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13 Oct 2011
Comments: 0

A Day in the Life of Elementary Flat Stanley

I have always loved Flat Stanley to promote literacy, story-telling, geography, and global awareness. I decided to use him to promote literacy and local tourism for a monthly mommy blog that I am a guest blogger for. The original idea was to give the gift of learning and technology integration to local moms and highlight local events and places around town…

Flat Stanley New Braunfels

 

…then I discovered that the Flat Stanley app was free and decided to work it into an iDevice and Web 2.0 lesson. Here are three ways to utilize Flat Stanley in your classroom:

  1. QR Codes for Education

    Flat Stanley on an iDevice: Take pictures around the campus and incorporate them into StoryRobe to create a video. The Flat Stanley app will allow students to take pictures in the app but will not save the pictures to the PhotoRoll. The best way I found to get the photos into the PhotoRoll is to email each photo to myself, open the emails on the device, and tap and hold the image to save to the device. Another option would be to email them to the teacher and have the teacher load them into iTunes and sync them manually. From there I imported the photos into StoryRobe (I found storyboarding the order of the images and the narration prior to recording was very useful) and record narration for each photo to compile a complete video.

  2. Flat Stanley & Web 2.0: If teachers do not have an iPod or iPad, they could have students create their own Flat Stanleys (see these printable templates: Flat Stanley Project & Flat Stanley Book Template), take pics of each around campus or in the classroom, and use Little Bird Tales to achieve a similar student product. (See Signs of Math example)
  3. Flat Stanley & QR Codes: Have students create their own Flat Stanleys and research a location for them to have adventures (research could be done on the computer through virtual trips or on the iPad using apps like ArounderTouch, Fotopedia Heritage, or Google Earth). From there, students can write a story, a letter, or a journal of Flat Stanley’s adventure and even create a podcast. Share your adventures with others by creating QR codes to information, videos, photos, or Google Maps locations from the places they visit. Print these out and place them next to student’s Flat Stanleys and set up a Flat Stanley Scavenger Hunt.

 


11 Oct 2011
Comments: 9

HOT Apps 4 Brainstorming: Episode 5

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 5 – HOT Apps 4 Brainstorming.  In this episode, we featured 7 free apps that can be utilized for mind-mapping, note-taking, and brainstorming and discussed the functionality of each app and what features were available as in-app purchases or with companion apps and software.

Created with iBrainstorm

 

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. T-Chart : See pro-con example in Can the Ban post.
  2. iBrainstorm (website): Check out the iBrainstorm Companion to have students “flick” post-its to the iPad. Check out iBrainstorm examples on their site or upload yours to share on Flickr with the tag “ibrainstormapp”.
    1. See additional iBrainstorm example in iBuild iPad Lessons post.
  3. Simplemind+ (website): Also available on iPhone/iPad. Download a 30 day trial of the desktop version available for PC/Mac and share/edit your mindmaps easily between all of your devices.
    1. See Shakespeare example in HOT Apps 4 Production.
  4. Stickyboard (website): Check out their user’s guide.
  5. Idea Sketch (website): Similar to Inspiration – has outline & graphic modes.
  6. Popplet Lite: This app was also featured and discussed in the second episode of “appy hours 4 u: Screencasting, Problem-Solving, & Digital Storytelling.” Also check out their web app (will require logins) and these examples:
    1. Sequencing Example
    2. Math Example: Vocabulary & Classification
    3. HOT Apps 4 HOTS Agenda
    4. ELAR Example: Ophelia Character Map
    5. Tech Example with Web App embedded
  7. 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. Videos highlighting basic use and how to integrate in a literature circle

Created with iCardSort

 

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

Listen to
internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio


03 Oct 2011
Comments: 1

Words 4 Students: Episode 4

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 4 – “Words 4 Students”. In this episode, we discussed up front how mad lib-like apps could be used instructionally with various content areas and grade levels and then discussed the main features of each app and what features were available as in-app purchases. (Also check out Teachervision for some great integration ideas.)

We also congratulated Ms. Carnazzo, a 2nd grade teacher in NEISD, for using our show to inspire and develop iLessons with her students: Talking Heads sums of 10 (from episode 1), Songify for short vowel sounds (from episode 1), and iCardSort for objects in motion (from episode 5).

Words 4 Students: features sorted w/ iCardSort app

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Mad Libs (Website): Other paid versions: Goofy, Cool, and  On the Road. They also have Musical Mad Libs Songatron Free & Songatron $ which we haven’t had a chance to review.
  2. Tacky Wales: Also check out the paid app Tacky Wales Create.
  3. Wordventure (Website)
  4. Radlibz $
  5. Sparklefish (Twitter): Stay tuned for a holiday version.
 

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

Listen to
internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

30 Sep 2011
Comments: 2

Setting Student Restrictions on an iDevice

It is vital for teachers and iDevice administrators to set up restrictions in the device prior to putting them in the hands of students. If restrictions are not initiated, students can set up their own code for the restrictions and/or will have access to multiple questionable opportunities. When you set up restrictions, use a four-digit code that can be standardized (e.g. the four digit year the campus opened) but not easily guessed (e.g. 1234 or 0000).

Here are a few suggestions for default restrictions:

Enable Student Restrictions

  1. YouTube: Many times this is blocked already by the proxy.
  2. iTunes: This will block the music on the device. It will also turn off of Ping, a social network for music, automatically.
  3. Turn off Allow Installing & Deleting Apps: This will block students signing into their own iTunes account and restrict them from deleting existed apps teachers have synced to the device.
  4. Accounts: Set this option to “Don’t Allow Changes” so students cannot edit or delete existing accounts (e.g. default student email for sending projects to teachers and the MobileMe account).
  5. Turn off in-app purchase: This will block pop-ups carrying you to the app store to purchase additional features within an app.
  6. Adjust content age limits as appropriate. Consider the following settings:
    1. Music & Podcasts: Clean
    2. Movies: PG
    3. TV Shows: PG
    4. Apps: 12+
  7. Turn off multi-player games: This applies to games in the game center.
  8. Turn off adding friends: This also applies to games in the game center.

 

Teaching teachers to regulate these restrictions is an integral piece in managing these iDevices in the classroom.

 

 

 


27 Sep 2011
Comments: 6

Double Your Learning! Double Your Fun!

 

Carnazzos' Class: Two of Everything

Ms. Carnazzosclass is back at it again – integrating the iPad into innovative learning experiences. Thanks to a gracious donation from the app developer of Puppet Pals’s Director’s Pass, her class received a promo code for the full version including all of the characters and backgrounds as well as the ability to create your own characters and backgrounds.

In Math, Ms. Carnazzos’ class read the book “Two of Everything” by Lily Toy Hong. The story describes a magic pot that doubles everything that is put inside it.

Using her class iPad, Ms. Carnazzo achieved the trifecta of integration melding literacy, mathematics, and technology into this wonderfully crafted iLesson.

 

 

Here’s how she did it:

Two of Everything

  1. Students worked in cooperative groups of 4. They decided together what their number sentence would be and what object they would put into the pot. Then they each had to solve and explain their strategy on paper.
  2. Each group met with Ms. Canazzo to solidify their story plot.
  3. After the initial teacher conference, students got to choose their setting and each student chose a character. (This helped the group decide who would have what lines.)
  4. Students practiced their lines on their own and with Ms. Carnazzo a few times. Then they recorded their final show. (This process took 3 or 4 times to get it right due to…. forgotten lines, background noise, voice recording being too soft, trouble moving their character while they spoke right into the mic on the ipad.)
  5. While a small group was recording, the large group worked on math stations or independent work as the room needed to be quiet for recording.

 

Carnazzos' Class: Two of Everything

Additional Notes: The picture of the pot came from a website that housed a bank of teacher lessons. While the students did not complete an official storyboard (just ran through the dialogue a few times), Ms. Carnazzo suggested that it might help with the flow (… though she did prefer the less scripted quality where it sounds like the students are just talking and not reading lines.) “Two of Everything” Extension.

Extensions & Ideas: If you would like to create a lesson like this or need further suggestions for how to integrate Puppet Pals into your classroom (at any grade level and with any content area)… check out this full Puppet Pals iLesson post.

 


26 Sep 2011
Comments: 0

Appy Hours and App Smackdowns

HS Appy Hour: Thank you Carl Hooker, Eanes ISD Director of Instructional Technology (and “iEvangelist from the planet Hookertron”) for sharing your H.S. Appy Hour menu (modeled after the techchef4u menus linked below). Carl added a very cool feature to his menu: open it in iBooks and the app buttons will actually take you to the app store when you can download the app of your choice. I think I will be “borrowing” this feature when I revamp our secondary menus. (Can’t wait for the release of the app smackdown video!). AppyHourMenu9-19-2011_EanesISDpdf

Eanes ISD Appy Hour Menu

Noterize: I fell in love with Noterize (featured in the All Purpose section of the menu) and shared it as part of a my South San ISD iPad Camp. They loved the integration with PDF’s and the multiple classroom implementation possibilities. Stay tuned for an upcoming techchef4u post which will include home-baked recipes for how to integrate PDF’s into your iLesson Toolkit!  

If you devoured the Eanes ISD menu, whet your palette with blod flavor of these appy morsels:

  1. Secondary Math Menu
  2. Secondary Science Menu
  3. Secondary History Menu
  4. Secondary ELAR Menu
  5. Apps for Parents
  6. HOT Apps 4 HOTS
  7. Appy Hours Direct 2 U: Free Delivery

01 Aug 2011
Comments: 0

Take Home Chef: Appy Hours Direct 2 You

What a great idea! Wish I had thought of this. I am in the process of looking at ways to create appy hours that can be delivered at any time and from any place. Apptivities on Demand… if you will.

20 Apps in 20 Minutes Ipad Edition from TJ Houston on Vimeo.

Previously, I have been creating Appy Hour Menus with a Techchef4u Signature List accompanied by a Jog the Web tour of apps which provided links to the specific iTunes page, descriptions of how they could be used in the classroom, and more suggestions of similar apps to the recommended ones.

While these appy hours are typically presented to a live audience during a professional development session and the resources are available to be reviewed online at a later time, the idea of a 30 apps in 30 minutes video webinar that could be held as a synchronous live session or be referred to at a later date and time is such a wonderful tool for teachers.

Stay tuned for a HOT Apps for HOTS  Appy Hour Tour in the next few weeks!

 


06 Jul 2011
Comments: 0

iPad Consumption vs. Production: the Great Debate

Outdated Infographic

Less than a year ago, my initial infographic (compiled from info from various blogs and articles on the topic of what the iPad can and cannot do) consisted of this very debate: consumption vs. production. Many of the first iPad lessons that I created were written to use the iPad for consumption: research, collecting data, writing prompts, virtual tours, and inspiration for upcoming projects. The suggested final product or writing assignment was to be completed with a Web 2.0 tool or available peripheral.

Consumption vs. Production

Flash-forward (pun intended) ten months or so and the iPad2 with camera and video capability as well as an ever-evolving prolific store of apps (which I get lost in for hours a night) has rapidly morphed the way I use my iPad and how I promote its use in the classroom. Yes ArounderTouch and Tour Wrist are phenomenal apps for virtual 360 tours, but why not create a tour with Photosynth or DerManDar. There are thousands of ebooks and interactive book apps available for all ages, but now you can create your own with Calibre or by simply saving a document as a PDF or ePub and dragging it into iBooks. You can watch a puppet show about Tortoise & the Hare or a 60second Recap of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but why not create your own with Puppet Pals or Sock Puppets.

I will say that I am biased (being a Mac User, iPhone Geek, and iPad enthusiastyes, I own and often appear in all of these Apple-related fashion items) towards the iPad as the tablet for education because I do find it to be so intuitive and I have some brand loyalty. Above and beyond that, whatever tablet or device you choose to implement needs to be used as a learner-centered tool for communication with multimedia and as a global consumer. After reading much of the lively discussion on iPads in Education and how they are used in the classroom, I believe many of the contributors would tend to agree that it is truly not about the tech but the teach:

  • What are we asking students to do with the device?
  • Has our pedagogy changed?
  • Are the devices being used to foster learning and innovation while providing a platform for differentiated instruction or are they being used as a lighter version of a textbook?
  • Furthermore, are we teaching digital and media literacy and producing critical consumers?
  • Are students able to evaluate the information they consume?

Stepping down from my soapbox, I am confronted with another issue. The campuses I support have not initiated a 1:1 ratio and the iPad was never truly intended to be a multi-user device. While it is sometimes appropriate to have students surf the internet to research a topic, launch an app to track earthquakes, or reshuffle their deck of vocabulary words in iCardSort before the next user, it often presents an issue when you desire to have students produce rather than consume.

While I use my iPad to produce videos, photos, and mindmaps on a regular basis, logistically this presents a hurdle when you want to mass produce these products class period to period.

Multi-User Production

  • Image Products: If you are using free apps (which I am inclined to do so due to the VPP being a tad bit convaluded and time-consuming for educators), you may only be able to create one product at a time like in Popplet Lite which means students will need to either save the image to the photo library or email it. If you have enabled the email feature, how did you create the email? Is it a school email or a department email? Who will be responsible for checking it (especially if this is not a class set of iPads and is meant to be used on a revolving basis with the department, grade level, and/or team)? If you intend to pull the photos off the devices at the end of the day, who has the syncing computer and will it be an issue that students will have access to other students mindmaps or products in the photo library before creating their own?
  • Video Products: Most video products are either saved to the video library on the device or must be uploaded to YouTube. Again, will teachers wait till the end of the day to pull off all of the video products when they sync each device or will they allow students to upload products to Youtube? If students are uploading to Youtube, who’s email account are they using and is this process highlighted in the Acceptable Use Policy for the district?
  • Annotations: I love the idea of annotating PDF’s and books. However, this process was meant to be done as a single-user. If you highlight and take notes in a book in iBooks in period 1, the same notes will be available to the user in period 2. If this were to be an ongoing project or the annotation process was to be similar for each class, this presents an issue. While you can email the notes, is it realistic for each student to do this each period as the notes will compile and be duplicated? Do we open a PDF in Doodle Buddy instead? Or do we morph the project to accommodate the device? Will one class period highlight and annotate based on character traits, another on theme, and another on setting and imagery? If so, this is a welcome change, but a change nonetheless to how we deliver instruction and how students communicate.

Though I find it easier to use a Neo2 with Google Docs capabilities in conjunction with the device or a Google Docs account on the device for word-processing and collaborative writing, other products do not have such a simple solution. I am in no way trying to be a Debbie Device Downer or trying to deter teachers from implementing the devices in their classrooms. On the contrary, I want to encourage and promote the use of the devices to fundamentally better pedagogical practices, instruction, learning, and education at its core but at the same time I think this is a worthy valid discussion:

  • What are the logistics involved with using the iPads as multi-user devices in schools for production?
  • How are the devices managed?
  • Do we connect them to a wireless printer, create email accounts, set up class Dropboxes and YouTube accounts?
  • How do we manage the submission of products at the elementary and secondary level?
  • Will/should the plan differ from elementary to high school?
  • Does every product have to be submitted or can teachers deploy another way to grade and evaluate student creations?

As with anything, I am sure that my qualms will be distant post as soon as the iOS 5 and iCloud capabilities are launched and fully realized. But in the meantime, it is worth pondering as we integrate these devices into our daily life and classroom.