students or find there are specific needs students have, I would love to hear about them. Please share links in the comments!

 

As I stated at the beginning of the post, I am pausing my #ScrapNotes series to share some initiatives I have been working on:

Stay tuned for more… !

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”


SaveSave


22 Sep 2015
Comments: 0

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.