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.



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11 Dec 2014
Comments: 4

Visual Portfolios: The Blending of Analog and Digital

As I mentioned in my most recent post, The Role of an Ed Tech within the Project Planning Cycle of a 1:1 iPad Classroom, my job entails working with students just as much as teachers. A few months ago I was asked to speak to the Senior Mentorship classes about online resumes, portfolios, social media, and digital footprints. A collection of the resources I shared is available here. Each year students in these classes present a final presentation summarizing their experience throughout the semester of their professional mentorship. In addition to showcasing the resources mentioned above, I highlighted the tool bulb as a way for students to create an online visual portfolio of their work and final products.

One student, Yasmeen Tizani, gravitated to bulb and created an exceptional portfolio of her work. Her bulb includes three collections: ArtArchitecture Mentorship, and Architecture at UT.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.33.02 AM

I have to say it has been such an amazing experience working with Yasmeen this semester. She would pop in a few times to get my feedback on the layout and any ideas for improvement of the content.

Polishing the Portfolio

Two changes that she made based on our discussions were art work descriptions and the use of Canva to create a few of the tiled images:

  • Art Work Reflections: We discussed adding blurbs on each art piece that highlighted both the inspiration for the work as well as the process and media used to create it. 
  • Canva Creations to Customize Tiles: Rather than uploading a photo or using the default image associated with the page’s tile, Yasmeen used Canva to expertly spruce up a few of her page icons.

Hybrid Portfolio

The best part of this bulb is the hybrid approach that Yasmeen took. She created a mentorship portfolio that combined a unique blend of analog and digital work from scanned log sheets and journal entries, photographs of hand-drawn sketchbooks, to images of SketchUp designs and photographs of the final product.


Personalizing Visual Archival

Yasmeen even included a collection of her work from the UT Architecture Program. The collection seamlessly blends photos from her presentations as well as the evolution of her final product through multiple iterations. One of the most powerful pieces of the portfolio is showcasing Yasmeen in action – I think it brings a personal touch to the portfolio that stand-alone photos of products alone could not.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.34.23 AM

Transferring Portfolios

One of my biggest pet peeves with ePortfolios is that many students create something within the four walls of their K-12 education and then the portfolio is not transferable to the student when they leave. I advised our seniors to create their bulb accounts with their personal gmail account so that they could continue to grow and evolve with their work after they left our institution.

Many thanks to Yasmeen for letting me share her work. I hope it serves as an exemplary model to inspire you and your students to reflect, create, and publish.


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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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.


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.


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…

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