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13 May 2013
Comments: 1

Naturally, Natural iResources

Naturally, I am always thrilled to share student-creations. Today I am even more excited to share three versions of a similar project. The beauty of the iPad is that the device builds in the capacity for differentiated learning and personalization of products.

All three of the classes below focused their instruction on resources (e.g natural and energy) … in a variety of ways.

Lisa Carnazzo’s second grade class (@CarnazzosClass) used the Pic Collage app to showcase how they use natural resources in their everyday life (more examples on their class wiki). Check out a few other iLessons from the creative Carnazzo iClassroom!

Natural Resources with Pic Collage app (2nd Grade Carnazzo's Class)


 
Greathouses’s 6th grade class (@scienceswag1) used the Flowboard app to display their research findings on energy resources (more examples here). Check out a few other iLessonsfrom the app-tastic Greathouse!

Renewable & Nonrenewable Resources w/ Flowboard app (6th grade Greathouse's Class)


 
Verret’s 6th grade class (@MrsVerret) used the Strip Designer appto debate the advantages and disadvantages of 9 different energy resources. As the 6th and 7th grade students have only had their iPads for the last 7-8 weeks, I was very curious as to classroom teacher’s impressions of the app-tivities achieved with them. Verret shared that teachers:

“have struggled in the past to come up with a fun activity to satisfy their TEK (yes, we are one of the few states that are not Common Core) for researching and debating the advantages and disadvantages of 9 different energy resources. (They’ve) tried everything from a verbal debate to writing a persuasive essay. With 6th graders, both of those are a bit much. Having 1:1 iPads enabled (teachers) to come up with some other ideas for this requirement.”

She went on to describe the app-tivity in further detail:

“Students first used their devices for research, and then applied their findings to create projects using the Strip Designer app. Using their creativity to convince the reader which energy resource was best and worst was the main requirement. When that was fulfilled, students inserted more pages to highlight the other resources’ advantages and disadvantages. The (Strip Designer) app was wonderful to use for both the creative student and the student whose strengths lie elsewhere. Inserting text and photos was easy to do, and the app was intuitive enough for those students who wanted to explore and tweak the pre-made templates.”

Advantages & Disadvantages of energy resources w/ Strip Designer app (6th grade Verret's Class)

 

I simply must say that I feel so blessed to work with such amazingly articulate and innovative educators that share creative pedagogically sound instructional resources. And on that note, Verret was gracious enough to share her grading rubric for this particular project.

Verret's iPad Rubric for Strip Designer Project


 
As student products become more and more prevalent in the iClassroom, the focus on instructionally sound ways to evaluate these products will continue to be a need. If you have created an iPad product rubric or a rubric for a iClassroom project, please share! Email lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com.

 

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Come visit me at ISTE 2013!

 


10 May 2013
Comments: 1

Sharing Student App-thusiasm

I think I am going to devote an entire blog series to the topic of “ideas I had from a pin”. Many times I find a pin that sparks an idea. The pin itself may not have been exactly what I would replicate… but the idea takes on a path and journey of its own.

So, in honor of all of the teachers and educators who follow this blog, I thought I would share and adapt a pin that I found two days ago. A truly sentimental and adorable idea a photographer mother shared. Her daughter was turning 8 and the class used the SMART board to list one adjective that described the birthday girl. I can only imagine how special and uplifting this was for the child as well as touching for the mother. The final product was the picture of the child with all of the adjectives floating around her. Truly, what an amazing keepsake!

App-tastic idea shared from TSJ Photography blog


 
Of course, this naturally got me thinking about how this sentiment could be achieved on the iPad…

  • Skitch or Popplet: Students could take a photo of themselves on their iPad and use the Skitch or Popplet app to have each child add an adjective about them.
  • Croak it: Students can then use the Croak.it app to briefly explain why they used that adjective (perfect for an anecdotal story)
  • Thinglink: The Skitch photo could be uploaded to Thinglink and then each Croak.it audio file could be linked to the adjective it details. OR, students could just upload the Skitch or Popplet photo and use it as an ePortfolio and link some of their best work to the photo (e.g. podcasts, documents, videos, etc…)
  • Book Creator or Strip Designer: Students could also take each Skitch or Popplet photo and create a page for each student as a final class book.

 

This idea could also be adapted for a teacher or co-worker. Each teacher could contribute adjectives for the student or all of the students could contribute adjectives for a teacher. Or teachers could take a picture of the classroom and have each student use the Croak.it app to detail their favorite memory and then Thinkglink all of the audio files to the class image.

 
Dads, if you are reading this, what an adorable idea for your kids to create for their mom 😉

Clearly, there are also curricular connections to this idea  (e.g. dynamic and static character traits for fictional or historical characters).

 

And one more… I know this is created on a whiteboard, but this could very well be achieved with Padlet or a pass around Popplet app-tivity. What a most excellent end-of-year app-tivity!

 

As I hadn’t time to actually produce an example of this, I would love to see your adaptations of these ideas. If you decide to take on this challenge, email me at lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com with a brief description of what you did and the final example and I will feature it on next week’s blog! Note, make sure you have full rights to publish the product you send.

 
 

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28 Feb 2013
Comments: 1

Stripped Down: The Integrated iClassroom

Bumped in to the creative and delightful Laura Wright yesterday. Here third grade class is the author of “The Life of an Eanes Pioneer”. I have to tell you that there are so many wonderful and exciting things happening in our iClassrooms every day – I am hard pressed to keep up with documenting all of them. Laura took some time out of her afternoon to share a project-based mixed media iLesson that involved students researching a breed of spider, creating an anatomical spider based on that research, and then designing a comic using the Strip Designer app to accompany their spider that would concisely showcase 3-5 facts about their spider. All of the final products were displayed on a bulletin board in the classroom.

Wright's Class Spider iLesson using the PhotoGrid Pro app


 
What I truly love about this project it was not solely achieved on the iPad. Truly not everything has and should be achieved on the device. We have to ask ourselves, “does the device enhance learning for this project?” Kudos to Laura and her holistic approach to designing her iLessons and truly infusing elements of project-based learning, choice, and collaboration. What I also app-reciate is the idea that not every product has to be digital. While I am a proponent of paperless classrooms and mobile integration, I think there is a time and place to print and retain tactile projects. (Clearly case in point.) In addition to the spider wall (which is truly amazing to see in person), Laura can assemble all of the one-page PDF’s in to one book and make the spider discovery book available to parents and students to download in iBooks as one complete PDF.

Wright's Class: Spider Project Sample using Strip Designer app


 
Her class is currently working on a follow-up book to the Eanes Pioneer History and has begun their study on bat conservation. I cannot wait to see what her group of students turns out next. Thank you again Laura for inspiring us all! If you are interested in seeing Laura’s iClassroom in action, consider a site visit to Eanes Elementary. If you would like to hear Laura share the 411 on 1:1 and publishing student-created iBooks, check out her sessions at iPad Palooza this summer.

Wright's Class: Spider Project Sample using Strip Designer app

Check out some other blog entries featuring Laura’s class:

 
Check out the “Stripped Down” blog series featuring Strip Designer app:

  • English Stripped Down Continued which showcases student-created graphic novels supporting the theme of a “Hero’s Journey”.
  • Science and Social Studies Stripped Down which showcased Laura Wright’s Class Bat research and Lisa Carnazzo’s class study of landforms.
  • History Stripped Down which featured Fiske’s class analysis of the key figures in the Enlightenment and included a student app review of Strip Designer.
  • English Stripped Down kicked the series off with a student-created rendition of a Hero’s Tale and a Beowulf retelling.
  • Digital Artifacts (while not part of the original series) shared a primary example of how Strip Designer could be used to showcase learning in the form of a pattern scavenger hunt.

 
Atlanta Area: If you are in the Atlanta area, I will be presenting at Tech Forum Atlanta tomorrow Friday March 1st, 2013. Check out the program!

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780+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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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!!!

 


03 Jan 2013
Comments: 5

English Stripped Down Continued…

Last semester (it feels so long ago when I say it like that), I shared a “Stripped Down” series that showcased how students are using cartoon apps like Strip Designer and Comic Life to showcase learning across the curriculum.

The “Stripped Down” series included:

  • Science and Social Studies Stripped Down which showcased Laura Wright’s Class Bat research and Lisa Carnazzo’s class study of landforms.
  • History Stripped Down which featured Fiske’s class analysis of the key figures in the Enlightenment and included a student app review of Strip Designer.
  • English Stripped Down kicked the series off with a student-created rendition of a Hero’s Tale and a Beowulf retelling.
  • Digital Artifacts (while not part of the original series) shared a primary example of how Strip Designer could be used to showcase learning in the form of a pattern scavenger hunt.

 

As we are all returning to school shortly (or have already started back), I thought I would revive the series with two more student-created graphic novels created by Westlake HS Students. Both of the strips were created with the Strip Designer app which was provisioned for each high school student through the self service app on their iPad to support this type of product creation.

Rockysseus: I love that students used a combination of filtered actual photos, hand drawings, and captions to showcase their Hero’s journey. Also love the text which denotes scene changes, plot highlights, and supernatural intervention.

Rockysseus created by Westlake HS students using Strip Designer


 

The Lion King Odyssey: This comic presupposes that Mufaseus lived. I enjoyed how the students showcased point of view and how they were “playing” each one of the characters. The idea of incorporating Lion King pics and storyline allowed for a fractured fairytale or mock fan fiction element and was truly engaging.

The Lion King Odyssey created by Westlake HS students using Strip Designer

 

Westlake HS students are part of a 1:1 iPad initiative. More info about this project can be viewed here (Read my observations during a recent site visit). The Board at Eanes ISD recently approved the 1:1 iPad initiative for K-12 students (view board presentation here)!

 

WME050 - Student Created Books in the iClassroom

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650+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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HCMS 2013 Site Visits Now Available!

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.”

 


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

650+  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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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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23 Sep 2012
Comments: 4

Creating Digital Artifacts: Part 3

When I embarked on “family homework” with my son this year, and began thinking of ways to digitize and archive it, I had no idea or intention that it would become a series. However, over the past few weeks it has become a welcome app-ortunity to spend quality instruction time with my son that is enjoyable and engaging for both of us.

This week’s math assignment focused on locating patterns around the house. This reminded me of an old post “Math in My World” that showcased multiple ways to highlight shapes and geometry in the world around us.

Going on an iPattern Scavenger Hunt (image created with Pixlromatic's Creative Effects Pack)

 

Here are the workflow steps to create an iPattern Scavenger Hunt: 

  1. Use the iPad to capture photos of patterns around your house and outside.
  2. Use Skitch to annotate each photo to highlight the shape that creates the pattern.
  3. Import all photos into Strip Designer.
  4. Add text as necessary.
  5. Share work via email or Dropbox (comic can be saved as a PDF or a jpeg).
    1. If saved as a PDF, collect each student’s PDF and compile into one iPattern class book.

 

iPattern Comic created with Skitch and Strip Designer

 
Want more Digital Artifact Inspiration:

  1. Creating and Collecting Digital Work
  2. Creating Digital Artifacts with Sonic Pics
  3. Digital Homework Reflection with Audioboo
  4. Showcasing Digital Work: Leaving a Digital Learning Legacy

 

More TechChef4u Math iLessons HERE!

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