4 digital identity exercises for students

Introduce a student-centered tech-rich year

#ready2launch student identityLooking for ways to explore digital identity with students? Here are 4 student-centered, tech-rich digital identity exercises for working with students. As a bonus, all the exercises produce media that students can add to their digital portfolios. Let’s watch!

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Study National Parks with digital tools

Student-created virtual park tours

With access to online and tablet-based tools for digital curation and content creation, students can research the history, challenges and attractions of one of our nation’s 58 (!) National Parks. Under the rubric of planning a visit to them, students can answer an essential and timeless question: What features make National Parks special and worth saving?

It’s almost as good as being there. Especially if you’re trapped in snow and/or don’t have your driver’s license yet. Let’s roll!

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What are some good tools for studying hurricanes?

Science app-smashing in a 1:1 environment

iPAd how to in a 1:1Brendan Nerney, a middle grades educator at Mill River Union High School in Clarendon, Vermont, explains some of the edtech tools his students use to study hurricanes with their iPads. The students used a variety of edtech tools to produce a mock newscast documenting a hurricane and its aftermath.

Let’s look at some good tools for studying hurricanes.

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Augmented reality and student identity

Students explore the geography of self(ies)

augmented reality and student identityAn innovative way for students to explore who they are happens in Lori Lisai’s classroom at Lamoille Union Middle School where she works with them to craft an interactive biography through her Geography of Self project.

A bulletin board houses the student self portraits; 8th graders include their 7th grade portraits side-by-side: a visual representation of growth-over-time.

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Get out! 4 ideas for using iPads outside (and away from Wifi)

Get out there!

It’s spring (unless you’re in the Antipodes) and IT HAS FINALLY STOPPED SNOWING. Yes, all those capital letters are really necessary to announce that fact. The sun is out and if you’re planning on doing some outside work with your students, here are four activity ideas for using iPads outside when there’s no access to Wifi.

1. The Basics: QR code scavenger hunt

Make and print some QR codes, tape them up outside, and have each code lead to an image with directions for an activity. Working on foreign language acquisition? Post the directions in the target language! Are fractions on the agenda? Have the QR codes lead to an equation whose solution equals a number found in the next location of the hunt! Vocab time? How about anagrams that unscramble to reveal the next location or a key part of the instructions! QR codes are simple, powerful and lend themselves to a ton of different activities. What would make it really powerful would be for the students themselves to create the questions…

This online QR Code Treasure Hunt Generator lets you create your hunt quickly and easily beforehand.

This online QR Code Treasure Hunt Generator lets you create your hunt quickly and easily beforehand.

 

2. App-smash with Dino Defend!

Students break into groups, pick a plastic dinosaur out of a bucket (blind pick) and then have to keep their dinosaur alive to the end of the trail. As they move through the landscape, they’ll need to complete and document 4 challenges related to their dinosaur. Challenges could have math, science and reading comprehension worked in, as well as compelling students to really think about the Gorge and evolutionary geology. So many apps could help answer the following challenges:
  1. Geography: What features of the landscape would prove beneficial/problematic for your dinosaur? Suggested apps: 30Hands, Notability 
  2. Famine/Overpopulation: What does your dinosaur eat? What could they eat in this area? Suggested apps: HaikuDeck, Notability
  3. Predator attack: What are some of your dinosaur’s predators? Are they or were they found in this area? Bonus points for teaming up with another group and enacting a pitched battle scene. Suggested apps: iMovie.
  4. Defamation! An upstart archeologist has written a tract all about how your dinosaur should go extinct already. Each dinosaur has been offered a 30-second video promo spot to respond to the allegations. How does your dinosaur explain its value to the environment? Suggested apps: Touchcast, iMovie

Please note: badgers, bears, frogs or any other type of animal can be substituted for the dinosaurs, as appropriate for your curriculum.

But it just won’t be the same without all those RAR noises.

"Predator Challenge! This diplodocus is about to be eaten by a giant Boston terrier. In 200 words, explain why this situation is implausible."

“Predator Challenge! This diplodocus is about to be eaten by a giant Boston terrier. In 200 words, explain why this situation is implausible.”

 

3. Collect & Reflect with Picture This

Colorado educator Anne Beninghof came up with the great idea of using the Corkulous app to let students assemble boards that feature audio, video, image and written reflections of their trek. Get creative, assign each group a different theme, area of the landscape or time period to work with. This could also work with LinoIt.

 

4. For the Math folks: AngleJam!

The FieldProjector app allows you to calculate the angles of objects captured with the iPad camera, as well as determining their scale in relation to other objects. Combine this with the QR codes to create a series of challenges around capturing different types of angles:

“It’s time for the annual AngleJam but sadly, no angles have shown up yet to the party! They’re too busy running wiiiiiiiiiiild. It’s up to you to go out and grab them. Head outside / to the jungle gym / to the trailhead, where you’ll find a QR code specifying how to bring in the first of your math guests.”

Bonus points for having students create the angles out of twigs, rock bridges, their arms, etc exactly like this Australian class did.

"The 90 has been spotted! Repeat: we have a visual on the 90! Invitation delivered!"

“The 90 has been spotted! Repeat: we have a visual on the 90! Invitation delivered!”

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading out into this beautiful sunshine to help a stegosaurus work on using less tail-spike in its rebuttal. Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

*This post grew from a discussion over on the iPadEd Google+ community. Joyful thanks to Lara Jensen, Karen Redmond, Peggy Matthews, Karie Carpenter, Anne Beninghof, Robert Payne, Lee MacArthur, Laura Mahoney, Jose Luis Gutierrez and Christopher Averill for the brainstorming.

Think outside the app: 3 outstanding examples of app-smashing

What-smash?

Despite sounding like a weird potato-fruit dish, app-smashing gets your students thinking less about apps and more about tasks. Hopefully with a minimum of actual smashing.

App-smashing is when you give students a specific assignment that can best be solved using more than one app. iPads4Teachers has a fantastic overview of app-smashing here.

 

Sounds good, but I need examples

You got ’em!

1. Video cards

Sylvia Duckworth, an elementary grades French teacher in Canada, created Mother’s Day video cards by taking screenshots with HaikuDeck, then importing those into iMovie to add voice and music. The result, you’ll agree, is simply smashing*!

 

2. Cultural anthropology

A group of students at the Cabot School in Vermont tackled a cultural anthropology project by using iPhones to record audio interviews they did with community members, editing the audio in GarageBand, then embedding the results in a map with Thinglink. Smash!

 

3. Show your work: demonstrate your solution to the problem

Susan Hennessey put together the above video as part of an assignment for the MOOC Creativity: Music to My Ears. She writes:

We were tasked with picking a problem, brainstorming 100 possible solutions for how music could help solve it (on a shared Google doc) and then selecting 2 or 3 to create a novel solution.  We were given 1-minute to present the problem and solution.  Since we were working with middle level students, we wanted to defer to what they liked about the 100 possibilities.  The two profiled by the Tellagamis are the top two selected.

Google Docs + Tellagamis + iMovie. A novel approach to the assignment, which, after all, is what app-smashing is all about.

 

What are some ways you’ve used app-smashing in your classroom?

 

 

*I’m actually obligated by law to make that pun at least once during this blogpost. True story.

Video creation and editing apps for the classroom

What tools you use are missing from this list?

DragonTape Explain Everything iMotion PhotoStory Reel Director Silent Film Studio Vine Touchcast iMovie HTML Map

I sat down this afternoon to brainstorm a list of video editing, creation and mashup apps that could be useful for educators. Above you’ll find the nine I came up with off the top of my head, all of which I’ve either used or seen used in the classroom. But I know I’m missing some.

Here are some sample lesson plans or how-to’s for each of the video apps above:

dragontape2

 

 

 

 

 

  • iMovie: Essex Middle School Edge students use it to make book trailers:

 

  • Touchcast: Peoples Academy Middle Level 8th graders made STEM-focused Touchcasts to illustrate distance over time:
"An alien named Athena lives on Mars, and goes to school. Athena's house is a spaceship. When she left to go to school, she realized she left something about half way...."

“An alien named Athena lives on Mars, and goes to school. Athena’s house is a spaceship. When she left to go to school, she realized she left something about half way….”

 

  • ReelDirector: How about a video story of one classroom’s activities?

 

 

 

And this educator handed over the iPad to her own kids, asked for a stop-motion video and was astonished by how many apps they wound up using to create their magnum opus, Invasion:

What video creation / editing / mashup / squish / bash / remix tools are you and your students using?

iMovie Exercise: Introduce yourself in a trailer

From Katie Sullivan and via our own @hennesss: “Look at this cool way to use iMovie for kids to be able to introduce themselves during the first few days of school:

Each student creates one of these with a series clues and then reveals him or her self at the end. So neat!”

Anyone interested in giving this a try in your classroom this fall?

How to: use iMovie on the iPad

A brief but effective demonstration of how to use iMovie to construct a poem recital video, courtesy a student at Harwood Union Middle School. Enjoy!

 

 

Brian Wagner on: Aurasma and the Periodic Table

An augmented reality periodic table

One of our partner educators, Brian Wagner, teaches eighth grade science at Harwood Union Middle School, in Moretown VT. This past spring, he used Aurasma with his students to bring elements of the periodic table to life in a gallery walk.

The Rube Goldberg Challenge was not a good fit for the Aurasma app as a means of documenting thinking over time, but it proved to be a good tool for students to teach each other about the periodic table.

In essence, students jig-sawed their knowledge about specific sections of the Periodic Table to create a larger perspective about the trends, patterns, and curiosities of table.

Memorizing the elements of the periodic table is a complete waste of time (a personal opinion but one generally recognized as valid).

Understanding the information stored in the table because of the way it is constructed unlocks chemistry at a deeper level. The author Sam Keane in his book The Disappearing Spoon writes that “…at its simplest level, the periodic table catalogs all the different kinds of matter in our universe, the hundred-odd characters whose headstrong personalities give rise to everything we see and touch. The shape of the table also gives scientific clues as to how those personalities mingle with one another in crowds….”

My objective for this activity is for students to begin to recognize the trends and personalities and teach each other about different sections using Augmented Reality. The assignment is presented in the attached file- The Periodic Table Assignment 2013

The students researched as per the assignment criteria and prepared a video presentation of their element group. They were allowed to create the video in periodicpullwhatever manner they wanted- many did not want to be onscreen but talked through their information while writing it out on paper. Some used a chalk board for added effect. Others set it up as a news cast. Each group created a simple Aura (trigger) to activate the video.

The Auras were placed around the middle school Gallery in their respective groups and an iPad was stationed at each of these areas to use for the video presentation. Students rotated throughout the gallery, watching each other’s videos and taking notes about each section. Initially I wanted each student group to prepare an annotated photo of a periodic table with the information they collected. This would act as a summarizing aspect to their learning. Unfortunately there was not enough time to go through the gallery walk and do the Skitch challenge. The following day we lost our Wi-Fi , the iPads were needed for other classes when it returned, and the opportunity was lost.
During the class time with no internet, students took a quick quiz about the periodic table. The quiz was used as a means to discuss their findings further and clear up misconceptions that arose during their research. There will be a follow-up summative quiz (using Socrative) to determine how much information has been internalized. That will be a separate post.

The use of the Aurasma app was received well by students for this activity. They saw the value in researching, outlining, and preparing a presentation that others would learn from.

Because their audience was a little bigger (the entire 8th grade) they took more time to prepare and shoot the video (manyappsglance with multiple takes to get it right). Their personal creativity was valued and the questions that arose from their research made good conversations that would have been missing from a straight up lecture about the topic.

One of the drawbacks to the app was having to hold the iPad over the Aura while watching the video. However, one student figured out that by double tapping on the video while it was playing would take the video to full screen and allow it continue playing in any position. iMovie would also be a preferred video tool for making the videos more polished.

Unfortunately iMovie is not on our iPads yet, although one student convinced me to download it for him, where he proceeded to take three individual videos his group made into one smooth presentation.

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