210-710-2434
210-710-2434
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

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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.

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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.

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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.
 

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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).

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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.

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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

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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.

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18 May 2011
Comments: 4

Part 4: iBuild iPad Lesson(s)

Images from The Missing Bite Posters (compiled in Photofunia)
Awake your Appthusiasm for Learning

I am an Instructional Technology Specialist at NEISD that serves 3 Title 1 campuses. We are very fortunate to have an abundance of technology at our disposal to service the students.

With a background in English & Math and a love for all things Apple, I naturally gravitate to the iPad. We have 60 currently on campus with 90+ on the way so I have been working very diligently over the past few months creating lessons for them (as well as training teachers ahead of time) to reduce the turnaround time between when they arrive and when they are actually used for instruction in the classroom.

While these lessons were inspired by apps, I did not want to make the lesson exclusive to the app so I have given suggestions/extensions and projects that can be accomplished with Web 2.0 tools. I have also provided interactive Web 2.0 tools that can serve as an alternative to the app if teachers would still like to use the lesson (and do not have access to an iPad).

Do you have an App-titude for Lesson Development?

After writing a series of iPad lessons, I wanted to share my process in creating the lessons:

  • Theme/Topic/Content Focus: While I try to choose a theme or topic (graphic novels, government, poetry) or locate an inspiring app to build my lesson around to make the lesson general enough that it can be used/adapted by various grade levels, teachers may want to ask themselves some more specific questions as they begin the planning process:
    • What TEK(S) do you plan to cover, focus on, support?
    • What is the purpose of the lesson (pre-activity, review, formative/summative assessment)?
    • How long do I have for the activity?
    • What background information should the students have prior to the lesson?
    • How will I differentiate or provide scaffolding to meet the needs of all learners?
    • How will the lesson be delivered (individual, pairs, small groups, stations, whole class)
    • Should activities within the lesson be completed in a certain order?
    • How will the activities be assessed (questions, lab, oral discussion, project/product, blog/online post)?
  • Supporting Apps & Resources: Find more apps like it or to support it (also consider what materials & resources you already have: websites, PDF’s, movies, podcasts, etc…). If you do not have supporting content already created, consider creating an ePub or interactive PDF.
  • Similar Lessons: Find similar topic/theme lessons online
  • Apps Mirror Interactive Sites: Find similar sites (virtual/interactive/Web 2.0) as apps (for teachers who do not have an iPad to use the same lesson)
  • Projects/Assessment: Compile project ideas/suggestions/products that can be created using Web 2.0 tools, interactive sites, or peripherals (assessment and student products/projects)
  • Resources & Extensions: Gather links to resources used, lessons, extension ideas, etc…

This whole process from start to finish typically takes me 10-15 hours a lesson.

Template for building these lessons: Word_Template (Lesson Outline_Word).  Microsoft also offers thousands of templates for Publisher & Word that can be modified to be used as a lesson template or task card. In Pages, choose a newsletter from the template chooser or a Poster (for a task card).

I have also included sample iPad lessons that I have “cooked up” this year in the next post!

Apptivities.org is also a great site for iDevice Lessons and a great way to get inspired. Krueger’s KSAT program also has a site with a few example lessons that may give you some direction. Escondido’s iRead site is also a great place to start. This is a fantastic site to understand how to use digital audio tools to improve the reading process.

A wonderful TCEA Workshop left us on this note and so will I, “It’s Not About the Tech. It’s About the Teach.” Be mindful of this when building your iDevice lessons.

Post Your Lesson Ideas to this Canvas!
Appolicious iPad Apptivities

 

For those of you who may want an agenda for this course, I have gone the nontraditional route and used iBrainstorm to generate a plan!

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