210-710-2434
210-710-2434
16 Apr 2014
Comments: 13

Wicked-Good Wednesday: 3 Ideas Worth Stealing

I have found through countless speaking engagements and professional development workshops, what we may think is obvious or even “tired” … is sometimes exactly what someone has been looking for. On that same note, many times all it takes is a sample or a nibble of a great idea to spark creative juices.

In the words of Austin Kleon…

“There’s only stuff worth stealing, and stuff that’s not worth stealing.” – Austin Kleon

So, this alliterative Wednesday post is devoted to just that…Wicked Good Ideas Worth Stealing.

BeFunky_Photo on 3-7-14 at 12.jpg

In an era of app-smashing and rapid ebb, flow, and feeds of ideas, truly…

“every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas” – Austin Kleon

What catches the TechChef’s eye? Clever items and purposeful ideas that can be adapted and remixed for different settings (e.g. classroom, stations, professional development…) as well as a myriad of uses and content areas. We are all inspired by others and today I want to share with you three ideas and a group of educators that inspires me…

App Dice: As part of their professional development objective for App + App + App= Lesson, Annie Barton (@anniebarton0) and Hayley Schirmer (@schirmer_hayley) “encouraged teachers to implement a culture of planning lessons around using apps that meet a certain criteria, rather than specific apps.”

Rolling the Dice with PD
Rolling the Dice with PD

This little gem crams choice, app smashing, and exploration in to a space smaller than a crouton. And I definitely had a “Why didn’t I think of this?” moment. So to explore this recipe for learning, you will need:

  • DiceEach die was based on a different principle of the E5 Instructional model (e.g. Explore, Explain, Elaborate) and apps were then selected to be used with each principle and assigned to be sides of the die.
  • Idea cards were also prepared for each app to provide additional curricular examples and ideas.
Rolling the Dice with PD
Rolling the Dice with PD

A full post about their process can be found on the Apps in Education page HERE.

Daily 5 App Menu: This creation from third grade teacher Monica Evon is definitely a keeper and a perfect recipe for learning. Everyone likes choice and this cleverly created menu is easily adaptable with additional activities and apps.

1:1 iPad Menu for Guided Reading
1:1 iPad Menu for Guided Reading

QR Code Board Games: While clearly designed to support and review phonics, the idea of QR Code Board Games and Task Cards is easily transferrable to other content areas and even the professional development realm. Read more about this creation from reading specialist Kristin Jordan and download it for FREE.

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 2.34.32 PM

So this Wednesday… think about who inspires you and how you can honor their creations:

“In the end, merely imitating your heroes is not flattering them. Transforming their work into something of your own is how you flatter them. Adding something to the world that only you can add.” – Austin Kleon

Truly the showcase above is intended to whet your appetite for innovation. Now it is your turn… (and yes the TechChef will be cooking up a few remixed deconstructed dishes of her own as well…) so stay tuned..

TechChef4u Alliteration Alliance: Check out the other topics in the Ed Tech alliteration portfolio:

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24 Mar 2014
Comments: 4

Weaving Rainbow Loom Math-ness with SAMR

Sometimes a gem of #awesomesauce falls in your lap when you least expect it. If you are not familiar with the Rainbow Loom craze that has swept the nation and has sold over 3.5 million looms worldwide, let me provide a little context. The Rainbow Loom is essentially a loom that allows you to weave bracelets, necklaces, and accessories from multi-colored rubber bands… with very few directions provided.

In fact, all of our creations… (Yes, my son has also fallen prey to the craze and sucked me in) … have been developed by watching YouTube videos.

Rainbow Loom and Online Learning
Rainbow Loom and Online Learning

“Okay, I get it, TechChef…Rainbow Loom calls upon online learning… but really? Why pray tell, are we focusing an entire blog post on a craft item…?”

Rainbow Loom Math-Ness: Up until this morning, I saw this item as just that… a creative craft item. But we all know a tool is only as innovative as the purpose and intent we assign to it. One student took this tool and gave it a creative educational spin and I simply couldn’t help but share:

Rainbow Loom Educational Value: Being ultimately very intrigued and caught off guard by this delightfully educational twist, I decided to google “Rainbow Loom Math” and discovered multiple articles (listed below) citing educational benefits from this trend ranging from patterning and sequencing to hand-writing, self-learning, persistence, and even frustration tolerance:

Rainbow Loom TRANSFORMED: Truly, the Rainbow Loom is merely a tool… and the TechChef would not leave a post without a sound pedagogical connection. So let me guide you down the cookie crumb trail of transformational learning. After finding myself deep in the haze of the google bermuda triangle, I discovered this article, “And Just How Does Rainbow Loom Fit Into Library and School?”. Moments later… something snapped and the SAMR Rainbow Loom Model was born (in both Thinglink and Quizlet deck options):

This interactive graphic and linked Quizlet is in no way meant to be a definitive SAMR guide but more a way to provide relatable talking points for transforming a concrete tool into a redefined learning experience. I will tell you that I struggle with clearly delineating the SAMR levels – while the tasks move up the SAMR ladder, there is definitely some overlapping between levels…hmm… there may even be a not-so-subtle metaphor woven in… šŸ˜‰

If you are interested in more of these concrete examples and tasks, visit the S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR interactive infographic.

Additional Educational Integration Ideas:

 

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11 Feb 2014
Comments: 0

Redefine and Remix your PD… Together!

I have to say I am overjoyed to find how popular and widely accepted the S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR model is. In less than a week, the post and interactive infographic has received over 3,000 views and almost 7,500 tag hovers. What I find most intriguing is the global impact of publishing online. The materials were originally designed to be delivered in a workshop here in Austin, Texas. However, making the infographic available online has garnered some worldwide social media. Below are a few examples:

S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR Floats on the Twitters

While it is always fun to see your materials and blogs tweeted and translated in to other languages. Truly, the reason I created and published the resource has little to do with international social media fame. It was ultimately a labor of love designed to demystify the model (as admittedly… it was even a little difficult for me to process and apply at first) and provide real world ideas for integration that anyone could digest.

But I feel like I can take this one step further… Truly the height of the SAMR model is about creating authentic learning experiences that draw from collaboration, online publishing, and even formative assessment. During the TCEA workshop, many thoughtful conversations were had amongst the attendees. In hindsight, I wish I had designated a scribe to document the insights, questions, and critical conversations to archive and share with others that were not able to attend.

The S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR workshop delivered at TCEA is officially over, BUT truly we never stop learning and extending our knowledge. So… I had an idea. Why not create a Google Form to collect input on the course as well as ideas for polishing and refining it? I know this idea isn’t truly new but I have added a few elements that I hope give it a spin:

  • Feedback on Content and Clarity of the Course
  • Resources that need to be added
  • Location Data to Create a BatchGeo Interactive Reflection map
  • Visible Thinking Strategies for Reflection

Wanted to ensure visibility and flexibility of content and feedback, I set the form options to publish and show a link to the results of the form as well as the option to edit responses after submitting if need be.

BatchGeo: If you are interested in seeing what the location data blended with the feedback can do for the professional development resources, visit Tammy Worcester’s site to learn more about BatchGeo.

Visible Thinking: If you would like to learn more about how you can blend Visible Thinking strategies with technology, check out Tracy Clark (@TracyClark08) and Sherry McElhannon’s (@librarye1fawesome Smore on the topic.

More SAMR Resources: And if you visited the Pinterest board collection of SAMR resources, you might like to know that the board featuring 60+ resources has now been curated to house over 100.

SAMR Tech Integration Pinterest board (100+)
SAMR Tech Integration Pinterest board (100+)

And I wanted to share a big thank you to Richard Wells (@iPadWells) for his kind words in reference to the S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR resource (read full article HERE). I am truly honored by his thoughts and feedback!

“The fantastic Lisa Johnson (@TechChef4U) has combined knowledge, resources, (one of themā€™s even mine), and a flare for design to produce a toolkit for educators to start understanding where to go with technology integration. This has inspired me to up my game further and definitely start using ThingLink properly!”

Also, if you have not visited Richard’s blog, he offers some most excellent iPad posters, app flows, and guides. One of his most recent posts was also quite app-licable, “iPad Teaching Is Not About iPads.”

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04 Feb 2014
Comments: 12

S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR: Toolkit for Educators to Transform Instruction

TCEA is upon us and clearly SAMR is a hot topic. I had the pleasure to meet the father of the SAMR model (check out recaps of his sessions HERE), Dr. Ruben Puentedura ***, last year at iPad Summit and have spent the past few months digesting, research, and curating SAMR resources for teachers. (Don’t Miss “Groovy Graphics in the iClassroom”!)

Met Dr, Ruben with Fellow ADE's: Michelle Cordy, Lisa Johnson, Dr. Ruben, and Courtney Pepe
Met Dr, Ruben with Fellow ADE’s: Michelle Cordy, Lisa Johnson, Dr. Ruben, and Courtney Pepe

In order to provide teachers with an easy to follow framework to digest and apply the model to their own practices and instruction, I decided to create my own acronym, S.A.S.S.Y. based on an adaptation of Dr. Ruben’s app classification… the Ed Tech Quintet:

  • S: STUDENTS and Storytelling
  • A: Awesome ASSESSMENT (Teacher-Driven and Student-Driven)
  • S: SOCIAL (Voice and Collaboration)
  • S: SEEK: Research and Visualization (Finding it, Citing it, and Displaying it)
  • Y: YOU: Think about Your Own Thinkingā€¦

Once the acronym was in place, I built an infographic and then thing linked app-tivities and instructional resources on top of it.

Many times teachers see different apps placed at different levels of the SAMR spectrum and assume that an app can only work at one level or just because they use an app that their instruction is automatically at the augmentation or redefinition level.

“Truly, this is not the case… it is HOW students use the app that either enhances or transforms learning, not the app itself.” – Lisa Johnson

To this end the infographic includes 5 pieces of support materials:

  • Quizlet decks: with SAMR ladders/flows using the same app so teachers and educators get a better feel for what that might look like in a classroom.
  • Haiku Deck: to provide additional frame of reference and background knowledge for SAMR.
  • 4 Questions: to extend beyond enhancement… is your lesson transformative?
  • Google Presentation: where teachers can build and share their own SAMR flows once they feel comfortable.
  • Additional Support Resources: which include direct links to Dr. Ruben’s site, video, and presentations as well as 60+ SAMR examples and instructional resources.

The 4 Questions are in no way comprehensive but are designed to provide additional clarification when deciding if technology integration is an enhancement or truly is transformative:

  1. Does the technology/tool allow for collaboration (e.g. within a school, district, state, nation, globe, experts, PLN)?
  2. Does the technology/tool allow for feedback and formative assessment?
  3. Does the technology/tool allow for publishing to an authentic audience and archival?
  4. Is the technology/tool student-driven?

I have to say I am super stoked to debut S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR to the greater educational blogosphere and hope that it will be a useful resource for those that are trying to navigate through and digest the framework. Please feel FREE to add your own SAMR flows and ideas to the Google Presentation: “SAMR: Real World Ideas from Real World Teachers”.

*** In true SAMR fashion, I emailed my resources to Dr. Ruben himself. Entirely unsure if I would receive a response, I was overwhelmed with delight when I not only received an email response but actual feedback and clarification on the SAMR ladders I have provided within the session. To ensure quality and authentic alignment to the model, I revised a few of the ladders – what you see now is Dr. Ruben app-roved. šŸ˜‰ ***

Creative Commons License
SASSY SAMR by Lisa Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/.

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13 Jan 2014
Comments: 10

Marvelous Monday: A Motley of App Challenges 4 All

So what could be better than Freebie Friday and 50+ editable graphic organizers and templates for the iPad… a Collection of App Challenges, Task Cards, and PD for All?

Flashback to May of 2011… I started creating task cards for teachers utilizing creation-based apps and higher order thinking skills (pre Hot Apps 4 HOTS iBook):

placeit-4

HOT Apps Task Cards: Below are links to all of the originals:

App Task Cards: Flash forward to the summer of 2013 when TechChef gathered 100+ App-tivities task cards – these are actually perfect for modifying for students and utilizing them in stations.

App Integration Snapshots: Mosey on over to the fall of 2013 when the Eanes iVengers (my fellow Ed Tech crew) decided to start creating App Integration Snapshots for the staff (not necessarily task card or challenge cards BUT quick snapshots about what the app is and ideas for integrating the app in the classroom).

Screen-Shot-2013-09-30-at-9.06.20-PM

App Task Challenges: While these App Integration Snapshots are great to send out to teachers to give them a general overview of the app (especially if they have familiarity with the iPad), the idea of App Task Challenges are terrific for teachers that need step-by-step directions or a specific challenge to complete. A big thanks to Craig Badura (also creator of the “Digital Citizenship Survival Kit”) for creating these and Tony Vincent for sharing these.

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17 Dec 2013
Comments: 11

SAMR: Augmenting your Creativity and Amplifying your Curiosity

*** Flash Alert – the following post does not include a Thinglink example (as 6 of the 8 last posts did) ***

While there has been a bit of question as to the effectiveness of SAMR, a shift to move beyond SAMR, and a few proposed changes to the structure of the model floating around online, I have to say that hearing Dr. Ruben Puentedura (you may know him as the father of SAMR) speak at iPad Summit a few weeks ago still felt like a rare app-ortunity and a truly inspiring treat. As I am still collecting my thoughts and ideas from the event, I wanted to share some really great resources from the Dr. SAMR. šŸ˜‰

However, before I begin… I wanted to provide an easily relatable graphic for those of you new to the SAMR model.

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 2.42.00 PM
SAMR Coffee image above was created by Jonathan Brubaker and appeared in a blog post linked from this image.

Now that we are speaking a similar language and have polished off our first glass of SAMR koolaid, I will move on to share some of my favorite highlights from Dr. Ruben…

“Of Lively Sketchbooks and Curiosity Ampliļ¬ers”: His first session was actually a keynote and entitled “Of Lively Sketchbooks and Curiosity Ampliļ¬ers” and the entire slide presentation (linked with apps shared) is available in PDF form HERE. I enjoyed his take on the very nature and potential of the iPad being intimate, ubiquitous, embedded, and a curiosity amplifier. He shared lots of thoughtful scenarios and examples for each level of SAMR within that scenario.

"Of Lively Sketchbooks and Curiosity Ampliļ¬ers"
“Of Lively Sketchbooks and Curiosity Ampliļ¬ers” by Dr. Ruben Puentedura

“The iPad in Practice: Designing Flows and Ladders for the Classroom”: I was so intrigued and enamored by his keynote that I stayed for his follow-up session entitled “The iPad in Practice: Designing Flows and Ladders for the Classroom” (which offered lots of additional practical examples) and is available in PDF form HERE. (Clearly, I was not the only Ruben groupie at the event).

Sassy SAMR: Michelle Cordy, Lisa Johnson, Dr. Ruben, and Courtney Pepe
Sassy SAMR: Michelle Cordy, Lisa Johnson, Dr. Ruben, and Courtney Pepe

EdTech Quintet: His second session went in to more detail on the EdTech Quintet. Essentially the types of apps and tools that we use today existed in some for or format as early as 200,000 years ago:

"The iPad in Practice: Designing Flows and Ladders for the Classroom" by Dr. Ruben Puentedura
“The iPad in Practice: Designing Flows and Ladders for the Classroom” by Dr. Ruben Puentedura

Ruben went in to greater detail on the background of each of these categories and how they still apply to the apps we use today. He also provided app examples for each category within his presentation linked above.

He speaks more in depth on this topic below:

SAMR Flows: Additionally, Dr. Ruben provided SAMR flows for a variety of content categories. His English Language Arts and History examples were two of my favorites. I felt these provided more of a practical application of the model. All of these examples and flows are provided in PDF form HERE.

SAMR Design Flows by Dr. Ruben Puentedura - image created by LJ
SAMR Design Flows by Dr. Ruben Puentedura – image created by LJ

SAMR Swimming Pool: If you are not too SAMR’d out by the end of this post, check out Carl Hooker’s SAMR ladder model rei-magined as a “Swimming Pool” based on an idea by Greg Garner (@classroom_tech).

SAMR Swimming Pool Image Created by Carl Hooker
SAMR Swimming Pool Image Created by Carl Hooker

SAMR Pinterest: Put a pin in it – I think I am done… No… wait… there’s more. I happed upon a few more SAMR gems on Pinterest.

SAMR Pinterest
SAMR Pinterest

Sassy SAMR Toolkit: If that doesn’t whet your app-etite for SAMR or at least redefine what you think and know about SAMR, then you may want to sink your teeth in to the Sassy SAMR Toolkit at TCEA 2014 this year.

Blended SAMR: SAMR aside, as we break for the holidays, know that in this age of rapidly changing information, it is not to redefine ourselves to live by a model but truly to reflect upon our teaching practices and consider opportunities to redefine and transform instruction to best meet the needs of a diverse population of students with the tools we have available. So I offer this final SAMR model with a Blended App-roach.

Looking At SAMR Through The Window of Blended Learning by Thomas Ro
Looking At SAMR Through The Window of Blended Learning by Thomas Ro

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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.

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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 PĆ©dagogique 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.)

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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).

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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.

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