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19 Nov 2012
Comments: 4

English Stripped Down: A Student’s Perspective

Recently, I visited with Mrs. Haneman, a HCMS social studies teacher and mom of a Westlake student. This is the first year for both the 8th grade 1:1 iPad initiative as well as the 1:1 for freshman and sophomore’s at the high school. As we all strive to embrace this new technology and integrate it effectively into our lessons, I think it is valuable to reflect on our student’s impressions of the device as well. (Mathy Cathy showcases an excellent example of challenging student’s perceptions of math on the iPad with augmented note-taking strategies).

In this instance, I focus on “The Odyssey” and a “Hero’s Journey”. This assignment utilized the Strip Designer app and was created by Mrs. Haneman’s son. While the student admitted to appreciating all of the artistic features the app offers, he did say “it took a long time to work the mechanics, over drawing with pencil and paper, but since I’m not a good artist, I liked the result better.”  He drew the main character as a shadowy figure with no face and utilized a cross hatching technique. The app also allowed for him to use mix media and incorporate internet images for backgrounds and other characters. For an admittedly unprofessional artist, I found the comic to be easy to understand and follow and charming. (See The Golden Apple PDF and open in iBooks on a mobile device or view embedded Google PDF below.)

As graphic novels become a more and more popular art form (check out this one on the Odyssey), it is exciting to see how students are able to easily access and embrace this media using the iPad as a tool. Check out this graphic adaptation of the Battle of Troy using the Comic Life app.

Comic Life example of Battle of Troy
A Beowulf Retelling using ComicBook! app

And one more… a retelling of Beowulf using the ComicBook! app. Check out Yolanda Barker’s blog for more details on this assignment.

Check out more Comic iLessons using Strip Designer:

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19 Oct 2012
Comments: 4

iHealthy Living

Food, iMovie, and Keynote… what could be better?  This iLesson showcases how our HC Top Chefs used a combination of iMovie, Keynote, and various note-taking apps to evaluate their favorite dishes, create a healthier alternative, and showcase it all using the iPad. While the project had been delivered in previous years, this year Mrs. Barron commented, “This is so much better than a PowerPoint” and a student shared their app-thusiasm for the lesson by chanting “thank you for making this unit so much fun”. Though the original assignment was intended to be a PPT and the teacher had limited comfort with iMovie and Keynote, she found that she didn’t have to teach the apps or the technology – the students took their iPads and ran with it … all the way to the kitchen and delivered projects that far exceeded her guidelines and expectations. I commend her for giving students the freedom to express their learning in multiple formats.

Here is the original assignment:

“Select a family favorite recipe.  Modify the recipe by reducing fat, calories, sodium, and/or sugar.  Investigate ways to modify the recipe by researching substitute ingredients.  Conduct taste tests, nutritional analysis, and cost comparisons of modified and original product.  Present to the class the results of the modification project in a PowerPoint presentation.  You need to make and bring enough of the modified recipe for each person in the class to have a small taste on your designated day.”

 
HealthyLiving Project Summarized with Strip Designer app

The beauty of this project was in the differentiated design. Students could use multiple mediums to create their final product from iMovie and Keynote to Explain Everything. Some students added their text in Keynote slides and took screenshots of those to use in their iMovie and others typed in Notes or Pages and took screenshots of that. While each video entailed pictures and video of the group making the recipe, the before and after recipe, nutritional benefits, cost comparisons, and the health benefits of the new recipe, every project was entirely different and showcased unique attributes of the group’s personality from soundtracks and voice overs to blooper reels.

After the first period of presentations, we made a few edits and discoveries:

  1. Video Control: When presenting, students learned to pause the video during important text slides (rather than try and time it to play for an allotted amount of time). This allowed the group to spend more time discussing these details as well as provided time to for the teacher to grade integral elements during the presentation.
  2. Panning Text: Sometimes screenshots of text that pan or have certain effects can be difficult to read the text in the video.
  3. Host Family Video Taste Test: Some students made two batches of their recipe – one to eat at the host’s home and one to eat at school. We suggested having the host’s family film a quick video review to detail their official taste test and include this element in the final project.
  4. Google Form Reviews: Next time we plan on using a Google Form to have each student review the class samples with the intent of sharing the final results with the class at the end of the project.
  5. Class iCookbook: We also plan on having students send a final photo and recipe for their healthy version and compiling them in a class iRecipe iBook.
Every time, I crash a class or observe a project, I learn something new from the students. In addition to sampling healthy versions of key lime tarts, pumpkin fudge, margherita pizza, ice cream sandwiches, and apple pie, one student shared this website she located to compare foods during the project. Another app to support the project is Fooducate.
Two Foods: Instant Food Comparison

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13 Oct 2012
Comments: 1

Student App Reviews – the Next iFrontier in Personalized Learning

I recently published a post on documenting iLearning that detailed how one teacher supports a “digital learning farm” in her class by publishing student products and student-written app reviews to a class blog and showcasing student achievements using a class Twitter account.

A few weeks ago, we got the idea to have students create video app reviews and tutorials using Reflection. Now it has become a popular event. Students visit me during advisory and I set up the mirroring with Reflection and the screen recording with Quicktime on my MacBook and in 2-3 minutes, we have pure app magic.

Thought I would share some of the most recent ones: Type on PDF FREE, Designs for Pages (BTW… had never seen this one and bought it as soon as our screen recording session was over), HMH Fuse Algebra, and iStudiez Pro.

Type on PDF FREE

Designs for Pages

HMH Fuse Algebra

iStudiez PRO

Notes on Screen Recording and Publishing.

  • Create your own network – I have found that in some settings Reflection doesn’t work unless I create my own network on my Mac and have the students mirror through that network.
  • Certain portions of apps do not mirror – Through trial and error, I have discovered that audio recording and toolbars in certain apps don’t always mirror. (The audio notes feature in HMH Fuse caused a blank screen during recording and the toolbar in PaperPort Notes does not appear when mirroring.)
  • Editing – Rather than re-recording an entire review, I will oftentimes import the movie into iMovie for quick edits.
  • Photos and Privacy – When filming the Designs for Pages vignette, I noticed that the student accessed her photo library. While ultimately she did not use a photo of herself, those photos were scanned through and visible while recording. To avoid a privacy situation like this, we created another album with just the photos that she was going to use during the screencast.
  • Publishing and Privacy – The original version of the iStudiez PRO review included the student’s email address as she was showcasing the ability to sync with Google Calendars. Unfortunately, I did not catch this while she was initially recording. Try as I might I could not remove or edit that clip in iMovie without losing meaning to the original work. I even uploaded it to YouTube and tried using their editing and annotation tools to add a callout over the address, but found the callouts always appear transparent and can easily be clicked on at any time by the viewer to be removed. Needless to say, to protect the student’s privacy, we re-recorded the review without showing that feature.
As it becomes easier and more seamlessly integrated to publish student work online, we as educators need to be more cognizant and aware of student’s privacy and protecting personal info. While none of our students are on the “do not publish” list, I still am wary about posting names and photos online.
 
Helpful tips for publishing student work online:
  • Consider taking photos of students from behind or the side (not head on) and reviewing photos and video before publishing to ensure all info is appropriate. Many times certain elements in photos can be blurred or written over using an annotation app like Skitch if caught before publishing.
  • When publishing to Youtube…
    • Do not include the video location if using publishing from home
    • Allow only approved comments
    • Model appropriate licensing and rights ownership by teaching students to select “Creative Commons Attribution”
    • Consider setting a video to anyone with link if you would like to heighten the privacy

 

 
Tips for Publishing Student Work to YouTube
 
As our app reviews do not include student names, photos, or personal info, I felt these would be appropriate to share publicly. Also, I wanted to ensure that students felt their work held value for not only their class and school but others abroad.
 

Check out an elementary example of Documenting iLearning.

Check out a MS Math classroom’s iLearning journey.

370+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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09 Oct 2012
Comments: 2

Fiske Class: Documenting iLearning

In true Alan November-esque style, Tanna Fiske empowers her 8th grade students to lead and contribute valuable resources to the “digital learning farm”.

Published Products with a Purpose: Mrs. Fiske’s students share their “triumphs and failures” in a class blog that documents their 1:1 iPad journey. One of my favorite projects was accomplished the first week the students received their iPads. They used Explain Everything to showcase the 5 themes of geography (embedded below) and even reviewed the “modern powerpoint” app. Also check out their most recent project – 13 Colonies Commercials.


Published with a Voice and Purpose: students also use the blog as a venue for reviewing apps they utilize in the classroom.

Fiske Class App Rating System

The class created their own app rating system. Here is the running record of Fiske’s Class iToolkit of app reviews: Type on PDF, ImageChef, PDF PROvider, PromtWare Plus, Type on PDF free, DocAs, Quizlet, Flashcards*, myHomework, Explain Everything

I love that the reviews are brief, written in a friendly student language, feature personal recommendations and comparisons amongst a group of reviewed apps, and include the features they feel are most valuable. Some students are even beginning to use Reflection to record their own app video tutorials. One of the first was based on the organization app iStudiez Pro.

Digital Learning Legacies: Mrs. Fiske has set up a class Twitter (which displays though TimeKiwi) to visually showcase their iLearning journey and shares it with students and parents alike.

Fiske Class Time Kiwi

Check out an elementary example of Documenting iLearning.

Check out a MS Math classroom’s iLearning journey.

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27 Sep 2012
Comments: 0

Creating Digital Artifacts: Part 4

Continuing on a trend (or tour) of digital artifacts… showcasing examples of how traditional tasks can be digitally archived and sharing the steps of student workflow, I wanted to highlight an elementary Science iLesson from one of my favorite elementary teachers, Lisa Carnazzo.

Last year she had students use the iCardSort app to classify objects by motion (see Clever Carnazzo’s Cards iLesson for more details).

This year she reinvented the lesson using Turbo Collage and Audioboo. I love the idea of showcasing a traditional lab in such a digitally delightful manner. For all four student group examples and their audioboo explanations and reflections, visit the Carnazzo Class Wiki. Want more ideas for how to digitally archive and display student learning… bounce, roll, spin, or slide on over to the Carnazzo Class TimeKiwi.

Digitally Showcasing Traditional Tasks with Turbo Collage


More Digital Artifact Inspiration:

  1. Creating and Collecting Digital Work
  2. Creating Digital Artifacts with Sonic Pics
  3. Digital Homework Reflection with Audioboo
  4. Showcasing Digital Work: Leaving a Digital Learning Legacy
  5. An iPattern Scavenger Hunt with Skitch and Strip Designer

More TechChef4u Math iLessons HERE!

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25 Sep 2012
Comments: 0

iMovie or uMovie?: iMovie Student Biographies

I am constantly amazed with the level of instruction and innovation in the classroom at HCMS. Mrs. Musci, the speech teacher, invited me to observe her students presenting their iMovie Biographies. The first day of the project involved students brainstorming questions to use which eventually were sorted into three categories: background, favorites, goals and future plans. Mrs. Musci had mentioned that while she had done this project in the past, it was much more fluid with iMovie and a 1:1 iPad initiative for her 8th grade students.

Over the next three days, students interviewed their partner, located supporting images from their phones and the internet, and even took video footage and photos to include in their iMovie project. They also utilized other apps to achieve a custom look and feel to their projects:

  1. Collage apps like PicStitch and InstaCollage to include multiple photos in a shot.
  2. Hokusai to edit music from their iTunes library to remove inappropriate content or irrelevant lyrics

 
On the day of the presentation, students presented their iMovie projects behind a podium and introduced their partner to the class. Another group of students filmed each presentation and burned it to a CD for each student to review for personal critiquing purposes. When asked if they would change anything about the project, one student said he would spend a little more time on the timing and slides. This project was well planned and exceptionally executed! Mrs. Musci had a very thorough road map for students and the projects clearly reflected her expectations and detailed guidelines:

Project Guidelines:

  1. Create an iMovie video with at least 15 pictures including the photo of your partner and his/her name.
  2. Include a Title and Concluding Slide.
  3. Add transitions and appropriate music.
  4. Organize your interview into an outline
  5. Write a brief introduction and conclusion
  6. Include at least one story about your partner (funny or serious)
  7. Add a video of your partner and a voice over.
Collage Created with PhotoGridPro

Some suggestions:

  1. Use Videolicious (especially with its new update) as a free option for iMovie and use another app to add captions to the photos like Skitch or Doodle Buddy.
  2. Create an iMovie trailer for a book or to introduce a character to the class or even as a commercial to showcase an invented product.
  3. Use Google Advanced Search on the iPad (step-by-step directions here) to locate Copyright free images.
  4. Use Popplet Lite as a way to storyboard a project.

 
Check out some other student products created with iMovie:

  1. iMovie Book Trailer
  2. iMovie Lazy Quotient Calculus
  3. iMovie Stop-Motion Art
  4. iMovie Poetry

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23 Sep 2012
Comments: 4

Creating Digital Artifacts: Part 3

When I embarked on “family homework” with my son this year, and began thinking of ways to digitize and archive it, I had no idea or intention that it would become a series. However, over the past few weeks it has become a welcome app-ortunity to spend quality instruction time with my son that is enjoyable and engaging for both of us.

This week’s math assignment focused on locating patterns around the house. This reminded me of an old post “Math in My World” that showcased multiple ways to highlight shapes and geometry in the world around us.

Going on an iPattern Scavenger Hunt (image created with Pixlromatic’s Creative Effects Pack)

Here are the workflow steps to create an iPattern Scavenger Hunt: 

  1. Use the iPad to capture photos of patterns around your house and outside.
  2. Use Skitch to annotate each photo to highlight the shape that creates the pattern.
  3. Import all photos into Strip Designer.
  4. Add text as necessary.
  5. Share work via email or Dropbox (comic can be saved as a PDF or a jpeg).
    1. If saved as a PDF, collect each student’s PDF and compile into one iPattern class book.

 

iPattern Comic created with Skitch and Strip Designer
 

 
Want more Digital Artifact Inspiration:

  1. Creating and Collecting Digital Work
  2. Creating Digital Artifacts with Sonic Pics
  3. Digital Homework Reflection with Audioboo
  4. Showcasing Digital Work: Leaving a Digital Learning Legacy

More TechChef4u Math iLessons HERE!

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24 Jun 2012
Comments: 0

The Mommy iBalance

“All my bags are packed… I’m ready to go…”… again. June has been a very busy month with multiple conferences and speaking engagements. And today is no different as I enjoy the San Antonio airport’s amazing and FREE Wifi to complete this blog before I head out to ISTE. While I thoroughly enjoy all of these events… as a mommy, I sometimes feel guilty leaving my two boys. Thus, I spent a good hour or two last night customizing a few apps for my eldest to enjoy in my absence.

While I typically only showcase FREE apps, the following two paid apps were worth every penny to provide a personal learning experience for my little boy in my absence.

Write My Name: Though this app includes upper and lower case letters and familiar word cards, the best feature is the ability to include your own name tags. Each name tag consists of a photo, text name of photo, and a brief  audio recording. I decided to take pics of immediate family members (including the pets) and a few familiar house items (e.g. bed, toys, clock, etc…).

Create Custom Name Tags with Write My Name app


 
Write My Name: Once all of the custom name tags have been added, the fun begins. Children simply tap on a name tag and are presented with the corresponding picture and name. Then a tracing paper appears and the child must trace/write the name of the object or person using correct form. Once the child correctly completes the handwriting portion, the audio will play. All of my audio was simply my speaking the name of the object. For kicks, sometimes I added a sound effect after. (And “yes”, before you ask…we do have a dog named Cullen. And “yes” he was named after a famous vampire.) Now that we have that out of the way… let’s continue… =)

Practice Handwriting with familiar words compiled with Turbo Collage app


 
Futaba Classroom Games for Kids: I have had a fascination with this app ever since I downloaded the free version. While I enjoy the free app, the paid version is truly where custom learning begins. It currently includes 20 preloaded learning modules and boasts the app-ortunity to create your own. As I had already had the pictures on my iPad from the “Write My Name” app, I decided to simply use the same words and images to create an interactive matching game. I also really like the idea of reusing the words to reinforce the learning experience in a different way.

Create Custom Learning Games with Futaba Classroom Games for Kids iPad app


 
While these tools can’t replace mommy time, I hope they will provide enjoyable learning experiences with familiar objects (and give daddy a bit of a break). If you would like to see Futaba in action, check out the video below.

Visit “iPrep 4 Kinder” for more apps and resources to support the preschool/primary child using the iPad.

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18 May 2012
Comments: 0

3 Interactive iPad App-tivities that aren’t Apps!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am always intrigued by sites that offer interactivity but are not apps (ala Quizlet). I had observed Mr. Wayment’s class reviewing the Greek & Latin roots using an 82 card Quizlet deck he had created. Students were utilizing various activities within Quizlet (e.g. Speller, Learn, and Scatter) to review the terms.

 

 
While the students were engaged in the app-tivity, Mr. Wayment shared another online resource that he had been using (on both the computer and the iPad)… Jeopardy Labs. Though I did not have a chance to create my own, I did explore the sample Mr. Wayment created on Greek & Latin Roots. Although he initially created the resource online, he has the flexibility to have students access it in small groups on the computer and from the iPad.

Wayment’s Greek and Latin Roots: Online Jeopardy

Here’s how it works:

  1. Multiple Teams: The site allows multiple teams (up to 12) to play the same board.
  2. Choose a Category and a Point Value.
  3. Answer in question form: They are presented with a statement and must verbalize the correct question to match (e.g. Statement: “Derivative of “digit” that means magic tricks, card tricks, or sleight-of-hand” Correct Response: “What is prestidigitation?”)
  4. Assigning Points and Recording Scores: If the team provides a correct answer, they tap the + and the point value of the item is added to their leader board. If they answered incorrectly, they tap the – and the point value of the item is removed from their leader board.
  5. Repeat and Enjoy: After the points are recorded, the teams would return to the game board and a different team would repeat the category and point value selection.
 
Though the lesson itself essentially was English Language Arts focused in nature, the idea of jeopardy for any content area or grade level is fully translatable and customizable. Create your own Jeopardy Board or utilize the current pre-created templates is FREE.
 
While researching Jeopardy Labs, I came across Bingo Baker (another online resource created by the maker of Jeopardy Lab). With this tool, you can easily create and play your own Bingo Boards (online and directly from the iPad) with no login or payment. Each Bingo Card includes 25 squares (including one free spot). The cards can also be printed as a PDF for playing as a hard copy or annotating in an app like PaperPort Notes or Notability.
 
Bingo Baker step-by-step directions: I created a Snapguide for how to create and play your Bingo Card.
Snapguide: How to Create & Play BINGO on your iPad
Interesting note…
  1. I created the card on my iPad and went into play mode on the iPad and then used the same link on my computer for the card and had a different variation of the same card.
  2. If you refresh the page on the iPad or the computer, it will create a different variation of the card using the same words entered.
  3. One cannot edit the card once it has been created (only clone it).
 
Further English & Vocabulary Resources: 
  1. How to use Quizlet on the iPad
  2. Math-tastic iVocabulary
  3. iVocabulary
  4. Paperless Passages with PaperPort 
  5. Putting an iSpin on Video Vocabulary

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10 May 2012
Comments: 0

iClassify Triangles: Part 2

This post is a follow-up to the original iLesson “iClassify Triangles“. The original lesson provides a few direct instruction videos on classifying triangles, a set of mystery triangle flash cards, and a handful of extension app-tivities. The following could be used as a stand-alone geometry resource or an additional app-tivity to support the initial iLesson.

Student Task: Use the Geoboard app to make an example triangle for each of the following triangles using the specified color:

  1. Yellow: obtuse isosceles
  2. Red: scalene right
  3. Purple: right isosceles
  4. White: acute scalene
  5. Green: acute isosceles
  6. Orange: obtuse scalene
 
Classifying Triangles with Geoboad app

Extensions: Complete the question and one of the tasks below.

  1. Question: Which triangle can you not make and why? acute equilateral
  2. Task 1: Take a screenshot and bring the completed Geoboard image up in Skitch. Calculate the perimeter and area of each of the triangles.
  3. Task 2: Graph triangles in Geometry Pad. (Teacher could provide a task card with specific directions: e.g. “graph an isosceles right triangle in quadrant 2”).

 
 Check out these other Math iLessons.

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