210-710-2434
210-710-2434
24 Feb 2015
Comments: 1

App-Smashed Benjamin Franklin Biography

I guess this is what happens when your mom is both an educator and an Ed Tech…

My second grader recently brought home a bottle biography project. We finished the written portion a few weeks ago knowing that we still had the craft module to complete. Now before I continue with my story, I want to clarify a few points:

  • By no means am I saying that all student projects should be digital.
  • By no means do I believe that projects shouldn’t be sent home.
  • By no means do I think projects shouldn’t involve crafts.
  • By no means do I think the whole assigned project lacked merit or purpose.

Purposeful Crafts

Please know that I definitely enjoy doing projects with my son and I think it is great bonding time… I just believe that craft assignments should be purposeful in nature. No matter how many projects like this we get assigned, I find that the “craft” module of the project falls mostly on the parent to select and purchase the supplies and even assemble them. Now don’t get me wrong, my son helped locate rocks to fill the bottle to stabilize it and did assist with some of the assembly and design but ultimately most of the bottle project ended up in my lap. I then have to ask myself, “what did he ultimately learn from this craft?” So, this got me thinking… what could we do with this bottle craft project to elevate and extend the learning and utilize and incorporate the craft project?

1378578_10204841519790308_4959281387267759674_n

Research and Extensions

I will say that we gleaned a lot through reading the biographies together and completing the provided biography inventory. Because I felt like my son had learned more about Benjamin Franklin than he displayed in both the bottle and the handout, I decided to add a few more guidelines to the project (based on the 2nd grade standards). Many of these extended the written, visual, and oral requirements for the project:

  • MindMap of 5 Adjectives: This included a hand-drawn image from my son as well as component of typing and allowed him to display his research visually. (used Popplet Lite app)
  • Locating Origins and Birth Places: This was simple but addressed a geography component and the ability to locate places of significance. (used Google Earth app)
  • PostCard to Benjamin Franklin: This creative writing assignment  focused on expository text standards as well as addressing important contributions of historical figures. (used Bill Atkinson PhotoCard app)
  • App-Smashed Assembly: As Toontastic is now free (since it was acquired by Google), and it had a Benjamin Franklin toon within its suite, we decided this would be the perfect tool for app-smashing the aforementioned content. Not only was this a great tool to assemble all of the digital media, it also addressed the standard of creating visual displays to convey research results and touched on the component of expressing ideas orally as well. (used Toontastic app)

Within the App-Smashed Assembly, we included a few more elements:

  • Reflection on Process: I am a huge proponent of reflecting on the process – not just the final product so I made sure that my son included how Bottle Ben came to be with pics of the final product and a delineation of the materials.
  • Citations and Multiple Sources: While I am currently stationed at a HS, I have to tell you that I had my stint in elementary as well and have a special place in my heart for children’s literature. As some of the books that my son self-selected from the library proved to be above his reading level, I picked up a few from Amazon. In doing so, these books reiterated the content that we had read from his initial research and provided a diverse landscape for his learning.
  • Publishing: Publishing and Sharing writing is a a big component of the standards and I can’t tell you how excited and proud my son gets when he finds out that other schools in the district (and schools across the nation) want to share his project with their students. In fact just this morning he smiled and said, “just say ‘yes’ to anyone that asks you.”  😉
Ben Franklin copy

Final Project

So here is the final App Smashed project… One of my favorite parts is that the analog creations (e.g. Ben biography bottle and hand-drawn images) provide a introspective and unique landscape to the digital creation that could not be achieved through digital elements alone.

I have to say that had we to do this over again… I would make a few tweaks to the project:

  • Include all Original Artwork: I would have had him design a setting for Benjamin Franklin (hand-drawn) rather than using the Toontastic stock background.
  • Assemble a Timeline: I might also have suggested a timeline of major contributions or events created with Popplet Lite or RWT Timeline.
  • Dramatize a Scene: I would also have him recreate an actual scene to meet dramatization standards.

Authentic Audience

Nothing warms my heart more than to know that my son’s work is well received and that he has an authentic audience for his learning.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 7.46.06 PM

Invest in Knowledge and Involve Me…

So I fortuitously happed upon this bottle of wine at Walgreen’s and in doing so learned that Benjamin Franklin had a repertoire of wine quotes as well. As none of these quotes were particularly app-licable or app-ropriate, I decided to share one of my favorite Benji (yes, we are now on a first nickname basis now) quotes about learning:

Benji Quotes.001 copy

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23 Jul 2014
Comments: 7

Wicked Good Wednesday: Real-World PD that Actually Works!!!

At one point and time, we can all confess to delivering a one-size-fits-all or most app-roach to delivering content to adult learners. I have heard much talk about differentiation in staff development workshops and experienced the angst and eventual loss of patience and focus when a presenter tries to deliver the exact same content to a room full of educators that are clearly at very different levels and require very different tasks to meet their needs. While formative assessments and targeted surveys to staff can address some of this issue, I have yet to see very few actual examples of what this might look like in practice… until today!

Divine Differentiated PD Resources:

Fortunately, four lovely educators decided to step up to the plate and not only design resources that clearly plan for diversity in heterogeneous settings, but share the resources and their thought processes behind them:

Differentiated PD Resources: Real World Activities that Actually Work!!!

Divinely Personalized and Student-Directed PD Resources

Not only has Sabba Quidwai provided 12 interactive AppTRACKS and AppSTACLE courses (explore them below), she has provided a truly epic…

Learner-Centered PD Resources: Real World Augmented and Tiered Activities That Actually Work!!!

FREE interactive iBook to model redesigning learning including interactive resources and lectures ranging from note-taking and multimedia to screencasting and assessment.

Download the FREE iBook: "Redesiging Learning: Teaching in the 21st Century"
Download the FREE iBook: “Redesiging Learning: Teaching in the 21st Century”

Dig Deeper!

As I have devoted multiple hours to writing an article featuring the above resources in greater detail, I will let the article speak for itself.

Dive Right In!

I will, however, share the resources in one additional format for those that like to peruse in a more visual fashion

Hungry for MORE… EXPLORE the TechChef4u Alliteration Alliance!

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11 Jul 2014
Comments: 5

Fierce Friday: TechChef4u’s Epic PhotoMap PD Recap

It has been a very frenzied few weeks with conferences, travel, and speaking engagements. Finally, I have had a moment to reflect and archive the learning and inspiration from the past 6 weeks in a Fierce Friday post… in the only way I know how… 😉

a Thinglink of epic proportions…of course!

   

Dig in to TechChef4u’s Epic PhotoMap PD Recap: There is much inspiration and content buried and hidden in this Thinglink… so dig in and relish each nubbin! Here are a few to keep an eye out for:

  • S.A.S.S.Y. SAMR 2.0
  • Cooking Up Groovy Graphics in the iClassroom 2.0
  • World Languages and Constructivism from WHS World Language Department
  • Technology in the Early Grades Reboot
  • Teaching with iPad Exemplars (especially pertinent to History, ELA, and World Languages)
  • Background Info on the iTunes U app update that allows course discussion, curation, and management
  • 7 FREE Interactive Biology iBook Textbooks
  • Ideas for Creating your own Graphic Organizer backgrounds to facilitate formative assessment and discussion using Padlet
  • And Much More…

Dive Right in to 9 Power-Packed Tools for Bridging the Summer and the Classroom: If you are interested in learning about how the Thinglink was created, explore these 9 Power-Packed Tools for Bridging the Summer and the Classroom and dive right in to the Edudemic post divulging delicious examples for both extracurricular and instructional integration. 

 

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28 May 2014
Comments: 7

Winsome Wednesday: Delightful Student-Publishing!

If customization and edupreneuralism is the not-so-distant future for districts, than authentic opportunities for students to publish their own work is the equivalent trend for the classroom.

The Big Adventure of Berry by Daeun Jung
The Big Adventure of Berry by Daeun Jung

I have to say I quite accidentally happed upon these winsome student-created iBooks in a twitter feed. Truly, I do not use the word “winsome” lightly… these exceptionally creative  inquiry books are charming and delightfully designed.

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 8.38.15 PM

Scientific Narrative Story: Each book is a narrative story that blends scientific fact and fantasy with a dash of personification. While the books encompass multiple technologies from hand drawn images to text written in Pages, the final product was assembled in Book Creator.

The Adventure of Tom Triceps and Brittany Biceps
“The Adventure of Tom Triceps and Brittany Biceps” by Elaine Zhu

Behind the Story: A “Behind the Story” section reveals the thorough process from inquiry to publication.

Oxy's Adventure by Luna, Ojanperä
“Oxy’s Adventure” by Luna Ojanperä

Research and Resources: Clearly research and inquiry were main dishes for this project and were even included in the reference section at the end of each book.

The Adventures of Oxylia the Oxygen Bubble by Adinda Aaisyah
The Adventure of Oxylia the Oxygen Bubble by Adinda Aaisyah

About the Author: And of course no book would be complete without an Author Page.

"Ardelia Does a Cartwheel" by Ardelia Tjandra
“Ardelia Does a Cartwheel” by Ardelia Tjandra

Beyond the Book: So impressed with the transformative work that these five fourth graders recently published, I decided to dive a little deeper and get an exclusive interview…via a Google Form.

How Did You Organize Your Research?

  • “I had to make a resources list. I had to go to the book from the school library and look on the front page to find the author and then I added the title and the book page. I also did this for information found on the Internet.” – Luna Ojanpera

Can You Tell Me More About Your Inquiry Book?

  • “The unit of inquiry was about different body systems, my system was about the muscular system. We learned about the unit in different ways. We worked with the grade 12 students, we made experiments, we watched films and we read books. We had to find many questions for ourselves to learn about body systems. The inquiry book is where we keep all our notes.” – Ardelia Tjandra

What Was the Most Challenging Part of the Project?

  • “Learning to say all of the difficult science words correctly for my eBook recording words like duodenum. Writing the story was also really hard.” – Daeun Jung
  • “Drawing the pictures for the book. I found it hard to draw the neurons because I had to Google first to see what they looked like.” – Elaine Zhu

What Was your Favorite Part of Creating this Real Information Book?

  • “I really liked finding all the facts. I watched videos from the Brain Pop website to find a lot of my information. I also read books.” –  Elaine Zhu

What Advice Would You Give Other Children and Students Looking to Publish Their Own Book in iBooks?

  • “My advice that is you must have access to good resources and helpful teachers to guide you.” – Ardelia Tjandra
  • “You need to make sure that you know the facts properly. You have to be ready to make lots of drafts.” – Elaine Zhu

How/Why is this Different From an In-Class Project That is Not Published to a Worldwide Audience?

  • “It’s different because it took a long time and we needed to find out a lot of new information. I wanted to make sure that the people who would read my book could understand it. I tried to use easy language to make it better for others to read.” – Luna Ojanpera
  • “When you publish a book, everyone in the world can download and read your book. It made me want to work harder.” – Adinda Aaisyah

What is One Thing that Surprised You During this Inquiry and Publishing Process?

  • The thing that surprised me was that I never thought that I could publish a book in English that is about a body system. My first language is Chinese. I also never imagined that students in America could download and read my book.” – Ardelia Tjandra

What Would You Like Other Students To Know About Your Books?

  • I want people to know that I actually come from Finland and English is not my first language. This was hard for me to make this book but I succeeded and my book was published by Apple.” – Luna Ojanpera
  • “My book really explains in detail about how neurons work to send messages. This was hard for me to learn about but I think that I have explained it really well.” – Elaine Zhu

 

Jane Ross (@JaneinJava), their teacher, mentor, and fellow Apple Distinguished Educator has curated a few additional resources to shed some light from the instructional point of view:

She also has a comprehensive FREE iBook on the topic available entitled “Creating Authentic Stories for the iPad: Publishing Student Authors on the iBooks Store”.

"Creating Authentic Stories for the iPad" by Jane Ross
“Creating Authentic Stories for the iPad” by Jane Ross

While these books definitely reflect robust inquiry and research as well as clear understanding of their topics… we cannot dismiss the vital role and impact that publishing to a global audience has on our students.

“We publish not just to complete our books but to share them beyond our community and place our stories into the hands of people across the world.” – Jane Ross

Additional Content-Focused Book Samples:

 

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12 May 2014
Comments: 17

Multipurpose Monday: A Motley of iPad Bingo Cards

I stumbled upon an iPad Bingo Card a few weeks ago in a discussion thread. If there was one… I assumed there had to be more… After a few minutes of Google searches, I had collected 8 of these little gems!

21 Things 4 iPads: iPad Bingo
21 Things 4 iPads: iPad Bingo

iPad Bingo Cards for Professional Development: In an effort at brevity with this post, I have curated all 8 into a new Pinterest Board entitled iPad Bingo.

iPad Bingo on Pinterest
iPad Bingo on Pinterest

Extending the Tool: Truly this motley of gamification professional development tools are multi-purpose and can be adapted to a variety of instructional settings. Consider creating an iPad Bingo Chart for:

  • Different Tasks for one full-featured open-ended app (e.g. Padlet, Explain Everything, Keynote, Tackk)
  • A Differentiated Audience (create 3 levels of Bingo Cards based on the skill set of the room or one for each content area)
  • A Theme or Topic (create a Bingo Card for flipped learning, assessment, or critical thinking)

Creating the Cards: Bingo Cards can be created using a variety of tools. Allanah King used a Google Doc to create hers so it would be editable and even included a separate resource for those that needed additional support with each one of the tasks. Joshua Borzick went one step further and created an entire Google Site devoted to support their iPad Bingo professional development resource.

iPad Bingo Google Site by Joshua Borzick
iPad Bingo Google Site by Joshua Borzick

One of my favorite tools for creating quick set of cards is Bingo Baker. Check out the Snapguide embedded below for a quick step-by-step tutorial.

Check out How to Create & Play Bingo on Your iPad by Lisa Johnson on Snapguide.

Sharing is Caring: How will you use this tool to gamify and flip your professional development? TechChef4u wants to hear from you! Please share your iPad Bingo Spin Offs with us. Email lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com – we would love to share your creations with the global eduphere!

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… 😉

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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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 Thinking…

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. 😉 ***

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/.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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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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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.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

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