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22 Apr 2015
Comments: 1

3 Reasons Why Every Student Artist Should Explore the Use of iPad Apps…

It has come to my attention that there are a fair number of artists and art teachers that are of the mindset that iPads are essentially used for research, doodling, and drawing inspiration and not as a tool for traditional art creation. I could wax intellectual on this topic but as most of my “art” and design is digital in nature… I thought I would let my sister-in-law, Melissa Johnson, talented mixed media artist extraordinaire and published art journaler, take the stage…

Melissa too admits that blending digital tools with original art was a bit foreign to her at first…

“It never crossed my mind to combine the two, as I am more of a “hands on” type of artist, but after a day spent with Lisa I realized there were many ways that technology and traditional art can work together beautifully to create something fun, new, and easy to share.” – Melissa Johnson

So Where is the Best Place to Start?

Melissa Art Step Sheet 2.001

Melissa began by researching different apps to see what she could incorporate into her existing art. For her purposes, she found ArtRage, NoteShelf, Paper 53, and Autodesk Pixlr to be her go-to digital art palette.

“I have to say that digitally altering my artwork has brought a whole new skill set into my repertoire that I quite enjoy!” – Melissa Johnson

I would have to agree. In fact, Melissa was actually featured for her digital art prowess in the latest edition of Somerset Art Journal.

What is the Benefit of Blending Digital with Traditional Art?

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So for those of you that need a bulleted list of pros to “sell” you on this idea… 😉

  • Growth As an Artist and Increased Risk-Taking: Melissa says she feels like she gets more out of her art by working digitally since she can start a page by hand in her studio, create a background and a few elements, and then scan or take a picture of the hand-crafted art and continue to work on it. She can use the same background multiple times and explore new skills to create something different by adding layers, a myriad of clip art, and new text, and doesn’t fear making a mistake because everything digital can be undone and redone.
  • More Mileage out of Art Supplies and Time: Melissa also mentions that the ability to easily edit and work over original hand-drawn art is beneficial because it doesn’t require pulling out and cleaning up all of the costly art supplies and can be done from the comfort of her couch.
  • Sharing and Publishing: And of course… in this digital age of authorship… sharing and publishing is integral and can be transformative for an artist. Not only does Melissa share how “going digi” has influenced her work on her own blog. She now uses other apps and tools to create tutorials and best practices that impact other artists with their process and final creations.

Melissa shares her step-by-step process with examples in this posther proven secret for doubling her artistic creativity, what going “digi” really looks like, and even more before and after pics of her original art blended with iPad apps.

Tell Me More About the Apps Artists Use to Share and Publish…

Melissa Art Apps

Beyond the apps that Melissa uses to repurpose her art… she also dabbles with apps like Snapguide and Haiku Deck to create step tutorials for hand-created art and has been thrilled that these tutorials have not only been well received but driven traffic back to her own blog and original art. Here are some examples:

  • Snapguide: Melissa uses Snapguide to document her process and to create tutorials. (Note: As Austin Kleon states, “people do really want to see how the sausage gets made.” Many times we complete a project or create art but never reflect on the process and the outcome. Snapguide is an essential tool to focus students on strategic organization as well as blending cognition and process-based reflection.) See all 14 of Melissa’s guides here!
  • Haiku Deck: Melissa shares tips for finding “Inspiration for Art” using Haiku Deck. (Note: This would be a fabulous project for students to do as well as it really digs deep in to metacognition and  what inspires us.) She also has a deck on “5 Tips for Starting an Art Journal” (which includes additional detailed information in the speaker notes). (Note: Another type of fantastic art project for students is to document their own process and journey through a style of art while simultaneously showcasing their art.)

My Top 5 Tips For Starting an Art Journal – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

How Does this New Blended Modality Benefit Our Students?

Melissa Art Step Sheet.001

Many of our students take art classes. Melissa mentions that combining hand-drawn art with digital apps opens up new doors for exploration and creativity…

“combining the digital element with the hands on experience can be exciting for students since many of these apps lend themselves to a whole other creative approach to making art. How rewarding to create something by hand, then layer on digital elements to create something unique and imaginative.” – Melissa Johnson

Additionally, Melissa mentions that even students that struggle with actual drawing and sketching can benefit from this new modality…

“the ability to manipulate an existing image digitally can really help them express their creativity without the frustration of not being able to draw well.” – Melissa Johnson

 What More Do you Have For Me Today… TechChef?

You know I can’t help but leave you with additional links and resources so here goes…

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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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

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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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.

 

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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24 Feb 2015
Comments: 1

App-Smashed Benjamin Franklin Biography

I guess this is what happens when your mom is both an educator and an Ed Tech…

My second grader recently brought home a bottle biography project. We finished the written portion a few weeks ago knowing that we still had the craft module to complete. Now before I continue with my story, I want to clarify a few points:

  • By no means am I saying that all student projects should be digital.
  • By no means do I believe that projects shouldn’t be sent home.
  • By no means do I think projects shouldn’t involve crafts.
  • By no means do I think the whole assigned project lacked merit or purpose.

Purposeful Crafts

Please know that I definitely enjoy doing projects with my son and I think it is great bonding time… I just believe that craft assignments should be purposeful in nature. No matter how many projects like this we get assigned, I find that the “craft” module of the project falls mostly on the parent to select and purchase the supplies and even assemble them. Now don’t get me wrong, my son helped locate rocks to fill the bottle to stabilize it and did assist with some of the assembly and design but ultimately most of the bottle project ended up in my lap. I then have to ask myself, “what did he ultimately learn from this craft?” So, this got me thinking… what could we do with this bottle craft project to elevate and extend the learning and utilize and incorporate the craft project?

1378578_10204841519790308_4959281387267759674_n

Research and Extensions

I will say that we gleaned a lot through reading the biographies together and completing the provided biography inventory. Because I felt like my son had learned more about Benjamin Franklin than he displayed in both the bottle and the handout, I decided to add a few more guidelines to the project (based on the 2nd grade standards). Many of these extended the written, visual, and oral requirements for the project:

  • MindMap of 5 Adjectives: This included a hand-drawn image from my son as well as component of typing and allowed him to display his research visually. (used Popplet Lite app)
  • Locating Origins and Birth Places: This was simple but addressed a geography component and the ability to locate places of significance. (used Google Earth app)
  • PostCard to Benjamin Franklin: This creative writing assignment  focused on expository text standards as well as addressing important contributions of historical figures. (used Bill Atkinson PhotoCard app)
  • App-Smashed Assembly: As Toontastic is now free (since it was acquired by Google), and it had a Benjamin Franklin toon within its suite, we decided this would be the perfect tool for app-smashing the aforementioned content. Not only was this a great tool to assemble all of the digital media, it also addressed the standard of creating visual displays to convey research results and touched on the component of expressing ideas orally as well. (used Toontastic app)

Within the App-Smashed Assembly, we included a few more elements:

  • Reflection on Process: I am a huge proponent of reflecting on the process – not just the final product so I made sure that my son included how Bottle Ben came to be with pics of the final product and a delineation of the materials.
  • Citations and Multiple Sources: While I am currently stationed at a HS, I have to tell you that I had my stint in elementary as well and have a special place in my heart for children’s literature. As some of the books that my son self-selected from the library proved to be above his reading level, I picked up a few from Amazon. In doing so, these books reiterated the content that we had read from his initial research and provided a diverse landscape for his learning.
  • Publishing: Publishing and Sharing writing is a a big component of the standards and I can’t tell you how excited and proud my son gets when he finds out that other schools in the district (and schools across the nation) want to share his project with their students. In fact just this morning he smiled and said, “just say ‘yes’ to anyone that asks you.”  😉
Ben Franklin copy

Final Project

So here is the final App Smashed project… One of my favorite parts is that the analog creations (e.g. Ben biography bottle and hand-drawn images) provide a introspective and unique landscape to the digital creation that could not be achieved through digital elements alone.

I have to say that had we to do this over again… I would make a few tweaks to the project:

  • Include all Original Artwork: I would have had him design a setting for Benjamin Franklin (hand-drawn) rather than using the Toontastic stock background.
  • Assemble a Timeline: I might also have suggested a timeline of major contributions or events created with Popplet Lite or RWT Timeline.
  • Dramatize a Scene: I would also have him recreate an actual scene to meet dramatization standards.

Authentic Audience

Nothing warms my heart more than to know that my son’s work is well received and that he has an authentic audience for his learning.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 7.46.06 PM

Invest in Knowledge and Involve Me…

So I fortuitously happed upon this bottle of wine at Walgreen’s and in doing so learned that Benjamin Franklin had a repertoire of wine quotes as well. As none of these quotes were particularly app-licable or app-ropriate, I decided to share one of my favorite Benji (yes, we are now on a first nickname basis now) quotes about learning:

Benji Quotes.001 copy

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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04 Dec 2013
Comments: 0

Thoughtful Instruction by Design

I might need a 12 step program to overcome my Thinglink addiction at some point. A few days ago I posted a lengthy blog entry detailing and showcasing educator examples for how Thinglink can be used in an instructional setting:

TechChef even uses Thinglink to showcase iJewelry in a visual manner and detail the back story of chic geek fashionistas.

As I was scouring the web for additional edu examples to, I happed upon two from two of my favorite Thinglinkers – Cathy Yenca and Rafranz Davis.

By Teachers for Students: Cathy (better know online as Mathy Cathy) designs her images in Keynote and then thinglinks them. I have always loved her design aesthetic but especially enjoyed her most recent creation. Not only are they informative and meet multiple learning styles – she has now started linking them to iPad Friendly tools such as Desmos so students can be taken to a interactive graph to explore and interact in a seamless fashion – rather than sitting idly in the passenger seat. (If you are interested in designing these types of resources for your students – explore the 40+ iPad Friendly interactive sites.)

By Teachers for Teachers: Rafranz Davis uses Canva to create her images and then Thinglinks them as a guide for professional development. Her exceptionally detailed Chromebook 101 Thinglink is probably one of my favorites. When asked why she prefers the Canva tool to create the foundation for her Thinglink, she messaged (yes we were having this convo via Twitter DM):

“I like to use Canva’s built in layouts as much as possible because they are timesavers for people like me who over-stress. I can think less about how I lay out the image and more about what I put into it.” – Rafranz Davis

What’s even better is that teachers and students ultimately benefit from the intuitive design of the shared resources:

“My teachers love it because I can embed multiple resources in one image versus several postings. They’ve even started using thinglink in their classrooms which is a huge win!” – Rafranz Davis

But truly these blog entries are not fundamentally about the tool itself – at the heart, they are about thoughtfully designing interactive study guides for students to graph inequalities and for teachers to get a handle on the Chromebook.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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02 Dec 2013
Comments: 4

The Thinglink Ripple Effect

As we all know, the holidays are a very busy time of year. November felt like it flew by and I didn’t even get a chance to reflect on an amazing mobile conference… iPad Summit. My last post focused on my session “Designing Thinking Around Thinglink”.

While Thinglink is offering FREE Premium access to teachers that sign up before the end of December (more info here and Cathy details the upgraded features here)… and I have received multiple thinglinks from participants since the event, I thought I would spend some time showcasing the ripple effect of amazing educationally focused thinglinks.

Ian Simpson (@familysimpson): We first met on Twitter and chatted about Boston eateries and then hung out in person and toured historic Boston and even visited the Harvard iLab (more on that in an upcoming post). Ian created an iPad Summit Thinglink from a Paper by FiftyThree image and thinglinked it as a way to quickly reference all of his learning from the event.

Truly as thinglink is the little black dress of web and mobile tools (thanks to Michelle Cordy @cordym for coining that phrase)… the tool can be used as a canvas to create anything in virtually any educational setting.

“I’m going to use it to make my CPD blog posts more visual, I’m also going to use it with my Computing Science classes and creative writing extra- curricular club!!” – Ian Simpson

Courtney Pepe (@iPadqueen2012): Courtney is a fellow Apple Distinguished Educator and had to do a bit of session hopping as there were a few of us presenting in the same time slot. That being said, she caught the first part of my sesssion (reflections HERE) and later created her own thinglink for how to create a course in iTunes U.

Corinne Gilbert (@cogilbert): Corinne attended and shared her cleverly created Canva and Thinglink app smash which… (I’ll admit after a bit of Google translation, I found)… is chocked full of resources for parenting in a digital era to promote a conference designed for parents.

Corinne also used the Canva/Thinglink app smash to invite educators to an event called (Un Souper Pédagogique Presque Parfait) Traduction which translates to an almost perfect pedagogical dinner which is a monthly event for educators who wish to meet to discuss pedagogy.

But wait… there’s more. The beauty of having a hashtag and sharing creations on various social networks is that people that cannot attend in person benefit as well. Lindsey Rosie and April Requard were two such people:

Lindsey Rosie (@lizzielu48): Lindsey virtually attended the session (from Switzerland) via the resources being shared out on Twitter and later posted her creation on Twitter. She dabbled in using screenshots of Java to illustrate the nuances of coding as part of her course in Schoology and shared some of her insights into future uses with the tool:

“I will use thinklink to annotate code in java lessons, as a review tool for units as I like the idea of embedding items onto mind maps to create interactive revision tools linked to both the school and external sources.”

Lindsey went on to share an idea for grades and 9 and 10 to have a mood board where students can link images and help videos to support their projects:

“It would eliminate a lot of writing for the students and therefore be beneficial for eal and ls students as well as more fun for others.”

April Requard (@aprilrequard) also attended virtually:

“Unfortunately, I wasn’t in attendance, however, as a Twitter and Facebook follower, I loved your reflections and the ideas shared. I was specifically turned on to creating images using Canva and making the images interactive with Thinglink. The possibilities for teacher presentations as well as creative content by students is truly endless. I’m totally addicted! ” – April Requard

April created two amazingly beautiful app-smashed creations using Canva and Thinglink for her upcoming December presentations.

April went on to share with me her love for these creative tools:

“It’s tools such as these that get my inner graphic designer (I’m a novice, but love it) and passionate educator the spark to keep the momentum going. Thanks, Lisa!”  – April Requard

Clearly April Requard has taken her virtual learning experiences and let her imagination run wild! (And we share a love of the same design aesthetic pairing of gray, pink, and turquoise.)

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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14 Nov 2013
Comments: 5

Designing Thinking Around Thinglink

It is no secret that the TechChef is a #fangirl of Thinglink and an avid proponent of creating media for teachers and students that meets instructional needs in a whimsical way. Polishing my presentation resources for my session at iPad Summit Boston and waiting to power up my Mac on the flight, I happed upon an article in the Southwest Airlines magazine that really spoke to me…“Because I said I would”. The notion is about keeping promises but one quote in particular really stood out to me…”

"Because I said I would" image create with Canva web tool
“Because I said I would” image create with Canva web tool

Thus, my “Designing Thinking with Thinglink” mini workshop session is truly designed to do just that…influence others to knead differentiated instruction, visible thinking, whimsy, engagement, formative assessment, enrichment, and app synergy into their instructional resources and classrooms. And what better way to do that…then model it. The Thinglink resource below was created with a Canva image and then thinglinked with additional resources. (The numbered nubbins are an ability available with Thinglink Premium edition).

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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07 Nov 2013
Comments: 1

Technology in the Early Grades

As a former elementary teacher and mom of two primary-age mobile natives, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to share resources and support for integrating and managing devices in the early grades with one of my favorite elementary teachers, Lisa Carnazzo, at Tech Forum Austin.

Both Lisa’s (myself and Lisa C) have prepared fairly thorough resources for this presentation. Lisa Carnazzo focused more on student products that met state and national standards as well as global communication with parents and beyond and shares her content in the slideshare embedded below:

 

I narrowed my resources to spotlight the following topics and gathered them all in the Thinglink below:

  • Screen Time
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Inquiry-Based App-tivities
  • Literacy App-tivities
  • Keyboarding
  • ePortfolios

Truly, the resources speak for themselves… so peruse and digest every tasty morsel and nubbin at your leisure.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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06 Nov 2013
Comments: 9

Primary Digital Book Reports

In preparation for this week’s Tech Forum Austin presentation entitled, “Technology in the Early Grades”, I have been gathering some resources and examples to share that exhibit evidence of learning.

App-Smashed Book Reports: This one in particular was a book report project for my primary-age son. He was given the task to illustrate and briefly describe each part of the story from his Amelia Bedelia book. While his illustrations and text were fairly clear, I felt he had more to say beyond the paper. Thus, I opted to app-smash his book report using the following tools:

  1. Camera: Take a picture of each hand drawn illustration.
  2. Tellagami (app): Create a Tellagami for each section using the matching hand-drawn background saved to the camera roll. Email Tellagami published link after each section.
  3. Croak.it (app): Record audio in Croak.it. Email the published link after each section.
  4. Canva (web app): Create a Canva to house all of the illustrations. Download final Canva image.
  5. Thinglink (web app): Upload Canva image and Thinglink it with Tellagami’s and Croak.it’s.

Truly, it sounds more laborious than it actually was. As this was a primary student project, all of the drawings and audio (the meat of the content) were created by the student, and the teacher (myself in this scenario) simply offered some assembly assistance with the resource.

Tools with Audio and Drawing Capability: While there are multiple ways to achieve a book report on an iPad with a primary-aged student, it is important to look for apps and tools that allow students the ability to incorporate audio and their own drawings.

Fortunately, one of my favorite book creation apps, Book Creator, just released an update to now include a drawing feature (which nicely finishes out the tool that already encapsulated text, audio, photo, and video import capability)!!!

Scribble Press also offers the ability to draw and it just so happens that my fellow iVenger Ed Tech, Marianna Husain posted a fantastic blog post with multiple examples on the Bobcat blog. The examples are not a book report but do incorporate storytelling, illustrations, and publishing.

Kinder Students use Scribble Press app to Showcase their Understanding of the 5 Senses.
Kinder Students use Scribble Press app to Showcase their Understanding of the 5 Senses.

Creative Book Reports on the iPad: With a device in hand, the sky is the limit for innovative book reports. The iPadders site offers 23 iPad Alternatives to the Book Report. ICT with Miss C shares an intermediate iLesson on fractured fairy tales using Scribble Press and iMovie trailers that is simply enchanting. Brianna Hodges shares some fantastic resources for differentiated book reports using a select handful of tools.

Whatever the tool, providing support and opportunities for young learners to “begin to define themselves as writers” and a venue for them to express their thoughts and ideas within the classroom and beyond is a critical and essential objective.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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10 Sep 2013
Comments: 0

Augmented Calling Cards with Thinglink

Yes, I am devoting another post to perpetuating the potential and possibility of Thinglink.

But first, a little delayed gratification to revel in the benefits of sharing online. When one blogs, they hardly ever know if what they say has reached or impacted anyone. Bloggers are like global crop-dusters (I  may have just just see Planes but I think the simile stands), they spread and make their words and ideas accessible to a worldwide educational blogosphere. However, they rarely ever see the harvest unless someone leaves it on their digital doorstep. Yep, we are about to get sentimental. This morning, I received a very kind message from someone I have never met.

TechChef4u Facebook
TechChef4u Facebook

This speaks volumes to my message of the power and impact of sharing online and why I feel so strongly about blogging and social networking as a means of ongoing professional development and learning.

“We have never met and probably never will but the content you post helps me at work frequently.”

So… now to the resource sharing… Last year I printed these little Ed Tech postcards and put them in every one’s boxes. They contained my contact info and a little more about what our role is as an educational technologist.

Calling Card created in Pages
Calling Card created in Pages

Surprisingly, many teachers wanted to use the template to create their own for parent night. This year I refreshed mine and added a little twist… and hopefully some zest (sadly, they are not scratch and sniff – lemon and orange scented ones would be fun though… but I digress… and ryhme… so no thyme either).

Designs for Pages app
Designs for Pages app

I used the Designs for Pages app and selected a Flyer template that would best serve my purposes. From there the process looked like this:

  1. Open selected template in Pages
  2. Email Pages template to yourself (if you prefer to work from a  Mac)
  3. Modify colors and text accordingly
  4. Add a Bio Pic
  5. Create an auto-biographical Word Cloud OR Include a QR code (www.qrstuff.com) to your site.
  6. When finished, export as a PDF and print/share.
  7. To add a layer of #awesomesauce, I created an augmented version of the the calling card using Thinglink.

Below is the final product. While I did, use multiple devices and apps to achieve the product below, I think it may still count as an app-smash… better check with Greg Kulowiec though. 😉 I think he may agree that Thinglink still reigns supreme as the ultimate app smasher.

Ah… some of you caught the subtle change. I am now an Ed Tech at WHS. Go Chaps! Tanna Fiske (@fiskeclass), the history teacher I have showcased for her amazing student projects, is the current Ed Tech for HCMS this year.

Many times, I create things with the intent of modeling a tool so others could eventually use it for more instructional purposes in their classroom. I have maintained a Listly of EDU Thinglinks for some time but felt that it might be better to create a more visual repository. To that end… I have assembled a new Pinterest board of 130+ Thinglink EDU examples for all of my Pindred Spirits … Please Enjoy.

130+ Thinglink EDU Examples
130+ Thinglink EDU Examples

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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