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27 Dec 2012
Comments: 2

Hot Apps 4 HOTS goes Dutch

It was just about this time of year last year when Yolanda and I were frantically working to finish “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” and get it submitted to the iBook store before TCEA. Well wouldn’t you know it, a year later there have been close to 20,000 international downloads and the first Dutch translation of the published iResource:

"Hot Apps 4 HOTS" goes Dutch

 

I have taken the liberty to translate Dico’s blog entry about the Dutch version below using Google Translate. The entire resource is available for FREE with a tweet or like. I feel quite honored that Dico valued the book enough to painstakenly translate and recreate it for other educators to app-reciate in their native language.

Blog Translation

 

As I was preparing for this post, I stumbled upon another Dutch blog showcasing the Explain Everything projects students created in science class before the holiday break. This always brings a smile to my face. Those of you that blog know the work is tireless and you never truly know who is reading or who is impacted unless they speak out or contact you. I hope I have not butchered this Dutch saying “Waar het hart vol van is, stroomt de mond van over” , but truly my heart is full this holiday season and my keyboard will go on… Thank you to all of you who share my app-thusiasm for iLearning and making a difference in the iClassroom. As we look forward to 2013, remember “Zonder mijn en dijn zou de wereld een hemel zijn” which I believe loosely translates to mean share and share alike will make for a better world. (More Dutch Sayings).

Another Dutch Blog highlighting TechChef4u content

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

 
HCMS 2013 Site Visits Now Available!

Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

Come visit me at FETC. I will be presenting a 3 hour workshop on Monday entitled “Student Created Books in the iClassroom.”


19 Dec 2012
Comments: 9

Science Explained

At last week’s iPad site visit, a student on the panel was describing her favorite iLesson:

“It was in science. It is an interactive periodic table (app). We were learning about the elements. You click on an element and it gives you the history, who made it, how you use it, what it is used for. Another cool feature is you can make them. You can keep on adding neutrons, electrons, and protons as much as you like and every time you click on the plus or minus, it tells you what element you just made. The results were really amazing. We had more interest in the periodic table than we ever had before mainly because it was fun, it was interesting, we actually got to play around with it and see what we could make with it instead of just giving us a piece of paper and telling us ‘research these’.”

The student was referring to the NOVA Elements app. While this app clearly made an impression on the student, I was really thrilled when Ms. Greathouse contacted me about using some product-based apps to create review resources for the 8th grade test. The students were allowed to choose either Explain Everything, Strip Designer, or Keynote.

Some of the Plate Tectonic topics/concepts to choose from were:

  • A divergent boundary occurs when two plates move away from one another creating rift valleys in continental material and ridges in ocean basins.
  • Mountain ranges, volcanoes, rift valleys and other land features can be observed from space, and these images can be used to support theories about tectonic plate activity.
  • Evidence of changes that occurred in the past can be observed from space, allowing scientists to predict changes that might occur in the future due to sediment deposition, glacier movement, and river courses.

 
What a wonderful iLearning moment this was! Students collaborated and taught each other the technology skills they needed to achieve the content portion of the task in real time. I heard questions like, “How do you add arrows to Keynote?” and “Show me how you embedded an animated gif in Explain Everything?”. In between answering questions and observing the iLearning process, I took a little video footage:

iRubrics: Later, Ms. Greathouse and I discussed how she would grade the projects. She wanted to ensure that students would not just do the bare minimum  while rewarding  those who went above and beyond. We both agreed the best way to achieve this goal was with a rubric. After combining and tweaking a few online rubrics, Ms. Greathouse focused on content, writing processes, layout, and graphics, and shared the one below:

iPad Product Rubric

 

iProducts Assessment Sharecase: In this world of differentiation, product-based learning, and mobile devices, how are you assessing student productivity and iLearning? Would love to hear about your student products and assessments and even see some rubrics. Please share in the comment section below.

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

650+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

Contact TechChef4u: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

 
Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

Come visit me at FETC. I will be presenting a 3 hour workshop on Monday entitled “Student Created Books in the iClassroom.”

 


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.

370+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

 

 


04 Jun 2012
Comments: 1

What's Your Must-Have Paid App?

So to build off of my social curation addiction with List.ly, I am sharing a belated list of “Paid Apps for the iClassroom”. Yes, I realize I am the Queen of Free, but sometimes you really do have to break down and buy an app. So this list is a tribute to a growing list of  the best “Paid Apps for the iClassroom”. Please feel free to leave comments or a thumbs up and thumbs down on an app selection… as well as add your own favorite paid app for the iClassroom. Hoping to reach a collaborative list of 100 apps!

[listly id=”1CH” theme=”light” layout=”full” numbered=”yes” image=”yes” items=”all”]

 

Check out my other Listly’s: 20+ FREE Product-Based apps, Surprisingly Educational apps, Student-Created Apps 4 StudentsInteractive Tools & Sites that JIVE with the iPad, Infographics in the Classroom, and Cool Tools to Engage Your Brain over the Summer.


20 Feb 2012
Comments: 3

Gratitude & App-reciation

During our TCEA 2012 workshops and seminars, Yolanda Barker and I handed out cards with promo codes on them for the following apps. I would first like to say that we do not endorse apps or products that we do not APP-SOLUTELY LOVE and USE. We would feature and mention the apps regardless of their appy donation(s). That being said, I would like to take a moment and thank the app developers for their gracious donations to our TCEA 2012 participants. I know everyone APP-RECIATED the schwag.

App-reciation Collage created with Turbo Collage app

 

  1. Puppet Pals Directors Pass: This app is a main staple in the techchef4u kitchen and can be utilized to create animated videos to support any content area at any grade level. (See Samples).
  2. To me By me: This “surprisingly educational” app allows users to write a letter to their future self to be delivered on a specific date. The app is perfect to practice letter-writing and goal-setting.
  3. Tacky Wales Create: This app is fantastic to teach parts of speech and creative writing. (See Samples).
  4. iCardSort: This app is a MUST for any classroom. It can be used in multiple settings (e.g. individual, cooperative pairs, small groups, stations, whole group) and has so much functionality (users can customize the background and decks in a variety of ways as well as wirelessly beam/blast decks to other users) and versatility (can be used in multiple content areas and grade levels). (See Samples).
  5. Explain Everything: This is by far the best paid app for screen-casting! You can import documents and presentations from Dropbox and Evernote and then annotate and narrate over them. Explain Everything also offers multiple export options that do not require logins! (See Sample).
  6. La Di Da: Created by the makers of Songify, this app allows users to speak a selection and transform it into a song. Clearly “surprisingly educational“, users can practice foreign language, speeches and soliloquies, and create innovative media to support any content area’s project. (See Samples).
  7. Root-1: Root-1 donated the cool “Begin Your Quest” eco-friendly shopping bags and have created the “surprisingly educational” app, StoryLines for Schools. The app is a modern day telephone game. Users choose a vocabulary word or quote or generate their own, pass the device to another student who must draw a representation of the word/quote, and pass it to yet another student who must decipher what the drawing is. The app can be used to support vocabulary, themes, events, and concepts in multiple content areas. Root-1 also makes a few other wonderfully free and educational apps: Word Joust K-5, Word Joust 6-8, xWords, and Word Kung Fu in beta (coming soon).
  8. Inspiration Diagrams: Inspiration Diagrams donated an iPad cover for each of our 3 workshops. I had the pleasure of being a beta tester for Inspiration Diagrams. The Lite version will be released in March and the full in April. The possibilities for support and integration of the writing process are endless. The current version of the app has 11 templates ranging from Cause and Effect and Book Report to Fiction Reading Notes and Chronology. The app still mimics Inspiration software in the outline and diagram views but boasts new features such as Send to Dropbox and iTunes. I am very eager to see what the final product will look like.
  9. Matt Barker: This is Yolanda Barker’s husband. He graciously donated his CD to our participants. While his music is copyright free and he welcomes those who seek to modify and integrate it into their own projects, I am sure he would love to hear how it is being used in the classroom or other settings (share your thoughts with him). Matt is also the artist behind “appy hours 4 u” intro, outro, and voice over and plays live at a few local hangouts in San Antonio.
  10. Coach’s Eye: This was a late edition to our schwag. Coach’s Eye is from the makers of ScreenChomp and Camtastia and offers countless classroom integration possibilities. The name is a bit misleading as it was originally created for coach’s to instantly review and analyze their player’s videos. The app allows users to record or import video, slow it down, narrate and annotate over it, and even export it! Imagine recording and reviewing a science lab, public speaking event or debate, or even  weather patterns on a field trip.

 

Please give these people and app developers a nice round of APP-LAUSE! Thanks Again!

 


19 Jan 2012
Comments: 3

Yes, Technology CAN Transform Education!

After reading the Tech Crunch article “Can Technology Transform Education Before It’s Too Late”?, I was a bit shocked and surprisedShocked that there were 15 comments in less than 3 hours and 40+ comments in a span of 24 hours. Clearly the topic is popular. What surprised me was the vast spectrum of comments ranging from arguments between the importance of how and what is taught, lack of focus on critical thinking and need for tools that facilitate retention, lack of parent involvement, and the need for a influx of social media to correspond and collaborate. Some felt technology was a tool and others cited technology-driven innovations like Khan Academy as the answer.

Tech Crunch Article by Prerna Gupta

 

Mobile Devices are a Game-Changer: While I do agree how and what is taught is integral to student learning and achievement, I have to say that mobile devices (especially the iPad/iPod in particular) are a game-changer… paired with purposeful instruction and meaningful application. They are the vehicle for personal, differentiated, and global learning. So how do we leverage these devices to effectively meet the needs of all of our learners?

Katie Gimbar says it better than I can: Why I Flipped My Classroom?. While she does not focus on the iDevices as a vehicle for flipping the classroom, one can see how these devices could easily support delivery of content (and later… application).

Now, How Might this Look in a Real Classroom? Let’s let Aaron Sam’s classroom serve as a model. (Also check out Katie Gimbar’s explanation: “What Does Your Classroom Look Like Now?”)

Now what are the road blocks to this initiative? What if a student doesn’t have access to the videos? What if a student doesn’t watch the videos? Who creates the videos? How are the videos created? Again, we will visit Katie Gimbar for the solutions!

What About Students with No Access?

What If Students Don’t Watch the Videos?

Who is Creating these Videos? If a teacher doesn’t feel he/she has the time or expertise to do so, Khan Academy and other sites have wonderful video libraries. However, Katie Gimbar (and myself included) feel the best author for change is the classroom teacher.

The next question for me… How are these Videos Created/Produced? Katie (through her video series, I feel a unique familiarity with her… so perhaps we can be on a first name basis) chooses the Flip Camera and white board as her tools of choice. Others may opt for an iPod with a camera, an Avermedia Document camera (and/or A+ interactive software), the SMART recording feature built in to SMART software, or Camtasia Studio (Aaron Sams’ and Chris Groff’s choice), an iPevo, or even screen-casting tools like ShowMe, ScreenChomp, and Explain Everything. Choose a tool that is familiar to you and a tool that will deliver your content in the most appropriate way.

In closing…can technology transform education? No, not technology in it of itself. BUT, technology can be used to support initiatives like “flipping the classroom”, differentiated instruction, and personal learning. Utilizing these technology innovations is the key to empowering teachers to impact student learning and in doing so…transform education!


14 Nov 2011
Comments: 0

iModel iPad Lessons with Number Line

In building the “iTools for the 1 iDevice Classroom” workshop, we felt there was a great need for modeling how various game-like apps can be utilized in multiple settings (e.g. cooperative pairs, small groups, stations, whole class). We also felt very strongly that it wasn’t enough to just talk about classroom and curricular uses but to truly model and discuss how task cards and recording sheets would be used and what follow-up and extension activities would look like.

iModel with Explain Everything: I have used Explain Everything to model how an iLesson could be delivered using the resources that have been provided within the Number Line apptivity. (Check out KSAT’s iPAd Curriculum site for Number Line lesson and score sheet).


 
iNewsletters & Extensions: Consider sending home an iNewsletter for Parents so any student with access to an iPod or iPhone at home could utilize the apps at home for remediation or extension. ShowMe and ScreenChomp would be great iPad apps to use to have students create their own word problem or iLesson on fraction, decimal, percent conversion. If students didn’t have access to an iPad, consider using the video recorder to record themselves working out a problem or modeling a unique approach to conversion.

iNewsletters 4 Parents

 

Hungry for more? Check out NEISD’s “iTools 4 the 1 iDevice Classroom” SlideShare workshop as well as HOT Apps 4 Literacy (includes task cards and recording sheet for ELA game-like apps).



08 Nov 2011
Comments: 4

iSequence

In an effort to incorporate the iPads into small group intervention stations for middle school math, I spent a few hours collaborating with Cheryl Mutz, an NEISD district Math Instructional Specialist, to create an apptivity to support the study of sequences in 8th Math. The intervention apptivity would be used in a small group setting (two students to an iPad) and the students would have 30-45 minutes to complete the task.

iSequence: Terms and Rules

 Resources: I have included a iCardSort_Sequences_TaskCard (task card) and  iCardSort_Sequences_Recording Sheet (recording sheet). The recording sheet is intended for students to show work or record answers if teachers choose not to use the email function on the iPad. (If teachers choose to use the email function, students will want to layer each individual sequence problem so all of the cards overlap. This way iCardSort views the cards as a group, or one problem, when it emails the written outline of information above the screenshot.) Check out iCardSort’s public deck repository… This deck is now available for anyone to download and utilize to easily replicate the apptivity.

iModel with Explain Everything: I have used Explain Everything to model how the iLesson could be delivered and the resources that have been provided within the iSequence apptivity.


 
Hungry for more iCardSort apptivities?

  1. iCardSort Lite (website): visit their public repository for pre-created decks and check out their newsletter for integration ideas.
    1. Elementary Science Example
    2. MS Math Example using vocabulary with handouts and lesson
    3. Sorting example for “Words 4 Students”
    4. Getting iN Touch with Vocabulary (using iCardSort and Graphic Organizers)
    5. Videos highlighting basic use and how to integrate in a literature circle

 

 

 


04 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

PROMOting QR Codes: Many Thanks

Many thanks to Explain Everything, Middle School Math, Splashtop Whiteboard, and Puppet Pals Director’s Pass for donating promo codes for a recent iPad Camp. Instead of Dollar Store trinkets, I passed out these app promo code cards as incentives for teachers who shared their insight or a sample project during the workshop. Each app was given a unique QR code that led to an example project and/or review of the app on my blog.  All QR codes were created with Kaywa.

PROMOting QR Codes: Collage Created with Beeclip Beta

 

The Appy Promos:

  1. Explain Everything: Check out our Appy Hour Show devoted to Screen-casting Apps as well as my thorough review of Explain Everything … “the best screen-casting app ever”… in my opinion.
  2. Middle School Math: Check out the review of this app. 7 Modules & Growing!
  3. Splashtop Whiteboard: Remote desktop and slate all in one!
  4. Puppet Pals Director’s Pass: One of the few apps I have seen that created a parallel version to comply with Apple’s VPP (as the in-app purchase for the Director’s Pass bundle in the original free version of Puppet Pals HD version doesn’t.)

 
Interested in other ways to integrate QR codes into education, check out the Scoop.it Pages:

  1. The Best of QRCodes
  2. QR Codes in Libraries
  3. QR Codes for Learning
  4. QR Codes in K-12 Education

 

 


02 Sep 2011
Comments: 1

Screencasting, Problem-Solving, and Digital Storytelling: Episode 2

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 2“Screencasting, Problem-Solving, and Digital Storytelling”. In addition to discussing how the four featured apps could be used instructionally (with multiple grade levels and content areas), we discussed the purpose and inspiration of the show, explained how to get images to the device (e.g. screenshots, camera, saving an image), and gave more in depth information on how to manage the apps with multiple students and collect products as well as limitations of the app(s) and what features the upgraded app offers or promises to offer in the next patch.

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Doodle Buddy (Twitter): highlighted in ShowMe video above (also checkout Doodle Buddy featured in other edu blogs:

    Doodle Buddy Bar Graph

    1. Math: determine length of missing side of a triangle
    2. Speech Therapy: sketching, building vocabulary, and pictionary-like activities
    3. Occupational Therapy: developing fine motor skills (used to compare progress over a few weeks)
    4. Multi-content: science labs, math problems, alphabet books, annotate PowerPoints that have been turned into images
    5. Cooperative Work: Hangman
  2. Popplet Lite (Twitter): Ophelia Character Map & Math Vocabulary/Classification
  3. ScreenChomp (Twitter): Review and goal-setting example using Poetry Magnets screenshot, Math example using U.S. Quarters screenshot
  4. ShowMe (Twitter): example included above highlights Doodle Buddy screenshots (visit ShowMe Community for more examples)
  5. Explain Everything $ (Twitter): review and examples for student and teacher use (visit Explain Everything Showcase for more examples and a review of my EE projects)

 
 
Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes:

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

 
Our next show “Puppets 4 the Classroom airs September 8th at 10:00am which will highlight Sock Puppets, Puppet Pals, Tortoise & Hare Puppet Show, and PhotoPuppet HD Lite.