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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

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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.”

 


14 Dec 2012
Comments: 3

Vocabulary iCues: Trading Cards

I have been a huge fan of Read Write Think’s interactives for some time. Naturally, I was ecstatic when they started releasing app versions of them. One of my favorites is the FREE Trading Card app. The app allows for multiple student logins (which is perfect for classrooms using a shared iClassroom model) and boasts 7 different templates (fictional person, real person, fictional place, real place, object, event, and vocabulary.) Naturally, one can see the potential for this app across the curriculum and with multiple grade levels.

Trading Cards app

 

Vocabulary Bulletin Board

Vocabulary Connections: One of my English teachers here at Hill Country MS, Dixie McGrath, used this app with her students to demonstrate their knowledge of the week’s vocabulary. While this can obviously be achieved with other mediums (see visual cue cards on the bulletin board to the right), this app provides an easy template with further vocabulary connections (e.g. definition, part of speech, synonym, antonym, other word associations and clues, where it would be used in everyday life as well as people who might use it, and personal connections). The completed card can also can be saved to a photo roll to be shared with other students or collected to create a class set.

 Below are a few student examples:

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

600+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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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.”


30 Nov 2012
Comments: 7

Science and Social Studies Stripped Down

Going Batty: Hot off the iPress! I received a batty iLesson from Laura Wright, a 3rd grade teacher at Eanes Elementary (check out this Smilebox about how she manages the iPads in her classroom). She piloted a 1:1 last year and continues to trail blaze the iFrontier.

Laura shared a 5 page student-created comic which focuses on bat myths and reality (portions seen below). Her students even coined a new phrase “multi-apping” which means creating something in one app and applying it to another – wonder how long it will take for that phrase to appear in the urban dictionary? This particular method can be seen in the last page of the comic where the student set a scene in Puppet Pals, took a screenshot of said scene, exported it to the photo roll, and plopped it into the Strip Designer comic.

Laura Wright's Class Batty Project

 

Laura mentioned that the students truly loved this app and let their creativity run wild as can be seen in the bat “cover page”, photos of students with bats in their hair, and the conclusion with Obama telling America that bat funding would be increased this year. This comic showcases evidence of student learning while also capturing distinct personality and humor.

Laura Wright's Class Batty Project

 

Earth Landings: The very same week, second grade teacher Lisa Carnazzo sent me her class using Strip Designer. Looks like her class also experimented with some multi-apping. They explored landforms in Google Earth and classified and labeled them in Strip Designer.  (More pics and info about this iLesson can be viewed here.) Lisa did mention that while the students enjoyed the project, some of the elements proved difficult to manipulate for the primary students.

Carnazzo's Stripped Down Landforms

 

Lisa Carnazzo showcases all of her student projects on her class wiki. Check out all of her iPad Lessons on her site and read more in-depth blogs on how they were accomplished right here.

For more examples of how Strip Designer is used in the iClassroom:

  1. History Stripped Down
  2. English Stripped Down: A Student Perspective
  3. iHealthy Living
  4. iPattern Scavenger Hunt

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20 Nov 2012
Comments: 0

History Stripped Down

Fiske’s Class strikes again with an entertaining, engaging… dare I say enlightening iPad lesson using the Strip Designer app. The task was to create a comic strip to showcase the key people, philosophies, and terms of the Enlightenment and Age of Reason.

Enlightening Comics created with Strip Designer app

 

Student-created app reviews: Don’t take my word for it… check out this student app review video highlighting a few of the app’s features students love!

(Check out more student app reviews here.)

 
Stripped Down iCurriculum: This post is part of a series on using comic strip apps across the curriculum: See English Stripped Down.

Fiske Continued: More News on Fiske’s Class (Personalized Learning and Documenting iLearning).

 

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19 Nov 2012
Comments: 4

English Stripped Down: A Student's Perspective

Recently, I visited with Mrs. Haneman, a HCMS social studies teacher and mom of a Westlake student. This is the first year for both the 8th grade 1:1 iPad initiative as well as the 1:1 for freshman and sophomore’s at the high school. As we all strive to embrace this new technology and integrate it effectively into our lessons, I think it is valuable to reflect on our student’s impressions of the device as well. (Mathy Cathy showcases an excellent example of challenging student’s perceptions of math on the iPad with augmented note-taking strategies).

In this instance, I focus on “The Odyssey” and a “Hero’s Journey”. This assignment utilized the Strip Designer app and was created by Mrs. Haneman’s son. While the student admitted to appreciating all of the artistic features the app offers, he did say “it took a long time to work the mechanics, over drawing with pencil and paper, but since I’m not a good artist, I liked the result better.”  He drew the main character as a shadowy figure with no face and utilized a cross hatching technique. The app also allowed for him to use mix media and incorporate internet images for backgrounds and other characters. For an admittedly unprofessional artist, I found the comic to be easy to understand and follow and charming. (See The Golden Apple PDF and open in iBooks on a mobile device or view embedded Google PDF below.)

As graphic novels become a more and more popular art form (check out this one on the Odyssey), it is exciting to see how students are able to easily access and embrace this media using the iPad as a tool. Check out this graphic adaptation of the Battle of Troy using the Comic Life app.

Comic Life example of Battle of Troy

 

A Beowulf Retelling using ComicBook! app

And one more… a retelling of Beowulf using the ComicBook! app. Check out Yolanda Barker’s blog for more details on this assignment.

Check out more Comic iLessons using Strip Designer:

 

 

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09 Nov 2012
Comments: 1

App-tivities

Student Workflow in the iClassroom: Recently I presented at the Oregon Academic Technology Society held at the University of Portland. The topic was “Student Workflow in the iClassroom”. Apps and iLessons shared ranged from flashcards and PDF annotation to multimedia projects and presentations and workflow solutions. I compiled all of the info in a List.ly (seen below) which includes all of the apps (and resources) as well as hyperlinks to student app reviews, iLessons, and student products.

[listly id=”22k” theme=”light” layout=”full” numbered=”yes” image=”yes” items=”all”]

App-tivities: Yesterday, I had another app-ortunity to share my app-thusiasm for iLearning and student app-tivities at Tech and Learning’s Tech Forum held in Austin. Below is the archived version of the livestreamed session. The panel includes myself, Yolanda Barker, and Jon Samuleson (better known to the twitterverse as @iPadSammy). Between the three of us, we cover app-tivities and student products from elementary to high school.

Watch live streaming video from techlearning at livestream.com

 
Mix it up: Yolanda’s apps shared were cleverly showcased in an app mix as seen below:

475+  iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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08 Nov 2012
Comments: 1

DIY Prezi

After I completed a round of teaching Evernote to Fiske’s class, I strolled down the hallway to say hello to Mrs. Yenca (otherwise known online as Mathy Cathy). She waved me in and I decided to stay for a while. Now, I have to say that her normal teaching methods are on par with a rock star. She knows how to orchestrate a lesson and keep students engaged like none other. BUT, today, I too fell under the spell and was mezmorized and floored by the app-tivity.

Mathy Cathy's Estimating Square Roots Zoomable PDF iLesson


 
Truly the idea of estimating square roots is nothing to write home about (or blog about for that matter). It was how she built her lesson that had me intrigued. Students used a PDF that Cathy created from a Keynote slide and zoomed in and out to problem solve. No need for extra paper or space because a PDF does not become grainy when zoomed in and out.

Zoomable PDF for Problem-Solving


 
I don’t want to steal her iThunder – for more details on this truly ingenious apptivity, visit her blog.

I do want to give you a taste of her personality, though. Few educators could enthrall a classroom and an ed tech with estimating square roots. Teachers like Cathy are ideal candidates for a Flipped Classroom and video instruction model. Her teaching methods truly match her captivating apptivity.

 

For more about Mathy Cathy, read my first Mathy Cathy post, and check out her blog.

Creative Title (e.g. DIY Prezi) credit goes to @Classroom_tech

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19 Oct 2012
Comments: 4

iHealthy Living

Food, iMovie, and Keynote… what could be better?  This iLesson showcases how our HC Top Chefs used a combination of iMovie, Keynote, and various note-taking apps to evaluate their favorite dishes, create a healthier alternative, and showcase it all using the iPad. While the project had been delivered in previous years, this year Mrs. Barron commented, “This is so much better than a PowerPoint” and a student shared their app-thusiasm for the lesson by chanting “thank you for making this unit so much fun”. Though the original assignment was intended to be a PPT and the teacher had limited comfort with iMovie and Keynote, she found that she didn’t have to teach the apps or the technology – the students took their iPads and ran with it … all the way to the kitchen and delivered projects that far exceeded her guidelines and expectations. I commend her for giving students the freedom to express their learning in multiple formats.

Here is the original assignment:

“Select a family favorite recipe.  Modify the recipe by reducing fat, calories, sodium, and/or sugar.  Investigate ways to modify the recipe by researching substitute ingredients.  Conduct taste tests, nutritional analysis, and cost comparisons of modified and original product.  Present to the class the results of the modification project in a PowerPoint presentation.  You need to make and bring enough of the modified recipe for each person in the class to have a small taste on your designated day.”

HealthyLiving Project Summarized with Strip Designer app

 

The beauty of this project was in the differentiated design. Students could use multiple mediums to create their final product from iMovie and Keynote to Explain Everything. Some students added their text in Keynote slides and took screenshots of those to use in their iMovie and others typed in Notes or Pages and took screenshots of that. While each video entailed pictures and video of the group making the recipe, the before and after recipe, nutritional benefits, cost comparisons, and the health benefits of the new recipe, every project was entirely different and showcased unique attributes of the group’s personality from soundtracks and voice overs to blooper reels.

After the first period of presentations, we made a few edits and discoveries:

  1. Video Control: When presenting, students learned to pause the video during important text slides (rather than try and time it to play for an allotted amount of time). This allowed the group to spend more time discussing these details as well as provided time to for the teacher to grade integral elements during the presentation.
  2. Panning Text: Sometimes screenshots of text that pan or have certain effects can be difficult to read the text in the video.
  3. Host Family Video Taste Test: Some students made two batches of their recipe – one to eat at the host’s home and one to eat at school. We suggested having the host’s family film a quick video review to detail their official taste test and include this element in the final project.
  4. Google Form Reviews: Next time we plan on using a Google Form to have each student review the class samples with the intent of sharing the final results with the class at the end of the project.
  5. Class iCookbook: We also plan on having students send a final photo and recipe for their healthy version and compiling them in a class iRecipe iBook.

 

Every time, I crash a class or observe a project, I learn something new from the students. In addition to sampling healthy versions of key lime tarts, pumpkin fudge, margherita pizza, ice cream sandwiches, and apple pie, one student shared this website she located to compare foods during the project. Another app to support the project is Fooducate.

Two Foods: Instant Food Comparison

 

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16 Oct 2012
Comments: 1

5 Ways to use Virtual World Apps to Support Writing

I am always enamored and entranced with virtual worlds and tours. I find them inspiring and rich with vivid and enchanting imagery. Thought I would share 5 ideas for how these apps can be used to support literacy in the iClassroom:

  1. Write about a character that lives in one of these worlds
  2. Write a descriptive paragraph or poem about the setting including the sounds and sights
  3. Create a movie or cartoon using these worlds as a backdrop (e.g. screenshots) for inspiration
  4. Compose a postcard from one of the destinations as if you have actually visited  there
  5. Discuss how time has changed various locations and imagine writing a letter from someone living there now to someone in the past

 
How else might you use these virtual worlds and tours to support creative writing and literacy? Please share in the comments section.

 

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

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13 Oct 2012
Comments: 1

Student App Reviews – the Next iFrontier in Personalized Learning

I recently published a post on documenting iLearning that detailed how one teacher supports a “digital learning farm” in her class by publishing student products and student-written app reviews to a class blog and showcasing student achievements using a class Twitter account.

A few weeks ago, we got the idea to have students create video app reviews and tutorials using Reflection. Now it has become a popular event. Students visit me during advisory and I set up the mirroring with Reflection and the screen recording with Quicktime on my MacBook and in 2-3 minutes, we have pure app magic.

Thought I would share some of the most recent ones: Type on PDF FREE, Designs for Pages (BTW… had never seen this one and bought it as soon as our screen recording session was over), HMH Fuse Algebra, and iStudiez Pro.

Type on PDF FREE

Designs for Pages

HMH Fuse Algebra

iStudiez PRO

 

Notes on Screen Recording and Publishing.

  • Create your own network – I have found that in some settings Reflection doesn’t work unless I create my own network on my Mac and have the students mirror through that network.
  • Certain portions of apps do not mirror – Through trial and error, I have discovered that audio recording and toolbars in certain apps don’t always mirror. (The audio notes feature in HMH Fuse caused a blank screen during recording and the toolbar in PaperPort Notes does not appear when mirroring.)
  • Editing – Rather than re-recording an entire review, I will oftentimes import the movie into iMovie for quick edits.
  • Photos and Privacy – When filming the Designs for Pages vignette, I noticed that the student accessed her photo library. While ultimately she did not use a photo of herself, those photos were scanned through and visible while recording. To avoid a privacy situation like this, we created another album with just the photos that she was going to use during the screencast.
  • Publishing and Privacy – The original version of the iStudiez PRO review included the student’s email address as she was showcasing the ability to sync with Google Calendars. Unfortunately, I did not catch this while she was initially recording. Try as I might I could not remove or edit that clip in iMovie without losing meaning to the original work. I even uploaded it to YouTube and tried using their editing and annotation tools to add a callout over the address, but found the callouts always appear transparent and can easily be clicked on at any time by the viewer to be removed. Needless to say, to protect the student’s privacy, we re-recorded the review without showing that feature.

 

As it becomes easier and more seamlessly integrated to publish student work online, we as educators need to be more cognizant and aware of student’s privacy and protecting personal info. While none of our students are on the “do not publish” list, I still am wary about posting names and photos online.

 

Helpful tips for publishing student work online:
    • Consider taking photos of students from behind or the side (not head on) and reviewing photos and video before publishing to ensure all info is appropriate. Many times certain elements in photos can be blurred or written over using an annotation app like Skitch if caught before publishing.
    • When publishing to Youtube…
      • Do not include the video location if using publishing from home
      • Allow only approved comments
      • Model appropriate licensing and rights ownership by teaching students to select “Creative Commons Attribution”
      • Consider setting a video to anyone with link if you would like to heighten the privacy

 

Tips for Publishing Student Work to YouTube

 

As our app reviews do not include student names, photos, or personal info, I felt these would be appropriate to share publicly. Also, I wanted to ensure that students felt their work held value for not only their class and school but others abroad.

Check out an elementary example of Documenting iLearning.

Check out a MS Math classroom’s iLearning journey.

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