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14 Apr 2015
Comments: 0

iPads Over the Summer… An Annual Affair…

At secondary, students have the option to either keep their iPad over the summer or turn it back in and pick it up at the beginning of the new school year. While most students DO choose to keep it over the summer, there are a fair amount that decide to turn it in each year. Every year we try to stress the benefits of keeping their iPad…

  • Access to their iPad for the last two weeks of school (as collections take so long at three secondary campuses and require ample staffing – we typically have to start them prior to the end of the school year)
  • Access to their iPad at the beginning of school (again as deployments across three secondary campuses require ample staffing and the beginning of the year necessitates all hands on deck, typically a student may have to wait till the second week of school to receive their iPad back)

This year Kacy Mitchell, Ed Tech at WRMS, created an infographic using Picktochart to share with students to illuminate them as to why it might be in their best interest to keep their iPads over the summer. As the HS pick up dates are slightly different than the MS dates, I opted to create my own version of the infographic based on Kacy’s design.

How Can I create an Informative Infographic?

I have started using Canva to create my infographics as the tool allows me to save my final product as both an image and a PDF. I also utilized a few icons from the Noun Project (iPads and PDF). While it does take some time to design an initial infographic from scratch, once you have a template, they are easy to change out and adapt. The one below is actually based off of the “4 Things Every Student Must Do to Preserve Their Work” infographic.

iPads Over The Summer Infographic by Lisa Johnson #TechChef4u #iPad (used with Thinglink) copy

How Can My Students Use Canva?

This is too cool… TechChef… but how can my students use Canva? So glad you asked! Recently I completed a post showcasing 25+ EDU Lesson Plans from a variety of expert educators.

How Can I Find All of Your Epic Canva Designs?

Wow – we are really in tune today. I have started publicly sharing my designs using Canva through my profile and including notes about their purpose and how they were used. If you are interested in App-Smashing Canva with other tools, I have delineated some ideas and highlighted some examples for that process here.

I sincerely hope these ideas and examples give you a hankering for infographics and cooking up a new recipe for delivering content to your students and staff! 😉

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST TECHCHEF GAZETTE ISSUE? Preparing for Back to School and Beyond

TechChef Techucation Gazette: Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter: There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast, sign up today.

Where Will TechChef Be Next?

Miami Device PD Recap (used with Evernote) #TechChef4u #iPad #Evernote-2 copy

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring and Summer PD and Workshops: or request booking here.

02 Apr 2013
Comments: 2

The 360 iClassroom

It has been quite a year rolling out iPads to K-12. Today we handed out the last iPad to the last student. We are officially K-12 1:1 iPad! Yes, it was somewhat tempting (as it is April Fool’s Day) and would have been slightly amusing to tell the last student that we miscalculated and we had run out of iPads. However, we were fully stocked and prepared. Many of the teachers were so excited that the 6th grade students finally were mobily equipped that they have already began planning lessons that incorporate the iPad to enhance their instruction.

I will say it would not be effective or successful if it weren’t for the 360 model of supporting all angles of the initiative… from district and admin decisions to student and teacher training and even parent meetings ranging from disseminating information to providing tips and tricks to manage the devices at home.

A few earlier posts touched on these resources:

The video below highlights yet another resource provided for parents. The Digital Parent Learning Series. The third installment in the series focuses on “Internet Safety and Cyber-bullying” but also covered some wonderful digital wellness tips ranging from child-friendly browsers and filters, a discussion on why apps like snapchat may not be as safe as they claim, to suggesting opportunities for reverse mentoring with technology.

The speaker for the night, Reggie Cajayon (Internet Safety and Cyberbullying Prevention Coordinator for Texas State University), had everyone app-solutely captivated. While only had about 50 parents in attendance, twice as many absorbed the night’s info meeting from home as the event was live-streamed and then archived for later accessibility.

Though an initiative of this caliber will always encounter bumps and dips along the way as we trail blaze the iFrontier, I feel fairly confident that the resources that the district continually provides to support all angles of the implementation will definitely clear a path for student success. And truly… isn’t that what we are all here for?

One of our wonderful iVengers, Marianna Husain was kind enough to compile a Listly list of some of the resources shared from the night’s presentation:



San Antonio Area: If you are in the San Antonio area, I will be presenting at Tech Fiesta April 18th and 19th. Check out the program!

Atlanta Area: If you are in the Atlanta area, I will be presenting at iPad Summit April 11th and 12th.

Interactive TechChef4u Thinglink

830+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Summer and Fall PD and Workshops:

iPadpalooza 2013  Almost Sold Out!!

HCMS Site Visit May 8th – Now Available!

“Student-Created Books in the iClassroom” iTunes U course is now available!!!


16 Jan 2013
Comments: 2

Managing Student Behavior in the iClassroom

We all know you can’t completely restrict students from gaming on 1:1 devices. As one student clearly stated during the student panel portion of our site visit:

“The way I see it is if you give me an iPad and tell me not to play games on it, its like having a monkey and not giving it a banana… I think it just depends on the person and the choices that they want to make…if their actually wanting to get a good education.”

Another student went on to say…

“I do have games on my iPad because if I am at home and bored, games are fun. But I keep them on a separate page and I keep them in their own folder. If I am working on something, then it is not right there. I just know if I have something that I need to do, then I have to do that first, then I can play games later.”

While some students choose to self regulate their distractions, we thought it prudent to still outline off-task behavior and notify students of the consequences. An easy first step in a 1:1 is to have students take a screenshot of their off-task behavior and email it to their parents and or an administrator. If this communication does not resolve the issue, taking away the iPad for the remainder of the class period (and having students complete their assignment in a traditional manner) is also an option.

Modeling Off-Task Student Behavior using Motivational Poster app


Teacher Panel Insight: During our teacher panel at our HCMS 1:1 site visit (more dates in 2013 available), 2 1:1 teachers (Tanna Fiske, and Cathy Yenca) and 1 shared cart model teacher (Larry Embrey) shared their valuable feedback on the following topics: how the iPad has changed their classroom, how they handle distractions in their class, and what advice they would give a teacher starting out using the iPad in the classroom. They also answered questions from visitors in the audience as well. Check out the archived version of the live-streamed teacher panel below.

If you liked this post, check out:


Poster Sessions

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

700+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring & Summer PD and Workshops:

iPadpalooza 2013 Registration Opens 1/18

HCMS 2013 Site Visits Now Available!

Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

Come visit me at FETC. I will be presenting a 2 poster sessions (one on Wednesday and one on Thursday).

22 Oct 2012
Comments: 15

10 iPad Management Tips and Tricks

With a 1:1 iPad initiative in full swing, I encounter many questions each day from classroom and file management to queries for the best apps for mind-mapping and annotating PDF’s. As an ed tech group (aptly named the iVengers by our fearless leader Carl Hooker), we band together to address these issues and provide solutions.

Greg Garner, my counterpart at West Ridge MS, shared his top 10 list for iPad Classroom Management:


10. You Can’t Overcommunicate
9. Set Clear Behavior expectations. Daily.
8. Rethink and Relocate
7. It’s OK to NOT use the iPad sometimes.
6. Practice your lesson/activity/workflow at least 24 hours before class.
5. SUB Plans
4. Have an established procedure for the beginning of class
3. ALWAYS have a tech-free back-up plan
 also good for students who are off-task to have an alternate   assignment
2. Ask yourself, “What is the ultimate point of what I’m trying to accomplish?”
1. Help your students get organized


Greg was kind enough to Creative Commons his top 10 list and save it as a PDF (iPad Management Tips and Tricks). He also goes in to greater detail to illustrate each of his points.

iPad Management Tips and Tricks


400+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

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