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02 Jan 2013
Comments: 3

Sharing App-thusiasm for iLearning!

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

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

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

It all boils down to helping kids for me.”

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

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

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

iLesson Collage Created with Picture2Life site.

 

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

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

Thank you so much for what you do!”

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

App-thusiasm created with Designs for Pages app


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

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

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

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

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

HCMS 2013 Site Visits Now Available!

Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

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

 


14 Dec 2012
Comments: 3

Vocabulary iCues: Trading Cards

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

Trading Cards app

 

Vocabulary Bulletin Board

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

 Below are a few student examples:

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

600+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

 
Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

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


20 Nov 2012
Comments: 0

History Stripped Down

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

Enlightening Comics created with Strip Designer app

 

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

(Check out more student app reviews here.)

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

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

 

550+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com


19 Nov 2012
Comments: 4

English Stripped Down: A Student's Perspective

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

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

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

Comic Life example of Battle of Troy

 

A Beowulf Retelling using ComicBook! app

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

Check out more Comic iLessons using Strip Designer:

 

 

550+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com


05 Nov 2012
Comments: 0

Channel your Inner Doogie

A request from a “Novel Ideas” teacher to provide students with blogging info led me to reflect on my own journey with blogging. Two years ago I began the TechChef4u blog out of a need to have a place to put resources and info for an upcoming tech camp and partially as an online brain dump – a place to put ideas to retrieve and access later. At that point, I didn’t realize that I would have an audience or that people would utilize these resources to benefit their students. Upon reflecting on my blog and reviewing tips for novice bloggers, I noticed a significant change in the layout and form of my more recent blogs.

 

The Side by Side app compares an earlier blog I wrote (on the left) with a more recent one (on the right). Since that earlier blog two years ago, I have tried to be more concise, use spacing and images to improve layout and readability, and clean up my bullet points and subheadings.

 

Blog Comparison showcased with Side by Side app

 

The Original Blogger: Students in the Novel Ideas class would be blogging about books that they read and “selling” the book to others through their blog review – much like a book commercial. For some reason, my mind drifted to the original blogger and my childhood crush, Doogie Howser M.D. Realizing that these students would not know who this pre-internet reference was, I opted against using the following video:

 

 

Blogging Tips for Students: Rather than showcase Doogie’s concise blogging style (as seen here on his Blogspot), I opted to merely curate a list of novice blogging tips gleened from the internet:
  1. Choose the right topic / define your goals / stay true to your blog – this is pretty simple as the blogs will all focus on book reviews
  2. Ask for Help / Find a Role ModelMrs. Schubert, our librarian, shared a list of student book chat blogs that would assist students in finding their own voice
  3. Be Yourself / Throw Perfectionism out the window – encourage students to write the same way they talk and emphasize the content over form. That is not to say that grammar and spelling should be be overlooked but merely that students should feel free to find their own voice, flow, and style
  4. Visual Layout –  Utilize font and formatting features such as bold and bullets and subheadings and paragraphs to make your article easier to read and digest
  5. Pretend you have an audience –  even when you don’t
  6. Add Photos and Multimedia 
    1. Use photos from sites like Morgue File and Photo Pin
    2. Create your own visuals on the iPad using apps like Pic Collage and Strip Designer
    3. Compose audio reviews using the Audioboo app and embed the final product on your site
    4. Include URL’s to supporting or further info
    5. Include movies as book trailers (created with iMovie, Puppet Pals, or Animoto)
  7. End Post with Question – a great way to snag your readers and get them thinking

 

Feed Novel Ideas with RSS: The teacher had also requested info about RSS feeds. She wanted an app to allow students to follow other’s blogs and have access to them on the iPad. I located Feedly which works in conjuction with our google emails. It was the perfect app to search for blogs and articles and access them in a beautiful and visual way.

 

View and Aggregate Blogs and News with Feedly app

 

Sites I gleaned blogging tips from: 

 

Other Teaching Resources Found along the way: 
 

450+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?


19 Oct 2012
Comments: 4

iHealthy Living

Food, iMovie, and Keynote… what could be better?  This iLesson showcases how our HC Top Chefs used a combination of iMovie, Keynote, and various note-taking apps to evaluate their favorite dishes, create a healthier alternative, and showcase it all using the iPad. While the project had been delivered in previous years, this year Mrs. Barron commented, “This is so much better than a PowerPoint” and a student shared their app-thusiasm for the lesson by chanting “thank you for making this unit so much fun”. Though the original assignment was intended to be a PPT and the teacher had limited comfort with iMovie and Keynote, she found that she didn’t have to teach the apps or the technology – the students took their iPads and ran with it … all the way to the kitchen and delivered projects that far exceeded her guidelines and expectations. I commend her for giving students the freedom to express their learning in multiple formats.

Here is the original assignment:

“Select a family favorite recipe.  Modify the recipe by reducing fat, calories, sodium, and/or sugar.  Investigate ways to modify the recipe by researching substitute ingredients.  Conduct taste tests, nutritional analysis, and cost comparisons of modified and original product.  Present to the class the results of the modification project in a PowerPoint presentation.  You need to make and bring enough of the modified recipe for each person in the class to have a small taste on your designated day.”

HealthyLiving Project Summarized with Strip Designer app

 

The beauty of this project was in the differentiated design. Students could use multiple mediums to create their final product from iMovie and Keynote to Explain Everything. Some students added their text in Keynote slides and took screenshots of those to use in their iMovie and others typed in Notes or Pages and took screenshots of that. While each video entailed pictures and video of the group making the recipe, the before and after recipe, nutritional benefits, cost comparisons, and the health benefits of the new recipe, every project was entirely different and showcased unique attributes of the group’s personality from soundtracks and voice overs to blooper reels.

After the first period of presentations, we made a few edits and discoveries:

  1. Video Control: When presenting, students learned to pause the video during important text slides (rather than try and time it to play for an allotted amount of time). This allowed the group to spend more time discussing these details as well as provided time to for the teacher to grade integral elements during the presentation.
  2. Panning Text: Sometimes screenshots of text that pan or have certain effects can be difficult to read the text in the video.
  3. Host Family Video Taste Test: Some students made two batches of their recipe – one to eat at the host’s home and one to eat at school. We suggested having the host’s family film a quick video review to detail their official taste test and include this element in the final project.
  4. Google Form Reviews: Next time we plan on using a Google Form to have each student review the class samples with the intent of sharing the final results with the class at the end of the project.
  5. Class iCookbook: We also plan on having students send a final photo and recipe for their healthy version and compiling them in a class iRecipe iBook.

 

Every time, I crash a class or observe a project, I learn something new from the students. In addition to sampling healthy versions of key lime tarts, pumpkin fudge, margherita pizza, ice cream sandwiches, and apple pie, one student shared this website she located to compare foods during the project. Another app to support the project is Fooducate.

Two Foods: Instant Food Comparison

 

375+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

 


16 Oct 2012
Comments: 1

5 Ways to use Virtual World Apps to Support Writing

I am always enamored and entranced with virtual worlds and tours. I find them inspiring and rich with vivid and enchanting imagery. Thought I would share 5 ideas for how these apps can be used to support literacy in the iClassroom:

  1. Write about a character that lives in one of these worlds
  2. Write a descriptive paragraph or poem about the setting including the sounds and sights
  3. Create a movie or cartoon using these worlds as a backdrop (e.g. screenshots) for inspiration
  4. Compose a postcard from one of the destinations as if you have actually visited  there
  5. Discuss how time has changed various locations and imagine writing a letter from someone living there now to someone in the past

 
How else might you use these virtual worlds and tours to support creative writing and literacy? Please share in the comments section.

 

[listly id=”1yC” theme=”light” layout=”full” numbered=”yes” image=”yes” items=”all”]

375+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

 


25 Sep 2012
Comments: 0

iMovie or uMovie?: iMovie Student Biographies

I am constantly amazed with the level of instruction and innovation in the classroom at HCMS. Mrs. Musci, the speech teacher, invited me to observe her students presenting their iMovie Biographies. The first day of the project involved students brainstorming questions to use which eventually were sorted into three categories: background, favorites, goals and future plans. Mrs. Musci had mentioned that while she had done this project in the past, it was much more fluid with iMovie and a 1:1 iPad initiative for her 8th grade students.

Over the next three days, students interviewed their partner, located supporting images from their phones and the internet, and even took video footage and photos to include in their iMovie project. They also utilized other apps to achieve a custom look and feel to their projects:

  1. Collage apps like PicStitch and InstaCollage to include multiple photos in a shot.
  2. Hokusai to edit music from their iTunes library to remove inappropriate content or irrelevant lyrics

 
On the day of the presentation, students presented their iMovie projects behind a podium and introduced their partner to the class. Another group of students filmed each presentation and burned it to a CD for each student to review for personal critiquing purposes. When asked if they would change anything about the project, one student said he would spend a little more time on the timing and slides. This project was well planned and exceptionally executed! Mrs. Musci had a very thorough road map for students and the projects clearly reflected her expectations and detailed guidelines:

Project Guidelines:

  1. Create an iMovie video with at least 15 pictures including the photo of your partner and his/her name.
  2. Include a Title and Concluding Slide.
  3. Add transitions and appropriate music.
  4. Organize your interview into an outline
  5. Write a brief introduction and conclusion
  6. Include at least one story about your partner (funny or serious)
  7. Add a video of your partner and a voice over.

 

Collage Created with PhotoGridPro

Some suggestions:

  1. Use Videolicious (especially with its new update) as a free option for iMovie and use another app to add captions to the photos like Skitch or Doodle Buddy.
  2. Create an iMovie trailer for a book or to introduce a character to the class or even as a commercial to showcase an invented product.
  3. Use Google Advanced Search on the iPad (step-by-step directions here) to locate Copyright free images.
  4. Use Popplet Lite as a way to storyboard a project.

 
Check out some other student products created with iMovie:

  1. iMovie Book Trailer
  2. iMovie Lazy Quotient Calculus
  3. iMovie Stop-Motion Art
  4. iMovie Poetry

 

300+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

 


08 Sep 2012
Comments: 8

Creating Digital Artifacts: Part 1

I recently wrote a post about “Creating and Collecting Digital Work“.  When my son brought home this really charming and heart-warming hand drawn “about me” book, I instantly wanted him to tell me about each picture. His descriptions were so amusing and charming, I felt inspired and compelled to create a digital artifact of his work… with my iPad.

Here are the steps:

  1. Take a photo of each page
  2. Crop photos as needed
  3. Bring any photos into Skitch that had a name or identifying information (as I knew I would be posting info online) and color over that info. This is also a good idea if you have students with certain acceptable use and publishing regulations.
  4. Save the edited photo to your photo roll
  5. Import all of the photos in order in to Sonic Pics
  6. Have your student record a description for each picture

 
The recording isn’t perfect, but I will tell you that the first take for a small child tends to be the best take as they are most candid and they become exasperated with rerecording the same material.

 


27 Aug 2012
Comments: 0

Mad about Mad Lips

Last March, “Appy Hours 4 U” featured Mad Lips as a “surprisingly educational” app. You will have to listen to the show to hear all of the educational ideas that were assigned to it. 😉 When featuring an app on a show, I always send out an email notifying the app developer. Many of them actually reply with a customary “thanks” and others begin an email correspondence that turns in to an e-friendship. The latter is the case with Mike from Mad Lips.

Recently he shared a new photo contest he has launched to promote Mad Lips! The winner(s) photos will be included in the standard photo pack with the latest Mad Lips release for all to use and animate.

Before I share more about the contest, let me showcase some fantastic examples of how Mad Lips has been used educationally:

Talking Book Covers: See full blog and info here.

Practicing Spanish: See full blog and info here.
 
Classifying Triangles: See full blog and info here.

 
And my favorite… A Retelling of “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You Hear?”: See full blog.

 

Mike from Mad Lips

And now to the ... Contest Details: For those of you who enjoy amusing your students, desire 15 minutes or 15 seconds of fame, and have had a secret wish to be a viral meme… here is your chance! All you need is a penchant for the unknown. And thick skin. And a great sense of humor.

Mad Lips is a creative—surprisingly educational—app that lets anyone superimpose their talking lips over any picture. You can use Mad Lips in the classroom to deliver a talking book report. You can use it as a tool for practicing foreign languages. And now you can even use it to make your students laugh. Out loud. At your expense! Mad Lips is calling all teachers and educators to be part of the “Face The Music” challenge. It’s simple. Just send in a picture of your silliest face and the funniest image will be included as part of the standard photo pack in the next version of Mad Lips. You’ll be famous. Your students will love it. And you’ll be part of making the world a better place through creativity and laughter.

 

Fine Print:

  • Please send all images to info@affectiveapps.com
  • By sending in an image, you are explicitly granting the right to include it in the Mad Lips photo pack. This means that you grant the rights to use your image and likeness for a commercial application without any financial recuperation.
  • All participants must be 18 years of age.
  • The winning image will be chosen by the Mad Lips development team on September 30th, 2012. While not everyone will be included in the app, everyone who plays along is a winner in our books!

 
Good luck on the Contest. I am also very eager to hear how you are using Mad Lips in your classroom. Please share ideas and examples below in the comments.