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Archive for the ‘iPad’ Category

I met with our kindergarten teachers earlier this week. We’ve got some changes underway for next year and we met to talk about what that looks like for kindergarten. We’re expanding the use of Chromebooks with first and second graders and dismantling our computer lab. Where does that leave the 6 kindergarten classes? Also joining us was my colleague who does a lot (most!) of the technology integration work at our preK-2 building. She provides amazing knowledge and insight.

The kindergarten team will have access to two carts of shared iPads next year. They’ve had that, but without a computer lab there will be a greater focus on using the iPads. We talked about the apps we have and what else we might potentially want. Then I remembered something that one of our first/second grade colleagues said at a recent gathering. She shared that with all of the flashy new tools, apps, and devices, she chooses to focus on one thing each year and do that one thing well.

do one thing wellWith that in mind we thought about the one thing they might choose to do well for the next school year in terms of technology integration in kindergarten.

After some great dialogue, they decided that they’d use the SeeSaw app, and other apps as well. We focus on apps that help students demonstrate learning and that work well on shared iPads. Was using SeeSaw the one thing? Maybe, but the discussion continued!

We also talked about old checklists we used to have to illustrate basic technology skills (students can log in, open an application, right click, etc.) and how that’s gone by the wayside. Instead, we took a close look at the ISTE Standards for Students. What if we focused on some of those as our one thing?

Keeping our focus on kindergarten students, we discussed the Digital Citizen, Innovative Designer, and Creative Communicator standards and they felt like a good fit. There was agreement that of course they could work on more than that, potentially adding the Global Collaborator standard to the mix. We brainstormed what that might look like for a sample unit of study about plants. Students might take photos of plants in different stages of growth, draw a diagram of a plant with labels, or record a short video explaining the life cycle of a seed, all within SeeSaw and possibly incorporating other apps for creation. Students will demonstrate learning and their work toward those standards and share with one another and parents.

It’s evolving and feeling good. The team of technology integration specialists in my school district have been developing learning targets for the ISTE Student Standards. I’ll be sharing those with our faculty when they’re complete.

These kindergarten teachers are starting with curriculum and then determining how best to integrate technology to support and enhance learning with students. SeeSaw allows them to document, share, and grow a portfolio of their work. This powerful team of kindergarten teachers is on the road to their one thing.

 

 

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As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have the wonderful opportunity to work with small groups of third and fourth graders on a rotating basis throughout the year. We focus on various topics under the realm of digital citizenship. We meet once a week for 6 weeks.

During the first 4 weeks, we learn about the topics of:

  • Keeping Private Information Private
  • Strong Passwords
  • Copyright and Giving Credit
  • Cyberbullying and the Power of Words

I use a variety of materials with students, the bulk of which from Common Sense Media. The final two weeks are devoted to creating a product to help others learn and get some tips about these topics. Earlier this year, groups used BookCreator and HaikuDeck on iPads to create a product.

Most recently, we use AdobeVoice to share our stories about Digital Citizenship. Each student made their own story, and then I used WeVideo to string them all together into one video for each group. The stories have become more powerful and serious as the year progressed.

Here’s one example.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback, as always.

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I have the wonderful opportunity to work with third and fourth graders on a rotating basis. I meet with a group of about 12 students once a week for 6 weeks, and then they rotate to another activity with another teacher (librarian, school counselor, etc.)  Over the course of they year I’ll work with all of the third and fourth graders in our school.

My  focus with them is on digital citizenship. We use many of the Common Sense Media lessons, either as stand-alone lessons or using the Nearpod version of them. Other activities are included as well, from making paper chains to illustrate the speed at which chain emails spread to designing comic strips to share a message.

Our culminating activity recently was for each student to create a small book (about 3 pages) using the BookCreator app. BookCreator has many great features that make this exciting. They have added a comic book layout with great fonts, stickers, and panel designs and students can incorporate audio, photos, drawings, video and more. They also allow you to export a completed book as a video.

I’ll share one example of the books that students created below. I took all of the books from one group and uploaded them to WeVideo to string them together in one video. The students are highly motivated by this project, though we all wish we had more time!

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Post 20 on the TeachThought 30-Day Blogging ChallengeHow do you curate student work–or help them do it themselves?


 

spinningThe prompt for this post has my head spinning in a variety of directions. I’ll share some examples of how I curate student work in my role as Technology Integration Specialist. I also have ideas for what I’d do if I were a classroom teacher.

We have carts of shared iPads in our two school buildings. Students create a variety of projects that they then want to share with others. We created YouTube accounts for the carts and use the YouTube channels as a location to upload and store video-based projects. From there, students can get the link or embed code to share their projects with others in blogs or via email.

Last year we did an integrated project around the time of the Olympics. Students created short videos and then linked to them using the Aurasma app and augmented reality. That was tons of fun and a new way to share our learning. I wrote about that here.

If I were a classroom teacher, I’d definitely suggest that students share their work via their own blogs. It’s a perfect place to curate and share, as well as receive feedback and comments from others. Another tool that would be highly effective for curating and sharing their work would be ePortfolios. We have a few teams exploring different models and tools for ePortfolios this year and I am excited to with them and support that effort.

Finally, the arrival of Google Classroom has positively impacted how teachers and students curate work. I’ve already received very positive feedback from teachers using Classroom and from parents as well. I look forward to seeing how it evolves.


 

Image: creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by krissen: http://flickr.com/photos/krissen/8689944802

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Post 13 on the 30-Day Blogging ChallengeName the top tech tools that you use on a consistent basis in the classroom and rank them in order of their effectiveness, in your opinion.


tools “A successful tool is one that was used to do something undreamt of by its author.” – Stephen C. Johnson

The larger challenge here is that nowhere in the above prompt does it give me an idea of how many top tech tools I can list!

I’ll go for 3 that I use professionally and 3 that I recommend using with students.

Professionally:

1. Google tools: Email, Calendars, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Maps, Drawing, Google+, and Sites. There are more tools than that – but those I use on a daily basis. I haven’t used Office products in many years. When you can collaborate and access your things from anywhere, why use anything else?

2. Twitter- I joined Twitter in the fall of 2008. That’s 6 years ago! I’d say I began to see the power and use of Twitter about a year later and haven’t looked back. It’s the place where educators connect, share, support one another, stretch each other’s thinking, and get resources – all whenever you want it. I feel very fortunate to have my PLN.

3. Diigo – I use Diigo to save and share anything I find on the web. I have Twitter and Diigo connected so that anything I favorite on Twitter automatically saves to Diigo. I save many links each day and then have access to all of my resources anytime from anywhere. Plus, I can use the social side of it to see what others are saving and sharing, use Groups to collect collaboratively, and offer what I’ve shared to others.

With Students:

1. Common Sense Media: I value the work that went into designing their Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence and highly recommend these resources to all educators. I’ve also used and am again using the Digital Passport site (and app) with students. Graphite is a fabulous tool where resources have been evaluated and vetted by other educators. Thank you Common Sense Media, for all you do to support educators, students, and parents.

2. Google tools, again: Having a Google Apps for Education domain has contributed to a big shift in the way we teach and the way we integrate technology. These tools enable students to use technology as a tool to support learning, rather than starting with the tech and trying to go from there. Collaboration and sharing has impacted the amount of printing as students turn their work in digitally. Google Classroom is just getting underway, but already I’m hearing excitement and enthusiasm from the teachers using it.

3. I use a variety of iPads apps with students to encourage them to share their learning with others. We offer choice and students decide on the best app to meet their needs. Some of these might include: iMovie, Haiku Deck, Book Creator, or Explain Everything. Those apps would be at the top of my list for that purpose.

I look forward to reading the 13th post that other bloggers have shared to get their perspective on top tech tools.


 Image: creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by katerha: http://flickr.com/photos/katerha/5746905652

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Post 12 in the 30-Day Blogging Challenge: How do you envision your teaching changing over the next five years?


 

I’m going to borrow a format from another blogger in the challenge.

5 years Ago:

I was just getting underway in my transition from classroom teacher to Technology Integration Specialist. We were adopting a new platform for our school website and about to move toward implementing our Google Apps for Education domain. I was adapting to not having my own class and instead, working with students and adults. We had not yet heard of iPads or Chromebooks.

Now:

I’ve definitely settled into this role! As a teacher, I enjoy working with students and adults, but have definitely been doing more with adults for professional development. I miss the classroom, but am constantly challenged by the frequent innovations with technology. We’re implementing our first 1:1 with Chromebooks. We’re connecting, collaborating, and sharing a lot with a broad audience.

In 5 years:

Because technology changes so quickly, it’s hard to predict what life in schools and in the ed tech realm will look like in 5 years. I hope to be teaching teachers, as I am now, but perhaps more online. Students will each have their own Personal Learning Plan, ePortfolio, and will be more involved in designing their academic programs, with guidance from educators and mentors. I envision future schools looking something like the what’s featured in the video below, which was a selection of the White House Film Festival for 2014.

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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I won’t share any excuses. I just haven’t blogged. I’m hoping to remedy that.

In February, we worked on a project with third-eighth graders. Our school has a theme week during which students choose from and attend a variety of workshop sessions around a common theme. This year’s theme was the Olympics. We decided to use the Aurasma app on iPads to create auras with students. Here are some details about the workshop:photo (4)

  • Students came for 1 session only
  • Sessions were 1 ¼ hour in length
  • There were 12 students in each session
  • We did four sessions a day over three Days
  • Total: approximately 150 auras created!

Students only had that one session, so we needed to make this whole thing happen in just that time. Also given our time constraints, we completed the whole project on iPads, rather than incorporate computers or laptops into the process. Students chose to create a video using Tellagami or an iMovie trailer. The videos were about anything having to do with the Olympics- an athlete, a country, a sport. (We didn’t have time for research, so they needed some prior knowledge about their topic.)

Once they finished creating the video and saving it to the Camera Roll on the iPad, we took them through the steps of creating an aura in Aurasma. We uploaded all of the auras to one channel and then took trigger images of icons and photos from or about the Olympics. We posted those trigger images around the school for anyone to scan and then view the videos.

It was a great success, except for the one session where the internet went down!

Here’s how using Augmented Reality and the Aurasma app has evolved since then in our school:

  • Weather: students used Explain Everything to describe some collected and documented weather data. Those students then created a comic about a weather disaster and then used the comic as their trigger image.
  • Issues in Africa: students used iMovie to create PSAs about various issues in Africa today. They then shared them with one another for reflection and feedback by creating auras with trigger images around the classroom. Students walked around the room with iPads to view one another’s videos.
  • Solar System: a class made a large-scale model of the solar system on the ceiling. They put labels near planets and moons. Those labels are transforming into trigger images leading to videos with more detail about that planet or moon.
  • Classy Cards: one class worked with the art teacher to create paintings. Those paintings are then transformed into greeting cards. The class sells packages of these cards as a fundraiser for a local charity. They’re using Aurasma and creating auras of each painting that lead to a marketing video explaining what they did, why, and for what charity.

Here is a site I put together with resources about Augmented Reality for a recent conference at which I shared this project. I especially like this post (also on the site) which explains the difference between the Aurasma app and using Aurasma studio. I found that extremely helpful.

One goal for introducing this technology during Theme Week was to share a new technology and have it spread beyond the project. There are many people using Aurasma and augmented reality now, and many who are pondering how to incorporate this technology into their work with students.

Finally, in the spirit of sharing, here’s a doc with step-by-step directions on setting this up yourself. (also on the site listed above)

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