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06 Nov 2013
Comments: 9

Primary Digital Book Reports

In preparation for this week’s Tech Forum Austin presentation entitled, “Technology in the Early Grades”, I have been gathering some resources and examples to share that exhibit evidence of learning.

App-Smashed Book Reports: This one in particular was a book report project for my primary-age son. He was given the task to illustrate and briefly describe each part of the story from his Amelia Bedelia book. While his illustrations and text were fairly clear, I felt he had more to say beyond the paper. Thus, I opted to app-smash his book report using the following tools:

  1. Camera: Take a picture of each hand drawn illustration.
  2. Tellagami (app): Create a Tellagami for each section using the matching hand-drawn background saved to the camera roll. Email Tellagami published link after each section.
  3. Croak.it (app): Record audio in Croak.it. Email the published link after each section.
  4. Canva (web app): Create a Canva to house all of the illustrations. Download final Canva image.
  5. Thinglink (web app): Upload Canva image and Thinglink it with Tellagami’s and Croak.it’s.

Truly, it sounds more laborious than it actually was. As this was a primary student project, all of the drawings and audio (the meat of the content) were created by the student, and the teacher (myself in this scenario) simply offered some assembly assistance with the resource.

Tools with Audio and Drawing Capability: While there are multiple ways to achieve a book report on an iPad with a primary-aged student, it is important to look for apps and tools that allow students the ability to incorporate audio and their own drawings.

Fortunately, one of my favorite book creation apps, Book Creator, just released an update to now include a drawing feature (which nicely finishes out the tool that already encapsulated text, audio, photo, and video import capability)!!!

Scribble Press also offers the ability to draw and it just so happens that my fellow iVenger Ed Tech, Marianna Husain posted a fantastic blog post with multiple examples on the Bobcat blog. The examples are not a book report but do incorporate storytelling, illustrations, and publishing.

Kinder Students use Scribble Press app to Showcase their Understanding of the 5 Senses.

Kinder Students use Scribble Press app to Showcase their Understanding of the 5 Senses.

Creative Book Reports on the iPad: With a device in hand, the sky is the limit for innovative book reports. The iPadders site offers 23 iPad Alternatives to the Book Report. ICT with Miss C shares an intermediate iLesson on fractured fairy tales using Scribble Press and iMovie trailers that is simply enchanting. Brianna Hodges shares some fantastic resources for differentiated book reports using a select handful of tools.

Whatever the tool, providing support and opportunities for young learners to “begin to define themselves as writers” and a venue for them to express their thoughts and ideas within the classroom and beyond is a critical and essential objective.

Interested in 1:1 Deployment or PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com) for parent presentations, hands-on workshops, keynotes, and much more!

 

Registration Begins November 1st

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,300+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

25 Oct 2013
Comments: 4

Connected Educators: Digital Citizenship Survival Kit

Before I share multiple resources to support healthy connected learning online, I would like to impart one more reason why sharing online is so integral to the future of education and to transforming our pedagogy. I can’t tell you how many resources and tools I glean from social networks and blogs every day. I feel blessed to have a venue to share and humbled and energized when educators utilize and extend the information and resources I share (much like the author of the iPadYouPad blog did when she found a great article on exit and admit tickets prompted by my earlier post). 

Friends Central School

Earlier in the month, I delivered a parent presentation at the Friends’ Central School in Pennsylvania on “Staying Sane in Cyberspace”. The seminar focused on resources to support parents with managing devices at home: screen time, pedagogy, internet safety, responsible use, digital footprints, eportfolios, and much more.

This morning I discovered a post on the Digital Citizenship Survival Kit by Craig Badura. I have to say that taking real world objects and using them as metaphors for health and wellness online was simply brilliant! Being a Thinglinker, I began toying with the idea of building upon his creation and doing a little web app-smashing:

  • Canva:  I turned to the web tool Canva (still in closed Beta) to create the image
  • Thinglink: Then I uploaded the image to Thinglink and added links and additional information to each nubbin.
  • BounceApp: Finally, I used the BounceApp to highlight each portion of Craig’s article that referenced the object in the picture.

(And of course, I emailed Craig for permission prior and gave him credit for the original image and content that I embellished.)

A big thank you to Craig for letting me bedazzle his image with interactive nubbins.

But wait… there’s more… I also linked the List.ly of parent resources to the Thinglink… and embedded it below with all 45+ resources:

Interested in 1:1 Deployment or PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com) for parent presentations, hands-on workshops, keynotes, and much more!

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,200+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

22 Oct 2013
Comments: 2

iPad Journals as an Exit Ticket

Wright’s class has found a way to step up to the bat and knock exit tickets out of the park. I feel very grateful for the invitation to get a chance to peek into the app-tastic ongoings of her 3rd grade iClassroom.

Thanks

Rather than writing a detailed post on the findings from my visit, I decided to showcase them in none other than a… you guessed it… a Thinglink. The image below was created with the fabulous web tool Canva (still in closed beta) and then saved as an image and uploaded to Thinglink.

Interested in 1:1 Deployment and PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com).

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,200+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

 


18 Oct 2013
Comments: 0

iVocabulary: The Power of an Idea Shared

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Truly, I do not spend my day drinking iced lattes and googling myself… Today, one of Instructional Partners emailed me about some of the vocabulary resources I had shared utilizing iPads. Rather than log in to my Thinglink on iVocabulary, I googled “iVocabulary” and found….Melanie Burford’s Thinglink on iVocabulary. I am humbled and blessed by her kind words and flattery (as seen in image above).

“This idea came from one of my Technology Specialist IDOLS, Lisa Johnson, from Eanes ISD in Austin.” – Melanie Burford

While both of our Thinglinks are game boards and offer apps for iVocabulary on Listly’s (mine is the Scrabble board above and hers the game board below), I truly love what happens to an idea shared.


I really feel like Melanie polished the iVocabulary idea and added elements to hers that met the needs of her learners:

  • First, hers is a game board so learners will follow the resources in a sequential progression
  • Second, she created her own Listly’s and narrowed down the app choices that were originally presented
  • Third, she added Padlet at the first turn so learners could collaboratively brainstorm their integration ideas and have them archived for later reference
  • Fourth, she added a more formal exit ticket in the form of a Google Form for learners to share a more specific integration idea
Melanie Burford's Google Form

Melanie Burford’s Google Form

One of my favorite examples was a Frayer model found on the web and completed in Explain Everything and a charming Videolicious of a student explaining the meaning of “frantically” and using it in context. Though the “Dont’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” ala Puppet Pals is a close third.

And truly… back to my not so subtle discussion about sharing online… I think  Melanie sums it up:

“I need to thank Lisa Johnson from Eanes ISD for many of the ideas in this presentation. I’m so glad she shares and publishes her work online for all to see.” – Melanie Burford

Right back atcha Melanie – thank you for sharing your recipes – I am sure they will inspire others to concoct their own.

iVocabulary image

iVocabulary image 

Melanie cited my work in her own presentation. Many times I choose a Creative Commons license for my work. If you plan on publishing online, consider using this resource. My advice would be to choose to allow modification of your work (as long as others share alike) but to restrict commercial use of your work (so others can not profit from work you freely distribute online). If you base your creations on someone else’s, another way to provide credit to the original is to include a Source work URL:

Creative Commons

Check out the rest of Melanie’s app-tastic Thinglinks HERE.

Interested in 1:1 Deployment and PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com).

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,200+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

 


01 Oct 2013
Comments: 0

App Integration Snapshots

Marianna Husain (@mhusain), fellow iVenger and author of the Bobcat blog, had the idea to create easy to follow handouts for teachers on a weekly basis to support them with the multitude of apps available on the elementary devices (see full list of 150+ apps here). As there are 6 elementaries and 9-10 ed techs creating these resources on a rotating basis, I suggested a template to streamline the process and make them appear more uniform.

In reviewing the apps listed, I felt that they fell into 3 natural categories: tools, activities, and products:

While creating a template for each of the three categories, I decided to also complete each template for an app that fell in that category. Truly, my heart lies in curriculum and creating curricular and professional development resources for educators because I had a blast putting these together.

So without further ado…  3 App Integration Snapshots.

App Integration Snapshots

App Integration Snapshots (Download the 9 Page PDF)

More of these App Integration Snapshots (in all 3 of the categories) will be spotlighted on each of my fellow Eanes Ed Tech’s Blogs in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned…

And please remember the reason that we share online. At the risk of sounding cheesy, this graphic by Mia MacMeekin explains why it so important to share and share alike with our peers and the global educational blogosphere.

The Power of An Idea Shared by Mia MacMeekin

The Power of An Idea Shared by Mia MacMeekin

Interested in 1:1 Deployment and PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com).

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,200+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

 


20 Sep 2013
Comments: 24

Mobile Friendly Classrooms

As I somewhat overtly stated in the last post, I now reside as an Ed Tech at Westlake HS. While I am still acclimating to the size of the campus and getting to know the staff and students, I did have a chance to drop in on a few classrooms piloting a mobile-friendly seating solution. Interested in gleaning initial findings from both the teachers and the students, I gathered a bit of anecdotal and pictorial data. The complete article can be found on the Eanes WHS WIFI blog but I will share a few of the highlights here.

Full Mobile-Friendly Classrooms Article Here

Full Mobile-Friendly Classrooms Article Here

While a few students reported that the desktop real estate was a “little small for their liking” when adding iPad, notebook, and textbook to the mix, the vast majority focused on ease of increased collaboration, limited distraction, and improved self-regulation.

“(The desks) helps me think.”

These informal findings support much of the benefits detailed in the research studies compiled by Herman Miller on rethinking the classroom (full article here) which includes community learning, limited distraction, increased ability to stay focused, and student involvement.

“Classroom design influences levels of interaction and engagement. Engagement and active learning improve retention.” (Herman Miller)

Imagine if every student in a high school had the opportunity to learn and engage in such a learning studio environment

“With new technology comes a new way of thinking.” (KXAN)

And how would this look in an elementary setting? Two teachers at Bridge Point Elementary (Eanes ISD) are piloting mobile-friendly “classrooms of the future” as well. See the video tour and full article here.

“We are testing out different areas of learning for the kids, which include chairs on casters, hokki stools — which allow a lot of movement throughout the room — and soft-seating options so the kids will ultimately be able to choose their best learning environment,” said Julie Cimino, a Bridge Point Elementary School third-grade teacher.

Bridge Point Elementary Classroom (video and article)

Bridge Point Elementary Classroom (full KXAN video and article)

More on these learning spaces and places at Bridge Point Elementary can be found on the Bobcat blog.

Truly not every classroom or district has the funds to pilot classrooms of this nature, but creating a clutter free classroom redesign that combines aesthetics with functional collaborative spaces is attainable (PinterestTarget, and IKEA are always a good place to start). In fact, check how this mom created a home school classroom with IKEA. Also, stay tuned for my Office Remodel/Innovative Professional Development Spaces post featuring IKEA and Craigslist finds dabbled with a few custom augmented bulletin boards.

Thus, I couldn’t let the blog go without a Thinglink… could I? Clutter-Free Classroom did a most excellent job of showcasing her classroom and highlighting its features using Thinglink!

I would love to do an entire post featuring DIY creative learning spaces that foster collaboration and mobile learning.  If your classroom fits the bill, please send me an email with some pics and a brief description: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

Thinglink…Let me count the ways I can use you in my classroom… wow… almost 200? Check out 187 ways to use Thinglink in Education.

Interested in 1:1 Deployment and PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com).

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,200+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

10 Sep 2013
Comments: 0

Augmented Calling Cards with Thinglink

Yes, I am devoting another post to perpetuating the potential and possibility of Thinglink.

But first, a little delayed gratification to revel in the benefits of sharing online. When one blogs, they hardly ever know if what they say has reached or impacted anyone. Bloggers are like global crop-dusters (I  may have just just see Planes but I think the simile stands), they spread and make their words and ideas accessible to a worldwide educational blogosphere. However, they rarely ever see the harvest unless someone leaves it on their digital doorstep. Yep, we are about to get sentimental. This morning, I received a very kind message from someone I have never met.

TechChef4u Facebook

TechChef4u Facebook

This speaks volumes to my message of the power and impact of sharing online and why I feel so strongly about blogging and social networking as a means of ongoing professional development and learning.

“We have never met and probably never will but the content you post helps me at work frequently.”

So… now to the resource sharing… Last year I printed these little Ed Tech postcards and put them in every one’s boxes. They contained my contact info and a little more about what our role is as an educational technologist.

Calling Card created in Pages

Calling Card created in Pages

Surprisingly, many teachers wanted to use the template to create their own for parent night. This year I refreshed mine and added a little twist… and hopefully some zest (sadly, they are not scratch and sniff – lemon and orange scented ones would be fun though… but I digress… and ryhme… so no thyme either).

Designs for Pages app

Designs for Pages app

I used the Designs for Pages app and selected a Flyer template that would best serve my purposes. From there the process looked like this:

  1. Open selected template in Pages
  2. Email Pages template to yourself (if you prefer to work from a  Mac)
  3. Modify colors and text accordingly
  4. Add a Bio Pic
  5. Create an auto-biographical Word Cloud OR Include a QR code (www.qrstuff.com) to your site.
  6. When finished, export as a PDF and print/share.
  7. To add a layer of #awesomesauce, I created an augmented version of the the calling card using Thinglink.

Below is the final product. While I did, use multiple devices and apps to achieve the product below, I think it may still count as an app-smash… better check with Greg Kulowiec though. 😉 I think he may agree that Thinglink still reigns supreme as the ultimate app smasher.

Ah… some of you caught the subtle change. I am now an Ed Tech at WHS. Go Chaps! Tanna Fiske (@fiskeclass), the history teacher I have showcased for her amazing student projects, is the current Ed Tech for HCMS this year.

Many times, I create things with the intent of modeling a tool so others could eventually use it for more instructional purposes in their classroom. I have maintained a Listly of EDU Thinglinks for some time but felt that it might be better to create a more visual repository. To that end… I have assembled a new Pinterest board of 130+ Thinglink EDU examples for all of my Pindred Spirits … Please Enjoy.

130+ Thinglink EDU Examples

130+ Thinglink EDU Examples

Interested in 1:1 Deployment and PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com).

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,200+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

27 Aug 2013
Comments: 13

I Declare an… iPad Oath

So… we have reflected, oriented, and even fostered formative assessment. Think this might be a good time to solemnly declare… an oath. These previous posts (linked above**) have laid the ground work to prepare for a transformative year with mobile devices.

Last year the middle school felt a need to create an iPad Oath that addressed specific classroom behaviors and legislated appropriate use beyond the existing R.U.G. (Responsible Use Guidelines). After reviewing multiple middle school AUP’s and iPad forms online and our own existing elementary iPad Oath, I decided to concoct one of my own using similar ingredients. (The back of the form includes a space for both parent and student signature.)

MS iPad Oath

MS iPad Oath by Lisa Johnson

Now truly there are two schools of thought on the discipline rationale.

  • All Tools Are Created Equal: One feels the device should be treated no differently than any other classroom tool. If they were doodling on a piece of paper or passing notes when they should have been taking notes, this off task behavior should be addressed no differently than surfing the net or texting during a lecture. Similarly, the reprimand for cheating using an iPad would be no different than cheating without a device.
  • Transparency is KING!: The other school of thought feels that we need to be a little more transparent with students about what our expectations for instructional use and app-ropriate behavior are and provide a clear set of consequences if these guidelines are not met. For those of you that would app-reciate a delineated discipline format, I have included one below. 😉
Off Task Intervention Created with Comic Life

Off Task Intervention Created with Comic Life

While these will truly be living documents and ultimately change and evolve over the next year and beyond as these devices are readily integrated and accepted in to the edmosphere, I thought they might be worth a gander.

** Note: I have added Georgetown’s Teacher iPad Proficiency Checklist and other iPad resources to the iPad Orientation Thinglink.

TechChef4u would LOVE to hear from you! What school of thought do you adhere to? What documents and guidelines has your district set in place to ensure app-propriate use?

Interested in 1:1 Deployment and PD strategies and implementation? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com).

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,200+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

22 Aug 2013
Comments: 1

iReflect Before iTrek

As we rapidly app-roach the new school year, I was reminded of an older post, “iReflect”, which shared reflections on our first year of 1:1 iPads using a Haiku Deck. Before we embark on another year of our iJourney, it is worth at least a moment of deliberation. One of my favorite Thinglinkers (and fellow iVenger), Marianna Husain, also held an iReflect luncheon before the school year ended and documented all of the feedback using a chalkboard and Thinglink.

While it is very easy to plunge in to the organized chaos of the first few weeks of school without a second cursory glance, the musings and anecdotes of wisdom of 90 days past could and should be instrumental into shaping the culture of learning and professional development that lies ahead. By the same token, a gander at the campus and district vision is worthwhile in assessing the direction devices should be utilized and integrated to ultimately impact and improve student learning.

One of my favorite quotes from this iReflect luncheon was:

“In my 21 yrs teaching, no tool has promoted differentiation better!”

I would definitely agree about the transformational power and potential of the device to capture and showcase individual learning. But truly the device is only a tool and we have to develop purposeful interaction with the tool while cultivating a shared vision for it.

“Cultivate a shared vision for the tool.”

As every year new teachers enter the district, it is vital to let them in on the shared vision. And of course catch them up to speed on the basics. And what better way to do that then with a Thinglink… 😉

At some point, I think I may hit a limit for number of blog posts that feature Thinglink… BUT I simply can’t help myself.

Lori Roberts, Educational Technology Specialist, shared a beautiful Thinglink to support teachers with iPad Basics.

And the Winthrop Australia Education Team created a lovely Haiku Deck of iOS Language so those of you who are new to the device are able to speak a common icon language 😉


Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

I have added all of these tools to my Teacher iPad Orientation Toolkit that I posted last week. Whether you are embarking on a year 1,2, or 3 of a 1:1 or BYOD or deploying carts and individual devices, I hope these resources reach and support you.

 

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,200+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

 


12 Aug 2013
Comments: 4

Teacher iPad Orientation Toolkit: 6 Tools Every Teacher Should Master

Recently I co-facilitated an iPad 101 workshop for secondary teachers with fellow iVenger colleagues (@mryenca, @classroom_tech, and @fiskeclass). As we are a K-12 1:1 school district, this course was not a “just the basics” course but truly designed to meet the individual needs of each of the learners. After introductions, we asked each attendee what they wanted to learn. While we didn’t plan it, naturally… many of the proposed topics fell into the usual categories: workflow, organization, assessment, etc…

iPad Workshop

… Over the past few weeks, multiple posts and articles have popped up with some stellar resources to prepare teachers of mobile learning with the supplies they need to be successful in the 2013-2014 school year.

A few of my favorites (which are also linked within the Thinglink below) are:

  1. A Practical Guide for Teachers Who Just Got iPads
  2. 9 Starter Tips for Teachers Who Just Got iPads
  3. 15 Things Every Teacher Should Be Able to Do with their iPad (the jailbreaking one is questionable but the other 14 are worth a gander)
  4. 10 Tips for Managing an iPad Classroom
  5. iPad Integration: Phase 1 (which mentions the iTunes U course “Exploring the iPad in Classroom Instruction”)

So in the interest of providing a resource to support those of you embracing a 1:1 or embarking on your own mobile journey, I smashed two of my favorite web tools (easel.ly and thinglink) to assemble a list of 6 apps (but really types of tools) that every teacher in a mobile classroom should master… and a few professional development ideas for each.

Without further ado… I will bid you adieu and unveil the Teacher iPad Orientation Toolkit.

Hover over the image for hidden gems and goodies. 😉

 

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,200+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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