Blogging!

All images are free for use from Canva

A few simple rules for blogging:

  1. Don’t post your last name
  2. Cite everything that is not yours!
  3. Categorize your posts
  4. Embed your media & create “clean” links
  5. Use this rubric to write engaging MASTERY blogposts

 

How can you IMPROVE your blog:

  • Make sure you have categories for:
    • Humanities
    • Science
    • Math
    • Integrated
    • Design
    • Arts
    • Enrichments
    • Activities
    • Languages
    • Global-mindedness
    • Integrity
    • Respect
    • Balance
    • Service
    • Myself as a Learner (this is a category you use for posts to support your SLC)
  • Make sure your banner is personalized
  • Add a widget?

All done?  Have you blogged about a cool activity you’ve done or an athletics accomplishment?

Read other blogs… give them good feedback on their blogs!

 

 

 

Strip Designer – Comic Strip Creation

Strip Designer is now available on our iPads! It’s a great app that allows students to create their own personal comic strip using photos from the photo album on the iPad or hand-drawn sketches. You can add simple image filters, speech bubbles, stickers and effect text like this – OMG!

While you edit your comic you can freely zoom and pan to manipulate even small details. When you are done, save the resulting image to the iPhone’s photo album, email it or share via Twitter or on the student blogs! Another cool alternive could be to use Book Creator an export to iBooks as full blown eBook for sharing.

There are loads of benefits to having students create comic strips in your classroom. Plasq Education describes the following as reasons to incorporate comic strip creation into your classroom:

  • They are a great visual representation of knowledge
  • Presents what is essential
  • Easier to remember a visual graphic containing key information
  • Engaging through thinking, creating and writing.
  • A perfect avenue for writing dialogue
  • Incites students with a low interest in writing
  • Helps organisation through storytelling and storyboarding
  • Using visual images convey meaning to a story or topic
  • Develops creative and higher level thought processes
  • Develops composition techniques through visual-verbal connections
  • Enriches reading, writing, and thinking
  • Serves as an assessment and evaluation tool
  • Sequencing promotes understanding

How do I use Strip Creator?

This app is simple to use but it also has the ability to use some more complex features. The following series of videos outline these features. Begin with the introduction and from there it’s easy to get started! If you’re keen to know more about a specific feature,  including image options, stickers and effects and cells, continue to view that video accordingly.

Introduction

Image Options

Stickers & Effects

Cell Adjustment

Now go, have fun and make comics! Be sure to share student exemplars with the Ed Tech team (and with the world via Twitter #learnISB) so that we can publish them here to share with others. Any support you might need, don’t hesitate to ask.

Enjoy!

Made by Laura in approximately 60 seconds!

 

 

Bookmarks for the New Year

Here are a lot of common sites that you will need for your everyday teaching/learning at ISB:

Dragon’s Exchange (DX) – Learning Management System for Secondary Students and Teachers

Dragons’ Tube .  Internal video curation system for teachers and students

Blogs – student blogs

Ed Tech Blog – The blog created by the EdTech team for resources

Powerschool – Attendance, Grading

Dragons’ Gate – Login section of the School website

Vidigami .  – Internal photo curation system

ES Parent Workshop: Getting Ready For Summer

On Tuesday morning, Ed Tech hosted another parent workshop in our Family Tech Agreements series. This time we looked at the unique challenges and opportunities of media and technology use by our students during the Summer holidays.

We began by revisiting aspects of the previous parent workshop, such as how to work with your children to create a Family Media Agreement, and ISB’s Media Mentor Month.

Family Media Agreement

Family Media Agreements have become a favourite model for parents looking to develop a media mentor model at home. Having open discussion around technology use as a family allows each member a chance to reflect on their own habits and what they hope to see from one another. Workshop attendees were invited to use the ISB Family Tech Agreements worksheets, or, create their own, in ways that best suited their particular circumstances as a family.

How may your family media agreement need to change to suit the different context of Summer Break?

Activities & Projects

Next, we explored some different media/technology tools that may be of interest to your child that focus on creation over consumption. In most cases, the media and technology is actually a conduit for a hands-on activity.

DIY.org (“Do it Yourself”)

DIY is a safe online community for kids to discover new passions, level up their skills, and meet likeminded people. There are thousands of activities and projects available, and users can unlock many different “patches” (badges) as a reward for their efforts.

Instructables

Instructables is similar to DIY and the premise is that users are encouraged to develop instructional resources for the online community. Users can explore many different projects, from technology and electronics, to woodworking, cooking, gardening and sports. As many instructables projects are a bit more advanced than DIY, it can be a great way for parents to work with their children. The email newsletter includes wide-ranging projects as well as regular challenges and competitions.

TED-Ed

TED-Ed is the educational spin-off of TED (Technology, Education & Design). There are thousands of short videos on all sorts of topics, created by lots of different people. A particular highlight are the different problem solving riddles which can be a great way to get families having fun together.

Slides

Summary

Each family is different and as such needs to shape media and technology use in ways that suit them. We strongly recommend developing a media agreement, as well as exploring constructive and creative tools such as those shown above. We wish you a safe and relaxing Summer Break and please be in touch if you ever need any support or advice.

How to Upload a Video on Dragon’s Tube

First – record awesome media!

Please include everyone’s name on the video but DO NOT USE last names in your video.

Please cite any outside media you have used.

Second – login to Dragon Tube

Third – Complete the following required information:

 

Fourth – scroll to the bottom to click “Submit” (make sure you see this message):

Wait a few minutes while your video uploads and converts

Watch other classmates’ videos if you are done early!

“Parents as Media Mentors” workshop

On Tuesday, March 20, ES parents were invited to the workshop “Parents as Media Mentors: Tech and the 21st Century Family”, hosted by Clint Hamada, Rebecca Taylor and Sam Griffin (ES Ed Tech) and ES Counsellor, Kevin Kooienga.

The workshop offered parents an opportunity to explore:

The session began with a clip from an American experiment where children were allowed unconstrained access to technology over a period of a few days. From this, it wasn’t hard to see the importance of setting boundaries as the children clearly became tired and agitated. Interestingly, the children themselves acknowledged that unlimited technology was unhealthy.

Parenting Styles

In a previous post, Clint outlined Alexandra Samuel’s three styles of parenting when it comes to access to technology at home:

  • The Digital Limiter: prefers to keep their children away from the internet, and often strictly limit screentime. These children are often Digital Exiles, kept out of the digital world for as long as possible;
  • The Digital Enabler: respect their children’s’ abilities to make their own choices online and take cues from other families on how to use technology. These children are often Digital Orphans, left to explore on their own;
  • The Digital Mentor: enjoys spending time with their children online, cultivating their children’s skills and fostering online learning. These children are often Digital Heirs, inheriting their parents’ values and skills.
Quality vs Quantity

Working in table groups, parents in the workshop discussed the different ways technology is being used at home. For example, are we mainly using technology to consume media (such as watching YouTube clips or playing games for entertainment)?  To what extent do our children use technology to create (for example, making games using Scratch or Minecraft)? Or are we using technology to connect with others (social media, Skype etc). In many cases, our children are often doing several of these things in combination (such as watching a YouTube clip of a Minecraft tutorial while simultaneously creating their own Minecraft world). All of this highlights the need for monitoring, discussion and awareness of the quality and quantity of technology use at home.

The ISB RUA

In the ISB Elementary School, our Responsible Use Agreement has been designed to reference the school rules of Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be Responsible in the context of classroom technology. Students, teachers and specialists work with Ed Tech to ensure positive use of technology, supported with a range of proactive (and, where necessary, reactive) measures.

Family Media Agreement

Family Media Agreements have become a favourite model for parents looking to develop a media mentor model at home. Having open discussion around technology use as a family allows each member a chance to reflect on their own habits and what they hope to see from one another. Workshop attendees were invited to use the ISB Family Tech Agreements worksheets, or, create their own, in ways that best suited their particular circumstances as a family.

Workshop Slides

Looking Ahead

Please look out for future parent workshops in this series over the coming months. We are keenly interested in hearing your views on the types of workshops and resources you would like to see in the future – or anything else we can help with – so please be in touch any time.

 

Be a Media Mentor for Your Child

I don’t think anybody would disagree with the importance of being a positive role model for your children. When it comes to technology, however,  Dr. Alexandra Samuel has identified three distinct parenting styles in her research:

  • The Digital Limiter: prefers to keep their children away from the internet, and often strictly limit screentime. These children are often Digital Exiles, kept out of the digital world for as long as possible;
  • The Digital Enabler: respect their children’s’ abilities to make their own choices online and take cues from other families on how to use technology. These children are often Digital Orphans, left to explore on their own;
  • The Digital Mentor: enjoys spending time with their children online, cultivating their children’s skills and fostering online learning. These children are often Digital Heirs, inheriting their parents’ values and skills.

Read more about Dr. Samuel’s findings here in her article in The Atlantic.

When looking at the percentage of children who have misbehaved online, Dr. Samuel discovered that it is the children of Digital Mentors who are often making the best choices.

So how can we help our children make these good choices? How can we become Media Mentors them?

Keri-Lee Beasley and Daniel Johnson from GEMS World Academy in Switzerland created and shared a calendar of suggested activities for parents to use as ways to engage with their children and discuss. This calendar also includes links to resources to help support you in having some of the more difficult discussions or in some of the more technical skills.

As a family, you may not be able to take part in all of the activities with your children, but that’s okay!  We encourage you to find the ones that you can take part in and make the time to start having these important discussions and mentoring conversations within your entire family!

 

Click to view the full-size file for download

Click to view the full-size file for download

VideoScribe – The Whiteboard Animation Tool!

VideoScribe is a super great app for creating whiteboard animations. The application allows you to create fun, energetic and animated presentations without the fuss of having to draw on your own. The final product makes it look like you are drawing the illustrations and text – it’s impressive! Every time I’ve created and presented a VideoScribe video, I’m asked “Is that your hand?” – the answer, no! In addition to the simple and effective means to creating an engaging, scribed presentation, the app allows you the option to zoom out, at the completion of the video, and provide the audience with an overview of the story having just been told. This is an added bonus as presentations can essentially double as both video and print based media. This adds an additional challenge for students – What will my presentation look like in print? Will it tell my story without the need for audio or the structured flow of a video?

Here is a short video, created using VideoScribe, that outlines the many benefits of using video as a powerful tool for communication, in particular, the effectiveness of whiteboard style multimedia.

Recently, I have been working with a High School EAL class on a digital storytelling unit. One of the three tasks within this unit, was to develop a persuasive piece, using VideoScribe, on a current political issue, from an English speaking country. The planning process was significant in that, not only did students need to storyboard their persuasive argument, they also needed to consider how they would use the app to effectively convey their message. This included:

  • the selection of appropriate images and key words
  • the right balance of images vs. text
  • a clear and concise script for the voice over
  • selection of an audio track that would assist in conveying the message
  • the visual layout of the information (text and images) at the completion of the video (zoomed out view)

Wumian from Grade 9, choose to research and present his persuasive piece on the current debate in Australia: Should the date of Australia Day be changed?  This is his presentation:

This is another example of VideoScribe being used in the classroom. This time, a Grade 8 student explains the Syrian Revolution. Emily (Grade 8) says “The bloody Syrian Revolution is still going on and people to this day are dying. We think that not a lot people know about this subject, which is why we made this video.”

VideoScribe is now available on the iPads in the Middle and High School and will soon be available on the ES iPads. If you’re keen to offer this app as an alternative option for video creation, or perhaps use this app to create your own flipped learning content, let me know you need any assistance. The VideoScribe website offers a series of tutorials to help get you started. These include adding text and images, change draw and pause times, adding audio and soundtrack files, and publishing and sharing your scribe. I encourage you to give it a go!

How to Embed Video on your ISB Blog

First – record awesome media!

Second – login to Dragon Tube

Third – Complete the following required information:

 

Fourth – scroll to the bottom to click “Submit” (make sure you see this message):

Wait a few minutes while your video uploads and converts

Fifth – Find and copy the embed code for your video

Sixth – go into your blog post, switch to “text” mode and paste the html to embed.  You will not be able to see the embedded video until you publish your post.

It should look like this:

 

Reinvigorate Your Classroom with these 3 iPad apps!

On Wednesday (Jan 17th, 2018) I lead a TTT (Teachers Teaching Teachers) for staff, from PreK-12, on iPad Tools for Creative Teaching and Learning. The purpose of the TTT was to introduce teachers to three apps that are now available on our (brand new!) iPad Pro 2 class set in the library. The apps will soon be available for Elementary classes which is why teachers from across the school were invited to attend (and are encouraged to continue reading if you happen to be an Elementary teacher!)

The apps covered in Wednesday’s TTT were Explain Everything, Stick Around and Apple Clips.

Explain Everything

Explain Everything is an awesome tool for creating instructional and explanatory videos using visuals, annotations and narration. I’ve used this app in the past for blended or flipped learning, providing feedback to students and most often, for students to showcase their understanding and share with their peers. I’m currently working with Monique Cover and her EAL class for a digital storytelling unit. Then first project, in a series of three, has students developing an instructional, informative style tutorial using, you guessed it, Explain Everything. Students are required to develop a tutorial on a topic covered in either Science or Social Studies from last semester. Students will seek feedback from their teachers and make improvements before the final export. The idea is, students will “present” their completed tutorial to their teacher for use in future years. I’m also hoping that they will see what these students have been able to create and ask the question: “How do I do this with all of my students?”

Here is an example of an Explain Everything video created by on of my Grade 7 Science students from Caulfield Grammar School: Scout Squire.

Stick Around

The second app we looked at was Stick Around. Stick Around allows users to create puzzles using drawing tools and/or photos and add stickers with text, images, sound, arrows and/or drawing. Teachers could create puzzles for students (great for formative and timely feedback) or alternatively, students can create puzzles to communicate their understanding and share with their peers. Ideally, if students were creating the puzzle, you’d have a range of topics, so that on completion, all students can benefit from the creations. I’ve managed to set up a folder on the server which will store all Stick Arounds created. This allows them to be downloaded, once published and shared by the creator, by anyone with the Stick Around app. The only downside that I’ve picked up on, is that the puzzles can only be viewed (and played) through the Stick Around app. The files can be shared without a problem, but opening the puzzle is limited. The following video is an example of what a puzzle looks like to play.

The creation of the puzzle itself is surprisingly easy. I was pleased that two Kindergarten teachers that attended my TTT, Sally and Elizabeth, both expressed possible applications for their classrooms. They were also confident that their students, with minimal assistance, would be able to manage the intricacies of the app. This app is not only a great tool for labelling diagrams like in the planet example above, it’s also great for having students complete Venn diagrams, quadrants, tables etc. There are a number of templates that are built into the app which make creation of puzzles even more straightforward forward and accessible. The general steps involved in the creation are:

  • Design a background or select a template to use
  • Create the stickers – these can consists of images, video, weblink and even audio which is great for the littlies.
  • Set the answer scheme.
  • Publish and share the puzzle!

There are some fantastic resources out there to support this product. This is a thorough user guide and see this URL for a range of really great tutorial videos. I love this app!

Apple Clips

The third app we looked at was the new Apple Clips . This is a quick and easy way to create and share fun videos with text, effects, images, stickers and more. There are so many ways that a tool like this could be used in the classroom: explaining a topic, givingformative feedback, examination and explanation of photos or diagrams, explaining the steps in a process, public service announcement or commercial, to name a few. Check out this awesome site that showcases 5 ways to use this app in the classroom and is well worth a look. Essentially, a video comprises of clips and each clip can be edited differently. For example, on clip might include a voice to text option. Another, might use a photo or video from the photo library. To work Clips you must press and hold the red record button. You can also hold the record button and swipe left to lock the record.  A lock symbol will appear.  This is useful for complicated or longer shots. From there you can add:

  •  Live titles – to create these, a voice to text option is available of which I’m impressed with it’s accuracy.
  • Add filters like comic book or ink, stickers and emoji
  • Add overlays – this could be useful for labelling or drawing attention to a particular element
  • Export your video and save to your photo stream

Here is an example of a short movie I made using Apple Clips.

As you can see, Explain Everything, Stick Around and Apple Clips are some pretty awesome ways to create and share authentic learning.  Although you may not feel completely comfortable in using an iPad in your classroom,  Ed Tech is here to provide you the necessary support to take up learning opportunities, like these, for your students. Please send me an email if you’d like to chat further, or even better, if you’re keen to start using one of these apps.

Laura

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