App Differently [SDCUE 2013 session]

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No longer does our old pedagogy match the changing world that is all around us.

Our students today deserve more. They deserve more time creating; less time filling out bubbles. They deserve more time collaborating; and less time sitting quietly at their desks filling out worksheets. They deserve more time communicating in ways they never imagined possible. And they deserve to be challenged to think critically about the world around them.

Some of the biggest critics of students using technology in the classroom visualize “zombie” children mindlessly clicking away on their screens. Well I am here to shout from the rooftops that when implemented correctly, technology integration can redefine how students learn in your classroom.

Take a look at Ruben R. Puentedura‘s SAMR model.

Or watch the simplified version of the SAMR model here.

In order to reach the Modification and Redefinition level, you need to take an honest look at how you integrate iOS apps into you classroom. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the apps my students using “creative apps”?
  • Are the apps my students using primarily “skill review” type of apps?
  • To read more about the difference between these types of apps visit this blog post.

In my classroom, I limit my students’ use of “skill review” apps because they really aren’t too different from a worksheet. Skill review apps promote  more drill type of activities. However, I have many “creative apps” for my students to access so they can use iOS apps to create, collaborate, communicate, and to think critically (4 Cs of the Common Core). This is how you can move to the modification and redefinition of the SAMR model. In my classroom my students and I, App Differently.

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If you attended my session at SDCUE 2013 you may feel a tad overwhelmed by the number of amazing apps that I shared with you today. So have no fear, I have included a list of all the apps I discussed in my session and a few bonus ones as well. Also, in my presentation, I included student samples so  you could see how these apps can be used.

Creative Apps for the Classroom:

Sonic Pics, Storyrobe, or 30 Hands for digital storytelling, storyboarding, and reading skills.

Puppet Pals is a digital puppet theater that creates recorded movies of puppet shows.

Mad Lips allows you to make any image TALK! See my Talking Book Covers post here.

Trading Cards by Read Write Think allows you to create trading card about historical figures and characters from stories. Another great one by Read Write Think is Word Mover.

Comic Touch Lite or Zoodle are great for creating comic strips. I also use this app for reading strategy practice and for annotating pictures in science and social studies.

Popplet is a mind mapping app which can be used in a very substitution type of way. However if you think creatively you can use this app in a way that promotes critical thinking. I use this app for my students to document evidence from the text to support their opinions.

Pic Stitch plus Skitch to annotate images for any content area!

ThingLink creates a “touchable” image where students can type in information, place links, or videos right onto the picture. This is great for students to add to their blog posts.

Subtext is one of my favorite apps ever. My students love it too. With this app my students and I do collaborative reading.

Explain Everything is an app that allows you to screencast. I use this app in my flipped math class. My students even create videos to show what they know.

Evernote is a great teacher app. I use this app to monitor student progress during reading and writing conferences. I love that I can record a student reading aloud and keep a record of their oral reading.

Edmodo (or My Big Campus) are tools that allow your class to interact with each other. It is a “safe” social media for education.

Kidblog is a webpage and also an app. This is a blogging tool that will allow you to set up student blogs and monitor their posts and comments. You can have their blogs set to share with the world or only with each other in the class. Read my Kidblog poster here.

The camera can be your best too ever, too! Have students go outside and find evidence of geometry around school. Look for parallel lines, intersecting lines, acute angles, etc. Allow them to edit their images in Snapseed.

My favorite movie making apps are iMovie (paid) and Splice (free). iMovie’s trailers are a great tool for beginning videographers.

Vintagio is a wonderful silent moving making app. This is great for a classroom environment because students don’t have to worry about sound. Read my Vintagio post here.

Please come visit my blog often as I love to blog about how iOS apps can redefine learning. Also, I will begin blogging more about Google Apps for Education.

 

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Lose the Binder: Use Evernote in Your Classroom

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It’s been almost three weeks since my first ISTE conference and the wheels continue to turn or better said, spin wildly! This is by far the largest and most inspiring education conference I have ever been to and has resulted in creating new life in my ed tech world. While I spend a lot of time reading blogs and professional articles and following extremely inspiring educators on Twitter, I was able to take all the ideas I have been gathering and really plant some solid seeds into next year’s plan for my classroom. Another plus, was actually meeting and networking with some of the very same teachers I follow and network with on Twitter.
     Now I have been formulating all of the ideas into my head for long enough and it is about time to put them down on my blog. This will be a series of blog entries because as I sit here and think about everything I want to write about I find myself overwhelmed with writer’s block. So as a cure to this, I am posting in smaller chunks. I hope you enjoy and can take at least one new piece of edtech awesomeness away with you!
Lose the Binder: Use Evernote in Your Classroom
Remember the good ol’ days of getting your brand new Trapper Keeper? You stuffed it full of tabs, pencils pouches, and fresh clean college ruled paper. Then after a year of sub-organization, with papers falling out, you place that Trapper Keeper on the bookshelf never to be looked at again. Now imagine the world for our students where Trapper Keepers and binders were considered a blast from the past. Imagine a world where your students carried their digital binder from grade to grade collecting work from their past years of schooling. Essentially, collecting a history of learning and a digital portfolio all at the same time. That time has come and Evernote is that digital binder of the future.
     If you use Evernote for your personal use, then you know all too well how wonderfully simple and amazing the Evernote app is. When I first began using Evernote, I downloaded it so I could take notes there rather than using the iPhone/iPad’s built in notes. I was amazed how easily it synced with my iPad, iPod, iPhone, and desktop. Then as I began to dig deeper into Evernote’s capabilities I began to see the potential of this app in the classroom.
Here are the functions that make Evernote amazing for use in a classroom:
  • Note taking (word processing)
  • List maker
  • Audio recording
  • Snapshots (take pictures)
  • Tag notes for searching and filing ease
  • With the Premium version you are able to search items in all notebooks (including words in images and handwritten words)
  • With the Premium version, students can share work with you (but not in real time like in Google Docs)
     The first thing that came to mind was to use Evernote as my student’s word processing tool. I have a 1:1 iPod classroom and this made writing and publishing of student work a fun and easy process. However, after listening to Nick Provenzano (@thenerdyteacher) speak about his full integration of Evernote into his high school English class (at #ISTE12) I was inspired on a whole new level. He is part of a 1:1 iPad program and claims that once he introduced Evernote to his students they took to it immediately and wanted to use it for all of their classes for note-taking and word processing. He explained how Evernote is like a binder that a student can carry with them from year to year. Each year a student can collect all of their learning in one location and essentially, indirectly or purposely, compile a digital portfolio.
     Nick has so fully integrated Evernote into his teaching that he is now paperless! He has scanned all of his assignments and teaching tools and has them stored in notebooks in Evernote. Nick said last school year he made only 240 copies! In addition, instead of carrying home crates of writing projects to grade each day, he just walks on out with his iPad. That is truly phenomenal.
Instantly my mind was turning with new ideas to integrate Evernote into my classroom. Here they are:
  • Have students create notebooks for their projects. They can then email me their entire notebook as their final project.
  • Create digital writing portfolios
  • Use Evernote to capture pictures of their artwork (from our art program). Students can include either a written reflection about their piece or an audio recording.
  • Students can use the audio recording to record their final fluency practice. This can be turned in with a written reflection (using a kid-friendly rubric).
  • With the premium version (teacher only) I will have students share their writing with me. I will then be able to comment on their work or attach an audio recording of my reflection of their work. Imagine the time I will save and the documentation I will be able to gather!
  • Students can access their work on their iPods, in the computer lab, and even on their devices at home.
  • Students can email their work to you.
  • Teach my students to take notes using Evernote fully utilizing snapshots.
  • Use Evernote to document my Daily 5 reading conferences. I can even use the audio recording to record students reading aloud. Read this blog for more information: Evernote as a Reading 1 on 1 Conference Tool 
Great Evernote links from other amazing educators:

If you have more ideas to add, please add them into the comment area! I love hearing what everyone else is doing.
Thank you,
Jo-Ann Fox
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Reflector App: Mirror Your iPad in the Classroom

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Are you looking for a wireless way to display your iPad through your overhead projector? I have been searching for a way to project my iPad for instructional purposes without having to use my dongle. The dongle kept me tied down to my overhead table. I wanted to be able to freely move around the classroom and pass my iPad off to a student to solve a problem, while at the same time projecting onto my overhead screen. The Reflector app has this capability and is a great way to assist you to becoming a paperless teacher while allowing you to move around the classroom as you teach!
The Reflector App does full mirroring; meaning it will also send the audio and there is orientation support (you can lock orientation).I simply purchased and downloaded the Reflector app onto the desktop of my classroom laptop. Now when I hook up my laptop to my overhead projector, I can open the Reflector app on my iPad and project my iPad through the overhead projector. This is a great way to model how to use a specific app, you can turn any of your “old school paper overheads” into PDFs and use Notability and a stylus for instruction, and now have a mobile Docucam!
Here is what you will need:
Mac computer running OS X Lion (OS X 10.7.3 or later to use recording feature) or PC with Windows XP or greater
iPhone 4s
iPad 2 or 3
Digital projector
Reflector license ($12.99)
Purchase/download through their website www.airsquirrels.com/reflector
If you wish, you can download a free limited time trial before you purchase.

Ways I use this app:

When my students finish an iPod project, they email their project to me and we are able to easily see their project. We have watched slideshows my students made using SonicPics and my students loved how they could easily share their work with the class.

The Reflector App allows me to have a mobile Docucam! If I want to display student work, I can simply turn on the camera mode and hover the iPad over a student’s work at their desk. Or if I am trying to highlight something on my bulletin board, I can display it from where ever it is in the room.

My class and I have created class SimpleMind+ mind maps. I can walk around the room and allow students to add an idea to our mind map.

I have turned my old overheads into PDFs and now use Notability for instructional purposes. I can now use my iPad and a stylus and move freely around my room as I teach.

I use Evernote for writing, we can easily collaborate about student writing and easily share student work.

You can use your favorite screen capturing application to record your lessons and flip your classroom!
Here is how:
1. Once you have purchased and downloadedReflector from their website onto your teacher laptop (and it is running), double click the home key on your iPad. Then swipe right to access your music. A square will now display. Click on the square and your computer’s name will display. Tap on your computer’s name and turn mirroring to “on.”
3. Now your iPad will display onto your laptop. I have my laptop projected through the digital projector so the entire class can see this. This is what it will look like.
4. Now open any app you want to use for instruction. Here I opened up SimpleMind+ to create a mind map with my class. While we were creating this mind map, I was keeping a record of the class conversation while sitting right next to two struggling students at their desk. Each student in my class was accessing SimpleMind+ on their iPods and creating their own mind map (borrowing ideas from the class mind map). This was a pre-writing activity for preparation for writing in their journal. I was able to walk around the room and assist students while not even skipping a beat with the classroom discussion.
5. If the background of your desktop is distracting as in this picture, while in Reflector on your desktop go into the menu bar and select >device>Enter full screen and this is how it will display:
6. If you wish, when on the menu bar for Reflector select >device>force landscape or force portrait.
I hope you find this application as effective as I do in the classroom! Please leave a comment with an idea of how else to utilize this app in your classroom.
Jo-Ann Fox
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