Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
Best WP Theme Ever!
Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
21 Aug 2012
Comments: 0

Sync-up with Evernote

I was a bit of a late adopter to Evernote. Two years ago, I jumped on board and began dumping more and more info into my Evernote from “appy hour” scripts and lists of blog ideas to wireless passwords and conference notes.

Evernote Sync-up

 

Last Thursday I had the app-ortunity to visit the new Evernote headquarters in Austin with fellow members of the Eanes Ed Tech crew. Impressed with the idea of a 100 year company and a resource that I could continually trust to hold my most precious thoughts and resources, I was even more thrilled to learn about the other features and ideas Evernote offered and suggested for making my “second brain” more accessible and efficient:

  • Send notes into specific notebooks directly from your email. Let’s say you want to send a photo or important email directly to Evernote:
    • Locate your Evernote email address found under Account/Account Info (use this email address to send to)
    • Add a subject for your note in the subject line
    • Add the name of the notebook you wish to send it to in the subject line (e.g. “@Math”).
    • Add any tags you wish to use (e.g. “#equations #variable)
    • The final subject line might look something like this:
      • Step-by-Step Equations @Math #equations #variable
  • Tag notes and lessons with TEKS (standards) or keywords for quick search access
  • Create public checklists for school supplies and projects and share the note via a hyperlink
  • Utilize the Clearly plugin to format what you read online
  • Create stacked notebooks by simply dragging one notebook onto another. For example, let’s say you have an Algebra notebook and a Geometry notebook. Drag one on top of the other to create a stacked notebook entitled “Math”. The hierarchy really helps with organization and combats the summer brain drain by making the year’s previous notes a simple search away.
  • Scan documents directly with the Scansnap scanner
  • Make use of OCR for scanned documents and photos. Truly this is awesome! Imagine taking a snapshot of the notes on the board for the day and then being able to actually search your notes by the words in the photo. App-tastic!

 

Evernote has OCR with Photos and Scanned Docs

 

Other Evernote Resources I gleaned from the web:

 


08 Aug 2012
Comments: 0

Keeping up with Carnazzo

I had intended at one point to blog about all of Lisa Carnazzo’s (2nd grade teacher extroardinare and honorary member of the iVengers) excellent iPad lessons in further detail but this summer has been far busier than I anticipated. That being said, I thought I would share all of her special iCreations that she has been working on all summer long. As everyone begins their back-to-school shopping and routines, Lisa Carnazzo has developed a plethora of resources for students to utilize all year long (at home and at school):

 

Sight Words: First we begin with an excellent Symbaloo of word families which all hyperlink back to sample Quizlet decks. Each deck includes photos too! And if that isn’t cool enough, she has created a Snapguide for parents to showcase how to access and utilize the Quizlet decks to study their sight words.


 

Math Facts: Lisa has also created another Symbaloo of math facts which all hyperlink back to Quizlet decks to support that skill. Each deck includes photos too! And of course, she was only too thoughtful to create a Snapguide for parents to showcase how to access and utilize the Quizlet decks to study their math facts.

 

100’s Chart: Lisa has created yet another Snapguide to showcase how to use the 100’s chart to solve addition problems.

 

iPad Lessons: Lisa Carnazzo showcases all of her student projects on her class wiki. Check out all of her iPad Lessons on her site and read more in-depth blogs on how they were accomplished right here. If you are having issues accessing her Glogster pages on the iPad, try copying and pasting the url into an app like Rover. Here are a few iLessons you may have missed… The Lorax Cause & Effect and Mealworm Lifecycle which were both accomplished using the Tools 4 Students graphic organizer app.

Lisa Carnazzo's Class iPad Projects


 
Interested in Quizlet, Symbaloo, Snapguide, and iPad Lessons?:

 

 


09 Jul 2012
Comments: 1

QR Footprints in Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

New Braunfels Footprints in Time

 

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

 


28 Jun 2012
Comments: 4

The Dot Project – ISTE 2012


24 Jun 2012
Comments: 0

The Mommy iBalance

“All my bags are packed… I’m ready to go…”… again. June has been a very busy month with multiple conferences and speaking engagements. And today is no different as I enjoy the San Antonio airport’s amazing and FREE Wifi to complete this blog before I head out to ISTE. While I thoroughly enjoy all of these events… as a mommy, I sometimes feel guilty leaving my two boys. Thus, I spent a good hour or two last night customizing a few apps for my eldest to enjoy in my absence.

While I typically only showcase FREE apps, the following two paid apps were worth every penny to provide a personal learning experience for my little boy in my absence.

Write My Name: Though this app includes upper and lower case letters and familiar word cards, the best feature is the ability to include your own name tags. Each name tag consists of a photo, text name of photo, and a brief  audio recording. I decided to take pics of immediate family members (including the pets) and a few familiar house items (e.g. bed, toys, clock, etc…).

Create Custom Name Tags with Write My Name app


 
Write My Name: Once all of the custom name tags have been added, the fun begins. Children simply tap on a name tag and are presented with the corresponding picture and name. Then a tracing paper appears and the child must trace/write the name of the object or person using correct form. Once the child correctly completes the handwriting portion, the audio will play. All of my audio was simply my speaking the name of the object. For kicks, sometimes I added a sound effect after. (And “yes”, before you ask…we do have a dog named Cullen. And “yes” he was named after a famous vampire.) Now that we have that out of the way… let’s continue… =)

Practice Handwriting with familiar words compiled with Turbo Collage app


 
Futaba Classroom Games for Kids: I have had a fascination with this app ever since I downloaded the free version. While I enjoy the free app, the paid version is truly where custom learning begins. It currently includes 20 preloaded learning modules and boasts the app-ortunity to create your own. As I had already had the pictures on my iPad from the “Write My Name” app, I decided to simply use the same words and images to create an interactive matching game. I also really like the idea of reusing the words to reinforce the learning experience in a different way.

Create Custom Learning Games with Futaba Classroom Games for Kids iPad app


 
While these tools can’t replace mommy time, I hope they will provide enjoyable learning experiences with familiar objects (and give daddy a bit of a break). If you would like to see Futaba in action, check out the video below.

Visit “iPrep 4 Kinder” for more apps and resources to support the preschool/primary child using the iPad.

 


18 May 2012
Comments: 0

3 Interactive iPad App-tivities that aren't Apps!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am always intrigued by sites that offer interactivity but are not apps (ala Quizlet). I had observed Mr. Wayment’s class reviewing the Greek & Latin roots using an 82 card Quizlet deck he had created. Students were utilizing various activities within Quizlet (e.g. Speller, Learn, and Scatter) to review the terms.

 

 
While the students were engaged in the app-tivity, Mr. Wayment shared another online resource that he had been using (on both the computer and the iPad)… Jeopardy Labs. Though I did not have a chance to create my own, I did explore the sample Mr. Wayment created on Greek & Latin Roots. Although he initially created the resource online, he has the flexibility to have students access it in small groups on the computer and from the iPad.

Wayment's Greek and Latin Roots: Online Jeopardy

 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Multiple Teams: The site allows multiple teams (up to 12) to play the same board.
  2. Choose a Category and a Point Value.
  3. Answer in question form: They are presented with a statement and must verbalize the correct question to match (e.g. Statement: “Derivative of “digit” that means magic tricks, card tricks, or sleight-of-hand” Correct Response: “What is prestidigitation?”)
  4. Assigning Points and Recording Scores: If the team provides a correct answer, they tap the + and the point value of the item is added to their leader board. If they answered incorrectly, they tap the – and the point value of the item is removed from their leader board.
  5. Repeat and Enjoy: After the points are recorded, the teams would return to the game board and a different team would repeat the category and point value selection.

 

 

Though the lesson itself essentially was English Language Arts focused in nature, the idea of jeopardy for any content area or grade level is fully translatable and customizable. Create your own Jeopardy Board or utilize the current pre-created templates is FREE.

 

While researching Jeopardy Labs, I came across Bingo Baker (another online resource created by the maker of Jeopardy Lab). With this tool, you can easily create and play your own Bingo Boards (online and directly from the iPad) with no login or payment. Each Bingo Card includes 25 squares (including one free spot). The cards can also be printed as a PDF for playing as a hard copy or annotating in an app like PaperPort Notes or Notability.

 

Bingo Baker step-by-step directions: I created a Snapguide for how to create and play your Bingo Card.

Snapguide: How to Create & Play BINGO on your iPad

 

Interesting note…
  1. I created the card on my iPad and went into play mode on the iPad and then used the same link on my computer for the card and had a different variation of the same card.
  2. If you refresh the page on the iPad or the computer, it will create a different variation of the card using the same words entered.
  3. One cannot edit the card once it has been created (only clone it).

 

Further English & Vocabulary Resources: 
  1. How to use Quizlet on the iPad
  2. Math-tastic iVocabulary
  3. iVocabulary
  4. Paperless Passages with PaperPort 
  5. Putting an iSpin on Video Vocabulary

 


07 May 2012
Comments: 2

iLearning is a Snap!

Recently, I delivered a workshop for a private school that had a 1:1 iPad initiative. They had requested tools that would support note-taking and assessment in the iClassroom. After exploring the many possibilities Quizlet had to offer, I framed the first half of the workshop around exploring a deck of cards created with Quizlet.

While Quizlet is a great tool to create vocabulary flashcards, its platform also provides a way for teachers to disseminate information that can be explored and devoured by students at their “leisure”. Rather than spending 30 minutes showcasing 15 FREE product-based apps, explaining what each app does, and highlighting its special features, I thought a better use of time would be to let the teachers explore the tools themselves.

In every workshop (as with every classroom), we have students at different levels and with different experiences. This process not only allowed teachers to explore and review the material at their own pace (and skip over information they were already familiar with), it modeled using a tool such as Quizlet to deliver “sage on the stage” info in a “guide on the side” format. Those students who were familiar with Quizlet and/or the apps took the time and initiative to explore Quizlet’s more advanced features.

 

 
The following week, I was in the process of revamping some of the modules for “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” and felt that Quizlet would be the perfect tool to convey the steps of Remembering and Explaining to support Bloom’s Taxonomy. As the tool itself is web-based, I wanted to showcase how it could be utilized to support learning, review, collaboration, and assessment on the iPad using my new favorite app…Snapguide. While the example deck itself utilizes unique kitchen vocabulary terms, I hope you can see what a valuable tool Quizlet truly is for the iClassroom and beyond.

 

How to Use Quizlet on the iPad


 
Though I had previously created a video highlighting the steps to import a Quizlet deck into the Flashcardlet (Flashcards*) app, I thought it might be quicker to view the step-by-step process in Snapguide:

  1. Blog and Video for importing Quizlet decks into Flashcards* app
  2. Snapguide for importing Quizlet decks into Flashcards* app

 
While Snapguide is primarily used to create step-by-step tutorials for DIY projects, crafts, and culinary delights, I find it a true gem for showcasing technology tools. Jon Samuelson of Eanes ISD has a similar idea as he uses the app with his 4th grade iClassroom:

  1. How to do Long Division
  2. How to Plot Points
  3. How to Be a Good Student
  4. How to Make a Tomato Garden
  5. How to Make a Box with Only One Piece of Paper
  6. How to Make Your Teacher Happy
  7. How to Write in Cursive
  8. How to Learn Lattice Multiplication

 


05 May 2012
Comments: 2

The iTraits of Character

Ashley Solomon is an amazing 6th grade Reading Workshop teacher at one of my campuses, Ed White Middle School, who truly knows how to utilize the iPads to support learning and exhibit student comprehension while creating an engaging classroom atmosphere. Regardless of the range of learners (e.g. ESL to students with low reading comprehension ability) she has in the class, she goes above and beyond in integrating technology and providing her students with the utmost of cutting edge learning app-ortunities.

Recently, she used the Sock Puppet app to support character analysis/development and practice dictionary and thesaurus skills: 

  1. Prior Knowledge: Students read their weekly Reading Workshop mini-book “Max’s Glasses”.
  2. Pre-assignment: Students completed graphic organizers and discussed the traits of the characters in the short fiction story. (This could also be achieved with Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers annotated in an app like PaperPort Notes or an app like Popplet Lite or Tools 4 Students.) 
  3. Project Foundation: Students were assigned a character trait and asked to practice dictionary/thesaurus skills for the STAAR by locating the definition, synonym, and antonym. Students also wrote a sentence and drew a picture for their given word. (This could be achieved with Popplet Lite, Doodle Buddy, or ScreenChomp.)
  4. Pre-Planning: Students worked independently or in pairs to write a brief 30 second or less dialogue  between two characters.
  5. Assignment: Students create a sock puppet show (using the Sock Puppets app) for an assigned character trait (acting out the dialogue as if the sock puppet was the word “studious”).
  6. Sharing: Students showcased their videos for the class and discussed the featured character traits.

 

I have recreated a few student samples below based on the scripts Mrs. Solomon provided me with.

 
Studious

  • A: Hi. I am Studious.
  • A: I like to read everyday. I read a lot of books and I read fast.
  • B: How else are you studious?
  • A: I study before my test is given to me.

 

Loyal

  • A: I am Loyal because I am very friendly.
  • B: What makes a loyal person?
  • A: I take on a lot of responsibility.
  • A: Loyal people are very caring.
  • B: Wow, it sounds like you are very loyal.

 

Check out Ashley’s other iLesson and more ELA iLessons.

 

 


17 Apr 2012
Comments: 0

Inspirational Organization

Last summer two individuals from Inspiration came to showcase Webspiration. As an iPad Evangelist, I queried, “Do you have an app?” At the time they did not. Unfortunately, while we have Inspiration & Kidspiration loaded on most of our district computers, the software is often left untouched. Knowing that this software could be an integral part of mind-mapping and robust story-telling, this lack of use makes me a bit sad.

Inspiration Maps (and Inspiration Maps Lite) come at the perfect time in the iDevice explosion to meet the needs of our mobile learners. If you love Inspiration Software, you have to check out the Inspiration app. The app is intuitive and familiar and boasts a current library of 29 templates. Templates range from Analogies and Biographies to Character Analysis and Lab Reports. Inspiration is the perfect tool to support the writing process in the iClassroom. The available templates provide a framework for guiding brainstorming and outlining and allow students the ability to expand on their thoughts, knowledge, and research to build deeper understanding.

The ability to toggle between outline and diagram mode appeals to multiple learning styles. Inspiration has truly addressed the needs of mobile learners by adding multiple features to export diagrams and outlines as well as build off of them in other apps.

As I try to only showcase purposeful and productive use of the iPad and I still have Mobile 2012 on the brain, I thought I would use the Inspiration Maps app to showcase my Mobile 2012 iLearning journey utilizing the Plot Analysis Template.

My Mobile 2012 iLearning Journey Plot Reflection

 

After reading the user reviews, I will concede that there are some features that are lacking in the current version of Inspiration Maps:

  1. Exporting and a way to sync/interface with the desktop version of Inspiration.
  2. The lack of exporting the graphic version of the diagram with other apps rather than simply the outline.
  3. The ability to export as a PDF.
  4. A feature to wirelessly collaborate on the same document or a way to beam/blast map templates to other users (ala iCardSort app).
  5. A user created Inspiration Diagrams template repository accessible to all (ala iCardSort decks).

 

BUT… the beauty of Inspiration being a mobile app is the user feedback… Need a specific template or feature? Simply email the developer. I truly believe that Inspiration Maps (as all apps) is a fluid work in progress and am thrilled with its current features and hopeful of what it has to offer in the future.

 


26 Mar 2012
Comments: 14

Integrating Infographics into the iClassroom

So TechChef4U has caught the Infographics Influenza! Being a bit of a Pinterest fanatic, I have found an easy way to support and feed my Infographics Habit. Continuing to stock pile Educational Infographics on my Pinterest board, I waited until I found an app-ortunity to share these resources with one of my teachers and create a delectable lesson. During my stint as an 8th Math tutor, I had a few of the teachers approach me about engaging math lessons that they could utilize with 8th Math after the STAAR test. I mentioned the topic of infographics and shared a few of the ones I had collected. Then I worked with one of the teachers in particular, Mrs. Simpson, to hash out the details.

Pinterest: Educational Infographics

 

Common Core Standards: Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears”

What is an Infographic? Before we continue… let’s define and explore the topic of “infographics” further. No need to recreate the wheel… Kathy Schrock has already blazed the trail and created an amazing Vimeo video on the topic.

8 Great Infographic Stations: Teacher could choose a different infographic (from the list of 120+) for each station or have all of the students use the same infographic for each station. Infographics can be accessed from computers or mobile devices (as most are just images and not flash-based). Note: The EDU Infographic Pinterest board has been curated and reviewed mostly via a mobile phone – please preview and preselect infographics prior to utilizing the resources with your students.

  1. Station 1: List 5-10 Observations or Trends for the Infographic.
    1. This could be accomplished with Todays MeetEdmodo, or Lino It  from a mobile device or computer.
  2. Station 2: Generate 2 Truths & a Lie for the Infographic (prompt parter or other groups to determine which statements are true and which ones are lies).
    1. This could be accomplished with Todays MeetEdmodo, or Lino It  from a mobile device or computer.
    2. Todays Meet (modification): use Todays Meet activity as an exit ticket, print the transcript from Todays Meet, use as a warm-up the next day. Students would choose 4-6 statements and prove/disprove them.
  3. Station 3: Create a Word Problem based on data provided in the infographic (pass your problem to a partner or other group to solve).
    1. Word Problems could be created with a basic voice recording app or apps like Talking Tom & Ben, Puppet Pals, Sock Puppets, QR Code Beamer, Mad Lips, Comic Touch Lite, etc…
    2. Word Problems could be created with Web 2.0 tools like Make Belief Comix and Voki.
  4. Station 4: Answer Specific Questions on the Infographic (teacher could create a task or recording sheet for a specific infographic prior to that day.)
    1. Based on the trend and data given, make predictions or conclusions.
    2. Determine validity of statements.
    3. Teacher could generate multiple True/False Statements (prior to class) and have students prove/disprove them (some could require calculation).
    4. Create a Data table for one of the graphs.
    5. Calculate Central tendency for the data.
    6. Determine what the population of interest is.
    7. Locate bias in the infographic.
  5. Station 5: Determine how the information could be misused by supporting two separate arguments with the same graph, data set, or infographic.
  6. Station 6: Write a story about a person that the population describes or Create a Popplet to illustrate an individual from the population sample (similar to Visual.ly Twitterize).
  7. Station 7: Create a sample poll with questions that could have been asked to generate the infographic given? Then poll actual students in your classroom or at your campus and compare the data (use tools like Poll Everywhere, Edmodo, or  Google Forms – all 3 can be accessed from a mobile device and computer).
  8. Station 8: Determine data and questions for the infographic that you feel should have been included or would benefit the study.
Students Love Technology

Via: OnlineEducation.net

More Info/Resources on Teaching with Infographics 

  1. Kathy Schrock: Infographics as a Creative Assessment
  2. Data Visualizations & Infographics
  3. Project 3 Infographics: Ideas for using infographics across core curriculum.
  4. Data Visualized: More on Teaching with Infographics
  5. Where the Classroom Ends: Great ideas on using infographics to teach explicit/implicit arguments and utilize animated infographics.
  6. 10 Awesome Free Tools to Make Infographics