Wednesday, May 28, 2014

23 Mobile Things #15 Infographics

This is a tool I never thought to look for on my iPad. In the past I have used thinglink and canva on my computer to create visuals. I had fun playing around with both


Infographics Hub

I got side tracked as I was exploring the apps and started reading an infographic about the "Mobile Lives of College Students." I found it interesting that 40% of students in this study were using iOS Devices. Another infographic caught my eye on traveling. They stated that travelers between 18-25 years of age design themselves a Travellers, backpackers or tourists and the average cost of a trip is 1,400 euros. This study was done in the UK.

I could see these apps being used to get students started when thinking about research projects and then teaching them to check on the facts presented.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Winding Down

As we wind down the school year some teachers are looking for feedback from their students. I spent some time with a jr high teacher working on a Google Form for student feedback. The form has two important parts
  • student self reflection

  • feedback on teacher instruction

All of the questions are required except for their name. We left the name question up to the student to decide if they want to add their name or not.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tracking Growth

Katie, a wonderful special education teacher, has been working on creating Google Forms to track student growth in a variety of areas (she has done all of the work and I am just there for support). She has inserted student IEP goals to Google Form for ease of tracking. A team effort is made when tracking the goals. Mainstream teachers, individual students and Katie all have access to the form to fill it out. But only Katie has access to the results. With the handy feature of "Summary of Responses"

Katie has quick access to up-to-date charts she can show to both the student and their family, as well as attach to IEP progress reports.

In some cases, each student has their own form and for other items she has one form which they all can use. The example below is a form that they use with many students. The name field is left as a text box for privacy. As she receives the data, she uses a "pivot table" to see specific  sets of data for each student. She is then able to easily create a visual, most often a bar graph, to share progress.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

23 Mobile Things #13 Presentations

Haiku Deck
I have previously used Haiku Deck and like that it works on iPads and Chromebooks.

Educreations is one of my favorite free apps. I like that teachers can easily create a lesson to help their students and after entering some information about the video it is automatically uploaded and students can start accessing it right away. I am also a fan of their student to teacher capabilities. When a teacher sets up a class they are able to have student join and their videos will be sent to the teacher. Educreations also lets you record on a Chromebook and the videos can be viewed on many platforms.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Building Activities for Self Correcting Stations

Teachers who have a SMARTboard can use it as a great interactive tool. One of my favorite features in SMARTNotebook is the "Activity Builder." This tool allows me as a teacher to create interactive, self-correcting lessons that my students can use independently. 

In the example above, the number "one" will accept pictures that show one of something and reject pictures that show two objects. The "two" will accept the pictures that have two of something and reject the pictures that only have one. The activity builder allows teachers to have many objects on one page accept/reject items.

When used as a station, students are able to interact with the lesson and get immediate feedback. Think of all the possibilities you have for creating lessons with this one tool. You can have one single item accept/reject or multiple on the same page. You are able to use text or images as your object that accept/reject. While many pictures are available for teachers in their "Gallery Essentials,"it is not limited to just there. SMART will allow pictures copied from a Google Image search or uploaded from a camera.

Watch this video to get started creating lessons with the Activity Builder. (Override YouTube if you are at school)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Showcasing a Fun Day

Last month I was invited to co- teach a class with Jermey for middle school students on Activity Day.

Earlier in the month each student was able to sign up for different activities throughout the day. Some students took field trips outside of the building to places like Mall of America and the YMCA. While others stayed at school and participated in different activities such as creating an iMovie Trailer or baking. We had a mix of sixth, seventh and eight graders for a three hour chunk of time.

Wow, they grow up fast! I saw many former students from my earlier days as an elementary English Language (EL) teacher and many were bigger than me. However, I was able to find a student who is not as "tall" as I am.

We started class with an overview of their next three hours and class expectations. Then moved on to a quick demo of what an iMovie Trailer looks like.

We handed out a packed with iMovie tips/tricks to getting started.

In the morning almost everyone had their own iPad and in the afternoon we had partners create movies together using the ten iPad Minis we had checked out. The students opened iMovie and spent about five minutes going through the themes to pick a trailer. Once their theme was picked, they had to plan out what they were going to take pictures and videos of. I found this great resource,, with already created and printable story boards to help them plan.

Each student got a story board to match their theme and planned their movie. Once they had a solid plan they were excused from the classroom to get footage. Each class had around 30 minutes to collect their footage. As students came back to the classroom, they got started creating their movies and we had a few minutes of direct instruction to share a few more tips.

At the very end of our time each student used AirDrop to share their movie with me and we watched them as a class via the projector.