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26 Mar 2015
Comments: 1

Sweet Learning Nuggets from SXSWEDU 2015

I have been to SXSWEDU in the past (see SXSWEDU 2014 Recap) and I have to say that this year without a doubt was indisputably my favorite. It didn’t hurt that I got to have breakfast with Guy Kawasaki and hear him speak at both SXSWEDU and SXSWInteractive but beyond that…

“I just felt like the event accurately connected, curated, and celebrated pedagogies, trends, and innovations that are currently in line with the pulse of education.” – Lisa Johnson

So…earlier in the week I app smashed Canva and Thinglink to curate and archive my learning from TCEA 2015 so this seemed like the next logical progression. As I mentioned in my earlier post, lately I have been getting just as much interest in my workflow and graphics as I have in my content so I thought I would elaborate on my home grown PD Recap Recipe.

How Did You Create this Epic PD Recap?

  • Choose a Functional Base Image: In this case, I had gotten to SXSWEDU early one day and decided to take a few selfies using my Mac and PhotoBooth in front of one of the SXSWEDU banners at the convention center.
  • Add Filter and Flare to Your Image: I loved the color to this image (see below) so I opted not to turn it black and white as I did in my last PD Recap. I did still opt to add a layer of polish and poise to it with my best kept secret the “Orton Style” filter in the BEFUNKY WEB APP to add a bit of grit. (Note: CANVA also has built-in image filters but not quite like this one.)
  • Build Your Graphic: Once my base image was ready, I uploaded it to CANVA and added pretty much everything else you see in the image below. (Note: One of the icon graphics I paid for via the NOUN PROJECT as I it fairly regularly and CANVA did not have a comparable icon in their gallery.)
  • Add Interactivity to Your Graphic: Once the base graphic is complete, I upload it to THINGLINK.. and all the interactivity you see below…AND HERE.

What Learning Nuggets Might I Discover by Hovering Over All of these Nubbins?

So glad you asked… Within this Thinglink, I included links to my Evernote notes on the sessions as well as direct links to slide decks and archived videos of some of the presentations. Debbie Smith, a fellow iVenger, also did a bang-up job of curating and reflecting on the week so I included each one of the blog entries that she cranked out as well.

“I have to say that this is unequivocally one of my favorite conferences to attend – no other event is quite at the intersection of policy, educational entrepreneurs, innovation nor blends K-12 and higher higher education like this event.” – Lisa Johnson

But Wait! I Have a Few More Questions…

Can you tell me…

How Should I Share Out My Learning?

Before you jump on the Epic PD Recap band wagon… please know that these do take me about 2.5-3 hours to complete with building the image, cleaning up my summaries and linking all of the content (and the fact that I can be oftentimes crippled by my need for perfection). Now that I have a Canva template and work flow, that time is somewhat decreased. I am in no way trying to dissuade you from this method as I do believe that graphics and chunked content is always the best delivery method… but what I am saying is to do this takes time and careful curation of content. In the end, I have found it is always worth it for my own metacognition as well as the inspiration of my staff… but know that these don’t just grow on trees. They take time to cultivate and perfect – and that time is well spent… but time nonetheless… 😉

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST TECHCHEF GAZETTE ISSUE? Preparing for Back to School and Beyond

TechChef Techucation Gazette: Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter: There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast, sign up today.

Where Will TechChef Be Next?

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com or request booking here.


24 Mar 2015
Comments: 1

Tangible Technology Tips from and for TCEA 2015

So, I have to say that I try to make it a point to always curate and reflect on my learning from an event… and to cultivate a resource that I can return to and share. To manage this learning experience… I found App-Smashing Canva and Thinglink to be just the ticket. As I get just as much interest in to my process and workflow as I do on the content that I share… I thought I would let you take a sneak peek at my home grown PD Recap Recipe.

How Did You Create this EPIC PD Recap?

  • Choose a Functional Base ImageI always like to start with an image that I can build off of. Fortunately, TCEA’s Flickr feed had just the right pic to start as a base…
  • Add Filter and Flare to Your Image: I loved the dimension to this pic so I used the “TinType 3” filter in the Be Funky Web app to add a bit of grit. (Note: Canva also has built-in image filters but not quite like this one.)
  • Build Your Graphic: Once my base image was ready, I uploaded it to Canva and added pretty much everything else you see in the image below. (Note: A few of the icon graphics I paid for via the Noun Project as I use them fairly regularly and Canva did not have a comparable icon in their gallery.)
  • Add Interactivity to Your Graphic: Once the base graphic is complete, I upload it to Thinglink.. and all the interactivity you see below…and HERE.

WOW! What is Hidden in This Epic PD RECAP?

Well… I am so glad that you asked… I divided this recap into 3 distinct sections:

  • Sessions I Attended FROM TCEA: Sessions I attended are all labeled and linked on the left.
  • Sessions I Presented FOR TCEA: Sessions I presented are all labeled and linked on the right.
  • Miscellaneous Nuggets: Additional learning nuggets that didn’t fit in to either category (but were worth including) got linked on around the table and chairs (also a great reason to select an image with depth and dimension to guide the viewer through each section).

Hope you enjoy not only the process of designing this professional development recap… but the take-aways and educational snippets embedded and archived within 😉

But Wait! I Have A Few More Questions…Before You Cap this Post!

Sure… fire away:

One More SoapBox Pitch…

I am not saying that every piece of information that you curate and send to teachers or share with your staff has to go through this process… BUT what I am saying… is that everyone is busy and their time is valuable. As hokey as it may seem, an email without a graphic or image, boasting large bodies of text, and no bullets or means of chunking content will most likely be overlooked or neglected. However, when you spend time to make content look appealing, easily navigable, and brief… people seem to respond and be reached…

Stay tuned for my SXSWEDU Epic PD Recap… 😉

 

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST TECHCHEF GAZETTE ISSUE? Preparing for Back to School and Beyond

TechChef Techucation Gazette: Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter: There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast, sign up today.

Where Will TechChef Be Next?

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com or request booking here.


09 Mar 2015
Comments: 4

App Smashing with Thinglink… Yes I Can…va!

On the heels of my most recent Canva/Thinglink App Smash, “4 Things Every Student MUST DO to Preserve Their Work“, I thought I would share what I hope to be a quick dip in to the App Smashing pool. Truly, my intentions are to demystify this process and provide some inspiration and courage for taking the plunge…

I have had a fair amount of inquiries in regards to my graphics and custom Pinterest boards recently so I wanted to share my secret recipe to whet your app-etite for what is to come…

What Can You Create by App-Smashing Canva and Thinglink?

Before I get too deep into a lengthy narrative on the process, I thought I would share a little inspiration. I have used Thinglink’s Channel feature (which is similar to pinning content to a board) to curate 10 examples of how Canva can be App-Smashed with Thinglink

  • What Am I Looking At? The ten designs I selected range from infographics and custom SAMR models to collections of professional development resources and collages to assemble student-created work.
  • How Were the Images Created? I prefer thinglinking custom original images rather than stock images so Canva is the perfect platform for that. Each of the 10 designs was created within Canva on my computer. With the exception of the most recent infographic (which was custom dimensions), all of the other images were created with either the poster (highlighted in pink) or the presentation template (highlighted in blue).
  • How Were the Thinglinks Created? Once the image is downloaded from Canva, it is easy to upload to Thinglink and link away. I try to be very strategic with my linkings and choice of icon nubbins to strategically place content and still deliver an aesthetically pleasing and easily navigable final product.

Canva App Smashes

If you would like to see all 10 of these in action… navigate through this interactive slideshow here or view these interactive images in list view here.

What is the Benefit of App-Smashing Canva and Thinglink?

But seriously… what is all of the hype about? Why would App-Smashing Canva and Thinglink be useful? Well, as mentioned before, I like to create custom visual maps, infographics, and collages using Canva as a base for my knowledge quests and multimedia collections of resources. Rather than sell you on this idea, let me walk you through each of the 10 resources and what I was able to include in each… I hope they speak for themselves:

  • Miami Device EPIC PD Recap: This one is a collage of pics from the event layered with my Evernote notes and a smattering of other media I gleaned during the week.
  • Amelia Bedelia Primary Book Report: This is a collage featuring student drawings app smashed with Croak.it audio recordings and Tellagami’s.
  • TechChef4u Epic PD Recap: This professional development recap is one of my favorites in design and functionality (stay tuned later in the week for a blog post on it). It highlights both the sessions I attended as well as the ones I presented with links to Smores, Tackks, blog posts, collaborative, Google presentations, and pics from the event.
  • Digital Transitions: This is one of my first infographics with Canva and was designed to support students and teachers with the process of managing their own content. It includes portfolio samples as well as direct links to the apps I mentioned. Note: A few of the icons used I purchased at the Noun Project and then uploaded to Canva.
  • SASSY SAMR: This one served as a map for a professional development session and includes Quizlet decks, videos, and links to samples.
  • Outlander SAMR: Many educators desire more than just SAMR… they want examples so I like to play with the themes of my creations. This one included a stock photo from Morguefile that was embellished with Canva and then app smashed with Quizlet and other SAMR resources.
  • Designing Thinking with Thinglink: This one also served as a professional development map for participants at a event. I used the numbered nubbins in Thinglink to guide attendees through a pre-assessment Padlet, collage of examples, a Smore of support resources, and a post-assessment with Todays Meet.
  • Kids’ Journal as an Exit Ticket: This was a reflection piece that I did to summarize a lesson I observed in Laura Wright’s elementary class. I used Canva to create the collage and then added explanations of each photo using Thinglink’s pop-up nubbin feature.
  • Technology in the Early Grades: This was also a professional development resource for an event. My session covered 9 different elements ranging from preparing devices for young learners and screen time to inquiry and e-portfolios. The collection included blogs, support resources, student examples, slide decks and more.
  • Rainbow Loom SAMR: This final example was another whimsical way to highlight SAMR in a completely different context. This resource includes a stock creative commons image from Flickr, Quizlet decks, and even a case study.

I know this isn’t an in depth tutorial, but I do hope that it allows you to feel more comfortable diving in to this process.

What’s New with Thinglink… Ulla?

Yesterday, I got to finally meet Ulla Engestrom, CEO and Founder of Thinglink, in person at SXSWEDU’s Education Expo. While we have been in contact virtually for over a year, this was the first time we got to meet face to face. I had an app-ortunity to share my app-thusiasm for the product at the booth with our teachers and students and even got the inside scoop on what’s new with Thinglink:

  • App: Thinglinks iPad/iPhone app is NOW rated 9+ (not 12+). Perfect for middle schools that have app age restrictions! And… safe search is now enabled so students can only see content images created by other teachers and students. The updated version of the app also includes student and teacher signup options with invitation codes which ultimately makes it easier to manage these district accounts (see more info below on that topic).
  • Verified District Accounts: Thinglink now offers verified district accounts. This process of establishing authenticity of an organization provides districts with an invitation code which associates students and staffs with the district, provides them with a dashboard to easily manage teachers, students, and groups, and ultimately makes it easier for teachers and students to share, curate, and create.

Ulla_Canva copy

 

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST TECHCHEF GAZETTE ISSUE? Preparing for Back to School and Beyond

TechChef Techucation Gazette: Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter: There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast, sign up today.

Where Will TechChef Be Next?

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com or request booking here.


09 Mar 2015
Comments: 3

4 Things Every Student Must DO to Preserve their Work

This has been a topic heavy on my heart and mind all year. More and more students are creating and collecting content on their devices… and this is a good thing. However, when we have to swap and/or turn in their iPad due to damage, graduation, or migration from the district… we start running in to problems. Most of these issues can be resolved with student education and a smattering of forethought and planning.

WHY Must WE Support Our Students With Managing and Archiving their Content?

Before I reveal “Digital Transitions: What Every Student Should Know”, let me just give you a window in to an all too real scenario. A student has damage to her iPad (dead spots to the screen that make it utterly unusable). She has done an iCloud back-up but would like to manually back-up content and media just in case. During our iPad Swaps, we discovered that if all apps are not updated and the iOS is not updated, sometimes all of the content within the apps does not return during the restore. So back to my very real media transferring chain of events…:

  • Plug in iPad in to her Macbook and pull off photos directly: this is a no-go as devices are managed and will be rejected by iTunes and other programs due to this configuration.
  • Upload Photos to iCloud: this was also a no-go as the device needed an update and would not “talk” to her Mac until that update was complete.
  • Upload to iFiles (Novell): we could have gone this route but the app was not set up with her Novell connection and having to turn the iPad 90 degrees every few seconds due to the dead spots on the screen proved less than desirable.
  • Google Drive: thought this might work but we kept getting network errors due to our filter glitch with Google and having to turn the iPad 90 degrees every few seconds due to the dead spots on the screen to troubleshoot the connection proved obviously less than desirable.
  • eBackpack: so we ended up using eBackpack (our current district workflow management system) and uploading photos and videos to the home folder there – somewhat less desirable as there is no bulk upload feature so we uploaded each photo and video one by one.

I truly hope and moreover believe that having a back-up and archive process in place (and training our students on this process) will alleviate the issue of students losing content as well as scrambling to back up content last minute.

WHAT Are the Types of Media, Content, and Apps Students Use Most?

So, I thought about the main types of media and content that students create and collect and also the apps that students most use and that we provision within our system. With that I created a quick infographic in Canva and then added a layer on instructional support using Thinglink and Voila…“Digital Transitions”:

HOW Will I Disseminate this Information to Teachers and Eventually Our Students?

It was painfully clear when I popped in to all classes participating in mandatory iPad swaps this year (due to the necessary enrollment in the updated MDM system) that professional development for students is a must. Multiple students in each class stared at me with very confused looks when I mentioned iCloud back-ups. Obviously, telling secondary students to complete a task is not enough… we need to show them how. This infographic is the first step to preparing our students to be effective managers of their own content:

  • Step 1: Collect my thoughts on this content management dilemma and prepare a resource that maps out the process.
  • Step 2: Meet with all Senior classes (starting with Seniors as they have to turn in their iPads at the end of the year) and walk them through the process of transitioning and archiving their content.
  • Step 3: Eventually meet with all underclassmen to do the same process.

I sincerely hope this information is helpful and I will keep you posted on this process as it develops. Would love any and all thoughts on the need for student professional development in the arena of preserving content.

 

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST TECHCHEF GAZETTE ISSUE? Preparing for Back to School and Beyond

TechChef Techucation Gazette: Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter: There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast, sign up today.

Where Will TechChef Be Next?

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com or request booking here.


13 Jan 2015
Comments: 12

Conference Materials

CUE Nevada 2015 in Reno, NV

Cuero ISD Learning Festival in Cuero, TX

TLA 2015 in Austin, TX

TCEA 2015 in Austin, TX

Apple ESM 2014

Miami Device 2014 in Miami, FL

iPad Summit Chicago 2014 in Chicago, IL

SDE Power-Up 2014 in Las Vegas, NV

iPadpalooza 2014 in Austin, TX

Iowa TIC in Dubuque, IA

A&M Elementary Tech in College Station, TX

TCEA 2014 in Austin, TX

  • Groovy Graphics in the iClassroom
  • 1:1 Toolkit
  • SASSY SAMR
  • Designing Thinking with Thinglink

Learning Forward 2014 in Dallas, TX

  • The Differentiated iClassroom

iPad Summit Boston 2013 in Boston, MS

  • Groovy Graphics in the iClassroom
  • 1:1 Toolkit

Apple ESM 2013

Tech Forum 2013 in Austin, TX

Plug and Play 2013 in Tuscon, AZ

ISTE 2013 in San Antonio, TX

iPadpalooza 2013 in Austin, TX

Seguin ISD 2013 in Seguin, TX

  • 1 iPad Classroom
  • Apps Across the Curriculum
  • iProductivity: Workflow in the iClassroom

Region 7 2013 in White Oak, TX

  • 1 iPad Classroom
  • Student-Created Books in the iClassroom
  • Apps Across the Curriculum

iPad Summit Atlanta 2013 in Atlanta, GA

  • 1 iPad Classroom
  • Apps Across the Curriculum

Region 20 Tech Fiesta 2013 in San Antonio, TX

  • 1 iPad Classroom
  • iProductivity Sharecase
  • 360 iClassroom
  • Student Created Books in the iClassroom

Tech Forum Atlanta 2013 in Atlanta, GA

  • App-tivities Across the Curriculum
  • Great Productivity Tools for Schools Smackdown

TCEA 2013 in Austin, TX

  • iVocabulary
  • Student Created Books in the iClassroom
  • iProductivity
  • 360 iClassroom

FETC 2013 in Orlando, FL

  • Student Created Books in the iClassroom
  • App-tivity Sharecase

Oregon Academic Technology Society 2012 in Portland, OR

  • iProductivity: Student Workflow in the Classroom
  • iProductivity: Teacher Perspective in the iClassroom

Ohio Library Conference 2012

  • iLiteracy

Tech Forum 2012 in Austin, TX

  • App-tivities in the iClassroom

TCEA Region 10 & 11 in Dallas, TX

  • The 1 iPad Classroom
  • Secondary iPad Sharecase

TEC SIG 2012 in Austin, TX

  • The 1 iPad Classroom
  • Secondary iPad Sharecase

Slide 2 Learn Australia

  • Hot Apps 4 HOTS
  • Bloomin’ Hackathon

ISTE 2012 in San Diego, CA

  • App-tivities for the Classroom
  • Birds of a Feather

iPadpalooza 2012 in Austin, TX

  • Hot Apps 4 HOTS
  • iPrep 4 Kinder

Tots and Technology 2012 in Galveston, TX

  • iPrep 4 Kinder
  • Surprisingly Educational Apps
  • 1 iPad Classroom

Region 7 2012 in White Oak, TX

  • Product-Based iPad Assignments
  • 1 iPad Classroom

Computer Explorers 2012 Conference in

  • iProductivity in the iClassroom

Region 20 Tech Fiesta 2012 in San Antonio, TX

  • Apps 4 HOTS
  • iBuild iPad Lessons

Mobile Learning 2012 in Phoenix, AZ

  • iBuild iPad Lessons
  • 60 Apps in 60 Minutes

TCEA 2012 in Austin, TX

  • iBuild iPad Lessons
  • Hot Apps 4 HOTS
  • Surprisingly Educational Apps
  • iPrep 4 Kinder

05 Jan 2015
Comments: 2

21+ Things Every 21st Century Blogger Should Do in 2015

I have been struggling with a post that will set the stage for 2015 and serve as a worthy inaugural nugget for the new year… and I finally happed upon it. The inspiration came from a blend of Carl Hooker’s “21 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Do This School Year” and a tweet from a dear friend, Brianna Hodges, sharing her new site, “Educationally Techtastic” hot off the blog press. I found myself disseminating a few tips and best practices for blogging through a series of texts and next thing you know it I had drafted a list of 21 Blogging Do’s for the 21st Century Blogger.

Before I release the list, I wanted to share Brianna’s insight and a link to her own blog beginnings that I hope will serve as support and inspiration for you to create (or amplify) your own blog in 2015:

“I absolutely love being an educator and, as a lifelong learner, I am continually searching for inspiration & exemplars to incorporate in my classroom. One of those searches led me to TechChef4U and, there, I found my touchstone, my source of energy & innovation. I truly believe that we are at a pivotal moment in education and, in her blog, I found the perfect combination of creativity & practicality, sprinkled with a hefty dose of foresight & imagination. Moreover, Lisa helped me see that I can have a voice and a place at the EdTech table. I believe that we owe it to our students and children to help form tomorrow’s learning environment &, to do that, we need to share our experiences, ideas, failures, & successes. With that, my blog, educationallyTECHTastic, was born.” – Brianna Hodges

So here we go… can I get a drumroll? Or should it be a drumstick (#foodpun) 😉

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote

Truly, these are not in any order and not all necessary to accomplish at once. I do hope that they provide you with a festive feast of fresh ideas to make the leap to a blog or spruce up your own blog in 2015:

1. Choose a Template that you can Customize and Grow with…

When choosing a template and a blogging service, consider what widgets and themes are offered and if you can truly grow with the site over the years. Though my site has changed designs over the years, I am and will forever be a WordPress girl… this time I just had to shell out a little cash for their paid templates.

2. Buy Your Own URL

This is an easy thing to do. Sites like GoDaddy and 1 and 1 offer this service. Trust me www.techchef4u.com plays a lot nicer on a business card than www.techchef4u.wordpress.com.

3. Plugin Your Feeds

If you are social geek like me, then you most likely already have a Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Add these feeds using a plugin to your site so people that visit your site know how and where to connect with you further.

4. Test Your Contact Page

I say this with a bit of frustration as my current contact page had to be taken down and recoded and in its place is a Google Form. Contact Pages are very integral for people to communicate with you for a variety of reasons ranging from permission to use your work to possible collaborations. Always test your contact page (and have others do so too) and if it doesn’t work, then add another means to initiate email contact. It never hurts to add social media contact info here as well. (Truthfully, I am fifteen times faster at answering a tweet or DM than I am an email.) I really like Holly Clark’s contact page because it includes a form as well as additional means of contact.

5. Tag All Posts with Your Name

This is something I have “stolen” and adopted from George Couros. Many times we tag posts with relevant terms like #iPad or #EdTech but we don’t even think to tag with our own name. Tagging with your name helps with Search Engine Optimization as well as brand recognition.

6. Infuse Pictures of Yourself

I have read many a blog with paragraphs of text. Truly there is nothing wrong with text but I find the sites that share relevant content blended with pictures of themselves and their students during these projects tend to resonate better and deepen the text for those of us that are visual learners. These posts also pin better. 😉

7. Watermark your Images

I truly wish this was something I had done from the beginning. I have found my images floating all around the internet and Pinterest completely uncited with no way to find their way back to me. Matt Gomez does an excellent job of using the Signature Watermark Ultra WP plugin to add a special watermark using his own logo to each of his images. I also stumbled upon this Listly of 15 additional tools to watermark your images. Not only does this help with his branding but it allows people to find him and his work through his images as they are pinned and tweeted. Kevin Honeycutt takes this idea one step further and adds a personal quote to many of his images… they are called Honeyquotes!

8. Include a Disclaimer Statement

This is really key. When I started my first blog, it was considered “rogue” as it was not a district regulated website. To ensure there were no issues with my postings and my job, I added a simple disclaimer statement, “The content on this website in no way represents the opinions or beliefs of … district”.

9. Connect Content you Curate and Create

Many bloggers curate and create additional and supplementary content for their blog on other sites. Cathy Yenca not only blogs… she has a booming Teachers Pay Teachers store, an iBook, and a variety of Nearpod lesson bundles which are all directly linked from her site. People don’t automatically know what else you curate and create unless you share it so don’t be afraid to add this content as badges or even a tab on your site. Laura Moore of Learn Moore Stuff also does a fantastic job of connecting you with her other resources as she includes links to her bulb, Padlet, Smores, and much more on the right hand side of her site.

10. Add Links to Presentations, Videos, Podcasts, and Webinars

As you begin to prepare presentations and deliver webinars or even create videos for your class or school, share them on a tab on your site so others can get to better know you, your content, and your flavor. In the interim of cleaning up my site, I have posted all of my videos and webinars in a Pinterest board for easy access. If you don’t have speaking videos or webinars, consider posting video content that you have created. Both Carl Hooker and Dean Shareski do a most excellent job of blending their recorded speaking engagements with their own content ranging from Carl’s app smashes and iPad Orientations to music videos and to Dean’s workshop promos and success stories to his archived presentations and YouTube creation! The Langwitches genius, Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, includes her latest slide decks as a panel on her main site.

11. Creative Commons Your Work and/or Your Site

As you begin to blog and create content and resources, it will inevitably be tweeted, reposted, downloaded, and repurposed. Providing a Creative Commons Attribution license on your site allows your audience to know exactly what they can and can’t do with your work. One can provide a blanket statement for all content on the site or an individual statement for each piece of work. The Creative Commons site easily allows you to create these licenses and even populates a custom embed code for your site. Kasey Bell has an excellent example of the blanket statement at the bottom of her Shake Up Learning site and I have included a singular license for this list after #21. Beth Still provides and excellent write-up on how sites can be perceived when they do not properly attribute work within the Creative Commons framework.

12. Share Both Your Failures and Your Successes

It is easy to share and celebrate our successes but much harder to make public our failures or lessons learned. Everyone fails… let’s face it and embrace it. One of my favorite bloggers truly tackles the tough conversations – she is bold and honest and never sugar coats the truth and I simply adore her candid thoughts on life and education. Her most recent posts “From Midway Negativity to a Positive Ending” and “Facing Insecurities: You Are More Than Enough” frankly address the struggles and obstacles so many of us quietly face and endure.

13. Don’t Be Afraid of Lists

I often shy away from lists because my O/C gets the best of me and I feel the list must be comprehensive before posting. That being said, there is a real time and place for lists. For some reason, we are drawn to numbers and the potential to see if we measure up or can relate to the list and so the power of the list is maintained. I was inspired by Carl’s “Top 10 Things Not to Do in a 1:1 iPad Initiative” and “21 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should Do This School Year” and recently wrote “11 Useful Tips for Managing iPads in the Classroom“, “6 Do’s and Don’ts for Secondary iPad Deployment and Support of New Initiatives” and “9 Must Read iPad Instructional Support Resources“. And I have to say there is nothing better than an infographic from the amazing talented Sean Junkins to revive or amplify even the finest of lists. I love how he put a spin on both Carl’s and my lists (scroll to the bottom of both posts to see the infographic). Another creative take on lists is the idea of dividing one in to reasonable time frames for completion as Ashley Cronin did with her New Things to Try in 2015: Things to try in 5 Days, 5 Weeks, and 5 months.

14. Break Up Text with Interactivity

As I mentioned in #6, images help others to connect with you and your content. With the fire hose of information at our very finger tips, we have become a society of scanners and skimmers. I find that I tend to glean more information from a blog that has some sort of interactivity to support or extend the content. Sites that embed beautifully into a blog and offer this type of interactivity range from Tackk and Haiku Deck to Thinglink and Listly (all embedded in posts linked above). Not only do those tools jive up your content, they drive traffic to your blog as they are also hosted on additional sites.

15. Provide a Link to your Blog on all of your Social Networks

This goes hand in hand with #3 and #10. Most of the traffic to my site comes from Pinterest and I want to ensure that people not only come to my site from the pins I post and curate but know how to connect directly from my boards. Any social network you maintain (e.g. Linkedin, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Thinglink, Snapguide, Scoop.it) should include both your brief bio as well as a link to your site so people can connect with your content no matter how they initially discovered you.

16. Build In Twitter Quote Widgets Within Your Posts

This is a recent development for me. I discovered the Tweet This WordPress Plugin on my brother-in-law’s site and have been itching for a way to begin incorporating it into mine. Essentially, the plugin allows you to build the content of a tweet for someone so all they have to do is go to your site and click on it and tweet it. If you build it… they may tweet it 😉 If you are interested in seeing this type of plugin in action, check out one of Book Creator’s most recent posts.

17. Proudly Display Badges

The design of my site makes it difficult to host badges next to my posts. This is something I am looking to remedy in the future. While bragging and boasting are bogus… celebrating accomplishments is important. An easy way to do this is to post badges. Jamie Forshey, Erin Klein, and Gwyneth Jones do a fantastic job of highlighting their achievements and badges on their sites. Badges can range from awards and nominations to blogs that you cross post too. An added bonus of cross-posting or blog tailgating is that you offer your content to a wider audience. Technology Tailgate is one of my favorite sites for this process and offers a special badge you can embed if you author content within their feed.

18. Provide Consistency with Images for Brand Recognition

For me variety is the spice of life and I tire easily with the same color schemes and fonts. Unfortunately, my need for diversity sometimes leads to confused branding and attribution. That being said, two of my counterparts have really carved out their niche within this realm. Kasey Bell’s Google Resources, Gwyneth Jones Comic TutorialsMathy Cathy’s Math Thinglinks, Brad Ovenell-Carter’s Sketch Notes, and Ryan Read’s App Dice are all recognizable and each contribute to a cohesively branded collection (wow – was that a nod to Project Runway?).

19. Provide Consistency with Content

People like to know what to expect and how frequently it will be posted. Richard Byrne does an excellent job with his Free Tech for Teachers site as most of his posts have a consistent framework which includes a summary and educational applications for each highlighted tool. Terri Eichholz is a shining example of consistency with  frequency of postings as her site Engage Their Minds typically releases a new post every day. While I am not a daily poster, I do try to provide some consistency to the time of day my posts are released by auto-scheduling them to publish at either 9:30 or 10:00 am CST.

20. Build Your PLN by Answering Where?

As people start to really connect and relish your content, they like to know where you will be (e.g. upcoming conferences or speaking engagements) so they can connect in person and or even attend one of your sessions. You can add this information on a separate tab or at the footer of your posts. Many conferences offer an “I’m Speaking at…” badge that you can add to your site as well.

21. Start a Trend or a Tradition

After blogging for a few years, I found myself in search of a little whimsy. Thus, I decided to start an alliteration collection of posts ranging from Marvelous Monday and Thought Leadership Tuesday to Wicked Good Wednesday and Freebie Friday. I didn’t post one of these each day of the week but I did try to post enough of them that people knew what to expect. In the same realm as a tradition of weekly alliteration, Technology Tailgate offers a Techie Tuesday Link Up where you can feature someone else’s content on your own blog and build off of it and then link back your thoughts to the main site.  Another fun trend in education is #hashtags. Consider starting your own or building off of a hashtag that can connect your content with others. Carl Hooker used #student4aday to share his reflections.

22. Share Your Why

This is a nod to Simon Sinek and a post I wrote earlier in the year. I started this blog almost 4 years ago and have crafted 315 posts since then. The blog has evolved as I have so this year I wanted to carefully craft my WHY for the blog and the content I share to ensure that I stayed true to the path and meant the needs of my audience in doing so. As you embark in to 2015, consider establishing a WHY or a mission statement for your blog to guide you in the future.

ePortfolios are AWESome_ETT.001

Creative Commons License

“21 Things Every 21st Century Blogger Should Do in 2015” by Lisa Johnson @TechChef4u is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Bonus Blogging Tips

To be quite honest, I strived for 21 but ended up with a few extra so here goes: keep a notebook of ideas for posts, reduce the size of your images so your page loads faster, install a Pinterest widget so all of your images can be easily pinned, add a blog subscription so others can receive your latest scoop in their inbox rather than having to hunt it down, and make sure links within the post open in a new tab rather that redirecting your audience away from your post (this typically is a default for most WP blogs but that is not always the case for other blog hosting services). This list for me is a work in progress as there are a few I need to tweak in 2015 to amplify my own blog but thought there was no harm in sharing the ideas in advance of their completion.

Stop Being a Secret Genius…

As I am still on a bit of a professional development high from Miami Device and some of the epic quotables gleaned from that event, I thought I would leave you with a little inspiration from Kevin Honeycutt:

Add a little bit of body text-7

 

 

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16 Dec 2014
Comments: 3

Digesting Miami Device

It has taken me a while to digest all of the learning and experiences throughout my three days at Miami Device. It was a hearty medley of professional learning and networking sprinkled with a spice that only Miami and Felix Jacomino can add to the mix. I had been looking forward to the event like a delicious annual dessert for over a year and I can say with unabashed honesty… Miami Device did not disappoint! The food and ambience and attention to detail of the event was surreal… even down to the name badges…

Badge1

Professional Development Delicacies

But what was really surprising to me during this epic assemblage of professional development delicacies… that not one… yes, not one session was mediocre or disappointing! I have to say that is somewhat of a rarity at other events. On Day 1, I had ample app-ortunity to sample a full platter of sessions. It was thoroughly refreshing to play the role of the learner and participant.

Comic Sans edit

Delectable Professional Development Recap

MD 2014 PD Recap

For all of you that could not attend this epic learning event… I hope I did the sessions justice with my interactive notes embedded below which includes:

  • 60+ Interviews and Videos
  • Thorough Archival of 30+ sessions from Tony Vincent
  • Recaps from Adam Jones and Jenny Ashby

… as well as my notes (using Evernote) from the keynote and each of the sessions I attended:

  • “Comic Sans Isn’t Professional” by Jeremy Macdonald
  • “Brining a New Dimension to Learning with Augmented Reality” by Brad Waid
  • “What’s New? What’s Hot? What’s Cool?” by Joan Gore and Janet Corder
  • “Student Digital Portfolios: Rethinking Assessment Using Google” by Holly Clark

Now I realize that savoring a delectable treat first hand and hearing about from a friend or seeing filtered pics of it on your favorite social media site isn’t quite the same… if nothing else perhaps I can whet your app-etite for Miami Device 2016 😉

And for your own personal enjoyment or perhaps my sense of whimsy, I thought you might enjoy playing “Where’s TechChef?” in each pic featured above? 😉

Keynote 2 edit

Kevin Honeycutt’s keynote was exceptionally super-charged. Don’t miss some of his epic quotes archived within my notes linked above. One of my favorites that I am truly trying to take to heart is…

Add a little bit of body text-5

I could spend another month ruminating over each morsel of learning and nifty nugget but at some point, sharing a mostly finished reflection is better than sharing none at all 😉

TechChef Presents…

As this post was devoted to TechChef as a learner, I want to take a moment to mention that I also presented 3 sessions and have posted the resources for each below:

As we app-roach the holiday season, remember learning never ends and your PLN is always a tweet away 😉

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02 Dec 2014
Comments: 5

The Role of an Ed Tech within the Project Planning Cycle of a 1:1 iPad Classroom

During a conversation with my father over the Thanksgiving week, I realized that he had no idea what my job actually was. Now this may sound strange but truthfully when you hold a support role and you don’t occupy a classroom for seven periods a day, people often wonder what it is that you do. I know how busy I am during the day and those that utilize my services and plan with me also value my insight and position, but I thought the inquiry and topic might warrant a deeper reflection.

What is the Role of an Educational Technologist?

When people think about the role of Educational Technologist, they immediately consider co-planning with teachers and offering professional development… but what many don’t realize is that I work with students just as much as I do with teachers…

The Role of An Ed Tech

What Does a Life Cycle of a 1:1 iPad Project Look Like?

This blog could get quite lengthy… but I felt a Tackk was truly the best tool to highlight and illuminate the role of an Ed Tech within an actual project cycle. From that email or first point of contact with a teacher to the planning and support provided for both teacher and students throughout the life cycle of a classroom project…to the final stages of publishing and reflection. Check out this thorough reflection on the life cycle of an iPad Project.

See on Tackk.com
 

Many thanks to both Tackk (@Tackk) and Shadow Puppet (@puppet) for their social media love, kind words and app-reciation for this piece.

Appreciation

 

What is the Ed Tech Piece of the Pie?

A big shout-out to Carl Hooker for creating this epic mock iTunes U page to highlight some of the roles of an Ed Tech as well as to showcase a handful of carefully curated resources and supports that I provide:

I feel very blessed to have a job that I am so passionate about and that I wake up for each day knowing that I can make a difference. I sincerely hope that my time spent on metacognition and narration of this process is helpful and beneficial to the greater edusphere and will inspire others to reflect and share their work and insight within their own roles.

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PRODUCT REVIEW-5

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19 Nov 2014
Comments: 2

STEM Day Recap…

On Friday I had the opportunity to teach coding to 5 kindergarten classes for STEM day at Eanes Elementary. We weren’t sure if Scratch Jr would hold their attention for a 30-35 minute class period… but we were pleasantly surprised… because it did.

Coding with Kinder

I spent a few minutes introducing the interface and then presented them with 4 challenges (one challenge at a time):

  • Create a New Project and Select a Background (Setting)
  • Add Movement Blocks to have Scratch Jr Move – (We also discussed how the number underneath each movement block would repeat that action that many times rather than dragging the same block again)
  • Add Action (e.g. Shrink, Grow, Disappear) and Text Blocks – (Students found very quickly that the number multiplier made the characters grow more quickly and many of them wanted the character to have a speech bubble with their name or lunch number. They also discovered that if you made a character disappear, that it would not reappear…without adding the Show Block).
  • Add and Paint a Character – (I think this may have been their favorite. Students really enjoyed customizing and adding characters.)

Before I know it, students began having their characters interact and even adding their own audio recordings. I have to say that Scratch Jr. is a natural choice to teach programming but also offers a lot of cross-curricular integrations such as programming distance with specific backgrounds or sequencing a narrative. My 2nd grade son even started using the app to study his spelling words and use them in context (more on that in an upcoming post.)

Capturing Coding with Kinder

As it is not every day that I teach kinder and utter phrases like, “1, 2, 3, Eyes on Me”, I am very grateful that Debbie Smith (@dsmitheisd) captured a few pics to commemorate the event… I have compiled those pics and added some additional Scratch Jr. resources (lessons and curriculum) as well as 30+ iOS apps for programming with students within the thinglink linked here and embedded below.

What Does an Elementary STEM Day Look Like?

If you are interested in what the other activities looked like for STEM day at Eanes Elementary… this video captures an overview of the day.


 

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13 Nov 2014
Comments: 3

Bringing S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR Back…

Last year I presented S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR at TCEA to a packed room. Flash forward a year, there have been many lessons learned. While the S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR Tackk, chocked full of questions and resources, proved popular at a host of conferences and schools this semester, in actual sessions the idea of attendees developing their own understanding of SAMR through the activities proved tricky.

The Evolution of S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR

Initially I had everyone complete a PDF survey (Substitution), and then stopped them and provided a Google Form (Augmentation) using the same questions. We discussed the pros and cons of each and then I offered a Google Slide Deck with full editing rights so each attendee could add their expertise and information to build their PLN (Modification). While developing the SAMR model in this context was revealing for some, others I believe struggled with this delivery method and wanted to simply be told what the SAMR model was. I too struggled to find a balance between discovery and divulging as well as meeting the needs of a diverse group of learners.

S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 3.0 Revealed

So… I went to the drawing board one more time… and decided to create a resource that had 3 tiered sections. When I launched the session at Miami Device this past week, I decided to provide a little back story (as I have done above for you) so those that planned on taking the resources back and using them as professional development for their own staff could make the adjustments as well. Then, I gave a quick review of each level of SAMR and discussed the “That’s So Not SAMR” section as a whole group. Finally, I allowed participants to self-select their comfort level with SAMR and connect that to one of the levels within the bulb site that I prepared (pictured and linked below) and begin to explore the exercises contained in each level.

SAMR Bulb

Breaking Down S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 3.0

Each tier includes an activity with reflective questions:

  • Fancy SAMR is for those that have no knowledge of SAMR
  • Cheeky SAMR is intended for those that have a basic knowledge of SAMR but would like to have some ideas for how to connect each level to a classroom integration example
  • S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR is for more advanced attendees and takes a deeper look at the TechChef acronym intended to make SAMR (also an acronym… yes, the irony is not lost on me) a little more digestible and easier to understand

S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 3.0 In Action

I do have to say that opening up a traditional sit-and-get session to be a more discovery and discussion app-ortunity is not without its own challenges, but I feel like the time spent on exploration and the thoughtful participant discussions that evolved during the session far outweighed the angst some may have felt by being asked to be “active” participants. After the discovery portion, each group revealed their insights and I closed with a quick history of the S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR acronym.

B12l5-XCcAAPsuR

S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 3.0: the Critics Are In…

I want to also give a shout-out to Adam Jones. He was an attendee at two of the sessions I delivered at Miami Device and he provided a very thoughtful and thorough reflection of both of my sessions as well as multiple others that he attended:

“Lisa has done a tremendous amount of work with SAMR – not just in her own classroom, but also teaching other educators how to make their classrooms more student-centric and project-based.  She said, ‘It not about evaluating teachers with this model, but rather deploying it as a structure to have an ongoing conversation about pedagogy…’ It is hard to overstate how valuable a maven Lisa truly is in EdTech.  Find her on social media and you’ll find a deep rabbit hole of carefully curated content.” – Adam Jones ED

Another shout-out goes to Joe Rommel, Instructional Tech Consultant from Southwestern Michigan that shared these kind words about my sessions:

“Miami Device was great. My favorites were Lisa Johnson’s “Sassy SAMR” and “Tech Chef” presentations. Her style was engaging, and she had an amazing collection of SAMR resources that she was willing to share for our own professional development purposes.”- Joe Rommel

 

Stay tuned for TechChef’s Miami Device Recap… Coming Soon…

 

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST TECHCHEF GAZETTE ISSUE? Preparing for Back to School and Beyond

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Home Button StudsUpdated Stock of Chic Geek iJewelry on etsy!

1,800+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

“Differentiated iClassroom”  iTunes U course is now available!!!


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