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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!!!

17 Jul 2013
Comments: 3

Thinglink… the ultimate app-smasher!!!!

Contrary to popular belief, the art of app-smashing is not the action of pressing on an app  until it jiggles or an individual app at all (well, it is an app, but I digress). I feel I must credit Greg Kulowiec with the terminology as he offers a course on it and has prepared the first official definition.

“App Smashing Defined: The process of using multiple apps in conjunction with one another to complete a final task or project.”

But truly the art of app-smashing has been well documented for some time. Educators like myself, Laura Wright, Lisa Carnazzo, and many more showcase multiple examples online everyday. Laura Wright actual coined the phrase “multi-apping” in a post I shared in November of 2012 to refer to the same phenomenon. Moving past semantics and terminology, I think that the ultimate focus on app-smashing is the intended purpose or result and the workflow necessary to achieve it.

 App Smashing Image Screenshots compiled with Pic Collage

I recently stumbled upon the Definitive App Smasher’s Guide pictured above (a FREE 13 page download from Miguel Guhlin). The resource is available in ePub and PDF and is a really great example to showcase the flow and provide additional concrete guided tasks.

As I app-arently cannot finish a post without sharing a thinglink and 3 of my last posts have focused on the tool, I think it only prudent to share how Thinglink can be the ultimate example of app-smashing! Think about it…Thinglinks are an image.

  • Images: Images can be created, annotated, and embellished with Pic Collage, Keynote, Strip Designer, and Skitch.
  • Thinglink Nubbins: From there, Thinglink merely adds nubbins to those images. Nubbins can be either plain text or anything with a link.
  • Links: What has a link? Um… pretty much anything. Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, YouTube, Prezi, Quizlet. iMovie Trailers and Puppet Pals can be exported to YouTube or a Dropbox… ScreenChomps and Tellagami’s can be shared with URLs. Each photo or video could be an individual example of app-smashing.

Miguel Guhlin shares a perfect example of this as Haiku Deck images can be exported to the camera roll and then turned into a narrated video using Explain Everything.

Example from Page 6 of Miguel Guhlin's "The Definitive App Smasher's Guide"

Example from Page 6 of Miguel Guhlin’s “The Definitive App Smasher’s Guide”

So what could this look like? For months I have been sharing the potential of Thinglink and just recently I stumbled upon a teacher using for exactly that purpose… sharing student work as an ePortfolio!!!

I feel this just might be the pinnacle of app-smashing… but truly you be the judge. How will you channel and showcase your student’s inner product-based selves through app-smashing?

For more EDU Thinglink Examples, visit this List.ly.

 

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,100+ 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 Jul 2013
Comments: 4

100+ Task Cards 4 ALL: Plug and Play 8.0

With one google search for “iPad Task Cards” in the wee hours of the morn, I hit the motherload!

  • One site, CPSB.org offered 29 fully editable iPad task cards in PPTX. You can only imagine my disapp-ointment when I discovered that they wouldn’t open in Keynote. Not having much time to troubleshoot further, I shared the link on the TechChef4u FB and Twitter with the disclaimer on file format. Later that day when I returned to my computer, the oh-so-kind Sandy Workentine, had downloaded all of the PPTX files, converted them to Keynote, uploaded them to Google Drive with a link, and reposted on FB!!! A round of app-lause for the power of social networks!
  • The other site, was in fact a List.ly. As I scrolled through the apps and links, quite a few looked familiar. I pondered for a bit and looked at the creator of the Listly list… and then just smiled. Of course… my former NEISD colleague would be behind this list of 60+ curated and created iPad task cards. Give it up for my former NEISD peep, Laura Moore. 
  • The other site that offers beautiful task cards and follow-up handouts is Technology Tailgate. I have included a link to their site, but truly it may be easier to click on the Pinterest link as they are all pinned directly to the board.

As I wanted to share all of these task cards in one place… creatively. I opted for easel.ly. The image below was composed in easel.ly, saved as an image, and then uploaded to thinglink to make accessing the resources a snap.

Today, I shared this resource with campers at Plug and Play 8.0. They were given time to explore the task cards with the intent that they too would create a task card of their own for an app they chose to use with their primary students.

Plug and Play 8.0: Mobilizing Grades K-2

I always try to offer a task for attendees, but truly I want to make the experience as meaningful for them as possible. This was truly a time when we shared the tools and then got out of the way. Some teachers opted to create a task card, some worked on a Nearpod or an easel.ly to share all of the resources they had learned this week with their colleagues back at home. Everyone was on task and extremely productive (with more pleas for “5 more minutes” when the timer went off). I truly felt like we were meeting everyone’s needs and learning styles in very different ways. So app-reciative to be a part of this experience! And hoping that I get invited back to present at Plug and Play 9.0.

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,100+ 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!!!

 


30 Jun 2013
Comments: 3

Thinglink 1 and Thinglink 2

Before I recount all of the ISTE 2013 gems… I wanted to thank everyone for bearing with us. TechChef4u has been experiencing growing pains with the launch of the new TechChef site and we greatly app-reciate your patience through it all. Continue to check back often as we will be frequently adding new content and website features.

Without further ado… Thinglink 1 and Thinglink 2… Last week I posted a Thinglink created for a session I did at BrainPOP’s booth focusing on inquiry-based app-tivities.

After sharing my app-thusiasm for inquiry based app-tivities, I continued to peruse the expo hall. And what to my wondering eyes should appear … none other than the CMO of Thinglink, Neil Vineberg. We got to chatting about the app (and how in future updates it will have very similar features to the web version). We also discussed the need for a more robust collection of nubbins… perhaps even numerical ones 1-9 which would be perfect for a webquest (great ideas for future nubbins also percolated from luncheons with @RafranzDavis). But I digress…

As I was so excited to find Thinglink, one of my favorite web tools, hidden away in a corner of the expo hall, I continued to guide and escort other Thinglink addicts there over the course of the next few days. Truly a Herculean feat to even cover the entire expo hall, let alone locate a booth on it, I was glad my navigation skills held up.

One of my favorite Thinglinkers (and fellow iVenger), Marianna Husain, made a stop by the booth and shared a recent Thinglink that she had prepared for an ISTE session with her fellow elementary iVengers. Thinglinking Infographics!?! Now that is really out of the box… 😉

But wait… there’s more… Of course, I naturally wanted to capture this momentous moment, so what better way to celebrate than with a thinglink?

Have a hankering for Thinglink? Visit my Listly on Thinglink EDU Resources and Examples.

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,100+ 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!!!

 


24 Jun 2013
Comments: 4

Inquiry Based App-tivities

Those of you who are teachers will know that it is hard to not wear your teacher hat when you have your mommy apron on. As a parent of a now first-grade student, I want to provide learning opportunities, foster creativity and inquiry, and find some way to archive the learning experiences. As a child’s audio and video speaks (pun intended) so much more than an image alone, I find it a perfect medium for archiving student work.

These ideals became the driving force between one of my latest sessions:

Leveraging BrainPop JR to Support Inquiry-Based App-tivities: This session showcases how BrainPop JR videos can be used as springboard for curiosity and exploration. Pop on in (at 2pm on Monday the 24th) to see how to dive in and expand these inquiries using apps and web tools to enrich a preschool or primary student’s instructional realm of knowledge.

It all began with his interest in presidents and planets. BrainPOP JR provides excellent videos to support these interests which fill in the foundational information and knowledge on these topics in an engaging manner.

From there, this Thinglink will showcase how apps can expand and extend these inquiries.
 

Interactive TechChef Thinglink

Check out the new Chic Geek iJewelry line!

1,050+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

 


17 May 2013
Comments: 0

Appy Birthday @MrHooker – Thinglink style

It’s Carl’s Birthday (@mrhooker) and I’ll blog if I want to… blog if I want to. No, but seriously, today is Carl’s birthday (aka my boss – aka #bigdeal). What better way to celebrate than with a Thinglink from all of the iVengers and his Twitter friends with all of their digital well wishes and sentiment. (This is adapted from an idea I saw in a previous Pinterest pin).

If you would like to join in on the app-thusiasm, complete the form below

Share your app-thusiasm for Carl!

And with that … Appy Friday! Stay tuned next week for a reflection blog on this year of 1:1 iPad.

Interactive TechChef4u Thinglink

 

1,000+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

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

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

 

 

Come visit me at ISTE 2013!