Friday, February 21, 2014

Book Creator - Instructions and Sequencing

Book Creator has been one of my all time favourite apps. It's such an easy app to navigate and use. And students can easily produce really nice looking digital books with audio.

This task was done with Grade 1 students. The students had already created books made on paper and we thought that the we could digitize them using Book Creator.

Here are the steps we took to make the books.

Take Photos of Images & Crop

We took photos using the Camera app then edited the photos, right in Camera Roll, by cropping out the carpet or table tops. This provided a nice clean image to put in the book.

Create a new book Project in Book Creator

When you first create a new book you need to choose layout of book. I usually choose landscape. The square version looks good in iBooks as it works well when iPad is in landscape or portrait mode. Another important thing to do which students often miss out, is saving the name of the book and the Author. This help when exporting the book to another device.

Adding pictures, text, drawing, and sound to the book 

Adding different features of the book is simple. By clicking the add button (the + symbol) you have the option of adding numerous different things. In this project, students added photos from the camera roll, they drew pictures, added text and also recorded sound. 



Once books were edited and ready for exporting, we modelled the process for exporting to iTunes. This would allow the teacher to retrieve the ePub files from each iPad.

To export to iTunes, the user must be back on the app homescreen/spashscreen then by clicking on the export button you will see the different options. Then you click on Send to iTunes.

Another way to share the books is to choose Open in another App, then choose Air Drop. You need to ensure that the iPad that you wish to share with also has has Air Drop running and be connected to the same network. This would be a good idea when you have extra time as students finish their work. You would be able to stagger the exporting as each student finishes their project.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Can You Hear Our Learning?

Thanks to guest authors Heather McKay and Jaime Hatchette for this post...

The Curious Journey of 2 Teachers in K: Can you hear our learning?

In Kindergarten our students are fast becoming experts at explaining their thinking. As teachers, we see evidence of their critical thinking in their play, their conversations, and their written work.  We attempt to scribe student thoughts as much as possible in order to leave a visible trace of their learning. 

On one such day we were having trouble keepingup with the flow of ideas; we decided to try the app Audioboo as a tool for making our thinking visible in Kindergarten.

The Audioboo app allows you to capture an image and attach up to 3 minutes of audio. It is a web-based app allowing users to create their own podcast collections.  We access our Audioboo account from our class iPads. We do not attach student names to any podcasts, but instead have taught our Kindergarten students to use their initials as a form of hashtag, when sharing their learning via social media.  Audio files can be sorted and stored in folders you create.  Each Audioboo post can be individually sharedthrough Twitter, email, or embedded within a blog.  Our students ask to tweet Audioboo posts as one way to share their learning with their families. Parents can also subscribed to a RSS feed.  

We are just beginning to explore how Audioboo will support our work within IRIS and are excited about the possibilities!  Because IRIS allows users to insert a URL as an artifact, we predict this will be one way to empower our youngest learners to capture their own thinking using iPads as a learning tool.

How have we used Audioboo in Kindergarten ?

We researched Penguins using the online database PebbleGo.  Afterwards we asked students to share what they learned by drawing a picture.  Students explained their picture and learning by responding to our prompt “Tell the story of your picture” using Audioboo. Here is one example:  What did you learn about Penguins?

Each day during centres two boys continue to look closely at one particular book.  We asked them to share their reflections about this particular book to learn more about why they are drawn to it and to uncover what they were learning. We asked them to look closely and share what they noticed:

Many students choose to create and build different structures during our daily centre block. It is challenging to capture this process, as photos show only part of the story.Audioboo provides a simple and easy way for students to record their reflections and allows us as teachers to uncover many learning outcomes.  Listen to the mathematical vocabulary being used in the following clip:

How do you make the learning visible in your classroom?  We would love to hear from you and build our Visible Thinking toolkits together!

Heather McKay (@HeatherMMckay) / Jaime Hatchette @JaimeHatchette

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Drawing with Writing - Type Drawing

This a fun app to you and I think the possibilities could be endless.

This grade 4 class had a task to do with the Alberta Oil Sands. The teacher tied this task into Science and Social Studies.

After looking for and saving images of the Alberta oil sands, the teacher wanted her students to share their initial impressions about the oil sands. 

Type Drawing allows you to write a sentence then draw that sentence over the top of an image. We think the finished product was something else! What an effective and different way to present ideas and information.

The Best Teaching & Learning Resource Ever!

I made a video to welcome our teachers to their new 1:1 iPad.

I made the video with a few apps (app smash) but mostly with Video Scribe.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Creating Video with Tellagami

Tellagami is an Amazing iPad App I discovered earlier this year from some fellow Apple Distinguished Educator colleagues. I recently had the opportunity to introduce it to our grade 5 team who have been doing a fair bit of work around green screen and news broadcasts. Tellagami provides yet another way to present information in the form of video with added background pictures to match the topic.

When using Tellagami, users customize an avatar, then choose their custom background giving the final effect which is similar to that of green screen. The process is simple:

Tellagami - Video Tutorial App Smash

Here are some great student work examples which were created using Tellagami. This task was completed over only a couple periods.