Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
Best WP Theme Ever!
Call us toll free: 210-710-2434
03 Jan 2012
Comments: 3

Be a Narrative Champion 4 Your Students

While it is the new year, I would be remissed if I neglected to share this bit of tech cheer from Ms. Carnazzo. While this persuasive assignment is holiday themed, the idea of writing and reading with multiple media elements is an idea that can be used the whole year long. With a media production studio in her students’ hands, Ms. Carnazzo serves as a narrative champion for her second grade class.

The Task: Students completed a written reindeer application prior to recording with the VoiceThread app. While Ms. Carnazzo did mention that the app had some glitches, thankfully students were able to use the online web app to complete the rest of the assignment. I typically shy away from apps that require logins as creating multiple student credentials and signing in and out of the app can be cumbersome. However, I can see the benefit of creating a class login and being able to continue working online (away from a mobile device) if need be.

 

After being pumped up after Tech Forum, I had scribed a blog draft highlighting seven tenets from Dean Shareski’s Keynote “What Matters Now“. For one reason or another, I never posted it. Since then, I have come across multiple situations that support his seven tenets…and decided to highlight them in a series of blogs…each blog featuring one tenet.

What Matters Now: Shareski’s sixth item was “storytelling“…and the idea of reading and writing with media. In this day and age, a persuasive essay or biography does not have to be (and should not always be) a paper and pen assignment. Consider innovative ways to share a story: blogs, videos, podcasts, cartoons, animations, ePubs and ebooks, info graphics, slideshows, etc…

A Real World “Reindeer” Example: While Ben is not applying for a position as Santa’s reindeer, he is using the innovations of multimedia (Ben For Best Job Blog) to market himself as an ideal candidate for the job of his dreams. Consider using Web 2.0 tools and apps to provide students with the multimedia tools that they need be successful in an ever-changing social and global community.

Be a Narrative Champion for your Teachers: When I think of the classroom and teacher that I would want to teach and inspire my own two boys, I instantly think of Ms. Carnazzo. Her innovative lessons and purposeful and effective use of technology engage and empower her students to be media literate global learners and inspire others to follow in her footsteps. To that end, I have nominated Ms. Carnazzo for the National School Board Association’s “20 to Watch” Award.

Also check out “Digital Story-telling: A tutorial in 10 easy steps“!


28 Dec 2011
Comments: 1

iGoal Set: A Time Capsule for the Future Me

Writing a series of goal-setting inspired blogs got me to thinking of a very personal list of “goals for my life” that I composed close to 17 years ago. While I may have adhered to one of the golden rules of goal-setting…”set goals in writing”, I clearly failed to set time-bound goals with a specific action plan for achieving them. That being said, I have to admit, that my 15 year-old self didn’t do too shabby a job at setting a course to navigate my life for the past 17 years…as seen in the following achieved goals below:

Goals from my 15-year-old self created with Simplemind+ app

 

Some might see only reaching 20 of the original 139 goals listed as failure…especially as I directly negated #63 on the list “reach all my goals”. Others, might find interest in the ideas that the core values of education, career, and relationships remained true all these years. I will admit that goals #4-7 were medical school, fellowship, residency, and open up own practice in neo-natology or pediatrics were not in the cards for my future. Thankfully, my 19 year-old self took a different path after a C in Chemistry 301 and charted a new course that has led me here

Back to 1995 Courtesy of FutureMe.org & the contents of a Mead Journal

 

While my hopes of being a foreign exchange student (#24), going on an archaeological dig in ocean or on land (#32), getting a pilot’s license (#71), becoming a designer (#59), meeting aliens… of the extraterrestrial variety (#76), learning karate (#126), typing with correct form at any speed (#34), holding political office (#83), creating a new restaurant or department store (#99), and publishing my own series of romance novels under an alias (#88) may seem somewhat comical or past their due date…

Some goals seem to persevere through time: get published (#51) and be an entrepreneur (#52)

Some goals never change

 

And others have been given a new lease on life through the possibilities that existing technologies offer:

  1. learn how to play a musical instrument (#82): there is definitely an app for that
  2. create a new product (#100): Quirky & Prizes.Org 
  3. be an interior decorator (#80): various software, reality shows, apps, & Pinterest
  4. try virtual reality (#68): perhaps augmented reality will do

 

My message for 2012 is never give up on your self, your goals, your students, or their goals.

What might have seemed impossible almost two decades ago is now a reality with current and emerging technology, mobile devices, and the power of social networking and global connections. Perhaps, time travel: build a time machine (#85) and go to the moon and other planets (#106) may not be so unrealistic in a decade or two. 

Please give the gift of goal-setting to yourself, your children, and your students this year!

  1. Tools for Goal-Setting for Adults 
  2. Tools for Goal-Setting for Children & Students

 

More Resources to support Personal Goal-Setting:
  1. Personal Goal-Setting
  2. Top 7 Types of Goals
  3. Golden Rules of Goal-Setting
  4. Types of Goals
  5. Six Types of Goal-Setters
  6. 7 Deadly Sins of Goal-Setting

 


18 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

History Rocks with Web 2.0 Tools & iDevices

A few weeks ago Jennifer Hall of Krueger Middle School asked me to review her music video project and give her a few tools that her students could use to execute the assignment. She had found some pre-created sample videos on YouTube to inspire her students (see below).

 

Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration

 

The assignment is as follows:
  1. Students select a historical period or event (between Pre-Colombian and 1890).
  2. Students research the event and locate 10 artifacts of historical information (e.g. visual, text, audio) to support the selection
  3. Students create a music video to showcase the artifacts and retell the event.
    1. Videos are 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes
    2. Videos could be animated, live action, or a series of stills
    3. The music could be original music and lyrics (both created by students), existing music with original lyrics (lyrics rewritten by students), or existing music that fits the project without alterations

 

Here are some of the tools (apps, software, and Web 2.0) that I suggested be used to achieve the final product:
  1. Software: PhotoStory
  2. Web 2.0: Animoto
  3. Apps: Videolicious, Cartoonatic, Sonic Pics, Slideshow+, StoryRobe . I also came across Film Genie & Roxio PhotoShow after we met.

 

Check out other iPad Lessons for History: Sock Puppet Court Cases Part 1 & Part 2

 

Get inspired to rock out your History classroom (History for Music Lovers – YouTube)

 

The French Revolution (“Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga)
The Gettysburg Address
The Battles at Lexington and Concord in Lego
Ballad of Benjamin Franklin *Music Video*

Why Study History?

30 Oct 2011
Comments: 2

4 Tools for Innovative e-Magazines

As you well know, I am an app addict and a bit of an app hoarder. Always seeking new and innovative ways to share my app-thusiasm and appy hours, I was thrilled when I came across this iPad E-mag in an original Apps in Education post. Tucking it away until I found time to play… and blog, I decided to share the e-mag as well as my tech bucket list of resources for creating a similar one for the techchef4u kitchen and patrons.

 

 
Kudos to Laura Wright for compiling this book of “essential apps for elementary age children” in such a beautiful and informative publication.

Tech Bucket List: Curated on Scoop.it


 
Tech Bucket List: As I am inundated on a daily basis with cool tech resources that I would like to explore or integrate into lessons or professional development resources, I created an online repository to house said tools. Noting that a few drops in my tech bucketwere tools for e-publication, I felt this might be the perfect time to share a few that I plan to explore and utilize to create virtual and interactive resources for app-related lessons and professional development.

  1. Themeefy: allows you to create your own personalized themed magazines
  2. Grisker: publish content in a magazine style
  3. Openzine: make your own magazine
  4. Simplebooklet: create and share multi-page booklets

 
Please note these tools are on my bucket list: I have not reviewed or explored these e-publishing tools further than “wow these are really cool tools and I must reserve some time to play with them in the future.”

If anyone has used any of the 4 tools listed above (or has others to share), I would love to hear your review or see what a final product looked like.


30 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

There's a Podcast for that…

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

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

Vintage Horror Radio Podcasts


 
The apptivity could be set up like this:

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

 

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

 


25 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

Tacky Wales: iTool for Literacy

If you follow my blog, you will know that Ms. Carnazzo has quite the iLesson toolkit (e.g short vowel sounds with Songify, Math fact families with Talking Tom and friends, classifying motion with iCardSort, and integrating Math and literacy using Puppet Pals Director’s Pass) for utilizing one iPad in her elementary classroom.

Tacky Wales Student Products


 
Her latest project utilized the paid app Tacky Wales: Create Your Own Story (thanks to a donation from the app developer for the promo code). In Language Arts, Ms. Carnazzos’ class has been working on parts of speech (mainly nouns and a sprinkling of verbs and adjectives).

Tacky Wales Student Products


 
Ms. Carnazzo’s model for executing this iLesson is well thought out and flawlessly planned:

  1. Setting the Stage: Before tackling the Tacky Wales project, students worked in collaborative groups to generate lists of words that fit into these categories (e.g. nouns, verbs, adjectives) as a reference.
  2. Modeling  & Guided Practice: She did one story with the whole class as an intro.
  3. Preview & Preselect Content: She then gave students a list of appropriate stories (topic and age-appropriate for second graders as some titles may be more adult-oriented) to choose from.
  4. Student Input: They voted and chose a title for their group.
  5. Facilitating  Student Efforts: Donette Sis (an Instructional Technology Coordinator) and Jennifer Heine (an Instructional Technology Specialist) came to the class with their iPads to help work with the small groups in completing their selected story. Teachers helped groups choose and input their words into the story framework.
  6. Extensions & Engagement: After completing and reading/enjoying the original story, students shook the iPad to Spoonerize (note: be aware that some spoonerisms may not be age-appropriate – consider re-shaking if you encounter this issue)…which of course they found quite hilarious!
  7. Presentation & Public Speaking: The next day students shared all their stories with the whole class.
  8. Cross-curricular Integration: Each group illustrated the setting of their own story. The importance of the story element, setting, is an integral focus for Reading.
 

Tacky Wales Student Products


 
Hungry for More?: Check out Words 4 Students for a list of free mad lib-like apps and suggestions for how they can be used in the classroom.

 

Thanks Tacky Wales for featuring  Ms. Carnazzo’s lesson on your site!

 


25 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

Government vs. Puppets Part 2

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

Gibbons Vs. Ogden (created with Sock Puppets)




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


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

 

 


20 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

37 Books in 1…for Free?

Preparing for a guest blog for Computer Explorers on the topic of “How Can iPads Support Literacy?“, I spent some time looking for a few of my favorite titles of the “I Like…” series in the app store to determine which ones were currently free. And do you know what I found? Not one… but 37 Books in 1 for… free. If I hadn’t been tightly grasping my Starbucks DoubleShot with Energy during my search, the urge to actually jump for joy would not have suppressed.

I Like Books - 37 Picture Books for Kids in 1 AppBy GrasshopperApps.com


 

I have included this literary iPad gem (as well as a list of 11 other free iPad books) and tips to support literacy utilizing the iPad in my debut guest blog for Computer Explorers.

Join Techchef4u in Supporting Literacy on the iPad

 


19 Oct 2011
Comments: 2

Quadfecta of Integration: Brainstorming, Goal-Setting, iPads, Collaboration

Mrs. DeForrest and I met up again this morning to cook up another delectable fusion. This time we decided to use iBrainstorm and goal-setting questions to create a collaborative gallery walk activity.

How does the selection and pursuit of goals affect a person’s life?

Students will complete the walk in both reading and english class (each class has a different set of questions) that day and the questions will be used to introduce the unit based on the essential question (in bold above).

Questions for Gallery Walk

 

Here’s the recipe for accomplishing this app-tivity:

  1. Teacher prepares 6 stations with an iPad at each:
    1. Each station is a different number – ranging from 1-6
    2. Each station will have a different question corresponding to that number (print out on large piece of paper and post above or at station)
    3. Teacher will add a new board to each iPad using iBrainstorm. Teacher will label the board according to the station it is placed in: Question  1- Question 6 (e.g. iPad 1 for Station 1 would have a board within iBrainstorm labeled “Question 1” )
    4. Teacher will prepare student task cards for each station (using student directions below)
    5. Teacher will assign each student in each class period to a colored group. There are 6 colored groups: yellow, blue, green, red, orange, purple.
    6. Teacher will assign a role or task to each student in the group (e.g. Scribe for Questions 1-2, Scribe for Questions 3-4, Scribe for Questions 5-6, Final Submitter, Timekeeper/TaskMaster/BoardMaster). Roles can be adjusted as group sizes will vary.
    7.  Teacher will post instructions for submitting final board including teacher email address visible in the room.

     

Gallery Walk Rotation: Colors Correspond with iBrainstorm Sticky Notes

     

  1. Student Directions:
    1. Report to their first station according to rotation schedule (see role/task assignments for Scribe)
      1. Double-tap on the board in iBrainstorm to add a sticky note
      2. Double-tap the sticky note to edit the color to change it to correspond to your group’s color
      3. Type in your answer to the question (may have several stickies for each question for each group)
      4. Tap the keyboard icon (in the far bottom right of your keyboard) or the cork board background to return back to your canvas
      5. Move stickies by pressing and dragging to group or pinch out to zoom in (if necessary)
    2. Report to second station according to rotation schedule and complete same process (see role/task assignments for Scribe)
    3. Report to third-sixth stations using same process and instructions
    4. At last station (after answers to final question have been posted on board), follow Final Submitter instructions:
      1. After last question is answered at last station, tap square with arrow in upper right hand corner of screen to submit
      2. Tap “Send in Email
      3. To: “Teacher email” you have been given (e.g. anyteacher@neisd.net)
      4. Subject: “Period#: Question #: Actual Question” (e.g. Period 2: Question 1: What is goal-setting?)
      5. In Body of Email: “Write group members names and color of group” (e.g. Purple Group: Stefan, Elena, Damen, Bonnie
      6. Tap “Send” (receive verification from teacher that board was received) – should also hear “whoosh” sound
    5. At last station, BoardMaster will shake iPad and select “Delete Everything
 

iBrainstorm: Gallery Walk Questions

Resources/References:

  1. Setting & Achieving Goals for Grades 5-9

 

Also check out these resources:
  1. Getting iN Touch with Vocabulary: iDevice Graphic Organizer Lesson
  2. Take A Chomp Out of Your Learning Goals: Screen-casting to express goals
  3. HOT Apps 4 Brainstorming: Free Brainstorming & Mind-Mapping Apps (reviews, lessons, and resources)
  4. Need Inspiration? Check out 100 Reasons to Mind Map

 

 


18 Oct 2011
Comments: 3

Getting iN Touch with Vocabulary

A fortunate happenstance allowed Mrs. Deforest (our ELAR Facilitator) and myself to land at Ed White Middle School on a day of benchmark testing. At first both of us considered rescheduling our visits but thankfully decided to work together on integrating technology into the upcoming 6th ACL unit instead.

What are some complexities involved in coming to an understanding of ourselves and others?

The essential question drove the activities and technology tools and resources that were assembled that day. Mrs. Deforest already had the videos and readings assembled and had ideas for the activity (e,g, graphic organizer, think/pair/share, gallery walk, Socratic circles, brainstorming, impromptu speech, etc…). I merely had to sprinkle some app-erific seasoning on a few of the dishes to really bring out their flavor…

Resource: One of the first weeks involved students watching a video from a student, Eve Shalen Krakowski, reflecting upon an experience she had in eighth grade:

App-tivity: After the video clip, students would be directed to discuss what it meant to be an “insider” or an “outsider“. As the ELAR department on campus had just received 60 iPads (divided into 3 carts with 20 in each) for classroom use, I wanted to choose a tool that could accomplish the task as well as lend itself as an ingredient to other dishes in the future. I felt iCardSort and a graphic organizer PDF to create a Frayer model would do the trick.

Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers: 38 Total

 

Here’s the recipe for accomplishing this app-tivity:

  1. Launch Safari on your iPad.
  2. Visit http://bit.ly/15hr8m (a bitly version for Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers)
  3. Create a webclip for the site:
    1. tap the box with the arrow on the right of the browser
    2. tap “add to home screen”
    3. save
  4. Launch the site from your new web clip
  5. Select the Web Diagram graphic organizer
  6. Take a screenshot:
    1. press home and off buttons at same time
    2. photo will be automatically saved to your photo roll
  7. Launch iCardSort app
  8. Select an option for delivery:
    1. Teacher creates and beams/blasts default deck: Teacher creates a default deck with labels (“insider”, “definition”, “examples”, “non-examples”, “characteristics”) and students import Frayer Model default deck
    2. Students create deck from scratch
  9. Set the background:
    1. Tap box with arrow on right
    2. Tap Settings/Background Images/Choose Saved Photo/Select Web Diagram
  10. Create a Frayer Model for the word “insider”
    1. Double Tap anywhere on background to create a new card
  11. Layer all cards (grouped so they touch) in each circle before you submit
  12. Email the deck to your teacher (will include 5 groups of text as well as image of model)
  13.  

iCardSort with Holt Interactive G.O. as background


 

Also check out these resources:
  1. Use neu.Annotate PDF free app to annotate PDF (with pens, highlighters, shapes, images, and text)
  2. Use Eduplace graphic organizers in addition to Holt
  3. HOT Apps 4 Brainstorming: Free Brainstorming & Mind-Mapping Apps (reviews, lessons, and resources)
  4. Need Inspiration? Check out 100 Reasons to Mind Map