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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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12 Oct 2017
Comments: 2

How Do You Organize Your Digital Binder?

How Do You Organize Your Digital Binder?

I am taking a quick break from my #ScrapNotes series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 are linked here) to share a few posts from events that have occurred this semester that I think might be pertinent/helpful.

Note taking Skills 101

The first is a Note-taking/Study Skills session we offered to all of our Freshman students. I should also mention that I work in a K-12 1:1 iPad school district. While students have access to the technology and are using the applications, I find that they still need support with digital organization so that is where this session filled a need.

  • WHO: I co-presented this with our resident Academic Interventionist.
  • HOW: It lasted 20 minutes and we taught it 16 times to ensure each class got to see it in a smaller and more interactive setting. Students were pulled from their English classes.
  • WHAT: The session included 10 tips for Study Skills and a portion on note-taking (which was the one that I developed). The note-taking portion included research on note-taking best practices as well as survey results from our staff on the topic of note-taking (e.g. how often students take notes a week, what type of notes teachers encourage, and if teachers provide recorded versions of their lectures). If you are interested in creating a similar survey, I have included the sample here.  I shared the survey results as well as the general research on note-taking with students during the presentation.

Note taking Styles 102

For the remainder of the session, I tried to focus mostly on note-taking skills that were agnostic (e.g. not tied to a device or a way of taking notes… digital or analog). This part included highlighting  4 types of notes and when it was most appropriate to use each.

Digital Binder 103

The very end of the presentation highlighted note-taking apps. While the vast majority of our students may take notes by hand, many of them also use digital tools for note-taking, drafting papers, and projects. In the olden days, students were taught to organize a binder and prepare it with tabs and they didn’t need wifi to unlock their notes or binder. While digital tools offer affordances like back-ups, speech to text, and searches, students also need to be cognizant about how they organize their digital binder, what tools they use for what purpose, and how to ensure these digital tools are organized and content will not be lost.

Honestly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this. Everyone uses different apps and has a different process… but being aware of how you organize your content and having a system is really half the battle. I shared the info below with students and again restated that this was simply my process and they should develop a method or digital organization workflow that made sense for them.

 

 

Again… the chart above is how I organize my digital tools. It is not meant to be prescriptive… just an example of a process:

  • NOTES: I use Notes for quick stuff. If you update to iOS 11, you can also use it to scan PDF’s. It has a collaborative element… which is nice… if you wanted to create a shared checklist while working with a group. It also has a drawing feature.
  • NOTABILITY: Every secondary student has access to the Notability app. We shared info with Freshman on how to organize notes into folders for easier access. Notability allows you to create multimedia notes as well as to annotate PDF’s. It also has a built in recording feature which is great for recording a lecture. It accepts text as well as handwriting. One main thing for students to remember is to back up Notability to Google Drive so if Notability ever crashes or they have to swap out their iPad, then all of their notes will still be available.
  • GOOGLE DOCSGoogle Docs has fantastic word processing and collaborative features. The main thing to remember is that students will have to make certain documents available offline if they need to access them when they don’t have wifi. If they are a Senior, it is suggested that in the spring, they start sharing their documents with a personal gmail account so they don’t lose access to them after they graduate.
  • EVERNOTE: Evernote is used by a fair number of college students and industry professionals. I suggest to students to sign in to it with a personal email account as if they leave the district (prior to 12th grade and/or after graduation) then they will still have access to their notes (and they won’t have to swap out the accounts). Evernote also has an audio recording feature and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which is great if students want to search pictures of notes as well.
  • PAPER by 53: Paper by 53 is a great tool for those that like to create mind-maps or sketchnotes. It also has backgrounds and graphic organizers.

If you are delivering similar professional development to students or find there are specific needs students have, I would love to hear about them. Please share links in the comments!

 

As I stated at the beginning of the post, I am pausing my #ScrapNotes series to share some initiatives I have been working on:

Stay tuned for more… !

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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07 Feb 2013
Comments: 1

Appy Girl

I recently posted a blog showcasing a scrapbook created by sister-in-law and her daughter using the ScrapPad app (which has recently gone FREE). Today, I would like to share another crafty delight from Mel’s Happy Scrappy Place. Enamored with her Frankengirl and Pumpkin Spice Girl, I asked her to create an Appy Girl. While she created the final product using mixed media. Her initial sketch (to the right) was designed using the Sketchbook Pro app.

While I tend to focus on strictly core curriculum designed iLessons, I always a enjoy a crafty diversion – especially when it showcases how individuals in other fields and careers use the iPad to achieve productivity and support creative tasks.

Check out the finished product!

If you are interested in a custom piece for yourself or a loved one, you can contact her at melissajohnson8@gmail.com

Tell her the TechChef sent you 😉

Appy Girl

 

While I am certainly not this artistic (with or without the iPad), I wanted to leave you with a List.ly list of apps that can be used to draw on the iPad. Vote for your favorite. This list is crowd ranked.

Interactive TechChef4u Thinglink

725+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring & Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

iPadpalooza 2013  Registration LIVE!!!

HCMS 2013 Site Visits Now Available!
Ted X Youth Austin 3/30/2012!

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