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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!!!

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!!!

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!!!

 


06 Sep 2011
Comments: 0

Populate your Technology Resources for your Campus Population

Asked to present an infomercial for existing technology resources for teachers on campus at an upcoming faculty meeting, I spent some time brainstorming what tool would be the best mode of delivery. The idea was to highlight existing technology hardware and how it could be used in the classroom… giving each piece a new lease on life and inspiring teachers to use the devices to their fullest capacity to support student learning and engagement.

 

App to Web: While I am familiar with Popplet Lite and have used the iPad app, I was not as familiar with the Popplet web app and its advanced features. It made a perfect presentation tool and the Youtube integration (not available in the app version – see large video excerpt below) was a nice perk. I also left the laptop/computer section open-ended so we could discuss and add ways teachers are currently using the devices during the meeting. I am hoping it serves a dual purpose of highlighting existing campus technology and a model for teachers to create presentations.


05 Sep 2011
Comments: 1

Give Your Classroom a Voice with Songify

Appy Hours 4 You: As I mentioned in my Fakebook post, my passion is locating, assembling, and creating resources and lesson ideas to support existing technology (whether it be Web 2.0 tools or iPads). Starting our blog talk radio show was one more way that I wanted to support teachers in the district. While we offer multiple face-to-face courses for the iPad, I still have many teachers ask me what you can do with the device. Even a list of suggested apps can be cumbersome if teachers don’t have a goody bag of ideas to accompany the app or an explanation of how products can be removed from the app or device (e.g. emailed, synced from the photo roll, uploaded to Youtube, downloaded from a random url, etc…).

Thus the reason I felt such a calling to create our “appy hours 4 you” talk show and the portable format. While the show does air live, the intent was for it to be streamed later in the day (e.g. during lunch or while folding laundry at home later that evening) or downloaded to iTunes and listened to on the way to work or at the doctor’s office. Lesson to Go… if you will. Supporting our intent to create a portable learning tool, the vast majority of our listens have been to archived shows. As I do not have information as to the actual listeners of the show (just how many have listened), I am always curious as to who the users are and what they have done with the information shared.

2nd Grade Songify Project

 

Where is Short U? created with Songify

Songify: On Friday, I had to look no further than my inbox. I received a enthusiastic email from Ms. Carnazzo, a second grade teacher in the district, who had been using my blog resources throughout the summer. This was her first year to have an iPad in her classroom and she wanted to share her Songify class project with me. Overjoyed, I clicked on the link she sent me and found a beautiful Glogster EDU page with pictures of the students (she had full internet permissions for each child) decked out in colorful boas and sunglasses posing with a microphone and their iPad. As if that wasn’t adorable enough, she had five different short vowel songs posted (with a text box above each for the lyrics). Each of the songs were created by recording the students singing using Songify (one of the apps we highlighted in our first episode).

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

What’s Next for our Appolicious Elementary Stars and their Teacher? Not only did the students love the project, Ms. Carnazzo has decided to have students complete a similar project with Talking Tom and a math song. As she wants the song to be one piece, she has decided to record each excerpt separately and then piece them together in a video editing tool like iMovie.

As my intention for the radio show was to instruct, inspire, and instill an autonomy for building lessons with the iPad that supports student learning and engagement, I would love to hear from others who have used or adapted the lesson ideas we have shared on our show.

Please email or comment with your lesson summary and apps used.


24 Aug 2011
Comments: 0

Adobe Reader X Offers "Read Out Loud"

Web 2.0 Tools for Revising & Editing via Scoop.it

I have been working on assembling and updating a list of tools that could be used for brainstorming, revising, and editing in the secondary ELAR classroom. A particular interest of mine is the text to speech feature on a Mac (“Voice Over”) as it is a great way to review a paper in an auditory manner to catch mistakes you may have overlooked in previous revisions. It is also a wonderful tool to use with ELL/ESL  and SE students. But what happens if you don’t have a Mac or an iPad?

Well, my initial suggestions were HearWho which will turn any text into mp3 for free using text to speech technology but it has limitations of 400 characters without a login. Google Translate is another tool but sometimes the translations and text to speech features are a bit wonky.

Then I came across Adobe Reader X which I use on a daily basis. As most users, I never truly explored all of the functionality of this free tool. Did you know that Adobe Reader not only allows you to comment, and highlight…. but…wait for it….

Adobe Reader X: Highlight, Annotate, and "Read Out Loud"

 

… offers text to speech (“read out loud” option found under the view tab)! I was floored and had to share it immediately with the world… or at the very least my global community. I immediately added it to my Scoop.it page for Web 2.0 tools for Revising & Editing and set to compose a post to share my new yummy tech morsel.


24 Aug 2011
Comments: 0

Inspire and Ignite Political Debate in the Classroom

Container Ban on River Passes

As a local New Braunfels resident and an educator, I thought the current river ban debate would make an excellent post for a research and persuasive paper assignment. It is also is a nice pairing with my recent Fakebook post as there are Facebook pages both for (“It’s Time to Protect Our Comal and Guadalupe Rivers“) and against the ban (“The River Belongs to Us Not City Council” & “Sign the Referendum to Recall the New Braunfels Container Ban Ordinance“). While I would not recommend using the actual Facebook pages for research as some of the comments have proven to be heated and inappropriate, teachers could glean both pages for arguments and direct quotes from both sides to provide a point of reference for the debate.

Last night the New Braunfels City Council by a vote to 5 to 1 banned disposable food and beverages from waterways within the city limits. This ban has ignited the interest of many residents who may or would not have been active in local government and want to have a voice… and a vote.

River Video taken August 15th, 2011 after a clean-up. 

Ignite Debate: Such a hot topic also proves to be a great fodder for classroom discussion and a wonderful vehicle for debate. Trying to say as unbiased as possible, I decided to build off of my previous Fakebook post:

New Braunfels City Council Meeting

  1. Teachers could create a simulated discussion to highlight basic arguments from both sides (by pulling quotes and posts from FB).
  2. Students would then get a RAFTS  assignment. (Consider all of the the parties (roles) that the ban will affect and all of the vested entities: NB City Council, NB Police, locals, residents on the river, river-oriented business, NB businesses, tourists, the media, state politicians). See Reading Rockets RAFTS info and templates.
  3. Based on their given or selected role, students would research arguments, statistics, and facts/info that would support their stance on the issue. The recent article from My San Antonio provides a great start.
  4. Students would complete a graphic organizer to record their findings before finalizing their project.
    1. Web 2.0: ExploratreePopplet, or HOLT Interactive Graphic Organizers
    2. iPad: Popplet or T-Charts (123 Charts for stats and data)
    3. iPod: T-Charts (123 Charts for stats and data)
  5. Students could then present their persuasive argument in multiple formats:

    Created with T-Chart app

    1. a news broadcast (using Videolicious and images from the council meeting and river)
    2. an letter/email to a local Congressman (When writing a letter/email, remind students to: know their facts, state their purpose, be personal, stay on message, don’t be partisan, be courteous, and request a response). Researching voting records and public stances for multiple congressional figures may help students locate Senators and Representatives that would be more sympathetic to their cause.)
    3. a website (Glogster EDU) or brochure/flier with all information gathered for or against ban that could be presented to locals and/or voters
    4. a persuasive essay
    5. a debate (live or virtually with Edmodo)
    6. a song/rap/poem (quick songs could be completed in using Songify)
    7. a proposal to provide alternate solutions to the ban or a revised law
    8. a 30-second commercial for or against the ban (check out Photostory)
    9. an interview with a RAFTS stakeholder

 River Video taken after Memorial Day, 2011 used in the media to support the ban


02 Aug 2011
Comments: 2

Blue October: Cooking up Educational Experiences

Blue October: The Chills: As I have been accused of having iPad and apps terrets, I wanted to share another passion of mine… music. More specifically, Blue October, a band that I have been following for over 10+ years.

On the evening of June 27th my husband and I had just nestled in bed to watch the premier of True Blood. As he was checking his FaceBook feed, he noticed Blue October had posted a notice that they were shooting the video for the single “The Chills” (the song is not rated as explicit but does have some mild profanity) from their upcoming album and anyone that could make it there before 9pm could be in the crowd. Needless to say, I threw on some jeans and a tank and I was out the door. The shoot was absolutely amazing but I don’t really need to share all of the details as I have created a tagged narrative of my evening via BlipSnips.

Blue October: The Chills

BlipSnips: I was very eager to find some way to share my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with my colleagues. As I am an Instructional Technology Specialist, I had to find a way to put an educational spin on the experience . Thus, I decided to seek out Web 2.0 tools that educators can use to edit and annotate YouTube videos. Blipsnips will require a login. It is quite easy to use and the end result is a tagged list (you can click on the times to transport you to that moment in the video) as you see below. I will say that I was a bit disappointed that the blipsnips didn’t appear more ala VH1 pop-up video or even at the bottom of the page as a news ribbon as that was my original attention. Nonetheless, I was able to share both my story and a useful tool for educators. (Couldn’t resist…Blipsnips is also a free app!)

Got a pic with Justin at a 5591 show in 2004

How might this tool be used educationally?

Consider annotating a you tube video for students with questions at certain time markers or having students create their own tagged list of facts, misconceptions, character traits, plot analysis, etc… for an educational video selection. There is quite a bit of research that goes into such fact-finding and the activity is high interest. Not to mention that music is a powerful teaching resource and fits in quite nicely with elements of digital storytelling.

Check out these YouTube tools too: Quietube, ViewPure, and TubeChop.

Please share other tools to annotate or edit YouTube videos for educational/classroom use and the resulting lessons and activities associated with them.

 


08 Jul 2011
Comments: 0

Scoop.it!

As I was searching for iPad-related education sites, I kept coming across pages that were composed of various articles and sites on a particular topic (e.g. iPad in de Klas & iPods & iPads in Education) that were made to look like a newspaper. Intrigued, I decided to request a private beta account. Less than 24 hours later, I had my very own Scoop.it! account and could begin curating my own news topics.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnr6QKKcsII?rel=0]

Since I have iPad terrets, I immediately dove into the process of creating an iPad Lesson site. Unfortunately, while there may be many relevant posts and articles on “lesson learned about the iPad”, there are very few available that are actually devoted to iPad lessons and apptivities. I am hoping to gather more sites that house and generate iPad lessons from suggestions and the Scoop.it! web crawler. In the meantime, I found it best practice to choose a topic that has a wealth of information available to curate. Once you have a prolific and meaty topic, it is fairly simple to initiate the process. When you create your topic, be mindful of the title, description, and keywords that you choose as they will not only drive the information and topics that Scoop.it! and other users suggest to you but how useful and apparent your site is to those looking for information on your topic. Scoop.it! also offers some aesthetic options such as uploading a topic icon image, and customizing you background color and image if you are so inclined.

Choose a Meaty Topic

After compiling one scoop, I had a better vision for how the next one would be assembled. With Scoop.it!’s plugin installed in my browser, I was able to locate sites I had already reviewed and compiled on a topic and then click on the site’s url in the address window and have it populate my Scoop.it! window. If a site did not provide its own information and a usable or relevant image, I would take a screenshot and upload it and give a brief description of the site before posting it. Between the sites that I had compiled and the ones that Scoop.it! suggested from its web crawls, I felt pretty confident I had a meaty and healthy portion of Web 2.0 sites and resources. (My vision for this page was to house sites that gave reviews and categorized lists of Web 2.0 tools so I could quickly locate specific tools and my favorite sites faster.)

Uses for education

Since you have to create a login and the sharing capabilities are linked to Facebook and Twitter, I envision Scoop.it! as more of a tool for educators and less of a product for students. While I think their intent was to create newspapers that were more composed of articles and relevant blog posts, the tool lends itself to thematic study, resource repositories, and professional development:

  1. Thematic & Guided Study: teachers can create a page for articles and sites for the Civil War or Geometry (citing discussion questions or assignments in the info box for the site).
  2. Resource Repository: teachers can create a page housing lists of SMART resources, Web 2.0 tools and reviews, student projects, or even interactive Math sites for students to practice with at home
  3. Professional Development: schools and districts can compile available professional development opportunities (e.g. online learning communities, webinars, Atomic Learning, Region 20, TCEA, etc…) into one place. Or even create a page that is a learning opportunity: my next venture is a “Cartoons in the Classroom” page highlighting all of the Web 2.0 tools for cartoon creation with a few words and tips about each to guide teachers. I have also been working on a Web 2.0 tools for Revising & Editing page for secondary ELAR.

Why use Scoop.it! over a static website with hyperlinks? Good question. First reason, the interface allows a more graphic output of each scooped site (which can be customized) as well as user input towards the description or focus of that site. Second reason, Scoop.it! has a built in “curating” feature which suggests content based on the original content and tags you have created and compiled thus fostering future and continued learning opportunities. And if I haven’t given you tweachers reason enough to Scoop.it!, the sharing to Twitter capabilities are first rate!