Mrs. Kite's Adventures in Education

Detailing my amazing journey to becoming a teacher!

Final Reflection

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Bye…..#ded318! Its the final reflection for Fall 2015’s DED 318 at Kansas State! What? Did you think I meant this was the final blog post EVER? Silly readers!

Is this the end? Am I leaving forever? Of course not, dear friends, just see the caption above. This post is titled “Final Reflection”, but I promise that is not the same thing as “Final Blogpost”, “Goodbye Forever”, or “Peace Out, I Am Out Of Here!” What the title refers to really is that this is my final reflection for my Educational Technology for Teaching and Learning (#ded318)  course here at Kansas State University. It’s that time of the semester again where final exams and final projects are completed so college students like me can show what we have learned the past 16 weeks, and reflect upon that learning. That, in a nutshell, is the purpose of this week’s blog. I promise, I will (hopefully) survive Finals Week here at KSU and will return to blog again! For now, however . . .

I just could not resist the opportunity to put another Star Wars reference into one of my DED 318 blogs! So let's get the BB-8 rolling, shall we?

I just could not resist the opportunity to put another Star Wars reference into one of my DED 318 blogs! So let’s get the BB-8 rolling, shall we?

For my “Final Reflection”, I will answer two questions. Here are those questions and my answers, I hope you enjoy reading them

Question 1: Discuss the TWO (2) tools that were your personal favorites from the semester and why.

Image courtesy Google Images via flickr.com

Image courtesy Google Images via flickr.com

This question is a difficult one to answer. There are so many great tools to choose from, and even though I was lucky enough to go into DED 318 with a bit of a background in technology, I got to use several tools I had not yet stumbled upon. As for that technology background, I might be a bit older than your typical college student (*cough* mid-thirties *cough*), but I grew up around tech. I know that you might find that a bit hard to believe, after all we are talking about the 1980s and 90s. In spite of the fact I came of age a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away . . . I just cannot help myself, I’m sorry!), I actually knew how to type my name on a computer keyboard before I could write it on paper. Even though money was tight growing up, and it meant giving up other things, my father always made sure that we had a working computer growing up. When I was young it was a Commodore 64, followed by a Commodore 128. Then came my preteen years and the incredible Amiga. Oh, how I loved my dad’s Amiga computer. Oh, how I miss it! And I am not the only one who does:

Image courtesy Google Images via commons.wikimedia.org

Image courtesy Google Images via commons.wikimedia.org

Then came the internet, BBS’s, AOL, AIM, and then my own personal “Dark Ages”: my young adult years, on my own with no computer to call my own. Finally, though, my husband and I were able to buy a computer and internet access and finally came the amazing tech breakthroughs that were the Rise of the Tablets and Smartphones. So when I entered DED 318, I did have experience with iPads. The first iPad came out when my husband and I realized that our eldest daughter needed some educational enrichment at home (her school was amazing, but she is a child who benefits from increased learning activities), and after some research we decided the iPad was the tool that could give us the most bang for our buck. When my husband re-enlisted in the military, we set his bonus back so we could get one for her. Mom, of course, did the set-up and approved and tested all the apps (I know, poor me, right?). Then when I started school online I got an iPad as well (Generation 3) because I knew what this amazing tool can do and the educational benefits it has (if used properly). I eventually transferred to K-State, of course, and this fall when I entered DED 318 and checked out my iPad Air (my iPad 3 needs some TLC, so I thought it was best to check one out this semester), I had already had some exposure to some of the great educational tools on the iPad. One thing I learned this semester, however, is that there are always great, new (and even some older) tools and apps awaiting discovery, and I had the chance to use and enjoy many new things this semester. This is why I am here, writing and thinking as I try to figure out which of these were my two favorites, and why you are here reading all of this exposition and wondering what these paragraphs have to do with anything.

via GIPHY

Aidia and Lili having some fun with Osmo

Aidia and Lili having some fun with Osmo

After exploring my blogposts from this year, I decided that the first tool which is my favorite is Osmo. Reading my post on my first experience with Osmo brought back all the fun that I had watching my kids use Osmo. That was the best part of the Osmo experience for me. I also had a blast using Osmo and its accompanying apps (Masterpiece, Newton, Words, and Tangram), but I do not think I really understood its power as an educational tool until I saw my kids explore all of the facets of Osmo. Whether it was using Words to quickly analyze a picture and attempt to be the first to correctly spell the word, solving a Tangram puzzle and turning individual shapes into whole images, using objects to guide the balls in Newton towards the target, or drawing with Masterpiece, my children were absolutely enthralled and their brains were engaged.

Photo courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/, taken by user Marie Coleman

Photo courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/, taken by user Marie Coleman

As I revisited Osmo’s website during this reflection, I learned that they now have a new Numbers game for Osmo complete with tiles; according to the description it utilizes addition, subtraction, and multiplication. I am excited to see that they keep adding to Osmo to enhance its capabilities for children ages 5-13 (that’s according to the website, I personally think that children both younger and older will also enjoy Osmo). This tool is at the top of my wishlist for both my home and my classroom. I can think of so many classroom lessons that Osmo could enhance from math (using Tangrams for geometrical concepts and Numbers for operations) to Language Arts (amping up the spelling list by using Words to set background pictures that help students understand the meaning of the word in addition to its spelling). I actually did a Microteaching Lesson (Loni Kite CTS MicroTeach) in my Core Teaching Skills lab this semester that as I reflect upon it, would work really well with Osmo; I can easily expand it into a full lesson by adding the use of Osmo and the Tangrams app to help teach the math  standard “Domain: Geometry K.G. Cluster: Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes. Standard-6. Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. For example, “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?” . I am super excited just thinking about it!

Image courtesy Google Images via tonyredhead.com

Image courtesy Google Images via tonyredhead.com

My second favorite tool that we used this semester was Adobe Slate. I admit that it was very hard for me to choose between this tool and iMovie for my “top two” slot. If you read my entry on Slate and my two entries on iMovie (one on making an iMovie trailer and one on making a full iMovie), you can see that I really enjoyed using both of these apps. As I started to reflect on my semester as a whole, however, Adobe Slate started winning out. I have used, and seen Slate used, in other classes throughout the semester. As I thought about the project my group and I made for Exceptional Children in the Regular Classroom, and projects from other student groups in both that class and in Core Teaching Skills, I realized once again how amazing Slate truly is. Each of the presentations I have seen using Adobe Slate has provided great information while looking amazing. Presentations using Adobe Slate are easy to watch, but best of all Slate is incredibly easy to use. Recently Adobe released a web-based version of Slate (and made improvements to the iOS app). This means bigger and better things for Adobe Slate users, the most exciting being that now we can work on our projects on both an iPad and a computer. The thing I love most about Adobe Slate, however, is its potential in an elementary school classroom. Slate makes it easy for students to make amazing presentations on any topic, from book reports to history reports. In addition, it comes with its own library of Creative Commons images which just makes it so much easier for helping students find pictures that they can legally use in a classroom presentation.

Question 2:  Look back through your entire blog (yes the whole thing), look at all you have learned.  Reflect on what you have learned this semester……..

Image Courtesy Google Images via teachingwithtechnologyhub.weebly.com

Image Courtesy Google Images via teachingwithtechnologyhub.weebly.com

As I look through my blogposts I wrote for DED 318 this semester, I am struck by how much I have learned. There is more to Educational Technology: Teaching & Learning at K-State than learning about great iPad tools to use in the classroom. In addition to learning about (and learning how to use!) these amazing tools, we get the unique experience of reading the blogs of other educators (and reflecting upon them) and of building the beginnings of our PLN on Twitter. When I walked into this course, I was already a huge fan of using technology in the classroom, and I believed then (and now) that technological literacy is important for both students and teachers. I loved the exposure to new apps I have yet to use with my kids at home, and I leave this course armed with new digital tools to take with me to my future classroom (and an e-mail subscription to Cyndi Danner-Kuhn’s Posthaven to alert me as new ones come rolling in!). The one thing I was super-skeptical about was using Twitter to build a PLN. My experience with social media lately has been one that seems fueled by people around me venting or getting into arguments when they take someone’s Facebook comment the wrong way, so I had my doubts that social media (even Twitter with its advantage of limiting the characters you can express your thoughts in) could encourage a positive atmosphere full of learning and sharing.

Image Courtesy of Google Images via pixabay.com

Image Courtesy of Google Images via pixabay.com

I was wrong, and this pleasantly surprised me. My professional Twitter feed is something that makes me smile and teaches me something new each time I look at it. I could never have imagined the simple power that comes from professional learning via Twitter. One of my favorite parts this semester of doing the reflections on blogs of other educators was looking those educators up on Twitter and following them, and then following the educators they follow. Out of the 93 twitter accounts I follow, the vast majority are educators that I learned about from paying attention to the Twitter feeds of the teachers whose blogs I read. I realize as I look back on this semester how much I am growing as a pre-service teacher as I grow and learn from my PLN. I cannot wait to continue building it!

Image Courtesy of Google Images via www.flickr.com

Image Courtesy of Google Images via www.flickr.com

There was also a lot that we covered this semester that really made me think. I thought a lot as we learned how to use various technological tools in our future classroom about how vital it is to make sure our technological integration in the classroom is meaningful. All too often, there are some school districts and even educators who think that simply having students complete a Power Point or do a little supervised web research is enough to check digital literacy off of their to-do list. The truth is there is so much more to digital literacy than using a few tools on a computer. With true technological integration, students learn more than how to use a tool or two. They learn how to be a good cyber citizen, they learn how to keep an open mind as they try new digital tools, and most importantly they learn how technology works to supplement and enhance their learning throughout their lives. By allowing us to explore various digital tools and asking us to reflect on how we would utilize them in the classroom, DED 318 sets up pre-service teachers such as myself to do just that. Technology is an amazing thing, shouldn’t we convey to our students how truly amazing it is?

Image courtesy Google Images via en.wikipedia.org

Image courtesy Google Images via en.wikipedia.org

Image courtesy Google Images via pixabay.com

Image courtesy Google Images via pixabay.com

Technology is so amazing that it will lead you to several “WOW” moments. Most of us are lucky, I think, to have one “WOW” moment in a course where you finally see the true impact on yourself of what you are learning. I was lucky enough to have several. There was the first time someone Retweeted my blogpost link and I realized that not only were the people whose blogs I was reflecting on looked at my post when I tagged them, but they also shared my post with their followers. Not only was that moment exciting, but it was also the first time I realized that someone other than my professor might possibly read my posts. Another “WOW” moment occurred when I made my first app tutorial. I have watched so many tutorials to learn how to get the most out of it, but never once did I think about teaching others about an app I enjoyed or knew how to use well. Not only can I create and share tutorials for apps we use in the classroom with my students, but I can share them with the world! There are many more, but these were two of my favorites.

Image Courtesy of Google Images via tech38.blogspot.com

Image Courtesy of Google Images via tech38.blogspot.com

Wow, this is really it. This is my last post specifically for DED 318 . . . I have learned so much. I have gained new digital tools for my “technology toolbox”. I have read and reflected on the blogs of amazing educators. I have started to build a Personal Learning Network on Twitter and through Google+ Communities. I have read about Professional Development conferences such as Miami Device, and even had a chance to explore the amazing presentations from the K12 Online Conference. Through this course I have grown and developed as a preservice teacher, and the amount I have learned is impossible to communicate in this simple blog. I have enjoyed every minute, and am looking forward to the day after I start teaching and I can e-mail Cyndi Danner-Kuhn and say “I am using what I learned in Ed Tech in my classroom”.

While this is the end of my DED 318 posts, it is not the end for my blog. In other words . . .

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Week 14 Reflection: Matthew R. Morris

It feels like it has been so long since I last saw you, Edublog community! How are you? Welcome back!

It feels like it has been so long since I last saw you, Edublog community! How are you? Welcome back!

It feels like it has been awhile since I have had a chance to sit down to read and reflect on an educator’s blog. Between Thanksgiving break, working on my iMovie project, and beginning preparations for final exams, time has seemed quite alien as it is moving at both a break neck pace and crawling along. This makes that last blog reflection in my rearview mirror feel so far away. Since it feels like such a long time between blog reflections, I wanted to make sure that I spent the time to find the most incredible blog that I have not had a chance to talk about yet. Since I have had the chance to reflect on the blogs of several amazing educators, I was sure this would take me quite awhile.

Matthew R. Morris Image courtesy of Google Images via matthewrmorris.com

Matthew R. Morris
Image courtesy of Google Images via matthewrmorris.com

I sat down at my computer and opened up Cyndi Danner-Kuhn’s Pinterest, steeling myself for an evening of reading several blogs to find a blog that would render me speechless; the blog from a master educator that I just had to share with the world. As it turns out, I didn’t even have to scroll down; the blog was right there towards the middle of my screen. The pin simply had the image of the educator, but there was something about this man’s smile and his red plaid shirt that made me want to read what he had to say. So I clicked the image and was introduced to the blog of Matthew R. Morris, an elementary educator/blogger/speaker/Anti-Racism activist from Toronto.

I could not stop reading Matthew R. Morris‘s blog posts. With each post came a new insight, and a new lesson for me to take forward into my future career. To say I was impressed is an understatement. For a brief moment, I was not sure which of his posts I would choose for a more in-depth written review (I say written review because I was actively reading and thinking about each post I clicked on; Mr. Morris’s blogposts are not posts you simply skim through). Then I clicked on Students are People Firstand this post grabbed me and would not let go.

I was caught by the post from the second I laid eyes on the image of the poem at the top of the blog, “Cause I Ain’t Got a Pencil” by Joshua T. Dickerson:

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Image from https://twitter.com/DSSI_ElemTeam/status/663548061017350148/photo/1

 

This poem moved me; its the reminder each teacher needs that the lives of students do not begin when they enter the classroom (nor do they end when they leave it). Sometimes a pencil is simply the least of a child’s worries. Matthew R. Morris then reinforces this point throughout his post.

How do you engage a student if you do not treat them like a person?  Image courtesy of Google Images via flickr.com

How do you engage a student if you do not treat them like a person?
Image courtesy of Google Images via flickr.com

Mr. Morris discusses the conversations he often hears teachers having about the potential of certain students based only on how a child behaves when they take on the role of “student”. A student who is consistently ill-prepared for class, for example, may lead some teachers to speculate that the only future that student can reach for is one working for a discount retailer. Mr. Morris points out that this kind of thinking is the result of teachers forgetting that students are also children; they are also human beings with lives and responsibilities separate from that of the classroom. As Matthew R. Morris points out, children spend the majority of their time outside of school and are more than just students. Mr. Morris also points out that teachers often do this when the cultures of the teacher and student do not align and the teacher resorts to the framework of student vs. teacher to frame their relationships with their students. As Mr. Morris reminds us, however, teaching requires a mind that is open to everything from the ever-changing curriculum to teacher-student interactions.

So why did this post speak to me so much louder than Matthew R. Morris’s other (and just as incredible) posts? In my block classes this semester at Kansas State University, we have spent a lot of time discussing the importance of building authentic student-teacher relationships and building experiences for each of our students which are relevant to their lives outside of the classroom. The importance of knowing who our students are as people is emphasized; after all, how can you make sure each child has the best possible educational experience in your classroom if you know nothing about them? Our job as educators is to set each student up for success, but we cannot do that if we have not taken the time to discover how they can succeed. In his blogpost, Matthew R. Morris brilliantly and succinctly reinforces the importance of treating students as people, not just as “students”.

It is important to remember that chastising students for not bringing their pencils to class is not our job as educators. Our job is to discover why students are not bringing their pencils to class, then using that information to provide them with the tools and support they will need for today and for tomorrow.

Image courtesy of Google Images via pixabay.com

Image courtesy of Google Images via pixabay.com

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CKV: Return Home to Douglas Avenue

Image courtesy Google Images via www.technologybitsbytesnibbles.info

Image courtesy Google Images via www.technologybitsbytesnibbles.info

This semester, I had the chance to complete a very special project. As part of DED 318: Educational Technology at Kansas State University‘s College of Education, one of the major projects for the course is creating a film for the Celebrate Kansas Voices website. Celebrate Kansas Voices is a statewide digital history project, much like Celebrate Oklahoma Voices and Celebrate Texas Voices. The Kansas project began in 2010, backed by the nonprofit group Story Chasers as well as other groups. The goal of this project is to collect and archive the stories of Kansas people as a way to preserve the history of our state and its people in the digital age.

Image courtesy Google Images via itunes.apple.com

Image courtesy Google Images via itunes.apple.com

Thanks to the 1:1 iPad initiative of Kansas State University’s College of Education that provides all students in Blocks A and B (elementary education students) and Blocks 1 and 2 (secondary education students) with iPads, creating our films was a nicely streamlined process. All video and photos can be shot with the iPad’s camera, and stored on the iPad to be used in iMovie, Apple‘s amazing video editing software. iMovie makes it incredibly easy to make your own film, and there are many positive aspects to the iOS version. To begin with, there are a nice number of different “themes” you can use for your film, each which comes with its own special scene transition (should you choose to use it). Also, adding your video and images is quite simple with iMovie.  If you can touch a film clip, you can drop it into your project and edit it simply by swiping the clip with your finger to the desired spot. You can rearrange clips as you choose, and iMovie makes it easy to record narration and even includes a few bits of music you can use. The audio volume can be adjusted, and music speed can be changed. You can add original tracks from Garage Band easily, and if you have the license to do so, you can even add music from your iTunes library.

Image courtesy Google Images via tunes.apple.com

Image courtesy Google Images via tunes.apple.com

The one drawback to iMovie for iOS is that the title options are limited for adding your text to your video backgrounds. If you want to make a separate title card, however, this can easily be done in presentation apps such as Keynote. All you need to do is create the text card and take a screenshot of it with your iPad.

Image courtesy Google Images via www.sketchport.com

Image courtesy Google Images via www.sketchport.com

Since you can use still photos in iMovie, if you find yourself unable to take a picture you want yourself, you can find and save creative commons images from the internet (I did use a few in mine). When you first place your images in your project, a mode called “Ken Burns” mode is automatically enabled. If you are familiar with the famous documentarian’s work, you have seen his signature still image style, where the camera pans from one area at the top of the photo to an area on the bottom of the photo. You can choose where you want the pan to begin and end in this mode when you tap on the photo; you can also choose to turn this mode off and just display the still picture. You can also adjust the length of time the still is on screen, so you are not just stuck with a standard amount of time (you can move images through quickly or slowly, depending on the purpose of the still photo).

iMovie also allows you to choose from a few different scene transitions to make your transition from clip to clip as smooth as possible. You can choose a simple fade, a dissolve, slides, or even transitions that go with which ever film template you choose. Another cool thing about iMovie is that you can apply filters to both your stills and your video. This allows you to turn full colored video clips into black and white ones, or to add brightness to your still photos. I enjoyed using this feature; there is a shot I took driving over the Douglas Street Bridge on Douglas Avenue in Wichita, KS that I used the “silent film” filter on; using this filter makes that small clip of video feel like you are stepping back in time.

Image courtesy Google Images via pixabay.com

Image courtesy Google Images via pixabay.com

I really enjoyed using iMovie; there are many different ways to unleash your creativity with this video editor, and its incredibly easy to use. I am not saying it makes video editing super fast, but how quickly you edit a video is largely determined by how much time you as a user decide to put into it. Do you want to make sure your clips are just the right length, in just the right order? Do you want to make sure each clip is in the order that best makes sense, and that each transition you choose feels natural to that scene? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it will take some time to make a project in iMovie. If you are just wanting to put something together quickly, you can also do that because it is just so simple to use.

Image courtesy Google Images via en.wikipedia.org

Image courtesy Google Images via en.wikipedia.org

I talked earlier in the semester about ways to use iMovie’s trailer feature in the classroom; using the iMovie video editor has even more applications for classroom use. For example, look at the project we are using iMovie for in DED 318. The short films each of us is making is a piece of the history of the state of Kansas; some of the movies are also personal pieces of our own history. This would be an incredible project for the Social Studies classroom regardless of what age level you teach! Everyone from elementary students to college students can create amazing, professional looking films exploring history. Outside of Social Studies, students can use iMovie for book reports and book scene recreations in Language Arts, to explore different scientific concepts in Science, to film a foreign language lesson, and even to explain different math concepts to other students in Math class.

As for my own personal Celebrating Kansas Voices Movie project, I chose my husband SGT Brian Kite as my subject. Brian and I went to downtown Wichita, KS one afternoon during Thanksgiving Break, and he took me to the places that meant the most to him. On camera, he talked about the three months when he was 15 when he was homeless and stayed on the streets near Douglas Avenue and the Douglas Street Bridge, and he discussed his lasting connection to that specific area of Wichita, KS. The project is below, and I hope you enjoy it; it meant a lot to me to be able to make it.

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Interactive Whiteboard and App Tutorial for Book Creator

Image courtesy Google Images via www.educatorstechnology.com

Image courtesy Google Images via www.educatorstechnology.com

At the beginning of this post you can see the app tutorial I got to make this week. I chose the Book Creator app that I read about in Jenny Grabiec’s One Best Thing iBook. I was so excited to try this app out for myself and create my first-ever e-book. There is a free version of this app, but I went ahead and purchased the full version of Book Creator for $4.99 because I have 2 children who love to write, and I knew they would want to create some books as well. This app has several features to explore, so I decided it was the perfect fit for my first app tutorial.

Image courtesy Google Images via tunes.apple.com

Image courtesy Google Images via tunes.apple.com

To begin making my app tutorial, I first had to create the perfect short book. I chose my favorite subjects, my kiddos, and went to work. As I worked, I used my iPad to take screenshots of each and every step of the process. After I did this, I launched the Skitch app. This app is a photo annotation app that allows you to use arrows, simple shapes, text, underlining, and even a few emojis to draw attention to different aspects of your photos. I used this app to highlight important areas in a few of my screenshots. I refrained from using the text tool for these particular screenshots (there is already so much going on in the photos I was using), but I definitely like the fact that Skitch does have this feature, and I am sure I will use it frequently in the future.

Image courtesy Google Images via tunes.apple.com

Image courtesy Google Images via tunes.apple.com

After I had my screenshots ready to go, I launched the Explain Everything app. Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard app that is available for $3.99 on the iTunes app store, and it is worth every penny. I have used a few free interactive whiteboards on the iPad before, but none were as simple to use as this one is. This app not only allows you to draw on your image, but you can export different types of media files (including videos) onto your slides. Using Explain Everything for screencasting is ridiculously easy; its as simple as importing your background image and pressing record. As soon as you start recording your voice, anything you do to the background image (drawing on it, moving it, etc.) occurs in real time. Once a project is finished, its very easy to edit. You can add and remove slides quite easily. This was my favorite feature of this particular app. After showing a tutorial to my students, if they discover a feature in an app I have left out, then its quite simple for me to go back in and add that feature to my tutorial for next time. Also, if I watch my tutorial and decide some information is extraneous, I can easily remove that slide. This app is so easy to use, I can see why its already used in so many classrooms. Not only is it easy for teachers to use (there are so many ways to use this app, including creating tutorials and lesson introductions), but its simple for students to use. Students can create slick, polished projects quickly and easily. Another great thing about this app is that once it is complete, its so easy to share it! Not only can you save it as a video to the iPad’s camera roll, you can easily export it to most major streaming or cloud services such as  YouTube, Twitter, Vimeo, Dropbox, and Google Drive.

Using Explain Everything made creating my tutorial so much simpler than I ever thought it could be, and I ended up having a blast with this project!

 

via GIPHY

I hope my tutorial makes you want to give Book Creator a try (its an amazing app, and one I think every student would love to use in the classroom to create their own books), and I hope this blogpost makes you want to give Explain Everything a try. Out of all the interactive whiteboards I have used, this one has the best user interface. I don’t like to spend money on apps, but for under $10 this week I got two apps which I will use both in the classroom and at home; I will use these apps for years. This was $10 well spent, and I am sure you will agree if you decide to take the plunge and purchase these apps. These are both apps  that you will use time and again in your classroom! If you are already the proud owner of any of the apps I discussed this week, please share in the comments how you use them in your classroom. I can’t wait to see your ideas!

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Week 13 Reflection: Wes Fryer-Sharing Learning from Miami Device 2015

Time for a Miami Device and Wes Fryer Shout Out!

Time for a Miami Device and Wes Fryer Shout Out!

Check out that awesome roster!  Image Courtesy of Google Images via twitter.com

Check out that awesome roster!
Image Courtesy of Google Images via twitter.com

This week I headed over to Wes Fryer’s blog, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, to read his post “Sharing Learning from Miami Device 2015” so I could learn about some of his experiences at this educational conference. Organized by Felix Jacomino, this 2nd annual two day conference brings educators together to talk about digital learning and tools, to network, and to have a great time in Coconut Grove, FL. This event drew many of the top ed-tech leaders from Twitter, including Wes himself, his wife Shelly (I wrote a blog about her awesomeness earlier this week), and many of the educators from his Twitter Yodas list (after reading the phrase “Twitter Yodas”, my Star Wars obsessed imagination started envisioning Wes Fryer as Luke Skywalker hanging out with a large group of Yodas with iPads . . . you see it too, now, don’t you?).

via GIPHY

Image Courtesy of Google Images via pixabay.com

Image Courtesy of Google Images via pixabay.com

The use of Twitter to connect with each other and with learning before, during, and after Miami Device was highly encouraged by Felix Jacomino. Because of this encouragement, the #MiamiDevice thread is packed with the experiences and insights of the educators who attended this conference. Going a step further, Wes Fryer has archived all of his tweets using Tweet Nest to track all of his “digital breadcrumbs”, and also creates Storify archives of categorized tweets (such as those for Miami Device). This is fantastic, not only because it makes relocating links and resources later easier for him, it makes discovering those breadcrumbs easier for preservice teachers like myself who are beginning to gather links and resources of their own to use in our future classrooms.

Beyond just sharing his tweets from Miami Device with us (and embedding his favorite #MiamiDevice tweets, some which include amazing videos, in his blog), Wes Fryer shares podcasts from the event and this video interview with Andrea Hernandez:

With these podcasts and the video, Wes is doing more than telling us about his experience at Miami Device, he is actually sharing the experience with those of us who could not be there! I have now learned about digital parenting, how to integrate design and technology in a traditional curriculum, the essential laws to using classroom blogging, and blogfolios (schoolwide student blogs that follow the student through each grade while they are at the school). Wes Fryer also shared the resources from his three Miami Device presentations: Newton’s Laws of Classroom Blogging, Google GeoMap Workshop, and App Smashing to YouTube. I was so excited to have access to these resources; even though I did not attend this amazing conference, I still get to learn from it (and learning is my favorite thing!).

Image Courtesy Google Images via pixabay.com

Image Courtesy Google Images via pixabay.com

Beyond the amazing resources and generous sharing of learning, Wes Fryer talks about the fun non-conference things he got to do with his wife Shelly and other super awesome educators. Not only was the conference full of fun, but their off time looked like a blast too! The double decker bus rides, culinary tours, and soaking up the awesomeness of Miami makes me want to get on a plane right now! Or maybe I should just start saving my pennies so I can one day attend this amazing conference (the next one is November 9-10, 2017, so save the date!).

In addition to the amazing, almost-like-we-were-there-too experience of reading Wes Fryer’s post on Miami Device 2015, Wes reminds us all of a very important idea we should consider. This idea is simple: learning is for sharing with others. Like cookies are for sharing with others, and not just for teasing hungry Cookie Monsters:

Unlock learning by sharing it! Image courtesy Google Images via pixabay.com

Unlock learning by sharing it!
Image courtesy Google Images via pixabay.com

Why is sharing learning so important? Think about this: don’t we learn more when we share with each other? Consider the impact that this one post from Wes Fryer had on me (and hopefully on you as you explore it): I learned from his experiences and was able to reflect on that learning. I am, as of the moment of this writing, growing from that learning, and I am growing from sharing the learning that was shared with me with you. Do you see all that sharing that’s happening? Isn’t that something special? Shouldn’t our students have that feeling? Can’t we share with them and give them the tools to share what they have learned with the world? We can, and I think we should. Learning shouldn’t require a password.

Image courtesy Google Images via commons.wikimedia.org

Image courtesy Google Images via commons.wikimedia.org

So, what are my final thoughts regarding Wes Fryer’s “Sharing Learning from Miami Device 2015”? If you have a chance to go to the next Miami Device, you definitely should. I have never been but it sounds like an amazing experience. And if you do go, remember to share with those of us here at home. We all need to share a little more.

Image courtesy miamidevice.org

Image courtesy miamidevice.org

 

 

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Week 12 Reflection: Positive Promises

All amazing people deserve a High Five. Shelly Fryer is an amazing person. This digital High Five is for her!

All amazing people deserve a High Five. Shelly Fryer is an amazing person. This digital High Five is for her!

Every week for 12 weeks, when I have reviewed a blog I have found a specific post to reflect on. I enjoy doing this, because it is almost like a conversation. I get to engage with the blogger through my blog, and I have come across some amazing teachers whom I really admire.This week, however, calls for something different. This week I want to reflect on the blog in its entirety, because there is something so incredibly special here that it stands out in a sea of amazing blogs from incredible teachers.

Me, surfing the waves in the sea of awesome teaching blogs (I’m the blue one) via GIPHY

Some things defy description. Image courtesy Google Images via flickr.com

Some things defy description.
Image courtesy Google Images via flickr.com

There are times in all of our lives when we find something that is so special and amazing it is difficult to wrap our heads around. In the education community, through the magic of blogging, we are so incredibly lucky to have so many educators out there who are this kind of special and amazing; I have reviewed the blogs of several. So many amazing teachers, so little time! Twelve weeks into blogging about the blogs of these incredible teachers who I look up to, I have found blogs and teachers who write things that have blown my mind, and those who are so amazing it took me awhile to wrap my head around their awesomeness. I did not think it was possible to top those feelings. Then I read about Shelly Fryer and read her blog. You all know that I have a lot of words, but in spite of that there have been several times where I have not been sure if I could do justice to how amazing something was. I have always eventually found a way to express it though. This week is different. I know that I do not have the words to accurately paint you a picture of how amazing Positive Promises and Shelly Fryer really are.

I am going to tell you a little bit about Shelly Fryer so you can see why I

Image courtesy Google Images via positive tomorrows.org

Image courtesy Google Images via positive tomorrows.org

am lacking descriptors for this wonderful teacher. Shelly Fryer teaches 3rd and 4th grade students in Oklahoma City. She does not teach at just any school, however, she teaches at Positive Tomorrows. Positive Tomorrows is a unique school; it is the only private school of its kind in the United States of America. Positive Tomorrows is a school specifically for children who are homeless. While educating these children, the school also empowers their families. The goal of this school is to use education to break the cycle of homelessness. The fact that this school exists shows us how the power of education can be harnessed to bring about change.

Image courtesy Google Images via en.wikipedia.org

Image courtesy Google Images via en.wikipedia.org

A school and its ideas are only as powerful as the teachers behind them, however. As I read and explored Shelly’s blog, it became more and more evident that I was reading the words of a truly great teacher. Its more than just the fact that she teaches students who are homeless. The lessons she shares are truly amazing, creative, and exemplary examples of effective teaching. For example, lets talk about the Lego Literature Challenge. In this challenge, students created a favorite character or scene from their favorite books.  Some of the characters made were Minions, Big Nate, Rapunzel and even Rihanna. What an amazingly engaging way to get students to start thinking deeply about what they have read! As they create the characters from the Lego blocks, they have to think about what unique characteristics make up that character visually and translate it to the Legos.

Image courtesy flickr.com

Image courtesy flickr.com

In the post “Helping My Students Find Their Voice“, we see more evidence of what a great teacher Shelly Fryer is. It all started, as the best teaching does, with the idea of a group of students. These students wanted to use their sidewalk chalk in a shadier, less busy area of the playground. Since the playground is used by all of the students at the school, Mrs. Fryer suggested they form a petition and present a specific set of ideas to the principal. This little bit of encouragement was all the group needed to move forward. They convinced the entire class to sign their petition, and then they delivered it to the principal. After a meeting,  they gained the permission of the principal and formed a committee to design and paint a new chalkboard area. Because of the encouragement of a great teacher, these girls learned that they have a voice and their ideas do matter.

I could honestly write about this blog all night. I wanted to talk about her use of character words in the classroom (such as honesty and integrity), and how great teachers help students connect these words to their everyday lives, like Shelly Fryer does in her classroom podcasts. I wanted to talk about her use of technology in the classroom, such as those podcasts, classroom blogs, classroom website, and her classroom YouTube channel.

 

There is so much I could discuss, but then I realized that I want you, my readers, to experience this blog for yourselves. If you click on the links throughout this post and explore Shelly Fryer’s blog yourself, it will have a much deeper impact on you than simply reading a blog that talks about it. I hope you go and explore the blog yourself. When I read the blog, I saw the kind of teacher I want to be. I hope you learn something about yourself when you read it, too. Thank you, Shelly Fryer!

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Education and Fun with Thinglink and Padlet

 

In today’s blog, I decided to try a little something different and begin my blog with one of the products from my app exploration this week. Above you is the Thinglink I created specifically for this blog. I decided to start my post on Thinglink and Padlet because I was not quite sure how to begin explaining what a Thinglink is without showing you one for reference first. After all, if I were to say a Thinglink is an interactive picture with little hotspots all over it, would it really do Thinglink justice?

Image courtesy Google Images via tunes.apple.com

Image courtesy Google Images via tunes.apple.com

While the written description about Thinglink above is a bit hard to imagine, as you explore my example Thinglink you can see that it is indeed an interactive picture with hotspots on it. You click on these hotspots and it opens text, links, images, or videos. On my Thinglink above I have a few videos, one image, a little text, and a lot of links to help describe the writing process. Making a Thinglink is extremely simple. You simply upload an image (one you have taken or a Creative Commons image from the internet), then click on the image to add a video from YouTube, another image, text, or a link to a website. This fun tool, available both as a website and as an app, is great for organizing ideas or for exploring a concept in depth. This makes it a natural fit for the classroom, and although there are upgraded features available, using the free version of Thinglink gives you and your students plenty of options to make some really cool projects.

This brings us to the question, what kind of projects can students make with Thinglink? There are so many things you can do, but it is always nice to have a few ideas to use as inspiration. One example I can see students having fun with is using Thinglink to describe the water cycle. You can either give students an image to use, or have them create an image online or through an app that can be saved as a jpeg, and have them label and describe the different features of the water cycle. You can choose to have them add only text descriptions, or you can allow them to link to websites, images or videos to explain each feature. Another idea is to have students use a Thinglink to gather resources for a research project or paper. I actually used it for this reason myself recently when researching a project. Students can upload a photo that symbolizes their topic and place hotspots on it with links to research they want to use for their project. If you want to learn more about how to use Thinglink, check out this tutorial:

Image courtesy Google Images via padlet.com

Image courtesy Google Images via padlet.com

I have spent a lot of time this post raving about Thinglink, but as you may have deduced from the title, I am also reflecting on Padlet this week. Padlet is a virtual bulletin board that allows for easy collaboration, and like Thinglink it is available as both a website and an app. One person creates a new Padlet, then shares either a QR code or a link with others so they can post on the board. The people who have the link to your Padlet can post text, images, videos, and links to your board. Last week, DED 318’s Padlet about Thinglink went live, and all of us Wildcats in DED 318 shared our Thinglinks on it.

A Blank Padlet=A Blank Canvas

A Blank Padlet=A Blank Canvas

The best thing about Padlet is that you can create one for any topic. Padlet has often been used in many of my college courses for discussion topics. (Before this week, however, I had great difficulty getting anything I posted to Padlet from my iPad to post. I don’t know if its the curse of BH 119, or my bad luck. Maybe my bad luck has run out, or maybe its Cyndi Danner-Kuhn’s tech magic, but as soon as I asked her for help it suddenly started working, and now I get to experience the magic of Padlet free from my prior frustrations.) There are several ways to use Padlet in the classroom. You can use it to collect digital projects from students made on other apps (as we did for our Thinglinks), you can use it as a place for students to summarize group discussions, or you can use a Padlet board for students to answer questions, share pictures, share websites, or for sharing ideas about concepts on.

Thinglink and Padlet are two great resources to add to your teacher toolkit. I for one cannot wait to use these with my future students, and I hope you will have as much fun exploring them as I did; I am sure if you are anything like me you will be busy brainstorming some amazing Thinglink and Padlet project ideas. Share your ideas for using these apps in the comments below, and I am leaving you with another of my Thinglink creations!

   

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Google Communities in the Classroom

Its time to shower some love on Google Communities!

Its time to shower some love on Google Communities!

Image courtesy Google Images via commons.wikimedia.org

Image courtesy Google Images via commons.wikimedia.org

Image courtesy Google Images via google.com

Image courtesy Google Images via google.com

I do not even know how to start this post. There is so much to say! I know, its surprising that I would have any difficulty starting a blog. After all, none of these posts have been what one would call brief. This post, however, is a reflection on Google Communities, and this topic is so huge that I am having a hard time wrapping my small head around it. That does not mean I am not going to try however, just that it is going to take me awhile to gather my thoughts into coherence; after that I will still have to type it all out! I hope you will join me as I struggle to find a way to reflect on Google Communities that does them justice.

Image courtesy Google Images via commons.wikimedia.org

Image courtesy Google Images via commons.wikimedia.org

Google Communities is one of the best features of Google+. Google+ being, of course, that social media site that I signed up for and then never did anything with because I was too busy with Pinterest and Facebook. Everyone I know is on Facebook, so I just never ended up really exploring my Google+ account. Why use Facebook and Google+? It seemed a bit redundant at the time. What a silly little fool I was. Google+ is actually much cooler than Facebook. It just has so many great features that Facebook lacks. As I stated at the beginning of this paragraph, the best of these is Google Communities.

So what are Google Communities? Google Communities are groups of like minded people who going together to share ideas, thoughts, resources, and questions with one another. You may wonder how that is different than a Facebook Group. Well, first of all, the layout of Google Communities is much easier to follow. The layout is easy to read and explore, and instead of just scrolling for an eternity because posts stack up, Google Community posts go left to right. This makes it easier (at least for me) to read more posts. Finding Google Communities to join is also much simpler than finding Facebook communities, because, well, Google. They didn’t get to be the world’s most popular search engine by not returning relevant results after all. Finally, and this might just be me, but Google+ seems to be more of a positive place than Facebook has become . . . my Facebook feed has become a teeming mess of people yelling at each other. My Facebook Groups have devolved into similar shouting matches. I have yet to find a Google Community where people are swearing at each other over which (resource, app, school, TV show, movie, music, career, Doctor, fill in blank here) is the best. All I see is a bunch of people happily swapping resources and cheerily sharing stories and answering each other’s questions.

Image courtesy Google Images via blog.calicospanish.com

Image courtesy Google Images via blog.calicospanish.com

Now for the big question. Why should educators care about Google Communities? We should care because there is nothing like finding a group of awesome educators who love to share ideas, share resources, and answer any question that pops into our heads. After all, isn’t it the exchange of ideas and resources that we love so much about professional development conferences? With Google Communities, we can get that every single day! Google Communities gives us another tool for our toolbox that we can use to improve ourselves as educators, and that is nothing short of amazing.

Image courtesy Google Images via pixabay.com

Image courtesy Google Images via pixabay.com

To begin my exploration of Google Communities, I joined several communities. In the remainder of this blog, I want to share with you some of my favorite resources that I found in my three (current) favorite communities. The first community I want to talk about is Teachers Helping Teachers. The title of this community really says it all. Teachers Helping Teachers is a community of educators sharing ideas and resources with other educators, and taking the time to answer questions that other teachers have. I found some fantastic resources in this community. The first resource I found came from Marghanita Hughes, and it links to a post where she details some fantastic, low-cost art projects you can complete with your students using items found in nature. These projects are a great way to get students to start thinking about natural resources. Another resource I found was this one detailing connecting math to the real world shared by Peter Cameron; as a student I struggled to make these connections, so it is really important to me as a teacher that I help my students make them. Another great resource shared by Kevin Zahner gives great advice for using Google Forms in the classroom.

Image courtesy Google Images via www.karegivers.org

Image courtesy Google Images via www.karegivers.org

Another one of my favorite communities is GEG Kansas. I joined this group because I know nothing about Google Educator Groups, and wanted to learn more about Google’s involvement with education. This community has a ton of resources for teachers using Google Apps for Education, but it also includes a ton of non-Google related resources as well. One of my favorite non-Google related resource I found in this group was shared by Paul Sister, and it details ten simple inexpensive DIY’s for elementary teachers. My favorite Google related resource I found on this page came courtesy of The Gooru and links to The Gooru’s three-part series on Google Classroom. I also found a tutorial for an app I had not heard of before, thanks to Jana Wehrman. Its an app called Flubaroo, and it aims to take the pain out of grading. After watching the tutorial, I am excited to try it out once I get my own classroom!

Image courtesy Google Images via commons.wikimedia.org

Image courtesy Google Images via commons.wikimedia.org

The final community I joined was iPad Ed. This community I had to be approved to join, so it took a little while before I was able to explore it. It was well worth the wait, however. There are so many resources that it was hard for me to whittle it down to my favorites. One that really stuck out for me was a post linking to a blog that discussed providing better feedback with Answer Pad. I was really excited to read this, because we have been discussing the importance of authentic, valuable feedback for a few weeks now in many of my courses. It was really interesting to see how a teacher can use an iPad to do this! Another one that really stuck with me was a link to the best organizational apps for teachers. I do not know about you, but anything that can help me be more organized is something that I love, love, love! There were so many resources shared in this community that I decided to start a Google Collection to save some of these resources. A Google Collection is a bit like Google+’s Pinterest board. Will I add as much to my Google Collection as I have to my Pinterest? Only time will tell.

In case I have not expressed myself very eloquently, I want to leave this post stressing exactly how much I have loved exploring Google Communities. I began this exploration as someone who has ignored her Google+ account, and I leave it with the Google+ app installed on my phone, and a Google collection I keep adding to. I am really loving Google right now, and I highly recommend that you go explore Google communities yourself!

Image courtesy Google Images via plus.google.com

Image courtesy Google Images via plus.google.com

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Week 10 Reflection: 2015 K12 Online Conference

 

I get to talk about something pretty amazing today!

I get to talk about something pretty amazing today!

Image courtesy of K12online.org

Image courtesy of K12online.org

Recently I had a chance to explore the 2015 K12 Online Conference. The K12 Online Conference is a FREE online education conference put on completely by volunteers to help bring professional development straight to your computer. All presentations (and all the conferences from previous years) are archived and available for educators to peruse on their own time online. With no registration cost, and the flexibility to watch the presentations when it works best for you, I think the descriptor “amazing” may not quite do this conference justice.

The theme for the 2015 K12 Online Conference was Virtually Unstoppable which focused on the following strands: Maker Ed, Stories of Connection, Overcoming Obstacles, and Beyond the Core: Art and More, with numerous presentations under each strand topic. I watched a few presentations, but, as always, I want to focus on one specific presentation to look at in depth.

Karen Bosch Image courtesy Google Images via southfieldchristian.org

Karen Bosch
Image courtesy Google Images via southfieldchristian.org

The presentation I have chosen to focus on was the Keynote presentation for the Beyond the Core: Art and More strand, Karen Bosch’s Let’s Draw Some Attention: Digital Sketchnotes. Karen Bosch is a tech teacher for pre-K-8th grades at the Southfield Christian School in Southfield, MI. She has been using sketchnotes herself since she was first introduced to them by a colleague at an Apple Distinguished Educators conference.

You have probably come across these amazing images from Sylvia Duckworth without realizing they are super awesome Sketchnotes! Image courtesy Google Images via twitter.com

You have probably come across these amazing images from Sylvia Duckworth without realizing they are super awesome Sketchnotes!
Image courtesy Google Images via twitter.com

If you are unfamiliar with sketchnotes, you might be wondering what the heck they are. Well, sketchnotes are visual notes which are made with a combination of text, pictures, and organizers (bullets, frames, symbols, arrows, etc). They can be used in any situation where you would take traditional notes, and are most often used when listening to someone speak. I admit to being a little apprehensive about this topic, because, well, I cannot even draw a straight line. How the heck am I supposed to make pictorial representations of ideas? Karen Bosch immediately spoke about this doubt, however, and emphasized that this note taking strategy is about ideas not art. She stressed time and again that you don’t have to be an artist to benefit from, or make effective, sketchnotes.

The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown. Image Courtesy of amazon.com

The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown. Image Courtesy of amazon.com

There are many benefits to using sketchnotes, and these benefits are why you should seriously consider introducing this strategy to your students. Karen Bosch references the benefits explained by Sunni Brown, author of The Doodle Revolution.   Sketchnotes allow you to doodles, which helps students combine visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning. Listening, comprehension, recall, and creativity are all enhanced and increased! When students use sketchnotes, all of their senses are involved. This encourages active learning, engagement, and helps students focus on what is being taught. In addition, sketchnotes help students form connections between ideas and helps them filter key ideas and important information from small details which may prove unimportant. Sketchnotes have the potential to increase student learning and retention.

Now that we know how sketchnotes are beneficial, how do we use them? This is a great place to start:

Sketchnotes can be created by students in 2 ways: traditional and high tech. Traditional sketchnotes are done with paper, ink, pencils, markers, etc. High tech sketchnotes are done via any sketching program on any piece of technology. Karen Bosch focuses on the iPad as her preferred sketchnote vehicle, and shares with her audience several apps which are useful for creating sketchnotes: Tayasui Sketches (free and paid versions available), Sketchbook Express (free and paid versions available), Flipink (paid app), and Paper 53 (a free app). Of course, when using any of these apps, having a stylus helps tremendously (drawing with your finger is much harder than you would think); luckily, cheap styluses can be found anywhere from Amazon to your local Wal Mart.

My favorite part about Karen Bosch’s Keynote is when she shares with us the various ways she has used sketchnotes with her students. The examples she shares are just amazing, and it is great to see genuine student products. Seeing these examples really helps to drive home how incredibly useful using these in your own classrooms can be. She even shares student feedback with us to show us how her students feel about using this note taking method. The students said they felt like they were listening and focusing more as they drew, and that they felt like they remembered better because they were visualizing what speakers said in addition to listening to them.

If you want to learn more about using sketchnotes, I suggest visiting Karen Bosch’s iPad multimedia tools page, which includes all of the resources from her Keynote. She has also created a free iTunes U course that goes into creating sketchnotes in depth. Definitely watch her K12 presentation:

I learned so much from this presentation, and discovered a method that I hope to implement in my future classroom. And this is just one of many presentations! The K12 Online Conference is such an amazing gift to all of us in education. As soon as you can, go check out the website for yourself. I know you will find something amazing. I sure did!

 

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Using the Canva App: My First Infographic

bitmoji-20151030224341

Image courtesy Google Images, via itunes.apple.com

Image courtesy Google Images, via itunes.apple.com

This week, I was introduced to a free graphic design app for the iPad called Canva. Canva allows users to make professional looking posters, images, and infographics through a relatively easy to use interface. On Monday, I made this poster during DED 318:

image

Now, I am well aware that I am not very good with the visual arts. In fact, its probably my weakest area. While I have a sister who has a degree in graphic design and is both an (extremely talented) tattoo artist and freelance graphic designer, and another sister who draws beautifully, I myself completely lack in that skill area. I am not even good with colors! While this poster is probably not the prettiest thing ever made with this app, is is honestly so much better than any artistic project I have ever completed. Canva’s drag and drop features made moving images across the template I used and changing colors so incredibly easy that even I completed a poster that actually looks like a poster. Canva has several fonts to choose from, so the type on your projects will always look nice and polished. They also have a decent amount of free images, and they do allow you to upload your own photos into your projects.

After making my poster, it was time to tackle attempting an infographic. Those of you in education are familiar with infographics, those amazing reports that presents information both visually and textually, such as these:

After using Canva on Monday, I was sure that making my first infographic would be a relatively painless process. Unfortunately, my Canva app kept freezing on my iPad, leaving me fairly frustrated. Luckily this evening the app finally stopped acting buggy, and I was able to attempt my infographic. Are you ready to see it? I have to warn you, its not the greatest looking infographic out there, but I did put a lot of hard work into it. I must have changed colors and graphic positions about 100 times before I finally decided to go ahead and publish it. Well, here goes nothing:

My first infographic

My first infographic

Canva’s applications in the classroom are quite clear. Instead of the traditional tri-fold poster boards, students could have a lot of fun designing posters and infographics with Canva. For teachers, these projects are just as assessable as the traditional posters are. As I said earlier, Canva has an interface that is extremely user friendly and it is actually quite a bit of fun to use (even for someone like me who does not do so well with visual projects). The only drawback to Canva (aside from the technical difficulties, which can occur in any piece of software) is the paid elements. While there is a decent amount of backgrounds and images to use for free, the majority of backgrounds and images available through the app are ones you have to pay for. These paid features are very slick and polished, but at $1 a pop, that can add up really fast. There were several images and backgrounds I loved, but I just did not have the money to put towards them. I wish that they offered bundle packs for a discounted rate, because it would not take long at all to spend a lot of money. Unfortunately, educators do not have a lot of money to spend. Luckily, the paid images and backgrounds are clearly marked so it is easy to avoid accidentally having to pay for something you included on your project. Plus, Canva does give you the ability to use your own photos, so you can always find free clipart from sites such as Panda Art to include on your classroom projects.

As for whether I would recommend this app or not, Canva’s pros far outweigh its cons. I definitely recommend that you and your students give this app a try. The possibilities for the creative projects you will get in return are endless. For those of you who have already used Canva in the classroom before, how did you use it with your students? Share in the comment section below!

Until next time, have fun designing!

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