The week following EdCampLA several of my colleague friends kept making fun of me as I started many of my sentences with (perhaps over-enthusiastically) “At EdCamp…” Quickly an image of an overly excited red-headed teenage girl who may have attend a so called “band camp” every summer popped into my head. (And no, EdCampLA didn’t get as crazy as apparently “band camp” can get in the flick American Pie). But, yes, I was overly excited about my first EdCamp experience at EdCampLA.
First of all, if you know nothing about EdCamp, here is what you need to know:
- This is a grassroots professional development movement taking place all across the globe. Learn more about it here at Edcamp.org
- EdCamps are always free.
- Phenomenal educators attend ready to collaborate and share their ideas.
- There is no pre-made session board. All sessions are created in the first hour of EdCamp.
- Sessions do not have to be lead by an “expert.” If you are interested in learning about a topic, you can write up a session card and add that you want to spark a conversation about your topic of choice.
- Many of the sessions did not include an educator standing in front of the group with a well-planned slide deck. But rather, many sessions were organized by the session leader; running an organized discussion, allowing participants to be part of the presentation.
- Most sessions were collaborative events where participants were encouraged to share their ideas.
Perhaps, my favorite part of the day was the first hour. When I checked in I was given a piece of paper where I could write my session proposal. At the thought of this my hands got a bit sweaty. I arrived to EdCamp by myself, only knew a few others, and was quite honestly a bit intimidated upon seeing many of the teachers whom I follow on Twitter in attendance. During the first hour I sipped my coffee and began chatting with people I knew well in the Twitter world, but never actually met in person. Those brave enough began placing their papers on the session board. I believe the first session placed on the board was titled “Things that Suck,” a session organized by Bill Selak (@billselak, one of the EdCampLA organizers). As more and more session cards were placed on the board, the crowd surrounding the board began to grow. I loved listening to the chatter about what sessions sounded #EduAwesome and watching teachers hover their iPhones into the air trying to get the best shot of the board. Finally, I decided to lead a session.
As I approached the session board, I began to realize that I needed to place my session card wisely. I knew I wanted to attend Bill Selak’s “Things That Suck” session along with Steven Davis’ (@rushtheiceberg) “Teacher Confessions.” So there my session went, right onto the board during the second session. My session idea was titled, “App Differently.” I intended this to be a collaborative session where everyone can share how they use iOS apps to promote the 4 Cs: create, collaborate, communicate, and think critically.
Here are the sessions I attended:
- Conversations about Flipped Learning hosted by Cheryl Morris (@guster4lovers) and Karl LS (@kls4711)
- Teacher Confessions by Steven Davis (@rushtheiceberg)
- Things that Suck by Bill Sellak (@billselak)
- And my own, App Differently
During my session everyone who attended had the opportunity to share out their best practices of using iOS apps to promote creativity, collaboration, communication skills, and critical thinking. Ideas were flowing so quickly someone volunteered to write down all of the apps onto the whiteboard. By the end of session the entire whiteboard was full of app ideas. I hope to share all (or most of the ideas) here. My only wish was that I got everyone’s name as they shared their ideas. So please note there are some phenomenal ideas here and they are not all mine. Please, if you are reading this and one of the ideas listed here is yours, leave a comment and I will attach your name to your idea.
iMovie Trailers– This is a great tool for presentations. Plus, students can create book trailers!
Explain Everything– This is a screen-casting tool that students can use to create tutorials. (Shared by Holly Clark @hollyedtechdiva)
Haiku Deck– This app allows you to create a slide deck. It will allow you to search for creative commons pictures. (Shared by John Stevans @jstevans009)
Idea Sketch– This is a mind mapping app. Students can collaborate and create mind maps about a topic of discussion.
iMotionHD– This is an app that allows you to create stop animations or time lapse videos. One teacher shared how they use this app to record special events in their classroom like the cookie stacking project. There is a free and paid version.
iStopAnimation– This is another stop animation and time lapse app. $$$
OSnap– This is another FREE stop animation app.
Creative Book Builder– This app allows you to create books and it will convert them as an ePub or PDF.
Pulse– One teacher explained how they use this app during SSR. Students can add RSS feeds and read/follow blogs.
Pic Play Post– This app allows you to create a collage. One teacher explained how students took pictures of solving polynomials. Then they would add a voice over to the picture to explain. This app has a one minute maximum.
Zoodle Comics- This is a comic book creator. Alice in WonderTech (@WonderTechEdu) shared how she has her students create tableaus of a scene from a book. The students create speech bubbles and captions. In addition, she goes a step further then has her students upload these images into iMovie to add audio.
My Script Calculator– This is just a cool app. JR Ginex-Orinion (@gochemonline) shared how this app allows you to write an equation on the screen and it solves it for you.
Ecove– Was recommended as a great app for administrators to help organize observations in the classroom. This app is designed for educators/admins.
CommonCoreLookFors– This app is used as an evaluation tool. It allows you to capture video, examine process, but it isn’t free. $2.99
Schoology– Alice in WonderTech shared this idea. She has her students use both the web browser and the app. This is a way to organize your class, share docs with your students, and is a great workflow solution for your students between school and home.
CamScanner– How many of you are trying to go more and more paperless as you begin to use your iPad as a tool for teaching? This app will help you turn your paper documents into PDFs. You just use the camera to capture the page. This app automatically recognizes the borders of the paper. It allows you upload it to google docs or Evernote.
ShowMe– This is a screen-casting app that is a great way to have students create tutorials. This app is free!
Remind 101– This is a texting app that allows you to send large group texts out without the others being able to text back. Bill Selak discussed how he uses this app with his University level students as reminders about assignments and due dates.
Apps as Workflow Solutions
Apps for Mirroring (besides AppleTV)
Reflector- This is an app for your desktop computer that you can purchase through Reflector.com. I blogged about it here.
SplashTop– Allows your iPad to control your desktop.
Please feel free to add a comment if there is an app idea that was forgotten. I was typing like a madwoman as the ideas keep flowing! Thank you to everyone who attended my collaborative session. You have inspired me with more App Differently ideas.
And lastly, thank you so much to the EdCampLA organizers who tirelessly made this an unforgettable event. The venue was beautiful, the swag and prizes were great, and the net-working and collaborating was priceless.