Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What Else Did I Learn at iSummit?

Ok . . . I promised I would share some of the other things I learned at iSummit so here goes . . .

First up is News-O-Matic.  This is an free app that delivers current informational text to your students on their iPads. I can't wait to include this as a regular part of my reading workshop next year. Have a look.

Animoto-  This is so awesome! I have used the lite version and created 30 sec. videos of my class.  I have wanted to upgrade many times to record longer videos, but this girl is on a budget.  So I was excited to learn that I can record up to 10 minutes free with an Animoto for Education account. It's free to sign-up. With the Educator's Account, you also get a code so your students can create videos as well.  If you haven't used it before, don't worry, it's so easy.  You just click on the pictures you want to include and select your theme and music.  So simple! This is one of the 30 sec. videos I created last year.

Science Rocks!

Green Screens- I found out how easy it is to create movies and photos using a green screen effect.  You don't have to have an elaborate screen.  You can use green (or blue) construction paper for your background. Here is a picture I took using my iPhone and the app Green Screen Mobile Effects.

True, there are only 2 background choices with the free version of this app and you probably want to use iMovie to record your videos.  What I learned is that is important to have students plan their project.  Deciding on the background and completing a script before they even say "Action" is the way to go. I won't be winning any academy awards, but I am ready to give it a try.

iBooks- I am excited about the possibilities of creating my own books for my class using iBooks.  This is a great way to compile all the information, resources, videos, etc. in one place.  The only problem is I have to get a Mac.  Students can consume the material through iTunes University on an iPad, but you have to create it on a Mac.  I'm working on that.

SAMR Model- I learned that when using the SAMR Model to guide you with technology integration, substitution is not necessarily a bad thing.  Just know the higher up you go on the scale, the greater the student engagement. If you notice the line between "Enhancement" and "Transformation" on the scale, you will find that the greatest benefit occurs "above the line".  The important thing when planning activities is to start with the task in mind, not the app.  Don't just use an app for the sake of using an app.  Use it because it enhances student learning.

Click on image to get a full sized view
Image from DigitialLearningTeam.org

Augmented Reality- This is something I really need to learn more about.  I currently use QR Codes, but that is just scratching the surface of what's possible. TagWhat is an app that you use to give information about things or places nearby.  Imagine using it to find out about historical events that occurred around your school or even using it to provide additional information to students while on a field trip. Are you using AR in your classroom? Please share some of your ideas. 

Google Docs- Finally, if you haven't used Google Docs in your class, you just might want to give it a try. It would put an end to the problem of leaving work at home or losing a flash drive.  Everything is in the clouds. I started using Google Docs in my writing workshop last year and I am loving it!  I wrote a post earlier in the year about how I was able to conference with my students during the snow storm. Well, I learned a few new things to enhance my writing program for next year.  I may have students do more collaboration because I can check the revision history and see who contributed what to a project.  Just go to file, and check revision history.  Click on "tools" and "research" to find images to add to your work or click "Quotations"  and Google will cite your sources at the bottom of your paper. I also learned that I can right click on a folder to change the folder colors.  I know, I know, this may seem trivial, but I love it!

I learned a lot at the conference, but I also know I have so much more to learn.  If you have never attended iSummit, you should consider going.  There is so much great information and the food is delicious!  Next year iSummit will once again be held at The Westminster Schools during the month of June.   Make plans to attend. 


  1. Loved seeing you at ISTE and reading about your experience there, may be contacting you as we start using Ipads more!

    1. Julie it was great to see you too! I would be happy to help any way I can!



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