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19 Oct 2017
Comments: 4

How Do you Deliver PD to Students?

At a campus of approximately 2700 students that are 1:1 iPad, you are bound to find a variety and a disparity of skills and technological prowess. iPad Base Camps were born to ensure that all students had a baseline of technical skills at the beginning of the year. This also alleviated the class time it would take in individual classes for teachers to have students set up these devices as well.

Before you dig into this post… I should mention that a dear friend has informed me that my posts are like unicorns and that I should write shorter posts to stretch out the ideas… like baby unicorns… but honestly… my brain just doesn’t work that way. I am one of those people that tells you everything I know on a topic… and then moves to the next topic in the next post. The only time I find it possible to “baby unicorn” something is if I have already outlined it (e.g. like my ScrapNotes posts) and committed to telling you that it will be in multiple doses… so please know that this post is like a giant helping of student professional development (in baby unicorn herd form)… but you can totally digest it in multiple seatings (the post… not the baby unicorn herd… that is)… if need be. 😉

What are the Basics of an iPad Base Camp?

The slide deck linked here and embedded below is pretty comprehensive when it comes to the apps and process we devised but I also want to preface it with a few bits of information:

  • Student Focus: We began with Freshman as they come to us from two different campuses and may not have had as much experience with specific apps and tools as our 10-12th grade students.
  • Time Frame: We had the span of a class period (45-50 minutes) to teach these skills.
  • Hands-Off: The approach had to be hands-off, station-based, and self-explanatory as sometimes we would have multiple classes during the same class period.
  • Fundamental: We really had to drill down to what were the most fundamental apps and processes as we could only manage 4 stations in a class period.
  • Devices: As we upgraded the devices, the stations and tasks would be slightly altered to accommodate new features (e.g. speech to text or split screen and updates to apps).

 

What are the Apps used in iPad Base Camp?

  • 2015: 2015 was our first year for the camp. We created 4 stations that focused on the 3 C’s (e.g. Critical Thinking = Popplet Lite and Paper by 53, Collaboration = Google Drive, Google Sheets, and Google Docs, Communication = Evernote and DocAs). We also added a file management station (especially since we were dealing with 16 GB iPad 2’s at the time… to address apps like iFiles, Google Calendar, and Shutterfly). I should mention that students were constantly running out of space with our 16 GB model and much of this was due to photo storage. As Shutterfly has an app with unlimited photo storage and there were very few alternatives at the time… we went with this one.
  • 2016: In 2016 we upgraded to 64 GB iPad 2 Air’s with a built in keyboard case. We revamped the 4 stations to focus on particular skills/tools we found students needed to have set up at the beginning of the year (e.g. Notable Note-taking = Notability and Google Drive, Powerful Portfolios – Google Drive and Google Docs, Capitalizing on Calendars = Google Calendar, and Mindful Mind-Mapping = Post-it Plus and Google Classroom). I should also mention that this is the year that we dropped DocAS for PDF annotation and adopted Notability for K-12. It is also the first year we used Google Classroom and the year that we provided a portfolio structure (this will have to be a baby unicorn… an will most likely end up in a future post) for students using Google Drive and a Google Doc Portfolio Index.
  • 2017: We just completed our 3rd year of iPad Base Camps. I think we have finally found a system and station flow that seems to work. The only change we made from 2016-2017 was swapped the Post-it Plus station for Keynote as Keynote had just released some upgraded features like icons and we wanted to highlight those as many students underuse this tool.
  • 2017+: I should also mention… because you will see it in the slide deck on slide 15… that we also ran another one of these for Sophomores as a precursor to a larger project. Each station focused on a different cause of war and used a different app. This allowed students to get familiarity with a variety of apps and create a digital artifact for their class. When they got to the final project, they were already familiar with the apps and could begin working.)

What are you Not Telling Me?

So, yes… there are a few things that I have neglected to mention. It is much like project-based learning in that there is tons of planning and work that goes into the front end to make the day of go smoothly.

  • Corralling Students: Sometimes we had as many as 180 students in a class period (as multiple class periods came depending on scheduling). To easily get them to their first station, we created little sheets of paper like a “ticket” (each with a different rotation of the 4 stations). This is like hitting the easy button on having students count off “1… 2… 3… 4.”
  • Checklist: If you have been reading this blog for awhile and/or no me personally… then you know that I am a tad bit OCD and I live my to do lists and checklists. After year 1 of this, I devised one as I felt I would forget something in the planning and logistics of it for year two.
  • Station Cards: I should also mention that we have cards at every station with an icon (that matches their “ticket” that have easy to follow directions. I was also pleased to find out (when we asked for feedback on the day and what was helpful to them) that many students referred to the easy to follow directions on the tables.
  • Expansion: As I noted above, we have expanded this to pre-project exposure mini-stations. We are also looking to create these for Seniors to help transition them (e.g. share their school gmail with a personal one, expose them to Evernote or another note-taking app, discuss portfolio apps like bulb, provide a seamless approach to move any school notes they want to keep to a safe place, etc…) before they graduate.

 

But… Wait… There’s More…

Clearly… no unicorn babies today… you get the whole unicorn… Ugh… now I feel like I am writing the script for an infomercial… “for a low… low price of $19.99… this can all be yours… but only if you call today.” 😉 – But seriously… I digress. I have put all 4 of the Base Camp station cards, the checklist, and the sample “tickets” in a Google Drive folder… just for you. The only thing that I ask… is if you use or adapt them… to please email me techchef4u@gmail.com or tweet me @TechChef4u and share your feedback, alterations, and how you are using them to impact students. Thanks in advance! 😉

 

Students Need PD too!

As you know, I am a firm believer that Students Need Professional Development too. My last two posts share some of the other initiatives I have been working on:

Thanks so much for reading. If you do something similar or have questions on this initiative (or any other), please reply in the comments and share ideas as well!

WHERE WILL TECHCHEF BE NEXT?

If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email techchef4u@gmail.com.

And… Check out her latest creation… the book “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.”


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22 Apr 2015
Comments: 1

3 Reasons Why Every Student Artist Should Explore the Use of iPad Apps…

It has come to my attention that there are a fair number of artists and art teachers that are of the mindset that iPads are essentially used for research, doodling, and drawing inspiration and not as a tool for traditional art creation. I could wax intellectual on this topic but as most of my “art” and design is digital in nature… I thought I would let my sister-in-law, Melissa Johnson, talented mixed media artist extraordinaire and published art journaler, take the stage…

Melissa too admits that blending digital tools with original art was a bit foreign to her at first…

“It never crossed my mind to combine the two, as I am more of a “hands on” type of artist, but after a day spent with Lisa I realized there were many ways that technology and traditional art can work together beautifully to create something fun, new, and easy to share.” – Melissa Johnson

So Where is the Best Place to Start?

Melissa Art Step Sheet 2.001

Melissa began by researching different apps to see what she could incorporate into her existing art. For her purposes, she found ArtRage, NoteShelf, Paper 53, and Autodesk Pixlr to be her go-to digital art palette.

“I have to say that digitally altering my artwork has brought a whole new skill set into my repertoire that I quite enjoy!” – Melissa Johnson

I would have to agree. In fact, Melissa was actually featured for her digital art prowess in the latest edition of Somerset Art Journal.

What is the Benefit of Blending Digital with Traditional Art?

1 copy

So for those of you that need a bulleted list of pros to “sell” you on this idea… 😉

  • Growth As an Artist and Increased Risk-Taking: Melissa says she feels like she gets more out of her art by working digitally since she can start a page by hand in her studio, create a background and a few elements, and then scan or take a picture of the hand-crafted art and continue to work on it. She can use the same background multiple times and explore new skills to create something different by adding layers, a myriad of clip art, and new text, and doesn’t fear making a mistake because everything digital can be undone and redone.
  • More Mileage out of Art Supplies and Time: Melissa also mentions that the ability to easily edit and work over original hand-drawn art is beneficial because it doesn’t require pulling out and cleaning up all of the costly art supplies and can be done from the comfort of her couch.
  • Sharing and Publishing: And of course… in this digital age of authorship… sharing and publishing is integral and can be transformative for an artist. Not only does Melissa share how “going digi” has influenced her work on her own blog. She now uses other apps and tools to create tutorials and best practices that impact other artists with their process and final creations.

Melissa shares her step-by-step process with examples in this posther proven secret for doubling her artistic creativity, what going “digi” really looks like, and even more before and after pics of her original art blended with iPad apps.

Tell Me More About the Apps Artists Use to Share and Publish…

Melissa Art Apps

Beyond the apps that Melissa uses to repurpose her art… she also dabbles with apps like Snapguide and Haiku Deck to create step tutorials for hand-created art and has been thrilled that these tutorials have not only been well received but driven traffic back to her own blog and original art. Here are some examples:

  • Snapguide: Melissa uses Snapguide to document her process and to create tutorials. (Note: As Austin Kleon states, “people do really want to see how the sausage gets made.” Many times we complete a project or create art but never reflect on the process and the outcome. Snapguide is an essential tool to focus students on strategic organization as well as blending cognition and process-based reflection.) See all 14 of Melissa’s guides here!
  • Haiku Deck: Melissa shares tips for finding “Inspiration for Art” using Haiku Deck. (Note: This would be a fabulous project for students to do as well as it really digs deep in to metacognition and  what inspires us.) She also has a deck on “5 Tips for Starting an Art Journal” (which includes additional detailed information in the speaker notes). (Note: Another type of fantastic art project for students is to document their own process and journey through a style of art while simultaneously showcasing their art.)

My Top 5 Tips For Starting an Art Journal – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

How Does this New Blended Modality Benefit Our Students?

Melissa Art Step Sheet.001

Many of our students take art classes. Melissa mentions that combining hand-drawn art with digital apps opens up new doors for exploration and creativity…

“combining the digital element with the hands on experience can be exciting for students since many of these apps lend themselves to a whole other creative approach to making art. How rewarding to create something by hand, then layer on digital elements to create something unique and imaginative.” – Melissa Johnson

Additionally, Melissa mentions that even students that struggle with actual drawing and sketching can benefit from this new modality…

“the ability to manipulate an existing image digitally can really help them express their creativity without the frustration of not being able to draw well.” – Melissa Johnson

 What More Do you Have For Me Today… TechChef?

You know I can’t help but leave you with additional links and resources so here goes…

 

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: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com or request booking here.