In the previous post - Book Creator Part 1 I talked about how great the app is and some of the things that the Elementary teachers are doing with it. This post is going to talk about sharing the books and workflow.
When I attended the incredible iPad Summit Atlanta in April one of the take aways for me was the importance of workflow and work arounds. This is especially important at a school such as mine where we are cross platform. Our ES lab is full of touch screen new PC’s and we have iPad carts for all of grade levels 2-5. It soon became apparent that we needed to make all of these work together as we also are a Google Apps school.
The solution was introduced to me at the Summit in the Google Drive app. Now don’t go the idea I didn’t know about the app. I did and I used it but I had not really understood how powerful it was. This is what was emphasized at the summit over and over. Once I had a grasp on what could be done I have started introducing it to the teachers and will make sure that it is one of the first things talked about next year during inservice days. I am bless to work with teachers who, for the most part, understand how Google Drive works on a desk top. Now we just have to make the transition of knowledge over to the iPad. Book Creator is a great example of how Google Drive can support the teachers.
In order for this to work seamlessly you must have the Google Drive app downloaded on your iPad as well as iBooks. (It is also very important that you have the updated version of Google Drive, iBooks and Book Creator for this to work.) When the book is completed in Book Creator you can send it directly to iBooks but it is still only located on that one iPad. I know that teachers do not want to have to collect 24 iPads and work with those so this is the genius of Google Drive but there are a few things to take care of first.
1. The students will be sending to the teachers Google Drive account so you will need to make sure that the individual iPad has the correct log in for Google Drive. It is totally up to the teacher how you want to set up your Google Drive. Each of our teachers have a school Google Drive account and most are using those though after the project is completed they change the password.
2. Book Creator uses the .epub format and therefore can only be opened in an app that recognizes this format. Google Drive does not. You need to think of Google Drive as a bridge you must use to get to the other side. It is not a place to park or work in directly with these projects but helps you get where you are going.
OK on with the journey! Once the book is completed or in a place where the teacher wants to assess the progress, the students will send the book to Google Drive by choosing “Open in Google Drive”. The book will then appear in the teachers Google Drive account usually with the words “A new book – 1.epub” or something similar but always has the .epub designation. The teacher will open that document and will receive a message ”unable to open file”. This can be frustrating but do not worry because either below or up in the right hand corner you will see the words “Open in….”. Touch and you will see the apps that will open the .epub format including Book Creator and iBooks. It is totally up to you which one you use. I tend to use the iBooks because I want a copy of the book in the Library. If I open it in Book Creator I am concerned that I may accidently change something. You repeat this process for each of the books your students have sent you until you have them all on your iPad.
From here you are able to review and assess what the students have done. If you have made corrections or suggestions in the books themselves you repeat the process and send the books back to the Google Drive account. The students then can open up their individual iPads, open up Google Drive and get their book and upload it to the Book Creator app. From there the teacher can move forward.
You do not lose the books from the Book Creator app unless you deliberately delete them.
While I was in the process of writing this post the Spanish teachers who had created the Guatemalan project I talked about in Part One rushed in to figure out how to get the books from one iPad to a bunch of iPads as parents were coming and they wanted to show off the students work. That is where we learned the importance of having the apps updated because we could not get it to work in the beginning. In desperation I checked for the updates and after those were downloaded everything worked beautifully. This afternoon parents will be able to see the work their children have done plus also make sure they download a copy if they wish to do so. Life is good.
Do Something is a non-profit organization in the intersection of teens and social change, activism.
There are tons of ideas on their site to help young people take action. I especially liked one about what makes you mad and the call for changing things around.
As I have a tight schedule, I was considering adapting the idea to something simpler:
>> Groups decide what make them really mad
>> They make a fact sheet with 8 facts about their issue, starting with, "Did you know that...?"
>> They create a motto about the situation
>> Students then write a manifesto about their topic to raise awareness and finishes the manifesto with the life motto they've created.
>> Taking a step further, we could vote for the best group motto and then create posters and even print T-shirts with the motto on it.
Simple and sweet. I guess this would be a great opportunity to talk about community issues, have students as agents of awareness & change, all that being done in English. What do teachers think? email@example.com (Carla arena)
Séminaire en ligne gratuit : Des outils TICE qui ont fait leurs preuves -- le 20 juin 2013 de 19 à 20h30.
During the past eight months I have slowly introduced iPad apps to the Elementary staff. Apps like iMovie, Show Me and Evernote were at the top of the list. It has been exciting to see the products that have been produced by these apps by both students and teachers. But by far the most interesting app that I was able to introduce was Book Creator.
It all started a few months ago when one of the Grade 3 teachers was telling me about a project her students were going to be working on that involved writing and illustrating a book. She wanted to know if I knew of an app that would help with this. I had literally just read about Book Creator a couple of weeks before and had downloaded it on my iPad to check it out. I showed the book I had created to her and immediately she knew this is what she wanted. I was able to get it on the Grade 3 cart and she was ready to go.
I had created one book to see how it worked but it was really with the help of the teacher and her students that I learned more. What a great job the students did and they loved it. The produced their own books and were able to share them with each other and with parents.
Of course, her success led to other teachers coming to me and wanting to know how to use the app and the ball started rolling and has gained momentum especially over the past three weeks. I have been able to share it with almost all 40 teachers and they have come up with some wonderful projects. We are already talking about what can be done during the next school year.
It is an extremely intuitive app to use and with each update the developers add more exciting features. In fact, I learned about one yesterday while showing one of our Spanish teachers how to create a book. I had not realized that you could put a soundtrack on that ran through the whole book. It was one of those discoveries that was by accident but a feature I had been wishing existed. I really don’t know how long it has been part of the app but I love. Previously I had only been able to get music on one page.
For the most part our teachers have created fiction books with their students and they have been very good. What I like about this app is that it is really the final step in the creation process. Students need to plan their books out, write the text, get the pictures which many are being hand drawn and then photographed to be imported into the book, edit and then finally move to Book Creator for the production. When the book is finished it is uploaded to iBooks.
As this app produces the book in the epub format it works best in iBooks but the book can also be made into a pdf and sent to parents who may not use Apple products. The pdf format works very well except that any recordings or music do not appear in the book.
Another book that our Grade 2 Spanish teacher is producing is a Guatemala Tourist Guide to all the monuments in the city. Guatemala City is made up of different zones and there are many monuments in each of these zones. The students each studied one of the monuments and created it out of plasticiene. A picture was taken for a page in the book and then the student recorded the information about that monument. The book was completed and uploaded into iBooks. The pictures below give you a bit of an idea of how a couple of the pages looked. The best part is that there are now excellent books created that the teachers, students and parents can share and also use them for information.
Monuments made out of plasticene
- Monument in Zone 14
For some, I might seem confident and a bit tech-savvy.
However, with teens it seems that I'm bond to failure. That's how I feel so often. Teaching them is like a roller coaster. Yes, don't get me wrong! Sometimes I fear I won't reach them. Every time I prepare my classes I have the feeling that I'm about to fail miserably. It is like that first part of the ride in the roller coaster when you really don't know what's next and your stomach swirls.
My classes are always a box of surprise. Teens never stop to amaze me when I get to that adrenaline part of the ride - being in the classroom. They are always surprising me with their wittiness, creativity, eagerness to do something different. What I've come to realize in my ride is that every time I take for granted what they like, what moves them, what ticks them, that's when I fail. There's no way out. I use the book, but I can't just follow as it is. Why? The topics are totally apart from my teens' dreams, reality, daily lives. So, just like they have to adapt to me, to my own teaching style, I must be open to adapt to them, right?
Last class, for example, I wanted to give an example on the board and invited them to give a name of a famous person. Oh my! I could see the sparkle in their eyes talking about Megan Fox and Ian-I-Don't-know-who! They wanted to show me photos, they wanted to know if I thought they were cute. And when I said they were not my style. They wanted to know who I liked. Well, "besides my husband??? Andy Garcia!" . "Andy, who, teacher?!" "Oh never mind..." This is exactly the bridge we need to cross to enjoy the ride until our next failure or until our next adrenaline rush.
So, how do you feel about teaching teens? firstname.lastname@example.org (Carla arena)
>> developing listening skills
>> practicing our empathy at all times, even when we feel like giving up
>> preparing lessons that are brain-friendly, helping our students emerge as engaged learners
To complement my list, I've come across this wonderful chart from an edudemic post:
Is there any other skill you think educators should work on to become full-fledged professionals in our times?
email@example.com (Carla arena)
We will not have class this week due to the teacher’s strike in the university. When the teachers are on strike I must support them. However, not having class provides you with an excellent opportunity to do the next project contiguous with Units 12, 13, and 14, and also to do some extra studying, since we are getting close to the Module 1 exam, which will take place after Unit 18 (in two classes!).
As a response to Units 12, 13, and 14, you will be creating a project which will be an online version of your Personal Learning Philosophy. When you finish your project, post the link to it on your blog. When you post something on your blog, remember to write a short description about what you are linking to.
You can present your Personal Learning Philosophy as
- a Voki,
- a Fotobabble,
- a Prezi (online active PPT presentation),
- a Voicethread,
- a Voxopop,
- an AboutMe,
- a talking PPT that you find at Knovio.com,
- or any other Web 2.0 tool that you find to share the information in a visual format on your blog.
Include how you best learn, what you most like to do, and include information such as:
Your personal learning style and your multiple intelligences. and how knowing these can affect and improve your teaching. Address the following questions in your presentation in a reflection:
- How can knowing your learning styles and intelligences help you as a teacher?
- How important is it to know the learning styles and needs of your learners?
You may work together to support each other as you work on your projects. Don’t forget to work on the quizzes that Yesy has left you on her blog.
Thanks to my friend +Sara Rodríguez Arias, I share with you a series of webinars I found in the Prezi website about how to get started and create your own Prezis.
Beginner Course: From First Steps to First Show
This two-hour session split over two days is for everyone that wants to learn how to create and show a Prezi.
- May 14, 10:30 -11:30 AM PST
- May 15, 10:30 -11:30 AM PST
- You can use the World Clock Converter to know the time of the webinar in your country.
You can register now! Here is one of their recorded webinars:
I'm thinking about using Prezi with my students in the next semester. This means I have to know all about it and its potential in my classes. I hope these two sessions would be of a great help.
See you there!
1. DrawVille - this is a very simple tool and doesn't require registration. All you need to do is to type in your name and click on Start Drawing. Once you are in, you can send the link to people you want to join the lesson and wait for their names to appear in the 'users' list. There is also a chat room which I used to answer my student's questions. (For this lesson I invited 1 student because he was the only one who had questions about adjectives and adverbs.)
At the end of the session the whiteboard looked like this:
While I was typing in the explanation, my student used a black marker to draw my attention to points that he wanted clarification for or examples of. We also used the chat room to discuss what was being explained. Here's a screenshot of some parts of the chat.
My student really enjoyed the lesson and the whiteboard and to experiment with it he wrote 'Thank you' in a circle, which you can see at the bottom of the whiteboard. To save the lesson we both clicked on "Export drawing surface", which allows saving the surface in JPEG. Now if need be, I can upload or share the lesson with other students in the future.
2. The next tool is Scriblink which again doesn't require registration. You only need to run Java on your computer and the whiteboard loads immediately. This tool has a chat room too. It also has maths formulas so it might be of interest to maths teachers too. There are options for grids and image upload, which is quite useful. I think I can simply make a screenshot of a piece of writing sent by a student, upload it to the whiteboard as image, invite a student to the session and go over mistakes in the writing task. Because this tool has 5 whiteboards in 1, I can also use the other ones to explain grammar in which that particular student made the most mistakes.
I used this tool to explain Present Continuous.
The save option here only sends a link to your mailbox from which you can later access the lesson. So I just took a screenshot of the lesson, to be able to upload or share it.
3. The third one is CoSketch a multi-user online whiteboard. It doesn't require registration and all you need to do is click 'Create new sketch' and you are ready to start. There is a chat room, and it can be hidden if need be. This site is also connected to Google Maps which makes it possible to teach Geography as well. It is easy to write/type or draw on the map. Thus it can also be used for giving directions from one place to another in one city. For a sample map, I created this one:
Exporting is disabled for maps, but a screenshot solves this problem.
However, what I used this tool for was just an English language lesson. But here I asked my students to match normal and strong adjectives by drawing lines.
The board then can be saved as an embeddable image. However, I just made a screenshot of the board again to save it as a JPEG file. This one is also a very nice and useful tool.
4. One of the extras is Twiddla. The reason why I put it into extras is that it doesn't have many options for the free account. However, on the website it says that after registering, if you send an email to them from an .edu account (or similar), they will provide you with the Pro account for free, which is really nice. The tool is the only one among the ones I have had a look at that has a webconferencing (voice communication) option. It also has mathematical formulas and 2 different grid options. The board can be saved as an image and then re-used. Twiddla is really worth looking at.
5. The last one is Scribblar but I didn't test it, because it seems that the free version doesn't allow a lot of freedom. However, you might find it useful.
Like I said in a previous post, most of the sessions I attended were related to the Learning Technologies SIG.
These are some sessions I attended and truly recommend watching:
NICKY HOCKLY - Moving with the times: mobile literacy & ELT LUKE MEDDINGS and BURCY AKYOL - Unplugged and Connected: where ideas meet (DOGME + TECH)
NIK PEACHEY - Evaluating web-based tools for language instruction
RUSSELL STANNARD - Using technology to provide content-rich feedback
GRAHAM STANLEY - Creative pedagogy, language learning and technology
It's a pity I couldn't find the recordings of other SUPERB sessions I would love to share as well, such as : Carla Arena's, Joe Dale's , Gavin Dudeney's , Paul Driver's and some I didn't get to watch such as Shelly Terrell's, Heike Philip's and the list goes on.
Hope you enjoy my selection.