Create Videos with Shadow Puppet EDU

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.59.09 AMShadow Puppet Edu is a fantastic app for helping students make videos to show their learning about a topic. The app allows students to use images found on their camera roll, on the Web, or through specific educational databases. Students then record their voice to narrate the video about their topic. All they need to do next is share their work!

How Does Shadow Puppet Edu Work?

The landing page of the app contains a couple of sample videos as well as the large Create New button. Additionally, at the bottom of the screen is an Ideas page. This section provides numerous activity ideas that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards, which are provided for you if you tap on one of the suggested ideas.Shadow_landing_page

Shadow_activity_ideasAfter tapping the Create New button, students begin choosing images for their project. They can choose from their own camera roll if there are images and/or videos (up to 30 seconds) they’d like to use. On the left side of the screen are all the different types of searches students can do. The app provides access to images from the Library of Congress, Met Museum of Art, The British Library, NASA and NOAA. Students can also search images on the Web, Flickr Creative Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and Open Clipart. This gives them a plethora of options.

Shadow_image_pageStudents can do a map search to find a specific location, and they can view it in three different ways— standard view, satellite view, and hybrid view, which provides a satellite view with street names and areas of interest. To capture the map and use it in the project, students tap on the camera button at the bottom of the screen.

Shadow_mapWhen students find images they want to use, they tap on the image and it will jump into the timeline. When students are ready to record, they tap Next. Students can record their voice and add text, music from iTunes, or background music from the app. As they record, students can write on each slide to highlight different areas of the page.

After students finish recording, they can watch their completed video. As long as the “Save to Camera Roll” setting is turned on (it is on by default), the video will automatically save to the camera roll when the students tap Done.shadow_finished_2Students can also tap the No Thanks, I’ll Share Later button at the bottom. In this case, they can return to the video and share by tapping the icon in the upper right hand corner of the selected video.

Shadow_shareShadow Puppet EDU also provides images credits at the end of each video, as long as that option is turned on in the settings. This helps students recognize that even though they are using certain images for free, they are still responsible for practicing good digital citizenship by including citations. Tap the settings gear on the landing page to make changes to the settings.

Shadow_settingsHere’s a video I created using Shadow Puppet EDU about how to use Shadow Puppet EDU.


Common Core Connection

One of the great things about Shadow Puppet EDU is that there are many Common Core Connections. As is the case with most creation apps, students can use Shadow Puppet EDU to show their learning of anything and everything in order to address specific standards at each grade level. Teachers will also appreciate that the app provides options for projects and lets the user know which Common Core Standards that particular project addresses. Most of the projects students will create using Shadow Puppet EDU will address these standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience, and
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

There are additional examples of lesson ideas, including the standards they address, on the Shadow Puppet EDU website.

What Do You Think?

How have you used Shadow Puppet EDU in your classroom?

Translation Made Easier with Google Translate

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 10.43.59 AMThe Google Translate app has gotten some great updates for the travelers of the world, but their updates can greatly impact classroom conversations, as well. I have to admit that I’ve had the app on my iPad for quite some time and I haven’t done much with it, but I’m pretty excited about the updates and I think I’ll be using it more now! The updates allow for better translations to occur (think of your newcomers!!) and it also has visual recognition using the camera (again, think of your newcomers!).

How Does Google Translate Work?

The app launches with the languages set to English and Spanish. The language on the left is the input language, and the language on the right is the output. Tap on either language to change it. One option on the left (input) is also “Detect Language” if you aren’t sure about the language you are hearing or seeing. Google_Translate_1Enter text into the app by typing, speaking, writing (with a stylus or finger) or use the camera to snap a photo of some text.

Google_Translate_3

In the settings tab, tap on Handwriting if you’d like to turn off automatic typing when you are writing on the screen.
Google_Translate_5If you do choose to use the camera to snap a photo of some words you’d like translated, there will be some directions when you first launch that option.

Google_translate_2There are a pretty good number of languages available for translation. Tap on either the input language or the output language for all the options. Tapping on the arrows in the center will also swap the two languages for a quick input/output switch if you are having a conversation with someone who speaks a different language.

Google_Translate_6The settings gear at the bottom of the home screen has a lot of options for input, including dialect specifications. You can also hide offensive language using the settings.

Google_Translate_4

Common Core Connection

Using Google Translate can benefit all students learning to speak another language. Common Core does not have a World Languages component as of this publishing, but using this app can make the Common Core State Standards much more accessible for your English Learners, especially those in the early stages of language acquisition. It can also assist your English Only students in learning a language of their choice, which will only enhance their communication and cultural awareness.

What Do You Think?

How have you used Google Translate in the Classroom?

Flip Out over Flipagram

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 10.30.55 AMFlipagram is an app that allows you to create videos from the images you have on your iPad or in your social media accounts. Of course, there are other apps that do the same thing, but with Flipagram, students don’t need an account to create and save their video creations (unless they want to go back and edit a video they’ve already finished). Adding audio is as simple as choosing a 30-second song clip from the app or a song that has already been purchased, or recording a narration by the student.

How Does Flipagram Work?

When you open the app, it will probably tell you that you’ll want to start following friends and other interesting people, because Flipagram is a social sharing app. You can skip it if you wish– sharing isn’t required for using the app.  flipagram1Tap the plus sign to start adding images from the camera roll or from social media accounts (if that’s acceptable in your district/school/classroom).flipagram3Tap Camera Roll and choose all the images you want to use. Then choose Next.

flipagram5Once you’ve chosen your moments, you can rearrange them by tapping, holding, and dragging the images to the desired location. From this same screen, tap on any image to crop, edit, or add text.

filpagram6When you are finished cropping the images (moments) and adding text, choose Next. You’ll see the first image and you’ll be able to add a title.

IMG_4669The rest of the images can be seen in the timeline below the first image. You can tap on the smaller images to bring them up to the larger window. You can continue to add text to each image or edit images with filters. This is also where you will be able to change how quickly the images change, and you’ll find the music icon to add your audio. Tap Music and you’ll be given three options.IMG_1078Choose “Find Music” and you’ll see that the app has a number of 30-second song clips that can be used in the Flipagram video. Better, students can record their voices and narrate their creations. Before students add full versions of songs they own, they should be aware of Fair Use limitations. When you are finished, choose Done, and then choose Next. You’ll be taken to the Share screen. You can caption your video if you want to, but it’s only necessary if you are going to post the video to your Flipagram account. Personally, I keep the option of posting to my profile off.IMG_1083Students have many options for sharing their videos via email, social media sites, YouTube, or just by saving it to the camera roll, which is the best option. Saving to the camera roll means that students can “App-Smash” their videos into other apps, including Aurasma, iMovie, Explain Everything, or any other app that allows students to import video.

IMG_1084If you choose More to save to the camera roll and you don’t see that option, it’s because the app saves to the camera roll automatically by default. If you don’t have automatic saving turned on, one of the options under “more” will be to save to camera roll.

flipagram2If students do want to edit a flipagram after it’s been completed, they will need an account. However, if students don’t choose “Done,” they will be given the option to resume editing the unfinished flipagram.  IMG_4671

Common Core Connection

Flipagram can easily be used across grade levels and across content areas to help students in all standards of the Common Core, especially the Anchor Standards for Writing and Speaking and Listening. Using the app helps students to show their understanding of concepts. Students can work together to create a Flipagram video or they can ask others for feedback on the feeling their video promotes. In this way, students are boosting their collaboration and communication skills as well as their critical thinking and creativity skills. Post their Flipagrams on a website or tweet the links to build a broader audience for students.

What Do You Think?

Have you used Flipagram in the classroom? How have you and your students used the app and shared videos?

Get Creative with Paper by FiftyThree

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 4.04.09 PMYou might have heard an increase in the term “sketchnote” being used over the past year or two. Sketchnoting is a way of taking notes that involves using creative text and images to record notes. I’ve tried it a few times, and not only do my notes look really cool, but it helps me to remember the really important bits of a presentation or conference. If you are an educational psychology buff, you are probably saying to yourself, “Of course it does! That’s the Dual Coding Theory!”

You don’t have to be an artist or even a creative-type to sketchnote. All you need is a paper and a pencil— or if you are on the iPad, you will want to experiment with Paper by FiftyThree.

How Does Paper 53 Work?

Paper is a free app that has some in-app purchases. When you download the free app, you will have a limited palatte of colors, the calligraphy pen, and an eraser. You might want to start by checking out the guide, Making Paper.

Paper is organized into Journals. Users have the ability to create new journals or add pages to existing journals. You can also customize the front cover by choosing one of the covers available in the app or using an image from the camera roll, and of course you can name each journal.IMG_1033.PNGThere are two ways to unlock the color palette and additional drawing tools within Paper by 53. The first way is through the in-app purchases— roughly $8.95 in all. The other way is to purchase a Pencil by FiftyThree, which is the special stylus made by the company. When you sync the Pencil with the app, it unlocks all the tools. I was fortunate to receive a Pencil as a gift for my birthday (and then again for the holidays, but that’s a different story), and it has made all the difference in my ability to create sketch notes. I have found that using the Pencil greatly increases my comfort with writing and sketching/drawing in the app.

IMG_1059Notes or sketches made in Paper can be captured to the camera roll from the landing page. Open a journal, choose a page, and select the share button. Tap “Save to Camera.” This allows the sketches made in the app to be app-smashed into other apps.

IMG_1057.PNGBe sure to watch the video tutorial on the Paper by FiftyThree Website. Also check out Mix by FiftyThree. It’s a great way for students to play off the work of others.

Common Core Connection

Like many apps featured on this blog, using Paper by 53 helps students develop their communication, critical thinking, and creativity skills more than it helps them with specific Common Core standards. As students learn to take visual notes, highlighting key information with words and images rather than recording every word of a lecture, they are thinking critically about main ideas. When students start a Journal or notebook, it’s blank– and the blank pages mean that students have total creative control over what they will do with each page.

Classroom Ideas

Students can use Paper to do a number of things in class:

  • Take visual notes
  • Sketch an idea
  • Create a Thinking Map
  • Remix an image related to curriculum found on Mix
  • Draw the background for slides used in Keynote, Haiku Deck, or Google Presentations

What Do You Think?

There are so many more ideas for using Paper with students in class. How are you using Paper with students?

 

Contact Your Entire Class Quickly with Gmail Groups

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 2.32.33 PMContacting entire classes of students with gmail is quick and easy when you create a contact group for each of your classes. This action was a request from a group of teachers that I work with, and I’m sure other teachers are wanting to email classes, too. One way to do this is to set up email groups for each class within Gmail so you can quickly send a mass email.

How to Create A Group

Sign into your Google Apps for Education account at http://gmail.com. On the left, you will see where it says Mail in large letters. Click on the down arrow to get a menu. Click on Contacts.

contactsAs I often tell teachers, there are multiple ways to do anything within Google. Some methods are easier than others, but it’s all about personal preference. I’ll give you a couple of options for creating your groups.

Directory

The fastest option is to check and see if your domain has kept access to the Directory. You will find this in the menu on the left. directoryIf you do have access to the directory, clicking on it will bring up every email address in your domain. You can go through and click the checkbox next to each of your students’ or colleagues’ names. When you are finished with the checkboxes, choose “Add to My Contacts.”

Next, go through your contacts and check the names of the people you are adding to a particular group. Then click the down arrow next to the icon of three people, and check the box next to the name of the group you are adding them to.add group members

If you haven’t created the group yet, click Create New. Name your group. Any email address that is checked when you create the new group will be added to the group.

You can see what groups a contact belongs to by looking to the far right of the screen. You can always undo the action if you need to. groups on right

You can also set up the new group before you go through the directory. Just choose “Create New Group” from the menu on the left and give the group a name before you go through the directory.

AddNewGroupAdd to Contacts

If you are in a Google Apps for Education Domain, you may have everyone in your domain as part of your contacts list. In the menu across the top, there is an icon of a person with a + sign. If you choose the down arrow next to the icon, a field will appear and you will be able to type a contact’s full email address into the field. Those contacts that are in your domain should populate and you’ll be able to arrow down to highlight the name and hit tab so you can type in the next contact. A comma  is automatically entered between each email address. When you are all finished, click Add and your new contacts will appear in your contacts.add addressesGo through the same procedure as above to add these new contacts to a specific group. Make sure to click Apply if it is an option.

If you make a mistake typing in an email address or name, click on that person’s name in your contacts list. The contact information will come up on the next screen. Hover your mouse over any field, including the current email address, in order to edit any part of the information. No need to hit a save button- just click outside of the field and the updated information will be saved automatically.

Group Contacts on the iPad

Creating a group in Gmail makes it easy to contact students if you are emailing them from a computer or from the desktop version of Gmail on the iPad. As you can see, typing in the first part of the group name brings up the group you created.contact listThe group doesn’t become one of your contacts, however, which makes it a little more difficult to email from the iPad. In order to quickly email all students from the iPad, send a blank group email and cc yourself. Any time you need to contact your students, do so with a “reply all” from that original message.

 What Do You Think?

Have you found an easier way to email students quickly and easily? If so, share it here!

 

 

 

 

YouTube: Add Sections to Your Channel

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 9.44.56 AMIn a previous post, I talked about how to create a playlist. Making playlists is the first step when gathering videos for a lesson, and once you’ve done this, making playlists easily accessible to students is the next step. This post will show you how to edit your channel navigation so that you can put a playlist on the home page of your channel for easy access. Students are able to view your playlists by choosing playlist from your channel menu, but adding the playlist to your channel for a short time gives them immediate access to the lessons. One of my favorite things about doing this is that you can put a playlist up for a unit of study, and when you are finished with that unit, you can hide that playlist and put your next one on your channel’s landing page.

Edit Channel Navigation

This video will walk you through the steps for editing your channel navigation. This must be done in order to put a playlist on the landing page of your channel. It will enable you to add sections to your channel.

Add A Playlist to Your Channel

If you aren’t already there, click on the menu next to the YouTube logo in the upper left and navigate to “My Channel.”YouTube My ChannelNow that you are able to add sections to your channel,  you will click the “Add Section” button. If you don’t have this button on your home page, please watch the video above! The button will be located under the area for an Unsubscribed Channel trailer. This is an optional video that you can create to let others know what your channel is all about. Add a Section to ChannelClick on the Content dropdown menu and choose Single Playlist. When you do this, a new set of menus will appear underneath the Content and Layout menus. You can also change the layout from horizontal to vertical.Add a Section 2There are two options under Choose A Playlist. Click on the option on the right that says “Find playlist.” This will bring up all the playlists you have created. Choose the one you’d like to display on your channel.Add a Section 4A preview of what your playlist will look like appears, and if you are satisfied, choose Done in the upper right-hand corner of the workspace. Now students (or anyone who visits your channel) will be able to see this playlist when they visit your channel.

Remove the Playlist from Your Channel

Removing a playlist will not destroy it, but instead it will hide it from the front page of your channel. To do this, hover your mouse over the playlist you’d like to remove. In the right-hand corner of the playlist, you will see the edit icon (pencil) appear. Click the pencil.YouTube edit buttonYou will now see the menu that you used to add the channel to your section, and in the upper right-hand corner you will see a trash can. Clicking the trashcan will remove the playlist from your channel’s home page, but it will not remove the playlist from you account. You can always add it back if you change your mind by following the steps for adding a playlist to your channel.Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 9.29.10 AM

What Do You Think?

How have you used YouTube playlists on your channel home page? Do you have other suggestions for helping your students find your videos easily?

 

 

 

How to Create a Playlist in YouTube

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 5.11.28 PM

Gathering videos on a YouTube playlist is an awesome way to collect video resources for your students. You can include videos you’ve created for students, and you can also explore YouTube for videos that others have created for educational purposes. This post will just deal with creating the playlist. In the next post, I will show you how to edit your channel so that you can put your playlists on your channel for students to have easy access to the videos you want them to watch.

How Do You Create a Playlist?

1. Make sure you are logged into YouTube with your GAFE account (if you use Google Apps for Education in your classroom) or whichever account you will point your students to.YouTube sign in

2. Search for a video you want to add to the playlist.YouTube video search

3. Click on the video you want to view and/or save, and look at the menu under the video. You will see an “Add To” button. YouTube Add to

4. If you have already created some playlists, you will see all of them when you click on “Add To.” Check a playlist to add the video to that list. If you do not already have a playlist, choose “Create new playlist.” You will have the option to make your playlist public, unlisted, or private. Public playlists are always available on your playlists page. Unlisted playlists and private playlists are available to your eyes only. To share a playlist with students, it must be public. You can change this at any time in playlist settings.

YouTube Create PlaylistScreen Shot 2014-11-11 at 9.33.10 AM

 

5. Now that you’ve created a playlist, where do you go to see it? Click on the menu next to the YouTube icon at the top left. You can either click on “My Channel” choose one of your playlists from the ones that are listed in the menu.

YouTube MenuPlaylists can be as long or as short as you’d like them to be. You could have a playlist for each unit of study, or you could have a playlist for each week– whatever works best for your students.

What Do You Think?

How have you used YouTube playlists with students?

 

Create Beautiful Infographics on the iPad with Canva

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 10.06.27 AMInfographics are visual images used to represent images or data. We used to just call them graphs or charts, because that’s usually what they were. Over the past few years, however, there has been an upswing in the number of infographics created to portray data in a visual way. There are many free online tools, such as Piktochart and Canva, that allow students to easily create infographics on their own. Now Canva also has an iPad app that students can use as they create visuals to communicate knowledge and information with others.

 How Does It Work?

Students begin by choosing a customizable design. Any designs that have already been created will be in the “Your Designs” section.

IMG_0974From there, students will choose a vibrant layout. Each layout is customizable, even down to changing the entire background. The text that is part of the layout is just a place holder– students can double tap on any word and change the text on the page. They can also change the font, the color, the size– anything!

IMG_0975Using the Uploads tab on the left, students can also upload their own images from the camera roll or take a photo. Then they can add a background and add different artistic text features. Just tap on one of the choices and it will pop into the graphic. Even with the fancy text features, the text is just a placeholder and everything can be customized.

IMG_0977When students are ready to share the infographic, they have a couple of options.

IMG_0983

The first option is to share via mail or Twitter. The other option is to download the infographic either as an image or as a PDF. Students can then “Send image to…” which allows them to open the document or image in another app. However, in order to save the images to the camera roll, a couple of additional steps are required.

  1. Download as an image.
  2. Choose “Send image to…”
  3. At the bottom of the two columns, choose “Quick Look”
  4. This opens the image. In the upper right hand corner, you’ll see the share button (square with an arrow)
  5. Tap the send button and choose “Save Image.” This saves the images to the camera roll. You will need to do this with each page of the infographic.IMG_0984

Common Core Connection

When thinking about reading in the Common Core, it’s important to remember that text doesn’t necessarily have to be articles, essays, novels, and the like. Text is all encompassing of many different types of media.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

Students are practicing creativity and communication skills, as well, when they create infographics, and the best part is that they can be used for students to show their understanding of just about anything. They can also be used for students to synthesize information they have gathered from multiple sources around one idea or argument.

What Do You Think?

How are you using infographics in the classroom with your students? What are your favorite tools for this?

QR Codes: Hanging Digital Work on Classroom Walls

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 10.38.30 AMQR codes are everywhere, from product packaging to business cards. But what is a QR code, and why should teachers care? One of the biggest concerns I hear from teachers as students create more and more digital products is that there won’t be any student work to hang on the walls. Using QR codes allows students to create a portion of a project on paper– such as an illustration or some other work of art– and the student can then make a QR code that contains the digital product they’ve created to go along with it. Print the QR code, attach it to the artwork, and anyone with a mobile device can view the project in its entirety.

Reading QR Codes

My favorite app for reading QR codes is i-nigma. It’s the quickest reader I’ve come across. Just launch the app, hold your phone or iPad up to the QR code, and wait for the ding. You won’t have to wait very long– the app uses the camera of the device and it uses the whole screen to scan the code, not a little red line within a special place on the screen. It’s seriously fast. There are other apps you could use, such as Red Laser (an iPhone app that works on the iPad), QR Reader for iPad, or Qrafter. All of those apps are great because you can also create QR codes directly from the device. But the fastest reader out there is i-nigma.

Below is an infographic I created about QR codes with some ideas for how they can be used in the classroom.

Common Core Connection

It is a stretch to say that there’s a Common Core connection when using QR codes in the classroom, but they do help with the dissemination of information. Using QR codes provides students with easy access to materials you create or websites you would like for them to visit. It also provides a quick way for anyone coming through the classroom to have access to the digital products your students are creating, and those digital products are all reflective of their understanding of Common Core State Standards. Additionally, having students create QR codes for their own work helps them develop their digital literacy skills as they learn new ways to share their work.

What Do You Think?

How have you used QR codes in your classroom? what is your favorite tool for reading or creating them?

Student Authoring with Book Creator

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 6.42.04 PMBack in the days before technology was so readily available, I had my students write stories and turn them into books using file folders covered with construction paper as book covers, and we would bind them using the giant book-binder and plastic bindings that I purchased for my classroom. We would create collaborative class books in the same way. Today, students can use apps on the iPad that to write and publish their own e-books. One such app, Book Creator, by Red Jumper, is easy to use and allows students to create beautiful books on the iPad that are viewable in many different apps, including iBooks.

How Does Book Creator Work?

If this is your first time using the app, be sure to take a look at the Getting Started guide. It allows you to see a book and it gives you the chance to move things around and explore before having to create your own.Book_Creator_start

When you tap “New Book” to create a new project, you will have the chance to choose the type of book you’d like: portrait, square or landscape. Book_Creator_shape

The book will open to a blank cover. It’s up to the author to decide what should go on the book’s cover. There are many different types of elements for students to add to the cover and to the pages of the book.Book_Creator_elements

Elements can be moved around the page, resized, and deleted if necessary. Tapping on an element and then on the “i” icon will open an editing menu for the element.Book_Creator_edit_text

You can also tap on the “i” icon without having anything highlighted, and that will open the menu to edit the page.Book_Creator_edit_page

When the book is finished, you can open it in other apps, or it can be exported in a variety of formats. You can export it as an ePub, a PDF, or a video. Books can also be opened in other apps. This can be done from within a book or from the “My Books” page.Book_Creator_open_in

Common Core Connection

If I listed all of the Common Core State Standards that could be addressed as students use Book Creator app, this post would go on forever! The app can be used for students to meet just about any Common Core State Standard in English Language Arts or in Math. Writing books helps students show what they know about any topic in any subject matter. Using Book Creator is a fantastic way to help students not only show their understanding to the teacher and their classmates, but they can share their books with the world, as well. Along with the Common Core standards that are being met, students exhibit the 21st Century Skills of communication, critical thinking, and creativity when they create. Of course, if the book is a collaborative effort, and if students share their books with others and ask for feedback, they are also using collaboration skills.

What Do You Think?

How have you used Book Creator in your classroom? What kinds of books have you asked students to write?