Friday, May 30, 2014

Innovate & Create: Using iPads in the Visual Arts

I was tasked with creating a presentation on art apps for our distrct's summer conference. I started by searching for apps to get more familiar with the most popular ones. Along the way I curated them into a collection using Edshelf. Thank you, Joyce Valenza!
I'm continuing to find and curate apps so please share this link with your art teachers. 

This is my presentation. You're welcome to use it if it is helpful to you.  The apps with the red star are apps that I opened and showed to the group. 

After showing a few apps and some ideas for projects, each participant downloaded an app from the art Edshelf and created an art product. Finally we put our iPads out on display and had an iPad art show. 

We voted for our favorites and I awarded a prize to the winner in each of the two sessions. My sister is an art teacher and she recommended Sharpies as the prize. I was very impressed with the art these teachers were able to create in less than 15 minutes!

This was a fun presentation because it was so interactive. Even the non-art teachers enjoyed the session.

This session was one of many that our district and iSchool Initiative planned for our district conference. It went so well. Teachers loved the two days. Many teachers said it was the best PD they had ever attended! We are so happy to see the enthusiasm in our teachers as we get ready for iPads next year.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

App Smash and App Dice

As a way of introducing the concept of app smashing to our teachers, Kristen and I put together a session using Nearpod and the Make Dice Lite app.

We shared the definition of app smashing and several examples. We built in a few activities in the Nearpod session that required them to think of a few of their own. Teachers met with their subject area and we provided an app key ring with a small picture of the app icon, brief description and a few ideas for using with the students. Next we asked them to choose their favorite 12 from a list of apps we have learned this year and our district's core and recommended app lists. Then create two dice with those apps on it in the Make Dice Lite app. Finally roll the dice and get your creativity going.

You can use Today's Meet or Padlet to collect their ideas as they brainstorm app smash possibilities.
We did this with our staff and the staff of one of our elementary schools. We plan to submit this session to our state's Edtech conference as well because it is so much fun.

Have you done any app smashing? How do you help your teachers and students understand the concept? I'd love to hear your ideas. Feel free to contact me for more details or the materials we used for these sessions.

10 Super Powers of the World's Greatest Instructional Technologist

I am excited to announce that I will be serving my district in a new capacity next year. I will be the instructional technologist for our feeder system. I am really looking forward to this new challenge and being a part of my district's rapidly growing technology plans. I will be working with an amazing team that includes my "librarian in the middle" counterpart, Kristen H., my professional development partner in crime, Kristen G., and an enthusiastic techie math teacher, Jessica.
It was a difficult decision to even apply for this job because I love being a librarian. I think I will probably go through a bit of an identity crisis because I have associated so much of who I am with being in the library. In fact, I even emailed one of my librarian heroes, Jennifer LaGarde for advice. She left the four walls of her library to serve as Educator on Loan for North Carolina and I knew she would have some words of wisdom about this decision. She calmed my fears when she assured me that I can still take the mission of the library with me no matter the position or title.
From my first year as librarian and the successful Gadget Petting Zoo I feel that professional development has been a strength for me. Now I will be able to focus more on serving my teachers with timely, effective PD. Being a librarian really prepared me for this job because we are accustomed to collaborating with all subjects, levels and personalities, we have mastered the art of co-teaching, and we know what it means to evaluate ourselves and share the impact with others.
As part of the interview process we were given thirty minutes to share why we would make a good instructional technologist. This is part of what I shared. Please visit the site if the embedded links are not working.

Any resemblance to me is purely coincidental, of course! I used around 15 different apps or web tools to create a product for each of the ten super powers. I had a Powtoon resume attached as well, but took it off before posting because of the contact information.
I would love to see someone create one for librarians. It was an exercise in reflection for me to access my skills, experience and narrow down the traits I thought were important for the job.
I was inspired to create this after seeing this infographic about the "world's greatest instructional designer".
I hope that the posts that I share as instructional technologist are still helpful and interesting to you. I see the roles of librarian and instructional technology overlapping more and more. I love the librarian community, both locally and globally, and hope that you will still consider me one of the tribe.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Instructional Goals: District and Teacher

For the last session with our teachers we decided to focus on lesson planning and making goals for the summer.
We used the web tool Edpuzzle to flip part of our meeting. Teachers were asked to watch a video on the flipped model and answer questions we embedded into the video through Edpuzzle. 
This is the video we used.
We started the meeting with a few questions about flipped classes such as pros, cons, and tools for flipping.

Next we looked at a few iPad lessons and determined which level the lesson was on the SAMR model and how the teacher could bump it up. This led us to creating our own lesson plan using the iPads. 

Then we looked at our district's instructional goals for the iPads and talked about how we can individually contribute to those goals and prepare over the summer.

We used the app Chirp to send out this picture so we could reflect (and share if you wanted) on which part of the pencil we are and which part we want to be. This was a nice conclusion because our teachers were able to see how much they have improved and learned.

I was very impressed with the lessons that the teachers created and it was rewarding to see them confidently use the apps that we have been working on. We still have a lot to learn and next year will be a period of trial and error for all of us, but I'm so proud of how far we have come together.

Creating a Core App List

The district wide iPad committee that I served on was tasked with creating a list of core apps for the iPads. There was significant thought and care put into making the list. We wanted to stick with free apps, developmentally appropriate, focused on creation yet considering space limitations on the device.
We liked this visual for sharing the apps so we tried to recreate our list in this style.

This is the list as it stands today for elementary, both teacher and student versions.

This is the list for middle school.
This is the high school list.

What apps would be on your core list? Did we miss anything?

Teaching Tech to Principals

Most professional development is focused on teachers and rightfully so, but we can't forget that our administrators often need help with technology as well. Recently I was asked to share some tech tips with our principals. One teacher shared Evernote and a principal shared Twitter so I decided to share some iPad keyboard tricks, QR codes,  Padlet and Adobe Reader app. 

First I asked the principals to scan a QR code that took them to this article:

After opening in Safari, I showed them how to take away the images and extras from the site, how to bookmark and add to a reading list. 

Then I had them scan a QR code that took them to this PDF:
I showed them how to open in Adobe and how to use the highlight, comment, and other tools in that app. I asked them to contribute some of their thoughts on their role in a 1:1 initiative on a Padlet I created.

Finally I showed them some keyboard shortcuts like the hidden apostrophe, quotation mark, hidden URL endings, and how to type numbers without switching keyboards back and forth.

They seemed to enjoy the hands on time with the iPads and they loved the keyboard shortcuts. I promptly followed several of our new tweeters. 

Do you have special time dedicated to teaching your administrators? I would love to hear your ideas.

QR Code App Scavenger Hunt

If you are looking for a way to expose teachers to lots of apps, this is a fun activity. I took our districts list of core apps (and several extras) and printed a sign with the app icon, brief description and a QR code that links to examples of the app being used in the classroom. We did this activity in one of my feeder elementary schools and it was fun. 

After giving them time to explore I asked each teacher to choose a favorite app and create a screencast sharing how they would use this app in the classroom. We used Ask 3 because I encouraged them to view the other screencasts and comment. This app is shutting down in August so you could easily replace that with Educreations or something similar. 
Their homework assignment was to create a product in one of the apps and turn in to me using Showbie. 
I was so impressed with their ideas and the products that are starting to roll in to Showbie.
If you would like the signs I used, contact me and I will be happy to share.