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21 Jun 2011
Comments: 0

Cool Tech 4 Kids to Beat the Heat: Part 2: Virtual Vacation

Travel the World at the Drop of a Pin

Virtual Vacation: As heat, inflated gas prices, and the economy deter us from travel, consider a staycation via a virtual field trip. Consider taking a free trip to Paris, the National Zoo, Ellis Island, or the Taj Mahal without paying a cent or leaving your wonderfully climate-controlled abode.

iPad: Aroundertouch (by far my favorite… can’t believe it is still free), Tour Wrist (totally my new favorite: your iOS device becomes a portal to the world. You really have to see it ti believe it!), Fotopedia Heritage (also has a website) & Paris, Atlas of the World, GTTZoo Lite, Pocket Zoo Free (has live webcams of penguins and polar bears as well as videos of other animals), World Book’s World of Animals (free through 7/10), Cooper’s Pack Seattle or Alaska (both paid), Kids World Map, Library of Congress Virtual Tour, Explorer: The American Museum of Natural History

Web 2.0: Fraboom (interactive online Children’s Museum for ages 6-12), Google Art Project, 360 CitiesScholastic Global Trek, National Zoo Webcams (Switcheroo Zoo: Make & Play with Animals at this virtual zoo), 100 Virtual Trips, 7 Panorama Wonders of the World, A Walk in the Woods (Spanish), Ellis Island, Virtual Space

Virtual Tourism Lesson

Have your child send a postcard from the destinations they visit: Post Card Creator (Web 2.0) or Animal Greetings, Flat Stanley (paid app), or Card Shop (paid app). Consider creating a travel journal using the apps iDiary For Kids or MaxJournal (both paid) or Catch Notes (which allows you to capture ideas and experiences in text, voice, images, and locations). Collect thoughts on summer travels and anecdotes for a future scrapbook. Compose a top ten list of places they would like to visit.

Wanna have even more fun? Create your own panoramas using Photosynth (also a website ** with multiple examples), AutoStitch Panorama or Panoramatic 360 (last two paid). Share your panoramas at ViewAt.org or Photosynth. (If you plan on actually traveling this summer – what better memories to keep than 360 tours of some of your favorite spots.)

Even consider creating your own geocache treasure or scavenger hunt using an iDevice and Google Maps and/or Google Earth (both have app and website counterparts). Did you know Google Maps now has street view? Put on some ambient music to set the tone (check out NatureSpace), order some ethnic cuisine, and it is almost as if you were there.

Landa Park 360 Tour with Photosynth

For all of you Voracious Virtual Voyagers, check out Google’s: What Do You Love Site (as seen on Mashup) to locate more information (e.g. articles, photos, blogs, books, discussion groups, videos, maps, and debates) on any of the places you visit that spark your interest.

Google: WDYL (Eiffel Tower)

Stay Tuned over the next couple of weeks for upcoming Part 3: Books & Storytelling and Part 4: Scrapbooks, Timelines, Arts & Crafts. Did you miss Part 1: Imaginative Play & Games?

Tune in: Thursday June 23rd at 8pm to Social Geek Radio where I will be a guest discussing cool technology for kids (apps and Web 2.0 tools) that they can utilize on these hot summer days.

**If the virtual tour doesn’t work on your computer, you will need to download Silverlight. It is quick and painless and it fixes the issue once you exit and reload your browser.

Please Comment with your favorite apps (and Web 2.0 tools) for virtual trips and tours.


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.

25 May 2011
Comments: 2

Appy Hour: Math App-Teasers

Appy Hour will provide you with a fast-paced introductory approach to FREE apps that are appropriate for secondary students. App-teasers for Math will be sampled. After this class you will think beyond the concept of an App as simply being a game – you will leave with a menu of appealing concrete lesson ideas you can serve as soon as you are back with your students! An iPad with all required apps will be included for use during the duration of the class.

Math Appy Hour (Jog the Web Tour)

Jog iTunes with Me

app_happy_math (Menu of Math Apps Sampled)

Sample Parent Handout

Check out More Apps for Math

Check Out Podcasts For Math

 

 

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


23 May 2011
Comments: 0

HOT APPS for HOTS: iCard Sort

iCard sort is a great app to use for vocabulary & sorting. The apptivity below is a jeopardy-like vocabulary lesson that involves matching mathematics vocababulary to its corresponding definition. Lesson, extensions,and student record sheets are provided.

Handouts:

This activity can be delivered as a review or as a pre-activity. If teachers choose to do the activity before the lesson, they may want to allow students to use resources to locate words as well (textbooks, Dictionary.com, Ask.com, Answers.com, etc…).

Bump it Up: Another extension to this activity would be for students to use the Contacts app (an standard app on the device) to build a math vocabulary database with images of the vocabulary (captured from the device or from the internet), a website that may give more information, & the definitions written in the notes field. (see Signs of Math Bump activity).

If a teacher has issues beaming or blasting decks due to wifi or internet issues, consier having students create the deck to match the grid. It may take a little more time but the activity will be saved.

All definitions were used from MathWords.com.

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


23 May 2011
Comments: 1

Appy Hour: ELAR App-Teasers

Appy Hour will provide you with a fast-paced introductory approach to FREE apps that are appropriate for secondary students. App-teasers for ELAR will be sampled. After this class you will think beyond the concept of an App as simply being a game – you will leave with a menu of appealing concrete lesson ideas you can serve as soon as you are back with your students! An iPad with all required apps will be included for use during the duration of the class.

Jog iTunes with Me

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

ELAR Appy Tour (Jog the Web Tour)

app_happy_elar (Menu of ELAR Apps Sampled)

See iPad Lessons for more ELAR examples.

See ELAR Podcasts for a starter list of podcasts.


19 May 2011
Comments: 4

Part 5: Techchef4U iPad Lessons

I came across this tool earlier today in the TCEA Twitter feed and it is just so cool (and easy to use) that I had to share! This Flipsnack I created is using my iPad Lessons(since they were already PDF’s and I needed them for this year’s Tech Camp). (Check out more blogs about Flipsnacks).

I found it was best to link all of the PDF’s into one document using Adobe Acrobat (“create a PDf from multiple files”) prior to uploading the PDF. Otherwise I found each book only had one page. The site does require a login but will give you a free link and embed code and allow you to upload up to 500 pages. This is a very cool way to highlight information and create a cool book of student work or resources. And the embedded hyperlinks in the document still work!!

I have included other links for Web 2.0 sites, resources, and supporting materials that will accompany the iPad Lessons above on my Teacher Web.

Thank you Apps in Education for featuring my lessons in your blog. These are a labor of love and I am so honored that people are getting a chance to see them and use them. As you write your lessons, please share them out. Inspiration and passion for technology integration are oftentimes contagious. Let the appapalooza commence!

iPad lesson development is universal & global: Just saw Jan Gamres blog (Norwegian) referencing the lesson process I stated in my last entry: Using the power of Google Translator, I was able to read it. What a wonderful world we live in! Translate it for some great tips on iPad Lesson development.

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


18 May 2011
Comments: 4

Part 4: iBuild iPad Lesson(s)

Images from The Missing Bite Posters (compiled in Photofunia)

Awake your Appthusiasm for Learning

I am an Instructional Technology Specialist at NEISD that serves 3 Title 1 campuses. We are very fortunate to have an abundance of technology at our disposal to service the students.

With a background in English & Math and a love for all things Apple, I naturally gravitate to the iPad. We have 60 currently on campus with 90+ on the way so I have been working very diligently over the past few months creating lessons for them (as well as training teachers ahead of time) to reduce the turnaround time between when they arrive and when they are actually used for instruction in the classroom.

While these lessons were inspired by apps, I did not want to make the lesson exclusive to the app so I have given suggestions/extensions and projects that can be accomplished with Web 2.0 tools. I have also provided interactive Web 2.0 tools that can serve as an alternative to the app if teachers would still like to use the lesson (and do not have access to an iPad).

Do you have an App-titude for Lesson Development?

After writing a series of iPad lessons, I wanted to share my process in creating the lessons:

  • Theme/Topic/Content Focus: While I try to choose a theme or topic (graphic novels, government, poetry) or locate an inspiring app to build my lesson around to make the lesson general enough that it can be used/adapted by various grade levels, teachers may want to ask themselves some more specific questions as they begin the planning process:
    • What TEK(S) do you plan to cover, focus on, support?
    • What is the purpose of the lesson (pre-activity, review, formative/summative assessment)?
    • How long do I have for the activity?
    • What background information should the students have prior to the lesson?
    • How will I differentiate or provide scaffolding to meet the needs of all learners?
    • How will the lesson be delivered (individual, pairs, small groups, stations, whole class)
    • Should activities within the lesson be completed in a certain order?
    • How will the activities be assessed (questions, lab, oral discussion, project/product, blog/online post)?
  • Supporting Apps & Resources: Find more apps like it or to support it (also consider what materials & resources you already have: websites, PDF’s, movies, podcasts, etc…). If you do not have supporting content already created, consider creating an ePub or interactive PDF.
  • Similar Lessons: Find similar topic/theme lessons online
  • Apps Mirror Interactive Sites: Find similar sites (virtual/interactive/Web 2.0) as apps (for teachers who do not have an iPad to use the same lesson)
  • Projects/Assessment: Compile project ideas/suggestions/products that can be created using Web 2.0 tools, interactive sites, or peripherals (assessment and student products/projects)
  • Resources & Extensions: Gather links to resources used, lessons, extension ideas, etc…

This whole process from start to finish typically takes me 10-15 hours a lesson.

Template for building these lessons: Word_Template (Lesson Outline_Word).  Microsoft also offers thousands of templates for Publisher & Word that can be modified to be used as a lesson template or task card. In Pages, choose a newsletter from the template chooser or a Poster (for a task card).

I have also included sample iPad lessons that I have “cooked up” this year in the next post!

Apptivities.org is also a great site for iDevice Lessons and a great way to get inspired. Krueger’s KSAT program also has a site with a few example lessons that may give you some direction. Escondido’s iRead site is also a great place to start. This is a fantastic site to understand how to use digital audio tools to improve the reading process.

A wonderful TCEA Workshop left us on this note and so will I, “It’s Not About the Tech. It’s About the Teach.” Be mindful of this when building your iDevice lessons.

Post Your Lesson Ideas to this Canvas!
Appolicious iPad Apptivities

 

For those of you who may want an agenda for this course, I have gone the nontraditional route and used iBrainstorm to generate a plan!

©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?


18 May 2011
Comments: 1

Part 3: Finding An App (the best kept secrets)

Where do you find apps (especially the free ones) and how do you narrow down the search?

  1. App store on the Device: If I am looking for a specific topic such as chemistry, I will go to the app store on the device and search “chemistry”. I also take note of wording of apps that may fall under chemistry (e.g… atom, periodic table, element, etc…). This would be similar to how you would approach a Google search with keywords and tags. (You can also search the App Store on the web).
  2. Follow the App: Sometimes I find an app and it leads me to other great apps. (much like Amazon will suggest other items based on your affinity for the selected item: “customers who bought this item also bought”). This is a great way to find 3 or 4 apps based on one good app.
  3. iPod/iPhone Apps: Since the iPhone/iPod has been around longer than the relatively infant iPad, I will also peruse iPod/iPhone apps (there are currently quite a few more that for the iPad) and select one that may better meet my query or needs. Most iPod/iPhone apps will work on an iPad once you select the 2x option after launching the app. They may be a little grainy but that is a small price to pay.
  4. App Store Browsing Categories: Other times I have some “spare time” and I review the app store lists for “top free” & by category (education, productivity, reference). This is a great past time for those who suffer insomnia or need to pass time in a productive manner while waiting in the doctor’s office or in line at the grocery store.
  5. Google Search: If someone mentions the name of an app and are unable to locate it in the app store, try doing a google search. Using the name + “app” or + “iTunes” is useful to give priority to the iTunes page over sites that have info about the app or an article about.
  6. App Evaluation Site(s) & Social Media: If these all fail or don’t produce the desired result, I turn to the internet & social media. There are many sites (and apps) dedicated to locating, ranking, categorizing (some sites will categorize all apps and others will focus on one facet like apps for digital storytelling), and providing useful descriptions and reviews of apps. There are also educational entities that create app lists that are updated on a regular basis and even post info on free app specials (sometimes a developer will run a one-day or one-week special on an app or collection of apps and offer them for free).
Many sites will list and recommend apps by grade level and content area. The TCEA Google Doc is probably my favorite place to begin a search. They are divided by content area and constantly updating their recommendations.
  • TCEA Google Doc: (also iPod apps)
  • 40 Amazingly Educational iPad Apps For Kids: a great starter list (if you are not ready to be inundated with hundreds or thousands of apps at a time)
  • TeachwithyouriPad: this site is such a great place to start your app search as it provides screenshots & descriptions (not just lists)
  • Education Apps Review: This site sorts and reviews apps by both grade level and content area. It also houses student reviews of apps (what a great activity for compare & contrast, persuasive writing, or even an exposition on how to use the app)
  • Moms with Apps: this site will also send push notifications of free apps from some of their vendors.
  • Apps in Education: this site has lists of reviewed apps by content area (and an additional list of unreviewed apps sorted by content area)
  • Fun Educational Apps: this site has apps for all iDevices and breaks their reviews and recommendations by down by age
  • Apps 4 Kids: this site also includes Android apps and separates them by topic
  • App Annie: this one houses multiple app rankings and reviews
  • Appolicious: this site also houses app reviews and recommendations
  • Reaching All Learners: this is a great site that recommends apps for learners with special needs (you can also sign up for email notifications from Mark Coppin – he sends out recommended and free apps)
  • Apps for Children with Special Needs: this is another great site that recommends and reviews apps for students with special needs
  • IPads for Learning: this site offers app reviews and a few other useful sections (e.g. classroom ideas, case studies, 21 steps to iPad success, etc…)
  • Kathy Schock: iPads in the Classroom: this site offers lists of recommended apps as well as tutorials and ideas for classroom use
  • Live Binder – iPads in Schools: this site is robust as well offering lists of apps for students, special education, teachers, admin, and parents
  • Free Tech 4 Teachers: iPad: offers multiple blog entries that review select apps
There are other sites (some are bundled as an app) that recommend free apps (especially those that are only free for a limited time). One of my favorites is the TCEA Twitter feed but there are others that have proved to be useful as well.
  • Awake your Appthusiasm for Learning

Now you are ready to explore the world of apps and become an informed consumer of all apps.


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