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Category Archives: iPad Series

Part 5: Techchef4U iPad Lessons

Flipsnack

I came across this tool earlier today in the TCEA Twitter feed and it is just so cool (and easy to use) that I had to share! This Flipsnack I created is using my iPad Lessons(since they were already PDF’s and I needed them for this year’s Tech Camp). (Check out more blogs about Flipsnacks).

I found it was best to link all of the PDF’s into one document using Adobe Acrobat (“create a PDf from multiple files”) prior to uploading the PDF. Otherwise I found each book only had one page. The site does require a login but will give you a free link and embed code and allow you to upload up to 500 pages. This is a very cool way to highlight information and create a cool book of student work or resources. And the embedded hyperlinks in the document still work!!

I have included other links for Web 2.0 sites, resources, and supporting materials that will accompany the iPad Lessons above on my Teacher Web.

Thank you Apps in Education for featuring my lessons in your blog. These are a labor of love and I am so honored that people are getting a chance to see them and use them. As you write your lessons, please share them out. Inspiration and passion for technology integration are oftentimes contagious. Let the appapalooza commence!

iPad lesson development is universal & global: Just saw Jan Gamres blog (Norwegian) referencing the lesson process I stated in my last entry: Using the power of Google Translator, I was able to read it. What a wonderful world we live in! Translate it for some great tips on iPad Lesson development.

iPad Lessons ©2011. Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce for classroom use granted

 
 

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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!

©2011. Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce for classroom use granted.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in iPad, iPad Lessons, iPad Series

 

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Part 1: iPad – What it Is/Isn’t and What You Can Do with It

If you received an iPad on your campus or are considering purchasing one, you will want to learn about the capabilities of the device and uses for it in the classroom.

Table created with Exploratree. iPad image from Apple.

As technology changes at rapid speed, mobile devices are a standard, and children gather & interact with information in new and exciting ways, we must consider changing our pedagogy and how we deliver instruction to benefit the needs of our digital natives. In this 5 part iPad series, I hope to engage and inspire teachers to do just that. The Mumford & Sons song, Awake My Soul, says it better than I can, “Lend me your eyes, I can change what you see.”

The TCEA “Leading with the iPad” gives some great examples of how the iPad can be used in the classroom.

  • Load iPads with different eBooks (OverdriveGoogleProject Gutenberg, & Magic Catalog of Free Kindle Books are a good place to start) and ePubs and assign them to different groups (there are also lots of children’s and adult books/novels that can be found in the App Store). Check out “Load Your New iPad with E-Books Without Going to the iBookstore“. Check out a Vook (books with video embedded)!
  • Have students watch a preselected video or listen to a podcast and create a written response using a blog, wiki, or other Web 2.0 tool.
  • Use the iPad in conjunction with Google Docs to create a collaborative writing assignment or product.
  • Have students access news & periodicals online to foster research and writing activities.
  • Have students research and review apps and build a classroom list of approved apps (great for critical audiences).
  • Have students use the calendar as a class agenda or the contacts as a database (take or save images for authors, elements, campus officials, characters in a novel or play and add a name & description) and Bump them to build a class database.

How will the iPads change your pedagogy and classroom practices?

Here are some more thoughts on how to integrate the iPad from the kitchen of techchef4u:

Also check out “7 Reasons You Need an iPad in Your Classroom & 10 Ways to Use Them” & “56 Interesting Ways to Use an iPad in the Classroom.

How do/will you use the iPad in your classroom?

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in iPad, iPad Series

 

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Part 2: The App Review

Now that you know what you can and can’t do with an iPad and have a reserve of educational ideas for use, let’s take a look at its applications (apps) and how they can be reviewed.

Let’s Review the Types of Apps: Compatible (these are iPhone/iPod apps that can run on an iPad but will appear in compatibility mode and can be resized by selecting 2x), Universal (will run on any device), iPad Only (only run on the iPad).

Within these app categories, we have free, lite, and paid. Consider what your purpose is for the app before you commit to purchasing it.

  • Free: these apps are offered at no cost. Many are the full full version (some are only free for a limited time)
  • Lite: these apps tend to not have all of the features or may not be the full app (they are great for testing an app prior to purchasing it or to use as a starting point for a project)
    • Bard’s Dream Lite: This is a graphic novel for MidSummer Nights’ Dream. The lite app only features the first act. Students can use it as an alternate version to compare/contrast/critique against the original text as well as an inspiration for creating graphic novel or cartoon versions for the following acts.
    • Shakespare in Bits:”This version provides all of the features and functionality (complete cats & analysis information) of the full version, but only contains 2 Scenes: The Act 1 Prologue and Act 1 – Scene 1.” Students could still use the app for the cast and analysis info in conjunction with reading the entire play. They could then review the prologue Act 1 – Scene 1 videos to serve as an example for creating their own videos for the following acts.
    • Not all Lite apps are created equal: Pecos Bill Lite is the full version of the book and still allows users to record their own narration – it only lacks Robin Williams narration & Ry Cooder soundtrack. On the Flip side, Titanic Dog to the Rescue is a free app that really should be considered “diet lite”. It has a few pages to get you into the story and then prompts your to purchase the full version to finish the book.
  • Paid: these are full versions

Is an app worth your time or money? Use several indicators to make an informed decision:

  1. Ratings: Don’t rule out an app by rating alone. There are some great apps that I have found with 2 & 3 star ratings. You have to look at the app and how it can be used for your purposes in the classroom.
  2. Screenshot: Typically the screen shots will help in deciding if an app merits a download. If an app has only one screen shot or the screen shots are vague, I don’t waste my time with the app.
  3. Description: If I am still unsure about the app after the ratings and screen shot, the description may clear up the confusion. The more descriptive and detailed the description, the more likely I am to download the app.
  4. Review: The reviews can be quite useful. If there are more than 2 or 3 really bad reviews, I move on. However, it is important to note how recent the poor reviews were posted as some apps may have received a bad review and then made changes and released an update to rectify the issue.

If it has passed all of these indicators, I will download it and give it a test drive. If it met my needs, I will add it to a content folder. If not, I will delete it so I don’t mistake it for one I would like to use. Keep a running list of inappropriate or inadequate apps and a brief description why. This helps to not waste time downloading an app you have already reviewed & rejected again.

http://linkyy.com/ipadOnce you have downloaded an app, spend some time reviewing the functionality & robustness of it, ease of use, proclivity for ads, and inappropriate content (which may not always be obvious). I have found a few that:

  • linked to inappropriate ads or had too many pop-up ads
  • had hidden inappropriate content (rhyming dictionaries with profane terms & poetry generators with quotes and/or poems with adult content)
  • will need in-app purchases turned off on the device so students do not purchase advance features or become redirected to other apps and sites
It is, however, worth some time teaching students how to navigate apps and how to handle occasions when they do encounter inappropriate content to reinforce the idea of creating digital citizens and informed/critical consumers for the next generation.

TCEA has also provided evalipad & TCEA App Rubric(s)

Now you are ready to locate your own apps!

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in iPad, iPad Series

 

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Part 3: Finding An App (the best kept secrets)

Where do you find apps (especially the free ones) and how do you narrow down the search?

  1. App store on the Device: If I am looking for a specific topic such as chemistry, I will go to the app store on the device and search “chemistry”. I also take note of wording of apps that may fall under chemistry (e.g… atom, periodic table, element, etc…). This would be similar to how you would approach a Google search with keywords and tags. (You can also search the App Store on the web).
  2. Follow the App: Sometimes I find an app and it leads me to other great apps. (much like Amazon will suggest other items based on your affinity for the selected item: “customers who bought this item also bought”). This is a great way to find 3 or 4 apps based on one good app.
  3. iPod/iPhone Apps: Since the iPhone/iPod has been around longer than the relatively infant iPad, I will also peruse iPod/iPhone apps (there are currently quite a few more that for the iPad) and select one that may better meet my query or needs. Most iPod/iPhone apps will work on an iPad once you select the 2x option after launching the app. They may be a little grainy but that is a small price to pay.
  4. App Store Browsing Categories: Other times I have some “spare time” and I review the app store lists for “top free” & by category (education, productivity, reference). This is a great past time for those who suffer insomnia or need to pass time in a productive manner while waiting in the doctor’s office or in line at the grocery store.
  5. Google Search: If someone mentions the name of an app and are unable to locate it in the app store, try doing a google search. Using the name + “app” or + “iTunes” is useful to give priority to the iTunes page over sites that have info about the app or an article about.
  6. App Evaluation Site(s) & Social Media: If these all fail or don’t produce the desired result, I turn to the internet & social media. There are many sites (and apps) dedicated to locating, ranking, categorizing (some sites will categorize all apps and others will focus on one facet like apps for digital storytelling), and providing useful descriptions and reviews of apps. There are also educational entities that create app lists that are updated on a regular basis and even post info on free app specials (sometimes a developer will run a one-day or one-week special on an app or collection of apps and offer them for free).
Many sites will list and recommend apps by grade level and content area. The TCEA Google Doc is probably my favorite place to begin a search. They are divided by content area and constantly updating their recommendations.
  • TCEA Google Doc: (also iPod apps)
  • 40 Amazingly Educational iPad Apps For Kids: a great starter list (if you are not ready to be inundated with hundreds or thousands of apps at a time)
  • TeachwithyouriPad: this site is such a great place to start your app search as it provides screenshots & descriptions (not just lists)
  • Education Apps Review: This site sorts and reviews apps by both grade level and content area. It also houses student reviews of apps (what a great activity for compare & contrast, persuasive writing, or even an exposition on how to use the app)
  • Moms with Apps: this site will also send push notifications of free apps from some of their vendors.
  • Apps in Education: this site has lists of reviewed apps by content area (and an additional list of unreviewed apps sorted by content area)
  • Fun Educational Apps: this site has apps for all iDevices and breaks their reviews and recommendations by down by age
  • Apps 4 Kids: this site also includes Android apps and separates them by topic
  • App Annie: this one houses multiple app rankings and reviews
  • Appolicious: this site also houses app reviews and recommendations
  • Reaching All Learners: this is a great site that recommends apps for learners with special needs (you can also sign up for email notifications from Mark Coppin – he sends out recommended and free apps)
  • Apps for Children with Special Needs: this is another great site that recommends and reviews apps for students with special needs
  • IPads for Learning: this site offers app reviews and a few other useful sections (e.g. classroom ideas, case studies, 21 steps to iPad success, etc…)
  • Kathy Schock: iPads in the Classroom: this site offers lists of recommended apps as well as tutorials and ideas for classroom use
  • Live Binder – iPads in Schools: this site is robust as well offering lists of apps for students, special education, teachers, admin, and parents
  • Free Tech 4 Teachers: iPad: offers multiple blog entries that review select apps
There are other sites (some are bundled as an app) that recommend free apps (especially those that are only free for a limited time). One of my favorites is the TCEA Twitter feed but there are others that have proved to be useful as well.
  • Awake your Appthusiasm for Learning

Now you are ready to explore the world of apps and become an informed consumer of all apps.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in iPad, iPad Series

 

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iPad Tips and Tricks

Whether you are new to the iPad or an experienced user, here are some great resources for iPad tips & tricks! So many to choose from – there will always be one that surprises you.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in iPad, iPad Series

 

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