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19 Oct 2012
Comments: 4

iHealthy Living

Food, iMovie, and Keynote… what could be better?  This iLesson showcases how our HC Top Chefs used a combination of iMovie, Keynote, and various note-taking apps to evaluate their favorite dishes, create a healthier alternative, and showcase it all using the iPad. While the project had been delivered in previous years, this year Mrs. Barron commented, “This is so much better than a PowerPoint” and a student shared their app-thusiasm for the lesson by chanting “thank you for making this unit so much fun”. Though the original assignment was intended to be a PPT and the teacher had limited comfort with iMovie and Keynote, she found that she didn’t have to teach the apps or the technology – the students took their iPads and ran with it … all the way to the kitchen and delivered projects that far exceeded her guidelines and expectations. I commend her for giving students the freedom to express their learning in multiple formats.

Here is the original assignment:

“Select a family favorite recipe.  Modify the recipe by reducing fat, calories, sodium, and/or sugar.  Investigate ways to modify the recipe by researching substitute ingredients.  Conduct taste tests, nutritional analysis, and cost comparisons of modified and original product.  Present to the class the results of the modification project in a PowerPoint presentation.  You need to make and bring enough of the modified recipe for each person in the class to have a small taste on your designated day.”

HealthyLiving Project Summarized with Strip Designer app


The beauty of this project was in the differentiated design. Students could use multiple mediums to create their final product from iMovie and Keynote to Explain Everything. Some students added their text in Keynote slides and took screenshots of those to use in their iMovie and others typed in Notes or Pages and took screenshots of that. While each video entailed pictures and video of the group making the recipe, the before and after recipe, nutritional benefits, cost comparisons, and the health benefits of the new recipe, every project was entirely different and showcased unique attributes of the group’s personality from soundtracks and voice overs to blooper reels.

After the first period of presentations, we made a few edits and discoveries:

  1. Video Control: When presenting, students learned to pause the video during important text slides (rather than try and time it to play for an allotted amount of time). This allowed the group to spend more time discussing these details as well as provided time to for the teacher to grade integral elements during the presentation.
  2. Panning Text: Sometimes screenshots of text that pan or have certain effects can be difficult to read the text in the video.
  3. Host Family Video Taste Test: Some students made two batches of their recipe – one to eat at the host’s home and one to eat at school. We suggested having the host’s family film a quick video review to detail their official taste test and include this element in the final project.
  4. Google Form Reviews: Next time we plan on using a Google Form to have each student review the class samples with the intent of sharing the final results with the class at the end of the project.
  5. Class iCookbook: We also plan on having students send a final photo and recipe for their healthy version and compiling them in a class iRecipe iBook.


Every time, I crash a class or observe a project, I learn something new from the students. In addition to sampling healthy versions of key lime tarts, pumpkin fudge, margherita pizza, ice cream sandwiches, and apple pie, one student shared this website she located to compare foods during the project. Another app to support the project is Fooducate.

Two Foods: Instant Food Comparison


375+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?


16 Oct 2012
Comments: 1

5 Ways to use Virtual World Apps to Support Writing

I am always enamored and entranced with virtual worlds and tours. I find them inspiring and rich with vivid and enchanting imagery. Thought I would share 5 ideas for how these apps can be used to support literacy in the iClassroom:

  1. Write about a character that lives in one of these worlds
  2. Write a descriptive paragraph or poem about the setting including the sounds and sights
  3. Create a movie or cartoon using these worlds as a backdrop (e.g. screenshots) for inspiration
  4. Compose a postcard from one of the destinations as if you have actually visited  there
  5. Discuss how time has changed various locations and imagine writing a letter from someone living there now to someone in the past

How else might you use these virtual worlds and tours to support creative writing and literacy? Please share in the comments section.


[listly id=”1yC” theme=”light” layout=”full” numbered=”yes” image=”yes” items=”all”]

375+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?


13 Oct 2012
Comments: 1

Student App Reviews – the Next iFrontier in Personalized Learning

I recently published a post on documenting iLearning that detailed how one teacher supports a “digital learning farm” in her class by publishing student products and student-written app reviews to a class blog and showcasing student achievements using a class Twitter account.

A few weeks ago, we got the idea to have students create video app reviews and tutorials using Reflection. Now it has become a popular event. Students visit me during advisory and I set up the mirroring with Reflection and the screen recording with Quicktime on my MacBook and in 2-3 minutes, we have pure app magic.

Thought I would share some of the most recent ones: Type on PDF FREE, Designs for Pages (BTW… had never seen this one and bought it as soon as our screen recording session was over), HMH Fuse Algebra, and iStudiez Pro.

Type on PDF FREE

Designs for Pages

HMH Fuse Algebra

iStudiez PRO


Notes on Screen Recording and Publishing.

  • Create your own network – I have found that in some settings Reflection doesn’t work unless I create my own network on my Mac and have the students mirror through that network.
  • Certain portions of apps do not mirror – Through trial and error, I have discovered that audio recording and toolbars in certain apps don’t always mirror. (The audio notes feature in HMH Fuse caused a blank screen during recording and the toolbar in PaperPort Notes does not appear when mirroring.)
  • Editing – Rather than re-recording an entire review, I will oftentimes import the movie into iMovie for quick edits.
  • Photos and Privacy – When filming the Designs for Pages vignette, I noticed that the student accessed her photo library. While ultimately she did not use a photo of herself, those photos were scanned through and visible while recording. To avoid a privacy situation like this, we created another album with just the photos that she was going to use during the screencast.
  • Publishing and Privacy – The original version of the iStudiez PRO review included the student’s email address as she was showcasing the ability to sync with Google Calendars. Unfortunately, I did not catch this while she was initially recording. Try as I might I could not remove or edit that clip in iMovie without losing meaning to the original work. I even uploaded it to YouTube and tried using their editing and annotation tools to add a callout over the address, but found the callouts always appear transparent and can easily be clicked on at any time by the viewer to be removed. Needless to say, to protect the student’s privacy, we re-recorded the review without showing that feature.


As it becomes easier and more seamlessly integrated to publish student work online, we as educators need to be more cognizant and aware of student’s privacy and protecting personal info. While none of our students are on the “do not publish” list, I still am wary about posting names and photos online.


Helpful tips for publishing student work online:
    • Consider taking photos of students from behind or the side (not head on) and reviewing photos and video before publishing to ensure all info is appropriate. Many times certain elements in photos can be blurred or written over using an annotation app like Skitch if caught before publishing.
    • When publishing to Youtube…
      • Do not include the video location if using publishing from home
      • Allow only approved comments
      • Model appropriate licensing and rights ownership by teaching students to select “Creative Commons Attribution”
      • Consider setting a video to anyone with link if you would like to heighten the privacy


Tips for Publishing Student Work to YouTube


As our app reviews do not include student names, photos, or personal info, I felt these would be appropriate to share publicly. Also, I wanted to ensure that students felt their work held value for not only their class and school but others abroad.

Check out an elementary example of Documenting iLearning.

Check out a MS Math classroom’s iLearning journey.

370+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?



09 Oct 2012
Comments: 2

Fiske Class: Documenting iLearning

In true Alan November-esque style, Tanna Fiske empowers her 8th grade students to lead and contribute valuable resources to the “digital learning farm”.

Published Products with a Purpose: Mrs. Fiske’s students share their “triumphs and failures” in a class blog that documents their 1:1 iPad journey. One of my favorite projects was accomplished the first week the students received their iPads. They used Explain Everything to showcase the 5 themes of geography (embedded below) and even reviewed the “modern powerpoint” app. Also check out their most recent project – 13 Colonies Commercials.

Published with a Voice and Purpose: students also use the blog as a venue for reviewing apps they utilize in the classroom.

Fiske Class App Rating System

The class created their own app rating system. Here is the running record of Fiske’s Class iToolkit of app reviews: Type on PDF, ImageChef, PDF PROvider, PromtWare Plus, Type on PDF free, DocAs, Quizlet, Flashcards*, myHomework, Explain Everything

I love that the reviews are brief, written in a friendly student language, feature personal recommendations and comparisons amongst a group of reviewed apps, and include the features they feel are most valuable. Some students are even beginning to use Reflection to record their own app video tutorials. One of the first was based on the organization app iStudiez Pro.


Digital Learning Legacies: Mrs. Fiske has set up a class Twitter (which displays though TimeKiwi) to visually showcase their iLearning journey and shares it with students and parents alike.

Fiske Class Time Kiwi



Check out an elementary example of Documenting iLearning.

Check out a MS Math classroom’s iLearning journey.

370+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?



27 Sep 2012
Comments: 0

Creating Digital Artifacts: Part 4

Continuing on a trend (or tour) of digital artifacts… showcasing examples of how traditional tasks can be digitally archived and sharing the steps of student workflow, I wanted to highlight an elementary Science iLesson from one of my favorite elementary teachers, Lisa Carnazzo.

Last year she had students use the iCardSort app to classify objects by motion (see Clever Carnazzo’s Cards iLesson for more details).

This year she reinvented the lesson using Turbo Collage and Audioboo. I love the idea of showcasing a traditional lab in such a digitally delightful manner. For all four student group examples and their audioboo explanations and reflections, visit the Carnazzo Class Wiki. Want more ideas for how to digitally archive and display student learning… bounce, roll, spin, or slide on over to the Carnazzo Class TimeKiwi.

Digitally Showcasing Traditional Tasks with Turbo Collage


More Digital Artifact Inspiration:

  1. Creating and Collecting Digital Work
  2. Creating Digital Artifacts with Sonic Pics
  3. Digital Homework Reflection with Audioboo
  4. Showcasing Digital Work: Leaving a Digital Learning Legacy
  5. An iPattern Scavenger Hunt with Skitch and Strip Designer


More TechChef4u Math iLessons HERE!

300+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

25 Sep 2012
Comments: 0

iMovie or uMovie?: iMovie Student Biographies

I am constantly amazed with the level of instruction and innovation in the classroom at HCMS. Mrs. Musci, the speech teacher, invited me to observe her students presenting their iMovie Biographies. The first day of the project involved students brainstorming questions to use which eventually were sorted into three categories: background, favorites, goals and future plans. Mrs. Musci had mentioned that while she had done this project in the past, it was much more fluid with iMovie and a 1:1 iPad initiative for her 8th grade students.

Over the next three days, students interviewed their partner, located supporting images from their phones and the internet, and even took video footage and photos to include in their iMovie project. They also utilized other apps to achieve a custom look and feel to their projects:

  1. Collage apps like PicStitch and InstaCollage to include multiple photos in a shot.
  2. Hokusai to edit music from their iTunes library to remove inappropriate content or irrelevant lyrics

On the day of the presentation, students presented their iMovie projects behind a podium and introduced their partner to the class. Another group of students filmed each presentation and burned it to a CD for each student to review for personal critiquing purposes. When asked if they would change anything about the project, one student said he would spend a little more time on the timing and slides. This project was well planned and exceptionally executed! Mrs. Musci had a very thorough road map for students and the projects clearly reflected her expectations and detailed guidelines:

Project Guidelines:

  1. Create an iMovie video with at least 15 pictures including the photo of your partner and his/her name.
  2. Include a Title and Concluding Slide.
  3. Add transitions and appropriate music.
  4. Organize your interview into an outline
  5. Write a brief introduction and conclusion
  6. Include at least one story about your partner (funny or serious)
  7. Add a video of your partner and a voice over.


Collage Created with PhotoGridPro

Some suggestions:

  1. Use Videolicious (especially with its new update) as a free option for iMovie and use another app to add captions to the photos like Skitch or Doodle Buddy.
  2. Create an iMovie trailer for a book or to introduce a character to the class or even as a commercial to showcase an invented product.
  3. Use Google Advanced Search on the iPad (step-by-step directions here) to locate Copyright free images.
  4. Use Popplet Lite as a way to storyboard a project.

Check out some other student products created with iMovie:

  1. iMovie Book Trailer
  2. iMovie Lazy Quotient Calculus
  3. iMovie Stop-Motion Art
  4. iMovie Poetry


300+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?


23 Sep 2012
Comments: 4

Creating Digital Artifacts: Part 3

When I embarked on “family homework” with my son this year, and began thinking of ways to digitize and archive it, I had no idea or intention that it would become a series. However, over the past few weeks it has become a welcome app-ortunity to spend quality instruction time with my son that is enjoyable and engaging for both of us.

This week’s math assignment focused on locating patterns around the house. This reminded me of an old post “Math in My World” that showcased multiple ways to highlight shapes and geometry in the world around us.

Going on an iPattern Scavenger Hunt (image created with Pixlromatic's Creative Effects Pack)


Here are the workflow steps to create an iPattern Scavenger Hunt: 

  1. Use the iPad to capture photos of patterns around your house and outside.
  2. Use Skitch to annotate each photo to highlight the shape that creates the pattern.
  3. Import all photos into Strip Designer.
  4. Add text as necessary.
  5. Share work via email or Dropbox (comic can be saved as a PDF or a jpeg).
    1. If saved as a PDF, collect each student’s PDF and compile into one iPattern class book.


iPattern Comic created with Skitch and Strip Designer

Want more Digital Artifact Inspiration:

  1. Creating and Collecting Digital Work
  2. Creating Digital Artifacts with Sonic Pics
  3. Digital Homework Reflection with Audioboo
  4. Showcasing Digital Work: Leaving a Digital Learning Legacy


More TechChef4u Math iLessons HERE!

300+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Did you know TechChef4u had a FB page?

15 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Voices from The Cattle Trail

Yesterday I met with Mrs. Aflatooni, the librarian at Ed White Middle School, to discuss how we could use the iPads to support a study on African American cowboys in Mr. Greeen’s 7th grade Texas History class.

Stations: Multiple stations were already set up to support the study of the Cattle Kingdom, Cattle Trails, and The End of The Open Range:

  1. Trace the development of the cattle industry from its Spanish beginnings.
  2. Explain how geographic factors affected the development of the cattle industry,
  3. Analyze the impact of national markets on the cattle industry in Texas.
  4. Identify the significance of the cattle drive.
  5. Describe life along the cattle trail.
  6. Analyze the effects of barbed wire and the windmill on the ranching industry.
  7. Identify the myths and realities of the cowhand.

Cattle Kingdom Stations: 7th Texas History


The Task: The original assignment was to read an article on one of the cowboys and either summarize it or answer a couple of questions. We decided that we could definitely access the article via the iPad and I immediately thought of doing a podcast. The original plan (as of yesterday afternoon) was to have students share three interesting facts and 1 item that they would  like to know that the article didn’t answer. When I got to Ed White in the morning, Mrs. Aflatooni suggested that the students actually interview each other (one would be the cowboy and the other the interviewer). I jumped on this idea!

Black Cowboys.Com

Task Card: Students were given a task card that provided them with the following directions:

  1. Go to
  2. Choose one of the following cowboys from the drop-down menu (2nd tab) to read about: (Addison Jones, Bill Pickett, Bose Ikard).
  3. Compose 3-4 questions (and answers) for the cowboy based on what you read.
  4. Add one more question that was not answered in the article and answer it as if you were that cowboy).
  5. With a partner, create an interview to answer these questions using the app iTalk Recorder on the iPad (one person will be the interviewer and one will be the cowboy).
  6. Email the interview to…


We made sure that we provided a list of cowboys that had enough meat (content) in the article that a student could easily generate 3-4 questions from. Students used the task card handout to script their interview and did a dry run before recording. Students created a general naming convention for the audio files (e.g. Addison Jones period 3) and included their names in the body of the email before it was sent.

Teacher’s Notes and Modifications: Naturally, we came across a few bumps with the first few groups but were able to remedy them for the next class periods.

  1. Difficulty Reading Article with 1 iPad: I noticed one group had put the iPad between them and were reading the article together with resized text while the other group had one student reading and then dictating to his partner what the questions would be. As we had multiple iPads to use with the groups, I thought it best to make the change to allow each student to use an iPad even though only one would be necessary for the recording.
  2. Size of File was too large with free version of iTalk to be emailed: I noticed that one group had a 47 second interview and had no problem in emailing it and another had a 41 second interview and was prompted to purchase the full version due to the size of the file. This was an oversight and easy to fix. Students had the option before recording to choose good/better/best and one group had chosen best and the other best. Since the bell was about to ring, I decided to use the voice recording feature on my iPhone to re-record the iPad interview and then email it. The sec
  3. Background noise was high: Even in the library, the background noise could be a little high so we tried to make sure we could isolate the groups in a corner or a smaller room if possible.
  4. Some students were not able to finish the article and interview in one class period: If you are limited on time, I suggest creating an additional station for reviewing the article and composing the questions prior to the recording station.


In listening to the final student products, it was interesting to see how the apptivity lent itself to multiple outputs while still essentially covering the same content.

  1. Some groups asked more than 4 questions.
  2. Some students customized their voice to pretend to be a cowboy during the recording
  3. Some groups asked more open-ended questions. (see below)

Group A: 

Interviewer: “Were you born into slavery in Tennessee in 1843?”

Bose Ikard: “Yes.”

Group B:

Interviewer: “Today I am interviewing Bose Ikard. When were you born Ikard?”.

Bose Ikard: “I was born in 1843.”


For more History Lessons, click here.

12 Feb 2012
Comments: 1

Inferencing iValentines

Carnazzo's Inferencing Valentines iProject

I was originally quite appy to see a new Talking Tom app (Talking Tom’s Love Letters), but crestfallen when I found it had no ability to actually record sound like Talking Tom and Ben Do the News.

Leave it up to Clever Carnazzo to come up with a way to not only use this surprisingly educational app but make it deliciously instructional. To support the skill of inferencing in reading, students used Talking Tom and Angela to make conjectures on character’s emotions, thoughts, and intentions based on body language and facial expressions. Students used multiple screenshots from Talking Tom’s Love Letters in Popplet Lite to showcase their inferencing skills.

Carnazzo's Inferencing Valentines iProject


Check out all 7 student submissions: Inferencing Valentines 1 and Inferencing Valentines 2

Hungry for more Carnazzo gems… check out all of her iLessons.