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24 Aug 2011
Comments: 0

Inspire and Ignite Political Debate in the Classroom

Container Ban on River Passes

As a local New Braunfels resident and an educator, I thought the current river ban debate would make an excellent post for a research and persuasive paper assignment. It is also is a nice pairing with my recent Fakebook post as there are Facebook pages both for (“It’s Time to Protect Our Comal and Guadalupe Rivers“) and against the ban (“The River Belongs to Us Not City Council” & “Sign the Referendum to Recall the New Braunfels Container Ban Ordinance“). While I would not recommend using the actual Facebook pages for research as some of the comments have proven to be heated and inappropriate, teachers could glean both pages for arguments and direct quotes from both sides to provide a point of reference for the debate.

Last night the New Braunfels City Council by a vote to 5 to 1 banned disposable food and beverages from waterways within the city limits. This ban has ignited the interest of many residents who may or would not have been active in local government and want to have a voice… and a vote.

River Video taken August 15th, 2011 after a clean-up. 

Ignite Debate: Such a hot topic also proves to be a great fodder for classroom discussion and a wonderful vehicle for debate. Trying to say as unbiased as possible, I decided to build off of my previous Fakebook post:

New Braunfels City Council Meeting

  1. Teachers could create a simulated discussion to highlight basic arguments from both sides (by pulling quotes and posts from FB).
  2. Students would then get a RAFTS  assignment. (Consider all of the the parties (roles) that the ban will affect and all of the vested entities: NB City Council, NB Police, locals, residents on the river, river-oriented business, NB businesses, tourists, the media, state politicians). See Reading Rockets RAFTS info and templates.
  3. Based on their given or selected role, students would research arguments, statistics, and facts/info that would support their stance on the issue. The recent article from My San Antonio provides a great start.
  4. Students would complete a graphic organizer to record their findings before finalizing their project.
    1. Web 2.0: ExploratreePopplet, or HOLT Interactive Graphic Organizers
    2. iPad: Popplet or T-Charts (123 Charts for stats and data)
    3. iPod: T-Charts (123 Charts for stats and data)
  5. Students could then present their persuasive argument in multiple formats:

    Created with T-Chart app

    1. a news broadcast (using Videolicious and images from the council meeting and river)
    2. an letter/email to a local Congressman (When writing a letter/email, remind students to: know their facts, state their purpose, be personal, stay on message, don’t be partisan, be courteous, and request a response). Researching voting records and public stances for multiple congressional figures may help students locate Senators and Representatives that would be more sympathetic to their cause.)
    3. a website (Glogster EDU) or brochure/flier with all information gathered for or against ban that could be presented to locals and/or voters
    4. a persuasive essay
    5. a debate (live or virtually with Edmodo)
    6. a song/rap/poem (quick songs could be completed in using Songify)
    7. a proposal to provide alternate solutions to the ban or a revised law
    8. a 30-second commercial for or against the ban (check out Photostory)
    9. an interview with a RAFTS stakeholder

 River Video taken after Memorial Day, 2011 used in the media to support the ban


17 Aug 2011
Comments: 0

Surprisingly Educational Apps: Talking Homophone Heads

My two-year old son is overjoyed as he claps his hands in glee when Talking Tom Cat repeats his spoken phrases, “my mama” and “tractor”. While Talking Tom Cat and his friends were created as interactive pets with built in voice repetition, they can be used to engage learners in repetitive tasks that may not be as intriguing if completed in a low-tech manner.

Talking Tom Cat is quite the social butterfly and has many friends (Larry the Bird, Lila the Fairy, Gina the Giraffe, Ben the Dog, Harry the Hedgehog, John the Bacteria, Rex the Dinosaur, Roby Celik the Robot, Santa, and Baby Hippo) but I try to focus on ones that hit the right price point… free. Tom Cat 1 & 2, Gina, Ben, Roby, and John are all free and can be used at multiple grade levels across various content areas. (I did utilize paid Talking Rex as he fit the homophone lesson quite nicely. Gotta love carnivores with the best of intentions.)

Talking Tom Cat will record for 45 seconds. The resulting video can be exported or saved to the device. If a teacher chooses to export to YouTube, he/she will want to set up a class YouTube account and ensure privacy settings are initiated as well as individual student AUP’s are being followed. Students can also email the video from the device as an mp4. If a student needs longer than 45 seconds, consider breaking the activity into parts or acts.

Roby Celik, the talking robot, is also free and allows users to either speak or type text. In testing him, we found that he took about three lines of text before he would stop recitation (probably about 45 seconds).

Talking Homophones Lesson with Juxio

 

Roby: “My robotics teacher always tells us to cite our references when doing research.”

Rex: “Even though I had the best of intentions to become a vegetarian, I feel like I lost sight of my goals.”

Tom: “I was very excited when I visited the site for the new creamery. They even gave me a free sample.”

  • Student use: Consider using a talking character app to recite a speech, practice foreign language, or create word problems for your peers to solve. Students could also create two videos (one from each perspective of an argument/debate) and have a third group compose a persuasive essay as a follow-up writing assignment.
  • Teacher use: Create your own Talking Tom video to provide directions (e.g. lab safety rules, task instructions, login protocol) for a center or a learning station activity (see homophones example above). Teachers could also set up a center with prefixes, suffixes, and root words and have students assemble words, look up definitions, create a sentence that uses the new word in context, and then have a talking character recite the text. Consider using the videos as an introduction to a new topic or unit (as seen in Talking John below). From there, have students answer questions about the statements about bad bacteria, research bad bacteria further and create a KWL, Popplet Lite, a Frayer Model. Students could even compare & contrast good bacteria to bad bacteria, etc…

Bacteria John: “Bacteria are one-celled creatures that get nutrients from the environment to live. They can produce insude the body and cause infections. These are bad bacteria.”

Note: As the apps were created as interactive pets and not necessarily for instructional use, teachers will want to restrict “in-app purchases” to ensure students do not accidentally or intentionally purchase an added feature. This is quick and easy to do in the general menu of your iPad settings. Teachers will also want to test each app as to the appropriateness of the interactive features with the age group they intend to use it with.

Please comment with other ways you have and could use these talking characters in the classroom.

 


14 Aug 2011
Comments: 1

Surprisingly Educational Apps: iPad Blog Hop Host

In honor of the launching of Techchef4u’s Blog Talk Radio Show “Appy Hour”, I decided to cook up my first ever iPad Blog Hop Contest (the winner will receive a $20 iTunes Gift card!). The rules are fairly simple:

 

  1. Compose a blog entry on your blog with the title “Surprisingly Educational Apps”.
  2. Select one free iPad/iPod app: Apps can be covertly educational like Talking Tom or Songify or somewhat transparent like U.S. Quarters and Magnetic Alphabet Lite. The task is more to shine a light on these gems and highlight how they would or could be used innovatively for educational purposes. Please hyperlink to the app’s iTunes page.
  3. Highlight how it could be creatively used in the classroom (the app must not contain inappropriate material). Please include a screen shot or video (so others will fully comprehend your vision) with your apptivity description. Screenshots of apps can be pulled into Doodle Buddy, Popplet Lite, or ScreenChomp to be easily annotated. Chosen App can be used in conjunction with another app. 
  4. Include recommended age group and content area for your apptivity suggestion(s) within your post.
  5. Finally, include a link back to the iPad Blog Hop’s host site (www.techchef4u.com).

 

More info: The U.S. Quarters app is not innately educational like Number Line (activity-based) or Khan Academy (instructionally-based). Other than supporting the U.S. Congress’s mission to honor the federal republic and “promote the diffusion of knowledge among the youth”, the app itself doesn’t truly teach or produce anything more than basic facts about the fifty states (e.g. motto, date ratified, and symbols). Thus, it is up to us to create a surprisingly educational experience with this app… in a middle school mathematics classroom or elementary social studies… perhaps. I decided to showcase the app to teach mathematics vocabulary and proportional reasoning (scale factor)I will be including my full post on U.S. Quarters and the other apps we discuss before the 25th.

The winner will be determined by a group of Instructional Technology Specialists from NEISD and announced on my first installment of Appy Hours 4 U with my Co-host Yolanda Barker: Thursday August 25th at 10am. Submissions will be judged on creativity/ingenuity, supporting materials (screenshots, videos, etc…), and appropriateness for the classroom.

The winner will receive a $20 iTunes Gift card!



27 Jul 2011
Comments: 0

22 Apps 4 You (Parents' Appy Hour)

While many of us buy iDevices for ourselves, time and time again we find them cluttered with kids’ apps. Oftentimes we get little screen time for ourselves until after the little ones are off in bed. The devices are a wonderful tool for children of all ages but sometimes it is fun (and important) to take a few minutes to nurture our tech self, bring out our inner child, and find ways to improve productivity, feed the adult brain, and even customize the media we receive. To this end, I have put together a list of 22+ apps to do just that!

  1. Dropbox: Free (iPhone/iPad) This is a great app that has a lot of functionality. It will allow users to access documents in your Dropbox folder from any of your iDevices or have full modification capabilities from another computer you have added the account to. Modified documents will automatically sync changes to all devices/computers when saved. You can also create folders that can be shared publicly or with family/friends (great way to share photos and videos without uploading them). If you want actual remote access to your complete desktop, check out Splashtop Remote Desktop for iPad (free for iPad only) or Mocha VNC Lite (free for iPhone/iPad).
  2. Pandora Radio: Free (iPhone/iPad) Create your own stations by choosing the genres of music that you enjoy (Don’t have an iPad… check out their website). If you like Pandora, check out TuneIn Radio (free for iPhone/iPad) which also has a site and allows you to listen to 50,000 AM/FM radio stations around the globe.
  3. Dragon Dictation: Free (iPhone/iPad). Have you ever been in the car and had a gem you wanted to share with the world (or your friends and family)? This is a speech to text app. Tap and dictate (you can edit if Dragon didn’t get it quite right) and then email, copy, or upload to FB or Twitter when you are safely parked and at your destination. If you like this app, check out Dragon Go! (free for iPhone/iPad) which will search mobile sites (e.g. Yelp, Amazon, CNN, Ebay, news and blogs, Google, Wikipedia, etc…) for the information you dictate.
  4. Meeting Notes: $2.99 (iPhone/iPad) I haven’t had a chance to actually review this one but I have to say it offers a lot of functionality for those who attend lots of meetings (e.g. simultaneous meeting notes and audio recording, full text search and keyword tags, keeps record of attendees which integrates with your iPhone contacts, a seating plan which is great for those who have a horrible memory for names as I do, and much more).
  5. Totes M’ Notes: Free (iPad only). This one had a few bad reviews before the upgrade but I really like it for parents and secondary students. You can create and customize your own folders and then create notes within each folder which will all be visible on your shelf and can be emailed.
  6. Tour Wrist: Free (iPhone/iPad). This app is appsolutely amazing. Travel remotely from your iPad with a swirl of the wrist. Experience 360 tours in a whole new immersive way. Don’t have an iPad… visit their site. If you like this app, check out Aroundertouch (free for iPhone/iPad) which will give you similar beautiful 360 tours at your fingertips. USA for Kids ($0.99 for limited time – regularly $4.99 for iPad only does not offer tours but does highlight kid-friendly destinations and fun facts.
  7. Qwiki: Free (iPad only). Truly an information experience: type in any topic and receive a customized informational video. You have to see it to believe it. Don’t have an iPad… check out the site.
  8. Popplet Lite: Free (iPad only). This mind-mapping app could be used in so many ways. Create a family tree complete with images, a family chores chart, or a timeline. Don’t have an iPad… check out the site.
  9. Simplemind+: Free (iPhone/iPad). This app does not have the photo integration but is wonderful for a quick brainstorm (e.g. things I have to do to get ready for a party or work related topics). Don’t have an iPad… download a trial of the desktop version.
  10. Flashcards*: Free (iPhone/iPad). This app could be used with any age group that needs flashcards. Access the vast library of existing decks or create your own with Quizlet. See other apps (iPad/iPhone) that integrate with Quizlet. Will have to upgrade to Quizlet Plus to create your own decks with images.
  11. 123 Charts: Free (iPhone/iPad). This is basically a spreadsheet with graphing capability for your iPad that is so user friendly both elementary and secondary students can use it.
  12. My Congress: Free (iPad only). Access information about your local Congress members (websites, Twitter, News, YouTube, etc…). My Elected Officials is available for free for iPhone/iPad as well.
  13. Vocabology: Free (iPhone/iPad). Ever wanted to feed your brain and learn new words? Great app for learning vocabulary (note: may want to remove certain feeds as some may be slang or inappropriate for younger audiences).
  14. World Book This Day in History: Free (iPad only). Another way to feed your brain especially if you like historical events or need info for trivia.
  15. Book Chat: Free (iPhone/iPad). I have yet to examine this one but it appears to allow you to create virtual book clubs with friends, family, or others.
  16. Jigsaw Puzzle: $1.99 (iPhone/iPad). I snagged this gem when it was free. It allows you to customize  your own puzzle from your images or use the existing gallery images. You can choose 12, 24, 48, 0r 96 images and have your choice or piece rotation, timer, and screen modes. If you are not willing to dish out the $1.99, check out Super Slide Puzzle (free for iPad only).
  17. Chicktionary Lite: Free (iPhone/iPad). If you enjoy word games, this one is addictive, entertaining, and educational. See how many three, four, five, six letter words you can build from the letters given.
  18. Songify: Free for a limited time (iPhone/iPad). Turn mundane directions, lists, or vocabulary words into a fun jingle. (my so much to do today sample)
  19. 5-0 Radio Police Scanner Lite: Free (all). If you need some extra entertainment (especially over the tourist season)  check out this app and brush up on your police codes. Note there may be some inappropriate language and if you leave the app running it will drain your battery.

    Before Edward and Stefan, there was Pacey

  20. Videolicious: Free (iPhone/iPad). This app is fantastic for all age levels and allows you to quickly turn raw video clips and photos into a real masterpiece. Check out the process.
  21. PBS Kids Videos: Free (iPad only). Stuck in a Doctor’s office with your kiddos and you need to buy yourself a few minutes?This app is very easy to navigate and has quality child-friendly clips (not full length) from PBS (e.g. Curious George, Dinosaur Train, Super Why, Arthur, Sesame Street, etc…). If you need to get away or escape, check out Video Time Machine ($0.99 for iPhone/iPad).
  22. Mint: Free (iPhone/iPad). This is a great app to track all of your accounts and credit cards as an individual or a family in real time and create/monitor a budget. Check out their site for more info. Want to create a budget and chore tracker for your children, check out apps like iAllowance ($4.49 for iPhone/iPad) – this is one I have not reviewed.
Would love to start a discussion about favorite apps for
productivity, education, and media consumption for adults.

06 Jul 2011
Comments: 0

iPad Consumption vs. Production: the Great Debate

Outdated Infographic

Less than a year ago, my initial infographic (compiled from info from various blogs and articles on the topic of what the iPad can and cannot do) consisted of this very debate: consumption vs. production. Many of the first iPad lessons that I created were written to use the iPad for consumption: research, collecting data, writing prompts, virtual tours, and inspiration for upcoming projects. The suggested final product or writing assignment was to be completed with a Web 2.0 tool or available peripheral.

Consumption vs. Production

Flash-forward (pun intended) ten months or so and the iPad2 with camera and video capability as well as an ever-evolving prolific store of apps (which I get lost in for hours a night) has rapidly morphed the way I use my iPad and how I promote its use in the classroom. Yes ArounderTouch and Tour Wrist are phenomenal apps for virtual 360 tours, but why not create a tour with Photosynth or DerManDar. There are thousands of ebooks and interactive book apps available for all ages, but now you can create your own with Calibre or by simply saving a document as a PDF or ePub and dragging it into iBooks. You can watch a puppet show about Tortoise & the Hare or a 60second Recap of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but why not create your own with Puppet Pals or Sock Puppets.

I will say that I am biased (being a Mac User, iPhone Geek, and iPad enthusiastyes, I own and often appear in all of these Apple-related fashion items) towards the iPad as the tablet for education because I do find it to be so intuitive and I have some brand loyalty. Above and beyond that, whatever tablet or device you choose to implement needs to be used as a learner-centered tool for communication with multimedia and as a global consumer. After reading much of the lively discussion on iPads in Education and how they are used in the classroom, I believe many of the contributors would tend to agree that it is truly not about the tech but the teach:

  • What are we asking students to do with the device?
  • Has our pedagogy changed?
  • Are the devices being used to foster learning and innovation while providing a platform for differentiated instruction or are they being used as a lighter version of a textbook?
  • Furthermore, are we teaching digital and media literacy and producing critical consumers?
  • Are students able to evaluate the information they consume?

Stepping down from my soapbox, I am confronted with another issue. The campuses I support have not initiated a 1:1 ratio and the iPad was never truly intended to be a multi-user device. While it is sometimes appropriate to have students surf the internet to research a topic, launch an app to track earthquakes, or reshuffle their deck of vocabulary words in iCardSort before the next user, it often presents an issue when you desire to have students produce rather than consume.

While I use my iPad to produce videos, photos, and mindmaps on a regular basis, logistically this presents a hurdle when you want to mass produce these products class period to period.

Multi-User Production

  • Image Products: If you are using free apps (which I am inclined to do so due to the VPP being a tad bit convaluded and time-consuming for educators), you may only be able to create one product at a time like in Popplet Lite which means students will need to either save the image to the photo library or email it. If you have enabled the email feature, how did you create the email? Is it a school email or a department email? Who will be responsible for checking it (especially if this is not a class set of iPads and is meant to be used on a revolving basis with the department, grade level, and/or team)? If you intend to pull the photos off the devices at the end of the day, who has the syncing computer and will it be an issue that students will have access to other students mindmaps or products in the photo library before creating their own?
  • Video Products: Most video products are either saved to the video library on the device or must be uploaded to YouTube. Again, will teachers wait till the end of the day to pull off all of the video products when they sync each device or will they allow students to upload products to Youtube? If students are uploading to Youtube, who’s email account are they using and is this process highlighted in the Acceptable Use Policy for the district?
  • Annotations: I love the idea of annotating PDF’s and books. However, this process was meant to be done as a single-user. If you highlight and take notes in a book in iBooks in period 1, the same notes will be available to the user in period 2. If this were to be an ongoing project or the annotation process was to be similar for each class, this presents an issue. While you can email the notes, is it realistic for each student to do this each period as the notes will compile and be duplicated? Do we open a PDF in Doodle Buddy instead? Or do we morph the project to accommodate the device? Will one class period highlight and annotate based on character traits, another on theme, and another on setting and imagery? If so, this is a welcome change, but a change nonetheless to how we deliver instruction and how students communicate.

Though I find it easier to use a Neo2 with Google Docs capabilities in conjunction with the device or a Google Docs account on the device for word-processing and collaborative writing, other products do not have such a simple solution. I am in no way trying to be a Debbie Device Downer or trying to deter teachers from implementing the devices in their classrooms. On the contrary, I want to encourage and promote the use of the devices to fundamentally better pedagogical practices, instruction, learning, and education at its core but at the same time I think this is a worthy valid discussion:

  • What are the logistics involved with using the iPads as multi-user devices in schools for production?
  • How are the devices managed?
  • Do we connect them to a wireless printer, create email accounts, set up class Dropboxes and YouTube accounts?
  • How do we manage the submission of products at the elementary and secondary level?
  • Will/should the plan differ from elementary to high school?
  • Does every product have to be submitted or can teachers deploy another way to grade and evaluate student creations?

As with anything, I am sure that my qualms will be distant post as soon as the iOS 5 and iCloud capabilities are launched and fully realized. But in the meantime, it is worth pondering as we integrate these devices into our daily life and classroom.


01 Jun 2011
Comments: 0

HOT APPS for production: Raise the Curtain and Raise the Bar

Just experienced a presentation with Marco Torres (check out his alaslearns site) and felt inspired all over again. He shared some great apps for research, mind-mapping, and note-taking. Given some time to explore apps, I found some additional resources for producing & directing productions from the iPad. Let the show begin! (all apps listed are free unless otherwise stated)

I have been toying for some time on creating a lesson around modern day Shakespearean references found in music. I came across Sock Puppets today and absolutely fell in love. I decided to use it as the media for this project. (Notes about Sock Puppets: I love the sock puppets and backgrounds and the app is extremely easy to use. The only downside(s) are you can only record a 30 second show, if you talk too fast without pauses puppets will not open and close their mouths normally, and the upload to YouTube sometimes takes awhile. With in-app purchase, you have the ability to import your own photos as backgrounds, extend your recording time, and choose from more socks & props.) Found Sock Tube Presents in iTunes: these are vodcast parodies of feature films. Great inspiration and some fabulous ideas for how to handle props and staging if students choose to videotape their own socks vs. using the app – please view prior to showing to students to ensure content is appropriate as some tubes contain adult & mature content.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A76t_vvQ-tE&w=425&h=349]

As mentioned in Puppet Pals lesson, there is a process to creating a final product. Below I have highlighted apps for each stage of the process. Also, consider the reason for the production: are you a teacher creating content for students or are you looking for a students centered project based on challenges, big ideas, and essential questions?

Research: While not all projects will necessitate research, some will require at least some background information. Check out some of these fantastic resources:

Qwiki Shakespeare

View William Shakespeare and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

Mind-Mapping & Note-taking: The first thing a student will want to do before creating a show is to get their thoughts on paper. Here are some great apps for mind-mapping:

SimpleMind+ Shakespeare planning

Ophelia Character Trait Popplet (Image created w/ Qvik Sketch)

Storyboarding & Scripts: Now you will want to make sure you have a solid script and a storyboard:
Acting & Practice Your Lines: No one wants an actor that hasn’t rehearsed unless you are practicing improv (and even that takes training). Check out some of these apps for learning your lines:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzowz4u7Ksg&w=425&h=349]

Production: How will you produce and what media will you use?
Submission: How will students submit their projects? If they are creating a video, these can be uploaded to You Tube and then embedded in a teacher website or blog. If students would like to submit images, scripts, presentations, and videos to one place, consider using an app:
  • Dropbox: You can create a Public Folder and still keep your shared files visible
  • iFiles: You can create documents with voice recordings too (this one is paid)
  • MobileMe iDisk: This will work with Mac accounts

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwhYjXb7f20&w=425&h=349]

All Shakespeare info compiled from Wikipedia, Blurtit, Brandon Powell, & Yahoo Answers
Consider extending the Shakespeare activity by asking the question, “How has Shakespeare influenced modern day society?”. Students can extend the web with more topics and descriptions:
  • Add more information about Shakespeare
  • Locate other Movie adaptations (compare & contrast)
  • Identify what play each of the listed movies is an adaptation of
  • Find more songs that have Shakespeare references
  • Identify the line in each of the songs listed that references Shakespeare and what play it originates from
  • Create a playlist for a Shakespeare act (explain why each song is relevant: mood, imagery, character traits, allusion, quotes, etc…)
  • Write a letter as if you were another Shakespearean character inquiring help or answers from Juliet (ala The Juliet Club in Verona). Write back some sage advice from Juliet.
If you don’t have an iPad, then you don’t have an iPad…. BUT you do have access to some wonderful Web 2.0 tools for production. Consider exploring Web 2.0 tools that utilize cartoons, animation, and/or movie-making.

27 May 2011
Comments: 1

HOT APPS for HOTS: Tour of Apps

Our Hot Apps for HOTS course is in its final stages of development. In an effort to create an agenda that is not traditional and stuffy, I have highlighted the apps we will cover using one of our HOT APPS for HOTS: Popplet Lite (check out the rest of the HOT Apps for HOTS entries for more detailed lessons and activities). Little Bird Tales and Todays Meet are actually Web 2.0 tools (thus they are indented a bit in the “agenda” to differentiate them from the apps). I included Todays’ Meet to highlight a Web 2.0 tool that works with the iPad to create an instant chat and gain valuable formative feedback from students. While Little Bird Tales does not work with the iPad (flash issues – although they are testing a version that will allow you to export your tale as a mp4 which will work nicely with iTunes), it is a great way to show that not all information and resources must be housed on the iPad.

The wonderful thing about these tools is that they can be used individually or be paired with each other (see Little Bird Tales: Signs of Math lesson for a sampling of this pairing.)

©2011. Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce for classroom use granted.

Below, I have included two of the lessons from a guest chef, Terri Sanchez.

TerriSanchezLessons: tsanch@neisd.net

Popplet Lite: Activity guides students to use Popplet Lite to map nouns (common, proper,singular, plural, and possessive). Popplet Lite-1 (PDF Lesson). Other uses are listed and highlighted as extensions in the Signs of Math lesson.

iBrainstorm: Activity guides students to use iBrainstorm to pre-write/brainstorm for a persuasive essay. iBrainstorm (PDF Lesson). In using iBrainstorm, we encountered one minor glitch: when students try to write with a pen, the dotting the i and crossing the t is read as a double-tap and initiates a new sticky note. To avoid this issue, we recommended using the sticky notes for text and the pen tools only for basic annotations.)

If you like Popplet & iBrainstorm, check out the paid app Corkulous for more functionality.

Check out Jon Baldoni’s article on “Using Stories to Persuade” and consider having students use Puppet Pals in conjunction with Mind-Mapping apps to create a persuasive story.

The rest of the lessons have been cooked up in house by yours truly: Puppet Pals, iCardSort, “Signs of Math”: Bump & Contacts

While these apptivities were not specifically categorized according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, they all involve creating & analyzing. Check out these sites that http://ilearntechnology.com/ has compiled according to the levels of Bloom:

Bloom's Taxonomy of Apps

Also Check out Kathy Schrock’s Bloom’s Taxonomy of Google Apps. Consider using these in conjunction with your iPad apptivities.

27 May 2011
Comments: 8

HOT Apps for HOTS: Contacts and Bump

Signs of Math images in Photovisi collage

Bump it Up: Signs of Math Activity

While my focus is highlighting apps for HOTS, I also wanted to model how the iPad can be used in conjunction with Web 2.0 tools like Little Bird Tales which allows students or a teacher to create a video with images, text, & narration. I have used the tale as inspiration & direction for the activity. (Little Bird Tales now offers a mp4 download of your tale which cam be played on any iDevice – the cost is 99 cents per tale.)

Signs of Math Directions: Bump_Lesson (PDF Handout)

  1. Watch the tale as a class and discuss it (or view it in small groups or in stations with a task card).
  2. After you finish the tale, jot down 3-5 specific signs (signs do not have to be literally signs) of Math you see each day and what characteristics they possess to make them magically mathematical. Students could post the types of signs with info on a Today’s Meet chat from the computer or an iDevice.
  3. Spend some time gathering photographic evidence of signs of Math. (Either take a photo from the device’s camera or save images from the internet).** If teachers wanted to create a more directed activity, they could provide students with a list of objects to locate (e.g. square, right angle, polygon, sphere, fraction, etc…)
  4. Create a Math Sign Contact:
    1. Launch the Contacts app.
    2. Tap the “+” to create a new contact.
    3. Tap “add photo”. You will be given the option to “take photo” or “choose photo”. If you have already captured images, you will want to select “choose photo”. Tap the arrow to expand your camera roll. Tap the desired image to select it.
    4. Move and scale your image to best fit the frame by pinching in and out and and dragging up and down. Tap “Choose” when satisfied.
    5. Naming your sign: In the First field, type the name of your sign (e.g. parallel lines, acute angle, triangle, etc…). In the Last field, type the first letter of the first name
    6. Tap “+” to add field. Swipe down to the Notes section. Tap on Notes (In testing this, we did find the notes were not “bumped” – students may want to add the notes once their collection is complete) and write a definition or description of the math displayed in the picture.
  5. Bump your Math Signs to create a larger database. Who can collect the most? This might be a great time to discuss exponential growth.

After students have created a database, they can choose one image from their database and create a Popplet with it. This is fairly simple. When in Contacts, students can press and hold the image and they will be prompted to “save image”. This will save the image to their camera roll. Now they are ready to create a Popplet. Their task would be to take an image and list multiple attributes of that image annotating each image to highlight those attributes (as seen below).

Additional options would be to highlight different attributes of the same image, create a Frayer Model, or a Venn Diagram to classify multiple images:

Attributes: have students choose an image and highlight different elements (not all attributes of the same family). For example, a student could have an image of a kite and discuss intersecting lines, fractions, symmetry, polygons, triangles, angles, area, etc…

Frayer Model: another angle would be to create a Frayer Model for one image (e.g. definition, examples, nonexamples, characteristics).

Venn Diagram: classify images that fell into one or more categories (e.g. polygons &  quadrilaterals).

Cartoons: Another extension would be to have students create a math problem cartoon using images or the concepts they have learned from the Signs of Math activity. Check out Yolanda B’s Garden of Equations (secondary example) cartoon using Pixton & my Alien Pet Shop Prezi (elementary example). If you are interested in pursuing a cartoon project, check out the ToonDoo_student_directions handout and the teacher resource page Cartoons in the Classroom.

Check out similar activities highlighting the use of Bump and digital trading cards featured on apptivities.org. Consider using the Flashcardlet app (in conjunction with Quizlet) to create your own Math Signs Flash Cards.

** I dug up an old video from my classroom archives for more inspiration. It is entitled, “Geometry in My World” and it should give some good examples of items we encounter in our everyday world and how you can view them with a geometric eye.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU591Sgufd0&hl=en&fs=1]

©2011. Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce for classroom use granted.


18 May 2011
Comments: 2

Part 1: iPad – What it Is/Isn't and What You Can Do with It

If you received an iPad on your campus or are considering purchasing one, you will want to learn about the capabilities of the device and uses for it in the classroom.

Table created with Exploratree. iPad image from Apple.

As technology changes at rapid speed, mobile devices are a standard, and children gather & interact with information in new and exciting ways, we must consider changing our pedagogy and how we deliver instruction to benefit the needs of our digital natives. In this 5 part iPad series, I hope to engage and inspire teachers to do just that. The Mumford & Sons song, Awake My Soul, says it better than I can, “Lend me your eyes, I can change what you see.”

The TCEA “Leading with the iPad” gives some great examples of how the iPad can be used in the classroom.

  • Load iPads with different eBooks (OverdriveGoogleProject Gutenberg, & Magic Catalog of Free Kindle Books are a good place to start) and ePubs and assign them to different groups (there are also lots of children’s and adult books/novels that can be found in the App Store). Check out “Load Your New iPad with E-Books Without Going to the iBookstore“. Check out a Vook (books with video embedded)!
  • Have students watch a preselected video or listen to a podcast and create a written response using a blog, wiki, or other Web 2.0 tool.
  • Use the iPad in conjunction with Google Docs to create a collaborative writing assignment or product.
  • Have students access news & periodicals online to foster research and writing activities.
  • Have students research and review apps and build a classroom list of approved apps (great for critical audiences).
  • Have students use the calendar as a class agenda or the contacts as a database (take or save images for authors, elements, campus officials, characters in a novel or play and add a name & description) and Bump them to build a class database.

How will the iPads change your pedagogy and classroom practices?

Here are some more thoughts on how to integrate the iPad from the kitchen of techchef4u:

Also check out “7 Reasons You Need an iPad in Your Classroom & 10 Ways to Use Them” & “56 Interesting Ways to Use an iPad in the Classroom.

How do/will you use the iPad in your classroom?