Thursday, May 31, 2012

Episode 19 Blogger Tutorial and SITA

This will be the last tech tool tip of 2011-2012.  As many of you integrate technology into more and more lessons, you may consider creating a digital hub for your classroom.  A digital hub (see my classroom blog) can be a place for your students to easily access links that you want them to use and YouTube videos that can introduce or supplement your lessons.  It can also be a great place to showcase student work.

The video provides an unbelievable list of blogger tutorial.

Also, Amy U. sent out an email about a great, FREE technology educational opportunity this summer.  I have created a video tutorial that explains and provides visual links.  Consider attending, it will be a great learning opportunity.

APOLOGY:  The links don't actually work in the video, they are all found below the video.

This will be the last tech tool tip of 2011-2012.  Hopefully, they have been helpful.  Look for more in 2012-2013!

Blogger Tutorial Playlist
SITA Registration
SITA Session Lineup
SITA Individual Session Registration
edCampGB (Thursday, August 2)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Real Volume Problems

The quickness and creative options with the iPad camera have really opened the door for authentic learning.  We have been studying the volume of a rectangular prism.  I made a comment to the students to find a picture of a real object and apply the formula for volume.  I gave no other directions than that.

It was great for students to act immediately to find an object in our classroom and school and take a picture.  Students immediately inserted the picture that they took in to the Skitch app, added the measurements, and calculated the volume.

So. Much. Better. Than. Black. Words. On. White. Paper. In. Our. Book.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Best Learning Experiences of 2011-2012

Taking an idea from @coolcatteacher as seen below...

I asked each of our students the following question,

"What was your best learning experience of the year?"

I created the entire movie on an iPad with iMovie and can't be more thrilled with the result.  Not only by their answers, but by the quality of the video.

Some students gave detailed answers, some shortened them up.  Either way, I am thankful I took the time to ask!  My advice would be Vicki's advice, "Take one day to LISTEN to your students talk about their best learning experience in your classroom this year."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Explain Everything, Google Form, and Paper For Assessment

This idea came to me this morning.  Create an assessment using Explain Everything.  It's Pythagorean Theorem which always works better with real pictures.  Upload to YouTube. Create Google Form for completion by student.  Embed all into classroom blog.

The whole process took less time than copying and pasting into a paper copy.

Seriously, Awesome!


On a side note, student walked into class today with a broken arm.

The arm he WRITES with...

No problem with the iPad Whiteboard app...

Finally, when the class is over I simply change the blog post to "Revert to Draft" and it is removed from my blog.  Students are absent, when they return I will "Publish" it again.  EASY!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Old and New Technology! Which Would You Rather Use?

Students Searching For Triangles

In order to place a real feel on this, students took iPads outside to discover triangles in their world.  Students found real triangles which they applied the Pythagorean Theorem to find a third side.  We also used estimated measuring tools (hands and shoes) to find the lengths of the legs.

After we found the measurements, students used the Skitch App and paper/pencil to calculate the hypotenuse.

***UPDATE: After three years from the original post above, Mr. Isham took this to another level by having the students find the triangles outside, but returned inside to explain the process for finding the hypotenuse using Explain Everything.

See some student examples here and here.

Blogging With Writing Prompt

Triangle Analysis Using Skitch App

Students discovering the legs and the hypotenuse of a triangle use the Skitch app for mastery.
Skitch App was used...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Students Love Using Notes App and Making Permanent On Blog

Students use NOTES app and explains how they access the notes from home.

Student Blogging Preview of Chapter

I have actually never thought of it until today!  We never blogged a preview of what we were GOING to study.  Today, we Googled the one word that was written very large across the first page of our chapter in math.


Students found as much as they can about everything on this subject and placed a chosen amount into a blog post.

Student Reflection on 8th Grade Math via MadPad HD

8th Grade Promotion Practice With iPad

Episode 18 Restoring Deleted App on iPad or iPhone

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Math Review and Flashcardlet App and Scorekeeper XL App

Throughout Chapter 7, our students have been creating study flashcards for mathematical concepts.  Today, we created two last cards.

We introduced them to the ScoreKeeper XL app...

And finally let them review and compete against each other in preparation for the assessment.

MadPad Hd Perfect Tool For Math Review

I have been looking for reason to use MadPad Hd in our school.  Sure, it's fun, quirky, and creative, but how can I apply it to education?

I decided that to review the concepts students would create a one minute video describing specific math terms from our "factoring quadratics" unit.  Terms that needed to be included were...
  • root
  • vertex
  • factor
  • symmetry
  • Zero Product Property
  • generic rectangle
  • Quadratic Formula
  • Standard For for Quadratics
  • Radical-Square Roots
MadPad Hd allows for the creation of twelve 5 second clips.  Students would use nine of the recordings for the math concepts above.  They needed to create legible written explanations (specific examples encouraged) with the term at the top of the explanation.  Three of the remaining twelve recordings can be for whatever they want.  Creativity is a must!  To finalize each of the twelve recordings, the students needed to think of one word to speak or one sound to record to associate with the term.

As one student stated:

...and one student demonstrated:

...the time could not have been better spent.  Students loved using the app because it was a unique tech tool that provided a new experience with "old" concepts.

New tech tool review concepts...

A student demonstrating how to record a clip...

A student's recording...

Who knew reviewing for math concepts could be so much fun...

This lesson typifies my year.  I have concepts that I need students to experience.  Use a tool to get the engagement, thinking, questioning, and creativeness fibers in students' bodies moving.  This was not only engaging for the student, it was wonderful to hear questions asked be students about the concepts as they were creating.

OUCH!  Could I never go back to a review where students complete 30 problems in silence.  Lord, I apologize for thinking that 30 problems in silence was a great way for students to review.  Nevertheless, that was then (10 years ago) and this now.  Let the creative fun begin!

Day 2 Brought This

Some Final Products From Students
Students uploaded their final products to DropBox...EASY!!!

Student 1
Student 2
Student 3

Thursday, May 10, 2012

iPad, iMovie, Extras4iMovie, and Scroll Credits For Video Production

Yesterday, our students volunteered a day's worth of time to help elementary students learn about bike safety.  I decided to video and take pictures of the entire process, but wasn't really sure what I would do with the images and video.

On the way home, I decided this would be a perfect excuse...err reason for me to purchase the iMovie app for iPad to discover its features.  One other video editing app that I have used in the past is REEL DIRECTOR.  I like it, but it is rather cumbersome to use.

I really enjoyed and became proficient at using iMovie for iPad in a within 1 hour of first use.  The timeline and features that go with it are efficient.  The themes are a nice addition.  Adding video was extremely easy as it is located in the list of videos.  Same with pictures and songs.

I really like how sound from video clips mutes the song of the entire movie while it is playing.  Adding voice to a video clip is easy as well.

I also purchased Extras4iMovie, and Scroll Credits.  Both apps have an incredible amount of additional backgrounds and clip art.  I used the Extras4iMovie to create the scrolling edits at the end.  I nice feature.

I will be using iMovie more than Reel Director from now on based on the fact that my user experience with iMovie was better than Reel Director.

Episode 16 Side By Side App

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

St. Louis Arch and App Digital Resource You Can Think Of...

"Being Less Helpful" (credit Mr. Meyer) rings loud and clear in today's learning activity.  I did guide the students with six questions that needed answers, but failed at giving them everything.

Check That.

They have everything: access to the knowledge of the world (iPad/internet), previous days learning factoring of quadratic equations, the value of the Quadratic Formula, 150 applications on the iPad, a mind to question, and each other!

What More Can A Person Ask For?  Besides a really fast car!

Watch the learning experience unfold through the video that was taken!

Tools that students used to solve and create:
I love this stuff!

The entire 24 video playlist is below, but won't work on an iPad.  Get the direct link to the playlist!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Real Shopping and Paperless Assignment (For Teacher)

I like having the ability for students to have real pictures and experiences in math class.  The availability of the internet ALL THE TIME through our iPads or BYOD provides great opportunities.  Today, students completed an assessment on percent of increase or decrease.  I used a real example from Overstock dot com for students to determine the amount of percent they received as a discount.  In addition, students needed to discover how much gas prices have increased from the 1970s until today.

Students also had extended learning.  I was able save the district some money because I uploaded a PDF of a previous learning opportunity to Google documents.  This created a link for students to view the problems and place the work in their own notebook or digital tool.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Quadratic Formula Explain Everything and Dropbox

Great activity!  Really allows for students to reflect on the entire Quadratic Formula process.

Student Example
Student Example

Explain Everything Used After Direct Instruction

I have found the Explain Everything app to be a great resource for students to process immediately after they learn a skill.  If I would ask them to explain it in their notes, they wouldn't.  However, putting it on a digital medium boosts the interest and creativity level.

We upload them to our classroom Dropbox account, and I assess.

We've used Explain Everything for other things such as here, here, and here.

Skitch App To Label Dissection of Worm

Our students recently dissected a worm and used the Skitch app to label all the parts.  There was something about the color that the students liked in the app.  As you can see, students utilized it to the fullest.  These pictures were posted to the students' professional portfolios.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Episode 15 Adding Fonts To Google Docs

Episode 14 SCOtutor For iPad

Episode 14 SCOtutor For iPad GET THE APP
A great app for iPad professional growth:

Example Of Segment From The Video

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Side By Side App For Wall Street Class

The Side By Side app has become a great tool for students wanting to have one eye on their MarketWatch stock portfolio and one eye on resources.

See how they use it.

BYOD Student Use In Wall Street Class

Teaching Percent Discount Using iPads and Real Shopping

Teaching percent of discount from our book can be BORING!  The text book gives us all the information and students regurgitate the steps to solve.

In our class, we had a small discussion about the two different ways to find the percent discount.  Students can either subtract at the beginning or subtract at the end.  After some direct instruction of about 5 minutes, students reflected on the process through a blog post.

After that, students were introduce to the great resource of  This is a useful site in that they give you "the original price" lined out and the "discounted price" in red.  We viewed two different items and had students find the discount in percent.

After students had two problems with their partners to work on, it was their time to shop.

We did not complete the process, as students still need to take a picture of their item and reflect on the process in their blog.  Tomorrow, we will finish!

Next time you have mathematical problems, consider making it as real to students as you can.  Helping less and making the students think is a great tool that the iPad can facilitate!

Best Note Taking Apps

@KristinStrauman hit me up on Twitter with a great question:  What is the best overall note taking ipad app for students-- able to type and HW?

Obviously, this calls for student input and a blog post!

PaperPort Notes or Noterize  (FREE)
Written about here, and here!
This app allows for typing, annotating with handwriting, and importing pictures and pdfs.

ScratchWork  (FREE)
This app is outstanding because notes with texting and drawing can be right next to a screen of the internet.  Truly awesome!  Our students used it here.

DrawPad  ($1.99)
Allows for everything.  It does cost money, but may be an app that everyone can use.  Therefore, justified.

Totes Em Notes  (FREE for now)
Great little app that has cool graphics.  Can be used to type or text.
Our students have access to it, but I don't have footage of it.  I did find this...

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