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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.

370+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

 

 


09 Oct 2012
Comments: 2

Fiske Class: Documenting iLearning

In true Alan November-esque style, Tanna Fiske empowers her 8th grade students to lead and contribute valuable resources to the “digital learning farm”.

Published Products with a Purpose: Mrs. Fiske’s students share their “triumphs and failures” in a class blog that documents their 1:1 iPad journey. One of my favorite projects was accomplished the first week the students received their iPads. They used Explain Everything to showcase the 5 themes of geography (embedded below) and even reviewed the “modern powerpoint” app. Also check out their most recent project – 13 Colonies Commercials.



Published with a Voice and Purpose: students also use the blog as a venue for reviewing apps they utilize in the classroom.

Fiske Class App Rating System

The class created their own app rating system. Here is the running record of Fiske’s Class iToolkit of app reviews: Type on PDF, ImageChef, PDF PROvider, PromtWare Plus, Type on PDF free, DocAs, Quizlet, Flashcards*, myHomework, Explain Everything

I love that the reviews are brief, written in a friendly student language, feature personal recommendations and comparisons amongst a group of reviewed apps, and include the features they feel are most valuable. Some students are even beginning to use Reflection to record their own app video tutorials. One of the first was based on the organization app iStudiez Pro.

 

Digital Learning Legacies: Mrs. Fiske has set up a class Twitter (which displays though TimeKiwi) to visually showcase their iLearning journey and shares it with students and parents alike.

Fiske Class Time Kiwi

 

 

Check out an elementary example of Documenting iLearning.

Check out a MS Math classroom’s iLearning journey.

370+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

 

 


02 Sep 2011
Comments: 1

Screencasting, Problem-Solving, and Digital Storytelling: Episode 2

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 2“Screencasting, Problem-Solving, and Digital Storytelling”. In addition to discussing how the four featured apps could be used instructionally (with multiple grade levels and content areas), we discussed the purpose and inspiration of the show, explained how to get images to the device (e.g. screenshots, camera, saving an image), and gave more in depth information on how to manage the apps with multiple students and collect products as well as limitations of the app(s) and what features the upgraded app offers or promises to offer in the next patch.

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Doodle Buddy (Twitter): highlighted in ShowMe video above (also checkout Doodle Buddy featured in other edu blogs:

    Doodle Buddy Bar Graph

    1. Math: determine length of missing side of a triangle
    2. Speech Therapy: sketching, building vocabulary, and pictionary-like activities
    3. Occupational Therapy: developing fine motor skills (used to compare progress over a few weeks)
    4. Multi-content: science labs, math problems, alphabet books, annotate PowerPoints that have been turned into images
    5. Cooperative Work: Hangman
  2. Popplet Lite (Twitter): Ophelia Character Map & Math Vocabulary/Classification
  3. ScreenChomp (Twitter): Review and goal-setting example using Poetry Magnets screenshot, Math example using U.S. Quarters screenshot
  4. ShowMe (Twitter): example included above highlights Doodle Buddy screenshots (visit ShowMe Community for more examples)
  5. Explain Everything $ (Twitter): review and examples for student and teacher use (visit Explain Everything Showcase for more examples and a review of my EE projects)

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

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

 
Our next show “Puppets 4 the Classroom airs September 8th at 10:00am which will highlight Sock Puppets, Puppet Pals, Tortoise & Hare Puppet Show, and PhotoPuppet HD Lite.

 

 

 


29 Aug 2011
Comments: 2

Everything Explained: Devour Deluxe Screencasting

In the techchef4u kitchen, ingredients and tools tend to be free… but I am making an exception…

Explain Everything: Screencasting App

I am typically quite skeptical when I come across paid apps that do the same thing as free ones. That being said… I have been looking for an advanced screencasting app for some time and was quite elated with the features, design, and potential Explain Everything promised. While I am still partial to Screenchomp (as it is free, simple to use, and offers the ability to download an mp4 video file without having to upload it to Youtube), it only offers simple color annotation with no shapes or arrows and will not allow you to annotate over documents, presentations, or multiple images. While this is perfect for elementary and Khan-esque videos, secondary students, teachers, and the tech world need the advanced functionality that Explain Everything offers.

In corresponding with the Explain Everything app developer, I discovered the reason I truly love this app. As you will see it is easy to use with profound functionality, but the real “you had me at slide to unlock” moment was the innate educational value and potential the app possessed. With this said, I wasn’t at all surprised that a Director of Educational Technology was behind such a polished gem.

So without further ado… let’s delve into the features of Explain Everything:

Explain Everything features:

Explain Everything: Screencasting App

  1. Multiple ways to access your documents: Begin with a blank project or import from photos (similar to Screenchomp) as well as import from Evernote and Dropbox. While there are a few files that were not compatible for import, I did like the fact that you could import a group of photos rather than one at a time.
  2. Slide Sorter: If you have imported multiple pages/images, you have the option to change the order of the slides (or images) and delete them (much like in PPT). Users also have the option to add a blank side in the beginning, middle, or end of a presentation.
  3. Annotation: You can write/highlight and add shapes, lines, arrows, and text. Within each of the annotation drop-downs, you have options to change color, size, transparency, font size, fill color, etc… (Note: the drop-down menu features accessed during your recording do not appear in the final recording).
  4. Insert images: You can insert and edit images (crop and rotate) from Dropbox, Evernote, Camera, or Photo Roll. (Note: The process of importing and editing the image will not appear in the video – recording automatically pauses during this process.)
  5. Layers: You can layer images as well as resize them on the canvas. (This is a slick feature!)
  6. Undo: You have the option to undo/remove a whole object rather than have to erase it in sections (Note: this is selected in the “preferences”: drawings become objects.)
  7. Save: You can save within the app.
  8. Export Images: Images can be exported to the photo roll, emailed, or saved to Dropbox or Evernote.
  9. Export Video: Videos can be saved to the photo roll, emailed, uploaded to youtube, or saved to Dropbox or Evernote. Projects can be emailed or saved to Dropbox or Evernote (they appear to save as an xpl file).
  10. Help menu: Though the app is extremely user-friendly and straight-forward, they do offer a wonderful help section with screenshots and further directions if needed. (If that wasn’t enough, they offer a video and print guide on their site.)

Problem-Solving Explained: While I created the first video to highlight all of the features available in the Explain Everything app, I wanted to model how the Explain Everything app could be used as a vehicle for instruction and learning in the video above. I had previously created this story problem with Prezi to model how the tool could be used as a problem-solving piece in mathematics. In hindsight, I truly believe Explain Everything is a far more useful tool for this purpose as teachers can create instructional videos and students can compose a rich problem-solving process in mere minutes.

  1. Students could create their own story problems with Doodle Buddy (free), Comic Touch Lite (free), or Cartoon Studio Free images saved to the photo roll. (Consider using 123 Charts (free) to produce more advanced data for word problems and critical-thinking projects.)
  2. Teachers could also create images in a Web 2.0 tool and save to Dropbox.

The idea of narrating, presenting, critical-thinking, problem-solving, story-telling, analyzing text, and creating screencasts/tutorials can be adjusted and modified in any content area or grade level to meet the diverse needs of teachers and students making the Explain Everything app a staple in any school setting. (Visit Explain Everything’s site to see the showcase of user examples and submit your own.)

 

Note: Stay tuned for an update in the next few weeks. I have been informed features to be released are:

  • *PPT, PPTX, and Keynote files now auto-separate into slides (like multi-page PDFS)
  • *Added a new Draw Tool pen tip option (a “hard” tip in addition to the default “soft” tip)
  • *Option to export the MP4 file without the audio track
  • *Option to save a copy of the movie to your iPad photo roll when you do an export to YouTube

While the app doesn’t currently allow for the ability to import and annotate over a video due to current iPad processing and memory specifications, the developer suggested using Explain Everything products in conjunction with the iMovie app, so you could get very creative and make a production using video clips, Explain Everything exports, and iTunes music.