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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Thank you App Smashers!

Created from #appsmash4 hashtag using Tweetroot
Day four of the #appsmash4 challenge has come and gone...and I didn't complete day four!  I had every intention of sharing an app smash yesterday, but an old house got in the way.  Yes, an old house.  If you know me personally, you know that I have a weakness for old houses.  #colonyb is lucky enough to live in a 100 year old beauty and we absolutely love it. Well, long story short, a good friend of ours bought a 100 year old gem in our neighborhood and we ended up over there until 10:30 last night tearing up carpet after we figured out that there were beautiful oak floors underneath!  So much for creating sharing my day four app smash blog post as soon as I got home from golf practice.

After reviewing the #appsmash4 hashtag, I think you all had  it covered for me on day four.   All I can say is, "Wow!" Teachers from all over the world did an amazing job of sharing their favorite App Smashes.  I loved reading the tweets from teachers that saw something that piqued their interest and immediately went and turned a tweet they saw into an integration activity in their classroom(s).  Awesome!

Thank you to ALL that submitted and App Smash.  You all are doing amazing things in your classrooms.  Keep up the great work!

I want to personally thank Meghan Zigmond,  Sabba Quidwai, Holly Stachler  for their app smash contributions, and Stefanie Onieal and Jennifer Manning for having your students create and submit their app smashes!  If you haven't added these educators to your PLN, I would highly recommend doing so. They are doing some amazing things in regards to technology integration and I learned a bunch of great new ideas this week from their creative genius.

Keep on Smashing!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

#appsmash4 Challenge: Zoobe/Tellagmi in the Classroom

Day three of our #appsmash4 challenge brings us a very easy App Smash that can be done at any grade level in any subject.  This App Smash was introduced to me by our two fabulous Spanish teachers Rebecca Huls and Kara McNeese.  They do an outstanding job of enhancing their curriculums with technology in their classrooms and this App Smash is one of my favorites!

Smashing Steps
What's your objective?  Do you want students to summarize something?  Analyze? Recite?  Have them create a product for your objective using any app that will allow them to save to the photo library (Pic Collage, Doodlebuddy, Fonta, Skitch, ColorSplash, Labelbox)

Open Zoobe or Tellagami app and choose the characters (more customizing in Tellagami). Change the background to the product you just created, record your voice (or use one of the 16 voices in Tellagami). Save your finished product to your photo library.

Upload your product directly to YouTube from your photo library or you could create multiple products and stitch them all together in the iMovie app.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Calling All App Smashers--Day #2 App Smash

Day two of our #appsmash4 challenge is here.  Again, there are lots of great app smashes coming in via the #appsmash4 hashtag and personal blog posts.  Thank you to all that are participating. You all are doing some amazing things with the technology that you have in your classrooms.  I appreciate what you are doing, and more importantly your students are loving it!  Thanks for being awesome!

One of the best parts of my job is working with the primary students in our district.  Their enthusiasm for learning is contagious.  If you are ever having a bad day I think you should take a stroll down to the Kindergarten classroom in your building.  Stay four about 15 minutes.  I guarantee that you will walk out smiling!   Be sure to also thank the Kindergarten teacher for being awesome before you leave. 

The App Smash recipe you see below was done with first graders and it is very easy to integrate.  @30hands is quickly becoming one of my "must have" apps.  It's very easy to use and has some great features.  We did this App Smash before Christmas and it entailed them telling what they like about Christmas and what they were wanting for Christmas.  We created our products in Pic Collage and Doodlebuddy, then dumped them into the 30 Hands app to record their voices over their products.  I didn't add the YouTube logo below, but you could upload your completed iMovies to YouTube, then use the Bulk QR Code Generator to create QR codes for all of the videos.  Students love to take these home or you can affix them to a physical product that they have created.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Calling All App Smashers--Day #1 App Smash

It's late into Day #1 and I have yet to post my product for the "Calling All App Smashers" challenge that I issued yesterday.  In browsing through some of the products that have been shared, I see that I am going to have to step up my game!

What an amazing response we've had and I can't wait to see even more of your app smashes as you submit them via your blog post or by using the #appsmash4 hashtag. Awesome stuff!  Keep it coming!

I am going to start this challenge with a very basic App Smash.  This is a smash that could be used pretty much in any subject area in grades pK-12.  YOU just have to be creative (remember, creativity costs you nothing) in how you integrate it into your curriculum.

The two apps I am going to be using today are and QR Beamer.  The app allows you to record up to 30 seconds of audio, while QR Beamer allows you to create QR Codes on your iPad. Smash the two together and you have an easy way to share that 30 seconds of audio.

Smashing Steps 
Open app 
Tap on record button ( symbol) and record your audio
Tap again when done
Give your new a title
You used to be able to copy the link, but now that takes you directly to their website.  You can get the embed code here, but I choose to tap on the share via email feature (or Twitter) and just copy the URL by copying it from within the body of the email.
Open QR Beamer app
Double tap in the white text box
Tap on "Paste" (your URL should appear in box)
Tap on "Beam"
There is your QR Code
You can choose to Save, Email or Print.  Email each code you create, naming it in the subject line of your email. 

Happy Smashing!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Calling All App Smashers!

I have been feeling a bit guilty lately about my inability to consistently push out a blog post or two during the week.  I won't use the "time" excuse that I hear too often, I am simply just shutting down during some evenings of the week and leaving my computer alone.  Not a bad thing, right?

Okay, so here's the deal.  I want to create a blogging challenge (to force me to blog more) in which we can share some of the App Smashing that is happening in your classrooms/schools. What is App Smashing (or App Synergy as Lisa Johnson calls it)?   It's a term coined by Greg Kuloweic in which you use multiple apps on the iPad to create one product." I used to call it "App Blending" when I first started doing it, but "App Smashing" just sounds so much cooler!  I love App Smashing because it allows for a ton of creativity in the classroom and it fosters higher level thinking from your students.

I'm gonna use the NCAA Basketball tournament and the Final Four as our theme and motivation (I just want to force myself to blog FOUR days in a row!)  If you choose to participate in the challenge, please share your blog post or Tweet with your particular App Smash recipe that you enjoy using with students, use as an assignment, or one that your students have used, including the #appsmash4 hashtag.  This challenge will start tomorrow and end on Friday.

It doesn't have to be earth shattering. Remember, what you think as menial could be magnificent to another teacher! One or two apps is fine, but I would love to see some of the smashes you have that involve 4-5 apps.  

I will get the smashing started with one of my favorite App Smashes.  I used it in an App Task Challenge that I created for teachers and it is a very easy smash to use!  Students love it! No, yours don't have to be in the format you see below, just share your recipe with us and your successes (an example would be great as well)! 

Good luck!  Tune into the #appsmash4 hashtag throughout the week to see what the Twitterverse is sharing.  Thanks for participating!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Instead of a Worksheet...

Have students…

Create an iMovie to show their learning.

Conduct a Mystery Skype with a region you are studying. 

Use in your classroom as a backchannel when watching a video.  Make it interactive.  Periodically ask questions during the video.

Use the iPad to create a product that you have to be able to "see, hear and see text" somewhere in/on the finished product. 

Have your students blog. It's just as easy to click on publish as is it to turn in a worksheet.  I like to use Kidblog for blogging.  

Participate in chat on Twitter.  Show them how to use Social Media to learn instead of just sharing.  #scistuchat and #spanstuchat are held once a month and are a great way to get started. 

Studying about an area in geography?  Have your students use a template in Pages and create a travel itinerary as if they were going to travel to that area.  Have them use Kayak to plan their trip (they will be doing this in the future...start teaching them how to do it now).

Conduct a Google Hangout with an expert in something that you are studying.  

Create a product using Popplet Lite.  Right now, our 1st Graders are studying about the life cycle of a Butterfly. Students are creating a Popplet including their own images and text listing all the stages of the life cycle.  

Create a Tellagami that relates to your topic. You can use this app for about anything in your classroom. Use Pic Collage or Skitch to create a custom background within Tellagami.

Share a Google Doc and Collaborate. Make them share the document with you.  You are now the "air traffic controller" in your classroom.  Watch all of the collaboration that is going on and chime in on a Google Doc or two using the chat feature. 

Create their own "I Wonder" projects. 

Create a podcast.  One of my favorite assignments while teaching World History was to have students create commercials for the time period that we were studying. Let's say we are studying Ancient Greece.  Have students create a 30 second commercial and it has to be for a good or service that would have been sold during that time period. 

Create an iMovie analyzing a topic.   I did this with my Freshmen World History class and they had to analyze one of the events in Billy Joel's song "We Didn't Start the Fire."  They absolutely loved it, and created some amazing products! 

Create a Word Cloud using the Cloud Art app.  Have them use the background of their Tellagami.  Have the Gami analyze their product. 

Create a Wanted Posters for characters you are studying.  I like to use the Pic Collage app to create these. 

Create a Haiku Deck INSTEAD of a PowerPoint.  Don't let students use the bulleted lists within Haiku Deck. Force them to summarize in 8 words or less per slide.

Just a few ideas for you. Ready, Set, CREATE!

Friday, March 7, 2014

First Impression Handshakes Replaced by Google Searches

When was the last time that you Googled yourself?

Recently, I was teaching a digital citizenship lesson about digital footprints in an elementary classroom and I Googled myself to show the students my digital footprint (or tattoo) I tend to Google myself quite frequently, so their were no surprises. The students were intrigued by all of the information and pictures that made up my digital footprint.  A very powerful learning experience, especially when I had them start Googling themselves.

After the lesson was over, the teacher of the class I was teaching approached me and told me that she had actually never Googled herself before and so she did so while I was teaching my lesson.  I was surprised that she had never Googled herself and she was surprised at what she found in her digital footprint. The teacher proceeded to tell me that she wasn't happy with some of the information that was showing up in the results.  I sat down with her and looked over her results and there wasn't anything inappropriate at all, just general information about her and some images that she had shared via social media.

 Yes, I could sit and wonder why this teacher (or more people), don't Google themselves more often.  The days when first impressions started with a handshake are over.  You are being Googled, those search results are creating first impressions about you, and you owe it to yourself to know what is being posted about you on the Internet.  I would recommend setting up the following to monitor your digital footprint.

Google Alerts
I have been stressing to our students in grades 6-12 this year that they need to start monitoring their digital footprints.  Last year I encouraged our students to utilize Google Alerts.  Google Alerts will send you an email update of relevant Google results based on your queries.  Here is what it looks like:

I simply add my name to the search query box.  I choose to receive an email from Google once a month with any new results about my name.  It's really fairly simple to set up, and very basic monitoring tool.  

Mention App
After a tip from Josh Allen, I recently started using an app named Mention. I know a lot of our students don't utilize their email like I do, so I wanted something that they could have on their iPads that would send out push notifications.  Mention is just what I was looking for.  With Mention, you can monitor keywords both on the Web and Social Media.   I created one for my first and last name.  Very simple, and easy to use, and the best part is that I get a notification every time that keyword is used. I am using it in a very basic sense, but there are a lot of options with this app that I haven't even gotten into. 


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