I have been working with some 5th grade classes making movies using the iPads. Some of the students were creating trailers for books they have read. I created the storyboards below to help them plan their movies.
A close friend of mine, Jim Wenk, is going to pilot a math class for ELL students using iPads, and he asked me for some recommendations for apps. I didn’t have too many recommendations, so I asked my PLN. Below is what was suggested & who suggested the app. All are free unless otherwise noted.
From John Gulick
Algebra Touch $1.99 – Nice process of how Algebra works, but too easy. Kids get bored with it after a few times since it’s not flashy.
MatheMagics $1.99 – Easy Algebra Fast – Can work with both of these and incorporate them into a curriculum
MatheMagics $1.99 – Mental Math Tricks – Ditto
Brain Tuner 2 – Kids love it, teachers love it. I would use it everyday as a warm up activity as kids are coming in class.
I have wanted to learn how to use Final Cut Pro for quite some time. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who knows how to use it and can teach me. I finally decided to jump in. Over the past couple of months I struggled through creating a couple of movies using FCP that I could have done easily in iMovie. These were movies I had to do for various reasons, which forced me to figure out how to use some of FCP’s features. Through this process I found many tutorials on YouTube (like the one below), and discovered that FCP is easier to use than I expected. I am by no means an expert, but I can do the basics now.
I have created a Diigo group to gather FCP X tutorials. Please join & contribute.
This presentation was created as an introduction to the flipped classroom. It was presented to teachers who were in the first month of their school’s 1:1 program to help them to begin flipping some lessons. Part 1 includes many links to help familiarize with the basics of the flipped classroom.
From the start I was not a big fan of the flipped classroom. My greatest hesitation toward the flipped classroom is that it becomes way too easy for teachers to use this as an excuse to dump more (disengaging) homework on students, by reinventing the lecture using technology. After reading more about it I believe that there is some merit to this method when the practice is used to differentiate the instruction, and place the responsibility for learning on the students, not just simply flipping homework and classwork. Below are some of the articles that gave me a better idea of what flipping is about, and more importantly, what it should not be about.
The Vod Couple – Aaron Sams & Jonathan Bergmann started it all.
Beyond the Classroom
Recently Jay Hopp, a middle school science teacher told me he was going to teach a unit on sound and asked me if GarageBand might be a good tool to use to help the students understand sound better. I had no idea what he was teaching about, so I borrowed a text book and read the chapter. An important part of the unit is sound waves, so an obvious use of GarageBand is to record sounds and analyze the waves. I thought that it would be an interesting idea to record various types of instruments and analyze the pattern they make. The other 8th grade science teacher, John Patrick (J.P.), and I borrowed ten different instruments to test record and see what happens. What I found when I recorded the instruments was that most created a very distinct pattern when recorded in GarageBand.
The idea I came up with was to print out each of the sound waves and give them to the students and have them record the instruments (the same way we did) and try to match the instrument with the sound wave that we printed out for them.
At the start of class we demonstrated how to play and record each of the instruments, and then in groups the students had to look at the cards and predict which cards went with which instruments before recording any. Once they were done with their predictions they began recording instruments and discussing which sound waves they thought matched. They had great discussions both during their predictions and the recording stages, and it was interesting to listen to them “negotiate” about which instrument matched which wave. The groups averaged 80% correct matches.
During the activity I suggested to Jay that we should look for more distinct sounding (pattern producing) instruments, but after the students did so well, I don’t think that is necessary. Something that JP did seemed to helped the students with their predictions. After giving them a few minutes to struggle with the predictions, we played each instrument again. Their attention was much more focused on the task this time. We think we could improve the activity by creating a movie showing us playing each of the instruments, without sound of course, so they could refer back to it. This would make it easier for them to reproduce each sound more accurately. Another way would be to do another movie as the “answer key,” to play at the end of class.
Below are the handouts that Jay, J.P. and I created for the lesson. Feel free to use these materials under Creative Commons license. We would love to hear your feedback if you use this lesson.
Below are some links to support the Professional Development for Seoul Foreign School November 19 & 21, 2011.
Mac OS Basics
- MacBook Pro features
- Switching from Windows to Mac video
- Learning Mac OS basics
- Multi-touch gestures for the trackpad
- Finder basics
- Change the position of the dock
- Dashboard widgets
- Keyboard shortcuts
- Time Machine
Video projects in the classroom (previous presentation)
More about teaching with video projects
Some of my students’ video projects.